I had high expectations for my first visit to BlogWorld Expo , and the show didn’t disappoint – it was an incredible experience. If you’re like me, you like to plan your days at a conference as meticulously as possible, e.g., meet up with colleagues in the morning, spend a few minutes at the (Marketwire) booth, ten minutes touring the exhibit hall, head to the first session five minutes early to get a good seat, etc. I’ll tell you this; nothing went as planned because of all the people I met during the conference.
I will be including full recaps of each session that I attended during the conference on my blog at marketingshindig.com , and the recap below covers some key takeaways from my experience at BlogWorld.
- Define your persona and profit off the brand of “you” by standing out with conviction and confidence. Examples of people who have defined their persona include Mike Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, Scott Monty of Ford, and Frank Eliason, formerly of Comcast Cares. A brand is the experience that your customers have, and branding is what you do to make people aware of your brand.
- The session “Digital Crisis Communications” with panelists Scott Monty, Shel Holtz, Dallas Lawrence and moderator Valeria Maltoni, provided heaps of insight based on the collective personal experience of this group:
- Monitor your brand. Whether you use TweetDeck, Hootsuite, or a more advanced and robust social media monitoring tool like Sysomos , it’s important to be proactive, and not reactive, as so many brands have come to realize.
- There is no news cycle. News is continuous, so monitoring and being involved in the conversation is crucial.
- Don’t wait to act. If you are facing a potential crisis, don’t wait. Engage with your community and be sure you have all the facts.
- Don’t brush off a blogger or a user on Twitter because they aren’t “mainstream media”. Anyone can sway public opinion.
- “PR in a 2.0 World”, a session including Erik Deutsch, Jeremy Pepper, Sarah Evans, Serena Ehrlich and Hillary Allard, also provided some valuable tips:
- Know current trends and get involved in tweetchats.
- Use a wire service  to get the word out about important announcements.
- Show respect to the brands you want to work with by letting them know you’d love to work with them.
- Social Customer Relationship Management, or Social CRM, is of great interest to me. Luckily, a session featuring Jacob Morgan and Brent Leary provided some terrific insight:
- The goals of social media are building a sizeable network, promoting and marketing. The goals of social CRM are building customer loyalty and long-term customer relationships.
- The panelists provided a list of 22 business use cases of social CRM (the full list is available at marketingshindig.com). The most intriguing cases are: social customer insights, rapid response system, collaboration, proactive social lead generation, and social campaign tracking.
- When it comes to web video, quality content is key, then it’s distribution, distribution, distribution. Timeliness, surprise and discovery go a long way.
- Don’t focus on the video cameras, focus on the mics. In other words, invest in having great audio.
- Think about how to repackage content.
- Web TV is booming. The future of web TV is Google TV. Also, think about apps and how to market them.
- When it comes to social media ethics, disclosure and relationship-building are really important. There should be an order in which you build relationships, for example; you wouldn’t call in a favor to a blogger if you haven’t yet established the relationship either through Twitter or LinkedIn.
My overall experience at BlogWorld couldn’t have been any better, and I’m truly thankful that my ‘meticulous’ planning went haywire from the moment I arrived, because building relationships and getting to meet those you have only met online is quite a thrill. The most valuable takeaway is that networking and face-to-face is a beautiful thing.
Thanks to everyone that stopped by the Marketwire booth to get a “brain”. A big thanks to everyone I met during the conference and the after-hour parties and meet ups. What an experience.