We had the pleasure of attending Social Media Week in New York City (#SMWNYC) this year, and while we were there, we picked up some key learnings that attendees couldn’t stop
tweeting chatting about. Read on for our top four learnings from SMWNYC that will benefit your social media practices whether you’re a “personal brand,” “UGC creator” or a larger organization.
1. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Even on social.
During “The New Millennial Model for Business: Under-30 Leaders Sound Off on this Generation’s Impact,” panelists discussed how millennials have shaped the future of business and social media: particularly, they also spoke about the vulnerability of being active on social media. Whether it’s a YouTube video or a Facebook post, a negative minority has a tendency to be much louder than the positive majority. “I F&#$*ing Love Science” founder, Elise Andrew, stressed the importance of inserting your positivity through commenting whenever possible to drown out the Debbie Downers.
2. Social media = intimacy.
The phenomenon of social isn’t new, but the tech behind it gives the potential to have intimate conversations to scale. #smwaccenturesocial
— Ad Council (@AdCouncil) February 26, 2015
The “social” part of social media is hardly a new phenomenon. As Accenture presented in “Boil a Better Ocean: Making Social Matter,” what makes social media platforms so unique is their capacity to give people (and brands) the opportunity to have intimate conversations to scale: even across time differences and long distances. Even though social media’s public nature may seem like it doesn’t allow for real intimacy, the nature of its widespread adoption and use to connect with brands (often faceless ones) can generate a unique interaction that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
3. Brand are people and people are…
Brands. The question “What’s your personal brand?” is becoming more expected and accepted in social circles. On social media, we are increasingly seeing brands attempt to humanize themselves, while individuals work to sell themselves. This inverse trend was noted by Matt Britton, Founder & CEO of MRY during a panel titled “Is Social Media Just Media? The Future of Paid, Earned and Content.”
4. Be user-centric and bring them in to the fold.
During the “User Generated Content: The Ultimate Human Content Connectivity” discussion, panelists talked about the trends of user generated content (UGC), what to do with it and how to ruin it. People who create UGC want to be engaged in conversations with brands. Those brands (and organizations) that recognize this and include their consumers in conversations maximize their loyalty. The key to preserving good UGC is not to incentivize people to create it: content that’s made organically will always speak volumes, and strengthen credibility. This may mean that brands don’t have a choice of the tone (positive or negative) UGC takes. Keep the good and the bad (comments), and maybe even leave the ugly ones too: users can police others’ behaviors and protect the quality of the community (or, as the panelists said, “Let the cocktail party happen”).