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:
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.