Thursday, November 18, 2010

Social Media Junction 2 - Hey Social, meet Digital

SMJ's back - Bigger, Better, Stronger & Longer than before!

Social Media Junction 2 - a meeting of the best social media and digital marketing minds in NZ - was a packed-out event. Featuring 6 top international speakers and Kiwi marketing stars (in the audience as well), SM Junction is among the largest events of its kind in Asia Pacific!

Among several things of significance, Social Media Junction 2 (#SMJ2) confirmed one thing: The blurry lines between Social Media Marketing, Digital Marketing and Marketing Communications have officially dissolved.

While at the solutions provider/ agency level, they remain separate bastions (requiring disparate skills and expertise), at the corporate/ client level, strategies need to be interwoven and resources integrated for best results. Key Learning: Don't just work hard. Work holistic!

Held over three days, #SMJ2 included a:
I was commissioned by David Gapes, Editor, to cover the event for AdMedia & Fastline. Met lots of interesting, talented people. Learnt a whole lot. Here are my daily reports with pics from the event:

Alex Erasmus, Monique Hewitt

Alex Erasmus, Nicholas O'Flaherty

Alex Erasmus, Louise Rice, Nicholas O'Flaherty, Laura Hughes

Amar Trivedi, Simon Wakeman

Clare Dill,

She just won a bottle of fine French bubbly!

Jennifer Duval-Smith smiles as Alex types away

Nicholas wrapping up Day 1

Robyn Ellson (Bullet PR), Rory Tyler (Digital Masters), Owen Todd (SpyGlass)

Simon Wakeman, Public Sector SM Workshop

Simon Wakeman, Public Sector SM Workshop

Simon Wakeman, Public Sector SM Workshop

Tony Gardner, GM, Ogilvy Wellington

Mon 15 Nov - Day 1 at #SMJ2 got off to a cracking start with the Public Sector Social Media Workshop with Simon Wakeman, Head of Marketing & Communications, Medway Council, Greater London, UK. Simon is an authority in social media & online communications within the public sector.

While the workshop was structured in an easy-to-follow format pitched at beginners as well as the advanced, the SM content was geared specifically for an audience comprising members from NZ’s largest public sector organisations.

During his presentation, Simon gave heaps of real-world examples of UK’s Councils with a clear explanation of what works, what doesn’t and why. He spoke in detail about the importance of social media strategy, putting policy in place, online engagement, response, monitoring & auditing.

The module on risk assessment & crisis management was aided with videos and an interactive “How would you avert a PR crisis?” role-play of a recent SM nightmare that hit TfL’s London Underground.

The session ended on Simon debunking some common SM myths and driving home basic SM truths.

Aden Bushell (Media Monitors), Nicholas O'Flaherty (Bullet PR),
Simone McCallum (ASB Bank)

Alex Erasmus, Me

Alex Erasmus, Justin Flitter

Me, Cliff Rosenberg

Cassandra Crowley, Darren Whitelaw

Catherine George, Robyn Ellson

Vincent Heeringa chairs Int'l Speakers Panel Discussion

A well-attended Conference - over 200 executives

International Speakers Panel Discussion

Justin Flitter, Tom Bates, Nicholas O'Flaherty

Kiwi Speakers Panel Discussion

Michael Carney chairs Kiwi Speakers Panel Discussion

Michael Carney chairs Kiwi Speakers Panel Discussion

Lee Odden, Me

Louise Denver

Louise Denver

Michael Fox and attendees

 Michael Fox (Shoes of Prey), Ron Murray (Siemens NZ)

Natalie Robinson (Telecom NZ), Claire Bonham Holden (Rapp Tribal),
Richard Irvine (Telecom NZ), Louis van Wyk (Gen-i)

Olivia Bruce (NZ Retailers Assctn), Greer McDonald (SM Editor, Fairfax)

Richard Long, Matthew Haigh, attendees, Louise Denver (Deloitte)

Robyn Ellson (Bullet PR), Alistair Helm (,
Antonia Baker (The Property Market)

Sandra King (Fairfax Media), Vaughn Davis (The Goat Farm)

Simon Wakeman

 Tee Twyford (nzgirl), Jennifer Duval-Smith (Bullet PR)

SMJ2 Crew - Annelies Kuiper, Louise Rice, Laura Douglas, Laura Hughes

Team Bullet PR - Robyn Ellson, Jennifer Duval-Smith,
Louise Rice, Alex Erasmus, Nicholas O'Flaherty

Vaughn Davis (iPad-enabled Head Goat, The Goat Farm)

Cocktails @ Beer o'clock sharp!

John Lai, Ajay Murthy, Dave Sakey, Rory Tyler, Alex Erasmus

Open Audience Q&A during Int'l Speakers Panel Discussion

Tue 16 Nov - Day 2 was full-on. Over 200 executives turned up at Sky City Convention Centre to attend the star-studded 'Securing RoI in SM Marketing' Conference featuring:

Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing, USA
Louise Denver, Director of Media & Communications, Deloitte Australia

Simon Wakeman, Head of Marketing & Communications, Medway Council, Greater London, UK

Michael Fox, Director of Operations and Founder, Shoes of Prey, and Blogger (22 Michaels)

Darren Whitelaw, General Manager - Corporate Communication, Dept. of Justice, Govt. of Victoria),

Cliff Rosenberg (Managing Director, LinkedIN Australia & NZ)

Click here to read Speaker Bios and here to read Alex Erasmus' informative piece on what each speaker had to say on the day. And here's a neat summary of the event by Michael Fox on his blog.

From the outset, what stood out was the panel of speakers - each one at the top of their game - came from diverse corporate backgrounds. They brought with them a fresh mix of stories on the successful use of SM overseas, and shared their unique perspective on RoI metrics & measurement.

Apart from popular case studies, the speakers spoke on how they built their brand from the ground up; what internal SM policies worked best; SM models perfected via experimentation, content strategies for business blogging. They also shared what specific benefit their organisation derived, and how they were getting better at SM usage - on an on-going basis.

To add local flavour, #SMJ2 hosted a panel discussion with speakers from some of the best known Kiwi brands - active digital players all with a visible social media profile. As expected, it led to a lively chat on the use of social media in NZ, the challenges of SM resource creation and of course, how they went about achieving RoI. The panel included:

Richard Irvine, Head of Online Communities, Telecom NZ
Stuart McMullin, Managing Director, Hell Pizza
Simone McCallum, Head of Internet Communities Support & Operations, ASB Bank
Alex Erasmus, Digital Strategist, Bullet PR
Jarrod Bear, Head of Marketing, Tui Beer
Panel Discussion hosted by Michael Carney, CEO, NetMarketing Services

In the closing session of the day, the international panel (hosted by Vincent Heeringa, Director, Tangible Media) discussed best practice in SM listening, engagement & response via an open audience Q&A. Followed by cocktails at beer o’clock sharp!

Jennifer Duval-Smith, Lee Odden, Nicholas O'Flaherty

Lee Odden, Grant Osborne (

Lee Odden, SM Content Strategy MasterClass

Lee Odden, SM Content Strategy MasterClass

Lee Odden, SM Content Strategy MasterClass

Lee Odden, SM Content Strategy MasterClass

Lee Odden, SM Content Strategy MasterClass

Nicholas O'Flaherty wrapping up Day 3

Nicholas O'Flaherty thanking Lee Odden

Paul Sutherland (Panasonic NZ), Alex Erasmus (Bullet PR),
James Smith (Panasonic NZ), Tracey Reed (Tower Insurance)

 Tee Twyford (nzgirl), Belinda Nash (AUT)

Lee Odden, SM Content Strategy MasterClass

Jennifer Duval-Smith, Lee Odden, Nicholas O'Flaherty, Amar Trivedi

Wed 17 Nov - Day 3 at #SMJ2 was a deep dive into the vastness of Social Media. It featured a day-long Social Media Content Strategy MasterClass with Lee Odden, CEO, TopRank Online Marketing, USA. Lee advises Fortune 500 companies on social media content strategies. He is the Founder of TopRank Blog, Number Eight on Ad Age’s Power 150 Blogs. Here's a blog posted by Lee outlining his talk at #SMJ2.

Lee kicked off the session with a 6-point roadmap for social content marketing citing illustrations from the US, Kiwi and international markets. Then he turned the intensity up a notch with the Cycle of SM and SEO - Create > Optimize > Promote > Analyse – where he elucidated the benefits of using keywords in social content.

Lee’s presentation was liberally sprinkled with brilliant advice (Don’t just do social, be social; Good SEO is invisible; Connect with other bloggers, comment often on posts but add value - remember that blogs are social) and one-line gems (If a picture is worth a 1000 words, a YouTube video must be worth millions; People live to make money they die for recognition; For some reason, in the US, people are insanely comfortable with complaining :-)

Post-lunch, Lee took the packed-to-capacity audience into the deep end of business blogging - talking at length about search-optimizing blogs, tips & tricks on content-sharing, best practice for blog marketing, and how to use blogs as hubs while integrating with other SM channels.

And he covered all of that before delving into Digital Asset Optimization, Essentials of Social SEO, SM Measurement & RoI. All in all, an intensive MasterClass where all present left wiser than they came.

Social Media Junction 2 (2 of 5).jpg

Word of praise for SKYCITY: The catering service was top quality and the F&B were superb - over all 3 days. Once again, the Auckland Convention Centre proved the perfect venue. The #SMJ2 TweetWall seen above was such a hit, it capped the Wi-Fi limit thrice. Pat on the back for Rory Tyler (Digital Masters) for the camera & editing, and Owen Todd (SpyGlass) for glitch-less work on the audio-visual console!

Hats off to Bullet PR and kudos to the dynamic team for another professionally organised business event, another well-deserved medal in their tally of successful events, another feather in their substantial fascinator!

For more info, visit the Social Media Junction websiteCheck out SMJ's Flickr photostream for some cool pics by Johanna MacDonald.

I was lucky enough to attend and cover the first #SMJ for AdMedia & Fastline, held in May 2010. Here's my report "Social Media Junction - Getting world-class in New Zealand" and the pics.

Before I sign off, here's a gem I picked up at Lee's MasterClass: Comment (on blogs, FB, websites) more often... Add value. Well... you could begin by adding some below.