Plan to Blow it Up and other cool lessons at Y’all Connect 2015

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]My alter ego Philly Girl in the South briefly shared why the 3rd Annual Y’all Connect Blogging + Social Media Conference was like rediscovering bacon! I definitely get it! In her words, “… today’s content resonated with me and where I am with my businesses, blogs, and brand and it felt good…. it felt REAL and it felt TASTY…. like BACON!” That Philly Girl is something else but she has a point!! There was a lot of great information to sink your teeth into and take your blog or business to the next level.

Y’all Connect, presented by Alabama Power, and hosted by seasoned Communicator Wade Kwon, featured some of the best speakers, both locally and nationally, on social media, blogging, marketing and storytelling. Here’s a recap of some of the workshops I got the opportunity to sit in on and relish in the experiences and successes of these great speakers.

Stacey Ferguson, Plan to Blow Up! Creating a Digital Strategy

Stacey Ferguson is Chief Curator of the Be Blogalicious community and conferences celebrating diversity among women in social media. She is also Founder and chief Life Stylist at Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media. Here are some great take-a-ways from her discussion:

  1. Bloggers should consider themselves like unique individual media companies

  2. Make sure these are part of your digital footprint – purpose, target audience, goals

  3. Treat your blog like a BUSINESS!

  4. When naming your blog – make it simple, meaningful, use imagery, does it have legs = does it evoke emotion?

  5. What is your mission? redefine your objectives – provide value and be profitable

  6. Be consistent, cohesive and without confusion

  7. What are your 3 resonating qualities? Unique value proposition? Think BIG!

  8. Who is your target audience? Competitors? Where does your brand live?

  9. What products or services do you offer?

  10. What’s best time to reach your audience? how do you deliver your offerings?

  11. How does your audience like to consume their information? Plan to blow up!

  12. Know what your individual goals are and stay true to your core mission

  13. Branch out beyond your blog and take control of your income

  14. Don’t rely ONLY on sponsors

  15. Leverage your influence and engagement and get a call to action

David Wilson, Paving the Road to Success: A Marketing Strategy Workshop

David Wilson is a results-driven executive leader with 20+ years of experience within a Fortune 50 company. He is a corporate innovator helping to develop UPS’ new initiative to work within the startup community. Here are some take-aways from David’s talk:

  1. Strategic marketing always starts with your story

  2. Brand identity – know who you are and let it support your story

  3. Make your company human

  4. If you want your brand to pop you have to work on your story

  5. Know what kind of company do you want to be = company culture

  6. Does your company know it, live it, love it? (company culture)

  7. Know: How does your business solve a problem? What’s your unfair advantage? How will you stand out?

  8. Do a SWOT analysis! or your sales pitch is going to STINK!

  9. Know your target market and know their purchasing habits

  10. Know your profit per customer

  11. Find your brand ambassadors and ask questions – build into your strategy

  12. Determine profitable growth goals

  13. Conduct target customer research

  14. Build a sales strategy – understand your sales process

David discusses the power of Zappo’s company culture – “The do what they say they’re going to do!”

@dewmarketing discusses the power of Zappo’s company culture @dewmarketing #yallconnect — Candie Price (@yourprdiva) June 12, 2015

Ike Pigott, How Social Serves Strategy When Disaster Strikes

Ike Pigott is a veteran communicator based in Birmingham who got out of TV news and back into life. Now working for Alabama Power, he specializes in corporate communications, but has interests that are all over the place. Here are some highlights of Ike’s presentation:

  1. In crisis know who you are talking to- same strategy but learn to use social tools

  2. The key to persuasion – reach people where they are – use visual

  3. In crisis manage expectations of all stakeholders

  4. Engage your audience – leads to brand ambassadors – ask for retweets

  5. Don’t feed the trolls (negative peeps) use your strategy to solidify your company’s brand

  6. In crisis management frame things in the proper context via social media

  7. Consider: who are you talking to, what do you want them to know, how do you want them to feel?

  8. Listen to how people are changing – if not your strategy will fail

  9. Engage with customers where they want to be talked WITH not talked to!

Kary DelariaInnovation and Change in Social Media

With 14 years of experience in public relations, media relations and marketing communication, Kary Delaria works with clients to develop digital and social communications strategy, specializing in social media community management, monitoring and analysis. Kary reviewed Proctor & Gamble’s #likeagirl campaign and shared these tips:

  1. The power of video helps to build a loyal brand

  2. Video increases engagement and resonates with your audience

  3. Social selling is a way for you to use pay-to-play to reach & engage your audience

  4. Social advertising = Facebook custom audiences, cross platform storytelling

  5. You don’t need a social media strategy you need a marketing strategy

  6. Video – think small, be visual, use P2P to your advantage

  7. Automation publishing – schedule publication of your content to manage what you’re doing – the right tools provide information and opportunity

David Griner, How to Create Clickable Content Without Selling Your Soul

David Griner is a longtime writer and editor for, where he oversees the rapidly growing site’s news team as Digital Managing Editor. Here’s some points from David’s talk:

3 keys to Adweek’s success

  1. better use of social

  2. increased focus on headlines and images

  3. experimentation and constant evolution

  4. A good headline is short and SEO driven = the new reality

  5. A great headline is personal and insightful

  6. A great headline should be provocative without being salacious

  7. A great headline isn’t clickbait – Clickbait is a false promise. It’s a tease with no substance. It’s an entire post that could exist in a single tweet.

  8. A great headline presents a mystery that can only be solved by reading further

  9. A great headline makes you emotionally curious

  10. A great headline is conversational

  11. A great headline is rarely written alone

  12. Spending time writing a headline can literally change the world!

  13. A great headline is one that WORKS!

  14. Be who you are and what your audience wants you to be – be authentic

  15. Always question. Always experiment. Always measure.

Other Y’all Connect 2015 speakers included Laura Creekmore, Shaun King, Kerry O’Shea Gorgone, Taylor Robinson, and Wendy Lea.

Video is now available for Y’all Connect 2015, Click Here!

Keep your ears to the ground next year – you DON’T want to miss this content-rich conference and your chance to BLOW UP in your career and/or business! Thanks Wade and Alabama Power!



#ShaunKing #YallConnect #IkePigott #KerryOSheaGorgone #StaceyFurgeson #DavidGriner #WadeKwon #KaryDelaria #DavidWilson #Blogalicious #UPS #TaylorRobinson #AlabamaPower #WendyLea #LauraCreekmore

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