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Social Fresh East 2014 Recap and Key Takeaways for Brands

Vanessa Williams.
By: Vanessa Williams  |   July 24, 2014  |   View Comments

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend Social Fresh East 2014 in Orlando, FL. I enjoyed the setup of the conference and I felt like the speakers kept the audience engaged in the 30-minute single sessions. Topics ranged from social storytelling to helpful social tools to how to brainstorm. However, these were my top 3 key takeaways: community is at the core of social, content is key, and we need to find reliable reach.

Social Fresh East 2014

Community is at the Core of Social

In several sessions, speakers touched on the importance of building communities in social. David Spinks defined community as a “strong sense of belonging.” In order to have a community, Spinks said you need three things: 1) People 2) Product and 3) Platform. Once the community has been developed, the most important goal is to learn from them and adapt. Jessica Gioglio, of Dunkin’ Donuts, continued this message saying that it is important to put fans first in order to create a sense of community. At Dunkin’ Donuts their fan-first strategy is executed by embracing them as storytellers, looking to them for inspiration and adding value through personalized content and promotions. As a brand on social, it is important to keep the community at top of mind when developing both content and campaigns.

Content and More Content

Content was a consistent theme throughout Social Fresh this year. Carrie Kerpen opened the conference advocating for social media marketers to own their content. Kerpen emphasized that owned content does not just live on your social properties and that content needs to add value to your community. Content, with a focus on visual appeal, was the topic of Jason Miller’s speech. Miller emphasized the importance of visual content by saying, “the visual is the new headline.” He went on to say that visual language aids in decision-making, visual is more persuasive, visual connects emotionally, and visual makes for an overall longer impression than text. Throughout the development of social content, it is important that brands are telling a visually-appealing story that fans will want to share.

The Need for Reliable Reach

In a fantastic closing speech, Jay Baer stated that total reach has lost its relevance and that we need to move toward reliable reach. He defined reliable reach as “the ability to send a message to someone who wants to receive it.” Baer said in order to achieve reliable reach we need to change our approach on social. In the past, we have taken a unique editorial approach to each channel, what Baer calls the “Rifle Approach,” but given the decrease in reach on major social platforms, Baer is promoting the “Shotgun Approach.” The strategy behind this approach means sending messages on multiple platforms for broader distribution. Baer says that brands need to give their audience multiple touch points through more content in more places. Given this new approach, Baer states that we need to change the metrics we are reporting on. He says we should be looking at the total connections across all channels and the average number of connection points per customer. Overall, Jay Baer’s Rifle vs. Shotgun Approach is one that every brand on social should take into consideration when developing their strategy.

What are your thoughts on my key takeaways from Social Fresh East? Will you be implementing them into your social media strategy?


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