If you attended Social Media Day Wichita on June 30th, you know it came with some impressive bells and whistles. To quote SNL’s Stefon, “this place had everything.” Lively beats from DJ Carbon set the atmosphere, animated antics from emcee Andy McFayden kept everyone excited to be there (for some folks it was simply to see what he would be wearing the next time he took the stage,) delicious local coffee flowed freely, and some of the local digital marketing industry’s favorite names took the stage to share their wisdom.
If you weren’t able to make it, I’m thrilled to share my top takeaways from this memorable event. But first, let’s set the foundation for what makes Social Media Day notable. On June 30th, 2010, Mashable declared the annual date to be known as World Social Media Day as a nod to social media itself being such a key avenue of global communication. On June 30th, 2015, the Mayor of Wichita officially proclaimed the date as a local date to recognize social media professionals, and Digital Wichita has hosted these educational events annually ever since. To many social media marketers around the world, this day feels like a holiday.
So what was the meat that made this year’s event so impactful? For starters, the name of this year’s event was “Brand You,” which put the focus on building one’s personal brand. Each presenter had a different angle to personal branding, keeping the theme of the day comprehensive and highly-relatable. Here are the pieces that stuck out the most to me:
Know Your Purpose
Agorapulse‘s Christine Gritmon kicked off the day as she spoke about branding with purpose. She reminded us to be flexible and open-minded about our brand journey, but to also remain intentional and trust our strengths as well as our passions. Outside of Social Media Day Wichita’s theme of personal branding, I also feel like this applies heavily to all branding. Stay true to your brand, but also remember this quote by Christine: “Sometimes even the healthiest plants need new pots.”
Great Employers Spell “Team” With an “I”
This year’s panel was moderated by WSU Tech’s Krissy Buck, and featured the following: United Way of the Plains President Pete Najera, WSU Tech President Dr. Sheree Utash, and Keycentrix President Luis Rodriguez. This lively and knowledgeable bunch explained the power of representing the company you work for in a positive light. They didn’t stop there! The group explained that companies empowering employees to be advocates out in the community, in addition to their own social media platforms, is a win-win for everyone. When companies highlight the talented people they hire, it builds trust in the brand itself, while also boosting company culture.
Always Begin With Strategy
My presentation delivered ten tips for building a successful social media strategy for any brand. During my time on stage, I walked the crowd through my own process for designing a social media strategy from scratch. Too often brands jump onto social media platforms for the sole purpose of being there. They neglect to consider goals, style, messaging mix, or even which channels would best benefit them to spend time on. So during my interactive session, I engaged the crowd in a conversation about their brand’s goals, their perception of style, and even why tools like editorial calendars are imperative to social media success.
Don’t Be Weird on LinkedIn
When it comes to building a strong personal brand, LinkedIn is a sure-fire avenue for success. (When used the right way!) In Mandy McEwen‘s session about optimizing LinkedIn profiles, she reminded us not to be shy about our strengths. She also reminded us not to come to the table with sales breath and a creepy vibe. Mandy shed light on why paying special attention to our LinkedIn descriptions and titles can be impactful for attracting projects and potential partnerships. It’s all about proper profile optimization!
Know How to Analyze
Just as we can’t measure how successful we are without setting goals, the same goes when we don’t know how to gather and analyze the data from our social media efforts. Brie Anderson made a good point in saying that every metric is a vanity metric if measured alone. She taught us some great ways to collect our data and put it all together to see a bigger picture. She also gave some helpful ways to test content types to see what works (and meets our goals) and what doesn’t work.