Following on from Matt Murray’s excellent round up of the Leeds Mashable Event which took place last night at the The Living Room on Greek Street Leeds, hosted by Wolfstar Consultancy. I thought I’d add my thoughts and outline the key points and discussions that were talked about.

  1. Social Media is all about people – Every social media channel wether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Digg, Stumbleupon and many more, remains at its heart a network. Networks are powerful tools which bring people together to discuss and converse about liked minded interests or topics. The very nature of social media networks such as Twitter had already introduced me to many people in the room before meeting them personally. For me, my own personal experiences of Twitter is that it has connected me to people that I could only have dreamed of meeting in a traditional sense. One person added to the discussion that marketeers shouldn’t just solely focus on engagement and metrics, you should think about who you are talking to and how your involvement with social media enriches their experience/opinion of you, your brand or your company.
  2. The Online PR vs. SEO Online PR debateKaryn Fleeting of Tinderbox Media and Stuart Bruce of Wolfstar Consultancy eloquently kicked off a very interesting debate about the changes in the Online PR industry and Online PR vs SEO. Personally, I think both have a value and role to play with businesses. My opinion is Online PR, can be extremely useful for link generation, traffic building and brand awareness. The Econsultancy blog posted a brilliant article called ‘Why online PR and SEO go hand in hand‘ this sums up my thoughts very nicely. I’d love to have more discussions around this top. SEO optimise also have a great blog post about Social Media Marketing – PR vs SEO? Where Does it Fit?
  3. The Leeds Digital Industry needs to come together – There was a lot of discussion about how Leeds as a City has fallen behind the likes of Manchester for the crown of ‘Digital capital of the North’. I still believe Leeds has a thriving and very competitive digital industry, however we all agreed more needs to be done to raise the profile of events and the good work going on in Leeds. There was passionate discussion about all the great events already happening in Leeds, which some people have completely forgotten about. To list but a few, Social Networking Zero, Ignite Leeds and Geekup. If you want to present and speak about anything your passionate about and improve your speaking skills, there is Bettakultcha and the Pecha Kucha movement which has a Leeds group that meet regularly. Dom Hodgson, spoke about Think Visibility , the fantastic SEO and Online Marketing conference that happens right here in Leeds twice a year. Last year, I only saw a couple of attendees from some of the larger digital/ SEO agencies in Leeds. I’d love to see more people attending from the more well know agencies in Leeds.
  4. University Courses need to move with the times – Clare Siobhan Callery Account Executive at Wolfstar @claresiobhan (Check out Clare’s review of the night here) , spoke passionately about her current Online PR course at her University and how it was falling behind the techniques required to undertake a current role in the Online PR Industry. I can certainly relate to this, many of the people I spoke to and my friends at University have confirmed that a number of courses aren’t giving students the skills and training required to go out there and actively undertake a job in today’s modern digital world. Matt Saunders, who I spoke to last night has put together a brilliant blog post called ‘Is Academia Behind the Times?’ I hope every University Dean reads this blog post and reviews the content of their courses. Econsultancy, the UK largest digital marketing training provider has a number of training course and provides Masters in Digital Marketing Communications, Digital Publishing, Internet Retailing.The IDM, also provides a number of Digital Marketing qualifications . Clearly there are professional bodies out there serving the needs and requirements of the industry, though UK Universities must do more.
  5. Social Media Monitoring Tools are still evolving – I recently wrote about the ‘Defining the R in ROI for Social Media‘. The best social media consultants and agencies are actively reporting on their social media activity through professional reporting/ management tools and analysing segmented social media traffic in analytics to report accurate results. The tools to accurately measure return on investment and time spent with social media are still growing and developing to this day. Until that day comes, some companies will still be skeptical as to the benefits of getting involved in social media.

 

I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts in the comments below. Thanks everyone.

Published by Illiya Vjestica

Illiya Vjestica is MD at Smartdog Digital, who specialise in Web Analytics, Social Media & Search Marketing. Illiya is passionate about helping his clients to understand the value of digital marketing, helping them to measure and improve the performance of their website traffic and digital marketing campaigns.