Back in 2013, friend and gourmet chef Dennis Littley put on a virtual summit about blogging and social media marketing. Today that doesn’t sound particularly impressive, but imagine how limited platform options were back then? There were virtually no software solutions for such an endeavor. Nor was it commonplace for people to put on or even attend online events that lasted more than an hour or two. Yet he accomplished something special, pulling together a variety of talented speakers, leveraging the capabilities of Google+ and Hangouts On Air, to successfully help and educate hundreds and hundreds of people.
In fact, it worked so well, he did it again in ’14 and once again in ’15.
Like most of us involved back then, it was our first full experience with a completely online event and it was impactful. Several years later, in 2018, when I put on my own virtual summit, I thought back to how Dennis ran things often.
Whew, that first event was a huge learning experience for me. I ran 16 live streamed webinars over the course of two weeks. Each was hosted on a platform called livestorm.co which was great for a single webinar… not so hot for a whole series of them. Registrants had to sign up for each session individually, and there was little engagement.
And yet, by our standards it was a huge success. Over a thousand people signed up and attended and learned from our presenters.
A little time passed while other projects took priority, and then in 2019 I hosted another summit, and then another. Each time I learned, adapted, improved, and achieved more! A thousand attendees grew to two thousand and then three thousand. And the sessions themselves improved in quality and content and quantity.
Earlier this year I worked with Agorapulse to launch a new Facebook Group, Social Pulse Community, and then we re-branded the virtual summits to be Social Pulse Summit. I continued to innovate, by using new technology and features like Messenger Rooms to deliver increasingly engaging event experiences!
My last summit was focused 100% on LinkedIn and, after it was finished, I started talking with my CMO and CEO about what my long term vision might be for the event. What do I hope to achieve over the next year?
The answer was simple, if not intimidating… Become The Premiere Event In The Social Media Marketing Space, Attracting The Best Speakers And Tens Of Thousands Of Attendees.
I want Social Pulse Summit to be THE event that you can’t wait to dive into each and every quarter.
I want to get to the point where, as soon as you learn when the next one will be, you rush to sign up because you know there are going to be tremendous speakers and sessions, incredibly valuable information, and a rich & rewarding community experience that provides numerous networking and relationship building opportunities.
To say then that my new mission in life is to help you is not an understatement. This is literally my main objective and most important recurring project at Agorapulse. I’m currently investing weeks and weeks of time to put together the next summit, and foresee that by the end of 2021, I will have one or more staff members helping me, and will have started to plan the next quarter’s event even before the current one takes place.
Speaking of which… did I mention that the next summit is ready for you?
Social Pulse Summit: Twitter Edition
Head over to summit.agorapulse.com to read all of the incredible sessions and speakers happening on Wednesday, November 18th. Like last quarter, this summit is focused on a specific platform: Twitter. You’ll find dozens of fascinating sessions on how to better leverage Twitter to grow your business, spread brand awareness, work with customers, or even discover influencers!
You’ll hear from Jay Acunzo, Neal Schaffer, Jessika Phillips, Heidi Cohen, Donna Mortiz, Madalyn Sklar, Christopher Penn, Troy Sandidge, Sarah Evans, Ian Cleary, David H. Lawrence XVII, and many more!
You’ll learn how to create compelling videos and graphics, specifically suited for Twitter. How to leverage and launch your own tweet chat. And most importantly, how to measure the success of all your activities.
What’s great is that, while the focus is on Twitter, there are doubtless lessons to be learned and applied to all platforms and areas of marketing! From planning strategy to building relationships, there are deep, impactful presentations to consume that will help you well into 2021.
For instance, and this is particularly timely… Jay Acunzo will be sharing with us his thoughts on planning and, most importantly, how to change plans successfully. He writes:
Our world as marketing leaders has always been overflowing with ideas and answers, available instantly, everywhere, from everyone. Yes, the dark side of the Information Age seems to be advice overload. But now? Impossibly, that feels kicked into high gear. Everyone has their own “recovery” concepts for you, your team, and your brand.
The thing is, when everyone inside and outside your team has a million answers for what works best “in general,” the real question becomes: What works best for you?
It feels like we’re caught on an endlessly spinning wheel, full of reactive, stress-induced work. To do our best work, we need to break this wheel.
In this fast-paced, inspiring talk, Jay Acunzo will hand attendees a sledgehammer. With hilarious but eye-opening stories of real businesses from diverse sectors who escaped their cycle of reactive work and found a path back to something better — all in the face of adversity.
Things will always be different, but different shouldn’t mean worse. To do anything exceptional, we can’t settle for Plan B, C, or D. We need a new Plan A.
All of that, and more, is happening on Wednesday, November 18th, and you’re invited to grab your FREE ticket here: summit.agorapulse.com
And that’s just the breakout sessions! I haven’t even announced who are stunning Keynote Speakers are going to be, as well as live speaker Q&A sessions during the day, table talks, prizes… don’t miss out. Block out the day – get your boss to sign off if you need to – and plan to make the most of this edutaining event.
Opportunities to learn and train
Getting Started With Live Streaming
There’s no one I trust and admire more than Stephanie Liu, particularly when it comes to live streaming. So when she teamed up with LinkedIn to build a course on live streaming, I immediately took note. If you’re wondering just how in the heck you get started, how to pick the right gear and the best platform, this course is for you. Read More
Should You Schedule Using A Tool Or The Native Platform?
Social networks know that business owners can’t sit around all day posting content and monitoring engagement, which is why they’ve allowed third party tools to work with the platform’s capabilities. They also know that not everyone needs or can afford to pay for tools, so some basic features have been built in to some networks, like scheduling posts to your Facebook Page. But that begs the question, which is better? This article will help you understand the differences and benefits to each. Read More
The L.A.U.N.C.H. Framework
Whether you’re considering the creation of a new blog, or feel like your existing blog isn’t getting the attention it deserves, this framework for positioning and promoting your content will help you! Read More
HAN & CHEWIE’S SHIP
Fun collaboration and partnerships
The Value of Relationship Building
When I first got into social media marketing nearly a decade ago, I made it a point to start connecting with every other social media marketer, blogger, speaker and educator that I could. I learned a tremendous amount from them, and am still learning to this day! But as a by-product of those connections, I formed lasting relationships which have led to business referrals, collaborations, job opportunities, and tremendous friendships.
One of those friendships that I cherish is that of Jenn Herman. I first met Jenn on Google+ probably around 2012, where she was just starting to make a name for herself as an expert on Instagram. I saw right away that she was a terrific writer and brilliant strategist, so I was happy to share and promote her and her work to my audience.
Years later she would return the favor by introducing me to fellow speakers and event coordinators, and helping to ensure that Stephanie Liu and I got to meet in person for the first time. This has led to our priceless support group and collaborations, including a book. None of which would have happened had Jenn and I not connected all those years ago. And here’s the point: I couldn’t have predicted it at the time. You just don’t know where relationships will go and what opportunities will happen, so put in the time now to build those connections.
Interesting events and meetings
Upcoming Events & Speaking Engagements
- U.S. Election Day, Tue. Nov. 3rd – Have you made a plan to vote?
- Social Pulse Summit: Twitter Edition, Nov. 18 – I’ll teach you how to leverage influencer marketing, particularly with & on Twitter.
- #WinnieSun Tweet Chat, Dec. 2
Laughs and other galactic entertainment
The Mandalorian Returns
Disney+’s hit series, The Mandalorian, returned for season two on Friday and it was fantastic. No spoilers here but what I will say is how much I appreciate Jon Favreau’s restraint. The very nature of the Star Wars universe and fandom begs for productions to go big. For instance, The Rise of Skywalker repurposed the now-tired trope of a planet killing weapon but “made it different” by installing it on hundreds of ships. Why have one weapon when you can have a hundred, right?
The Mandalorian however is fighting that urge and executing brilliant storytelling. We know from cast news and teasers that this season will feature some new characters to the show – characters who have a storied history in the Star Wars universe. And Star Wars around the world are giddy with excitement. But instead of just throwing all of that into the season premiere, we’re treated to another story that continues to feel like a space western, and it’s glorious.
If you haven’t yet watched it, be sure to catch up on season one and then dive in. And watch for a cameo from a great astromech droid.
Trinkets and spare parts that might be just what you needed
Never Fight With Headphone Wires Again
For a couple of years now I’ve been using a wireless bluetooth in-ear headphone and it’s terrific. It sits in a little charger on my desktop and whenever I’m headed into a meeting or going onto a live video, I pop it out, turn it on, and slip it into my ear. Most folks don’t even realize I’m wearing headphones, and certainly never hear feedback or echo from me – which can happen if you don’t wear headphones. And of course I don’t have wires dangling from my face. Check these out.