TED Talks feature experts in a variety of niches, sharing critical information. These talks are an excellent way to get new ideas, learn best practices, and fine-tune existing strategies. If you are a social media marketer, you can use these talks to make your ideas spread like wildfire, understand the art of viral videos, and create a better work-life balance.
Check out some TED Talks that will help you be more productive in the office and inspire your work.
1. How Better Tech Could Protect Us from Distraction – Tristan Harris
Technology is usually considered a distraction in itself, but Tristan Harris turns that idea on its head in How Better Tech Could Protect Us from Distraction. His talk focuses on technology that puts the power back in people’s hands. If people get to choose how to spend time with their technology, they can actually free themselves from distractions.
As social media marketers, we can all relate to the constant distractions pulling us in a million directions. This talk provides some great ideas to help you be less distracted and implement methods to help you focus.
He specificity talks about wanting designers to focus on net positive contributions when designing technology. Technology needs to benefit human life instead of creating distractions, and it’s possible if that’s the focus during the design process.
This isn’t just true in the technological world. As a digital marketer, that also needs to be your focus. How does your marketing content improve lives? Provide a net positive contribution to the human experience with each piece of content you share.
2. 3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand – Tim Leberecht
Most social media marketers want to keep a vice-like grip on their brands. They want to be in control of everything people think and say about their brands, but it’s just not possible. Relevant brands create lots of conversations around them, and you cannot possibly control that. Strategist and author Tim Leberecht encourages people to lose control of their brands in a positive way in his TED Talk 3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand.
How do you accomplish that? Put some control in customers’ and employees’ hands. Let them collaborate with one another to find the best solutions. At the same time, remove some of the control by reducing the number of choices they have. In other words, be predictable in your offerings.
Finally, be transparent. That doesn’t mean you have to be an open book. Instead, you need to find the level of openness that makes sense for your brand, and then ensure that you maintain that level of openness each and every day.
3. How to Get Your Ideas to Spread – Seth Godin
You want your audience to take some sort of action, but in order for that to happen, your ideas need to gain traction and spread. In How to Get your Ideas to Spread, Seth Godin explains how to make that happen.
Each brand has a group that cares about what it has to say. Godin explains that it’s your job to find that group, and then you need to talk to them in a way that makes it easy for them to spread your ideas. This isn’t a difficult concept, but it’s one you can benefit from as a social media marketer.
4. Adventures in Twitter Fiction – Andrew Fitzgerald
Media and content sharing have changed a lot over the years, and no one understands that better than Andrew Fitzgerald. He used to be the Twitter Moments editor, and now, he serves as the chief digital content officer for Hearst Magazine. In Adventures in Twitter Fiction, he explains how brands can tell their stories on various platforms. He focuses on the importance of real-time storytelling across multiple channels.
He explains the art of storytelling in an inspiring way and invites you to explore the blurred lines between reality between fact and fiction, and real and digital worlds. As a social media marketer, this talk should be at the top of your list.
5. How to Gain Control of Your Free Time – Laura Vanderkam
Social media marketers don’t tend to have a lot of free time. It seems like you are constantly staring at the computer screen or looking at metrics, and it’s hard to find time to come up for air.
According to time management expert Laura Vanderkam, you can change that. She discusses the importance of determining your priorities in her TED Talk, How to Gain Control of Your Free Time. You might not be able to add more time to the day, but you can shift your priorities and end up with some free time.
Vanderkam focuses on the work-life balance. With that focus, she helps people make time for the things that matter. Of course, you have to find out what matters the most to accomplish that, and she has a special formula for doing that.
First, she asks you to think ahead to one year in the future and write a performance review for the past year. As you write the review, you will go over your accomplishments. Then, you will have a better idea of what success looks like in your eyes.
Then, take the goals you have and break them down into manageable steps. Create goals for your career, self-improvement, and relationship. Then, find time to work on goals in each category.
If you can manage your time better, you will have a much more powerful social media marketing career. You will be able to focus on the tasks at all, all the while knowing you will also have time in the day to enjoy yourself.
6. Why Videos Go Viral – Kevin Allocca
As YouTube’s trends manager, Kevin Allocca spends his career analyzing why videos go viral. That means you’ll get lots of great information in his TED Talk, Why Videos Go Viral. You want your videos to take off and spread, so this talk is essential.
According to Allocca, videos go viral for three reasons. First, they go viral because of influencers. Tastemakers and other influencers make videos spread like wildfire.
They also go viral due to community participation. When videos elicit some sort of reaction, they are more likely to go viral.
Finally, videos go viral because of unexpectedness. If all of your videos are the same, they’ll get boring fast. If you provide unexpected content on a regular basis, your videos are more likely to go viral.
7. The Nit-Picking Glory of The New Yorker’s Comma Queen – Mary Norris
One little typo can seriously damage your social media marketing campaign. You can become a laughingstock quickly if you simply get a letter out of place. Mary Norris, a copy editor for The New Yorker, knows just how important proper grammar and punctuation is, and she’s here to help with her TED Talk, The Nit-Picking Glory of The New Yorker’s Comma Queen.
This talk focuses on the importance of proper copy editing. Copy editors must follow a certain process, and she explains it in detail.
You’ll want to listen to this one so you’ll understand how to handle this task without all of the stress. You know a lot hangs on the balance when you send out a tweet or a Facebook post, but you also need to learn how to make peace with what you do. This talk will help.
Almost anyone can gain valuable information from a TED Talk. Check out these TED Talks first, but then keep exploring. You will quickly realize there are countless valuable TED Talks out there, just waiting to be consumed by social media marketers such as yourself.