Today’s article is a guest post from Pagemodo’s Marketing Manager, Irina Kabigting.

Earlier this month Alfredo Ramos, General Manager of Pagemodo, and I went to Social Media Marketing World 2013. This was a conference dedicated to “inspire and empower with social media marketing ideas”. The gathering brought together a wide spectrum of attendees, from solopreneurs to those Fortune 500 social media managers to social media top influencers.

The event was jam packed with networking events and education sessions. Here are some of the top lessons we learned and brought back to share with our team and all of you.

The top three industry trends we spotted:

1. Podcasts are likely to see a huge resurgence in 2013. Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner, cited a study which states that podcast creation is likely to see an 800% increase this year.

2. Social customer care (answering questions live via social channels such as Facebook and Twitter) will eventually displace traditional customer support channels such as email. However, social customer care is still in early infancy stages of providing customers with experience they are searching for.
– Average response time by companies to questions posted on social = 13.7hours
– Average response time customer expects = 30 minutes

3. Blogs will continue to be key players in social word due to the growing importance of Google authorship, contents’ ability to drive leads and the growing popularity of mobile. During his presentation, Chris Brogan stated that his blog email list gets 10 times less traffic than other channels but generates 10 times the number of leads. In the same presentation he stated that using Google Authorship on blog posts can help to increase blog traffic by up to 300%.

Four lessons we came away with:

1. Big Data is still a mystery – Companies large and small continue to struggle with social data tracking and making sense of it all. Grow social strategy and outreach requires social data to be start being measured and reported on the exact same way as other channels (sales, customer service, SEO, PPC…).

2. Content will continue to rule (as long as it’s relevant) – Content quality will continue to drive engagement and social growth. However crafting great information is no longer a status quo, it is now important to focus on relevancy. When it comes to social posting:

– Be helpful and post content that resonates with your target audience
– Don’t be sales-y and pushy
– Humanize your company/brand. The days of keeping customers at a distance are over
– It is better to post less with interesting content than more with boring one
– Listen to your audience and always Test, test, test.

3. Social engagement helps to nurture and drive leads – When selecting your community managers, ensure they are passionate about your product and company. Studies are showing that passionate community managers:

– Answer customers in a prompt and respectful manner. Timely answers help to nurture potential sale leads and drive up revenue
– Know the company goals & values and will correctly translate them into social strategy

4. Time management is vital – Social media marketing can be a very time consuming task and should be approached in a systematic manner. Couple of ways to achieve it:

– Create activity calendar – Calendar of activities that structure your day
– Use slow times to build up content backlog and check into what your competitors are doing
– Creating an editorial calendar is vital for properly managing time spent on social media marketing and it helps to create markers that anchor you on days you feel stuck for content. Editorial calendars do not have to super specific and should be flexible.

Until next time, happy posting!

– Irina 

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Pagemodo’s Marketing and Social Media Manager. Get more from Irina on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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