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Recap: Social Media Week 2015 – Chicago

Caroline Braswell

The Merchandise Mart in Chicago was the home of Social Media Week a few weeks ago, and I had the pleasure to attend. Seeing that this was one of the largest conferences I have attended, I ended the week with a brain full of new and innovative information. Here are some of the biggest highlights I took away from #SMWChicago.

social media pic
Photo by Caroline Braswell


Video is Huge

Total actions on video content grew 123 percent in cross platform actions over the last year. Now video posts are outperforming all other types of content, so if you are not producing videos to share across your social platforms you are missing a huge opportunity for growth and engagement. Tapping into platforms like Instagram and Vine, if you haven’t already, are good places to start producing short, easy videos.

Context vs. Content

For the longest time we have been hearing the saying “content is king,” but Howard Tullman of 1871 believes the context of our messaging is going to become more important. That is not to say content will no longer be a priority, but if no one is listening, it doesn’t matter what you say. We need to begin putting more effort into figuring out the right time and the right place our audience is going to want to hear the right message.  This may take some extra work before rolling out a big social or marketing campaign, but it will be worth it in the end.

Messaging and Search is  changing

With the world of the Internet of Things taking off and more people purchasing smart watches and smart devices, where brands need to be pushing their messages is no longer as simple as sending out email blasts and tweeting a few times a day. Being present across multiple channels is going to be vital to a brands survival. This goes for B2B as well. Believe it or not, B2B brands are beginning to boom on Instagram, so look into branching out and getting your messages on multiple platforms.

People aren’t jumping on their computer and Googling a brand as much anymore, they are getting on Facebook and Twitter and other platforms to find it. Facebook had 1 billion searches this past year and Twitter had 300 million. This means we have to take social media, SEO and content out of silos and begin to integrate them.

Bonus note

Infographics are not dead! Some may be tired of them, but the majority of people still LOVE to share them across social. This is a great way to revamp old, but evergreen content. So pull out that awesome data-heavy whitepaper or case study you worked your tail off on and turn it into an awesome infographic!

These are only a few things I took away from Social Media Week, so I highly recommend anyone in the social media or marketing field to attend. It was awesome learning from what others are doing in this industry and much social media really does matter to the success of an organization.