IMG_9359I’m officially on the ground, hot pink cowboy boots and all, here at #SXSW. Throughout my career as a digital strategist I’ve watched the happenings from afar via Twitter trolling and refreshing live blogs. So it’s invigorating to experience it all first-hand as a complete Interactive festival newbie.

My app is filled to the brim and tripled-booked with fascinating sessions. I’m particularly looking forward to Southbites and SXstyle, which take a deep dive into the convergence of technology with food and fashion, respectively.

Kicking off Day One, I headed downtown for a content marketing panel, “Simple Ways to Massively Increase Your Content.” The panel provided ideas for managing high-volume content across social channels, particularly during high-profile cultural events.

Here are my top five takeaways from the panel discussion:

  1. Remove viral from your vocabulary. Content should first and foremost be useful (click to tweet).
    This is a great gut-check when we’re tasked to create high-impact content on behalf of our clients. Remember to keep your end goal in sight before you jump into the creative.
  1. We’re not only contending for social feed space against business competitors, we’re competing against our customers’ closest friends and family.
    Another proof-point for relevant, helpful content. If you’re posting things on social and no one engages with it, you’re just wasting your time.
  1. Stay on top of algorithmic changes and use it to your advantage to bubble-up in the coveted news feed.
    Don’t hate the player, hate the game. It can be daunting, but adjust or overhaul your social content strategy as platforms change. In fact, as a best practice, schedule regular check-ins to reevaluate your strategy to be ahead of the curve.
  1. Your fans and followers don’t care where your content is sourced from. They just want good content.
    Don’t be afraid to source and aggregate user-generated content. Just make sure to vet content and source appropriately.
  1. Surround your audience.
    Especially during major events, online chatter is everywhere. Figure out where your audience spends their time online and focus your efforts there. Don’t forget to leverage the influence of others (spokespersons, celebrities, athletes, etc.) on channels that may be a lower priority to your brand. Holistically own the coversation.

Check out the latest SXSW commentary from Ketchum on our website’s social hub.

Ally Mann is a Digital Strategist with a focus on Community Engagement at Ketchum New York. She collects shoes and stamps on her passport, chronicling her wish lists on Pinterest. You can follow her on Twitter at @allymann.