Our Social Media Manager’s takeaways from Tech Talks

Our Social Media Manager recently attended Tech Talks in Austin, giving a talk on social media in the afternoon and attending sessions on content marketing and community building.

Here are her best takeaways from the day (aside from the fact that every conference should have an afternoon ice cream social), in her own words.

Got a question for her? Find her on Twitter @SparkerWorks.

On content marketing

Andrew Buck from TradeMark Media gave a comprehensive and hilarious presentation on web copy that works, highlighting a few painful but necessary truths about content marketing as a whole. These included:

  • People are often in a hurry and don’t read all of your content; they search, they skim, they hunt. Takeaway? Make it easy for them to find what they need. (Simple but overlooked.)
  • There is a “curse of knowledge”: Once you know something, you cannot unknow it, and it can be difficult to get back into that beginner’s headspace to write what they need.
  • Be very specific in your communication, especially when it comes to values; say that you’re about “discipline” and everyone in the room has a slightly different version of that. Say that you never miss a deadline, and it becomes a concrete thing everyone can stick to. (Or know without a doubt when they haven’t.)
  • To get people to act, they have to care. Tap into emotions (without being manipulative).

And finally?

On community building

Ashley Friedrichs from Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO) and Josh Spradling from Texas Society of Association Executives (TSAE) spoke on community building, with a few important takeaways, including:

  • You want to be sure your audience actually wants to be part of a community and it would be the best way for them to connect with you and get what they need from your brand
  • It’s critically important to set expectations for the community, especially internally; decide who will be responsible for what- community manager etc- before you launch
  • Remember a lot of people will lurk and there will be a few high-activity users
  • Don’t do too much too fast; start with one open forum then as you see topics come up repeatedly, spin those off into individual channels
  • As with all data, look at benchmarks for the industry to contextualize and long-term trends
  • Don’t be afraid to close communities when they have run their course

This was geared more towards traditional, structured online communities managed by a platform. Some things probably work differently in a community based in something like Slack, but the core ideas are applicable to any kind of online community.

Got something to add?

Have you had experience with community building or a eureka moment in your content marketing? Tell us about it on Twitter @UnionMetrics or find Sarah, our Social Media Manager, @SparkerWorks.

You can also catch her presentation- The Real Science of Social Media: Fear and Experimentation- which covered how fear can hold brands back from really connecting with their audiences on social and sharing their personality and brand values, at that link.

And if you’re ready to leave fear behind and start measuring your social media efforts and experiments, let us know. We’d be happy to help with that.

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