Mental Post-Its

Thoughts, Notes, and General Mental Mayhem

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Digital Atlanta Highlights

Image taken from Digital Atlanta website

Image taken from Digital Atlanta website

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,

  • 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!