Digital Rebel

Beers at SME Event!

The social media week expo (SME) was kicked off by a super networking event from all the meet up groups in the city. I was asked to spear head my meet up group and I also coined the networking session the mother of all meet ups. The alliance shown by all meet up groups really led to a massive crowd source to the expo. There was literally over 400 attendees that showed up for the networking session.

After a very successful event put on by Soho a few weeks ago I was asked to moderate an expert panel this week at the social media Expo held at the Vancouver Convention Center. The topic was on tools and strategies that help optimize your website. The panel experts were Shane Gibson from Socialized Agency, George Moen founder of Rapid Times Network and Mark Schmulen from Constant Contact.

We covered the necessary areas as far as social media, email marketing and web optimization. The biggest take away from the panel was the implementation of a social calendar and a content strategy. Almost all SEO reports now compliment a social and content strategy. It was really reassuring to see other industry experts touch on something I have been preaching on for 2012 and that is the implementation and endless supply of fresh, engaging and viral content. Almost any business at any capacity must play nice with Google and its no secret that with all the different updates content is king!

It was good to hear Mark Schmulen talk about how email marketing platforms like constant contact do so much. As a loyal follower of constant contact for years now, there really were one of the early pioneers of email marketing. With social monitoring tools, platforms that integrate with email marketing its interesting to take note that most CRM platforms are moving towards the way of a social CRM integration. Mark reminded the audience that email marketing is not dead and in fact has truly evolved in the last few months if done correctly.

George Moen shared his successes with engagement through his social platforms and also mentioned how meet up delivered excellence on his brand as far as creating loyalty with his followers. I was surprised to hear him favor Klout after the social metric platform was criticized last year for a few bugs. It has obviously won some sort of redemption from some of the attendees judging from the feedback while some still feel that Klout doesn’t really offer insights on ROI. The debate is whether platforms like Klout are part of the Kum-ba-ya marketing where its great for making people feel good about engagement but not so great for real-time metric on consumer life line or call to action. To be honest I find some of the features on Klout helpful while other don’t really do my business any justice…(I am still on the fence on this). Perhaps the people from Klout will be using a social monitoring tool and contact me and show me why there are so awesome! I will probably be impressed!

Shane Gibson highlighted that most social agencies are trying to take business from the internet off the internet. This seem to be trending on the twitter hashtag as well as his reference to social media in comparison to sweet music. His exact words were, “”

As a moderator I had clearly had to trump the crowd and follow in my usual routine of going out of the box and delivering content even when I am the one asking the questions. My bonus to the audience was my 2am white paper report on the 50 shades of social media engagement. I literally was the night owl and decided to give away a few golden nuggets for business trying to capitalize on social media engagement.

The most smiles were generated when I decided to bring beers on the stage and have all the panelists sip on some warm beer at 11am in the morning. Welcome to Canada Mark! Come back soon! The crowd loved the fact that a formal setting panel could kick back casually and really deliver awesome content!

Each panelist had their own twist on what is working in the modern era and gave their insights on the social media acumen. The state of address from each panelist must be commended. I then decided to release my 50 shades of social media engagement live on stage through twitter. This had an instant 150 views within the first 30 minutes of me releasing this on twitter. I decided to showcase some of the social media engagement since we were at an event of its kind!

The day continued with networking, partnerships talks and opportunities for growth. The end result was a great take away event and many handshakes made! The big take away is social media is a spoke on the marketing wheel that compliments your marketing process!

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