I am a big advocate of professional development and I love to attend industry conferences. I find value in numerous ways such as learning new and relevant information to enhance my business skills which has a direct reflection on how I serve my clients. Networking with colleagues and speakers also offers opportunities to learn more.
I attended the Social Media RockStar event September 17th in Willmar, Minnesota. In my opinion this is becoming a must attend yearly event. The founder Sarah Kuglin and her team are bringing in top nationally recognized industry speakers such as Jason Falls, the SVP of Digital Strategy at Elasticity, Lee Odden, CEO of Top Rank Marketing, Adam Dince, Director of Earned Marketing at Deluxe Corp, Alex Houg and Dennis Yu of Blitz Metrics/Portage. In addition there were many other great speakers from the Twin Cities digital marketing arena.
Here are my 5 big takeaways from the speakers:
1. Opening the conference was a welcome video from Mari Smith, Nationally renown social media expert. Mari suggested we focus on the “metric of meaning” and produce engaging content and remember this is a people to people exchange rather than a B2B or B2C ideology.
2. Jason Falls suggested there are no new answers to the same social media questions we keep asking. For digital marketing success he recommends the following blueprint:
- Know your audience so you can then deliver relevant content
- Search is still a priority – people are looking for a reason to buy from you, you need to rank in search
- Social and PR converge to elevate search results. Relevant content is what is key, also getting good reviews on sites such as G+
- Without content you do not exist, more content you have the better chance you have of being found
- Measure metrics for the future not the past. You must measure toward your goals.
- There is no “Easy” button – you know your audience better than anyone else, dig in and do the work
3. Lee Odden shared his 7 Lessons that teach us blogging is still a great marketing tool. I wrote a separate blog post about that juicy content you can find HERE.
4. Adam Dince talked about the 5 social strategies that will rock your marketing
- Build a relevant audience, no point in attracting people who have no use your your products or services
- Nurture your audience – talk WITH not AT your people, read what your followers are posting
- Create audience profiles – so are your social network connections similar to your customers? Are you sharing the right content?
- Leverage competitor audiences – Use Facebook graph search to find your competitors, create custom audiences in Facebook and target ads
- SEO matters – Google is personalizing search so whenever you sign in to your Gmail account for example and your search you will not be
retargeted with ads based on your search, so this is how you can use it to your competitive advantage. Tip you can compete by ranking for images so be sure you have descriptions on all your images.
5. Alex Houg and Dennis Yu talked about marketing on Facebook for a $1 a day!
Big takeway is that your website must be working with your social media channels and in the case of Facebook you should focus totally on advertising to custom audiences. Start by uploading your segmented emails lists to your ads platform in Facebook. This way you will target your exact audience with ads vs the spitting in the wind technique! Thus is a somewhat confusing strategy until you understand how to do it. There are are many tutorials on Facebook and well as other resources. The bottom line is to budget for a digital ad spend and start targeting your ideal audience. It is totally doable!
Learn from experts, follow their blogs and social media sites. These folks are such great givers I encourage you to connect and maybe next year add Social Media Rockstar event to you calendar!
What conferences have you attended this year? Please share in the comments below your big takeaways-