10+ Takeaways from the Social Shake-Up 2014

The Social Shake-Up (TSSU) 2014 went down in Atlanta, Georgia, last week and we sent our Content Marketing Specialist Sarah Parker to check it out. She came back with new connections and a bunch of fantastic insights! We’ve pulled together her favorite insights from each of the panels, discussions, and keynotes from her two days at TSSU 2014 for your benefit.

The Social Shake-Up | Day One

Day one’s opening conversation with Brian Solis covered the changing digital landscape, and how it is more important than ever to put people first.

Many highlights of the two-day conference were captured by the talented people behind Ludic Creatives.

Two of the standout sessions on day one covered visual marketing and the art and science of storytelling. We already shared a quick tip on crisis communication picked up in the visual marketing session, but what other memorable information was there? Here are five of day one’s big takeaways:

  1. Choose organic hashtags over branded hashtags. Find a way to incorporate your brand message with an already popular or trending hashtag; just be sure you double and triple check the meaning of that hashtag before you use it.
  2.  Use the newsroom approach. Oreo’s Super Bowl Oreo Moment happened because they were prepared and they had set up a command center to quickly capitalize on the big game’s moments and execute content. Build your own version of this to maximize on big social moments, but don’t force your way in to a conversation that doesn’t make sense for your brand.
  3.  Take a content selfie. Measure how your content is performing beyond vanity metrics to those that really impact your business and your business goals.
  4.  Make your information bite-size. Long form content can easily get lost in a world of short attention spans; break off smaller bits of the longer content you have for easily-digestible tweets and more.
  5.  Consistent brand personality is important. But that doesn’t mean that your brand’s personality can only strike one note. Human personalities cover the spectrum from the serious to the silly and it’s possible for brands to pull this off if they put their voice in the right hands.

The Social Shake-Up | Day Two

Day two’s morning keynote from Jeremiah Owyang covered the collaborative economy and what it means for the future of business. Where does social fit into all of this?

How else would we communicate about all the pieces of The Honeycomb?  Day two’s sessions included a case study from Coca-Cola on real-time analysis and storytelling, social audience targeting, and a panel discussion on crisis communication. Here are five of the day’s big takeaways:

  1. Listening to the existing conversation around your brand gives you openings to become a part of it. Brands should look for these serendipitous openings, but also be strategic in when and how they join conversations. For example, the sentiment around Coke’s #AmericaIsBeautiful big game advertisement on social media was ultimately positive, because the marketing team released the behind-the-scenes videos of the making of the commercial once the backlash against it started. This helped turn the conversation around.
  2. Show your audience that you’re listening by actually addressing their concerns. Coke was sponsoring an event with a health-focused track that was unhappy with their presence, so Coke replaced their opening promotional, sponsor speech with a video interview from their lead scientist addressing the health concerns that had been aired to them on Twitter.
  3. Audience targeting methods will vary depending on your industry. Luxury markets focus on keeping organic followers, because they want those who come to them to stay. Any outreach will be very targeted, because it’s about reaching the right people over the most people possible. This isn’t true for non-luxury brands. Research and emulate the approach of other brands in your field, then test slightly different approaches to see what works for your brand.
  4. Target lookalike audiences: What do your best customers look like? Build out that profile, then target those that look just like them on previously untapped platforms.
  5. Never leave out a platform in your monitoring of a crisis. You never know where people prefer to receive- or distribute- their information.

The closing keynote on day two from Baratunde Thurston conveyed with humor that digital storytelling doesn’t, in fact, have to be boring.

Want more?

Check out the posts published on Social Media Today about various aspects of TSSU 2014 from networking to other attendee’s takeaways, as well as the conversation on Twitter. Don’t have time to dig through the whole hashtag? Here’s a Storify from Insightpool, sponsor of the opening night party.

Where you at The Social Shake-Up? Leave your highlights and takeaways in the comments!