Pulse of the Profession

Friday Five: Social Media Week 2014

As social media increasingly becomes an integral part of public relations strategy, public relations professionals have dedicated themselves to mastering the tactic. Because of its wide spread use and growing importance, a variety of conferences are held throughout the year, dedicated to featuring the latest trends in social media. The biannual, international conference “Social Media Week” is currently underway in New York City. Organized by Crowdcentric Media, it features presentations by social media experts, exhibits, classes and more to educate attendees and followers about all things social media for 2014. Held at multiple international locations, Social Media Week connects attendees around the world and, through a conference app, gives thousands the opportunity to digitally stay up-to-date on the latest trends.

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In this week’s PRSA “Friday Five” post – an analysis of the week’s biggest public relations and business news and commentary – we look at themes from New York’s Social Media Week 2014. Highlights of Social Media Week, how the conference will address the backlash against social media, how changes in social media affect entrepreneurs and startups and takeaways from a content marketing presentation at the conference are all covered in this week’s post. We will also explore the importance of having a clear and consistent message across all channels.

Social Media Week: The Building Blocks Of Content (Business 2 Community)

Noah Briker, co-founder of Percolate, presented at Social Media Week on the content marketing process and the creation of brand content. He defined seven major “building blocks” necessary for successful content marketing and explained how each block is vital to a content marketing strategy. According to the Bricker, “These blocks stem from challenges that content marketers face, including efficiency and staying on-brand, and factors like new target customers, new markets, and new platforms which make these challenges more difficult.”

Building blocks include: audience, trigger and brand. One important building block is the “business objective.” Social media and community engagement are key ways to gauge the impact of content marketing, but they aren’t the best way to measure business success. The author states, “These metrics can be used as a proxy to meet business objectives by providing insights into what makes audiences react and what doesn’t.” Content marketers can use these insights to define business objectives and compare them to social media engagement results. Visit the article for the full list of building blocks.

What to Expect at New York City’s Social Media Week (Inc.)

New York City is currently hosting Social Media Week 2014, and this article offers insight into what to expect from the five days of “exploration” of the “social, cultural, and economic impact of social media.” Held in the Meatpacking District in Manhattan, the conference is split between three floors of the Highline Stages. Each floor of the location will have one of three themes: “engage,” “innovate,” or “change.” The conference is also featuring notable speakers from major startups, such as Jonah Peretti, founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby Parker and Scott Harrison, founder of charity:water.

Toby Daniels, the founder and executive director of Social Media Week and CEO of Crowdcentric, discusses his top three must-sees from the conference in the article. One of his recommendations is to attend one of the offered “masterclasses.” Twelve masterclasses are held each day, and “each features 50 minutes of educational content,” according to the article. For more must-sees and information about what to expect from Social Media Week, visit the article.

Trending at Social Media Week: the backlash against social media (New York Business Journal)

While many have embraced social media as an invaluable tool for public relations, one of the trends that will be discussed at Social Media Week 2014 is the backlash against social. Because social media has become engrained into the daily activities of many of its users, some are finding it difficult to leave the “virtual world,” and are now making a conscientious effort to pull away from social media. The article raises an important question: “So how does the tech community continue its rapid pace of innovation while responding to a market that (claims to) yearn for the analog world?”

Toby Daniels addresses this issue: “The push back that is slowly starting to kind of happen, with regard to consumers wanting to establish more control and find ways to disconnect, it’s representative of this next wave of change.” Daniels also explains how organizations that are active on social media are fighting for attention. Visit the article for more on how Social Media Week will address this backlash.

‘Future of Now’: The Convergence of Social Media, Crowdfunding and Tech (Entrepreneur)

The theme of Social Media Week 2014 is “The Future of Now,” and the conference focuses on topics such as “sharing economy, the future of social music, crowdfunding, the content-marketing revolution and building products that scale.” As social media and technology continue to develop, business strategies must also be developed to benefit from both tools. Jason Fell, the author of the article, interviews Social Media Week’s Toby Daniels about how the evolution of social media affects entrepreneurs and startups.

Daniels gives details about trends affecting entrepreneurs, how business owners can improve their social media strategies and more. He highlights the importance of businesses having a social media presence. “First, [businesses] must get the basics right. There’s no excuse for not having a strong social presence, regardless of the size of your business. Second, business owners need to understand that social media represents a new way of doing business, not just a way of promoting themselves,” Daniels explains. The full interview can be read via the article.

Getting The Most Out Of Social Media — Start With A Clear Message (Forbes)

Marysol Patton, reality television star and founder of the public relations firm, The Patton Group, believes that a clear vision is necessary before any other social media strategy is considered. Patton said, “It’s important to have courage and conviction and remain true to the vision that you have for your company. I can’t stress enough about having a clear vision of the one thing you want your company to represent and a cohesive communications strategy before you even think about your first tweet.”

In the article, Toby Daniels agrees with Patton and cautions that social media isn’t a silver bullet. Daniels says he looks at social media in terms of a funnel and that dialogue should be established “with the goal of getting participants to the next phase of the relationship” eventually leading to a transaction of some sort.

Read the full article by author Mamie Joeveer on Forbes.com.

Faith Goumas is the public relations associate at the Public Relations Society of America.

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