Getting off a plane late Sunday evening into the warm and wet Florida air was kinda awesome. As an Ohio girl who has suffered through a winter or two, getting off the plane into this weather was an invitation to basically run around nude for the next four days.
But, of course, as a very classy lady going to a conference on behalf of an actual employer now, I refrained.
Day 1 had Nate and I rolling in just before conference start, and like good deviants, we quickly claimed seats in the back flanking an outlet. After traveling to South by Southwest last year, we learned that the simplest accessories can make a lot of friends, so Nate plugged in his power strip and we invited conference goers to share our power source, if needed.
I thought I was being friendly when I posted a reminder Tweet about it later:
In reality, I was just pitching a softball:
And this is why Twitter is fun.
Anyway, at the risk of boring those of you who weren’t at the conference, I won’t give you a full play by play of the speakers and topics. Instead, here are the main themes I thought were covered:
Analytics vs. Insights
It’s easy to pull in a bunch of graphs and charts and percentages and numbers on a campaign or a group of users. You can make pretty reports for your clients and wow ‘em with your skillz in graphing…but what does the data mean, what does it tell us about what we are doing, and what does it indicate for future efforts?
Profiles vs. People
This is something I harp on in person a lot, but campaigns don’t matter if you don’t have an individual in mind when you’re doing them. This is why traditional marketing puts together consumer profiles…and why I think those who are branching into Social Media should do the same.
No, really. Go so far as to find a picture, list out characteristics of your typical user, what their day might be like, what their “moments of truth” might be from log-in to “like” to click-to-purchase. What motivates the user? What’s important to him or her? Again, seems like basic stuff, but the desire to jump on Social quickly sometimes trumps doing the necessary homework to make a good campaign that actually matters.
“Content” vs. Content
2012 has a new buzzword, and it’s “content.” It’s fun to throw it around because it seems weighty and important, and it is. However:
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m getting a sense of fatigue from a lot of us who do this whole deal called Social Media. It’s like we’ve gotten to the point where we know everyone is doing it. People are jumping on board, it’s hotter than ever, and and it’s easy for any old schmoe with a Facebook account to say they can run your campaign or presence.
I think being in this side of the business is going to require more effort than it did in the early days…we will need to move from soft science (“We have to use Twitter because, you know, Tweeting!”) to hard facts based on good data (“We have to use Twitter because 85% of our customers are using it to interact with brands they like.”).
It used to be that Social was experimental. It was new enough that we could play and fail and play again. But now we have enough data and enough years under our belt that we can be (and should be) much more deliberate with our efforts.
And we will not only need to provide outstanding, customer-focused content that is better than our competitors’, we will need to do it quickly and consistently.
I like a challenge. How ’bout you?