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Top 10 Search & Social Takeaways from #SESChi

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ses-chicago-2011-logoLast week’s SES Chicago was a whirlwind of sessions, tweets, blog posts, and events out on the town. Now that we’re all home and settled, we can begin to digest the mass of information taken in and put it to work for us.

Jonathan Allen wrote a great post yesterday on actionable tools and tips from the conference; I’d like to share the top 10 things I took away from the experience, whether from sessions, the Meet the Experts roundtables, after-hours events, or people I connected with there that I hadn’t had an opportunity to meet before. I hope you find these resources as helpful as I have:

Bryan Eisenberg’s Conversion Tools of the Master Craftsmen session was a hit - so much so that when I popped in near the end, it was clear the participants couldn’t get enough and didn’t want it to end. There’s always the dilemma of wishing you could be in two places at once at SES; thankfully, Eisenberg’s toolbox is available online. The self-professed online marketing tool junkie has a collection of over 150 tools you can rate, ask questions about, or use to make life easier.

Mike Pantoliano on Evolving Search KPIs - Mike put this post out on the Distilled blog the day before he presented, which I thought was a great way to give newbies a bit of background going into the session. His Showing Your Search Wins presentation from SES Chicago is embedded at the bottom of the Distilled post.

Arnie Kuenn’s Convergence of Search, Social & Content Marketing presentation has instruction, tips, and recommended tools to help marketers excel at content creation. When someone is searching a keyword phrase, he says, there are two outcomes - they will find you, or they will find your competitor. View his presentation to learn how you can make yours the best possible outcome.

Optimizing Video Content for Social Media Sharing on the Microsoft adCenter blog pulls together the highlights of Greg Jarboe and Mark Robertson’s session, moderated by Jonathan Allen. Video optimization remains a mystery to many marketers, even as video continues to grow as an important component of successful campaigns. Get their top video optimization tips from this adCenter blog post.

@FoxSports on Twitter - During Meet the Experts, I had a chance to sit and talk with Jamie Trecker and found it one of the most valuable conversations I had in Chicago. Too often, we see larger organizations flounder with their social media efforts; it can be incredibly difficult to build in-house processes that allow for real-time sharing and two-way conversation. Trecker worked hard to get in the space, learn how to best make use of social, and build trust inside the organization. The result is one of the accounts you should watch as an example of social media success, complete with a passionate fan base and an incredible level of engagement.

Sam Michelson’s SEO - Making It Real session on advanced SEO tactics was full of original and creative campaign ideas his company has deployed with success. The most inspiring thing I personally took away from his session was that the man has eight children and is also the CEO of Five Blocks, yet still makes time to teach and share his experience. The last several slides of his presentation are where you’ll find the real meat, in his tactical SEO recommendations, tips, and tricks.

Melissa Mackey’s Intro to PPC presentation - Melissa loves teaching and has a knack for breaking things down into simple to follow steps. You can see her entire Intro to PPC presentation on her blog, Searching Beyond the Paid and read her regularly here on Search Engine Watch.

Mobile Marketing - Trends and Lessons from Nonprofits on the Luminate Marketing blog is an adaptation of Lynne Kurdziel’s SES presentation and I love it when speakers take the time to break it down like this. Check out the stats, tips, and case studies Lynne put together to share her mobile marketing knowledge.

Bill Hunt from Back Azimuth Consulting & SES Advisory Board on how he got started and traits developed in the Marine Corps that lend to better marketing tactics. Persistence is key. There’s a difference between taking chances and calculated risks, and there are some amazing stories out there about how life experience gives us the skills we need to succeed as marketers. This is another one of those takeaways I probably should have had to pay a lot of money for - the opportunity to sit and chat at an after-hours event with one of the most inspirational thought leaders in our industry. One of the best things about conferences is that the participants and speakers, for the most part, come open, approachable, and ready to share and learn. You can check out Bill’s blog here.

Bryan Srabian, San Francisco Giants Director of Social Media talks branding, connecting with fans, and understanding social networks in this video interview with Byron Gordon. Sports teams and channels have the advantage of passionate fan bases, yet there are challenges to that, as well. Check out the video for some social tips you can apply in other industries.

Each conference has its own unique vibe and atmosphere, in addition to the variety of talent they attract. If you missed missed the Canadian event this summer, check out the top search and social takeaways from my own stomping ground, SES Toronto.


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