A team of panelists engaged a packed room at SXSW on Sunday in a session titled Social Media: Strategies That Work and Future Trends. Lively, a social media app working to redefine the way we experience concerts, took a step away from their core product to broach a broader conversation about successful social media strategies for businesses. The panelists — Adam Argyle, Geoff Walker, Josh Batchelder, and Zach Varbnell — come from a broad background of industries, allowing each to offer a unique insight into the social media landscape. Here are some key takeaways from the session.
“Make great content, and people will share it”
When it comes to the content you’re providing, ask a critical question — am I bringing value to your life? Are you bringing value to my life? Instead of focusing of quantity, create high-quality content that will affect people. At the end of the day, we’re all people, so appeal to emotions to make your work effective.
Social media is measured in terms of impact. Numbers are what we do, explains Rose. Like it or not, clients are looking to see the measurable impact. For example, for Shaquille O’Neal’s All Star Comedy Jam, his team choose comedians by looking at their social media impact. The number of Twitter followers gives the performance a certain credibility. For your company, make sure to focus on engagement, not just the numbers. Expand it past the followers, and monitor what gets the most retweets, what’s getting favorited, what people are reacting to and engaging with.
Focus on your voice
The first step is ensuring you have a clearly identified voice. But make sure you keep your voice the same, your brand consistent. When engaging with a new environment, change the type of conversation you’re having but not who you are. Argyle explained that today you become a social channel that people can subscribe to. We need to think of ourselves as publishers. You publish your tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, etc, all of which others subscribe to. Rose emphasized the difficulty in brand distinction — “Voice is very hard,” he said. “If you work for yourself, you are your brand, if you work for a company, you represent the brand.”
View social media as an opportunity
Once you’ve identified your challenge, figure out the platform that will best solve it. Hatcher, an aspiring comedian, noted that he knew he wasn’t immediately going to make it on Comedy Central, “I created my own platform, my own YouTube channel,” he said. Figure out the target outlet or outlets to attract your audience.
The Lively team ended by emphasizing the importance of engagement. Don’t just let the connections you create run stale. Build emotional content, and hit people at their core.