Top 5 SMW 2022 Takeaways

The LoudCrowd team came, saw and conquered the cringe— just one of many excellent takeaways from three action-and-insight packed days at Social Media Week 2022. 

Whether you were there and couldn’t bend the space-time continuum to attend more than one workshop at once or you weren’t able to make it at all, we rounded up the top 5 tips and takeaways for you. 

Let’s get into it. 

Takeaway 1: Brands should talk like people 

Day one opened with a conversation between Josh “The Fat Jewish” Ostrovsky and Emmy Liederman from Adweek and immediately speared a hallmark of brand voices on social media from the past few years.

This seems like a good, formal acknowledgement that brand conversations- especially on Twitter- have gotten a little unhinged.

The brand voice for your company on social media should still sound like your brand. Sure, you can make it a little more fun, but set some guardrails in place so that you do not sound like the man in that video.  

Takeaway 2: Give creators freedom 

The importance of creators and the creator economy was a recurring theme at SMW this year. Creators are found on every platform and they’re authentic (buzzword of the week!) and relatable to their audience. They can bring that to work for your brand— but only if you trust them to create the kind of content they know resonates with the audience they’ve built. 

If you force them to read a script that you’ve written, it’s going to come off more like “a hostage video”, according to Alex Morrison of Pearpop

And that’s most likely not what your brand is going for. 

Takeaway 3: Tap into your customers 

At this point we are all very familiar with big social media influencers. 

Consumers are smart; they think big influencer partnerships and collaborations with brands are cool, but that’s not where they turn when it comes to discovering new brands and products. That’s what their networks are for. (Think of the friend you always turn to when you want a recommendation for something in particular.) 

So our very own Justin Papermaster sat down with David Berger of Lucchese to discuss encouraging UGC through customer engagement and social rewards. That’s a big way for brands to unlock the power of those word-of-mouth, in-network recommendations from one friend to another. 

Image via Kaitlyn

The big takeaway? 

Use the 3Rs of UGC: 

  1. Reach 
  2. Reward
  3. Retain 

Reach out to your customers. Reward them for what they’re- in most cases- already doing because they love your brand: they’re talking about it on their social accounts, reaching their personal networks! 

That’s a recommendation that carries real value—  that’s hard to match in a clearly sponsored “hostage video” you paid the latest hot influencer too much money to film. 

Finally, retain your customers’ behavior by incentivizing it more going forward, in ways that make sense for your brand and feel worth it to your customers for the conversations they’re starting with their networks. 

Takeaway 4: Don’t be afraid to be a little cringe

This advice comes from Timm Chiusano, a creator, and he’s talking to brands. 

People know you’re a brand, not a person. So have a little fun with it! 

The trick is finding that balance between embracing the trends in a way that’s just a little cringe while not coming across like the video we linked to earlier. It has to be an authentic cringe; you’re the dad who pays attention to what the kids these days are saying and the media they’re consuming, but you always get it just a little bit wrong. In a way that’s hopefully endearing. 

We, of course, immediately took this advice to heart.

How did we do? 

Takeaway 5: Don’t go ALL IN on new tech just because it’s new 

The final day of SMW was web3 day and covered a lot around how brands can and should get into the metaverse, NFTs and more. 

If anything in that sentence is unclear to you, stop right here. 

The real takeaway is this: DO NOT launch your brand into strategy around new tech just because it’s shiny and new. Take the time to study your audience’s actual interest in it and how it would naturally be a fit with your brand. 

Do some social listening. Poll your most loyal customers. See what’s happening in the rest of your industry. 

Don’t break your budget worrying that your competitors will beat you into the metaverse. Even if you’re the second one there, a more thoughtful approach will always resonate and be rewarded more than a hasty attempt to seem of-the-moment. 

Authenticity first, foremost and always— even when it’s the buzzword of the week. 

The end 

Thanks for joining us and hope you’re ready to get a little cringe, bestie. 

If you’ve got a takeaway we missed, tell us about it. 

Want more? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok for all the best advice we have to offer. 

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