5 Things ChatterBlast Learned At Philly Social Media Day 2016

Valerie Hoke
July 6, 2016

In 2010, Mashable launched Social Media Day, a global day of recognition and celebration of the way social media impacts our lives and the world around us.

Last Thursday, June 30, marked the 2016 iteration of the event, and Philadelphia was not about to let the day pass unnoticed. That’s why Slice Communications organized and hosted Philly’s Social Media Day at the Franklin Institute, and also why, of course, some of us Blasters had to get in on the action.

Fellow Content Specialist Kyle Krajewski and I, plus CEO Evan Urbania (who also spoke on a panel of agency experts) and Senior Digital Strategist Jackie Kollar all headed to the day-long event to see what we could learn.

So, what were our biggest takeaways from #SMDayPHL 2016? Glad you asked.

Social media is a gigantic focus group.

It’s where consumers go to comment on their purchases, and where businesses go to listen. During her opening keynote address, Erin Dress, Brand Marketing Specialist and Consumer Packaged Goods Lead at Twitter, says that to a consumer goods executive, this focus group quality is the single greatest benefit of a social media presence for a business.


Millennial moms rule Twitter.

Dress also speaks about research she’s performed involving Twitter user demographics. Millennial moms, she says, are the Twitter users most influenced to purchase goods based on what they hear about a brand on Twitter. It makes sense: Parenthood involves purchasing a whole new world of products, and Twitter is a great way for parents to stay connected to the world even while kid duties take up most of their time. The next time someone says Twitter is only full of self-involved, joke-stealing teenagers, tell them to think again.

Social channels are being treated as literature these days.

That sounds weird, we know, but Annie Heckenberger, Director of Digital for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) host committee, explains how she took her position knowing she was going to create a huge social presence for the DNC, then kill it as soon as the convention wrapped up. However, the Library of Congress reached out to her recently and said they’d like to archive the DNC Twitter once the event is over. Think about that: The Twitter feed will literally be preserved as a part of American history. Pretty cool!

There are still plenty of surprises.

As prepared as you can be for anything that comes your way on social media (i.e. preparing responses to what may be perceived as “controversial” content), you can never fully anticipate everything. In an afternoon flash talk, Mandy Weger, Digital Marketing Strategist at Campbell Soup Company, explains how her team never saw it coming when a troll started impersonating their customer service team via Facebook comments, and they had to decide how to respond on the fly.

Most importantly, visuals are key.

This seemed to be the overarching theme of the entire day — it was even the topic of the closing keynote address by Krista Neher, CEO of Boot Camp Digital. At ChatterBlast, we talk a lot about ensuring that everything we post on Facebook includes an image, and this is where we really have a chance to shine and set ourselves apart. Whether we’re posting custom-made graphics, expertly-picked fair use photos or some LOL-worthy memes, visuals are the best way to elevate the impact of any brand’s social presence.

While we’re at it, here’s a bonus takeaway: Always enjoy a nice post-conference cocktail at the Logan Hotel’s Assembly Rooftop Lounge with your fellow Blasters.

Rooftop people-watching post-#smdayphl with the @chatterblast gang (regram @theurbanian)

A photo posted by valerie hoke (@valperiepal) on

Until 2017, Social Media Day! We can’t wait to discover what cool stuff we’ll be talking about next year.