Where do you go to find your social media inspiration? How do you keep up with all of the latest platforms, tools, and information?
For me, it’s PodCamp Pittsburgh. Sure I can read 1,000 blog posts about the best ways to use Pinterest for business or attend a bunch of social media webinars, but at the end of the day they’re still no substitute for having a chance to connect with local bloggers and talk shop with others in the space.
One thing’s for sure—the social media and online marketing landscape continues to change and evolve at breakneck speed.
Here are 7 observations from this year’s conference:
1. You Can't Be All Things To All People
Social media platforms that were promised to be the “next big thing” just a few months ago have since cooled off a little bit.
I mentioned it during a panel on leveraging social media for maximum impact—there aren’t any “one size fits all” solutions. If someone tells you “Everyone should be on XYZ social media channel” they’re full of crap.
2. Quality Content is key for Search Engine Success
Changes to search engine ranking factors continue to keep bloggers and online marketers guessing. As Mike Munz (@demunz) pointed out in his session SEvOlution, there is no magic SEO dust that you can just sprinkle on your computer and expect to appear at the top of the search results.
You’ve got to generate quality content—content people want to read and “engage” (one of his favorite terms) with.
3. Wearable Computing Is The Future
Wearable computing (Google Glass, smart watches, etc.) is not only here, it will totally change the way we interact with the web and our physical environments.
I know most of us are still fixated on our smartphones, tablets, and mobile apps, but having a chance to see Google Glass in action I have to say we’re on the verge of some mind blowing stuff.
4. Personal Connections Drive Social Sharing
Personal connections and stories matter now more than ever. You can’t just tweet something out or post it to Facebook and automatically expect people to pay attention.
You’ve got to pull them in by sharing your personal stories and lessons learned.
5. Don't Overuse Hashtags
By now, I'm sure you've seen the #hashtag video where Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake show you what a Twitter conversation sounds like in real life.
Totally hillarious but also a great reminder not to overdue it when it comes to hashtags. I've noticed more and more advertisers stuffing hashtags into TV commercials and, if it keeps up, it won't be long until they officially jump the shark.
If you haven't seen the video yet, I promise you'll never look at hashtags the same way again.
6. You Need A Social Media Routine
When it comes to keeping up with your social media and blogging, you need a routine—something that’s especially true for small business owners.
Whether it’s 20 minutes or two hours, make sure you carve out some time each week to create and share new content and interact with others in your network.
7. QR Codes Still Haven't Caught On
If there's one place you'd think QR codes would have caught on by now, it would be at a conference of folks who are passionate about technology and social media.
Based on my unscientific study, it still seems like approximatley 95% of people don't use QR codes, make fun of them, or both.
Before you create another QR code, be sure to watch this...
Finding A Source of Social Media Inspiration
Sometimes we just need a little nudge (or a swift kick in the ass) to help get us over the edge and find new sources of creative inspiration. For me, PodCamp did all that and more.
What about you?
Where do you look for your social media inspiration? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
By: Shawn Graham
[Image: Flickr user Ralph Hockens]