All I can say is the Free State Social ROCKED. Props to Ben Smith, the #FSSocial Team and the Lawrence Journal World for creating and organizing this first time, social media experiment. The speakers were phenomenal, people attending first rate and it was a pleasure to put names with faces and meet fellow Tweeters, Bloggers, video-bloggers and Facebookers…aka social media/ marketing and PR junkies like myself!
Tara Litzenberger wrote a great recap of the event on the BrainZooming Blog, worth a quick read!
If you want to dive into the Free State Social commentary and digest all the various Tweet content, scroll through #FSSocial on Twitter. Believe Twitter may have overloaded a few times during the conference, especially during the Tweet Up at the various locations around Lawrence, KS, such as Free State Brewery and the Sandbar. I know Brie from JhP and I put a strain on Twitter during the sessions, fireball tweeting all sorts of speaker quotes and information.
If you would like to purchase the live video content from the Free State Social, is worth the watch for $10 to review the live streaming and speakers at one’s own pace. Click HERE to follow the live video feed content link on Ubuntu.
I did have the pleasure of meeting almost every #FSSocial speaker personally and trading contact information. Each speaker came with an individual message and story, with overarching tones and themes directed at social media utilization and pros/cons of the tools and technology. Each speaker had a unique story, which wrapped back to central themes detailed out in the conference highlights below.
What I got out of the conference from the various speakers. I know, like I am the quintessential individual of “getting content,” please! Felt these eight highlights were relevant to all individuals communicating online for business, personal or otherwise.
1. Social Media is a TOOL: Like all business, these tools need a thought out strategy, crisis management plan, reasonable goals and expectations for utilizing Social Media.
2. Voice/ Tone of Social Media Communication: We are online story tellers, whether it be as an individual brand or corporate entity. Avoid corporate speak and disconnection; focus on intimate, personable and connected communication.
3. Friction in Frictionless Environment: Turning communication into compelling dialogue and causing an online relationship; then consumers are incentivized to purchase or make return visits. The key is adding value to the consumer, reader, follower and fan’s life, then request purchases and investment. Yes, Ariel Hyatt has been doing this for years, she is the model of how this type of communication can work. PR Sarah Evans is a great model for how creating friction can lead to great happenings.
4. Build Quality, “Real World” Relationships: Chris Brogan said it best in his delivery about relationship building and the results of bad social media speak, “It is like going to shake someone’s hand and suddenly, instead of shaking hands, their tongue is in your ear…Gross!” Be mindful of how you are building the relationship and communicating.
5. Investment in Community: Equals investment in fans/followers equals generation of revenue & brand presence from unexpected, unrealized and surprising places. Be real, be honest and above all, be yourself (even in the corporate environment). Thanks Shawna Coronado!
6. Make Consumers/ Community Happy: Make concerted effort to be timely, responsive and actually respond to consumer issues and requests…that is today’s demanding customer expectation. Communication is “right now” or yesterday.
7. Time Commitment to Social Media Strategy: When starting online Social Media communication, spend 30 minutes listening, 60 minutes connecting, 30 minutes writing/ publishing. Then from that initial strategy, expand and modify your communication and time investment appropriately.
8. Three Trends for 2010-11: Social CRM, Mobile Devices, Velvet Rope Communities (eg. Sermo.com). Focusing social media availability on mobile device platforms, connections through private communities such as Third Tribe Marketing, and niche community interaction such as medical consultation or research.
See you at the Free State Social next year, well worth the price! Have a great weekend all. —Will Gladhart