Southern C Summit: Social Media Takeaways

This is my fourth event with The Southern C and third Summit. My first year I attended as a blogger, second year when I was launching Pinckney Palm and now moving into my second year.

Every single year I leave with a mind full of ideas and things to implement for my business and my clients. Best part of all though to me is the networking and connections. It's amazing how supportive this group of women (and some men!) is during and after the Summit is over.

How awesome is my mentor group?! I got to lead these ladies in a session on social media!

How awesome is my mentor group?! I got to lead these ladies in a session on social media!

So while I can't bring the networking piece of the Summit to my blog recap today, I thought I would bring you some SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIFIC learnings. 

1. There's no one-trick pony when it comes to social media. 

I heard this sentiment register throughout a few of the speakers' talks throughout the two days and I couldn't agree more.  

From left to right: Ashley Brooke,  Monica Lavin  and Stacey Smallwood. 

From left to right: Ashley Brooke, Monica Lavin and Stacey Smallwood. 

Stacy Smallwood from Hampden Clothing had two great takeaways to this point: Reaching 10K followers and getting the swipe up feature won't solve all your selling woes on Instagram. In fact, being as big as they are, Hampden maybe gets about 5 more sales a month from it.

And secondly, don't put all your eggs in one blogger's basket. Stacey's worked with the big bloggers who have over 1M followers and it didn't result in many sales - now, it DID result in an increased follower count. So just make sure you have realistic goals and also spread out your influencer marketing across multiple bloggers with different audiences!

One thing that does work AWESOME on social is engaging you guys. Respond and check your DMs (direct messages) and also respond to comments as soon as you can. Block 30 minutes when you want to post something - spend 10 minutes engaging with accounts you like before you post, spend 5 minutes (or less!) posting and then another 15 minutes engaging with accounts after you post. Instagram wants to see you active! You get what you put in. 

2. Know your brand and use social media as your own mini magazine. 

Elizabeth Mayhew from Draper James shared the bit about your own mini magazine and I LOVE it. It's easy to carelessly post things on social media - but would you do that if you were publishing a magazine? You have these awesome platforms to share your story and life, so make it yours specifically!

The rockstar speaker Elizabeth Mayhew from Draper James on the left and  Brian Hart Hoffman  on the right from Hoffman Media!

The rockstar speaker Elizabeth Mayhew from Draper James on the left and Brian Hart Hoffman on the right from Hoffman Media!

She went on to talk about brand pillars, your voice, photography and "finding your promise". Do you have these things clearly defined for your brand?

For example, Draper James is People, Places and Parties - NOT Entertaining, they don't entertain. That takes time and planning and can feel stuffy vs. a party is effortless and fun. See how specific that voice is? It's a great lens to use for all their social media posts (think "we are" and "we aren't). 

As for photography, write out your story FIRST and then take the photos. Can I get an AMEN?! We push this every month to our clients by writing out a monthly content plan that starts with copy first and then we fit the photoshoots and photos to. 

This all goes into creating your perfect mini-magazine on social and really connecting with people so the engage with your brand. 

PS: The magazine editors all said even though you're excited about your new projects, don't put them on social media if you want them to be published. Wait until you get a "no" or they run. 

3. Be a storyteller on social media. 

Storytelling lends itself well to #2, but I had to double down here after hearing so many people say that they want to hear your story on social.

Kim Alexander of Garden and Gun and Jennifer Condon of Elle Decor, House Beautiful and Veranda both mentioned that they don't want you using social media to pitch them. Stop tagging their accounts in photos (keep using #s, but not tags), it's just annoying. Instead, share your vision, your story and the stories behind the photos. That's what they need for digital and print - stories. So share yours!

This means getting in front of the camera y'all. You may be very uncomfortable with it, but find a photographer you jive with and just do it. Ashley Brooke emphasized this when she spoke and how it helped take her stationary brand to an entire lifestyle blog and company. 


I love how Elizabeth Mayhew also said, "...hone down on your heritage!" That's a great place to start to tell your story. Also check out our client Christine Trant who has an awesome resource she delivers to your inbox each month full of content prompts!

4. People need to see something 3 times before they buy. 

Another thing I was like, "AMEN!", to when it was said not once, but twice during the Summit. Social media is for brand awareness, not for sales y'all. And if you want to make sales from it, you have to be present and share your message at least three times. 

How gorgeous is this  Vietri  tablescape?!

How gorgeous is this Vietri tablescape?!

Also make sure that what you're sharing on social blends into your other marketing avenues. Be "omnichannel" (a word also mentioned twice). 

Finally, on this one, remember that it takes people longer to catch on than you think. You should almost be bored of your message and content internally - but that's when people outside your brand are finally catching on. 

Those are the big 4 buckets I gathered from the Summit when it comes to social media!

Sign by  Grace Graffitti  and stage by  The Mine

Sign by Grace Graffitti and stage by The Mine

Ok one last thing - I can't tell you guys how awesome a speaker Elizabeth Mayhew from Draper James was! Here are some closing snippets from her that I just love!

"I always said 'Yes, and...'" (on how she's moved up and has gotten the chance to work with so many cool brands)

"Hire people who want your job - they work hard"

"Draper James lives by the 4 Cs: Content, Commerce, Community, Celebrity"

"Turn Someday into Today"

So good right?! It was such a great experience, you guys. Let me know if you have any questions or want me to expand on any of the above!



Erin Phillips