Author: Daniel Craig

Social media conferences feel different these days. Not that I go to too many – work doesn’t stop for conferences. But say, six or seven years ago, you would go to a big show for brands to put their war rooms on display, showcasing their always-on prowess, and anticipating the next “Oreo moment.” Then reports started to come out about wellness and working in social media. And they still are.

Living online isn’t all memes and brand integration. The Charmin bear offering up help to the Taco Bell dog. That’s why I was both surprised and delighted when I attended the Social Shake-Up in Atlanta this month and found an emphasis on community support and wellness.

In terms of content, we saw some of the usual ideas restated about posting content outside of business hours, testing content for more permanent channels through social and being where your audiences are. But the way it was delivered seemed to be through more of a human lens. Let’s take a look at the Human Rights Campaign, for instance.

I loved this panel with Hailey Glenn, social media manager for HRC. Although her non-profit social media work didn’t apply to everyone in the room, the ideas brought forth by her and fellow panelists, including one from Arby’s, were about real human behaviors. You cannot work against the flow of how people use communication tools, but you can just be a human.

Now don’t mistake me here when I say you can be human. You still need to pour over the analytics and optimize for “humanness.” Hailey says she goes over the data every morning to see what hit and when. And even if she does a piece of content that is similar to a new tweet format, it is still recognizably the HRC brand. But it is also part of a conversation that is happening in a moment. A tweet for people, by people.

Elsewhere, I attended a session on making the most of social media when you have a small team. This was a group of people that is used to doing everything themselves and usually with fewer resources than the branded examples given in the press or even the event keynotes. Put them in the same room, though, and they have some amazing stories.

It was in this session where you started to see the weight placed on some shoulders in social media. Blair Broussard of ARPR spoke of the demands placed on the social media manager. We are customer facing, we are client facing, we must drive a hard ROI, we must cultivate community and engagement, and we must be the voice of the brand. Sometimes, we see some nasty things, and sometimes we are called some nasty names because we are anonymous, behind a screen, and so is everyone else in social media. The idea that we could come together at Social Shake-Up, share ideas and support each other. It was a revelation.

Twitter – Best Tweet Content


On the last day, PR News and Social Shake-Up held an award ceremony for the Social Media Awards. Trier & Company, you may or may not know, was up for Best Tweet Content for our work for GaN Systems. This integrated campaign brought many elements together to tell a cross platform story, including amplification of a variety of elements across social media to “Explore the Myths About GaN Semiconductors.” We were up against some steep competition.

The ceremony acknowledged and read each of the finalists aloud. We clapped and celebrated each of the category winners. And we came away with a fantastic honor as an honorable mention. I think the fact that it came from this space where the community came together to lift up each other makes it all the more worth cherishing.