Social Media From The Summit

Keeping up with social media seems daunting, especially for those marketers whose professional careers predate it and who are trying to adapt. Laura Davidson Public Relations, which has been around for 25 years, aims to stay on top of the phenomenon and proved it recently when it held its first Social Media Summit in New York. While it has its own social media experts on staff, LDPR partnered with a company called Gather + Grow Media to partner on the event, attended by LDPR staff, clients and media.  

Held in a hotel conference room, the meeting featured presentations by Gather + Grow staff, discussing the incredible growth of social media and marketing. Some stats: 42% of travelers actively use social media in the planning process. And 76% use social networks to share their experiences with others. Also on board was a well-known travel influencer named Courtney Scott who provided on-the-ground look at how marketers can use social influencers to maximum effect. 



Davidson explained the thinking behind the summit this way: "Our industry has shifted a lot in the past two years and social media is now strategic, pro-active and measurable.  It should be a major part of everything we do moving forward — not just on the PR side, but as part of the overall marketing mix. As strategic advisors to our travel and lifestyle clients, LDPR wants to help guide that process. This social media summit is a great way to keep our clients, our staff, and our media partners informed and on trend -- especially now that we can tap into our social media agency partner Gather + Grow Media."

A few insights from the summit:

  • Micro-influencers are just as important as the much-vaunted influencers. A micro-influencer with a few thousand loyal and committed followers is far more potent than an influencer with a huge following. The key is to find the right micro-influencers with “friendly Google stalking,” searching hashtags, looking to together brands and referrals. 
  • There are numerous companies that will pair brands with influencers. One is Fohr Card; another is called Socialyte, which calls itself an “influencers casting company.”
  • Go for the “goosebumps” when Instagramming, etc. And don’t neglect captions, which can be equally as important as the images themselves.
  • Stay away from stale Instagrams — the classic being a woman eating breakfast in bed wearing lipstick and wearing a dress. The same goes, obviously, for any social media posts. 
  • Live video is seeing spectacular growth – and for good reason. It results in much longer viewing time and comments than previously produced video. Witness the attention to the Snickers live Super Bowl commercial.
  • Targeting customers via social media is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Example: finding “lookalike audiences.” Facebook will find similar groups to the ones already on your list.

The top takeaways, according to Davidson:

#1 – Social media is all about authentic storytelling.

#2 – Social media is modern day media

#3 – You get what you put in. 

And just to add to that. Don’t be fazed by the rapidly changing social media landscape. It’s not necessary to know everything about it. It’s more important to hire and partner with experts. There is a good incentive for this: except in very rare situations, there is no alternative to marketing on social media – and doing it well. 

For one thing, big changes are underway. According to Gather + Grow, messaging apps have now passed social networks in terms of active users. 

The message for marketers: get a grip on it now.

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