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5 Things I Learned from SIMEngage – The Cincinnati Social Media Conference

SIM Engage Cincinnati Social Medial ConferenceLast week, Boot Camp Digital put on a social media marketing conference in Cincinnati Ohio (it will be back again in 2015). All of the keynotes were AMAZING, and there was a TON of information packed into the one-day event. With all of the speakers and panels, there was lots of information from national and local experts. A few days later, I’ve had some time to synthesize everything I learned at the event, and I wanted to share some of the BIG IDEAS that I had as a result of the event.

The keynote speakers; Jason Falls, Anum Hussain, Lisa Buyer, Adam Singer and Marty Weintraub all added amazing value, and I wanted to share the key things that I took away from each of their sessions (from the MANY PAGES of notes that I took).

1. Search + Social + PR and Converging and You NEED TO KNOW THEM ALL – Jason Falls

We can no longer sit in our sandbox and not really understand the other side and what they are doing. Search, social and PR are all linked more than ever — and as smart digital professionals, we can’t ignore this. We must educate ourselves in all of these areas if we want to be successful (FYI – you can get started with our SEO 101 training if you are interested). Also, it means that all 3 groups need a seat at the table in any strategy discussion. I could go into a TON of details about how these work together, but the bottom line is that we need to have more generalist skill sets across the board.

2. Great Content Should Live in Many Forms – Anum Hussain

When we think of Content (are you sick of that word yet??!?!?) we usually think of blog posts or Facebook updates. But content can live in many different forms and should be strategically created to meet your business objectives. Content should focus on business objectives like lead generation and relationship development. It isn’t just about creating blog posts or Facebook updates that loosely relate to your content area. Social media content is about really understanding your customers and what they are interested in. Next, provide them with the information they want in an in-depth and highly interesting way.

3. Unexpected Acts of Kindness = Success – Lisa Buyer

I love hearing Lisa talk because she is smart and always full of great ideas that are both strategic and tactical. One of the big “nuggets” that I got from her presentation was to do nice things for people – when they least expect it. For example, Adam, another speaker, received a free t-shirt from a start-up. He was wearing it at the airport and an investor struck up a conversation with him about the company. By sending a free shirt, they were generating publicity. Sometimes we get so caught up in working and marketing that we forget the power of just being nice to people. It matters. Do it often. It generates buzz and you never know when it will come back to you.

4. Mobile is the Future, and Integrating Data is a MUST – Adam Singer

For a long time, mobile was kind of segmented into a bucket and treated as an afterthought. Adam from Google reminded us that mobile is the future. It won’t be “the year of mobile” like marketers used to predict, but a steady shift of online activities moving to mobile devices. Google has predicted that over half of internet usage will take place on mobile in a few years. Think mobile first. It isn’t a shrunken internet. The other big idea here is to connect your analytics so that you can track, test and improve on your marketing efforts across the board.

5. Paid Social is Evolving and MIND BLOWING – Marty Weintraub

Marty is always a huge hit, but his focus on paid social and the importance of it really does blow your mind. The reality is that social media ad targeting takes us to a level of target that other mediums have never even come close to allowing us to do. Things like re-targeting, behavior targeting and email targeting make social advertising extremely valuable. They move us away from traditional demographic targeting and into the kind of targeting that really matters. Regardless of the size of your organization, if you are ignoring paid social you are missing a huge opportunity.

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