Top speakers at tomorrow’s Social Media event

Social Media AZ - SMAZ 2011If you had planned to do it and procrastinated, today (Thursday) is the last day for any discount codes for Social Media AZ (SMAZ)–the much awaited annual event.

The event is tomorrow and you may buy your tickets at the door, but it will cost ya! $225!

The keynote will be by Jay Baer (of Convince & Convert), and Amber Naslund (of Radian6). They will talk about their new book, The Now Revolution. All attendees will receive a free copy of the book! More background here when we interviewed Jay on our radio show two weeks ago.

Several speakers from other states will be presenting as well. They include:

  • Kamran Qamar the president of mobile development company.
  • Patrick Seaman (Mr. himself!)
  • Christian Briggs (chairman of BMC capital)

Check out the line up of speakers, here.

In case you’ve been to a SMAZ event before, do note that there will be new topics this year covering mobile, location, search, and e-commerce.

Register today!

“Stop treating Facebook like the Yellow Pages”

Evo Terra was firing rounds of ‘measurement’.

Jason Baer was his usual self –provocative, helpful, and making some terrific observations of where we are heading.

As with last year’s Social Media for Business Conference, (see post here) now better known as SMAZ, this year’s conference had some outstanding panels.

The event kicked off with Sitewire president, Greg Chapman making  statement that was more of less repeated at every session: “I am not a social media expert.”

Followed by a “however…”

So in the company of these non-experts, I learned some amazing things, and confirmed a lot of the approaches I’ve been taking. Here are the ones that I liked:

  • Don’t treat Facebook like the Yellow Pages.
  • Listen first, tweet, post later. Use Social Media as a listening post.
  • Be cognizant of the ‘channel agnostic customer.’
  • Google handles hyphens better than underscores, so be watchful when you write headlines, tags.
  • “Social media is free” is a huge misconception. There’s a human resource cost attached to it. Social media is not a strategy – it is what you embed into your Comms strategy, marketing strategy, PR strategy.
  • Google’s new search engine, Caffeine, will knock your socks off. Even if you’re in flip-flops 🙂
  • Content isn’t king. Optimized content is king!
  • Start with small things. If your boss or client wants to start tweeting, facebooking, start with small goals before the big-hairy-audacious ones
  • There’s a difference between a News Feed and a Life Feed on Facebook.
  • Train others freely. Give away secrets. The rising tide lifts all boats.
  • Differentiate between Goals and Tactics. people mix these up all the time.
  • Just like the way they confuse Strategies and Tactics, I suppose.

SMAZ also turns out to be a great way to connect with the people we only meet virtually here in the Phoenix area (I met many of our readers from ValleyPRBlog), whether no matter where we are on the analog-to-digital scale.

And lest we forget the person behind the curtain who makes this happen, I want to tip my hat to Fred VonGraf.

Connecting the dots with your blog

Not this!

Not this!

I was at the Social Media AZ conference last Thursday, and some of the well-known practitioners (note: everyone’s refraining from the word ‘experts’)  seemed to affirm what I have been talking about. I also learned a lot in six hours.

Here are some great takeaways longer version at

  • “LinkedIn is the new Rolodex” – Al Maag
  • “In social media, do you want to measure the media, or the social?” – Ed Brice
  • “The ultimate metric is trust.” – Jay Baer
  • “Create a content stew” – Pam Slim
  • “Humanize your company” – Jay Baer
  • “Focus on the bottom of the marketing funnel” –  Chris Hewitt
  • “Segment your audience before forming tactics.” – Michael Corak

One of my big lessons, and something I tend to articulate differently to my clients is that blogging and tweeting, in and of themselves, are nothing if they don’t connect the dots between other activities, content buckets, people, and online/offline properties.

A blog or a podcast will not automatically solve every communication issue.  Unless you allow social media to leave ‘breadcrumbs’ between the different tactics, then all you might be doing is creating new silos.

Download or listen to the presentations:

I think of a blog as the second hub that has dotted lines –pointy arrows in, pointy arrows out– between branding, marketing, HR, PR, the people in the organization. Why? because this is what gives the content more depth and wider context.