It’s like reverse Fight Club: the first rule of a social media conference is that you talk so much about that social media conference, on social media, the whole time you are there. So even though we missed the Social Media Week Conference in NYC last week, we were still able to pick up some real gems.

We spent a few hours Twitter lurking, and came up with 6 tasty scoops of social media knowledge for you from #SMWNYC:

#1. Likes and Followers aren’t everything:

So many of us still hang on to our Facebook Likes and Twitter Followers like they’re points on a scoreboard. But those totals don’t mean you’re winning.

Engagement tells you a little more — likes, retweets, etc. But the biggest thing is getting your followers to take an action: donate, volunteer, sign a petition, spread the word, vote, send you content, bake you some cookies….

Think of it this way: if someone is your follower, where are you leading her? And what does she do once she arrives?

If keeping track of the relevant metrics makes you dizzy (either from nerves or deep, true love), M+R’s Benchmarks Study has more than you could ever need. (PS – Benchmarks 2016 coming in April…stay tuned!)

#2 Mobile is life & limb:

Are millennials your target audience? Do they make up a portion of your list? Mobile is everything to them. Make sure your website, emails, tweets and Facebook posts are mobile-friendly. When you design images, remember your users are seeing it on a tiny screen. Avoid adding too much text to your image and too much text in your post.

#3 Social media is not like Pokemon:

Pokemon lore tells us we “gotta catch ‘em all”. But when it comes to social media – not so. You don’t have to be on ALL the social media networks to be successful. Pick the ones that feel true to your organization. If your people aren’t on Snapchat, then don’t worry about Snapchat.

And remember, when you start building a presence on a new social network, make sure you have the time, energy, and resources to devote to it to make it worthwhile! It’s worse to have a hollow feed than no feed at all.

#4 There are no excuses in social media land:

It’s easy to blame bad content on things outside of our control.

Common complaint A: “How am I supposed to tell a complex policy story in 140 characters?”

Like this…

350 manages to tell a story and include a call to action. Take note of how they use their real estate here. They include a link (where you can tell your story in longer form) and an image to help fill in the details.

Common complaint B: “We’re only allowed to use stock images so we can’t make anything look good.”

We know that stock images can be a drag. But we promise, cool, license-free photos are out there. Check out one of our favorite resources for stock photos that don’t suck.

Use your limits as a way to rethink the problem entirely. Use them as an excuse to get to the core of the story you’re trying to tell. Use them to get your audience’s attention and make them go, “Whoa that’s cool.”

#5 Don’t fight the internet:

The internet is a strange place with a culture and language of its own. Don’t fight the oddities – use them to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to be goofy sometimes and capitalize on current content trends. Feel like that image-share is missing something? Go ahead, #PutAPizzaOnIt.

#6 What’s next for social?

There’s nothing steady or timeless about social media. It’s changing constantly – make sure you’re staying flexible and adapting to changing times. A few more predictions and social media updates before we leave you:

Got more SMW info to share? #RuleNumberTwo is to keep talking about it: Tweet at us @MRCampaigns.