A couple of weeks ago, I attended Digital Atlanta, a social media conference, for the first time. There were two really great things about this event. First of all, it was in Atlantic Station, which I personally find a lot of fun despite some of the haters out there, and it was also nice to attend a conference in a different part of town since I feel like I’m always at the Gwinnett Center. The second great thing was that it’s super cheap—$25 for a week-long event! I made the early bird deadline, but I think it only increased to about $40. So, a great deal, especially for the content. It didn’t take long to make my money back.
I didn’t attend a session during every time slot because I just couldn’t spare the time, but I still ended up with about six pages of notes from nine sessions. I wish I could’ve made a few more, but oh well, maybe next year. I did, however, learn a few new tricks and tips.
Here are some of my favorite points that I’d like to share with you:
How to be a Rock Star Community Manager with Nick Ayres, Global Social Lead of IHG
- A community manager handles strategic planning, content creation, crisis management, ushering conversations, campaigns and messaging
- Instagram – one per day, avoid traditional marketing plans. People just want to see interesting photos.
- Be intentional about where you build community. Don’t just use the new, popular platforms.
- Celebrate milestones with partners, both yours and theirs.
- Sign your name if space allows so people can see there are people behind the company.
Social Media Moneyball with Rob Kischuk, CEO & Founder, Badgy
- What you attract people with is what you will keep them with.
- Put content in front of people that delights them.
- Weighty content: Photos for engagement and clicks, but text for maximum reach
- Take a look at the wealth of info in the new FB Insights.
- How often should you post? Depends on your audience and content. No simple answer.
Predicting Resonation with Dave Black
- Look at needs, culture and identity over demographics.
- People project an image of themselves on things/products/companies they like.
- We admire people we want to be more like.
- People project an image online of who we want to be, or a more ideal self.
Why Email Marketing is the Digital Hub in a Social and Mobile World with Simms Jenkins, CEO, BrightWave Marketing
- Nearly 1/3 of purchase from repeat customers are initiated with emails.
- Email still gets the most shares. Also clicks.
- Data: The more you ask from people, the less you get. Try to just start with their email address.
- The new Inbox is mobile. Mobile is the biggest email game changer.
- Keep good info/offers above the fold. Answer, “What do you want me to do?”
Evolving the Customer Lifestyle in a Social Media World with Ron Surfield, Marketing & Technology Consultant
- Connect social present to the core value of the product/service/brand
- Ex: Red Bull, they promote the lifestyle over the product
- Keep content engaging
- Add value for them. Ask why you.
- Position spending as investment, not cost.
Best Practices in B2B Online Marketing with John Waddy, CEO, TwentySix2 Marketing
- Break the deal up (shorter, smarter)
- Get decision-makers involved early
- Look for hidden friction (Why would people be hesitant?)
- Try limited time offers (people will make up their minds)
- InBound marketing is the new, best way (public speaking, blogging, word-of-mouth, press releases that matter)
Creating Brand Advocates by Leveraging Content Through Partners with Doug McLaulin, Director of Internet Marketing, eMeals.com
- We see 5K marketing messages each day.
- Partners give you new audiences. (bloggers, other companies)
- Create a content calendar to keep everyone on the same page.
- Keep bloggers informed of timely content, and give them everything they need
- Leverage your strongest channels.
Engaging Digital & Data-Driven Volunteers: Stories from ATL Hackathons
- Hackathons are like using “Google’s 20% time” – creative time for projects not related to their immediate job. Two days set aside (weekend) for creative process and innovation.
- Get lots of different kinds of departments/people involved, not just those who typically do the programming type of work.
- Work on project for two days and see how far you can get.
- Shows deeper engagement with partners. You value their input.
- Interesting way to find solutions.
The News Media is Evolving. So Should Your PR Approach with Anna Ruth Williams, AR|PR
- People are getting their news from social media—20%. (55% via internet, 28% via TV, 5% via newspaper)
- 25% share news via email or social media weekly
- 59% of journalists use Twitter, 92% use LinkedIn
- Create sharable PR content.
- Repurpose some of your web content for social media, but not the dry stuff.
So, there you go! That’s just a taste, a byte if you will, of what Digital Atlanta was all about. I’ve already started working these items and more into my work, and am looking forward to the pay off!