7 lessons from Pro-Manchester’s Big Social Media conference

Lessons from Pro Manchester's Big Social Media Conference


This year’s Pro-Manchester Big Social Media Conference packed a whirlwind of insight into just one day, featuring speakers from as far afield as Canada and Sweden sharing their expertise on all things social media.


With sessions covering everything from Messenger bots and killer live video to augmented reality and influencer marketing, there was a lot to learn from the event, so in case you missed it, here are the seven social media lessons to take home.


  1. Don’t become Blockbuster The possibilities offered by virtual reality and augmented reality are shifting fast, so they might not be right for your audience just yet, but you need to be ready to react as adoption evolves. After all, look what happened when Blockbuster turned down the opportunity to buy Netflix. 45 million more people used Gatorade’s Superbowl AR Snapchat lens than watched the Superbowl, so the future’s not as far off as you might think!
  2. Content is not king when it comes to B2B sales on LinkedIn. Yes content is important, but your approach to prospecting is more crucial. Rather than launching in with a sales pitch, forge a real connection with prospects through a highly personalised introduction. Follow up with dialogue that taps into their interests, like sharing helpful resources or asking for their opinion on an industry trend, before asking to take the conversation offline to seal the deal.
  3. You can never be too niche on YouTube The quickest channel to reach 1 million subscribers just posts playback videos of a game featuring 2d circles on graph paper and there’s a whole community of people making videos about monoblock plastic garden chairs. Once you find your niche, stick to it – people love the reliability of a consistent format, and the most successful examples like Ted Talks have even spawned parodies gaining over 1.9 million views.



  1. Facebook ads are not unicorns Yes they offer the type of targeting options, trackable results and cost-efficiencies that traditional marketers can only dream about, but Facebook ads don’t have magical powers – they only work if the content is right. Instead of jumping straight into a sales message, use inspirational video content to drive intrigue then retarget with special offers or opportunities to access exclusive content to convert to sales.
  2. Influencers are a market research goldmine Influencers have a huge and highly engaged audience, so it’s natural that most brands’ first thought is to use them to drive sales. Fewer brands have realised influencers can also offer valuable insight into what their target market really By asking influencers to post interactive Instagram polls within their Stories, brands can quickly discover where their audience stands on a topic or trend.
  3. Going live? There’s an app for that While most of us realise that live video generates stronger engagement and shares than pre-recorded alternatives, fear of embarrassment or technical let-downs is still putting lots of brands off. Thankfully, there are now lots of apps and plugins that can help marketers overcome these hurdles. From techie tool Tripmode, which temporarily blocks any other apps from using your data capacity while you live-stream, to vocal warmup apps to get your delivery camera-ready, there’s no longer an excuse not to go live.
  4. The early bot gets the worm There’s a huge opportunity out there to gain great click-through rates from Facebook Messenger bots…but only if you act fast. Since few brands are currently using bots, early adopters are seeing results akin to the first days of email marketing, with an average open rate of 84.3% and click through rate of 28.3% for reported campaigns. As more brands rush to reap this opportunity, our inboxes will become more crowded and response rates will drop, so marketers need to act now to grab a slice of the pie.


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