WOW. I just spent a good couple of hours going through my notes from yesterday’s very successful and (for me) much-anticipated conference on all things social media. The sessions ran the gamut. From “Your Social Media Toolset” to “Social Media for Customer Service” to “Social Media Agencies – A New Model” the information flow was almost overwhelming. Almost.
I love social media conferences! I always walk away having learned something.
Yesterday, I learned:
- about all of the intricacies that Blue Sky Factory provides in their email solutions (really great tools!)
- a few lessons from H&R Block’s successful online community strategy (in fact, I took away so much from that, that I need to spend a bit more time disseminating all of the information before I can even post on it)
- what I already knew – listening is key! (This was stressed over and over and over again)
- the culture is shifting from the one-person model (i.e. a social media strategist) to a desire to be more experimental in a company’s overall approach to social media engagement (i.e. executive level buy-in AND use of the space)
For those of us that have been in social media for some time, we also got some validation:
- Listening should be included in your communication structure. Everybody needs it; not just the PR and marketing departments.
- Be clear about your goals. Better yet, have goals. Then, be clear about them.
- To increase your reputation, create valuable content.
- When it comes to utilizing social media for customer service, be sure to post a “terms of engagement” to set the standard for your clients’ online expectations as to how quickly they will be responded to.
- Be authentic and transparent.
- Anyone attached to your brand is “your people” (Amber Naslund of Radian6, Keynote Speaker). From the employees engaging on behalf of your company to those that engage on a personal level to your customers, potential customers, followers (Twitter), fans (on Facebook), the mailman etc. If they’re talking about you or your brand, they are “your people”.
And one of my favorite quotes of the day – “Social media measurement can’t happen in a bubble. It must be part of your overall marketing plan. Invest the time and the resources.” (Amber Naslund)
With all that we learned or that was validated for the attendees, the BEST part had to have
been the opportunities to meet IRL (In Real Life). That’s what makes social media conferences unique in a sense. How many other industry conferences do you really look forward to meeting the people you talk to on the phone with, converse with through email, or even video chat with? Ok, maybe there’s a few. BUT, ask anyone who’s attended both conference types – the “general” industry conference and the social media conference. I’ll bet their answer is without hesitation that they look forward to social media conferences the most for this very reason.
Within the social media space, you build relationships like none other…when you engage effectively of course. A normal greeting when two social media pals meet is not a handshake; it’s a hug. I had the opportunity to hug some of my favorite Tweeters that I had not met in person yet and who, because of their amazing careers, share valuable insight on the sphere – @RichTucker, @CSPenn, @Nikisnotes, @CoreyCreed, and @KristenDaukas. I also got to reconnect with so many I already knew, all of which are people who inspire me every day.
Social Fresh was well worth the time and expense (although, side note here: I won one of the coveted 10 tickets for bloggers by writing a post about the good, bad, & ugly of social media conferences). Special thanks to Founder, Jason Keath, and his band of very merry volunteers as well as to the host of sponsors that helped make the event what it was.
Now to digest all I took away. That might take days!
Look here for more blog posts from Social Fresh.