21 Social Media Insights, Ideas and Aha Moments for Communicators

Abdul Muhammad headstand

Conference speakers have many ways to make a point: they can speak louder, throw up their hands, add an inflection point to a sentence and then raise their eyebrows, to name a few.  Doing a headstand on stage? You don’t see that often. But that’s what Adbul Muhammad, vp of digital development at rbb Public Relations, did at the PR News Digital PR & Marketing Conference. He wanted to demonstrate that integrated communications is a balancing act and that great digital communications requires the collaboration of PR and Marketing. His successful headstand was an act of courage (courageous for a conference participant!) and of truth. His point about the business imperative of multidisciplinary communications was one of many great takeaways from the annual PR News conference held last week in Miami.

Several themes bubbled to the surface of the conference, attended by hundreds of PR and marketing professionals. Among them were: storytelling should be shared by all employees; ignore video at your own peril; influencers and peer networks are critical to reputation management, social media is a top way to build brand awareness but the jury’s still out on its ability to drive revenue.

I’ve bent over backwards (since I can’t do a headstand) and compiled for you a list of 21 insights and ideas from our esteemed speakers because great ideas should be shared:

  1. Take risks on social – safe brands watch from the sidelines and say “that could have been us”
  2. Digital marketing is a skillful intrusion into people’s lives
  3. Viral social media is about creating an emotional experience
  4. Sharing a photo on social media in an endorsement
  5. 85% of attendees use social to build awareness and 15% to drive revenue
  6. The future of video is video: We hold our phones vertically 94% of the time
  7. Video posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts
  8. Add text to your video since 80% of video is consumed without sound
  9. Partnering with influencers makes it difficult for detractors to make a case against you in a crisis
  10. Reward influencers with incentives that add value to their careers
  11. Crisis communication is the eyes and ears between internal and external world
  12. If you can stand up calmly and lead your team then you can do anything
  13. Social media doesn’t work in a silo: partner with your internal departments
  14. User data is the bridge from social media engagement to business action
  15. Peer networks are more trusted than established authority
  16. Short-form journalism and long-term storytelling are the future of communication
  17. On Snapchat, avoid being the “awkward dad”
  18. Though earned media drives much of PR, it’s prudent to budget for paid social and search
  19. A great storytelling technique is to ask: what would you talk about if you couldn’t mention your company’s name?
  20. Put the customer at the center of your content decisions
  21. Let data chart your course and then trust your heart to lead the way

I hope some of these ideas resonate with you and lead to social media success. Keep me posted.

— Diane Schwartz

@dianeschwartz