The Social Media @ Work 2012 Conference, held in Harrisburg, PA on October 17th, is both an educational and encouraging experience! I had the opportunity to attend the conference for the first time, along with GuavaBox business partner Andrew Dymski, and have loved the experience so far (mid-afternoon right now!). With an eclectic group of speakers, panelists, marketers, business owners, and attendees, the event is full of opportunities for continuing education, networking, and learning to leverage social media in and for business.
Some realtime highlights from the conference:
- Amy Howell and Deb Weinstein led a panel discussion on marketing strategy. Drawing on years of corporate and small business experience, they touched on social media usage, innovative marketing campaigns, engaging target markets, and the growing relationship between public relations and social media.
- Glen Gilmore and Claudia Williams shared helpful insights on social media policies in the morning’s second panel discussion. They stressed the importance of developing and updating social media policies, made recommendations regarding the types of clauses to include in SM policies, and discussed some of the legal implications and dangers associated with failing to develop and invest in social media policy development.
- Al Brocious and Susan Ewing Rathfon headlined the initial afternoon panel discussion on the topic of mobile marketing. The discussion blended broad strategy and mobile trends with platform and technology-specific tactics and data. For any location-based organization, mobile marketing has incredible potential for cultivating and driving real business results.
Mark Schaeffer’s Closing Keynote:
The closing keynote by Mark W. Schaeffer was a value-adding, well-rounded, entertaining, educational content piece. Mark talked about 4 foundational strategies for effective social media use and went on to highlight the following 3 keys for a successful social media mindset:
- Meaningful content – in Mark’s words, “content is the catalyst that makes things happen on the web.” Without a message that adds value to your audience, your marketing message will die out immediately. Content that improves your readers’ lives will attract real engagement.
- Targeted connections – content has to move and ignite people; just publishing your message with a “build it and they will come” mentality won’t get you anywhere. Move your content through a targeted network of individuals who share a predisposition to know about and take interest in you and your product or service.
- Authentic helpfulness – Mark stressed employing social media as a means of truly helping others without expecting repayment of any kind.
Note: pictures from the event are online thanks to The Susquehanna Photographic!