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Top Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2017

Rachel Trevino and Megan Lagrone with Facebook guru Mari Smith at SMMW17.

Rachel Trevino and Megan Lagrone with Facebook guru Mari Smith at SMMW17.

We recently returned from sunny San Diego where we attended the largest social media conference in the world – Social Media Marketing World #SMMW17 presented by Social Media Examiner. We’ve brought back some great highlights and insights and will be diving deeper into tactics and strategies during a Facebook Live on The DeBerry Group page on Wednesday, April 5, at 4:30 p.m. (CT). Tune in live or submit questions in advance to rachel@thedeberrygroup.com.

Here are a few of our top takeaways:

Quality over Quantity

The solution to a winning social media strategy is no longer more content – it’s BETTER content. Connecting with your precious audience with compelling storytelling will always beat the “more is more” approach. Gone are the days of posting three, four and five times a day in the hopes of beating the Facebook algorithm. Ever wonder why the video of the dad braiding his daughter’s hair or the toddler laughing like crazy catches on like wildfire? It’s a real moment that’s relatable. Quality content will always win, no matter what time of day you post.

Video Reigns Supreme

From Facebook Live to Periscope, YouTube, Instagram Stories, native video uploads, and everything in-between – video reigns supreme and should be a focus of your content strategy. Rather than posting a photo album from your event, think about how the opportunity lends itself to video. Can you highlight an interesting step-by-step process in your Instagram Story? How about a behind-the-scenes interview via Facebook Live with a key speaker at your press conference? Keep video in mind at all times, and you’ll experience increased engagement and visibility.

Facebook Advertising is a Must

Of the 70 million Facebook pages, fewer than seven percent are using Facebook advertising. Thanks to the ever-evolving Facebook algorithm, those who don’t advertise just aren’t being seen. Facebook is one of the most effective and cost efficient advertising avenues to reach your target audience in a compelling way. The targeting and re-targeting options are endless, and for marketers and our clients – a strategic social media advertising plan + quality content = tremendous success.

“Content is King, but Engagement is Queen, and she rules the house.”

One of the leading Facebook gurus, Mari Smith, said this in her session, and it stuck with us. The statement highlighted the importance of strong community management across all social media platforms. It’s not enough to post great content, you need someone ready to engage with your audience to amplify reach, brand affinity, and awareness, and most importantly to keep your online interactions authentic. Focusing on quality engagement with your audience will help keep social media “social,” as it was intended.

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Adding Social Media Influencers to Your Marketing Plan

Image Credit: Adobe Blog

Image Credit: Adobe Blog

Word-of-mouth recommendations are among the most powerful ways to increase awareness about a brand, initiative, service, business – the list goes on. In fact, Nielsen reports 84 percent of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations and 68 percent trust online opinions from other consumers.

The modern landscape of word-of-mouth recommendations looks different than in the past. Businesses can take advantage of this shift by incorporating a social media influencer strategy into their marketing plans. A social media influencer is a blogger or other notable online personality who can vouch for your business through content on their website or social media channels.

We caught up with three of San Antonio’s most popular online influencers at a recent Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) luncheon. The speakers were Melanie Mendez-Gonzales of ¿Qué Means What?, Tori Johnson of The sTORIbook, and Colleen Pence of San Antonio Mom Blogs. The trio of bloggers shared some key insights around influencer marketing:

Relationships are key

Bloggers write because they’re passionate. Whatever the topic, from parenting to fashion, they choose to write about a topic because it’s close to their hearts. If your business/program/service is something that could be interesting and relevant to their readers, this opens the door for a potential partnership.

If you want to partner with a blogger, you shouldn’t contact them once a year about your business. Influencers are in the blogging business to be closer to a community and to share their personal stories. The panelists suggested starting outreach with an email chain to introduce yourself and your brand and to involve them in the creation of ideas for promoting your business or service.

Do your research

If you want to be spotlighted by a great blogger, you have to know a little about them first. Take some time to read their blog, understand their audience, and get to know the writer. Follow their social media channels and read comments from their audiences. If you want to be included in their editorial calendar, you have to fit their brand.

How to pitch

Social media influencers are not members of the old school media brigade, so they shouldn’t be pitched like traditional media. As Tori Johnson said during the luncheon, “A press release isn’t going to cut it.” You have to stand out to get noticed. For example, Colleen Pence receives 30-60 pitches every single day! Here are some tips to get your brand to the top of an influencer’s list:

  • Pitch in advance. These bloggers have months’ worth of material planned. Not to mention, they are also busy managing their businesses and keeping up with their families. They likely won’t be able to drop what they’re doing to attend your event on a moment’s notice, so keep that in mind.
  • Ask for their opinion and be flexible. They’re the experts here. They know what engages their audiences best. If you have an idea for what you’d like for your business, send it on over to them, but be open to discussing their options and ideas too.
  • Consider what you can do for them. Remember, this isn’t just a hobby for most influencers. “Blogs are brands and businesses,” said Melanie Mendez-Gonzalez. Compensation isn’t always required, but it certainly “sweetens the deal,” as Colleen said. But remember, compensation doesn’t always have to be monetary. It can come in the form of a free service or product from your business.

 

Our team at DeBerry Group has developed amazing relationships with social media influencers across the country who have helped us get the word out about our clients. If you’re interested in building an influencer marketing program to reach your business goals, email our Social Marketing and Public Relations Manager Rachel Trevino today at Rachel@thedeberrygroup.com.

DeBerry Group team members Rachel, Megan, Brooke, Melessa and Molly at the PRSA San Antonio social media luncheon.

DeBerry Group team members Rachel, Megan, Brooke, Melessa and Molly at the recent PRSA San Antonio social media luncheon.

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Connecting with Today’s Moms

mom shopping online

We hadn’t reached the end of the first day of M2Moms®, a three-day conference in New York City about marketing to moms, before I texted my fiancé, “Being a mom sounds like so much work. How do parents do it?”

The sheer amount of responsibility that moms carry was a reoccurring theme of the conference, and a reminder to marketers to be smart, and more importantly, considerate as we attempt to reach these busy ladies in a jam-packed media environment. Don’t assume all moms are the same or waste their time with unrealistic portrayals of their daily lives. Instead, think about the changing demographics of today’s parents, consider moms brand partners and make their lives easier.

As a marketing partner for Dr. Smith’s® diaper rash products, we have used this knowledge to effectively reach moms across the country. The brand’s newest innovation, a touch-free, zinc oxide spray that treats irritated baby bottoms, makes diaper rash one less stress for mom. For years, we’ve worked with influencers to create engaging and insightful online content about parenting and have traveled to events like the Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower and Bump Club & Beyond’s Gearapalooza Tour to meet moms in person and answer their questions about diaper rash.

We look forward to M2Moms each year to see the latest research, stay on top of trends and generate new ideas for our clients. Other key learnings from this year’s conference included:

  • Millennial moms spend 17 hours a week on social media
  • 67 percent of moms are caring for aging parents
  • Online influencers want to know what a brands goals are and how they can help achieve them. They want to know the results of their brand partnerships.
  • Moms want to fill roles beyond that of the caregiver, they want to spend more time exploring what it means to be the cheerleader, the hobbyist, the friend, and the confidant
  • Moms resent intrusive marketing, and ad blocking is on the rise
  • Cell phones are taking peer opinions to the point of purchase
  • Only 1 in 3 Millennial Moms are buying the products they grew up with
  • Instagram and Snapchat are the social media favorites among Millennial Moms
  • More women are waiting till later in life to have children and more dads are fulfilling the role of caregiver
  • Amazon is emerging as a favorite retailer among moms for pricing, customer service and reliability

If you’re looking to connect with parents, we’d love to visit with you about our capabilities to help you reach your marketing goals.

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Megan is an Account Supervisor at the DeBerry Group. She pairs a rich background in public relations, public affairs and social media with the ability to connect and earn the trust of her clients and their stakeholders. Megan is an Aggie and a graduate of the UTSA Master of Public Administration program. She currently serves on the UTSA Department of Public Administration's advisory board.