August 13, 2013
/ by Teresa Dankowski
Photo courtesy of br1dotcom via Flickr
For those who live in Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Mumbai, São Paulo, Berlin, Bogotá or Torino—huzzah, the day is here! Registration is now open for Social Media Week, a biannual series of global social media events to be held September 23-27.
As Cision starts planning which social media, marketing, PR and SEO sessions we’d like to attend, we’re keeping these do’s and don’ts in mind, to maximize our Social Media Week experience. Don’t live near a participating Social Media Week city? Don’t fret! Many of these tips are applicable to any conference you might attend.
DO make the most of your time. Be sure to attend sessions that will provide a value to your personal or company brand. Are you looking for a thorough education on a specific platform? Are you looking to network at a smaller gathering with people in your industry? Be strategic about your presence. Take notes, ask questions of your presenters and don’t be afraid to analyze how the information presented might be relevant to your company’s business goals.
DON’T register for everything. Because all Social Media Week events are free, you might be inclined to book yourself for anything that sounds interesting. Step away from the keyboard! You want to commit to sessions that advertise something your brand needs, and only the sessions that you’ll realistically be able to attend. This means give yourself enough travel time between sessions so you’re not booked back-to-back. Space is limited for venues, so any event that you no-show will inhibit someone else in the social community from attending. Last year I attended four events and I still felt like I got a taste of everything.
DO get your company involved. If it seems like Social Media Week is just for social media and community managers, consider a different perspective. Social Media Week isn’t just about Facebook and Twitter—it’s more about accessing and levering tools to help with your content, marketing, advertising, sales and customer service strategies. B2B and B2C companies and decision-makers will be sharing case studies and their experiences with social media. Encourage different departments within your company to take advantage of Social Media Week events. This conference is ideal if you’re still looking to get buy-in or approval from the C-suite for your brand’s social media presence.
DON’T forget to mingle. You might call it networking—inwardly, I call it, “Hey, put your phone down and stop live-tweeting for a second because nobody is at the podium right now and this would be a great opportunity to introduce yourself and have a conversation!” Don’t get me wrong, Twitter is the best way to follow Social Media Week soundbites, and a session’s unique hashtag will fill you in on whatever event you had to miss. But don’t forget a key element to Social Media Week—being social. The city-supported series gives you a rare opportunity to meet your social community and make meaningful connections offline.
DO capitalize on content. Is your company always on the lookout for material to fill blog posts, white papers, infographics and webinars? Social Media Week is a time-saving dream for content creators! Write a blog post wrapping up your favorite session, or assemble a tip sheet citing advice from influential speakers. Organize a quick interview with a Social Media Week presenter, or poll fellow attendees for opinions. You can even use social media analytics to give a data-driven recap of the most popular events or topics. Heck, I’m using Social Media Week for a content item right now. Want to see Cision at Social Media Week? We’re hosting an event! Join Heidi Sullivan, our SVP of digital content, for The Next Generation: Content Marketing and the PR Professional. If the event is sold out, you can still participate virtually by following the hashtag #smwcontentmktg from 1-2:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, September 24. Or be sure to attend our upcoming webinar, Content Marketing for the PR Professional, on Thursday, August 22.
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