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Social Strategy 101: What We Learned at Social Media Marketing World

Social media marketing

When you think about social media strategies, what’s your biggest challenge? Are you tired of the vanity metrics? Not sure how to deal with “Facebook Apocalypse?” Are you spending hours trying to pinpoint your target audience, only to find you have no idea how to navigate Google Analytics?

As an agency that’s constantly training an army of social media mavens and refining its own internal social media strategy, we’re working really hard to stay in front of everything. Not only do we juggle the challenges of social media marketing for our agency social channels, we also assist many clients day in and day out. Whether it’s building out a larger campaign with unique visuals or doing a deep dive into competitor metrics, we’re always looking for the latest and greatest in tips and tools.

That’s why we attended Social Media Marketing World 2018 in sunny San Diego last month. It was invigorating and refreshing to network with social media beginners and experts. Plus, it was jam-packed with tricks of the trade from some big names in marketing, public relations, journalism and social media. We walked away with new additions to our toolbelt, new ways to connect with our audiences and new ways to help our clients make the most of their social strategy — no matter what stage they’re in.

Here are our #SMMW18 highlights:

#1. How to make visual content your secret weapon

Did you know our brains process images in as little as 13 milliseconds? This couldn’t be more true in today’s digital age, where we have so much content at our fingertips — we can’t possibly read it all, so we skim.

In order to stop the skimming, marketing performance strategist Rebekah Radice suggests using visual content as a secret weapon. During her panel, she highlighted a 5-step process, where you design with your audience in mind, nail the visual style elements, create the content your audience wants, build engagement fast, and lastly, use the tools to help build your visual brand.

At Highwire, we often look to one of our favorite visual and graphic design tools — Canva. With Canva, we’ve created visual content to use across social media. In fact, some of our top-performing posts on Twitter included a Canva visual, like this one from #WorldKindnessDay (see below). There are several other must-have visual tools in addition to Canva, and Radice recommends Storeo, Drool and Wavve.co.

Social media metrics

In order to amplify #WorldKindnessDay, we used Canva to create fun graphics to share on social media – visual content like this earned us 2,137 impressions.

#2. How to get traditional media exposure through social media

We’re always looking for new ways to create a massive buzz for our clients in the media, which is why we sat in on PR expert Josh Elledge’s panel on how to get traditional media exposure only using social media.

The big takeaway? Leverage your connections to create a bigger outcome for your clients.

“Find your targets – get to know them and follow the stuff they’re talking about,” said Elledge. “[It’s] all about the influencer: find, follow, connect, engage, have a relationship…[and then] collaborate!”

#3. How to build a digital marketing plan

We also stopped by a panel featuring Rich Brooks, founder of The Agents of Change and the man behind flyte new media, an award-winning digital agency.

His tactical workshop for building a successful digital marketing plan for your business (or clients) used “the BARE Essentials of Digital Marketing,” which is:

BUILD

ATTRACT

RETAIN

EVALUATE

With this approach, you need to think about developing a platform that converts visitors into leads, driving qualified traffic to your site, staying in touch after they’ve left your site, and reading and digesting traffic reports.

“Who cares about viral?” said Brooks. “You want value.

Our favorite tips from the track? Take whitepapers and marketing collateral that are buried on your site and turn them into blog posts – which you can then use for social media posts. And when it comes to your customer’s inbox, remember: it’s the most valuable property on the internet. Unlike your ex, email is stable, said Brooks. We’ve seen the changes in social platforms and we’ve felt the tremors — but your email list? You can control that relationship.

If you’re looking to grow your email list, consider tools like your website, email service provider and conversion optimizer. If you include a pop-up on your site to encourage readers/customers to sign up for a newsletter, you have to offer them something (access to a newsletter is not enough!). Consider a store discount, a free webinar, free gift, puppy, etc.

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Need help building a social program? Highwire can help – contact tanner@highwirepr.com to learn about our content services. Want to join our team of storytellers, visionaries and difference-makers? We’re hiring!