Missed You this Year at Summit? Let's Cover the Highlights

On October 16th, over 300 social media leaders and visionaries came to collaborate about their industry at the Hyatt Austin. Attendees included Whole Foods, Aramark, General Mills, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, AARP, and REI along with many other notable brands who were able to share in the experience.

Summit was divided into two days of sessions, which were as varied as trend forecasting for 2014 to how to incorporate visual assets into your social plan. We've recapped each of the day's sessions with a little splice of #SFSummit social we loved. For those of you that were able to join, enjoy the trip down memory lane. For those of you unable to attend this year, we can't wait to see you in 2014.


Day 1

Registration kicked off at 4:30 and was followed by a welcoming reception. The Big Picture, an ice breaker and social scavenger hunt built into the Summit badge, kicked off that evening and guests got to work on filling out their game piece. Introductions were made, drinks were had, and the Summit started off on a great foot.

Day 2

The first full day of sessions kicked off early with CEO Rod Favaron offering his keynote on why social media is integral to the success of big brands. He asked attendees to answer their "why?" when it comes to social media participation and submit their answers to contribute to a portrait of why our customers use social to fulfill their business goals. Answers were varied, engaging, and insightful.



The concept of "why?" carried over into Arianna Huffington's keynote address, in which she challenged the audience to find an authentic voice for their social media and continue to engage in a personal way. Arianna summed up her social insights into three distinct categories:
-Turn presentation to participation
-Searching for meaning
-Tap into the zeitgeist

Arianna Huffington had our audience captivated as she dove into what success means for brands and for individuals, and how to continue brand reach on social.




Day two consisted lots of social advocacy and determining brand strategy. Let's take a deeper dive into the key insights from each of these.

Signal from Noise: Deriving Business Implications from Social Analytics
Jason Nickel of Brooks Brothers ventured that metrics are only the starting point; use the numbers to derive valuable insights for your marketing team. It's through this process that you can determine what your customer needs and provide content that speaks to that.


Look Who's Talking: Activating Brand Influencers and Advocates in your Social Programs

There are key differences in defining what an influencer is versus an advocate. Delineate when or how to use either (or both!) to share your brand message with their communities. Advocates typically are founded in passion where as influencers are founded in pre-established trust. Mention them in your content.


Customer Care in 140 Characters or Less

Social channels allow costumers to reach out to brands with concerns 24/7; so how do we manage that? Find your sweet spot - responding to and resolving 100% of the questions that come in with a short SLA time.


Masters Session: Advanced Content Strategies

Authenticity and relevance are the keys to successful social content. In 2012, brands focused 18% of their marketing on content marketing. Now in 2013, they focus 34%. Is your content marketing keeping up?


Let's Get Down to Business (to Business): Social Strategy & Tactics

Training is key! In order to make your program as successful as possible, you need to educate and train all those involved. Use social listening to mine nuggets of information about your customers, potential and earned.


The Newsroom: How Brands are Becoming Media Companies

We think this quote from Michael Brito summed up the session perfectly: From Michael: “Why do brands have to become media companies? Five reasons: storytelling, content, relevance, ubiquity and agility. Media companies tell stories; they’re content machines. They publish content that is both timely and relevant, they dominate search results and they are inherently content organizations that have the ability to move quickly.” We need to be able to do the same with social.


Day 3

On the last day of Summit, the morning started off with CEO Rod Favaron and the Executive Team, including Virginia Miracle, CMO Jim Rudden, and CTO Keith Zoellner.

The team introduced some exciting platform innovations before Rod and Dan Doman, VP of Business Development at Spredfast, sat down with Blake Chandlee, the VP of Global Partnerships for Facebook.


Blake took the stage to remind the audience that authenticity is key, especially when competing with the inherent social messages (aka personal traffic) on social channels. Ads should not be discouraged, but should leverage a social component to the networks.

Sessions for Day Three included looking a visual social structuring, paid ads, and forecasting. The key factors of the last sessions were invaluable assets for brands and their upcoming social hurdles. Let's parse some of those up further.  


Paid Social Media: Mastering Social Ads and Promoted Content

When to pay and when to post organically? Lean on paid when there is a strong need to get the message out but walk the line between best intention for the customer and balance of necessity. Don't inundate but inform.


Picture This: Evolving Social Strategies in the Visual Evolution
On consumer campaigns, marketers cant just say “tell us your stories.” It takes seeding that request with your own content to set the example for what you want. You cant just ask, you need to ask, and then you need to ask again. Then you need to show them the content that you want.


Top 5 Social Initiatives for Big Brands in 2014
Toe the line between being innovative and being thoughtful towards what technology consumers have use for. Don't ever say no to a new platform but instead ask why.

That wraps it up for us and Summit 2013! Who is looking forward to 2014 already?

cgreenwood@spredfast.com's picture

Caitlin Greenwood

Caitlin Greenwood is the Community Manager at Spredfast. With a background and passion for journalism and creative writing, Caitlin fosters engagement and builds meaningful relationships across the Spredfast social communities. Follow her on @mcgreenw for all things pop culture, social media, and snapshots of her corgi Marfa.