5 Business & Life Lessons from Beaches Social Media on the Sand #BeachesMoms

social media on the sand

This time last week I had just gotten to the breathtaking island of Turks and Caicos. The 5th annual Beaches Social Media on the Sand took place and this was my third time attending. And while this was my first time attending without my family, this was probably my most memorable one in terms of content. Maybe it’s because I’m at a place where I’m a lot hungrier for answers and insight. Maybe it’s because I didn’t have to focus on anyone but myself.

At any rate, I got so many awesomely amazing nuggets from this year’s conference. I almost didn’t attend, but God knew what I needed. And I’m so happy that I made it!

Any time I have the opportunity to learn more about the everchanging world of social media, I hop on it! And when it’s in a tropical location like Beaches? It’s a must!

Business and life lessons learned from Beaches Social Media on the Sand 2019

Social media on the sand 2019

Your gut is more powerful than anyone else’s advice

How often have you been in a situation where you said “I should’ve done X” or “I wish I hadn’t done X”? We have all been there. These words shared in the kickoff session of the conference with Debbie Ann White (SVP of Public Relations and Promotions at Unique Vacations, Inc. (UVI), an affiliate of the worldwide representatives for Sandals Resorts International) was a common theme throughout the weekend.

Debbie talked about how we as women have so much power. Sometimes we just need to trust ourselves more, lean on each other and lift each other up as we go.

Trusting our intuition is so important when it comes to life in general, and definitely in business. Jamie Kern Lima (Founder of IT Cosmetics) talked about this in great detail. It was so good, it needs its own post, so that’s coming.

DebbieAnn White Beaches social media on the sand 2019

Go above and beyond for your customers & they will keep coming back

This hit home for me as we listened to Adam Stewart (Deputy Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, the company founded by his father, Gordon “Butch” Stewart) tell the story of a family business that started from scratch and is not The Beaches and Sandals brands. He shared with us how it is very little they can’t do for their guests. They take guest feedback very seriously.

The Beaches brand cares enough about guest experiences that they became the very first company to train an entire organization on autism. They made sure to create a place where EVERY family can come and enjoy a nice vacation without having to worry about dietary restrictions.

Having peace of mind is what they want everyone to have. What’s their mission? To have the absolute best and purest vacation destination and experience for their guests. And they are clearly doing something right with a 45% return customer rate annually!

This conversation made me think about my own business and how I can create an experience for my clients to keep them coming back?

Adam Stewart - Beaches Resorts

Talk to your customers. Point. Blank. Periodt!

Loved hearing from Rebecca Minkoff again this year. I love that she is real and honest. She shared how she was using social media 15 years ago before it was “a thing.” She had other brands looking at her crazy and telling her she wasn’t supposed to be interacting directly with her customers. 👀

Yeah, well look at where that’s gotten her! lol

Rebecca shared that her business is here because of social media. So much so, that she is currently writing her own captions for Instagram. Why? Because she got tired of the sales pitchy copy crap that the hired copy editors were pushing out. She said that she knows how to talk to her customers and that’s exactly what she’s doing.

I loved how she shared the importance of video marketing, and how the future of video is on the rise. What we will see in the near future is the ability to shop via video.

Beaches social media on the sand 2019

The Future of Community & Instagram Stories is Strong!

We also got to hear from Shannon Levis, who is a Client Solutions Manager at Facebook. She talked about the future of community building. Thanks to mobile there are new ways every day that change the way we communicate on social media around the world. Our kids are growing up in a mobile-first world. So we have to be able to adapt.

Get this: 28% of Millenials are smartphone-only (meaning they don’t have any laptop or desktop computers to take in content). 55% of Gen Z spend more than 5 hours a day on a mobile device.

Shannon shared the importance of using Instagram stories to build community. She shared the difference between stories and photos/videos on the feed.

Here are a few stats regarding Instagram stories she shared and the top 5 types of content people prefer to see:

  • Personal updates (72%)
  • Selfies (60%)
  • Food (54%)
  • Photo/video with music in the background (51%)
  • Music (49%)

She said to think of your stories as “how you’re thinking” and your feed as “how you want your content remembered.”

Get out of your own way cause video is here to stay!

Seriously, I’m so glad I’ve been working through my video fears since 2016 when Periscope first came on the scene. While how we share video on social media is changing daily, the fact remains that it will continue to grow.

It’s no secret that video marketing is huge and will only continue to be an integral part of life as we know it. And if you own a business, it needs to now be non-negotiable.

Google’s Global Business Manager, Courtney Heimlich was there to give us the scoop on what we can expect to see. She talked about the power of storytelling when it comes to video content.

Get THIS: Globally, by 2021, 82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video. Let that sink in for a second.

It’s crazy how she gave this confirmation when just a couple of days earlier, I posted a poll for a video challenge to happen in my Social Scoop Facebook group. We are totally starting this on November 1st! Even through my weekly #FLYMomChat on Facebook, I’ve learned that I need to get out of my own way (and sometimes out of my own head).

There were totally some more nuggets learned over the course of these few days spent in the Caribbean. But both Jamie Kern Lima and Daymond John really do need their own posts. So stay tuned for those.

In the meantime, be sure to follow #BeachesResorts and #SocialMediaOnTheSand on social media for all of the latest updates.

Photo credit: Laura Dee for Beaches Resorts.


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  • Tandra-Thriller Mom
    October 25, 2019 at 8:39 PM

    Thanks for the recap! Such great tips about social media, etc. Good thing I love video, huh?! Lol! That 2021 outlook is REAL!

    • Christine St.Vil
      October 27, 2019 at 10:10 PM

      Thanks for checking it out Tandra! And yes, it is a GREAT thing that you already love video LOL 😉

  • Elly Camron
    November 4, 2020 at 11:07 PM

    Thanks for sharing

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