5 Must-Watch TED Talks for Social Media Marketers

ted talks social media

Our world – the world of social media marketers – is just as fast paced as SEO. We need to be adaptive. Quick on our feet. Swift thinkers.

Educational video series “TED” highlights the mantra, “ideas worth sharing.” Each “TED talk” features professionals in a wide variety of disciplines and fields. They give presentations and lectures, some demonstrations, and they inevitbly leave us in an enlightened state. While the topics of TED scatter across sciences, math, and history, I’ve gone through and hand-picked five TED talks for social media marketers. Below you’ll learn from Tim Leberecht, James Surowiecki, Seth Godin, Alexis Ohanian, and Alessandro Acquisti.

#1. 3 Ways to (Usefully) Lose Control of Your Brand

Sometimes successful marketing campaigns are about letting go. In this video, Tim Leberecht discusses the upside of letting go of a tight control grip on a brand’s reputation to allow for growth. Reputations are built on relevancy and on conversation that is free-flowing and organic. This presentation highlights this, while demonstrating how loss of control can help spread and grow brand values.

#2. The Power and the Danger of Online Crowds

Shared in 2005, this message is even more relevant today than it was back then. James Surowiecki goes in-depth by discussing the power of social media, the crowd mentality that discusses it and the way it can shape the world in his presentation, “The Power and the Danger of Online Crowds.” By understanding the perceived “turning point” in social media, social media marketers can use Surowiecki’s message to better reach mass audiences with a purpose.

#3. The Tribes We Lead

Marketing isn’t about a pre-set market that allows full control, not with the rise of social media. Seth Godin makes this clear by declaring the death of mass marketing and the rise of something more intrinsic to humans, social units from the past: tribes. He shows that social media marketers just need to be genuine, ordinary people that can lead in “The Tribes We Lead.”

#4. How to Make a Splash in Social Media

Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian uses a fictional story of a humpback whale’s rise to online superstardom to give lessons that apply to online marketers. He does so by using examples of successful memes, infographics and other marketing tools that can make or break a social media marketing campaign. If you sell the best mosquito killer – a product that I’m sure magnets like me love – the job of “marketing something that sells itself” requires a different approach on social networks. “How to Make a Splash in Social Media” will show you this approach precisely.

#5. Why Privacy Matters

With the rise of social media and the blurring of lines, especially in regards to privacy, many brands and marketers are left wondering what should be private, what should be public and how to make it all happen. Alessandro Acquisti discusses privacy in “Why Privacy Matters” based on facts and well-documented research. While some statistics are shocking, the overall premise of the talk is this: online, privacy still matters, even with the rise of public sharing and open communication. The ripples of social media are insanely powerful – we often take for granted what one measly post can set off, such as a viral sensation or a breach of privacy. For example, Olshan Law describes the necessity of privacy and copyright protection in a social media age, even offering a specific social media law section.

Brands and marketers alike must practice caution when sharing any piece of information, with serious thought being paid to possible after effects. As a social media marketer, this is more important now than ever before.

What’s your favorite TED talk for social media marketers?

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Jesse Aaron

I'm a blogger, homebrewer, and community manager. Aside from writing, I have a passion for music and design.

6 CommentsLeave a comment

  • their is this TED talk why is sex best ? ….. i know it sounds off topic but the concept he explains I think in the next big thing for Media marketers to target

    • Haha interesting…have you ever heard of the phrase “sex sells”? I wouldn’t think this is a great talk for social media marketers or marketers in general because it’s not really the “next big thing” – it’s been practically ingrained in marketing & advertising for the past 50 years. But if you have the link to that TED talk feel free to share it. Thanks for stopping by Jehan!

    • Nice find Jehan! Yea when you originally just said ‘why is sex best’ I was a little confused haha. But this one is definitely valuable to social media marketers – the map of 5 senses in design seems like something every marketer – and product managers – should print out.

  • Great collection, Jesse :)

    I do love Ted Talks. I don’t watch them very often, but the ones I have watched were really good and/or interesting.

    Maybe it’s because I do like public speaking. I used to fear it, but blogging gave me that confidence..every time I write a post, I imagine speaking it to an audience.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this! Appreciate it!

    • Thanks Jeevan! That’s a really cool way to approach blogging, I’ll have to try that. Public speaking classes are great as well, they kinda force you to get through being uncomfortable in front of people and by the end you can get up in front of a group and talk about anything you’d like no problem. I took a public speaking class in college and I used to be one of those people who turned red right away – by my 3rd presentation that stopped happening and I was a lot more comfortable.

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