As a blog which does a lot of event coverage we also like to talk to the organizers of the events. One event which is rapidly gaining ground is the Social Media Marketing 2010 event, which takes place in San Francisco and the upcoming one in Las Vegas. Organizer is Murray Newlands, we asked him some questions about himself and the event.
Can you introduce yourself?
I blog at murraynewlands.com. I have been in online marketing since I was 24. I am now 36 so that’s 12 years already. I have been working in the affiliate marketing space for the last 7 years but in the last 2, I started doing more and more in the social media space. My background means I come at social media marketing from the perspective of delivering results, not just what some see as fluff.
In 2010 I started running social media marketing conferences across America. We are passionate about creating events that give marketers what they need to increase results when they return to the office.
How do you make sure your events provide value for the attendees?
We are very focused on finding the right speakers and then vetting the presentations that they deliver. We always ask if they can back up their claims with a case study which they themselves have worked on. We also ask them to provide their top take-always or top tips which are actionable – and realistic. If the presentations are not up to scratch we throw them back and ask them to re-do them.
You have had some great speakers like Brian Solis, Chris Brogan, Ben Parr. How do you get them?
I like to think it is because we have a reputation for putting on great events with a great audience and that’s the draw. It does help that I travel and speak across the US and get to know them “on tour,” so to speak.
What are your predictions for 2011?
One big trend we have seen is that now everyone is doing social media, so marketing “experts” have to really step up their game. Listening and engaging in conversation were great but with the space becoming more competitive, marketing has to become truly innovative. Companies need to compete by delivering customer delight that they share via social media, not just asking to re-tweet because you said something cool. Local or geo-targeted campaigns are also becoming a hot topic. Enabling the link between online and real world purchases will be key.
We will also see the ever-increasing connection between social media monitoring and sales and crm systems. As I say, listening is good; delivering sales is better.
What does all this mean for the State of Search in 2011?
Firstly, geo location in search is going to be even more important. Searches in Facebook will become more important as they work out how to increase their value to consumers. As Facebook and other communities are looking at realizing their value, they are starting to charge companies for services like monitoring tools that analyse and access their data. Your SEO tools could become much more expensive. In community, optimisation could be pay-to-play. Social media optimisation is new but client expectations for optimisers to deliver is here now, not in the future. As an expert, you will be expected to perform, or they will get someone else who can do it with just one tweet or status update.
Can you tell us a little bit about the event
Social Media Marketing 2011 will bring together leading brands and marketing experts to explore the viral power of social networks. Learn how to get coverage like a Lindsay-Lohan-gets-out-of-rehab photo. During this one-day event, a team of marketing experts – like Luke Brynley-Jones, David Koloski and Murray – will provide guidance on how to effectively engage with customers via social media, give tips on how to maximize the impact of your campaigns and offer insights into new services to try and trends to watch.