BlogWell Social Media Conference recap

[Photo credit: SocialMedia.org]
On Wednesday, I attended SocialMedia.org's Chicago BlogWell conference. BlogWell: 8 Great Case Studies on the Best Social Media Programs at Large Corporations takes place in several cities each year. I was asked to help capture some of the session info by live blogging. This being my first go at live blogging, I was naturally a little nervous. The sessions I were to cover were U.S. Bank, Humana, and Moen. I arrived at SIX10 at about 12:30 with plenty of time to check in, snack on some appetizers and talk with a couple vendors (Sprout Social and Adobe). It was pretty cool that they had a guitarist setting the mood for the day by playing Beatles songs.

When it was time for the conference to begin, I sat next to my friend Autumn at the table reserved for us live bloggers. She was covering the very first session. After that it was time to head upstairs to the ninth floor for Track 2.

My first live blog focused on Karen Gutierez, Social Media Director for U.S. Bank. As part of their social media strategy, her team created 65 page "playbooks" similar to sports playbooks. They have one for each platform they are on. Their purpose is to outline the audience type, objectives, and tone of voice needed to accomplish those objectives. The books are so detailed, that if an employee wanted to create a second Facebook page, they could hand them the Facebook playbook and know exactly how to use that platform in the best way for the bank. You can read my full coverage here.

Next, I heard from Humana's Social Media Marketing Consultant Chuck Stephens, who is funny and really knows how to capture an audience (both on and offline). One thing he mentioned in response to a question, was that every single Facebook post and tweet that goes live must be seen by 24 people. Twenty four people! Can you imagine?! It completely astounds me that they have to be that careful. It also made me realize how lucky I am to work in an industry that is not highly regulated (yet!).

Ginny Long of Moen
The last talk I listened to was by Ginny Long, the Director of Digital and Direct Marketing for Moen. She walked us through the phased approach that her company took to get where they are today on social. They found success using a blogger outreach program. Their team targeted 10 blogs that write about home improvement and remodeling. By forming relationships with these bloggers, Moen was able to get them to test products and then write about their experiences. It was interesting to learn that their audience on social media don't engage with infographics, but do respond to questions posed.

That last session ended at 5:00 sharp, and boy was I ready to be done! The organizers at GasPedal warned the day would go by fast, and we should plan for snack and bathroom breaks. They couldn't be more right on! I learned so much at the same time trying to capture as much as possible that at the end of the day I was exhausted. It was truly a fantastic experience, and I'm thrilled they asked me to blog for them.

Have you attended a BlogWell event before? What companies did you hear from?