Conferences work when you hear that one thing that makes you say, “Yes! That’s what I needed!” It’s when you get that one chunk of information you were either hoping to find out, or that you didn’t know you needed until you heard it.
Today’s Social Media Arizona event had several of those moments for me, but here are the two that stick out:
1) Leave off the last paragraph of a blog post. If you don’t wrap up the story you tell, it leaves readers wanting more, and gets them to want to finish it with their own comments.
2) If you want to convince your company it needs to explore social media, find the 1 or 2 executives who are the forward thinking ones, the ones most likely to get it. If you can win them over, they will win the rest over.
I like having thoughts like these given to me. You can read blogs and watch training videos and you won’t necessarily find these important bits of philosophy in them. It’s encouraging to me when this happens. Mostly because, unfortunately, a lot of conferences don’t have a great deal of new, useful information in them. Especially when you’re talking about social media.
I don’t claim to know all there is about social. But I’ve heard enough presentations now that I hear the same things being taught repeatedly: Be real, have a goal, it’s about the conversations not the tools, and measure your progress. (Which, frankly, is good advice whatever marketing you do.) Beginners will doubtlessly find all of this interesting and exciting. They should. Social media is a brave new world. It’s the wild west. But once you hear these axioms enough, you hit a ceiling, where you hunger for new information, some new take.
Maybe at that point, you just need to go out and create your own stories, your own eye-opening study or tactic to share. Or maybe the best parts of any seminar can be gleaned from the Twitter posts that come out of it.
This isn’t a slam on conferences, mind you. Like I said, I was floating from room to room, and may just have missed the really good parts everyone was sharing. Still, I wonder if there’s always enough new information to share at all of the SEMPO, AZIMA, and even SMAZ events.
So, seriously – what do you think?