Each year, the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference gives us more amazing and thought-provoking discussions from experts in a vast array of different fields.
From astrophysics, to evolutionary biology, to content marketing, many of the world's top minds have presented at least one TED talk at some point.
You can watch TED talks online, and for entrepreneurs, they can be a rich source of inspiration.
Thanks to a recent Hootsuite article that rounded up some of the best TED talks about social media marketing, we've listed three that really stood out to us and made us think.
Even if you don't do much marketing via social media for your business, the key takeaways from these three TED talks can be applied in many ways.
From taking the reigns of your brand's image, to how to make your content and ideas go viral, there's a lot of food for thought here.
Strategist and author Tim Leberecht opens his TED Talk with the quote “Your brand is what other people say about you when you aren’t in the room.”
He explains that brands need to come to terms with the fact that they have little power over their own reputation and “if you’re relevant, there’s a constant, free-form conversation happening about you that you have no control over.”
According to Leberecht, there are three ways businesses can positively lose control of their brands and create more meaningful experiences for their customers:
- Give people more control. This means trusting your employees and your customers to collaborate towards better solutions.
- Give people less control (and more meaning.) Trust is earned by predictable behavior, so this is a wonderful way to counter the abundance of choice customers face every day.
- Be transparent. Staying true to the brand’s self is the only true value proposition. As Leberecht says, “Openness is paramount but radical openness is not a solution.” He suggests each brand find the level of transparency that works for them.
If you want your audience to take action, you need to find a way to get your ideas to spread. Author Seth Godin walks audience members through a series of examples where seemingly simple concepts have spread like wildfire.
According to Godin, brands need to find a group that cares about what they have to say. Talk to them. And then make it easy for them to want to tell their friends.
As Godin says, “It’s really simple—you sell to the people who are listening, and just maybe, those people tell their friends.”
Nobody knows the answer to this better than YouTube’s trends manager, Kevin Allocca. If you’re a social media marketer looking to get your video content in front of a bigger audience, you’ll want to take note of Allocca’s three key reasons a video goes viral:
- The influence of tastemakers—The people who are influencing their audience and seen as authorities in the industry have huge power. For more on influencer marketing, check out our post Influencer Marketing on Social Media: Everything You Need to Know.
- Community participation—It’s key that your content inspires some sort of reaction from your audience. Read more about creating engaging content with our post How to Use Social Media to Engage With Customers and Build Your Brand.
- Unexpectedness—Branded content can get boring fast. Keep your audience engaged and constantly surprised by providing unexpected content on the regular. Learn more with our post How Big Brands Are Using Humor on Social Media (and Why You Should Too).
You can find four more intriguing, thought-provoking TED talks in the original article from Hootsuite.