The first day of South by always feels like the busiest. The crowds haven’t had a chance to get burnt out on sessions, stay out too late, or find any of the lounges yet, so the lines are long… but the sessions were intriguing, as we always expect. Jon and I hit up a number of content-related sessions, which seemed to be a big theme of the day, and here are our key points from Friday:
- In “Simple Ways to Massively Increase Your Content,” we heard from Oracle’s Kaila Garrison and NBC Sports’ Lyndsay Iorio Signor on how they both manage the large amounts of content their companies produce, how they organize said content, and how they measure results. Ultimately, the message of, “Stop trying to be amazing. Be useful,” resonated with me relative to how we manage social media platforms daily. It never hurts to be amazing, but the primary goal should be providing value or being helpful for our audiences.
- At 11:00, BuzzFeed’s Dao Nguyen spoke to “The Art and Science of Shareability.” She talked about how shareable content can’t be left solely to metrics – the combination of human assessment/creativity and learning from past campaigns are the key to success. “You can’t trick people to share content like you can trick them to click. You have to focus on the reader rather than the end game (metrics)” and “The combination of mobile and social is a gold mine for shared stories” were my favorite quips from this session.
- I finished my day hearing authors Peg Fitzpatrick and Guy Kawasaki speak to their book, “The Art of Social Media.” This session covered many of the reasons GFM has grown its Digital Strategy practice – we’re seeing more and more automated services for creating graphics, memes, and other rich content. And as brands become savvier on social networks, we’ll need to make sure our content is properly optimized, words and images are selected wisely (and with a key audience in mind), and social advertising campaigns are worked into overall marketing/communication strategies to raise visibility and enhance the campaign’s efforts.
- The first session of the conference – which Jim and I both attended – married my love of content and sports. While you might think that an entity as big as NBC Sports has a huge social media team the truth is quite the opposite. Lennon talked about how her small team is able to produce very large quantities of content for 20 social accounts on six different platforms. She mentioned the importance of leveraging the assets that may already exist within your organization to help create content. Slice and dice marketing materials, pull copy from communications docs and interview key stakeholders to share your companies’ expertise with your followers.
- In the same session Oracle’s Kaila Garrison talked about how quickly content needs can expand when a brand considers the different customer personas it should be creating for. Outside of some of the largest companies in the world, most marketers are creating content that is meant to reach all of their followers instead of segmenting their audiences into unique personas that deserve their own messaging.
- Representatives from Virgin America, World Wildlife Federation and Change.org later spoke about the power of brand advocates and how companies should be engaging their most loyal followers. Abby Lunardini from Virgin America used the story of the airlines fight to gain access to Dallas’ Love Field to illustrate the power of your brand advocates. Thanks to a smart plan that engaged and rewarded their most loyal fans Virgin now flies into what was formally only Southwest’s domain.
More to come tomorrow!
~Jim Licko and Jon Woods