Working in social media can feel like trying to ride a pony through a bouncy castle.
It’s a bumpy ride.
The speed at which the social media ecosystem shifts under your feet, by itself, is enough to keep any marketer busy for over 40 hours a week. Not to mention the analytics, customer service, hiring, content development, and technology challenges that also come with your position’s responsibilities.
Alas, there is hope.
Social Fresh Conference was founded over 5 years ago to help people exactly like you.
As our 15th social media conference, Social Fresh EAST 2014, draws closer, we wanted to give you a few – very tangible – reasons why you should consider attending.
Let’s skip some of the most obvious reasons. Yes it is an escape to get out of the office. Yes, you can reset your brain. Yes, there will be some open bar action. And yes, it is the perfect crash course for making sure you aren’t missing that next huge trend in social.
But we have a few other reasons that we think you will like just as much.
Let’s dive in.
1. Live Jazz Twitter Karaoke
It helps to remember to have fun. Right Snoop?
The opening reception for this year’s conference will go a long way toward that goal.
Join us as we provide you with celebrity tweets, Twitter poetry, and a few surprise options for attendees to recite, as dramatically as they can manage, to the background jazz piano that will accompany them on stage. If karaoke lovers and Twitter addicts had a baby, it would be this awesome evening.
2. Don’t Ignore Social Contests
Erica Byrum manages social teams for both B2B and B2C products for one for one the biggest names in Real Estate, Homes.com. Contests provide one of the best opportunities to facilitate interaction and improve the customer relationship dynamic.
With a well planned and executed promotional contest, consumers and businesses win by earning links, generating engagement and buzz, getting loads of crowdsourced content, and increasing social signals. Discover the ins and outs of a winning contest.
3. Advanced Content
Social Fresh Conferences are for anyone who is a social media marketer. Fair warning though, it is not designed for beginners. If you are just starting out, some of the content will definitely be over your head. But the insights you do gain will be well worth it.
4. No Panels
All Social Fresh sessions are individual presenters. We have a ‘no panels’ policy. Simply because, panels are risky and most conference panels suck. We would rather focus on one type of content and get it right.
5. Serious Business Blogging
To truly own your content is to step away from social networks. Blogging has fallen out of favor as new networks emerge daily and content forms evolve.
Carrie Kerpen will show how brands (Century 21, Liberty Mutual, and others) increased the effectiveness of their social results by reviving and revisiting their blog strategy.
6. Your Klout score will go up
Well, it probably will go up, but seriously, we don’t care about your social media “ranking.” We’re more concerned about increasing revenue for your company and clients. Let’s focus on that, cool? Cool.
7. Making Your Customer A Hero
Dunkin Donuts was featuring a fan of the week way before Facebook Pages became popular. As they expanded their social marketing over the years, the customer stayed at the center of their strategy. Their customer remained the hero.
Join Jessica Gioglio as she spells out why Dunkin Donuts puts such a large emphasis on celebrating their community members and spotlighting real customers. And how that strategy leads to measurable results.
8. Palm Trees
Unless you happen to be one of those lucky bastards who live with palm trees as a permanent halo around your day (looking at you Florida and California), a little sunshine peaking through those palm trees can be a beautiful thing.
Plus, it will do wonders for your Instagram likes. 😛
9. Smarter Social Engagement
JetBlue customers are happy, and without JetBlue giving away a free flight every time a customer complains on Twitter. Their social engagement strategy is built on their company values or fairness and transparency, while not forgetting to include a little fun.
Laurie Meacham will details the secrets to JetBlue’s social response and digital customer service. How do their customer interactions are genuine, funny, and continue to ensure one of the most loyal airline customer bases in the industry? Learn how JetBlue’s culture, brand personality, and training help them create a smarter social engagement.
10. No Buzzfeed Content Tips
Yes this post looking very similar to a Buzzfeed style blog post, but don’t worry, I am pretty sure that is just a coincidence. Snappy headlines and list blog posts can definitely be helpful, but Buzzfeed tactics does not a social media strategy make.
11. Wake Up Your Social Demographic
Instead of ‘target demo’ let’s talk about audience and passion. Your audience is more than an age range and set of psychographic preferences, more than a social networking profile. How your target customers live their lives should be driving more of your marketing decisions. What they value, what they live for, where their passions lie. And why you fit into that value.
Join Josh Karpf as he breaks down lessons of defining and leveraging the real demographic, the real audience, that can drive your business forward.
12. Lazy River
I don’t know how much time you will have to hang out at the lazy river, but honestly just knowing there is a lazy river on the hotel property can be a pretty solid stress reliever all on its own.
If I were you I would get to the conference a day early or stay for a long weekend after we finish on Friday, and let your inner child take a few laps round the efficient lounge pool. Bonus points, I will give you a few brainstorming exercises customized for the lazy river experience if you really have to work the whole time you are at the conference.
13. Social Toolkit Refresh
Learn about the tools, software and services that advanced social marketers love.
In this session, Sarah Evans will review several tools and software that you need to know about. She will review their benefits, specialties, prices, and best use cases. You will learn about new tools that will help equip you for your next social marketing success story.
14. One Single Track of Content
There are a lot of conferences that try to load as many speakers onto as many stages as possible. Social Fresh focuses on a single track for all attendees. We curate so you don’t have to.
Every attendee experiences the same event, same speakers, same sessions. This creates a stronger community throughout the event and more opportunities for attendees to learn from one another.
15. Brainstorming, You’re Holding It Wrong
The Corporate America brainstorm is a watered down clone of what it once was. But it can be saved.
Join Jason Keath a session that goes beyond just a few brainstorming tips and instead focuses on increasing the creativity of your marketing efforts, your company, and yourself.
16. Shorter Sessions
Our presentations are 25 minutes max.
No matter how great a presenter is, there is only so much the human brain can absorb before we all start to tune out. When speakers are limited to a shorter presentation time, they are forced to cut out the fluff. What results are deeper dives that stay focused on niche topics.
17. Social Publishing’s Key Metric
As “social” becomes a part of everyone’s job, it is more important than ever to know how to curate the best content and create a narrative that tells your brand’s story across many channels.
Join Lauren Teague and learn how the PGA TOUR has taken this approach with their Digital content team to bring fans “inside the ropes” and the key metric they use to measure success.
18. Our attendees lead the industry
Social Fresh attendees are decision makers and leaders in the industry. You can often learn just as much at a conference from hallway conversations with fellow attendees as you do from the speakers. And when you leave the conference, the contacts you make can support your social marketing and your career for years after.
19. Your Community Has Secret Powers
When we say the word community, some people get it and some do not. But your business’s community can be the largest and most profitable asset it will ever have.
In this session, David Spinks will talk about how to start a community from scratch, how to grow that community into a thriving asset, and how to avoid the most common reasons why many communities fail.
20. Get Your Golf On
The hotel that is hosting Social Fresh EAST 2014, the Omni Orlando Resort, has not one but two Greg Norman designed 18-hole golf courses. Oh yeah, and there is also a world class golf training academy right next door. AND, just to put icing on the cake, they also have a 9-hole par 3 course.
21. How To Leave An Impression
Beverly Jackson’s day job is managing the massive social presence for Yahoo! Her session will share with attendees how to avoid what we all fear the most, that our brands are boring. Her tips for how to make an impression in social will help you lift your brand’s content through the fog of the competition.
As each business competes with selfies, foodspotting, and that latest Buzzfeed list, the risk of boring your customers is increasingly high. Through using live events, leveraging announcements, launching products or news, and investing in the brand narrative — a business can avoid the boring content trap and make a more memorable impression on their community.
22. Disney World Is Next Door
Mickey Mouse. Epcot Center. Animal Kingdom. Stay a couple extra days and let your big kid out to play the weekend after the conference.
23. Jay Baer Talk Fire Power: ‘Shotguns Trump Rifles’
Could it be time for your social strategy to focus on the total volume of the content and messages you are putting out? Jay Baer has been working in digital marketing since the dawn of the internet. In this session, he plans to challenge a few assumptions most marketers have about social media success.
Conventional wisdom within social and content marketing has been to carefully select which social networks are the ideal fit for a brand, and to focus on those few communication channels, say Twitter and LinkedIn for a niche B2B brand. But consumer behavior and engagement shifts have smashed those rules. This fast-paced treatise from Jay will have you rethinking the foundation of your social program.
24. Morning Yoga
Our Conference Partner, TASTEdaily, will be hosting a morning yoga session for conference attendees who want that added peace of mind before they fill their brain up with so much awesome.
25. Team Networking
We take the awkward out of networking and mix in some fun and prizes with our team networking concept. Before you even get to the conference you will be added to a team. You will have the chance to say hello online. And once the conference begins you will compete against other teams for bragging rights and a few fun prizes. But, don’t worry, it won’t take up too much of your time. =)
If you are attending by yourself, this is a great way to get introduced to a small group of peers from the very first moment of the event.
26. Making Your Business “Visually Chic”
Jason Miller has is a master of content marketing. From photographing his favorite metal concerts to developing content strategy for the likes of Marketo and LinkedIn, he is well versed in the visual story telling tools that brands are depending upon more and more.
Content marketing is all the rage with mountains of blog posts and videos and Facebook posts flooding our customers’ feed each day. The challenge is to stand out in a meaningful way. Richer visual content like Slideshare and Infographics will create significant touchpoints with your customers.
27. No Early Sessions – No Late Sessions
The conference does not start at 7am and does not drone on until 7pm. Just like a long session can take away your focus, so can a really long day.
You’re welcome. =)
28. Not Just Social
Social Fresh is a social media conference. But we will never limit the content to just Facebook and Twitter. From content marketing to business fundamentals, Social Fresh focuses on improving the bottom line of your business.
29. Omni Hotel Evening Reception
The first day of content, Thursday – July 17, our venue partner, Omni Orlando Resort, will be hosting an open bar reception with more networking fun than you can possibly fit into 140 characters. It will be a great crowd, Omni is planning on providing some delicious food to keep your energy up, and there might even be some prizes from our awesome host hotel.
30. Understanding the Power of Collaboration
The best-kept secret in business today is that social is not the solution, but the catalyst for change.
In this session with Amber Naslund, learn how collaboration and building internal community is the linchpin for capitalizing on the massive shifts happening in marketing and business today.
32. Training Spotlight
These 12 minute sessions are short and powerful. Hear directly from the technology companies that drive innovation in the social media industry.
Each of these three Social Fresh partners will share their insights, tips, tricks and research in streamlined presentation developed specifically for the advanced Social Fresh Conference attendee.
33. The Best Conference Research Can Buy
The reason Social Fresh Conference is rated so highly year in and year out is because we listen. We have done an attendee survey after all 14 Social Fresh conferences to date. We have listened to what attendees want, what they could live without, and how they best learn.
Over the years, we’ve tweaked the conference into a very intimate, content-focused event. The speakers on the stage are why attendees come back year after year. And we work diligently, with each of our presenters, to make sure they bring their best insights to the stage.
And we keep listening. Keep tweaking. Keep improving.
Social Fresh EAST 2014 is July 16-18 in Orlando Florida.