Social Media Unplugged Conference: What You Missed

Social Media Unplugged

On Saturday, Jan. 29, Sidetrek Productions presented a one-day conference in Vancouver on real world social media strategies and implementation. The speaker line-up included representatives from some of the biggest players in social media in Vancouver, the country and the world.

Following is our recap of the highlights.

Marty Yaskowitch, Managing Director for TribalDDB Canada


‘The Most Powerful Strategy in Business Today’


  • Your strategy need not be a social media strategy but an overall strategy that combines whatever channels can help you attain your business goals
  • Compel people to share your story and give them the tools to do it, don’t just publish and broadcast your message — move them emotionally and then you can influence them to act: Engagement. Influence. Activation.
  • Your number of fans or Twitter followers does not equal success if you are not activating those followers to do something
  • The DDB Salty campaign for Knorr Sidekicks used video spots to get people emotionally connected to the out-of-work salt shaker (because Sidekicks now have less salt)
  • Salty then appeared on Twitter, Facebook, and even Chat Roulette
  • The videos got 375,000 views with $0 media spend and Sidekicks surpassed Uncle Ben’s as #1
  • The tools don’t matter if you don’t have engagement
  • Emotionally appealing ideas plus a media agnostic approach = engagement
  • Increase your ‘Share Value’

Amielle Lake, CEO of Tagga Media Inc. (joined by Marketing Director Tiffany Chester)


‘Integrating Social Media & Mobile Marketing’


  • 72.5% of the world population is mobile
  • Use mobile to make marketing campaigns more effective
  • You can use mobile and social media to get people looking to spend money right now into your store
  • For example, run a poll on your Facebook page, then get people to submit their phone number to receive a coupon by phone
  • Text deals through SMS and include a link to your mobile site
  • Go with a mobile site over an app because apps are more expensive to develop and usually don’t get used often unless you have very compelling content and ongoing engagement
  • Sponsor popular apps instead
  • People use their mobile phones to do two things: save time and kill time
  • View their presentation on Slideshare

Rochelle Grayson, CEO of BookRiff Media Inc.


‘Show Me the Money! Rockin’ Social Media Business Models’


  • How do you monetize your social media efforts? People will pay for things if they are compelled to do so
  • Activation comes from: Convenience, comfort, self esteem, belonging, scarcity, health and wellbeing, success and status, entertainment, creative learning
  • If you can tap into these feelings, people will pay for your service
  • For example — the Starbucks mobile app makes it very convenient for you to come into their stores and spend money — find a location, choose your beverage and even pay with your phone!
  • Or, people will pay for the comfort of removing ads from the service they’re using, which is where the concept of ‘freemium’ came from on sites like Spotify, and WordPress

Annalea Krebs, Founder and CEO of


‘Best Practices for Social Commerce’


  • Find a way to connect people with your cause in a meaningful way
  • EthicalDeal used to be a directory of green businesses, but that wasn’t working, so they looked at the Groupon model and found that it would help them achieve their goal better — driving people to green businesses
  • Integrate everything with the coupon emails — do a corresponding blog post to promote it
  • Facebook pages that run contests often have more followers

Iman Biock Aghay, Founder of Vancouver Business Network and CEO of Success Road Enterprises


‘How to Increase Your Sales Today with Facebook Advertising’


  • Increase your sales with Facebook ads, which are very targeted and produce qualified leads
  • A wedding photographer spent $600 on a Facebook ad campaign directed at engaged women aged 24-30, which resulted in $40,000 in sales!
  • Ensure you use keywords like ‘wedding’ instead of ‘big day’, for example
  • Connect either to your Facebook page with a coupon featured on it, or a landing page

Crystal Henrickson, Marketing Director of Yelp Canada


‘How to Engage Your Business Online’


  • You can optimize your business profile on Yelp with a ton of free features
  • Add a business description, photos, promotional offers, connect your manager’s Yelp profile
  • Add a Yelp icon to your website to let people know you are on Yelp, rather than asking for reviews, which is not advised
  • Recommend like-minded businesses
  • Respond to comments and reviews privately or publicly

Elijah Van Der Giessen, Creative Services Lead for the David Suzuki Foundation


‘Social Media Marketing for Change: How to grow a community and put them to work’


  • Advocacy is a great way to build your email subscriber list
  • DSF does it by creating petitions and asking petition participants who are already passionate about the cause to sign up to receive further communications
  • Also, be shameless and relentless — ask people to share!
  • Maximize the ways people can share your content — Facebook has been huge in that regard for DSF (‘like’ buttons and share buttons)
  • Pay attention to data and monitor performance of multiple channels, see what works best
  • Use social media in a support role — DSF is largely email-based but Facebook has brought a lot of traffic

Dave Olson, Marketing Director of HootSuite Media


‘Creating a Sustainable Plan and Choosing the Right Social Media Tools’


  • Social media concept is not new — CB radios could be compared to Chat Roulette, scrapbooks to Tumblr, telegrams to Twitter, etc.
  • Listen — set up your dashboard to monitor all conversations about your company, learn what people are saying and how they are talking about your company and use their language to communicate with them
  • Participate — reach out to critics, respond, monitor all mentions
  • Ensure your story is compelling and interesting and give people the tools to share your story
  • Go to where the people are and invite them to you, don’t just broadcast randomly
  • Close the loop — when people create content about you, share it!
  • View his presentation on Slideshare

Attendees at the Social Media Unplugged conference also received a useful document for those looking to learn more about social media and its associated terms: Social Media From A to Z: A Glossary.

Photos from the event.

Did you get a chance to attend? What did you take away from the presentations?

By the way, if you’re interested in social media and design, check out How Is Social Media Affecting Web Design?.

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