actionable social media insights

10 Actionable Social Media Insights From Social Fresh 2015

A few weeks have passed since Social Fresh 2015 in Tampa, Florida wrapped-up. The image above was taken from my hotel room on the final evening of the conference, where an overwhelming amount of great content was shared. Now that it’s had some time to marinate, I’d like to share actionable social media insights that stood out to me the most.

In my own words, and no particular order, here are 10 insights from Social Fresh 2015:

1| Companies that pay attention to their haters win

Haters are not your problem. Ignoring them is. Jay Baer of Convince & Convert shared that replying to social media complaints can increase retention by more than 20%. If you’re listening well, haters can serve as an early warning system to big issues on the horizon. But be realistic. There’s a difference between a hater and a troll. Never reply more than twice to someone who clearly isn’t looking for a resolution. Via session led by @jaybaer

2| A shocking reality about video ads

If you’re standing up while reading this, you might want to sit down. It’s for your own safety. Especially if you’re a creative director or video producer of any kind. According to research shared by Shannon Paul of Fifth Third Bank, ads featuring vertical videos (portrait) see up to 9x more completions than ads featuring horizontal videos (landscape). Humanity can only hope that these completion rates happen because viewers are simply in shock that somebody paid to feature a video shot vertically. May God have mercy on their souls. In all seriousness, it’s something you should test. Via session led by @shannonpaul

3| You need a content strategy

Does this sound like a no brainer to you? It should. Surprisingly, only 1/3 of businesses have a content strategy. As Chris Moody of Oracle stated, “If you don’t write it down, it doesn’t happen.” If you’re not sure where to start, watch your competitors or leaders within your industry. What social media channels do they use and how do they use them? What are they writing about? What type of media are they sharing? Just remember to stay focused on the primary goal of content marketing. Generating qualified leads. It’s also a good idea to review your strategy on a regular basis. Things change quickly in the world of social media. Set a recurring calendar reminder. Via session led by @cnmoody, @jeffreyLCohen and @nickcicero

4| Facebook Groups are an easy place to spark community growth

Facebook Groups are back and it’s not difficult to understand why. No other social media platform has a larger active audience already present. There are roughly 1.5 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. No other social network comes anywhere close to that level of participation. So for brands, it’s as simple as creating a group page and fostering conversation. When someone joins a group, they’ll see notifications for group activity every time they jump on Facebook… which 1.5 billion unique people do at least once a month already. It’s almost too easy. Via session led by @kireilauriel of Facebook

5| Your email list is more important than your follower count

Social media accounts come and go more often than email addresses change. A social media follower is a fan. An email address is a lead. So per instruction from Chris Brogan of Owner Media Group, give your email list some love. Be sure your social media efforts support email list growth. Email and social should work together seamlessly as a part of the digital experience your brand offers. Via session led by @chrisbrogan


HALF-TIME: It’s fitting that one of my first blog posts is related to Social Fresh. If you’re not familiar with Social Fresh, the conference is essentially a collection of top social media influencers and professionals sharing quality, actionable tips and insights. And the Social Fresh crew connects the dots throughout the year with useful blog content, great content curation and an outstanding podcast. I first learned about the conference a few years ago when I asked Jay Baer, “What’s the one, can’t-miss social media marketing conference this year?” His answer delivered. Social Fresh, and the impactful connections I’ve made through Social Fresh, are a huge reason why this blog now exists. Okay, that’s the end of my sappy Social Fresh smooch fest. On to the 2nd half!


6| You CAN be visually creative

Anthony Quintano of The Today Show is known for the powerful visual content he generates. Coming up with unique visual content doesn’t necessarily mean more work. Sometimes it just means seeing things from a new perspective. Break your routine and try something unique. Don’t take your immediate surroundings for granted. Oh, and have fun. Via session led by @anthonyquintano

7| You don’t own your brand

Brands are not owned. Brands are borrowed. Give your brand to the people and let it flourish. Adrian Parker of Patron brought some branding truth. Your brand is something you invest in, not something you possess or control. Social media provides an extremely unique opportunity for companies to see and hear how customers view their brand on a daily basis. Are you using that? Via session led by @adrianparker

8| You have to show respect to get respect

I get it. Your company has general respect for all people. That’s nice. But are you insulting your following by posting things they don’t care about or can’t use? Karianne Stinson of Priceline reminded everyone how important it is to truly understand who your audience is. What are their pain points? What do they really care about? What do they really want? It’s only when brands understand their customer and prospects at a deeper level that they can create and deliver content that will earn trust and respectVia session led by @karianne

9| Being human is they key to true social media engagement

There are tips and tricks on building a following and increasing engagement all over the internet. But as Scott Monty pointed out, it’s more important to understand the basics of human nature. I mean… we want to reach real people, right? Even if you’re in a B2B industry, you have to move a person to make a sale. Hopefully, your product or service meets a need or solves a problem. Connect with your customers and prospects through human emotion (empathy, humor, etc.) and show them how your product meets their need. Speak like your target audience, but don’t forget to let them speak too. And most importantly, listenVia session led by @scottmonty

10| Facebook ads work

Facebook sets the bar for all other social media ad platforms, so it’s a great place to start if you want to dabble. Start with Facebook’s Audience Insights to identify general characteristics of your primary audience. Target ads at users similar to your current followers by using Facebook’s Lookalike Audience feature (create an audience based on rules you set, an email list you import or visitors to a specific landing page on your web site). Facebook Power Editor is your best friend. Don’t pay for expensive third party ad solutions until you’ve stretched Power Editor to its limits. Test, test and test more. And for help along the way, look to Facebook BlueprintVia session led by @DennisYu, @justinkistner and @max_dempster

Again, there was so much great information. This list barely scratches the surface of useful insights shared at this year’s Social Fresh conference. If you found this list helpful, make plans now to attend Social Fresh 2016… and make your own, much longer list next year.