When given the opportunity to attend Canada’s largest social media conference, what else could we do but double tap, pack our bags and head over to Victoria to rub shoulders with elite industry leaders (including our very own Times Colonist team)?

The Victoria Times Colonist is a staple on the island, both in print and online. Pair that with our ever-growing team of digital marketing experts at GMD, and we’ve cracked the code to providing superior digital marketing services to the Vancouver Island market. And we’re out to tell the world – well, at least the crowd at Social Media Camp 2019.

So what did we learn sitting in a room filled with peers, mentors and people just generally interested in the ever-evolving beast we call social media?

  1. We’re ahead of the curve at GMD
  2. Digital marketing is evolving every day

Among the most interesting of the speakers was Tod Maffin, a Vancouver-based digital marketing strategist. He boldly brought out the U.S. Airforce Crisis Management Guide and applied it to managing social engagement, and it totally makes sense.

Social media is more than putting your message out into the world – it’s having a conversation. And these conversations may not always be sunshine and rainbows.

A key element of our Social Pro package is engagement; monitoring comments, likes and messages, and responding in a tone that matches the brand AND the user. Todd identifies matching tone as a highly effective method. Sarcastic comment? Right back at ya. Dry and to the point? You guessed it, saltine response.

Engagement is a key factor in social media success that should not be overlooked. It builds trust and authenticity with your audiences – no small feat.

We ended on a high note with a closing Keynote from Facebook guru Mari Smith herself. Often referred to as the ‘Queen of Facebook’ we were all ears to hear her inside knowledge about where the platform is going, what changes to expect and the ‘Mari Method’ to Facebook advertising (spoiler alert, we’re already doing it).

It’s no secret that Mark Zuckerberg has intentions of bringing Facebook back to its original purpose: to connect people and facilitate conversation. Think stories (another blog topic altogether), groups and (yet another) massive algorithm change. But what does this mean for us digital marketers?

We have to be ready to adapt.

To be successful, we need an understanding of our audiences, our platforms and our messages, plus we need to be ready and willing to adapt to industry changes.

The GMD team is fondly referred to as a collection of ‘Swiss Army Knives’ or ‘Unicorns’, meaning that we have strength in our diversity of skills and knowledge. An awfully good spot for a team to be in when the digital landscape is changing every day, don’t you think?

Our GMD team is agile, motivated and growing. We can’t wait to take on the future of digital marketing – full speed ahead.