This past Feb. 6-7th 2012 was Social Fresh East and we at Head of Lettuce Media decided to join the event as a Sponsor, and when given the chance to have a booth, we decided to trade the booth in for some tickets (Special Thanks to Jason of Social Fresh for assisting in this unique request) that we could give to some deserving up and comers in the social media community who could benefit from a free ticket…ok, the tickets were not free, I asked the chosen to give me a blog on what the three best things were that they came away from the event with, well here is what they had to share. – Antony
The people that benefited the most from the Social Fresh East conference came early and stayed late, were open to new ideas, and got involved in on-site and online networking. If you don’t ask a question, you won’t get the answer. Those answers came from social conversations and during presentations. Social Fresh as a company and this conference’s amazing speakers are still answering and posing questions. They are still “being human” and providing social media content that “has value.”
The concept of being human and providing social media that has value were brought up by Scott Monty, of Ford Motor Company during his keynote. He also introduced a concept that I wrote down and need to keep in mind. His goal of integrating the “earned”, “owned”, and “paid” social media for his campaigns. “Earned” is the most exciting of the three, as it involves being re-tweeted, quoted, and a part of traditional news sources. It also would pertain to YouTube sensations whose videos have earned them viral status. Being human and providing value help with the earned.
The theme of targeting current fans of the product or company also was evident in talks by Scott Monty, Jay Baer of Convince & Convert, Christopher Penn of WhatCounts, and other speakers. Mr. Monty stated a brilliantly simple thing that “people like what they like.” That’s probably not an exact quote, but he built on this to say, you probably won’t “like” or “follow” Ford in social media if you didn’t already have a positive experience with them. When working on my own social media, and with the clients I assist, I plan to reach out to current customers more than people who have never heard of these companies and brands.
Also evident and important was blogging often, including guest blogging. I have been following some great blogs by Social Fresh, HubSpot, Argyle Social, WhatCounts, Convince & Convert, and other companies who were represented by very personable, funny, and knowledgeable speakers. I list the companies, but could just as well say Jay Baer, Christopher Penn, Eric Boggs, etc. because, they write blogs that are human and have value when representing their company.
Thank you Antony Francis and Amber Osborne (MissDestructo) of Head of Lettuce Media for selecting me as one of your distinguished attendees, Jason Keath and Corey Creed of Social Fresh for your hospitality and continued dialog on Facebook and Twitter, Shauna Causey of Nordstrom for the inspiration and friendship on Pinterest and Clipboard, and Chris Penn of WhatCounts for your LinkedIn connection. Chris, what you know about Google Analytics and analyzing ROI for campaigns, e-mail, and social media is truly something that I appreciate and aspire to develop in my continued studies.
Social fresh Tampa came through town this past week and I had the opportunity to attend (kudos to Antony Francis of Head of Lettuce Media and company for the ticket).
So what the heck is Social Fresh? Social Fresh is a conference that has been touring the country for the last few years that promotes..well, all things social. Facebook, twitter and a whole host of social networks you may of may not have heard of as of yet. All together, there were thirteen speakers over the two day seminar. The complete list can be found here http://socialfreshconference.com/event/east-2012/. There was really was an incredible amount of great information and ideas at the event.
On the first day of the event, Kipp Bodner from Hubspot talked about b2b leads for social media. He started off by mentioning that 73% of CEOs do not believe that marketing drives business. This is an in incorrect assumption. Marketing is all about generating leads and a constant supply of fresh leads is the very force that drives the growth of companies. One issue with marketers as he points out is that marketers are creative people and have to become more revenue focused. There is a fine line between focusing on revenue and keeping the creative juices flowing when it comes to marketing. Kipp also mentioned three key elements that are absolute must haves as far as social media goes.
First, we must build our social media footprint. We must follow, friend and connect as much as possible and also leverage existing contacts that we may have missed. The content has to be relevant and engaging or people will not care or pass the info to their peers.
Second, every time a new blog or article goes out, let everyone know across all mediums, email, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at the very minimum, the more the better. On average, people are exposed to over 5000 ads a day, so the larger your network, obviously the better.
Finally, we must ask for people to take action. This applies to all things marketing, not just the social side. Everything that goes out to the social networks needs a strong call to action. Give away a free eBook or an audio interview or have a contest. Just ask for the customer to take action and measure the results of that effort. Learn from these actions and move forward.
On the second day of the event, the speaker I enjoyed the most from was Jay Bear of socialpros.com. Jay stressed the importance of connecting Facebook and email. He went further to advise that new (Facebook) is not necessarily better and most of us suffer from shiny object syndrome. It keeps us from moving forward and being productive if we allow it. Jay went on to compare email and Facebook in an interesting fashion, email is Madonna and Facebook is Lady Gaga, an interesting but effective analogy. Basically email got a fresh coat of paint in the form of Facebook. Email however is still the proven standard. Although the seminar was very informative, I personally see social media as just a small piece of the marketing pie. It’s best used as a tool for consumer feedback and perhaps brand building. It is best to stick with the tried and true methods and to measure and test all efforts. I would give no more than 10% to the R&D department. The bottom line is to sell something or get the customer to take action somewhere along the funnel. We need to build trust and relationships and strive to provide solutions that the customer needs. Provide constant value and you’ll have happy customers for life.
Social Fresh EAST offered a fast paced, in-depth look at Social Media management from industry leaders. With 14 speakers from a variety of different backgrounds and approaches, each presentation offered a unique approach to using and expanding traditional efforts in social media.
Social is Equal Parts Words & Numbers. Argyle Social’s Eric Boggs, day one presenter, detailed social media facts and statistics. SMM monitoring and tracking was a big theme throughout the event. It quickly became apparent that with a growing list of tools and services, knowing Social Media trends for your company or brand is essential.
Engagement is Key. Having frequent call to actions is just the start. With social media, interaction is the success to community building and brand advocacy. Scott Monty of Ford Motor Company said, ”Comments aren’t conversation.” Its about offering content and engaging followers.
Trial and A/B Testing. Even the best Social Media campaigns require a little trail and error. Christopher S Penn from What Counts explained, “You can hear millions of ‘best practices’ or ‘experts’ but you need to test for yourself, always.” Meanwhile, Jay Baer from Convince & Convert suggested using A/B testing for email lists.
Pinterest: The New Social Media On the Block. Its not like Facebook, Twitter or Google+, instead its a visual approach to sharing. Shauna Casey of Nordstrom spoke about this phenomena on Day 2 of Social Fresh. Since this speech, the buzz around Pinterest has steadily been growing with brands flocking to make their presence known.
Ultimately, Social Fresh EAST showed that social media management need not be a mystery. With the right training, monitoring tools and testing techniques, Social Fresh EAST proved that there is no longer an excuse to “just wing it” when it comes to your brand and emerging social community.
Author Bio: Catherine Williams, is a freelance SEO content writer. You can learn more about her writing and rates by visiting http://UrgeContent.com
Connect with Catherine on Twitter: @GwinevereRain and share fun interests on Pinterest.