Social Media Week 2013 Recap

Author: Jack Martin

At approximately 5:16am on Thursday the 24th of September, my experience with Social Media Week began. Due to the freakishly early alarm, I was not feeling too positively towards SMW at the beginnings of our time together but the day was young, and there was learning to be done.

Arriving in Chicago at 8am, the city was already buzzing with dedicated Chicagoans on their way to work. This beautiful, social day was so promising that even the Chicago River looked halfway decent.

Sharethrough: Mobile is the future.

The first stop was the 82nd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower/forever known as the Sears Tower to true Chicagoans as I learned the hard way) for a Keynote speech by Sharethroughs own Patrick Keane about Brand Advertising in a social era. Long story short, mobile feeds are the way of the future. The speech was a little brief and I felt as though it merely scratched the surface of new ways to advertise your brand in a social age, but it got the gist across.

Key Take Aways:

Go mobile; be shareable.
If your brand is looking to drive the experience, content IS the experience.
Never underestimate the power of video. (views up 300%)

Finn Partners: Fun doesn’t always come naturally to a brand.

The next presentation was put on by a team of representatives from Finn Partners, a PR firm of international proportions. Finn Partners gave a great talk about the tough side of social media. Not every brand is as fun as Oreo or Starbucks but those not so fun businesses still need a brand and a voice. They gave great examples using a bank and a nonprofit engineering organization. They discussed that the keys to a successful campaign include great visuals, real time engagement, and a lot of fun from the creative side. If you as the content creator aren’t having fun with it, the audience won’t either. Finn Partners gave great advice on strategies as well, stating that you should start with the end goal in mind and from there you can come up with more focused objectives.

Key Take Aways:

Start with your end goal to come up with objectives and strategies.
ROI and KPI are your friends and you should always keep track of where they are.
Always be prepared, personable, and present.

Amy Guth: Optimizing your Social Self.

The next seminar took us to the basement of the Chicago Tribune. After getting over feeling very important for having access to such places and charging a nearly dead phone, Amy arrived along with her larger than life stage presence. Her ability to speak and connect with the audience overcame the fact that this speech was very “Social 101”. The keywords here were all about being “searchable” and “optimized content”. Amy walked us through each social media outlet, hitting Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, and Facebook and ran through specific SEO strategies for each outlet. I definitely made a few changes to my many profiles after this seminar.

Key Take Aways:

Twitter: For your Twitter bio, the first 42 to 44 characters are highly searchable, put the information you want to be known for FIRST, fluff can come later. The first 27 characters are, as Amy put it, “rocket fuel”. Optimize your actual Tweets as well, start with the most important word. Get those keywords out there right off the bat.

LinkedIn: The “About Me” portion of your LinkedIn profile is extremely important and while it can feel funny it should be written in the third person. Once again, be sure to include your keywords at the beginning of your summary.

Google+: If you aren’t on Google+, get on there. G+ allows you to tell your story much more effectively than any other social outlet. This should be in the third person as well.

YouTube: Don’t lie about the content of your video. The summary should highlight the exact contents of the video. Also be sure to name the video BEFORE you upload it. A file named “Everything You Need to Know About Giraffes” is exponentially more optimized than a file named “vid_1234” even just moments after being uploaded. This goes for photos and images as well.

Luvvie Ajayi: Finding Your Digital Voice

The final seminar of the day was all about finding your brand and your voice in the digital space. Luvvie was an excellent speaker and had the audience laughing the entire time with her self-deprecating humor and somewhat risqué analogies. As someone who loves to blog, Tweet, and create content online I found this seminar very useful. In order to come up with your personal brand you must take a step back and think of how you would like to portray yourself as well as what comes most naturally. A great point that Luvvie made was to not try and force a personality trait that doesn’t come naturally, “If you aren’t funny, don’t try to be funny.” Putting on a persona can be exhausting and will most likely fail due to inconsistency in the long run.

Key Take Aways:

Your brand voice is made up of your Character/Person, Tone, Purpose, and Language.
Authenticity is key.
Be conscious, consistent, and cohesive.

Overall, my experience with Social Media Week was a success, I have been able to take what I have learned and apply it to my work here at Keystone Click and to my own personal marketing. I look forward to attending again in the future, and perhaps presenting one day!

Did you attend Social Media Week? If so, comment below with your key take aways! If not, let us know if this post was helpful or if you would like to learn more.