More than ever, it’s crucial for us, as Beedie students, to understand the power of social media tools and especially how to use them to contribute to our professional endeavors. In November I had the opportunity to attend the OMG Social Media Conference held at the SFU Segal Graduate School of Business. OMG stands for Online Media Generation – the generation of people who are lucky enough to have grown up during the social media revolution. After attending this full-day conference consisting of keynotes, workshops, a panel, and open networking, I’m excited to share with you the 3 key takeaways that have inspired me.
The “New Content Rule of Thirds”
The Rule of Thirds is generally taught as a design principle; however, during her keynote presentation, Mary Crowe, the Marketing Manager at Whole Foods Market, introduced this rule in a refreshing new way that applies to social media content. The New Content Rule of Thirds states that all of the social content your brand produces, whether you are a student organization or a small business, needs to be 1/3 product, 1/3 community, and 1/3 creative. So what does that mean? 1/3 of your content should be focused on promoting your organization and generating business. That’s the easy part. The next 1/3 of your content should engage your community by asking questions and actively listening to your followers’ responses. People love to feel like their opinions matter and that they are being heard by your organization. The last 1/3 of your content should share either creative visual content, different ideas, or news stories that are relatable to your industry. This framework is a solid foundation for you to maintain an engaging online environment for your followers.
A Shift towards Apps as an Unconventional Form of Brand Engagement
A panel consisting of a Digital Media Strategist, a Digital Marketing Director, and a Social Media Consultant, spoke on what they foresee as the hot new trends emerging for 2015. This included the successful growth of advertising in apps such as Snapchat and Vine. After doing my own research, I learned that brands such as Charmin, Tide, Nike, Adidas, Oreo, and HP either have their own Vine accounts, or approach well known Vine users to increase their online presence. See this blog for examples: http://blog.brandsonvine.com. Using Vine keeps the message short, personable, and sometimes humorous. As a Beedie student leader, you can take this approach and apply it to your next marketing campaign to promote your events.
The Importance of Building and Engaging a Loyal Online Community
The reoccurring theme of the conference revolved around the idea that engaging and having genuine conversations with your followers is necessary for social media survival. Daryl Louie, from AntiSocial Solutions, led a very informative workshop on key “social media laws” that will attract and build a loyal community of followers. He emphasized the importance of executing social media campaigns, which can be as simple as selfie contests or giveaways when your organization reaches certain milestones. These campaigns can be a great opportunity to collect user-generated content (UGC), such as consumers posting and tagging you in photos of themselves using your product, which is an effortless way to expand your community and build brand awareness.
Although the 8-hour day was jam-packed with learning, it was also a chance for me to experience the culture of the marketing industry. Throughout the conference, there was a large screen displaying the constant tweets @OMGmedia was receiving. By 1:30pm, the event’s hashtag, #OMGconf, was trending in Canada. We also had access to a photobooth where we could instantly print out polaroid’s of our Instagram photos that were taken at the event. One of my favorite moments was when one of the speakers had the entire audience take selfies while he took a selfie of us taking selfies. That type of easy-going atmosphere where everyone around you is also creative, engaged, and passionate about learning the same thing is rare and I enjoyed every moment. It was also incredibly inspiring to be in a room full of 200 experienced business professionals and budding entrepreneurs.
Overall, I would recommend the OMG Social Media Conference to anyone interested in any aspect of marketing management or entrepreneurship. It’s a great opportunity to gain knowledge from the best of the industry and to network with a variety of like-minded individuals. Personally, this conference inspired me to step up my social media game and to think about unconventional ways to successfully engage with my community in the Online Media Generation.
Melissa is a second year BBA candidate planning on concentrating in Marketing. She is passionate about student engagement and is active in Beedie community through her roles as a Marketing Coordinator for the Business Administration Student Society (BASS), and as the Director of External Communications for the BASS Mentorship Program.