At the beginning of February, I attended the Social Media Strategies Summit (SMSS) in Las Vegas. While I’ve attended a variety of social media conferences in the past, this was the first time I’d attended this particular event. I was really impressed with the overall structure and organization of the event as well as the quality of speakers and fellow attendees.
Presented by the Global Strategic Management Institute (GSMI), the event’s presenters focused on an array of topics, from tools to tactics to strategies, in relation to social media and larger business initiatives.
“We like to take a holistic approach with SMSS,” noted Breanna Jacobs, the Director of Conference Production. “We want to provide attendees with all the knowledge they need to create and implement a powerful social media strategy, but also a venue where attendees and speakers can meet and get to know each other.”
Main Conference Takeaways
A common thread throughout many of the sessions was the significance of establishing solid relationships with your audience. One of the opening keynotes, Michelle Lapierre of Marriott Rewards, introduced the notion of “BBQ-worthiness.” Meaning, when someone first encounters your brand, would they invite you to their BBQ? Are you someone they want to be around? That’s how you should behave on social media. No one wants to talk to someone who just talks about themselves. You want to be memorable; you want to be BBQ worthy.
Similarly, Pam Didner of Intel conveyed that you shouldn’t do social just for the sake of doing social. It’s about relationships, and customers should be treated the same way you treat your friends. In transitioning to acquiring potential customers, Julio Visko emphasized themes in regard to “social selling” and how customers make buying decisions online. Taking a holistic approach and engaging prospects “at the right time, in the right way, on the right channel” is key to acquiring new business online.
On the more practical side, t2 Marketing International’s Corey Padveen highlighted top tools for social media analysis. In addition to relaying a variety of tools, Corey also provided insight on how to evaluate a social media tool: What problem is the tool solving? How will it help you work more effectively? Is there a trial version? What does the investment look like?
“I hope that attendees left with tangible takeaways that they can implement at the office,” Breanna added, “but I also hope the presentations and networking opportunities provided attendees with a better understanding of the current trends in social media and what these mean for the growth of their own companies.”
SMSS will be recurring throughout the year in various locations across the US and in Amsterdam. Catch the Summit in Chicago April 29-May 1 (SEJ editor Kelsey Jones is attending); New York June 11-12; Amsterdam June 18-19; Dallas August 20-21; and Boston October 23-24. Follow the #SMSSummit hashtag on Twitter for the latest news and information.
Photo taken by author.