Vocus Demand Success 2013 Recap

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As a digital marketing professional, if you don’t learn at least 15 new things a day, you’re probably doing it wrong. Being in the know is not a passive activity, it take real work and an understanding of the industry. While keeping up on your own is great, sometimes it’s fun to peel away from the your blog list and actually connect with the people behind the handles (IRL)!

When Vocus offered me a ticket to their Demand Success 2013 Conference, I jumped at the chance. I’ve been to numerous conferences, trainings and panels, large and small, heck, I even host them myself through SMCDC, but because social is the new cool thing for businesses to do, you never know what you’re walking into. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat through trainings and instead of talking about strategy and ideas, they start to walk the audience how to set up a Twitter handle.

SNOOZE. I tweet in my sleep and I can’t fathom there are people out there who don’t live tweet their lives, I mean I know they exist, but they certainly aren’t in my network. Anyway, Vocus got it right. This conference was definitely not for anyone looking to break into social, it was all about how to improve the campaigns and networks you already have.

I had a great day at the Vocus Conference, I’m sad I can’t make the second day but this gal has to get back to managing her communities! Cat photos just don’t post themselves you know. Encase you didn’t get a chance to attend here are a few of my favorite things from the day. You can also catch up on twitter by scoping out the hashtag: #demand13

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The morning started off with a keynote speech from @ariannahuff. Arianna was HILARIOUS, especially given the fact she missed two planes from London and arrived in DC at 4am, just 5 hours before she was set to go on. I think the most salient points she talked about were the importance of taking the time to unplug and how multitasking doesn’t necessarily mean more productivity. Also, sleep! Lot’s of sleep, so much sleep that the Huffington Post actually has nap rooms at their office. Remember: just like our devices need to be shut off and recharged, so do we.

Up next was by far my favorite session of the day. @juntajoe, Founder of Content Marketing Institute outlines the 10 Steps to Content Marketing Success. According to him, 36% of us don’t think our content marketing is successful, so there is plenty of room for improvement. Joe suggests taking the time to build personas for your audience. He also talked about creating an influencer hit list, 10-15 people you want to engage with and the importance of sharing their content first, BEFORE you ask them to return the favor. Tons of great advice, his presentation is already up on Slideshare here, I highly recommend you check it out and the rest of his content.

After lunch I sat down for a panel about Social Media’s Expanding Role, given by two non-social media managers, Tahmmy Lucich (@mellowmushroom) and Matthew Ricketts (@BetterLifeMaids). The main point of this panel was: don’t wait for news, create it yourself. Mellow Mushroom definitely gets creative points for their campaign, “Follow us and We’ll Follow You,” Watch the video for yourself and make your own judgment, but if a brand I followed on twitter randomly started stalking me IRL, I’d probably find that weird, borderline creepy. Either way, super creative, definitely an eyeball catcher.

Next @wharman outlined Lessons from the Red Cross Social Media Command Center. Nothing really new here, just an interesting look at how they manage the 3.2 million comments and tweets that pour in during disaster relief. (And no, Wendy was not the one who tweeted about #gettingslizzard, but she did talk about it.)

We all know Social and Search are intertwined and @RicDragon @KerryGorgone @SimoneHeselhine @AnnTran_ finished up the panel series talking about the importance of responsive design and the personalization of search. Too many G+ nods for my taste, but I’m not an SEO or SEM person, so maybe I’m missing something. Either way, keep your website load times down! 5-6 seconds on desktop and 1-2 seconds on mobile, if you want to keep the masses happy.

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To end the day, Actress Elisabeth Moss of Mad Men sat down for a Q&A with the audience. Sporting a blonde bob circa Mika Brizinski, it took me a second to recognize her when she passed by, but I managed to snap a few shots before she was lost in the crowd.

All in all, Vocus put on a great conference. I walked away with some new twitter followers and a notebook full of fresh ideas and campaigns I can’t wait to try! Thanks again, @Vocus!

**Ticket was given gratis as a part of a cross promotional deal between SMCDC and Vocus. All opinions are my own.

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