Authenticity, Simplicity, Analytics…Black Leather Gloves


Takeaways from #PRSABos’ Social Media Summit

By Nick Liberati & Ally Peebles

Last week at Bentley University, PRSA Boston held its Social Media Summit focused on innovation and impact. Boston’s PR and marketing elite from top organizations such as Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Dunkin’ Donuts, Lahey Health, New Balance and The Boston Globe gathered to share their experience in managing and working with social, developing content and engaging influencers.

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Regardless of each speaker’s background or their industry, including New England Patriots Social Media Manger Christy Berkery (@berkeryc) who provided the keynote, a few themes resonated throughout the summit. Authenticity, Simplicity, Analytics…and black leather gloves. Similar to the Step Brothers who rolled out Prestige Worldwide…wide…wide…wide with an outline of the components needed for success, below is the guidance we walked away with for any brand to seeking social media innovation.

Be Authentic

Being authentic to your brand and your audience is not as easy as it sounds. First, you need to understand your brand – what it represents and what its core values are. That goes for personal brands as well as companies. Without establishing a consistent voice and position, your target audience will struggle to connect and engage with you. For example, the Patriots’ Christy Berkery’s number one job in managing the team’s social channels is making content relevant for the audience. In her case, the audience is Patriots fans. She focuses on being their advocate by putting content out that fans can relate to and get excited about. She asks herself before every post, “Why are we actually posting this?” Asking this basic question helps ensure she’s being authentic to a fan-driven brand. People trust relevance, good content and most of all other people, as Genevieve Sandoli (@veeve14), digital marketer at New Balance stated. Being authentic, real and human are critical.

Keep it Simple

One of the easiest ways to be authentic is not to over complicate the process and what it is you’re sharing. As echoed from a few panelists, such as Dunkin’ Brands PR and Social Specialist Nicole Shepard (@NicoleShep3), start with an editorial calendar. Take advantage of events and quirky holiday’s like National Chocolate Custard Day or National Water a Flower Day by working them into a Tweet or Facebook post. However, you don’t even need to get this creative. Use what’s available to you, whether it’s Tweeting out an article your company appeared in, an Instagram of your latest product, or sharing your customer’s great work – use your resources. And if you know you have good content to share, post it everywhere.

Measuring with Analytics

Before diving headfirst into measurement with analytics tools, you need to set goals in order to measure against them. Keep in mind goals depend on the specific pieces of content. A timely news article, company announcement, or funny meme will all have different goals and should be measured accordingly. Whether it’s to increase engagement, reach X number of shares or drive traffic to your site, it’s important to set these expectations with your teams beforehand. Also, because brands often have multiple campaigns being executed at once, it’s beneficial to use tools that allow you to tag social content and track activity for each separately. This will allow for a more accurate look at results. Bottom line, measuring a win is when you can see social media actively helping to build your brand and its audience. Measure against these pillars and you’ll know how to course correct your next social media program.

For those who made it this year, what was your key takeaway? What would you add?

– Event sponsors included Racepoint Global 

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