Top Takeaways from Ragan’s Social Media Conference

Check out thoughts from experts on AI, Intelligence Augmentation and the fate of TikTok.

Credit: Hayley Brodeur via LinkedIn

Hundreds of communications pros gathered at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida last week to gain deeper insights into the latest trends in social media and the tools that will help guide the path forward.

From the need to rethink our relationship with AI to the best ways to keep your messaging on track in a more deeply politicized climate, there are many things comms pros need to factor into creating effective strategies.

But that also means there’s room for creative solutions as well.

“It’s not AI, but IA — intelligence automation,” said author and opening keynoter Andrew Davis  “If we think of AI as a collaborator and not a tool, we can get a lot of more out of it.”

Whether you joined us for some fun in the Florida sun or not, here are some of the biggest lessons we learned last week.

AI and Automation

  • AI is a powerful tool, and if you use it correctly, you can even employ it to root out disinformation.
  • When you’re automating processes in communication, overcommunicate and overcollaborate to ensure you’re getting things right.
  • There are ways to ethically use AI in messaging and counter-messaging. You are the safeguard for your company’s AI ethics as a human being.
  • “A lot of people are scared of the term ‘AI,’ but it’s already in the tools we use every day,” said Allison Waken, Sr. Manager, Influencer Marketing, University of Phoenix.

Branding, Content and Platforms

  • We relate to brands the same way we relate to people. Create content as if you’re speaking to someone specific. That’s your audience.
  • Listen to the sentiment and the conversations to understand what the true representation of your audience and your brand is within your organization. Then you can advise stakeholders accordingly.
  • You need the full spectrum of in-house content and user-generated content to tell a complete brand story on social media.
  • For brands that require education, explainers and edutainment can help reaffirm brand values. They help communicators connect with consumers and keep viewers watching.
  • In the chaos of an election year, remember to stick to your brand values. People don’t like surprises. When you contradict your values, people are going to talk about you, and it might not be in the most positive fashion. Your mission and values should be your north star.
  • If you’ve had success on TikTok, journalist and podcast host V Spehar said now is the time to continue to invest in the platform. Any potential ban that gets approved may be five years off due to litigation. “This is not something you need to abandon right now because this is not something that’s going to go away by September.”


  • Listen to the sentiment and the conversations being had to understand what true representation of your audience and your brand is within your organization. Then you can advise stakeholders accordingly.
  • Celebrating people from different backgrounds isn’t just a month-to-month moment, it’s year-round. It’s all the time.

Sean Devlin is an editor at Ragan Communications. In his spare time he enjoys Philly sports and hosting trivia.

COMMENT Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from directly in your inbox.