Molly Buccini

In order to provide clients with a social strategy that’s optimized for engaging and generating leads, Brafton’s social media team consistently ingrains themselves in industry updates and the latest trends.

Whether learning first hand from client experiences or gaining insights shared by industry leaders online and at this fall’s Social Media Week, here’s a look at what some of Brafton’s social media experts consider to be the most important takeaways of 2013:

Rachel Dobinski1. Social media is the new “ask a friend”

A Google+ study said 57 percent of people have more conversations online than in person. That is something for every business to think about when deciding what to invest in with their marketing budgeting. Content marketing is clearly the “yellow brick road” to success in terms of validating your company as an industry leader. And social media is the perfect way to reach your online audience to share and show your expertise. Rachel Dobinski

Kendra Bissonnette2. Social rants with a grain of salt: The customer isn’t always right

During a “Confessions of a Community Manager” presentation at Social Media Week in Chicago, the panel brought up  the concept that when dealing with customer complaints on social media, it’s important to remember that “the customer isn’t always right.” This is super interesting because it goes against traditional wisdom. While it’s critical to provide customer support to people who reach out, sometimes using humors or gifs to diffuse the situation instead of accepting defeat can be more beneficial. I think the reason that this is so significant is because when dealing with upset customers over social media, everyone can see how you respond. Being able to publicly make light of situations where customers might be unhappy definitely takes guts, but still demonstrates your company is responsive! Kendra Bissonnette

maxadagio3. The customer can be your biggest brand advocate

Fifty-three percent of users recommend products or companies in their Tweets according to a study from ODM Group. One of the go-to lines for clients asking about social ROI and benefit goes something like: “Social media builds a loyal audience of brand advocates.” People will defend you and recommend you if your brand (and your messages) resonate with them. This statistic just goes to show how powerful good social media management can be – there are oodles of non-corporate billboards and advertisements out there in your Twitter followers, and you can harness them to get your message out. Max Adagio

Sumit Sharma4. Microtargeting prospects wherever, whenever

As a member of the social media team I always wonder what the future holds for social media and the digital industry. A Google+ study indicates that one in five searches are local, which relates to the popular concept of  SoLoMo (Social Location and Mobile). This applies to the integration of one’s social media platforms and physical location with one’s mobile device, and with data about local being so prevalent, it drives home the idea that businesses should micro-target prospects and consumers wherever and whenever, with contextually-relevant content. Sharing the right content with the right people at the right time will be key to maximizing your social reach. Sumit Sharma

laurenkaye5. Data overload without insights

One of the biggest challenges brands face when social media marketing is that they have too much data, but not enough insights. It’s critical that companies align their monthly metrics with leads, sales and conversions, and then compare those with social analytics. They need to strike the right balance with monitoring engagement and analysis that ties those findings to bottom-line results. Lauren Kaye

Social media strategy is a top priority for marketers in the upcoming year (and our industry analysts’ have reported that social budgets will get a bump in 2014). Learn more about how Brafton’s social professionals keep up with innovative sharing platforms to help you maximize and measure the social currency of your brand.