Recapping #socialfresh Day One

Yesterday I had the opportunity to travel to San Diego, CA for the Social Fresh West conference. I will admit I was a bit hesitant at first because I didn’t want to attend a conference that was all about Facebook and Twitter. The array of speakers that presented on day one ranged from the Social Media Manager of Billboard, @misskatiemo, to a fellow Coloradan and one of the original voices of Southwest Airlines, @paulaberg. The topics ranged from email marketing learning how to maximize an overload of good content, and branding products that most would see as unbrandable (i.e. crocs).

While all the speakers are experts in their field of choice, there were some that stood out and really brought exceptional energy, information, and pure awesomeness to Day 1 of Social Fresh West conference. For those who weren’t able to attend here were two of my favorite speakers and the information they had to share:

Katie Morse, Billboard

One of the most interesting speakers was Katie Morse from Billboard. Her entire conversation was built around a case study over the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. The problem she faced was she had an overload of good content, but only a few places to share it. She had to pick out the best content and use it in a way that would spark the most interactions throughout the 6-8 social channels they utilized. Here were some highlights from her talk:

Pay attention to trends and best practices

Something that any social media marketer can take away is this tip. There are trends in the way we interact and converse on social media, so pay attention and participate in the dialogue. If your brand isn’t successful it’s because you aren’t paying attention to where and how your customers are interacting. It’s also important to pay attention to common best practices in social media. Some of these include writing engaging and relevant posts, posting content specific to each network (i.e. don’t link Twitter and Facebook — major pet peeve! Be original!), and be able to measure everything you do.

Don’t always send your customers back to your website

I enjoyed this highlight because so many professionals are all about what it is that social media can do for me. The self-centric environment when it comes to social media will do nothing but backfire down the road. Taking a more ‘give and get’ approach will not only promote more loyal fans, but it’ll prevent your fans from being turned off from your brand.

Paula Berg, Linhart PR

I’m probably extremely bias when it comes to reviewing Paula Berg’s speech, probably because she’s not only from Denver, but she was one of the original voices of social media for Southwest Airlines — which is probably the best brand in the world (I luv it!). Working now for Linhart PR, Paula has been an integral part of several campaigns including the brand crocs. I learned a lot through what she spoke about, here are a couple:

Not everyone is fortune enough to work for brands that have all positive reviews

This statement screams truth. No matter how many people are in love with your brand you will always find someone who doesn’t like something you do. Whether it be they don’t think your pricing is fair, your leaders are ethical, or your product is perfect — there will always be haters. It’s how you respond to those haters that will make or break you. Come up with creative, inventive ways to take a brand that has such a bad connotation into one that everyone loves. It’s never an easy task, but if it was none of us would have jobs.

Use influencers to build brand awareness

Granted, when you think of crocs, you think of those hideous holed shoes that you’re probably embarrassed to admit you own a pair. That’s what I thought too (although, I have never even thought about buying them), but the crocs brand goes beyond those hideous hole-type shoes. They actually have shoes that are passable in society. One of the things that Paula and her team were tasked with was reviving or beautifying a brand who has such a negative undertone. They did this through outreach and education. Not only did they find influencers, but they used these influencers to educate thousands of people who had believe crocs to be a one shoe brand.

Just in case you missed Day 1 of the conference, go back on Twitter and follow the hashtag #socialfresh (#1 trending on Twitter yesterday and i’m sure it will be trending again today!) and learn about everything that happened. Follow me on Twitter at @rblake to see everything that happens today!

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. AspenSpin says

    Interesting article…thanks. The successful brands have learned to interact with influnencers…rather than just “using” them.


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