A Wealth of Social Media & Marketing Tips from Experts and Practitioners

Just returned from the 6th Annual Social Media & Marketing Conference sponsored by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce and my head is spinning. It seems that no matter how much we may all think we know a lot about social media and/or marketing, there is always so much more to learn. I learned a lot today from both the presenters and other attendees.

I’m always honored to be selected as a speaker. This year, my session on “Killer Media Relations: Simple Steps to Generate Positive PR” was in the first round of breakout sessions, but I was able to attend two sessions after mine – one on Google Analytics (from  Virtual Vision LLC) and one on Content Marketing by Erin Trowbridge with JB Systems. I also had the opportunity to hear the opening keynote from Visit Eau Claire about the social media campaign behind their successful pitch to be named an All-America City.

Some highlights for me:

  • The term “earned media” is not well known according to a show of hands during the opening keynote. It’s just another way to refer to media placements, PR or publicity, but it’s a buzzword that is likely to continue to get a lot of attention as marketers attempt to leverage the value of content marketing across multiple channels.
  • And, speaking of content marketing, loved Erin Trowbridge’s examples of how the practice is really nothing new and has been used by companies like Jell-O for years! (She also provided an interesting example of how a local company – Silver Spring Foods is leveraging the concept on their web site through recipes and other practical and relevant content designed to:

1) Connect with a target audience in compelling ways

2) Provide relevant and interesting content related to how visitors might use their products

3) Provide visitors with a compelling reason to come back for more.

  • Picked up some tips from the Google Analytics session on ways I might look at results differently for various clients based on their unique needs. Also learned a great insight from another attendee about the use of Webmaster Tools (a Google app) to, at least partially, address the “(not provided)” organic search data that users have been faced with for several months now.
  • Had a great lunch conversation with some other attendees with varied backgrounds, including Ann Pearson with Impressions Review Managing, LLC. I missed her presentation on “Word of Mouth Gone Viral, but was able to hear a bit about some practical ways that businesses can boost online awareness and impact through effective control and management of their online reviews. Have you claimed and updated your key review website listings?
  • “Accidentally” sat down for a session next to a woman I worked with many years ago; was fun to reconnect and catch up!

Definitely a worthwhile use of half a day – I tend to not take the opportunity often enough to connect with others who have this breadth of great experience and knowledge. It was a great way to stay up-to-date and in-tune with the many ways that marketing, online and off, continues to evolve. Thanks Becky Seelen for organizing this excellent event!

If you’re interested and/or active in social media or marketing and haven’t attended the conference in the past, I highly recommend putting a reminder on your calendar for next September. The price is reasonable, the sessions are varied and timely, and I guarantee that if you take the time to listen and connect you’ll learn something!

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