Rookie to Rockstar: Thriving in the Socialverse

Vanipriya Moorthi

September 26, 202312 min read

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Imagine you're in the heart of a bustling city, surrounded by billboards, neon signs and people talking all around you. Well, that's pretty much what the internet feels like these days, right? It’s a jarring mix of tweets, posts and snaps, all vying for your attention. 

But there's a lot more to this digital cityscape than meets the eye. 

Enter the second episode of "Socialverse" by Sprinklr, the digital compass we all desperately need to navigate the ever-evolving world of social media. 

If the first episode felt like a captivating map that revealed the uncharted territories of the social media realm, think of the second episode as your personal guidebook that shows you how to navigate the wild, wild web. It's your exclusive access pass to understanding how to not just survive but thrive amidst the five major disruptions that social media has unleashed upon us.

For starters, here's a nugget of wisdom from Jay Baer that perfectly summed up how to thrive in the Socialverse:

"The hot new thing is doing today's thing better." 

So, whether you're a brand looking to conquer social media, a content creator seeking inspiration or just a curious soul trying to make sense of it all, this is your open invitation to dive into the depths of social media's unknowns.  

It's time to gain the practical insights you sorely needed from industry leaders. Jay Baer, Mari Smith, Anne Handley, Brian Camen, Mai Cheblak, Kelsey Chickering, and our very own Ragy Thomas are here to help you turn disruptions into remarkable opportunities in the Socialverse.

Now, let’s get the show on the road and start discovering what episode 2 of Socialverse was all about, shall we?

Table of Contents

Leveraging artificial intelligence in the Socialverse

Welcome to world of AI (your first stop) in the Socialverse!

Here, you will understand the burning need for AI literacy and explore why it's the key to unlocking the true potential of social media.  

We'll also find out how brands can shine in the age of GenAI (generative AI) by adapting to this tech-savvy generation. Plus, we'll unravel the secrets to getting social selling right, showcasing how AI can be a game-changer in connecting with your audience.  

With that, your trip through the thrilling possibilities of AI in the social media landscape begins!

Why AI literacy matters for marketers 

A recent survey showed that over 53% of marketers view generative AI as a game-changing technology. These folks believe that leveraging GenAI can potentially save them around five hours of work each week. Just imagine the possibilities for your marketing team if they could reclaim that valuable amount of time and effort! 

As Jay Baer aptly pointed out, we're stepping into an AI era where the traditional skill set for crafting content is shifting. Teams might require fewer content creation skills but having someone proficient in harnessing AI's capabilities across various formats, like photos, text, and videos, is vital. 

“You need an AI prompt engineer to be able to figure out how to get the most out of the AI tools,” he added.  

However, not everyone has fully integrated AI into their daily work routines. For those marketers and social media experts who might feel a bit wary of AI, Ann Handley offered a straightforward piece of advice:

“The best way to understand how AI can help you is just to run straight at it.” 

Ann urges professionals to increase their AI literacy and understand how it can benefit their work. Anyone can achieve this by actively exploring the relevant tools and resources that are available in the market today. 

Because here's the deal: The more you understand AI as a marketing professional, the better you can contribute to your company's social media efforts.

How can brands stand out in the age of GenAI

As we all know, brands have been jumping on the AI bandwagon like Olympic athletes. It hasn't been long since brands got their hands on this kind of AI power for their daily business routines. 

Yet, for brands aiming to set themselves apart with their content, the key lies in knowing how to use AI effectively. Instead of solely relying on AI to create content, Jay believes its strength lies in being a brainstorming partner. 

So, he recommends brands to leverage AI to accelerate, enhance and optimize the creativity and strategic thinking of their teams.

Jay Baer highlights on social media how AI makes the strategist the king.

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Ragy Thomas made a compelling point that AI is not a fad. He laid out three distinct approaches for brands that are exploring AI:

  • The surface-level approach: Some treat AI as a fleeting fad, merely integrating it at a superficial level.

  • The product-centric approach: Others grasp its significance, creating AI-driven products to meet specific needs.

  • The holistic approach: Ragy, however, strongly advocates for the third way — fully embedding AI into the core of your business, strategy and everyday operations.

In Ragy’s words:

"Bake AI into everything you do."

This approach signifies a deep and enduring commitment to leveraging AI for its transformative potential.

How can brands get social selling right

Ever wondered why some businesses seem to have the Midas touch when it comes to sales opportunities?  

Well, here's the scoop: According to LinkedIn Sales Solutions' own data, the leaders in social selling are creating a whopping 45% more sales opportunities than those who aren't hitting the mark. 

Social selling isn't just about sealing the deal, it's about forging those genuine connections that naturally lead to successful sales. 

Ann Handley emphasized a crucial point for brands looking to succeed on social selling:  

“Remember that the roots of social media are around being social.” 

While this may sound like a fundamental concept, it's easy to get lost in the sea of tools and tactics. Even when brands embrace the efficiency that AI and advanced tools bring, it's equally vital for them not to forsake the human element when engaging on social media.

Ann Handley shares her perspective on having a writer in the age of AI content.

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And Ragy Thomas beautifully reminded us of how we're circling back to the roots of communication — genuine human connection. He painted a cozy picture of simpler times, where folks gathered around a fire pit, engrossed in real conversations, focused on each other and simply being social. 

Now, fast-forward to today's digital world. Ragy believes we can recapture that magic — like the corner store shopkeeper who knew your mom's list of groceries and if she complained about a bad batch of eggs, they'd not only replace them but also chat about the freshest milk.

In Ragy's view, social media's evolution offers a chance to turn every interaction into a meaningful conversation. Brands just need to make the most of the incredible power of these dialogues to bring them closer to their audiences. 

And with the fusion of social media and AI, Ragy envisions a future where brands can reimagine the art of building meaningful connections with its people. 

Successful social selling isn't just about automation, it's about using these tools to facilitate and enhance genuine interactions with your audience. In this age of AI, authenticity remains the key to making a lasting impact. So, as you embrace the possibilities of AI, remember that at the heart of social media, it's the "social" aspect that truly drives connection and engagement.

Improving content strategy in the Socialverse

For this part of the episode, prepare to immerse yourself in the power of storytelling — discovering how it can not only breathe life into your brand but also drive sales to new heights. But that's just the beginning. You’ll also venture into the art of engaging with your online audience and navigating the vast realm of social media channels to create genuine connections.  

These two pillars of content strategy are your gateway to thriving in the dynamic landscape of the Socialverse. Now, let's kick it up a notch and get into the heart of the matter to uncover the insights that can transform your brand’s presence on social media. 

How can brands use storytelling to improve sales  

Meta is vocal about how it prioritizes content that is “meaningful and informative.” So, what does that mean, exactly? 

To thrive in the Socialverse, you need to create content that resembles what people typically see from their friends and family on their feeds. 

Mari Smith's POV on enhancing content strategy boils down to this:  

“Whether you're in the B2B or B2C space, remember that it's ultimately P2P — people to people. It's not about being overly involved in their lives but rather showing empathy, compassion and understanding for your audience's challenges and concerns.” 

A brand’s content should tell stories, take audiences on an emotional journey and demonstrate that you genuinely know them on a personal, human level. 

The benefits of crafting and telling compelling narratives are endless: A study by the Brandshop revealed that 92% of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story and 68% of consumers say that brand stories influence their purchasing decisions. 

For Ann Handley, storytelling isn't just a marketing tactic; it's a way for brands to connect with their audience on a deep emotional level. When you tell stories that resonate with the hearts and minds of your target audience, they are more likely to turn to your brand when they need what you offer. It's an impactful approach because, in the end, effective storytelling leads to sales. 

Mai Cheblak shed light on her unique approach to social media strategy.  

Instead of considering Emirates NBD’s social platforms as mere extensions of their website, showcasing products like other banks, Mai emphasized the importance of crafting a distinct brand identity. For Emirates NBD, it's about shaping its social media presence to embody the brand's persona and voice. As its audience seeks more than just product information, it looks to connect and relate with what the brand represents, which makes it all the more important to have a compelling and authentic online brand identity.

How can brands successfully engage with customers online 

In a world where consumers have access to more information than ever before, authenticity has become a valuable currency. 

Brian Camen spoke about the significance of authenticity in online brand communication with the example of Laffy Taffy, a beloved brand known for its jokes. To engage consumers effectively, it ventured into the world of NFTs, creating 120 unique NFTs and retiring jokes, which offered customers the chance to own their jokes digitally. How cool is that?

Laffy Taffy's candy wrapper featuring a joke that it has retired.

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To truly connect with your audience in the Socialverse, Kelsey Chickering stressed the need for a consumer-first approach. This involves crafting a thoughtful communication strategy that starts with a deep understanding of your target audience — getting to know them, where they are spending time and what motivates them. These insights form the bedrock for determining the right social media platforms to engage on and shaping your approach to resonate genuinely with your consumers.

Embracing the creator economy in the Socialverse 

The rise of creators as influential content producers has disrupted conventional forms of marketing. Audiences are drawn to the authenticity and relatability of creators, making collaborations with them an invaluable strategy for brands. 

However, the question remains: How can brands harness this content to connect with audiences and cultivate fuller customer relationships? 

Jay Baer offered valuable guidance to brands that are seeking success in creator collaboration.  

His advice revolved around building relationships with a select group of creators and influencers. Rather than pursuing fleeting partnerships, focus on those you genuinely admire and who reciprocate the sentiment, and collaborate with them over a long term.  

The goal is to build genuine connections that consumers see as trustworthy endorsements. 

Jay Baer also stated a compelling observation:

“Sometimes the best people to influence in social about your product and service actually work inside your own company — your employee influencers. So, do not underestimate their potential.”

To thrive in today's creator-driven landscape, a multifaceted strategy becomes a necessity. 

Beyond the surface-level tactics, like hashtag ads and promoted posts, there's a vast array of opportunities to connect with creators. Kelsey Chickering pointed out the usage of diverse approaches, such as ambassador programs and affiliate partnerships.  

Furthermore, she delved deeper into the possibilities of using product placement and collaborative projects as effective ways to engage with creators. 

Kelsey advised brands to broaden their horizons when it comes to collaborating with creators and to view partnerships through the consumer's perspective. Seeking out creators and communities your audience already follows and adores is a smart move. 

In Mari Smith's words:

“Content is king, but community is queen, and she rules the house.”

Yet, Kelsey also acknowledged that building collaboration and trust can be challenging for some brands, as relinquishing control is essential. To navigate this, she recommends carefully selecting creators, understanding them thoroughly and fostering long-term partnerships for fruitful results.  

“Over-directing and over-scripting are probably the biggest pitfalls that we see with brands when they're working with creators. So, brands need to let that go,” she emphasized.

Thriving without being overwhelmed in the Socialverse 

Jay Baer reminded us that even though there are tons of exciting new things happening in the world of social media, we shouldn't just keep adding more and more tasks to our already busy schedules. 

Instead, it's better to choose wisely and focus on the things that really matter. Quality beats quantity, and it's important to define clear, shared metrics within your organization. According to Jay, by knowing exactly what you're trying to achieve and measuring success based on those specific numbers, you can keep things focused and prevent unnecessary distractions. 

So, how do you navigate and thrive in the Socialverse? It goes back to really dealing with every disruption in a holistic, strategic manner. 

To manage the growing number of channels, consolidate your data. To handle the abundance of data, practice active listening and employ AI to grasp intent, identify trends and spot opportunities for innovation, cost-saving and differentiation. 

“When you start listening, not just to conversations about you, but about what matters to you, it changes the game,” said Ragy.  

Brands can achieve remarkable results by ethically using unstructured public digital data with a strong focus on privacy and the well-being of consumers. 

Mari suggested that brands should consider appointing a chief listening officer (CLO) to stay attuned to what their audience is saying and make more informed decisions. 

With the multitude of tools available today, businesses of all sizes can gain deep insights into audience sentiments, whether their audience comprises followers or not. Brands can actively monitor discussions related to their products, services, customer experiences and even competitors.  

By maintaining this close connection, brands can foster empathy and compassion — two essential qualities for effective engagement in the ever-evolving landscape of social media.

The final take

And with that, we have reached a milestone on your journey! 

From the strategies to succeed in the creator economy to the intricacies of leveraging AI, we've explored all the major growth levers for brands to not just survive but truly thrive in the ever-evolving realm of the Socialverse. 

You can also check out our Socialverse episodes on demand here to hear it from the horses’ mouths.

Watch now!

Remember, it's not just about adapting to the changes but embracing them. As you move forward, Sprinklr will continue to offer more social media insights and expert knowledge to equip you with all the tools you need to navigate the social media landscape.  

So, stay tuned for more exciting content because the world of social media never stops evolving, and neither do we. Together, we'll continue to discover, innovate and find new ways to conquer digital challenges and seize the opportunities that the Socialverse has to offer.

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