Sharp Communications attends Social Media Week: Last week, the Sharp Social Media Team attended many of the sessions at Social Media Week at the Times Center in New York City. Social Media week is a digital media conference that brings brands within the entertainment, marketing and technology industry together to share ideas and learn from one another. After listening in on a variety of sessions, everything from ever-changing marketing trends in the social sphere to using bots on social, Sharp Social shares key takeaways from the conference.

1. Social Marketing is Key

Looking at how brands can drive commercial value was at the core of each session because at the end of the day, attracting consumers to buy is the goal. As the social sphere grows and new platforms are available, it is important for brands to look at which channels align with overall sales goals as to not oversaturate the consumer audience.

Brands are looking to advertising as a way to reach current and new customers, incorporating engaging imagery and video content as a way to stand out among competition. Having a presence where your customers are spending time, including getting involved in new and emerging platforms, could be the difference between a brand growing or remaining stagnant.

A key takeaway for the Sharp team is that brands, now more than ever, are reaching new consumers and retaining customers by engaging and through creative content.

2. Brand Consistency is Important

In a session called, How the Verge Builds Audience Across Multiple Platforms, Helen Havlak of The Verge noted that maintaining a unified voice and presence on social yields the greatest return on social investment because customers are more apt to returning and purchasing. Because the social sphere is saturated, users search for relatable and reliable content that stands out. This is why photo and video is crucial to the success of a brand, because as we saw at the conference, engaging content directly impacts impressions and engagement. We can apply this to our own work, as when we are creating content at Sharp, we monitor trends closely to see what relates to specific clients and, the ultimate goal, gain new fans.

3.Find Your Platform and Create Content For It

Each specific social media platform has its own specialty. Due to the fact that Instagram has just released Instagram Stories, this was a consistent talking point across panels. Instagram Live actually garnered more unique views than in a regular Instagram Video, a statistic that we found surprising considering the new nature of this feature. We also learned of the importance of deciding the platform you want to focus on based on your target audience. For example, in the panel, What's Next In Social Marketing: Fresh Perspectives from the Forbes 30 Under 30, each panel member discussed that focusing on the correct platform given your audience is crucial. For example, as GE focuses a lot of their content toward female engineers, the advanced targeting of Facebook makes this the platform of choice for their brand.

4. Put Content First

In a session with The Daily Show social team, called A Conversation with The Daily Show's Best F%#king Social Media Team Ever, we learned content comes first. In 2016, The Daily Show received 3.5% more engagements despite posting half the amount when compared to previous years. The team noted over sharing can lead to a decrease in engagement due to an over saturation of your channels. Find what works, use the best channel for your content, and make it precious. At Sharp, we believe quality content is best for your channels over posting multiple times a day with less engaging content.

5. "Don't Be Creepy"

As social media allows us to use even more granular targeting and reach audiences that otherwise you wouldn't be able to access, keeping this mantra in mind is key. All of the panelists on the Forbes 30 under 30 panel agreed on this point. At the end of the day when a new feature on a platform comes out, we as consumers are just as curious as brands. This equal playing field means that while social media is crucial for brands, it also gives consumers the ultimate power to play with and define platforms.We can't wait for Social Media Week 2018!