Social Media Round Tables – at SMBSyr 9

By Joe Cunningham, Internet Marketing Manager

Having traveled from my white board to my schedule and back on to the official “to do” list, writing the blog post about the last SMB event has been that thing I “can do tomorrow.”

Not today.  If I waited any longer I might have lost my ticket to the next one.  And Poe and I have never missed an SMB.  (For the free food, of course.)

Early Birds3D Printing!

What’s good for everyone is this will be a shorter post due to my now-foggy memory and abridged notes (I used my iPhone because it was easier to walk around with than my laptop – especially considering I had to drag that gnome with me).

Poe and I did arrive first, before sunrise, and sat in my car doing miscellaneous work on my laptop, until Poe saw the lights turn on inside.

The event was held at the Fayetteville Library which was built out of the former Stickley Furniture Factory.  The place was a huge Stickley masterpiece in itself, housing also the Stickley museum.

We met Kevin Morrow, the SMB go-to guy, who brought us on the early bird tour of the 3D printing shop.  “Most impressive.”  (Darth Vader, Empire Strikes Back)

3D PrintingThere the average Joe (hate that phrase) can tag along with the tech on duty and learn to create their own 3D objects via one of these high-tech printers.  It’s really the thing of the future.  Someday you will need a cup or a pair of slippers and with a push of a button – without running to Wal-Mart – you will have them right there in the comfort of your own home.  Pretty awesome stuff.

The Round Tables

The setup was casual: bagels and what-have-you for breakfast in the back (yum, the gnome and I were there for a good chunk of the time) and “round” (most were rectangular) tables all throughout a beautiful conference/lounge room.

We ran into some familiars from SMBs of long past, as well as some new faces.  Everyone seemed to want to say hi to Poe.

I felt I needed to visit every round table discussion, which translated into me barely participating in any of them.  Nevertheless, it was an extremely enlightening experience from what I did learn and just seeing people bounce new ideas around together made me feel I was in the Agora (School) of Athens.

I’ll summarize the experience table by table.


Moderator: Sunny Hernandez

Shook hands with Sunny, who ironically seems to always have a beaming smile on her face.  I love using Pinterest for work, and Sunny and I compared notes on the incredible “bookmarking” tool it is.  You can create a collection of blog posts, for instance, on a topic, by pinning them to Pinterest – something SMM (social media marketers) like myself and Sunny are masters of.

Facebook & Brainstorming Content

Moderator: Kate Brodock

Poe and I said “hi” to our great friend Kate and walked in on a discussion from reps from Nottingham High School on how to help the staff there create a conversation online to uplift the students.  It was interesting to see how the SMB has truly become a Mecca for local cutting-edge social media info and consulting.  You have the best of both worlds coming: social media experts and professionals as well as eager social media enthusiasts: a match made in heaven!

Twitter and Instagram RoundVisual Branding for Social Media

Moderator: Jared Paventi

Jared, a past presenter for the SMB, is always animated in his presentation, and I overheard him coaching his table about how your profile picture and background carry a whole lot of weight and tell people who you are online (both as an individual and a company).

Vine and Rebel Mouse

Moderator: Kevin Foresti

Poe and I started by having a little fun “Vine-ing” the Vine discussion.  We are good friends of Kevin so I’m sure he got a kick out of it.  The group briefly compared and contrasted Twitter’s video tool to Instagram’s.

Most of us had little to no knowledge of Rebel Mouse: a tool that brings together social media posts into one dynamically changing “blog like” post.  Cool idea.  Seems necessary given how disconnected you can feel having to check updates on a half dozen different social networks.  It’s great for events: reporting live, breaking news automatically.

Twitter & Instagram

Moderator: Jared Kraham

I walked over as a social media man from Byrne Dairy was telling their CNY success story.  That’s a billion dollar company – shipping other brands out from its warehouses!  The dude was looking to boost their brand via social media.

Strategy RoundJared talked about how people Retweet and post fast so you have to be aware of what’s going on with your brand (especially if you are big).  He mentioned a Twitter search like Google alerts to monitor mentions and control your reputation.

Where to Begin With Your Social Media Strategy

Moderator: Jessica Heckman Reed

We helicoptered over this one but I did glean a good tip.  If you are a small biz or new to social media, you can contact a local college (i.e. SU) and get a grad student to intern and consult on how to begin your social media marketing.  She mentioned Professor Anthony Rotolo from the Syracuse iSchool and to check out SU Labs.


Moderator: Anne Messenger

Who else?  That’s all I have to say.  Anne was talking to a few eager listeners about optimizing your profile.

“Look at your competitors,” she said.  Smart thinkin’.  She was on fire, naturally.

Anne and PoeBoth my reputation and Poe’s preceded me: Anne took a moment to comment on the gnome thing and blog to the group, which was not as embarrassing as it was flattering.  (We’re getting there.)

She also handed me a piece of paper and said: “Add this to your blog.”  It was the link to the Twitter handle of Owera Vineyards – Madison County’s first winery.  (Ooh, love wine!)  Check it out (to fulfill my duty on that one).  Maybe Poe and I will have to go on a wine tour soon (wink, wink).


Moderator: Reneé Benda

My favorite topic for sure (guess why) by a lady in my “CNY Bloggers” Facebook group who I had never met (like 95% of the others in that group).  I interrupted the discussion to shake her hand while on the way out but did overhear her talk about her blogging experience.  (Incidentally, I found her own blog post on the event, very cool - do read - click here.)

“The point of my blog was to try new things…”  Way cool!  Who said blogging is just about writing?  I mean, what do you think I had to do to get this content?  (I know, mind blown, right?)

At the “Blogging” table an old SMB friend said out loud to me, referring to the gnome: “Do you sleep with that thing?”


Moving on.

A Nice Little Trip on a Thursday Morning

Poe and I got to talk to Brenda Shea, a rep for the Fayetteville Free Library and the host for the event.  We commented on how great it was that they could bring resources like the 3D printer to the public to advance technology and education.

We were reminded to sign up for the next SMBSyr on “Social Media and the Arts” here on the EvenBrite page (check).

Shaking hands with Kevin (Morrow), again, we ran out the door, onto a full day of fun at the office.  It was our favorite morning of the month, after all, so we went back with something of the feeling of getting up on the right side of the bed – just a lot better.

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