The heart of historic Philadelphia saw a sudden spike in hashtags, selfie filters, and response gifs last week.

No, it wasn’t free hoagie day causing all the commotion (well, maybe some of it). But for the local marketing community, it was the excitement of Social Media Day Philadelphia 2017. 

Launched by Mashable in 2010, Social Media Day is a 24-hour global celebration of social media’s impact on communication. With Slice Communications hosting Social Media Day Philadelphia right in our backyard, members of Quattro’s team joined over 500 other marketers to hear from top minds and influencers in the industry (and of course, to share all the day’s excitement on our own social channels). 

If you missed out on Social Media Day this year, we highly recommend attending next year’s event. In the meantime, check out our top three takeaways from Social Media Day Philadelphia 2017: 

1. When it comes to content, prioritize relevancy over likes.

Ben Blakesley, social media marketing leader at Reebok, kicked off the first session of the day with a #truthbomb: Likes shouldn’t be your priority when posting on social media.

What should be your priority? Sharing content that provides value to your customer, regardless of whether it gains a ton of likes. That means posting one-off cute puppy videos and “Happy National [insert ridiculous holiday here] Day” graphics just for a boost in likes is a no-go, unless the content legitimately relates to your customers’ needs and ties back to your business goals.

Ben’s sentiment about the importance of aiming for relevancy over likes in social posts was perfectly captured by this tweet from the Social Media Day Philadelphia team:

2. Find ways around a small (or non-existent) social budget. 

Budgets for social media can vary largely between companies. But what if your organization doesn’t have a budget for it at all? The Nonprofit Panel session tackled this issue head-on. 

Carly Keeny, vice president of communication and public affairs at United Way GPSNJ, and Jennifer Leary, founder of Red Paw, highlighted the importance of allocating staff time towards social management and education (even if that just means training responders to take pictures while out in the field).

Kara Williamson, regional marketing manager for The American Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania, and Julia Pergolini, digital marketing and communications specialist at USGBC, described how social listening and online tools (many of which are low-cost or free) are key to building an engaged online community. 

Led by our own Ashley Wetherhold, director of content and engagement strategy here at Quattro, the eye-opening panel was a success. But we might be a little biased, so take it from another Social Media Day attendee instead:

PS: If you want the full scoop on nonprofits and social media, watch our Facebook Live recording of the panel here.

3. A killer social strategy can take your event above and beyond. 

While we don’t personally know the social media team behind Social Media Day Philadelphia, we give them major kudos for their online presence before, during, and after the event.

Long before Social Media Day, the @SMDayPHL account was exciting followers with countdowns and sneak peeks of what was to come. When the big day finally arrived, the account engaged with event attendees non-stop, with no shortage of retweets, replies, and reaction gifs tweeted throughout the day and beyond. 

The Social Media Day Philadelphia team’s social presence was a prime example of how proactive and strategic planning can add an extra level of interaction and excitement for event attendees, sponsors, and speakers. Just take a look at how the team responded when the designated event hashtag (used 1,026 times the day of the event alone) reached trending status:

Were you at Social Media Day Philadelphia 2017? Tell us about some of your favorite moments throughout the day on Twitter at @QuattroPhilly.