JP Takes #SocialMediaMarketingWorld16

JP’s social media team spent four amazing days in San Diego soaking in the social media know-how and sunshine! Here are some of the top things we took from #SMMW16.

Nicole: Customer Service is the New Marketing

Something is always the new something, isn’t it? The beauty of marketing is that nothing stays new forever and we are always evolving to do things better. This time around, we’re seeing customer service (which has been around since the dark ages) as the new and innovative way to set your business apart from the competition.

This year was the first year that there was a social care track, and as nerdy as it sounds…I was PUMPED. What’s social care? It’s providing customer service in the most public way possible: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the (dreaded) Yelp.

Are you killing it with social care? Or are you getting killed?

Check this: 80% of companies say they provide good customer service online.

Reality: 8% of customers agree. Yikes.

The truth is, more and more consumers are turning to social media to show their love and anger towards brands and businesses. Jay Baer believes that the online feedback from consumers has become a spectator sport. Let’s be real, it has. Have you ever left negative feedback on any social platform?

20Society is changing. Young people do not want to talk on the phone. They want to get on Twitter and let everyone know how angry they are. 40% of customers who complain on social expect a reply in one hour. ONE HOUR.

As brands and businesses, we can help guide that conversation. That’s where social care comes in. Not answering complaints decreases customer advocacy. Answering complaints increases customer advocacy. Seems like an easy concept, right?

Answering just one customer complaint can increase advocacy by 25%. These advocates are going to provide your business with positive messaging online that can and will convert into increased leads/sales.

“Bad customer service can ruin marketing — great customer service beats any PR you can do.”-@jefflesser

Next time you get negative feedback, I challenge you to respond. And if for some crazy reason you don’t respond, take that opportunity as a learning moment for your business and improve. Where else can you get free insight into what your customers are thinking?

Anna: Build your audience first, sell to them second.

This shouldn’t be foreign to any of us. You can’t sell to an audience that you don’t have. However, when many businesses launch a content marketing strategy – they focus more on the marketing than the content.

You MUST BUILD YOUR AUDIENCE BEFORE SELLING TO IT.The first session I went to was Joe Pulizzi‘s presentation: Content Marketing for Small Businesses: 6 Steps to Create a Massive Audience. I’ve seen Pulizzi speak once before and he did not disappoint. The session was packed full of case studies and a no b.s. discussion about the importance of building your audience.

The most successful online brands in the world share one thing in common: They focus their content on providing value to the customer, not pushing products or services. In fact, many of them during the first six months to a year never spoke about themselves on their blog or through social media – it was entirely about providing value to the customer and keeping them coming back for more.

Once you have that loyal audience built, it takes a much softer sell to convert them. They already love you. They’re coming back to you for content on a weekly basis. They’re hooked.

Here are three rules of thumb when launching your content strategy:

  1. Find your niche. What can you be the expert in? The more granular you can get, the better. There will be an audience for you, but you need to differentiate yourself from the competition in some way.
  2. Focus on the audience. What do they want to hear about? What would be helpful for them to understand or read about? If I haven’t stressed this enough: Your content strategy should be ALL about your audience.
  3. Be consistent. If you get this content strategy off the ground, don’t stop, and always be on time. If you said you would post every Tuesday at noon, post every Tuesday at noon. You’ve built an audience and trained them to come back looking for your content – DON’T BE LATE!

Meg: Snapchat for the win!

ChJLTspVEAAcwK6From the awesome information-packed sessions to the great networking opportunities, Social Media Marketing World 2016 was a huge success in my book. While I learned so much about social customer service, the popularity of live video and Pinterest advertising tips, the most valuable information I came away with was about the increasing popularity of Snapchat.

Snapchat is an app that allows you to send videos and photos that self-destruct after a few seconds of a person’s viewing them. It’s the third most popular social network behind Facebook and Instagram for millennials.

Carlos Gil, head of Social Media Marketing for BMC Software, lead a session titled “How to Get Started on Snapchat for Business” and provided a lot of eye-opening information to the audience. For example, there are six billion video views per day on Snapchat. The app boasts 200 million active monthly members.

While he shared so many awesome tips and tricks, one consistent theme throughout the session was the stickiness factor of Snapchat – if you post good content, people will keep coming back for more. Brands and marketers need to think outside the box when it comes to creating content and use Snapchat as a tool to help humanize their brand. Most importantly, Carlos said it best when talking about monetizing your efforts on Snapchat: “There’s no instant ROI in social media. Snapchat is like any other channel: grow, engage, convert.”

So head to the App Store and download Snapchat (if you haven’t already) and start experimenting with it. Follow influencers and see the type of content they’re posting. Now is the perfect time to learn about what works for your business and what doesn’t. If a small chocolate-making family business lead by Chocolate Johnny in Australia can reap the many benefits of Snapchat, so can you!

Our social media team is ready to apply the hundreds of other things they learned at #SMMW16. See you next year, San Diego!