Influencers and marketers from Atlanta and beyond got to shaking things up Monday by bringing the first social media conference of its kind to Midtown.
The Social Shake Up conference began Monday morning at the W Hotel in Midtown with events culminating Tuesday evening. From understanding the basics of “big data” to the role of mobile in marketing, attendees got a taste of the newest trends from field leaders.
Robin Carey, CEO of New York-based conference presenter Social Media Today, said Atlanta was a top contender for the location as she was familiar with the social media landscape from attending other conferences here.
“I already had a sense of the energy and innovation that was taking place here and the enthusiasm for all things social, but I’m really pleased we’ve been able to bring this here and bring a lot of companies to the table,” she said.
About 125 panelists shared their insights on everything social, mobile and digital during 19 separate panel discussions, with about half of the speakers representing brands, including local companies like Coca-Cola, the Home Depot and the Weather Channel.
“It’s much better than I even hoped it would be,” Carey said of the response, “especially due to the fact that we were embraced and endorsed by [District 2 Atlanta City Councilman] Kwanza Hall and we’ve had such great reception by local brands.”
Hall, who kicked off the event with a proclamation from the city, hosted his own session to discuss how he engages with the Millennial Generation through a variety of social tools. Hall stuck around throughout the day, stepping in to observe a panel discussion addressing whether or not data-driven decision making kills or enhances creativity within a company.
He said the event was a “phenomenal” opportunity to “get this many thought leaders of the same caliber all in one place.”
“It’s really the future,” Hall said. “And for [Atlanta] to have snagged this conference means a lot for us because we have a lot of activity, but generally it’s New York and the West Coast that are driving this. This gets us in the game.”
On Tuesday, Carey presented Ford Motor Company with the First Social Enterprise Shaker Award, which recognized the company's excellence in embracing the evolving social media landscape, according to a release.
“The steering committee for Social Shake-Up, made up of leading B2B and B2C marketing and technology experts, overwhelmingly chose Ford for this year’s first Shaker award. Ford has demonstrated a long-term and consistent commitment to the very early principals of best social media practices,” Carey said in the statement. “Unity of vision from top leadership in communications and marketing catapulted Ford’s social efforts from pilot projects to major operational initiatives.”
Scott Monty, a member of Ford's global digital communications team, said social media has "given us the ability to understand consumers better and more quickly than ever and to integrate what we’ve learned into our business processes, allowing us to make the fuel efficient, technologically advanced cars and trucks that people want and value.”