(picture from Mom 2.0 Summit taken by Giovanni Gallucci)
What a day yesterday was! I started the morning off bright and early (7:00 AM!) by giving a short presentation on social media to a great networking group called the Houston Business Connection and then had the great privilege of attending the Mom 2.0 Summit where the real experts spoke about social media. It was such a wonderful and informative day that I thought Arrow-Tips readers might enjoy hearing about some of my key takeaways from both events.
I’m fortunate enough to already be acquainted with most of this wonderful group, but even a total stranger would have felt welcomed by their warm and informal yet well structured style. I knew some of the members were already on Facebook, Plaxo and LinkedIn, but I really didn’t know what to expect in terms of experience with these sites so I decided to make the presentation interactive and let the group drive the agenda. Since most of the group was already very familiar with LinkedIn, We spent most of our time on Facebook and Twitter which are often a little more exotic to us professionals in our 40s and up.
My key take-away from the presentation was that you really need to make sure you get with your corporate HR and/or marketing department before you start a professional online presence. Many companies do have policies regarding what employees can and cannot post about their professional life online. But the real questions were focused on copyrighting – is your professional blog content your property or the property of your company? You can view the presentation on slideshare.
Unfortunately I only got to attend the first day of this wonderful conference, but I’m so grateful for the experience – what an amazing group of people (yes, there were men there too)! The Summit started on Thursday evening with registration and drinks at Massa’s where we got to taste Israeli wines courtesy of Israeli Wine Direct and chat with some of the great sponsors and attendees. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about YouData which brings customized and relevant marketing to users (think Amazon for everything) with some great fringe benefits – I’m working on getting my MeFile set up already. I also got a chance to catch up with the always interesting Adam Blumberg of Mass Mutual and Kelsey Ruger of Pop Labs.
Despite forgetting my purse in my rush to make the Houston Business Connection meeting and having to swing back home to collect it, I made it to the Mom 2.0 Summit just in time for opening remarks by how-cute-are-they organizers Laura Mayes of Kirtsy, Carrie Pacini and Marla Trevino of OpMom, and Amber Roussel author of PureAmber – seriously, if you are in the market for an event MC you can’t go wrong with Laura that’s-how-we-roll Mayes. Also helping organize the summit were the indispensable Monica Dana and Matthew Wettergreen – with a crew like that how could the event be anything other than a huge success?
First up was Karen Walrond interviewing Guy Kawasaki– talk about starting with a bang! Ok, this was a great conversation which I tweeted about quite a bit, but here were two of my favorite take-aways from Guy’s interview: 1) Tracer is a great new product by Tynt which helps track when content is copied from your web site and also automatically tags it with your URL so that you get credit. 2) Twitter Hawk – which allows you to automatically create responses to customized twitter stream searches. Have to admit I also enjoyed Karen’s questions “Is blogging dead and if so did Twitter kill it?” – to our relief Guy emphatically responded “No.”
Next up was a great panel on the Economics of Women Centered Digital Media moderated by one of the youngest successful venture capitalists I know (besides all around great guy) Blair Garrou of DFJ Mercury with BlogHer founder Lisa Stone, Mom Talk Radio‘s Maria Bailey and The Soccer Mom Myth author Holly Buchanan. Some great stuff came out of this panel, but one of my favorite points was right at the beginning when Holly spoke about the power of the cupcake. Holly held up a marketing piece on a stick stuck into a very yummy looking cupcake and then stated that its that cupcake (the one that looked pretty good at 11:00 PM last night) that is often missing in marketing today. What’s the cupcake symbolize? Its the emotional connection with the brand that makes us pay attention to marketing and maintain top of mind awareness.
I had the great pleasure of finally meeting Chron.com tech editor Dwight Silverman at lunch where we shared a table with Nikhil Nilakantan, Ed Schipul and his lovely wife, Imelda Bettinger, Katie Laird, Brian Rutledge and blogger Deb of Deb On The Rocks. Our lunch discussion centered around the fact that if you are an entrepreneur into the social media scene, Houston has definitely got it going on! And aside from when I thoroughly embarrassed myself by mistaking Maggie Mason for Angela Dawn (hello, I had just bought Maggie’s book No One Cares What You Had for Lunch), it was a great lunch!
Next up was another panel called Building Communities: The future of success building relationships and engaging communities as you grow your business, image and reputation online. The panel moderated by my friend Marc Nathan of The Houston Technology Center included Susan Getgood author of Marketing Roadmaps, Nelly Yusupova of WebGrrls, and Kyran Pittman author of Notes to Self. I learned a lot about attracting online communities and keeping them engaged during this panel, but key take-aways for me were: 1) size really doesn’t matter – I believe it was Susan that stated that if you have the 8 most powerful leaders in the world in your community then you really don’t need anyone else. The idea here is that it is more important to have members truly engaged in your niche than to have large numbers of casual users who will not get passionate about your community and keep it going. 2) I got to meet Tracy Mooney, Chief Cyber Security Mom for McAfee Inc. Okay, I’ve never been much of a McAfee fan, but after learning about Tracy’s blog for parents of kids on the internet, I plan on giving them another try. This is a tuff community as Susan pointed out because there are questions people are not going to want to post – but, you can always encourage users to don an alias that protects their anonymity which will make them feel more comfortable with questions that may be uncomfortable to ask otherwise. 3) The down economy has actually been a boon for online community participation. People are feeling the need more than ever to network and connect in these uncertain economic times.
The next panel Case Studies – What Works. No, Really, This Works! including Candace Mueller of Quaker, Danielle Wiley of Edelman, Carrie Pacini of OpMom, Trae Nikelson of YouData, Lisa Albrecht of Laundry Tree and Susan Rafte of the Pink Ribbons Project. Another great panel further illustrating the benefits of having a MeFile and some surprising take-aways: 1) Apparently champagne and oatmeal taste great together on inauguration day whether you are a democrat or a republican- Quaker launched a series of breakfast parties on inauguration day with mom blogger hosts from both sides of the aisle which were a big hit for their brand. 2) OpMom is rocking with a deal to promote Sony DVDs that is helping build loyalty for both the Sony and OpMom brands – go, OpMom! 3) Not only is YouData providing a great service for consumers, they are providing a great venue for both non-profit and for-profit organizations to better target their ad campaigns. 4) Honestly my favorite take away was the physical one – I won a gift bag from laundrytree as a door prize which I was just about to purchase on the prior break. In addition to producing softer fragrance free laundry – this stuff is great for people with sensitive skin like my excema prone youngest son. I tried it last night and guess what folks – it works!
We finished up the day with intimate discussion tables (about 6 to 12 people per table) which was a great opportunity for open discussion. I got to sit with Catherine Conners of Her Bad Mother, Gwen Bell of Kirtsy, and my friend Erica O’Grady of Peanut Butter Media. Catherine’s discussion topic was Social Media, Social Responsibility, and Social Impact and the key take-away from this group was that more and more companies like Quaker are partnering with charitable organizations and good causes to contribute to the community while also building an emotional bond and brand recognition (the cupcake). We were fortunate to have YouCanMakeThis.com founders Kim Chrisophersonat Gwen’s table focusing on monetizing your site and what a huge success story her site is! Kim found her monetization niche by providing a forum for other women to sell their patterns and designs. My final discussion lead by Erica O’Grady was of course all about Twitter.com and the many ways twitter can be used. I shared my husband’s US Naturalization Ceremony twit stream, but that was far eclipsed by Erica’s recital of Tara Hunt‘s UPS experience(click the link – it is well worth your time to read the story). Top take-away, companies would be wise to have someone monitor the Twitter stream looking for complaints about their products – not only is Twitter a great medium for getting feedback, you may just have an opportunity to redeem yourself.
Two more take-aways that I have to mention: 1) Had the pleasure of meeting Allison Czarnecki of Petit Elephant who was kind enough to give me one of her lovely candles – my son insisted I light it when he saw it and we all thoroughly enjoyed the aroma! 2) Italian Wedding Cookies – just one of the amazing gifts included in our conference goodie bag. Between a late night snack on Thursday and breakfast on Friday those cookies were gone!
Unfortunately I had to stop at day 1 of the Mom 2.0 Summit due to a sick kid at home and another kid that just needed some mommy time. I did get a chance to check the #Mom2Summit twitter stream a few times and it sounded like more amazing things were going on. I’ll conclude this post with posing a question to Laura, Carrie, and Monica – 2nd Annual Mom 2.0 Summit? just sayin….
PS: There are so many great blog posts out there regarding the Mom 2.0 Summit that I put together a Mom 2.0 Summit Link Post for all of them (please let me know if I left one out).