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Last week, our team attended the Social Media Marketing World conference in San Diego, California.

We got a chance to hear from some of the greatest minds in digital marketing including Brian Solis, Sue B. Zimmerman and Mark W. Schaefer.

If you’ve ever attended a conference like this one, you know the struggle of searching through over 100 workshops and creating your schedule, taking notes, then trying to relay all of that information back the next week. So, we’ve compiled our Top Five Takeaways from the conference and our time in San Diego. You’re welcome.

Social media is a continuation of your brand and your voice. Act like it.

When you post to your social media channels, what’s your strategy? Do you post with a specific visual style in mind? Do you include a call to action or specific brand message? Or do you just snap a photo, quickly type up a caption and hope for the best?

Your social channels give your audience a more in-depth picture of your brand’s identity. Create a brand style guide for your social channels that includes colors, fonts, image guidelines and more so your brand can be easily recognized based on the post alone.

Nothing you do after a crisis is as effective as what you do before.

Crisis is inevitable and what better way for it to spread than on social media. You want to build an identity on your social channels that gives a clear picture of who you are and what you believe; a reputation that makes your audience question negative information. and seek you out for the truth.

During crisis, it’s important to be transparent, real and genuine. Find opportunities during this time to really engage with your audience and rebuild any reputation lost. The longer you take to respond, the less control you have over the story.

As founder of Pro Athlete Online Fiona Birch, said, “The goal is not to prevent a crisis, it’s to withstand a crisis.”

If you’re not making use of live video, you’re wrong.

Live video is one of the best ways to engage your audience in an organic way. And, because it’s new(er) on several platforms, live video is prioritized over other forms of content. When going live, try to keep things unscripted and spontaneous; talking points are perfect for staying on-message without sacrificing authenticity.

And please, for the love of motion sickness, don’t just hold your phone and hope for the best. Invest in a stabilizer or selfie-stick and a small mic so your live videos aren’t wasted between shaky video and incoherent audio. There are tons of inexpensive products on the market that will do the job if you don’t have budget for a videographer or professional gear.

If you’re stuck on why you should use in live video, keep in mind these three suggestions from Southwest Airlines: celebrate, inform, recruit.

Instagram Stories aren’t just for personal use

For a fun and easy way to increase engagement, Instagram Stories are excellent. They should not, however, be used as a sales platform. Your objective is to retain your current followers and keep them guessing what you’ll post next.

Stories make it easy for you to share quick, fun content and customize it with the assortment of fonts and tools built into the app. When posting to Instagram Stories, don’t forget the call to action. It can be as simple as “see more at the link in our bio”, but you should tell your audience what you want them to do.

You don’t have to be a photographer or graphic designer to create eye-catching photos and graphics

There are tools all over the web that can help you create stunning visuals with little to know design expertise. Before you get started, spend some time on websites like Pinterest or Instagram and soak in some inspiration. Figure out what graphics or photos make you stop and take a second look.

Building your graphic in websites like Canva is fun and incredibly simple to do. This is also where your brand style guide comes in handy. You can customize colors based on their HEX codes and use your favorite font, making your graphic totally unique.

We learned these tips and so many more at Social Media Marketing World 2018. Contact us for more information and help putting these techniques to use!


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