5 Lessons for Social Media Managers from SXSW

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    5 Lessons for Social Media Managersfrom SXSWBy Jade Furubayashi March 17, 2015

    212 10 11 87 0

    Well people, I made it. Im writing to you from the perpetual

    state of frenzy, fun, and food coma that is SXSW Interactive. I

    went into the belly of the beast and lived to tell the tales

    which in this case are some interesting learnings that I can

    take back and apply to my work in Seattle. The following are a

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    few trends and takeaways that I picked up in sessions

    featuring speakers from IBM, BuzzFeed, PBS, Spredfast, and


    1. Everyone Cares About Data

    If the sheer number of SXSW sessions about big data, data visualizations, or social data

    didnt give you a clue, let me just say this: everyone cares about data. Around the office, we

    have a little mantra: Data or it didnt happen. Well, I think every single presenter at this

    conference would agree. One of my first sessions of the week was Visual Storytelling: The

    Power of Design + Data and the line went around the block.

    In the BuzzFeed, IBM, and Team Detroit sessions everyone called out the fact that, 90% of

    all data in the world has been created in the last 2 years. When marketers from BuzzFeed or

    PBS are talking about success, they refer to metrics like engagement, reach, etc. Data and

    analysis were at the foundation of every session I went to this year.

    2. Content Visibility Requires Creativity

    Hey, its no secret: its hard out there for organic reach. But dont worry, big brands arent

    Huge line but, I am looking forward to this panel !!! #tdsxsw #Sxsw #SXSW2015


    cesar rivas (@Cesarrivas80) March 13, 2015

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    impervious to this either! The PBS team addressed these issues during their panel by offering

    up solutions such as influencer outreach, brand partnerships, etc. The moral of the story is

    that its hard out there, and its probably going to get harder, so were all going to have to

    step our game up and out of the box.

    3. Give Away Your Best Content for Free

    BuzzFeeds digital team spoke a LOT this year. They were popping up all over the place

    keynotes, panels, sessions, you name it. But, Im not complaining! Not only is BuzzFeed the

    go-to listicle AND news source for my generation, and their content + social strategy is

    pretty impressive. One of my favorite sessions of the week featured Summer Burton, who

    heads up BuzzFeeds BFF team. Her entire teams focus is to develop content for the sake

    of developing content. There are no calls-to-action, no link backs, no nothing. They simply

    create the content and watch what happens.

    It works for Buzzfeed. Distributing content to your audience in the least taxing way possible

    will give you the greatest return.

    4. Social Strategies Must Account for Nuances

    For , runs the show. Simply Measured (@simplymeasured) @Buzzfeed #socialmedia #SXSWInteractive #futuremedia #smmpic.twitter.com/Cv7RpjL6RX March 14, 2015

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    Last year, I ran a Tweet timing study and we found that spikes in engagement came around

    the same time most people get out of business meetings. Granted, this is just a theory

    (backed up by some interesting data), but even I thought it was a little far-fetched to assume

    that our audiences schedule could have that big of an effect on our engagement / traffic.

    However, Serena Ehrlich, Director of Social and Evolving Media at Business Wire, echoed this

    concept of understanding your audiences everyday life. Ehrlich preached that you have to hit

    people with things they can digest when they want to digest them. For example, in her

    experience, video does not perform well in the morning. No one has time to watch a 5-

    minute news recap in the morning we have places to be! Paying attention to these small

    nuances can produce big returns and save you a ton of time scratching your head.

    5. Real-Time Marketing: There Are Only Winners (Mostly)

    Often times when we see brands employ real-time marketing, were inclined to declare a

    winner. The attitude towards real-time marketing is similar to that of the rap game: Youre

    either the clear-cut winner or just the first to lose. This is nice in theory, but in reality, Drake

    is amazing, and so is Kendrick Lamar. Im getting off topic (sorry its been a long week). With

    real-time marketing, all the brands usually win. Chris Kerns of Spredfast debriefed about his

    book that he wrote on this subject and presented some very compelling data on the success

    of these campaigns across the board. In most examples, 9/10 or 12/14 brands that tapped

    into a pop-culture conversation would see lifts in their per-post engagement. So arent they

    all winners? Not being the best shouldnt thwart a brand from taking their shot at Dunk in

    the Dark greatness.

    Now, Ive got to get to bed. I have my final day of sessions tomorrow. Tune in via


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    Jade FurubayashiMy name's Jade and I'm a social media addict from Seattle, WA. I'm the Community

    Manager at Simply Measured, so my job is basically to talk to you fine people

    everyday- which is awesome. Aside from that, my favorite things are dogs, tacos

    and Beyonc.

    Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

    The Complete SocialMedia ConversationAnalysis Guide


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    2 Comments Simply Measured

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    Randy White 3 days ago

    www.urbanairship.com/mobile-sa... rather


    Randy White 3 days ago

    Hi Jade, thank you for writing this. I had to run an all day session for SXSWi (www.urbanairship.com/mobile-sa...certainly there are deep lessons. The biggest help I found was pre-programming social posts timed along withdifferent tech sessions while manning a two-person social cockpit outputting live updates as we went along. Killerfirst SXSW for me!

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