The "Il Sole 24 ORE" auditorium in Milan was theater, yesterday, of the 4th Social Media Marketing Day Italy, where marketers, agencies and companies could meet and share insight about trends and new opportunities of the digital scenario.
Several interesting talks were given: from success stories to best practices, from the unveiling of new technical developments to stories of errors and failures, nonetheless interesting and valuable.
An all day long meetup that pushed for new ideas and new points of view. This is what mostly stroke us, for one reason or another:
1- today's trends are "mobile" and "entertainment": people surf the web mostly to find distraction, thus it's important to generate content and to cleverly do storytelling of your products and your brand, becoming "brand journalists";
2- web sites must be simple and "slim", as they are becoming simple landing pages for users who mainly browse shallowly from mobile;
3- it's important to develop a "customer-experience-centric strategy": the company communication must give priority to the navigation and interaction experience of the customer, but in order to attain that it must know who its customers are. Many italian firms have big data stored in their CRM, but they don't use them and they do not know their buyer personas;
4- apps are loosing their charm: in 2015, 50% of the US smartphone users did not download any new app. Developing an app that does not provide a real and tangible added value to a service or product is a mere waste of time and money;
5- many researches on the web are happening inside apps: hotels, restaurants, flights, they're all snooped inside apps. Only after that, the users move to a search engine to perform well defined searches. This is affecting SEM and the big players (i.e. Google and Bing) will necessarily take actions in a near future;
6- snapchat, whose users are increasing very rapidly, is very different from other social networks: to use it effectively, you have to foresee an approach and a strategy (and a language!) totally new. And obviously you have to consider the audience who you are addressing (with a very low mean age and an insatiable need to communicate);
7- facebook is becoming the biggest virtual showroom, where companies can show their products and get noticed by a highly profiled audience; it is also testing it own e-commerce in Asia. Big times lie ahead...
8- in spite of the many obituaries about twitter, the lil' blue bird is still healthly twitting and it's one of the preferred channels for customer care (and when correctly managed it can increase the loyalty of your customers);
9- regarding customer care, social media offer great opportunities, but they have to be managed responsibly, granting speed, completeness of information and honesty. And a good amount of empathy towords the client!
10- hashtags represent the needs and desires of people;
11- the era of influencers is over: today every single person is an influencer. We're used to check the web or the apps when we receive a notification (we check whatsapp when we see a green circle of a new message, we open facebook if we have a red circle of a new like, we access instagram if a hearth shows we have a new follower): these notifications come from our friends, from single persons, they don't come from brands.
Doing marketing on social networks is not a science: there are no exact formulas as users behaviour is ruled by emotions and by situations that are not easily predictable a priori. But analyzing data, metrics and applying experience and common sense, the possibilities offered by the web are countless.
A good campaign must be a combination of preparation, competence, good content and honesty. And sometimes a pinch of luck!