Recently I was lucky enough to attend the Social Fresh East conference for the third year in a row. I love Social Fresh because it’s an intimate conference (300-400), always features some of the best social business thought leaders, and it’s local. Win. Win. Win. It was a jammed packed two days! Here are photos and highlights of each speaker (click on their name for deck or contact info):
Tom Webster of Edison Research spoke first; a bit daunting since the WiFi was down. His presentation was on data storytelling and the 2012 political elections. “We don’t need data analysts; we need data storytellers. There’s too much data repukery.” (Nice word Tom:) “We are becoming less skilled at being social with people we don’t agree with.” God’s honest truth and Tom’s clarity was a gut check. Katie Richman tweeted Tom is where “psychology meets statistics.”
Spike Jones of WCG World presented Word of Mouth. “It is not – nor will it ever be – about your product.” Some brands forget it’s about their *community* as they blather on about their products or themselves. “Influence can be created; passion can not.” “Everybody wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves.” Check out slide 44:)
The WiFi came to life during Morgan Johnston‘s Jet Blue presentation. “Inspire Humanity.” Here’s how JetBlue does social: Monitor -> Engage -> Inform -> Humanize. So simple. He spoke about how they handled Hurricane Sandy, no small feat. The audience really engaged; not sure if it was because the WiFi came back to life or because a lot of people fly Jet Blue!
Ian Schafer from Deep Focus spoke on Mobile First. “60% of active users access Twitter via mobile …” And then we had our Beyonce Super Bowl moment, when we zapped the power – apparently crashing the entire block. 350 people with phones, laptops and iPads all charging just might trip a hotel’s circuit breaker! Amazingly, it was back on in about 5 minutes. Ian’s main message: “The best mobile ad is a brand’s most engaging content.”
Chris Tuff of 22Squared tackled how to achieve ROI via content, analytics and paid: “Art & Science: Right content & right people & right time = success.” Hyper target sub tribes. Value of Impressions: Twitter – 15 mins, Facebook – 1 hr, Instagram – 2 days. Tumblr sticky for 9 days. ROI = Return on Impressions as well as Return on Investments.
Last speaker on Day 1 was Christopher Penn, from Shift Communications, who addressed Earned Media. “Earned media is anywhere people talk about how awesome you are (or aren’t)!” Love Chris’ Marketing Circle of Life (slide 8). The difference between Owned, Paid and Earned is clearly defined on slide 12:) The goal: Do social business well, achieve earned media.
Jim Tobin from Ignite Social Media kicked off Day 2 by talking about the Power of Organic on Facebook. “Earn it. Don’t buy it.” “Tobin’s Law: The size of a brand’s network is always smaller than the size of its network’s network.” Say what? Simply: You want the people who are friends with your network to engage with you. The T-shirt photo below left visually depicts Jim’s concept. Real success is when you have more shares/interaction from your network’s network than your network itself.
Adam Kmiec from Campbell’s presented an Insights Driven Organization. “We’re data rich and insight poor.” “Strategy, Community Management, Content, and Insights are all required to do social business well.” Slide 40 is his prescription for success. Many of the SMB attendees drooled over the idea of having the resources to employ some of the tools Adam uses!
Ted Rubin of Collective Bias talked about the Return on Relationships: “Social is just a facilitator of relationships.” “Listen. Make it be about THEM. Ask “How can I serve you?” Aim for ongoing engagement.” “Relationships are the new currency.” Based on the number of tweets generated, the crowd really liked Ted.
Ryan Cohn from Sachs Media Group spoke about CEOs and social business. “16% of CEOs are on social — expected to rise to 57% within 5 years!” “LinkedIn is the only platform with more CEOs than general population.”
It was my first time hearing Chris Brogan of Human Business Works speak, so I was enjoying Friday afternoon at Social Fresh. Chris’ basic prescription for success: 1. How do I add value? 2. How do I make my buyer the Hero? 3. How do I equip my buyer for success? 4. How do I attract more audience? And then build them into my Community?
Jay Baer from Convince & Convert presented Youtility, the subject of his new book. “If you help someone, you create a customer for life.” “Answer every question via your various forms of content and engagement media.” “Youtility is a process, not a project. The ‘We’re awesome, click here’ is short-term, not long-term.”
Katie Richman from ESPN talked about creating “reskinnable content.” “Consumption is less about reflecting who we are … more about who we want to be.” – Paul Mullins. Loved Katie’s description of Pinterest: It’s magazine collages 30 years later!
Kevin Vine from Dunkin’ Donuts finished the conference on a high note when he spoke about Encouraging User-Generated Content. “We don’t own our social media channels – our fans do.” “Listen -> Learn -> Engage -> Celebrate” “A brand is no longer what we tell consumers it is. It’s what consumers tell each other it is.” – Scott Cook, Co-Founder of Intuit “Make your fans and followers Stars.”
Why did I include “Back to Basics Baby” in my post title? While I recapped 14 speakers in < 900 words (a miracle:), I could have done it in much fewer: Tell Stories. Make it About Them. Humanize. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile. Return on Impressions. Earn It. It’s about your Network’s network. Use insights to inform business decisions. It’s still just all about the relationship. Make your customer the Hero. Help someone and create a customer for life. Don’t reinvent the wheel every time. Encourage participation; make them Stars.
Here’s how I know Social Media has grown-up into Social Business: It’s no longer about how to use Facebook or Twitter for business, what the latest and greatest platform is, if you need a Pinterest or Google+ profile. It’s back to being about your customers and how you can help them move forward. It’s back to the heart of your business – those humans you call customers.
Speaking of Humanizing, Jason Keath, CEO of Social Fresh, celebrated his birthday around Social Fresh, so here’s a photo of his surprise cupcake. Happy Birthday Jason and many, many more!
Another human touch? The Tweets So Fresh mug I won for being one of two people who’ve attended four Social Fresh conferences. I love my mug:) It makes me feel like a Star!
All photos courtesy of Social Fresh and Spherical Communications