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Randi Zuckerberg: The 10 most exciting trends in social media

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This morning at the annual LIMRA LOMA Social Media Conference for Financial Services, Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media (and sister to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg), shared her social media story.

In 2005, when her younger brother asked her to join his startup called Facebook  — as their marketing lead — Randi laughed, dismissing his requests close to a dozen times, saying she didn’t want to leave New York to go work for her brother’s “stupid little company,” as Randi called it.

But after a trip out to California to meet with her brother about it, her attitude changed. She could see the potential. “I was blown away,” she said. “Here were six guys, coding 24/7 and every decision was theirs — they owned it.”

Randi immediately moved to California to join what is now a social media giant valued at over $100 billion. While there, she learned what it is to be social as a company and how to market your abilities and service to the world. 

Through her experience with advertising in New York, marketing with Facebook and, now, her own media company, Randi shared the 10 most exciting trends she sees right now in the social media sphere.

All brands are media companies. If you have any type of company, you have a presence online — or should. Even Gatorade has their own social media mission control, reacting in real time, full-time. Another example is New York Life. The company weighs in on pop culture all the time — it doesn’t always have to be about insurance. 

Content is king. Randi reminded us it should be current, funny and relevant. “Look at Netflix and how they have original content now,” Randi said. “If you can empower your agents to comment in real time on popular news and trends and actually engage people around these topics, consumers will take note.” She used State Farm as an example, showing various agents’ Facebook feeds. “The more you can engage, the better,” she said. “Also, give practical tips through social media and share holiday-sensitive things. Sit down at the first of the year and make an editorial calendar. At this time of the year, your clients are thinking about X, and at this time, they’re thinking about Y. Plan it out.”

The age of the entre-ployee. “We have millennials entering the workforce and they’re very entrepreneurial,” she said, reminding us they have titles such as “social media manager.” She again used State Farm as an example, explaining how they harnessed the power of that generation by putting together a youth advisory board for their company.

Mobile converts. “People want to get everything within one click on their phone,” she said. “For instance, most of us know about [the car service mobile app] Uber. “But I didn’t know there was one of those for laundry and there’s also one for man servants. Also in California, they have one for marijuana delivery. So how do you give your clients what they need?” A few examples given to illustrate the mobile app wave among insueres were: The Liberty Mutual Home Gallery, the Geico Federal Leave app, MetLife Infinity and the Progressive Art app.

Give your customers and employees their 15 minutes of fame. “Everyone likes to show themselves off,” Randi said. “How can you capitalize on that? A lot of companies are showing ‘here are different agents, and their pets.’ Another thing to do is, if you’re getting a lot of good customer feedback, make it public. You guys are managing the most important things in people’s lives. Let people know how well you do it.”

Crowdsourcing. “Look at Friendsurance,” Randi said. “That’s the perfect example of a social insurance company.”

Community giving. “Look at Chase community giving,” Randi said. “Let your audience decide where your donations go. Think about how you can get more bang for your buck with this. With Citibank, when you sign up, $50 goes to the charity of your choice. Think about holiday campaigns around giving. The more you can show people that you stand for something, the better.”

Edu-tainment. How do we view online education? “You guys [as agents and advisors] are perfectly positioned to use online classes. But how can you do it in fun, interesting ways? Do it through a game or fun, interactive seminars. Have different experts come on. Consumers will have a deeper connection with your brand.

Gamification for motivation. The Nike+ app, for example. “When you’re about to go for a run, it sends that information to Facebook, and when someone likes it, you can hear a cheer in your earphones. There’s also gym shamer, an app that will send a note to your friends telling them when you don’t go to the gym. There’s also Northwestern Mutual’s longevity game. American Family Insurance has a game of life you can play. Think about how you can apply game mechanics to your outreach.”

Unplug to refresh. “It may seem weird that I’m up here telling you this, but it is important to unplug,” Randi said. “Whole business are being created around digital detoxing. No wifi at some hotels — pay extra!” 


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