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!


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2013: The Halfway Point


Ok, so it’s technically it’s a little past the halfway point of 2013, but I should get credit for the update anyway.

For those of you following along at home, you’ll remember that my word for the year was SIMPLIFY. Just in case you’ve recently started reading, you can read all about it right here. The gist of having a word for the year is that you use a theme to look forward at the year, thinking about what you want it to be. This is the reverse of looking back at the year to see what happened. It’s a more proactive approach. My decision to use the word SIMPLIFY was to have a cleansing effect on me in several different ways. I want to live more simply. I have more than I need. I have more things and thoughts to occupy my time than I feel like I should, from items in my home to emails in my inbox to preoccupations and more.

A few of the items I originally listed include getting rid of things in my home, removing myself from email lists, working on my budget and paying down debt.

Some of the things I’ve done so far this year are:

  • Reinforcing the concepts through books, articles and conversations.
  • Donating and selling things in my house.
  • Getting off some email lists.
  • Paying down some debt.
  • Taking a look or two or three at my budget.
  • Not committing to events or people I didn’t feel would be best for me at this time.
  • Using to prepare meals.
  • Following a chronological Bible reading list.
  • Focusing on only a couple of volunteer activities.

Honestly, these are still all ongoing. I can still make improvements during 2013, and intend to. It may seem like a pretty good list, but some items are further along than others. None are probably as far along as I’d like them to be, but they are in a much better place than they were seven months ago and that’s important to remember.

I definitely need to listen to my theme song and read by theme verse more throughout the year. They’ll help keep me motivated. But I am proud to say I have done a little hell-gate prevailing, though again, there’s still much more to be done. And that’s the really fun stuff. 😉

So, there you go. I’m checking in, and keeping accountable right here. And I’ll definitely let you know how this year shaped up in a few more months. Fingers crossed, I’ll be able to report more progress. Scratch that: I WILL be able to report more progress!

If you’re doing something similar, please let me know how your 2013 is going. I’d love to hear!