Thoughts After Social Slam 2012

You missed the IRL event of the year in Knoxville last Friday. We got to see so many social media mavens and not so mavens, about 600, gathered in Knoxville for the second annual affair. Congratulations to the Knoxville Social Media Club and Mark W. Schaefer, founder of the event, for another amazing gig.

Thanks, too, for the swag bag although take a look in the photo above and see if you can spot the typo? How could that happen? LOL. Loved lunch, sponsored by Bush’s Baked Beans and cashed in already for my two free cans of veggie baked beans. Awesome swag.

The most incredible thing for we who paid more to sit in front of the stanchion and call ourselves VIP to hob knob with the A-lister faculty, breath, was the opportunity to press the flesh of the names we’ve only seen on streams. And we were closer to Mitch Joel’s cross-the-line innuendos prior to those in the back of the room.

I checked in on Facebook and tagged 25 others also present from my community alone! W00T!  After Stephanie Wonderlin presented for 10 minutes with 10 tips about video, I got the most awesome idea to use my iPhone 4S to do some spontaneous interviewing. And, thus, Soulati Media “On The Street” was born (although that branding is just announced and not yet on film!). I’ll be sharing eight video snippets from the movers and shakers who contributed to Social Slam 2012 in upcoming blog posts. Curious ahead of time? Hit my YouTube channel (link right over there) and sneak peek!

Some Thoughts

These are my nuts and bolts about the day, and I hope you add a few I may have missed:

  • Data. Analytics. I’d like to write a #ThatIsAll here, but feel the need to explain a bit further. We heard a fabulous presentation by Tom Webster with Edison Research who writes over at Brand Savant. His skills as a presenter are honed with humor, extremely relevant content and information that makes you cringe because your campaigns are not created with his company’s customized research to get the customized data and the customized analytics. Did I say customized?

I sat in a workshop about Social Search (I may be writing more on that soon as it’s a topic that warrants more explanation) that did nothing but upset me. The expertise flowing from Sean McGinnis, Sam Fiorella and their colleague was fast, high-level, confusing, and lacked a roadmap for me to follow. That is why I walked away from there unhappy; there is so much to learn and understand about social data that people in the room needed those basics. When your presenters are so above board with their expertise (like an airplane to a car) and the audience is still trying to buy a car, there’s a disconnect. Nothing against these gents who were wowsome; it’s just me who isn’t.

  • Integrated Campaigns. Gini Dietrich and Geoff Livingston wrote a book, Marketing In The Round, that just came out the day of  Social Slam. I was waiting for Gini to promote the book and let 600 people know how to buy it, but apparently, Social Slam planners allegedly didn’t allow its promotion? (Check the link over there to buy it now.) Why? Terribly remiss. Gini is one of the A-listers (she’ll deny it every time) in my circles; she is a leader in my community, and every person in the entire VIP section knows her. She was also the morning keynote presenter.  Buy her book; this is social media, people; let authors promote books with content social media professionals need to read.

Integrated marketing is still the answer. We can have data, we can have teams, but the silos need to come down and the campaigns need to be cohesive so we can share the success stories. Gini has something important to say; her content is relevant and required.

  • Presentation skills. You know how 3 p.m. is death time for any conference? I can vouch for that. There I was, absolutely doing the head bob, and I was saved and became a true believer — thank you Marcus Sheridan! This lion that roared rocked the house; he put the energy into the room that was so low people were sleeping. He walked the room, he boomed his voice, he threw the mic at people, “Love it, embrace it…what’s your name?” And he engaged IRL, in people’s faces with names on the spot and ad libs the likes of any LaLaLand actor. What Marcus said, for the life of me, I can’t remember; just speaking the truth; but, what I’ll remember was the most amazing presentation skills of anyone at the entire event. Way to go, Marcus! High marks.
  • Content Marketing. And, then came Mark W. Schaefer who was doomed after Marcus, but really not. Mark wrote his second book, Return On Influence, which he gave away to the conference — is this a pattern, Mark?  Mark’s presentation style was engaging and his content was loaded with storytelling about others and proof points about why he thinks brands need to pay closer attention to social influencers and how to find and use them.

Conclusion

I traveled with Deb Dobson of Vorys, a Columbus law firm. It was our first meeting, and turns out we trek the same circles on the Interwebz, thus our plan to drive 11 hours round trip. This gave us a lot of time to converse about so much; she’s a talker, you know…I’m sure I didn’t get a word in edgewise…! Heh, hi, Deb!

Deb, in her infinite wisdom as a business development, social marketing, IT and analytics geek, encapsulated the entire day for me as I was lamenting my lack of knowledge in a few areas of social. See if you feel better, too.

There are three types of social marketing experts:

1. The Data Driver — the numbers nerd who lives and breathes this stuff (guys like Tom and Sean and Sam and Deb, as above) and looks at blog traffic as boring as hell because there are so many more ways to skin the cat.

2. The Apps Man — the first leader, the early adopter and the one who jumps from new app to new app to be the first to test, like/hate and write about it. Can you say Mashable?

3. Content Marketer — here’s where I fall, and I’m so glad Deb helped me find my way home as I had gone astray after Social Slam. We in this category have an expertise that is so critical to the other two. Without messaging and creative content that brings number 1 and number 2 to life, there would be NO social anything. I execute content marketing strategy.

What were your takeaways from Social Slam 2012 or anything else I just tossed at you on a bright Monday?  Good to be home.

40 comments
debdobson62
debdobson62

How did I miss this excellent post and such gracious compliments.  You do execute content marketing strategy and very well.  It was a fantastic event and so good to meet so many good friends and smart people IRL.  And the best part of all?  Riding down and back with you...and um, you talked your fair share :)

lauraclick
lauraclick

Good to see you again, Jayme! I'm glad this time I didn't leave the conference needing to change my avatar! I kid. ;)

 

It's always interesting to see what people take away from events like this. Different things resonate with different people. But, one thing is for sure - it was fun! The IRL relationships is the best part by far! :)

Adam | Customer Experience
Adam | Customer Experience

Great roundup Jayme. The overall quality of content at SoSlam was truly impressive. As I mentioned on Jenn's post, there are enough takeaways that I'll still be working on them when next year rolls around.

 

So many great speakers, but a special hat tip for @webby2001 -- just because he "talked data" and had as many laugh lines as any other speaker.

 

Great meeting so many people on this page IRL -- and, of course, that means you! But don't be surprised if I run the other way when you whip out the video phone next time.  :)

 

StaceyHood
StaceyHood

Thanks for being bossy Jayme! It was great meeting you there and SoSlam was a class event. See ya on the flipside

Brad_Lovett
Brad_Lovett

My head is still spinning with all the great content and people. I knew I moved to Knoxville for a reason! Great to see you, Jenn Whinnem, and hopefully next year we've sufficiently twisted Michelle Quillin's arm to attend. I will spring for a VIP ticket next year. I should have stayed away from the candied bacon at the afterparty though. 

Anthony_Rodriguez
Anthony_Rodriguez

Man, that was one heck of a conference. Am I right? Everyone had something unique to say and there wasn't much overlap. Now I have to do more educating. There's so much to learn. That social search is going to be a doosy for me.

Marcus_Sheridan
Marcus_Sheridan

Jayme, what kind words and what a great wrap-up post.

 

I've been to many events like this over the last year, but this one was unique and so rich with amazing people that I've grown to love,appreciate, and respect over the last few years.

 

And so glad I was able to keep you awake, even if the shirt was a little bright ;-)

 

Best to you,

 

Marcus

pmswish
pmswish

Jayme, Your Social Slam 2012 wrap up post hits the mark (no pun intended!).  My head is still spinning from all of the outstanding presentations and great content from the conference.

 

One of my faves was the 50 ideas in 50 minutes. Not only did I appreciate the thoughts that were shared on blogging, video, linkedin, facebook, and community but also, the format was great. We hope to be able to implement this style of presentation in organizations we belong to in Pittsburgh.

 

As a ‘target’ of your On the Street interviews, I thought you were lightening fast in seizing an opportunity to capture the spirit of the conference. Your clients are in great hands with such a quick thinker and do-er looking out for their PR needs.

 

It was great to finally meet YOU and many others IRL. My thought: it was like meeting “old friends” for the FIRST time!

 

I will be marking my calendar for next year’s conference. Hoping to see how SMC Knoxville can outdo itself in year three. 

 

New England Multimedia
New England Multimedia

Very cool wrap-up, Jayme! Next year I plan on hanging out in Knoxville, and we'll turn that town upside down. Sound like a plan? 

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis

Sorry you walked away from our session frustrated Jayme. That was not the intent at all (obviously).

 

Eric and I talked about this quite a bit. I like to talk about the "why" of things and he like to chat about the "how". We tried to blend both into the discussion, but it may have been too "why-centric". I know people need both.

 

To me, it's important to know about the trends of where we are headed in search - there is no way we could have spent the time involved to bring you all up to speed on all the fine points of SEO - nevertheless your point is well taken. Next time we'll try to ensure we have more specifics in terms of "next steps" and "how-to's".

 

It was GREAT to see you again!

webby2001
webby2001

Thanks for the kind words, and great to see you again. I wish I were half the content marketer you are!

BillyDelaney
BillyDelaney

I finally got to meet you, and I was not, in any way disappointed. Thanks for sitting with me. I was in awe of your texting, tweeting, videoing and the other dozen things you got done: all at the same time it seemed. Your wrap up is very helpful to me too. This is an event I will return to for sure. 

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

Because the book came out the day of the conference, it was impossible to get any there in time. It literally hit the warehouse that day...I haven't even received my copies yet. So thank you for telling people to buy! And, as always, it was so much fun seeing you though I didn't get to spend nearly enough time with you. xoxo

EricaAllison
EricaAllison

Great wrap up, lovey! I hate I missed it, as you know, and will make plans for the next. There's just something so powerful about IRL meetings that makes all else about a conference pale in comparison. Just look at your descriptions of the people, Deb's 'break down' for you and how easy it is to group or join like minded folks in your path; that's rich stuff!

 

jennwhinnem
jennwhinnem

Thanks for the summary, Jayme.

Here are some great things I took away from Marcus's rousing presentation:

1) Write blog posts that use "versus." People search on items like "Above ground pool versus inground pool" or "concrete pool versus fiberglass pool."

2) Marcus found that reading 30 pages of content was what it took for a lead to tip into a sale.

3) Educate leads ahead of time. Spending your sales call educating your customer = not being able to close the sale.

 

Another learning for me was that video results show up before text results on a Google search - and the first videos to show are YouTube videos, not Vimeo.

 

It was great to see you buddy!

rosemaryoneill
rosemaryoneill

Excellent wrapup!  It was so fun meeting you (and Deb), and lots of the other folks in attendance.  I'll look forward to your video clips :)

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @pmswish Let me know if I need to make a trip to Pittsburgh, too, Ms. Swish! And, thanks for being a star on the Soulati Media On The Street channel! Coming soon, to a blog post near you!

ericpratum
ericpratum

 @Sean McGinnis I have to agree with Sean here (and his comments below), @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing , and as I imagine you probably saw from 2 of my responses during the breakout, I struggled to give an adequate answer to some questions without taking up the remainder of the time because there are so many layers. Regardless, it's our job to make the session as valuable as possible for you, and I think we (or potentially just I) fell down there. Sorry about that :(

 

That being said, I wrote a two part post for Grizzard recently that talks about social search, I will be writing an SEO post for Mark soon, and I might have some slides on slideshare that are useful. If it's not inappropriate, I'll drop links here, or they're also findable via Google...whichever you prefer.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @Sean McGinnis Sean, it wasn't you guys. It was me and therein is my frustration! I hate I'm not an expert, although I can't be expert in everything (I say that every day). You have always blown me away with your amazing knowledge in this sector.

 

I am likely speaking for 2/3 of that room, based on what I heard afterwards. Your area is where we all need to be, but getting there is more than half the battle.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @EricaAllison Missed you tremendously! Thanks...didn't know there could be so much to absorb and takeaway and act upon. Can only hope all others got similarly.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @jennwhinnem Whew; thank goodness you saved my from total memory lapse. I do recall ALL of that now! I think I was missing my sun glasses (Marcus's shirt was very bright) and that made me, uhmm, forget. Loved seeing you, shoe queen!

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR moderator

 @ericpratum  @Sean McGinnis Eric and Sean...please don't knock yourself up; everyone in the room was at varying levels of learning. I don't envy your positions to try to figure that out when you present.

 

What I sat down to do last night was write a post that provides your collective resources and blogs on the topics of social search, analytics, etc. That would include, Brand Savant and/or Edison Research, Eric (I need to be introduced to your work!), Sean's works, Sam's too.

 

I realized the challenge with that as I began to search; perhaps you all can point me in a direction to provide this information to my community? It's not like me to complain and forget about it; it's my responsibility to educate myself and my community about why they need to be on board. That's what I'd like to do.

 

Eric, @Sean McGinnis  @webby2001  @Sam Fiorella if you gents wouldn't mind providing me with links here and I'll share collectively with proper introductions. More of this is needed in one central location.

 

We're in this...team like. Thank you.

Sean McGinnis
Sean McGinnis

 @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing Well, it's nice of you to say that Jayme, but I subscribe to the notion that communication is what the listener does - and if we were talking over people's heads it's our fault. If Tom Webster can make his presentation understandable and relevant, then so can we. :) Just need to work harder (or differently) next time, is all...

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