Last week no less than three members of the team here on Bridge Street made the journey to London for one of the most significant industry events of the year, AKA Social Media Week. Eager to learn about developments, emerging trends and expert advice, we’ve highlighted a few of the most useful things we heard here.
How to create a truly social business with Jan Rezab, CEO, Social Bakers
As one of the key minds working in digital and social media, Jan Rezab was always going to have some fascinating insights to offer. Put simply, this talk centred on the importance of building proper communities from a business perspective, with the most influential brands able to start conversations amongst people and form a genuine connections that isn’t forced or false.
Social media teams- the vanguard of new, agile ways of working
Having a dedicated social media team is nothing out of the ordinary for modern firms. Having this department fully integrated within the wider business model is. The vast majority of companies using social media still see this arm as a stand alone entity- a bonus offering that’s really just for image.
This shouldn’t be the case any more, given social media teams have the potential to feedback comments and thoughts direct from customers which could (and should) impact on other aspects of the organisation, from user experience to product and service development, customer service and even front of house. Fundamentally speaking, the social media team’s role is improving the business overall, not simply pushing content around a digital platform.
In order to do this listening is equally important when compared with posting comments and images, and all activity online needs to take into account that dialogue is a two way thing, in turn recognising when it’s time to shut up and take in what the public sentiment is.
Katrina Craigwell, Head of Global Digital Programming at General Electric
Craigwell’s overall message was simple, but nevertheless often overlooked by companies that still don’t grasp how social media needs to work. In short, stay relevant, ensure you’re sharing different types of content, and never, ever be boring. A great way of doing this is to think outside the internal team.
While every brand needs to have experts charged with creating postable items that have the potential to be shared and re-shared, it’s also vital to consider influencers, bloggers and socially-minded individuals on the outside- so look for people who have a strong following that’s also relevant to your industry on everything from Twitter to Vine and YouTube, then see how their actions can work in your favour.And remember each platform needs a unique strategy- no two networks are the same, and therefore shouldn’t be treated as such.
LEGO’s building blocks of social value
As one of the world’s most enduring and endearing toy manufacturers, LEGO is clearly doing something right when it comes to speaking to the public. After all, you don’t sell so many units without effectively courting your potential customers A major factor in this is avoiding being too salesy, and developing a strong and deep-seated bond with the audience.
Relationships should be genuine in order to have any chance of becoming long lasting, and an essential weapon within this is to take a personal approach when commenting and communicating with members of the public. In LEGO’s case this is achieved by playing on two things- parents’ pride in their children and the natural love children have for showing off and getting creative. Clearly these ideas will change with each and every brand, so ascertain what makes your clients and customers tick, then use that at the core of your social media blueprint and remember trial, error, and time are all needed to get the balance right- there are no shortcuts.