What Was “In” at #INBOUND23

Coming out of #INBOUND23, I’m feeling nothing short of inspired by all the sessions, experiences, and conversations and wanted to share my top takeaways for brands as they plan their 2024 social media strategies.

Social is Your Most Powerful Tool for Both Attracting and Retaining Customers

If you aren’t investing in top-notch social care (a.k.a. community management), you are likely missing a sales opportunity. It was music to my ears to hear that leading brands are doubling down on social as a vehicle for customer service and plan to do even more by leveraging AI integrations. Too often brands think of social care as issues management or simply addressing FAQs, but the DMs and public comments with consumers are fertile ground for brand building. Through proactive social care, you increase brand exposure, show consumers you care and build connections that count.

  • Pro Tip: You can’t be a 9-to-5 brand in a 24/7 world, so implement built-in, yet customizable Chatbots that can respond immediately when your team can’t.

Customers Don’t Need to Search, They Already Have Social

In the old customer buying journey, the first stage (discovery) was about search engines, but now it’s about social media. Even when consumers are generally aware of new products and services, they will only seek to learn more about them through social. With a strong digital and content strategy (which we can help you build at 360!), you can reach your consumers where they already are with tailored content that leads to meaningful engagement.

  • Pro Tip: Use social listening tools to monitor for untagged mentions of your brand so you can easily jump in on conversations that would otherwise be missed. You can also monitor competitor keywords, identifying competitors’ customer pain points, and develop campaigns that more effectively elevate and differentiate your brand.

When It Comes to AI, Do vs. Deliberate

There isn’t a one-size-fits all approach to using Generative AI (GAI), so don’t be afraid to dive in and start experimenting. At 360, we’re using the technology as an added springboard for discovery and ideas. Ensure you are doing so responsibly and ethically by consulting with legal and security experts (as we have at 360). And most importantly, remember that GAI is best when paired with HI – Human Intelligence.

  • Pro Tip: When using tools like ChatGPT or Bing Chat, always employ layered prompts. This means you should give the tool a role, task, style, and examples for best results.

BONUS: Diversity Matters

I couldn’t close this out without mentioning one of the highlights of this year: Reese Witherspoon’s talk (yes, THAT Reese Witherspoon). One of my favorite things she said was, “If you want to change the stories, you need to change the storytellers.” Great campaigns are born from having diverse backgrounds, opinions, voices at the table. This is something we often discuss in the industry, and I’ve never heard anyone disagree, but it’s not enough to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. In my opinion, that starts with company leaders pulling up a chair and inviting those diverse perspectives to take a seat. It’s also our responsibility, and opportunity, as social media leaders to give diverse voices a role and platform in our campaigns – from spokespersons to influencers and more.

So, there you have it: my high-level view on #INBOUND23. I hope to see you there next year! Maritza Hayes serves in the role of VP, Social/Digital Content & Innovation at 360PR+. Reach her at mhayes@360pr.plus.

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