I’ve always found that I benefit most from doing a cannonball into the pool rather than going in slowly by just dipping my toes. Lucky for me, Advice Interactive’s rock star of a CEO, Bernadette Coleman, agrees. She gave me the opportunity to attend the DFW Rocks Social Media conference in Addison, Texas, over a late June weekend. For those of you who do not know the organizer, Lissa Duty, she is the guru of all things social media. Since 2012, people have gathered from all over the country (and to my surprise, even the world!) to attend the conference and bring their social media knowledge to businesses in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Content Marketing and Social Media
My plan for attending this conference was to act like a sponge: absorb everything. Information was thrown at me in every direction. It seems overwhelming (and it was), but I found the experience undeniably helpful. Advice’s very own Bernadette Coleman was a presenter on the first day of the conference and she absolutely rocked it. She spoke about the importance of content marketing and how social media has eaten its way into our daily lives. The fact is information is fast and has changed the way we do business. She highlighted this by explaining how she had to adapt her own business with the changes that have come from recent social media and Internet advances. Overall, her presentation was one of my favorites because it was jam packed with knowledge, while always remaining relatable to her audience.
Blogging and Overcoming Writer’s Block
Another presentation that I found very helpful was Susan Hamilton’s “how to make writing a blog super easy.” More businesses are acknowledging the fact that blogging is a great, almost necessary way to speak and relate to their customers; however, a lot of them aren’t sure where to start. I know for me, writer’s block is 100 percent a real thing. Sometimes when you know you need to write something, you draw a blank. More often than not, though, once you do start writing, you find your groove and your thoughts begin to flow more freely. That’s a point that Susan Hamilton made in her presentation. She provided us all with a lined piece of paper, and asked us to “dump” out whatever was on our mind without worrying about grammar and punctuation (I can’t stress enough how hard that last part was for me!). She set a timer for 10 minutes. When you take away the pressure of writing and just scatter sentences, words and thoughts throughout a page, you’ve just written a rough draft. Then when you go back and read it (she suggested the next day) you can edit, add and take away whatever necessary.
As an intern, attending this conference was more of a learning experience than a tactical business decision. Most of the other attendees have much more knowledge and experience using content and social media to advance their businesses. An event like this is an amazing way for businesses to network. Overall, I think I left that conference with a plethora of new information, but one majority understanding. That understanding is that globalization is changing the way the world works, and if businesses don’t change their strategies with it, they’re going to get left behind. Business relationships are forever changed because of the interconnectivity social media has brought in to our everyday lives. Gone are the days of waiting on hold for tech-support to help you set up your new printer. Whatever trouble you may be having, blogs enable you to connect with businesses and other customers that may have had similar issues. That is just one of many examples showcasing how social media has permanently changed the game from small businesses to corporations alike.
When the second day came to a close, VP Community Management Lissa Duty announced that this was the last year of the DFW Social Media Rocks conference. At first, that seemed like sad news! Lissa was trying to throw all the attendees a curve ball. But then came the twist.
Rocks Digital – We ROCK Social, Search and SEO!
The DFW Rocks Social Media conference will be rebranded as Rocks Digital, with Bernadette Coleman as co-organizer. Lissa is still the founder and organizer, with the awesome Bernadette bringing her knowledge, insights and influence into the mix. The conference will be bigger and better than ever before. And as Lissa said, “She is looking forward to having the Advice Interactive Group team to help support Rocks Digital in future years!” Looks like we will all get to attend the conference next year.
We look forward to celebrating social media day with all of you guys next year!