Last week we had the opportunity to attend the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego – a two-and-a-half day session-packed conference focused on the most relevant trends and information in the world of social media.
Given that South by Southwest Interactive kicks off later this week (stay tuned for daily updates from our two-person team of Jon and Adrienne), we’re going to combine a longer form discussion from what we learned at Social Media Marketing World with our annual SXSW Denver Download in early April – let us know if you’re interested in attending!
In the meantime, here are my three main takeaways from #SMMW18 – with a quick video from the conference to explain some of the concepts as well.
1) The Algorithms Continue to Change Our Focus
Facebook’s shift away from brand and publisher posts in our news feeds toward one-on-one peer interaction has left a lot of brand managers scratching their heads about staying relevant on the platform. The key – according to Social Media Insider Founder Michael Stelzner – will be unique and tailored content with the goal of prompting individuals to share with their peers. In other words, “being human at scale.” Some additional insights on this topic include:
- Longer form content will be critical – videos, in particular
- Facebook’s focus on “Facebook Watch” will also mean a shift toward more episodic content. Think about producing various video series that take viewers on a storytelling journey, and make it as shareable as possible
- The algorithm change combined with Snapchat competition will likely lead to more Facebook Stories from individuals – so much so that we’ll likely see fewer wall posts and more Stories in the near future (the future is 15 second Story videos)
2) Focus on Being More Strategic with Paid Efforts
Moving forward we’re also going to have to be more strategic with our promoted content and paid campaigns on every platform. Some specific examples from the conference include:
- Be more selective with where you’re spending your money. Promoting content that is already successful will always be more beneficial than forcing a promotion on content that that isn’t resonating with your audience. Think of it as pushing a ball downhill vs. trying to fit a square peg into a round hole
- Utilize Facebook Custom Audiences and retargeting features more frequently. We spend a lot of time and resources creating content, and we shouldn’t have a “one and done” mindset with our paid campaigns. If a group of people watched your first video in a series, consider retargeting those same people with a paid campaign for the second video in your series. “Custom Audiences are your bank account,” as one presenter commented
- Make sure you have a hook, ignite emotion, describe your solution and finish with a specific call-to-action with every piece of promoted content you produce. At the same time keep your content as concise as possible – skip the bumpers/intros/bios in your video content to grab attention as quickly as possible
3) Don’t Stop When the Campaign Ends
We often miss the opportunity to follow up or even say “thank you” with our campaigns. Use those custom and engaged audiences to keep the conversation going after your campaign ends (maybe with your next campaign or content effort). And if you have an audience that made a purchase or took some form of action, don’t forget to say thank you in a creative way, and follow up with specific next steps. Spell it out simply so your customers have a seamless, positive experience and understand clearly what happens next.