SXSW Recap Part 2

Posted on March 19th, 2012 by True Media

Conduit Lounge

I can’t believe a week ago today I was wrapping up my first trip to SXSW Interactive Conference. Here’s some more recap from my trip.
My second day at SXSW it only rained on me in the afternoon, and if you know anything about this interactive festival then you know it requires a lot of walking the streets of downtown Austin and trying to catch shuttles to get to your next session. Sometimes the really good ones are full when you get there, and you’re lucky if they’ll let you in to sit on the floor. Some where lined up outside waiting for one person to leave so another could go in.
I started at the Omni hotel with a session I thought would be very beneficial for our clients, especially for those in highly regulated industries. It was called “Social Media and the Law – Can You Tweet That?” This one did not live up to expectations. I think the content was too elementary for the techie audience.
After that I headed over to the Ogilvy Stage for a book reading. Deve Kerpen’s book Likeable Media explains that that, in social media, responsiveness is not a choice. You must listen, respond and provide value. #sxlikeable
I went to others that day as well, “How to Become a Next Generation Media Company” where I learned I heard a great quote:
“Social Media is the operating system that powers the web.”
Love it.
Sunday’s favorite session was again back at the Ogilvy stage where Hubspot’s Kipp Bodnar along with Jeffrey Cohen from Radian 6 explains that prospects don’t care about products, just solutions and that social media is able to drive leads if you can get your audience to –
1. Get ppl connected
2. Get them to share your stuff
3. Place calls to action everywhere
Monday I got to sit in on a lively panel that included @JasonFalls and Jeremiah Owyang called “Social Media Comes of age Without the Help of Porn.” If you’ve ever heard Falls’ version of “No BS Social Media” then you know this one was interesting. The panel debated what is driving social’s evolution and what is coming next.

Falls, Owyang & company

Social media is being driven by people. Social media marketing is being driven by brands and that sometimes don’t understand that Facebook is not the only channel. Message boards, forums, and niche social networks are big players as well.
Social media is being driven by people with smartphones, and by sociology and connections. Self expression, the validation of relationships and desire the to be part of group.
What’s coming next? The panel agreed that small biz should become more educated and will begin to adopt a more well rounded social strategy. They also agreed more legal ramifications are to come.
My last day brought two of my favorite panels, on blogger outreach and community moderation. Three bloggers and a representative from The March of Dimes talked about being on both sides of a blogger outreach campaign.
The most important takeaway here – do your research, participate, and create a personal connection with the blogger. This is an ongoing relationship building campaign and doesn’t happen overnight.

  • Actions should be aligned with goals.
  • Prioritize reach.
  • Make a specific ask of blogger and offer an easy toolkit. Give them everything they need for the task.
  • Engaged readers are most important. Don’t forget that people can buy Twitter followers.
  • Empower them to be unique.


The “Confessions of a Community Moderator” panel was maybe my favorite of the week.
The panel consisted of community managers from Converse All-Star shoes , Aveda products and the Peanuts gang (yep, Snoopy too).
Best advice:

  • It’s about the community and the content, not the quantity of fans.
  • Don’t treat legal like the enemy.
  • ROI implies Investment. Don’t leave your social to your intern. Invest in it.
  • Be the liaison between the community and the brand.

Foursquare Party, Cedar Street Courtyard, downtown Austin

So that’s my big wrap up. And yes, I did go to some of those infamous “South by” parties. My favorites were Tech Karaoke and the Foursquare party. But that’s for another blog.