5 Things I Learned From #SMTULSA: ‘What The Crap is Next for Social Media?’ by @EricTTung

When I first heard about #SMTULSA I was all like …











Then I learned the conference was giving away a ticket to one person who blogs about last year’s event and I decided to give it a shot. Let’s do this, #SMTULSA.

I just finished watching this video “What the Crap is Next for Social Media?” featuring last year’s keynote speaker Eric T. Tung (@EricTTung), a social manager at BMC Software. Tung covered these main points:

  • Where social media’s been
  • The future of social media:
  1. Social network consolidation
  2. Social tool aggregation
  3. Crowdsourcing
  4. The sharing economy
  5. Big data

I learned quite a bit from Tung throughout the presentation, but I want to share five of my key takeaways. I am always looking for different ways to engage the people who like and are invested in the University of Oklahoma, and the following thoughts definitely resonated with me.

1. Social sharing buttons are crazy important.

These are the “like,” “share,” and “tweet” buttons you might see on product pages on Amazon.com or on a Huffington Post story. They make it ridiculously easy for online users to share your content. We actually don’t have these at the University of Oklahoma, but it’s something we’re talking more about as we redesign ou.edu. Tung suggests adding these social sharing buttons to your blog pages, story pages and product pages. He pointed to American Eagle’s site and added: “They have multiple places on each page where you can either share the product itself or join them on a corporate level by following them on the different networks.”

2. Involving customers in your product creation is a fantastic idea.

Tung has me thinking about how we can engage our audience more and get them to shape the services we provide. I loved the example he used in which Starbucks launched MyStarbucksIdea.com, a blog for customer interaction that he said resulted in 50,000 new product ideas. The key is to include your audience in the decision-making process and see what kind of great ideas you end up with. “They’ll feel like they’re part of the team. They’ll feel like they’re a part of your company. And the best part is your competitors will not be doing that so you’ll gain that extra little edge on top of them.”

3. Over-sharing isn’t all that bad … to marketers.

People are sharing more and more on social media every year. In fact, Tung said social media users are sharing twice as much this year as they did last year. They’ll share twice as much next year as they did this year. Woah. Just look at websites like Airbnb, TaskRabbit, Uber  … We’re opening our homes and cars to strangers. We’re asking strangers to send us on random tasks for them. As marketers and social media managers, how do we use this to our advantage? Tung says,“People are out there, needing your services, needing your stuff. If you’re listening for it, then you’re in a great position to be able to capitalize on that.”

4. Responding to people who are talking about you — but not directly to you — could blow them away.

If you’re a social media manager, you might think it’s enough work to engage with the people who are liking, sharing and commenting on your sites. And you’re right, it is a lot of work. But Tung suggests keeping your eyes peeled for those people who are talking about you, but not directly to you. For instance: Someone doesn’t directly tag you on Twitter but they still mention you (“University of Oklahoma” as opposed to @UofOklahoma). He gives an example of when he checked into the Carolina Inn on Foursquare and had that Foursquare update pushed to Twitter. Without being tagged, @CarolinaInn responded on Twitter with: “Welcome! We hope you enjoy your time with us.” “It’s those little types of things that make your company stay in the minds of these people, right?” Tung asked. Yes, sure is.

5. Auto-fill is a beautiful thing.

We’re on the cusp of something similar at OU (“single sign-on” is what we call it) because we recognize the value in not having our students fill out the same information time after time. Tung showed us that dangerous little button — yep, the “1-Click ordering” button on Amazon.com — and said we’re going to see much better results when we simplify processes for our customers. Makes total sense.

So there you have it: five things I learned from last year’s #SMTULSA videos! See #SMTULSA’s full 2014 video playlist on Youtube. And learn more about #SMTULSA by visiting its website smtulsa.com and following it on Twitter or Facebook. The conference is March 26-27 and although early bird tickets are sold out, regularly priced tickets are still available, so go getcha some.

— Morgan

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