2013 Conference Sessions

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2013 Conference Sessions 2017-01-03T23:18:04+00:00

@Midwest sessions are designed for the small- to mid-sized business professionals seeking to establish a presence in social media and for those looking to refine their practices. Sessions focus on topics concerning better social networking management, developing/maintaining a strategy, introducing new business models, improving profitability, and employing effective social media.


  • Morning Keynote: Thomas Ian Nicholas
    A familiar face in film, TV, and music, Thomas Ian Nicholas knows the value of social media personally and professionally. For Nicholas, social media all comes down to one core concept—it’s how we relate. One way or another, we are all looking for a meaningful way to connect with one another. In his keynote presentation, Thomas will share his experiences using social media to promote his work in acting and music, and will discuss how despite the popular belief, social media is not a soap box, it is a pair of headphones. The most important key on your keyboard is your “?” Are you ready to listen?
  • Afternoon Keynote: Melissa Schenk: Thrive Online–Your Secret Weapon for Social Media Stand Out Success. Gain more exposure! Increase your traffic! Better engage with your customers! Increase your sales! Who doesn’t want all that and more? It’s important to remember that people connect with people and inherently that people buy from people. Learn how to harness the power of social networking tools and develop content that will build brand love and increase business success. Discover how to provide an online experience for your customers. Find out how to effectively connect with your audience, to be known as an expert in your field, and the “go-to” authority by your clients and customers. Melissa will share with you her secrets on the 3 Touch Points of Customer Engagement that will magnetically attract more customers daily and get you the results you crave!

Breakout Sessions

  • Your Personal Brand—Sherry Galbreath. Most of us know at least a little about business branding, but did you know that some of the same principles apply to individuals, too? You need a strong personal brand to get a job, get a promotion, be asked to join boards and committees, and gain respect for your ideas. A personal brand is not just for executives, either—anyone can present a thoughtful image to the public and open doors to new opportunities. Learn more about how to make this happen for you.
  • Making the Most of Local—Laura Bleill. Hyperlocal: What does that mean, and why should I care? Well, if you’re a local business looking to get the most out of social media, you HAVE to care. When it comes to local businesses, social media can be like manna from heaven. But what can you use it for? How do you get started? What tools do you want to use? How do you find your voice? How can social media be your friend, and how can it be your enemy? What is the ROI? Attend this session and you will get practical tools and best practices for making social media work for your LOCAL business. Laura Weisskopf Bleill is the cofounder of chambanamoms.com, a hub of hyperlocal information for families in and around Champaign-Urbana. Laura can be heard often on local TV and radio, and is often asked to speak to advertising and journalism classes at the University of Illinois. She has a master’s degree from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism.
  • Leveraging Social Media for Local SEO—Travis McGlasson. Google and other search engines are relying increasingly more on social media links and content in determining the most relevant search results. Businesses need to learn how to effectively develop and promote content that can increase their organic search results to stay competitive in local search results.
  • One Network at a Time: How a small bike advocacy group uses social networking within their means—Jacob DeGeal. Bike BloNo, a small commuter bike advocacy group in Bloomington-Normal, has big ideas. While the volunteer members of the steering group are never short on enthusiasm, they are always short on time. Utilizing a “One Network at a Time” approach, planning events, communicating with members, promoting civic action and mobilizing individuals become a strategic iterative tool rather than an overwhelming endeavor.
  • Social Media 2020: How to future-proof your business and increase your ROI—Chris Glass. Terrostar Technology Solutions’ social media and Internet marketing guru, Chris Glass, discusses some of the more advanced approaches to social media. This information-packed presentation gives you a look into the past, present, and future of social media and illustrates how social media marketing and search engine marketing can help your business while paying for itself. This sessions goes in depth to some of the more advanced aspects of social media and how you can use the tools to easily increase your ROI. We’ll talk about everything from incorporating a website into your Facebook page to custom group bases in Linkedin. At the end of this information-packed hour you should have all the tools necessary to drive your business into the social future. Chris is a College of Business graduate at Western Illinois University. Since graduating, Chris has embedded himself in the social media community interacting with some of the biggest social outlets alive. With more than 12,000 followers on Twitter, numerous groups in LinkedIn, and a large blog following, Chris has built his personal brand and has become a leader across the world in social media. In his day job Chris works with a team of nerds at Terrostar Technology Solutions. Chris consults with clients in growing their brand and developing a strong internet marketing footprint from Web design to social media.
  • Maximizing your brand image—Sherry Galbreath. Using case studies of successful companies who are “doing it right,” we will dissect and study their tactics and explore the steps you need to take to a create a great brand for your business, both online and offline. We’ll also talk about how to engage both your employees and customers and make them your best brand ambassadors.
  • The New Secrets of PR: how to turn customers into evangelists— Penny Sansevieri (session cancelled). We all know that PR has changed, but *how* has it changed? This session will show you the new way to manage a campaign and get your consumers more engaged than ever before. Use all of the tools at your disposal to get more attention to your product, speaker, message, or launch using an engaged campaign that will actually encourage followers to share your message. If you’ve ever wondered how to get people to evangelize your work, this session is for you!
    • Making your messaging more sharable. Getting consumers to help you spread the word!
    • Do press releases still matter? Yes! Here’s how to make yours more sticky.
    • The new rules for content: be good or be gone. Crafting great content.
    • Numbers matter: simple ways to growing your numbers on Facebook, Twitter, Google+
    • How to use YouTube to grow your numbers!
  • The Challenges of Social Media for the Multi-Location Business—Travis McGlasson. Multi-location businesses face different challenges when operating in the social media space than a single location business or brand. They often have to work along national marketing counterparts to convey their brand promise while leveraging the unique local aspects of their business and location to reach customers. Learn how to face the challenges of this unique situation in this session.
  • The Truth About Social Media (Hint: It’s Not Media)—Paul Boomer. Social media is not like print, TV, radio–if you think of it in those terms, it’s costing you time and money every single day. Social media is a platform to deepen your relationship with your customers. It’s not easy work, but it’s not something you can’t ignore. Since you’re going to have to do it anyway, wouldn’t you rather do it well? Take the yellow brick road and learn ways to deepen your relationship with customers using the tactic-with-a-terrible-name-that-unfortunately-sucks.
  • Awesome finds awesome: The power of shared content in a social world—Sean McGinnis. This session highlights the power of creating content that can be shared. Through example after example, attendees will learn specific actions they can take to grow their online brands and expand their communities through social media.
  • A Holistic Approach to Social Media and eMarketing—Bernia Wheaton. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Newsletter, Blog… Can a small business really implement a multi-network eMarketing strategy? In this session you will learn tips and tactics to designing and implementing a holistic multi-network program that WORKS for your business, without consuming precious resources.
  • Powerful Pinterest! How to use Pinterest to drive traffic, sales, and visibility to your product!—Penny Sansevieri (session cancelled). Is Pinterest more powerful than Facebook? When it comes to marketing, many seem to think so. You’ve probably heard about Pinterest, but beyond a few glimpses to the site (and the great photography often pinned there) you may not have spent that much time, or had that much time to spend, on the site. This session will show you not only how to use the basics of Pinterest but how to use the site to really build some incredible visibility to your product using some very easy tools. You will learn: tips for setting up a Pinterest page that will get followers, Pinterest boards you must have, the best ways to sell on Pinterest, to use keywords and hashtags on your boards, how one simple image can get hundreds of links to your blog or website, the kind of images that will get you the best results, how to measure whether Pinterest is working for you, and how you can explode your message using video on Pinterest
  • Supercharging Your Facebook Marketing—Steve Robinson. It’s no secret that Facebook has become a huge part of how people interact with each other, share ideas and recommendations, and interact with the brands they like.  But too many businesses aren’t seeing results from their Facebook marketing efforts because they are posting content without a plan for turning “fans” into customers and advocates. In this seminar, you’ll learn:
    • Why Facebook is important to your business
    • The difference between posting and marketing on Facebook
    • Tips to drive more “likes,” more “shares,” and more business
    • What to do after someone has liked your page
  • Blog Topic Generation Workshop—Paul Boomer. Struggling to come up with ideas for content? In less than an hour, we’ll do a brain-hack that will allow you to “download” more than 60 different content topics from your brain to your desk. You’ll have ideas for blog posts, white papers, book outlines, case studies, videos–even status updates and tweetable bits. This workshop sneaks up on the judgmental left hemisphere of your brain and distracts it. Meanwhile, the creative right brain is allowed to blurt out all of the ideas that it’s been contemplating where you’ll capture them with pen and paper. At the end of the workshop, you’ll not only have dozens of ideas ready to go, but you’ll also learn a method to write your content in a super fast and fun way.
  • Managing your personal online reputation: Interpreting and influencing search results—Sean McGinnis. This session was originally prepared for and delivered to a group of executives through a paid day of social media advice put together by Crain’s Chicago Business. Attendees will learn the basics of the subtle art of online reputation management. This is more about SEO than social media, but there is a lot of crossover.

Hands On Sessions

  • Social Media Monitoring (session sold out)—Brian Huonker.
  • Getting Started with Email Marketing (session sold out)—Steve Robinson. We invite you to sit back and watch the Constant Contact Email Marketing product in action! You will see how simple it can be to:
    • Select an appropriate email template and create an email (…from scratch!)
    • Brand an email to match your website
    • Add images and links
    • Import contacts
    • Segment lists
    • Review and analyze reports
    • Along the way, we’ll discuss tricks-of-the-trade and other relevant best practices. You’ll have plenty of time to ask questions, provide feedback, share your experiences, and listen to how others are using Constant Contact Email Marketing to grow their business and establish lasting relationships with customers and members.
  • Optimizing Facebook’s Newest Features (session sold out)—Bernia Wheaton. Facebook is an ever changing network. Sometimes it’s hard to just keep up. Don’t worry…we’ve got it under control. In this session you will learn about the advantages and opportunities to using Facebook’s newest and most advanced features including OFFERS, Graph Search, and Pay Per Click advertising. We’ll equip you with the confidence to embrace Facebook’s many changes, and make them work for your business.
  • How to build your brand with Google+ (session sold out)—Rebecca Wardlow. Attendees will learn how to:
    • Create personal profiles that reflect your brand identity
    • How to use Google + to market your business and help with relationship building
    • How to optimize your Google + profile for SEO
    • Organize contacts into “Circles”
    • Add friends to your contact Circles
    • Engage followers in real time
    • Identify key influencers to target
    • Use the “Hangouts” video chat feature
    • Use Google+ Stream to share content
    • Increase traffic to your Web site with Google+
    • WHY Google+ Communities
    • Advanced tips & tricks

Eventbrite - @Midwest Social Media Conference