Heading to #SMMW15 

I am attending Social Media Marketing World for the second time.  Last year I won a trip to San Diego to attend Social Media marketing World from a contest I entered on the Cox Business Facebook page. To be honest I had forgotten that I entered and when I received the phone call the poor girl had to tell me a couple of times what I won. 
The time I spent with Martin Jones from Cox Business and the experts I had the opportunity to meet really did change my life. I know it sounds cheesy and cliche, but it’s true. As a result of attending this conference I learned A LOT! Not to mention the confidence that ensued. It was a whirlwind week, one I will never forget and although I know this year won’t compare to last year,  ( mainly because my partner in crime, Carina Funk, isn’t with me) I know that this year will fill my brain with knowledge, ideas, and inspiration to take my current brand and the company I work for to the next level. 
Don’t let anyone ever tell you that digital marketing, storytelling, and social media is an easy job. It’s not.  It takes dedication, a lot of time and effort, testing, analysis, and retesting. It’s seeing what works, what fell flat and learning from that. You have to be strong and resilient, you have to learn from your mistakes and hold your tongue when you are being blamed for someone else’s – people like to complain on social media. It gives them a voice to be heard with little reprucussion. They will take out their frustration, hurt, pain, suffering on you – the social media expert. But, it takes patience, listening and a desire to turn an upset customer into a happy one. You have to set your pride aside for e betterment of the brand. 
This year, I am excited to learn from the best. Mind you, they Are just ordinary people. I met many social media experts last year and the one thing they all kept saying to me? Be authentic, and learn from your mistakes. They have all “messed up” but what did they do different? Learned from it. These experts just learned the lessons we haven’t yet. What’s the “secret” – I could ask 10 different experts and get 15 different answers. There is no exact formula. There is no one size fits all. There are best practices. There are tips and tricks that apply to everyone.  
Fr me, it’s all about story telling. I’m a trained journalist and I know that the story is what has always engaged people. Story telling is what leads the audience to the place you want them to be. And good story telling, makes them a fan for life. 
So #writeSocial and be authentic. 
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