This past weekend I went to the Social Media Marketing Unplugged conference here in Vancouver.  It was another chance to get out in the real world and learn strategies from other people who have been successful with implementing social media into their work.  It was a sold out event and I brought along my laptop to take notes… which I’m going to summarize here for you! :-)

The first speaker was Marty Yaskowich who spoke about how you don’t need a social media strategy – you just need a marketing strategy, of which social media should be included.  It was primarily focused around bigget brands, which is who most of his clients are.  He talked about how when he was working on a campaign for Knorr and how they had 25% less sodium, they decided to create a character (Salty) and base everything around him.  He got his own Twitter profile, YouTube channel, and Facebook page, along with the “old” media they used like TV ads.  The character created an emotional connection and really got people to take notice of what could have otherwise been a pretty bland campaign (pardon the pun).  People were posting their own Salty pictures online, dressing up as him for Halloween, and interacting with him (and sharing with their friends) in all kinds of different ways online, making it a definite win for the company (who also saw something like a 24% increase in sales).

Marty believes that engagement, influence, and activation are the keys to a good campaign.  You need to know what you’re trying to achieve and then make a marketing strategy around that which includes social media, as opposed to just thinking you need a social media strategy without any clear goals.

Next was Amielle Lake who, along with her business partner who’s name I missed, talked about the rise in mobile marketing. They said that they believe mobile is poised to become the most important marketing tool of all time – a pretty big statement, but they backed it up with examples and stats.  They said that it’s important to integrate different marketing strategies together and that the objective in social media marketing should be to engage and provide value to your fans/followers.

They talked about the power of doing mobile campaigns, noting that you need to provide a pretty compelling offer in order to get someone to give you their cell phone number.  If you can get it though, you’ve got direct and instant access to people in an area where they aren’t spammed like they are with emails (or where they might miss the message like on most social media).

After that was Rochelle Grayson who gave a presentation packed on what people will pay for.  Here’s the list:

  • – to save time
  • – for convenience
  • – for immediacy
  • for comfort
  • – for self-esteem
  • – for relationships
  • – for a sense of belonging
  • – because of scarcity
  • – for health and well-being
  • – to make money
  • – for success and status
  • – for entertainment
  • – for creative learning

The next speaker was Annaleah Krebs who owns a group buying website which she quickly grew using social media.  Her website is only two and a half months old, but she’s already been able to grow a substantial list of email subscribers and followers.  She mentioned that Facebook pages that host contests typically have twice as many “Likes” as those which don’t (and she does this by just giving away her own currency of money to be used for purchases on her website).  She said that they advertise on Facebook instead of Google and that each of her staff have their own Twitter accounts.  She made a pretty simple YouTube video which got a decent amount of views so she also seems quite excited about the possibilities there.  Judging by how excited she and some of the audience were with the fact that she got over 1000 views on the video, I think they’d all be interested in reading my new eBook on how I got 3 million views on YouTube – coming out this week for free to anyone who’s on my newletter list! 😉

Next was Iman Biock Arhay who talked about Facebook advertising.  He gave these interesting facts about Facebook:

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  • More than 500 million active users (have logged in within the last 30 days)
  • 50% of them log on every day
  • There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • 2.1 million people right now in BC over the age of 18 on Facebook within the last 30 days

He then went into detail on how to set up your Facebook ads, the options available, etc – but I won’t get into the specifics of that since it’s not really general insights into social media like the others.

After Iman was Chrystal Henrickson who I’d actually met her when I did a YouTube video about Ethiopian food with Erin Ireland which was featured on Yelp.  Chrystal talked about transactional media.  She mentioned that 1/3 of all Yelp searches come from their mobile app, which again shows the growing power of mobile marketing.  She also noted that a call is made from a yelp app to a business every 5 seconds – pretty impressive for another relatively new company (or at least with a relatively new presence in Canada).

After Chrystal was Elijah Van Der Giessen who spoke about using social media within a non-profit.  He talked about a campaign that his organization did and how Facebook especially made a big difference to the amount of people they were able to reach.  They got ton of click throughs to their petition through facebook (almost 16,000) and over 40% of those people took action (which was higher than most other methods).

Elijah also noted that as soon as they added a “Like” button to each page on their website, they saw a dramatic increase in new Likes.  He recommended you put your Like and Tweet buttons near the top (and even go so far as to have them move along with the page as the viewer scrolls so that they’re always visible).

Elijah echoed that social media isn’t a replacement for other marketing channels and techniques, but rather is plays a supporting role.  He added that social media currently isn’t a good way to raise funds, but instead a good way to get people engaged and take other actions.

And closing us off was Dave Olson who talked about his social media tips which included making sure you’re listening as opposed to just writing/sharing, being an active participant, keeping things interesting, the importance of using hashtags, writing/speaking in your target audience’s language, building a posse, letting the robots do the work (ie. RSS), and measuring everything.

So there you go – a full day of social media marketing talks wrapped up in a few hundred words! :-)

I really enjoyed the conference and my only complaint was the lack of networking.  As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m a big fan of going to things like this for the opportunity to meet and mingle with others in the same industry.  Unfortunately at this event those opportunities didn’t really exist.  There were a couple of short breaks where I didn’t really have more time than to just go to the washroom and run to another building for a drink… and during the lunch break everyone took off outside of the building.  If there had been somewhere to get food on-site, it would have made it a lot easier to just join up with some attendees (and get a snack or drink during the short breaks)!

But for what it was, it really was a good event and the fact that it sold out (and it was the first one) really spoke for how well Jonathan Chow (the organizer) did in pulling it off!