8 Tweet-sized Tips from #SMDayPHL to Up Your Social Media Game


This year’s Social Media Day Philadelphia (#SMDayPHL) was held at the National Museum of American Jewish History. I sat in on roughly 15 sessions and did a ton of tweeting and connecting. Each year, I’m amazed at the number of social tips and ideas that I pick up. There’s always something to learn, even from those not in my industry (Reebok), my target demographic (WWE) or my social platforms (Snapchat).

While I wound up with pages of notes, I’ve boiled them down into these 8 tweet-sized takeaways:

1. Don’t let your personal habits dictate your social media strategy.

Your strategy needs to focus on your intended outcome/audience, not what feels safe or comfortable for you. Sure, you are on Facebook daily, keeping up with friends and family, but is that where your audience is? Looking to boost your millennial client base? LinkedIn may not be your target platform, even if it is more business than pleasure.

2. Consider your own personal habits when building your social strategy.

Yeah, I know… this directly contradicts #1. But (and this is crucial) if you are in fact your target audience, you may be your own best persona. For instance, consider the types of content that you engage with on social and how you interact with that content. Do you watch and listen to videos on Facebook? Or are you like me, volume off and reading subtitles? If so, do your videos have subtitles? If not, you might be missing your target.

3. Pattern recognition = how brands drive recall.

Make sure your website, collateral, social posts, etc. all have the same look, feel and voice. Just because you are creating a social image, it doesn’t mean you should ditch your brand. Your brand is what drives customers and prospects to recognize you and ultimately builds familiarity and loyalty.

4. Social media is not a dumping ground for content. It needs to be backed by strategy.

Sure, you can find a ton of articles about diversification and post them on your LinkedIn page, but if there is no strategy, it’s just noise. Content keeps you in front of your audience, but it needs to be part of a greater whole. Plan your focused campaign, develop your messaging around that campaign and curate your content to support those messages.

5. How do you get your employees to contribute on social media? Three words: make it easy.

Your employees are your biggest advocates, and brand advocates are a great way to broaden your reach. But in a highly regulated industry, social can be scary territory. That’s why you should:

  • Have a clear advocacy program in place
  • Train your employees on your social policies
  • Use an archiving library of pre-approved content (such as PeopleLinx, Hootsuite Amplify or LinkedIn Elevate, among others), that they can share, without concern of compliance breaches
  • Have a documented process to help your employees get their own content and 3rd party articles approved and disseminated

6. Engage by proactively listening and finding opportunities to be present in other conversations.

“By its very nature, social media is based on relatable, human connections,” said Brownstein Group’s Erica Nardello. To connect is to engage. If you aren’t engaging with your peers, clients and prospects, you aren’t being social. Join LinkedIn Groups and be actively involved in conversations. Follow hashtags on Twitter that relate to your business or niche customers. It’s a pretty simple concept, but easy to overlook.

7. Don’t let the first touch be the last. Retarget to potential customers and convert!

Here’s a mind-blowing statistic: According to a comScore study, retargeting campaigns lead to a 1046% increase in branded search and a 726% lift in site visitations after 4 weeks of retargeted exposure. Retargeting nurtures a qualified lead who visits your website (maybe from social!) but doesn’t “buy” by serving them targeted ads. Take a look at those leads and make sure they don’t get lost among those who did convert. They are your hot prospects. Show them a little love.

8. Measure, learn, change and repeat.

What’s the best part of social media advertising? The ability to see real-time results and adjust on the fly as needed. You can’t do that type of adjusting with traditional advertising mediums like TV, radio and print. You can’t set your social ads and forget about them. They need to be monitored and analyzed regularly. Optimize your ads and adjust as necessary if you aren’t seeing the results you expect.

The power of the crowd

These are just a few of the many great tidbits from #SMDayPHL – and I’m already putting them to good use. I’ve started testing video subtitles (it’s actually pretty easy to add them to your Facebook videos) and I’m playing around with some retargeting ideas. But I think my biggest takeaway is the value of being in a room with hundreds of my peers. There’s no better way to learn than from those on the front lines day in and day out.

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Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson

Heather Wilson is the social media contributor for Practically Speaking and social media manager within the SEI Advisor Network.

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