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5 Trending Topics in Social Media

Fresh off a social media conference we bring you the top learnings from the day, in one great blog!

Social Media SummitSocial Media Summit

We attended the Chicago Social Media Masters Summit and heard from social experts at top brands like Kraft, Arby’s and United, about how their companies approach everything from Pinterest to Instagram to data analysis. Here are the key messages that appeared again and again in presentations throughout the day.

  1. Listen to your audience. Don’t just copy what you competitors are doing, instead listen to what your audience wants and give it to them! Social media isn’t about churning out general content for the masses anymore. Now it’s about listening to, and responding to, your audience on a one to one basis.
  2. Keep your eye out for what works—and repeat it. When you’re getting started on any social channel, you may feel like you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall when it comes to content. But soon you’ll find things that work, get comments, are shares. Keep making that kind of content or posting at times when your audience responds. For instance Kraft found that dessert recipes posted at night got more interaction than when posted in the daytime. And ConAgra Foods (maker of everything from Healthy Choice to Hunts Ketchup) stopped posting salad recipes because their fans never engaged with them.
  3. Run a contest with prizes that don’t break the bank. You can encourage interaction with your customers through simple contests that have simple prizes. For instance Threadless, a t-shirt company, ran a Valentine ’s Day contest and offered a $100 gift card as the prize. Even though the prize was modest in comparison to some contests big brands run, it gained them many entries, and a lot of buzz.
  4. Don’t ask what social site—ask what objective! It may be tempting to think “I should get an Instagram account” but before you go out and start building one, ask yourself why you’re doing it. What is your objective? If you’re objective is to offer customer service, Twitter is a better bet. If your objective is to share home decorating tips and DIY projects, look to Pinterest. If your objective is to meet Millenials where they are interacting on social media then it IS Instagram, all the way!
  5. Social is still very grassroots—don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.  We heard from social media managers all day who said they still search for people on twitter that are talking about topics related to their brands so they can follow them. Or, they search for folks who’ve taken pictures of their product on Instagram and comment. Being successful on social is still about reaching out to your audience—even people who don’t know they are your audience yet—and making a personal connection.

We learned a lot at this year’s Social Media Summit! From a renewed focus on listening to your audience to learning which social media sites are best for what content, it was a day of learning and fun. Our favorite quote of the day comes from the keynote speaker, Brian M. Moore, Producer of Inside Hollywood TV, who said “It’s not about tweeting out “buy my product” or “share my story”… consumers are on to that; that game is up. Now it’s about making a personal connection to your audience that can have a lasting impact on their lives”. We couldn’t agree more Brian!

Have you had success with social media? Is a specific social site working wonders for your business? We’d love to hear your store in the comments below!

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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