Learnings from the State of Social

June 30, 2018 6:51 pm

In honour of International Social Media Day, here are six things I learned at the State of Social conference held this week at Optus Stadium.

With keynotes and panels discussing influence, behaviour and innovation, a great discussion has been started about how marketers should move forward.

Community is everything.

If you build it they will come – ironic to say as the Madagarup Bridge continues to be built behind Optus Stadium. Perth is often left out when it comes to major conferences and events with the East Coast and far too many of us are crisscrossing the country to gain our PD. It was time that Perth had it’s own discussion about social media and digital marketing – 250 delegates proved that point. We have a strong, thriving digital community and the ideas and questions that came out of the State of Social prove that the East Coast better watch out.

The smaller the tribe the larger the true influence.

Tribe’s Nick Randall impressed the importance of looking beyond the numbers when it comes to influencer marketing and find those that have a true connection to their audience. Micro influencers are the new black and should be considered in your marketing campaigns. “You get down to those people between 3000 – 5000 and up to 25,000 followers and you just see the engagement absolutely soar and that makes sense because that is someone you know personally or they’re one step removed from you and they’re a real trusted source in information and usually they’re crafting that content in a realm that they’re absolutely passionate about. Whether it’s cooking, beauty, entertainment or sport you’re already engaged and you’re already leaning into that” he said.

The customer isn’t always right.

Shocking, but true. Marketing is currently at a paradox where it wants to be in the consumer’s face all of the time, but the consumer wants a seamless, frictionless experience. As a result, Adam Ferrier says a shift to a consumer-centric focus creates a bland, unobtrusive and ineffective brand; “you should be trying to make your brand as different and possible. The most ridiculous level we see ‘Chief Marketing Officer’ change their title to ‘Chief Customer Officer’. These people are the most responsible for the demise of marketing,” he laughed.

Understand your brand and your USP.

What does your brand stand for? What is its purpose? If you can’t describe what you do, how do you expect your customers to? It’s important to amplify what it is that’s unique about your brand and why your brand can fulfil customers needs in a way that other won’t.  Just look at any bank website today – it’s all about, fast, cashless, ease – from a quick glance there’s no real difference in what anyone is offering. The more you understand and have tight parameters around the business, the more the business will thrive. According to Adam Ferrier, “The more you give the consumer what they want within that brand framework, the more successful the brand is going to be. Well known examples of that are things like IKEA and Apple who aren’t necessarily consumer centric, they’re very brand centric in their thinking and then consumers end up loving them anyway.”

It’s not just about the tech.

Too often as marketers we get blinded by the latest platform or tool and we often forget what our original mission was. Those with strong communities are the ones that look beyond the tech and deliver a service for their customers that can’t be replicated elsewhere. Speed and convience are good, and some automation is necessary for the daily tools, but it’s important not to lose the human touch. Put the social back in social media.

The importance of a strong crisis comms plan.

Things will go wrong. It’s how you respond to them that will make all the difference. Optus Stadium would have been lapping up the social media attention throughout the day as delegates praised the venue and it’s amazing facilities. In the split of an alarm, 250 social media fiends were documenting the every move of the evacuation. Optus Stadium’s response can be considered nothing short of wonderful – within moments we had relocated our event to The Camfield and continued on the last session of the day.

The State of Social was the conference that Perth deserved and it was an honour to be a part of it.