What We Learned at Social Media Marketing World

Every spring, 7,000 marketers from dozens of industries gather in San Diego at the country’s largest social media conference. We sent Benson’s digital marketing team to Social Media Marketing World to keep up with the latest trends and tools. In this blog, we share our five key takeaways from this year’s event. None of this will be new information exactly, but it was reassuring to hear confirmation of these trends.

Bigger isn’t always better

While gaining more follows should be an ongoing goal for your social media account, don’t assume that more fans equals more success. It’s better to have a smaller audience who cares than a larger audience who doesn’t. So focus on engaging the audience you do have by prioritizing social listening and sharpening your brand messaging strategy. Vanity metrics won’t love you back the way loyal fans will.

Focus, with flexibility

Spend your efforts on what you do best. Seeing a high number of shares when you post videos on Facebook? Spend more time on making videos than on photo shoots. Of course, leave room to readjust strategy. Monitoring metrics closely helps keep an eye on shifts in audience preferences.

Something isn’t better than nothing

Choose a primary platform for your brand’s social media communications. Have a highly engaged audience on Twitter? Put most of your time into developing customized content for Twitter; engage with your followers there. Design content that’s optimized for your focus platform, and then repost it on other channels.

Be conscious of your audience’s attention

Audiences have less trust in brands now than ever before. How does this translate into developing a wine brand’s social media strategy? Only talk if you have something to say, because redundant or generic content only contributes to the static. Be conscious of your audience’s attention by posting intentionally and choosing quality over quantity of messages.

The future of social media is relatability

Instagram and Facebook stories. Private messaging. We’re all seeing a shift towards more personalized and meaningful communication on social, in large part due to privacy concerns. Brands find success by doing less broadcasting and more human interacting. At Benson, we connect with our clients’ fans through commenting on and liking their posts, even when they don’t overtly reference wine.

Case study: One of our winery clients was struggling to grow their audience on Instagram. Through our community management tactic of interacting with followers posting about wine-adjacent topics like home entertaining and cooking, we were able to achieve 10% organic follower growth month over month.

Similarly, sharing content posted by followers and winery employees creates more personalized messaging. And we recommend taking the digital conversation a step further by utilizing private messages to communicate with fans.

At Benson, our team education efforts are ongoing. In case your missed it, here were the top takeaways from our visit to Direct to Consumer Wine Symposium in January.