Jasmine Ginyard

Content Producer

May 106 min read

Stephanie Godfrey

Digital Strategist

Mae Copeland

Jr. Copywriter/Content


15 Innovative Ideas We Learned at Social Media Week

Last week, we jetted off Social Media Week in NYC and spent three days submerged in everything new, innovative, and inspirational in the social sphere. From hosting our own session to attending talks by Reddit, RuPaul, and more, we’ve come back with a lot of excitement and a lot of ideas.

Since we know not everyone was able to attend this amazing conference, we figured we’d share the top 15 things we learned.

Oh, and if you want to find out what we spoke about, you can check out the recap of our session here.

Let’s get started:

  1. Take risks: Seth Godin said, "if failure is not an option than neither is success." Never forget this. When your brand starts developing a strategy, use the 80/20 rule. Start executing to figure out what works best for your audience. Out of the 10 ideas you try, only 2 may work, but continue to fine tune and you'll end up with a well-built strategy. As a brand, you never if your audience loves an idea or hates it or if it grabs their attention or not, but you have to take the risk, give it a chance, and pay attention. This will help your brand to be successful and build credibility.
  2. Find out who you are and do it on purpose: Be specific about who you want to speak to and who you are. Put action behind your words – if your brand believes in something, go out, do it, and be fearless! Being true to who you are will speak volumes to your audience and shows that you're owning your brand’s journey wholeheartedly. People are always going to have an opinion, you might as well lean into it.
  3. Listen, listen, listen: Build trust through conversation and action with your audience. Starting with deep quantitative and qualitative learnings, activate a simple playbook. Listen to your community. Identify a need. Make your unique contribution. And finally, demonstrate that you are present. Your brand should support what your audience wants – and the only way to know what they want is to listen.
  4. People hate ads but love brands: It’s well proven that brand-created content simply isn’t considered as trustworthy as the same type of content created by users’ friends and contacts. And that’s okay. The key here is to build trust with your audience and create a message and product that they will enjoy. The rest comes naturally.
  5. Vulnerability is power: As brands, we're all competing to tell our story in a noisy environment. This means you need to be vulnerable with your consumers. It's about connection, not perfection. Focus on the human factors, tell real stories and take ownership by embracing who you are as a brand. People already know humans run your brand, so show your human side. You’re guaranteed to build trust with your audience this way.
  6. How you handle failures makes or breaks you: Andy King became an overnight celebrity thanks to a very candid story he shared in the Netflix documentary, Fyre, which delves into what was arguably the biggest festival flop of all time. During his interview at SMW, he drove home the point that the way in which you respond to your failures can either contribute to future successes, as in King’s case, or end your career for good. King faced the notoriety (and memes) that his involvement with the festival caused and has come out on the other side with new career ventures, celebrity status, and a positive outlook on his future.

  1. Video is necessary: Video is no longer just the king of content; it is an integral part of online performance. Google puts videos at the top of the list on search and 90% of people now discover new brands on YouTube. Make sure your brand has a presence.
  2. The dos and don'ts of successful video: When it comes to video, keep these 6 rules in mind.
    1. DO grab attention in the first 3 seconds.
    2. DON’T have too many messages.
    3. DO know your audience.
    4. DON’T create visually distracting content.
    5. DO follow a clear structure and plan.
    6. DON’T forget the CTA.
  3. Start with a plan: No matter what you’re doing, always map out exactly what you’re trying to accomplish. Most of the hard work that comes with producing good content is done before the designer starts creating.
  4. Optimize your time: Create content in large batches, especially if you’re creating derivative content. It’s typically easier to spend a chunk of time creating the bulk of your monthly content that it is to create pieces as they are set to go live.
  5. Be platform sensitive: Always keep the platform you’re creating for in mind. For example, if you’re making a video, remember that IGTV is vertical and short, while YouTube is horizontal and home to longer content.


  1. When creating, start at the end: When planning your content, start by thinking about what you want your content to make your audience feel after they see it. Then work backward for ideas from there.
  2. Editing matters: When you’re creating a video, editing can be the difference between something that viewers scroll past and something that captivates them. Invest as much in your editing as you do in your conception and filming.
  3. Don’t discount LinkedIn: LinkedIn has plenty of opportunity for growth and because it’s often overlooked currently (especially for video), it’s a great place to begin sharing content that makes you stand out.
  4. Video doesn’t exist in a vacuum: Video performs well on its own, but it performs best when used with other pieces of content. Connect your videos to your content ecosystem – this could be with blog posts, social posts, or Stories – and you’ll see more success.

All in all, we had a GREAT time at Social Media Week, and can’t wait to put everything we’ve learned into practice. What advice do you find the most compelling from this list? Be sure to let us know.

Social Media Week Brand Video LinkedIn