By Nikki Parrotte (@nikki_parrotte)
Last Monday, I attended marketing communications and social media conference, What’s Next DC hosted by Green Buzz Agency. The conference attracted public relations and social media enthusiasts alike, offering plentiful speaker sessions and opportunities for networking with peers.
Intended to ignite a social spark, much of the conference tied into strategic planning for 2012. As said by keynote speaker Major George Hood, chief communications officer for Salvation Army, “A river without banks becomes a swamp.” In the spirit of building the most strategic and sturdy of banks, here are my three key takeaways.
Humor = Humanization
Corporate comedian Tim Washer (@timwasher) shared this key to social video success. Contrary to popular belief, there is room for a little humor when it comes to marketing to B2B brands. In order to engage on the social web, a brand must keep in mind the fundamental reasons why social video works. As humans, we’re compelled to share content that is entertaining and relatable, so layer a laugh or two into an otherwise mundane promotional video. Here’s Cisco’s take on humanization through humor.
*Tip from Washer: Test your video concept at different stages of production. What’s funny to you may not be quite so entertaining to someone else.
Facebook Wants to Be Invisible
Well, relatively invisible – throughout the user experience, that is. The social network thrives namely because of the personalization of the user experience. Content strategist Amy Thibodeau (@amythibodeau) shared that Facebook is well aware of this delicate balance. Becoming too visible to users would detract from the experience for which the interface was built.
*To all of you proponents for the introduction of a “dislike” button, you might as well give it a rest. According to Thibodeau, “It’s not going to happen.” This would make negativity far too easy, something Facebook does its best to discourage.
User-Generated Content is King
At least in the case of extreme fandom empire Dunkin’ Donuts. Public relations and social media manager, Jessica Gioglio (@savvybostonian) admitted that while “America runs on Dunkin’,” Dunkin’ social media is run by the fans. Rather than a continuous stream of branded content via its social channels, she attempts to provide these fans with the tools with which to express their passion. With more than 5.6 million likes on Facebook and high-level engagement to prove it, this strategy works.
*Disclaimer: I am by no means a Patriots fan, in fact, I’m am and forever will be an avid supporter of the Big Blue. One fun fact Gioglio shared with us at the conference is that Dunkin’ sponsors both teams in the Super Bowl this year. Guess they’ve chosen sides…
I congratulate Green Buzz Agency on a successful conference, and the numerous speakers and moderators on thought-provoking discussion. The case studies, tips and tricks that were shared are sure to assist all who attended in mapping out what’s next for 2012.