Outshine Social Competitors! Actionable Tips from #PRNews Summit


We recently ventured to New York City to celebrate the great work we do with a fantastic client at the PR News Social Media Icon awards and to attend the PR News Social Media Summit with Taste of Tech. This two-day event at The Grand Hyatt in Manhattan kicked off with industry pros and social brand leaders to honor the best of the best across social platforms. We were incredibly honored to attend the event with our client to help celebrate our success in the “Facebook: Marketing Campaign” award category.

Following a fantastic award show and a celebratory photo, we dove into the Social Summit to learn top takeaways to help move our many clients’ social needles even further. Much of the conference presented a great snapshot of the current state of social while highlighting what is coming down the pipeline.

The first idea that resonated well with the audience is the fact that “the media gatekeepers” that once existed no longer hold the keys to our audiences. Joie Healy of Cisco mentioned that every individual, brand or government entity has a media outlet in his or her pocket at any given time. Social gives us the power to communicate with our audience, share content and receive immediate feedback, which helps us guide our communication strategy instantly.

This brings us to our next point; you may have access to an abundance of social platforms, but every platform should have its own strategy and purpose, according to Healy. What you share on social has a profound impact on how you are perceived by others. Do you want to be known for pushing product or as a great source for devourable content?

A recent Nielsen report was shared during the conference that highlighted that 3rd-party content has the greatest impact on each stage of the purchase funnel. As such, don’t put the pressure on your team to develop every piece of content and have a presence on every platform. You’ll spread yourself thin while potentially wasting your time on content pieces that are passed by.


Another great take away included tips on developing your brand voice and reasons for being on social:

  • What value do you add on social?

o   Do you want to share industry expertise?

o   Share exclusive information?

o   Push promotions?

  • The importance of getting your brand voice right:

o   It puts your customers in the right frame of mind

o   It helps create meaningful connections with your customers

o   It helps sets you apart from your competitors

It’s also important to remember when developing a social media program that it will remain fluid and be an iterative process that includes: Strategy > Development > Listening > Adapting to KPIs > Modifying to Meet Goals. Use data to drive actionable insight and to determine how you need to adapt to KPIs. Also, it’s important to avoid “vanity metrics” and to put your focus into profit centric metrics such as sales leads, revenue and metrics that measure awareness and action.

In addition, you should map out your social strategy by scope, goals, budget and time you have to invest. Time is often a forgotten about variable and you should only be investing the resources you have available to prevent wimpy work.

Below, check out the top ACTIONABLE TIPS that you can implement now on social!

  • Perform a content asset audit to determine what you already have ready to curate and/or repurpose for online
  • Perform A/B testing on your headlines and photos to see what performs best
  • Consider “day parting” your content you share on social such as lighter content in the morning when people are just starting to get moving and the heavier stuff later in the day
  • When geo targeting a post, say something like, “Hey Seattle….”
  • Write copy as though followers are reading it one-to-one
  • Use fewer characters! Less than 100 Characters on Twitter gets a 17 percent higher response rate – people don’t have to modify it to reshare.
  • Serialize Tweets when sharing content such as an article, blog post or whitepaper.

Top Social Crisis/Incident Tips

  • Develop a plan that includes pre-scripted and approved incident and emergency Tweets and Hashtags
  • Monitor on social during an incident to correct inaccuracies
  • Have your IT department stress-test your website to assure it doesn’t go down during a crisis
  • Rumors start when there is little or no information. Keep people informed to avoid chaos.
  • You may be involved in the incident. Do not assume you will be able to carryout the emergency plan.

Where is the future of social headed?

The conference wrapped up with thoughts on what is to come. Most people see a trend of developing hyper-customized and targeted content as more users expect niche content that directly speaks to them. With the advent of hyper-focused targeting on social, we have the tools to deliver content that speaks to our many facets of customers including answering their questions, concerns and addressing their anomalies. Another trend includes developing more content that can be viewed even better on the go, whether that includes wearable devices, mobile and tablets. Content needs to be optimized, succinct and short for those on the fly.

We returned with a brain trust of information and hope we were able to relay some of my top takeaways from the conference for those of you who couldn’t make it. Now, take these tips, tactics and social visions to go dominate your social platforms.


© Steve Young – Fotolia

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