4 Things We Learned from SMW, Part 1
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Two weeks ago, a few of us from PBS Digital boarded the train headed for the Big Apple. Our mission: Learn all the insider secrets and best practices for the social media world of today.

So with our minds and notebooks ready to be filled, we went out and soaked in as much social media knowledge as we could in four days. 

1. Teach your readers about themselves. 
This is where quizzes come in. 

A vast array of news organizations said quizzes powered the resounding social media success they’ve experienced in recent years. Why? Because in an age where self-help books are plentiful and in ever-increasing demand, it’s clear we are hungry for a greater understanding of the self. 

Take, for instance, the New York Times quiz, “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.” This quiz, stating where you should live based on how you pronounce certain words, was their most popular piece of content in 2013. And did I mention it was created by an intern? You don’t have to be an expert to create viral content, you just have to understand that people share content that moves their heart, and not just their head.

2. Reward failure.
You hear failure, and the first thing that comes to mind is the buzzword du jour “fail forward.” Most of 

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Jonah Peretti cc license by 2.0

us have heard this hackneyed phrase so much in recent months, we are immune to its message. So let’s take it from a different angle. 

Jonah Peretti, CEO and founder of Buzzfeed gave the first day’s keynote. He spoke of Buzzfeed’s many principles, but the one that resonated most was his commitment to creating a culture where failure is rewarded. Summed up in a few sentences, Peretti said:

“Your best work is seen by most people, but when you mess up, not that many see your failed attempt. Embrace failure. Pause when something is successful. And learn from it.”

Check back on Friday for the third and fourth social media tips we learned from the conference.

By Brionne Griffin | Marketing Associate | PBS Digital

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Brionne Griffin is the Marketing Associate for the PBS SPI team and manages the SPI blog and the SPI Twitter account, in addition to helping stations with their digital product needs. She is a Texas Longhorn alum, hot sauce aficionado, and you can always count on her for a good banjo joke.