Social Media, Squared?

I stumbled into a marketing summit at aloft hotel yesterday afternoon. By stumbled, I mean, I signed up way ahead of time, but didn’t really know what I had signed up for. Specifically, it was on social media marketing, which I figured was both relevant to work and life outside of work (Girls in Tech, blogging, etc.), so I signed up.

My initial reaction was that I am over sales meetings. The first presenter talked about how awesome foursquare is and how people can use it, and then talked about his company, Shoutlet (the host of the conference). Even though it was sugared with valuable information, I just feel jaded and conferenced out. Maybe it is time for a conference break…

I combatted my distain quickly, realizing there was still tons I could learn. Plus, none of the other speakers were with the company, and I soon realized they were really quality presenters. I kind of like being proven wrong…

Good take aways

  • Checking in (via foursquare or facebook) can have good returns for both customers and businesses
  • If done correctly, it benefits everyone internally (recruiting, communications, merchandisers, etc.)
  • People have begun to instinctively search for an app rather than wait to be told about it. Is there an expectation now that most events will have an app?
  • The Mall of America did a really neat campaign last year that offered parking spaces for people who engage via twitter. Surveys showed great ROI with 60% coming who wouldn’t have, and 30% spending over $300. Great for a campaign that cost very little!
    • As innovative as their social media is though, MOA doesn’t have an app. Knowing this made me think about how awesome an app would be, geofencing (or some other technology that could read my location on a map) would make me a happy camper. Especially because those bathrooms are so few and far between!
    • Great ideas can come from anywhere: “MOA” and “bucket list” are often found together on social media sites. So, why not create a campaign aimed at crossing MOA off peoples’ bucket lists?

Awkward moments

  • Someone was wearing a see-through dress. So, of course I posted on social media about it, asking for advice on how to break the bad news. I ended up wimping out and not saying anything… she had a jacket with her, maybe she already knew? She was very nice.
  • The woman that sat next to me had a really beautiful ring on. I was like a kid in a candy store and couldn’t stop staring. To be fair, it was shiny.

The whole time, I couldn’t stop asking myself if I should be there or not. Or, rather, if I should have been there with “Target” on my nametag. Should I have taken vacation time to attend it? Since it was marketing I thought it would be relevant to what I work on, but now I’m not sure anymore. But oh. My. Gosh. The cupcake frosting was the most amazing part. I can still feel the buttercream frosting melting in my mouth.

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