There is nothing better to me than getting to meet many of the people I have conversations with online in person. Social Media Jungle event organized by Jeff Pulver was no exception. There were around 120 or so attendees and he was able to assemble some of the areas best social media thought leaders to lead some amazing discussions. Here are a few quick observations of mine from various speakers at the event:
Jeff Pulver – “ Sometimes You need to be Vulnerable”
The organizer of the event kicked it off and had some great thoughts about connecting with people as people…social media isn’t a numbers game although that is how some people would make it out to be. He also assesses his relationships online regularly and has recently removed around 3,000 “friends” from his Facebook profile. He regularly assesses those that he is connected to – do they engage in conversation? Have they brought something to the relationship in the past year? If the answer is no, then he removes them.This example was to stress his point that it’s all about building relationships and you have a “social” responsibility to define yourself as a person. People don’t interact with brands – they interact with the people behind those brands. Connect with people AS people. So being vulnerable is the secret to success in social media.
Another interesting prediction Jeff brought up – He believes in less than 18 months Twitter will be sold for between 2-4 billion to either Google or Microsoft. We shall see…
C.C. Chapman – “It isn’t a numbers game. The human side of social media”
In C.C. Chapman’s presentation he built upon Jeff’s presentation focus by suggesting that you should disregard quantity of followers, friends, etc. and just focus on building trust. “Don’t forget your human. Be yourself.”
Richard Dale – “Twitter as the universal information stream: What if the Twitter stream told us every time a can of soda is sold?”
Raised some interesting questions about Twitter becoming more than it is. Will it have accounts you have to pay to follow? Will there be automated feeds to tell soft drink distributors to restock a vending machine? Automated traffic updates?
Laura Fitton – “Social Media for Social Good”
Laura talked about getting social media involved with charities such as WellWishes because she was passionate about clean water. She also brought up Twestival which hosted over 200 simultaneous TweetUps to raise money for clean water projects. The main thing she stressed is that the influencer is the idea and not the person behind it.
Justin Levy – “How Small Business can use Inbound Marketing/Social Media to Help Increase Their Business”
Justin talked about how he is part owner of Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse a steak house in Northampton MA and how he has cut their traditional ad revenues by up to 90% and had 12 consecutive months of increasing revenue – all because of social media. He also shared an acronym he made up: HELP which stands for “Hustle, Engagement, Learning and Passion.” He also added “S” for “Strategy” which is how social media “HELPS” his business continue to grow.
Chris Penn – “It IS a numbers game – thinking about what numbers actually matter”
Chris is a stats geek which I love (being one myself). His whole topic was based around “what numbers matter?” and it comes down to basic grammar the verb. Verbs carry the action in a sentence. What measurables in your statistics have verbs? You just need to define what actions are in your statistics to find what your truly valuable statistics are.
Stephen Dill – “Social Media Lessons Learned: From the perspective of a skeptical Online Marketer”
Stephen started by talking about the misconception that people feel they don’t have the time for social media. He then quoted Laura Fitton of Pistachio Consulting (who spoke earlier) as part of his presentation that “Twitter is Google Juice”. He stressed the importance of “benchmarking” on Google to measure the effectiveness of using Twitter. Stephen was competing on Twitter with a famous Confederate General who also had the same name as he did (having a famous horse jockey who won the Kentucky Derby I could empathize with his struggle). He stressed that rather than fall into the misconception that social media was a time waster, you should realize that the real power and reason behind using social media is the technology of search.
Leslie Poston -“Bringing Generations Together For Success In The New Millennium”
Leslie had a great presentation about generational engagement in social media. Her greatest point was the need for real mentoring. For “Gen Yers” to help the “baby boomers” embrace the possibilities of social media and the tools that are available as well as the “baby boomers” to help the “Gen Yers” to understand concepts and strategies they may not have learned growing up completely in a digital world.
Matthew Mamet – “Using online video to strengthen your relationship with your online community.”
Matthew talked about how social media in general is a noisy place to have your discussion but that video helps to change that because people use video to change their mood. He also had stats (again I’m an admitted stats geek) that 86% of people use video to change their emotional state. It just goes to show how an effectively produced video can reach your audience by utilizing emotional triggers.
Thanks also go to Joe Cascio, Doug Levin, Jason Jacobs, Leah Busque, Steve Garfield, Alex Chriss (also the event’s host from Intuit), Maria Thurrell and Mike Langford for sparking some other great conversations not mentioned here and to Jeff Pulver for putting on a great event!