This past weekend, I attended the YouToo Social Media Conference, and I am so glad I did. As I have discussed in my previous blog post, social media is becoming the latest digital frontier, and knowledge in utilizing it is becoming increasingly important. At YouToo, attendants heard from two keynote speakers who utilize social media in their professional lives and also other professionals who have grasped the benefit of social media.
The first keynote speaker was Mark W. Smith, who works for the Washington Post. He talked about the tenants of good social media content. He said that good social media must: 1) be declarative: it must say something; 2) figure something out– think about that eureka moment, it tells you something you didn’t know before; 3) surprise you: Smith said, the word ‘actually’ is a great word to use in a headline because it draws people in by telling them what they thought before is wrong; 4) it’s comprehensive, it helps explain something in a way that is easily understood; 5) it’s visual, including an image in your tweet or post gives you more engagement– face it, people like to look at something visual, it makes your post more appealing; 6) it delivers on its promise, meaning it tells you what you expect; 7) it gives away the ending: you must be able to tell people in a quick, succinct way exactly what they’re about to experience; and finally, 8) it tells us who we are: Smith related this to BuzzFeed quizzes– people love to be able to see themselves in a post and gage how they relate to the rest of the world. Smith gave excellent advice on how to engage with people via social media and how to build a successful social image; however, one of the most surprising things that he said was this statement:
“Everything I say today will be a lie in six months, that can either scare you or you can evolve it.”
He is referring to how quickly digital media evolves and changes, and he encouraged all of us to always be students— to be constantly learning about the newest trends and how to best engage with our audience. While this intimidated me at first, I understand exactly what he is talking about. The best way to do this is to use social media regularly, learn what is new and current, and grasp how people are interacting and adjust our strategies accordingly.
The second keynote speaker, Gini Dietrich, author of the book Spin Sucks, discussed the issues of ethics and media manipulation in PR and how we must be the ones to stick up for what is right. She had many compelling points about some of our favorite brands and how they utilize some of these questionable tactics in their media strategies.
In between these awesome keynote speakers, attendees had the opportunity to attend various break-out sessions that focused on topics ranging from cyberbullying to building personal brands. The conference was not only very informational and educational but also fun! Social media is an extremely hot topic, especially among communication professionals (Hello- us!) and there is so much to learn! If you attended the conference this year, I hope you found it as educational as I did. If you did not get the chance to attend this year, I strongly encourage you to make the effort to attend next year!
Thanks for reading,