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5 Ways to Stay Ahead of the Social Business Curve at The Social Shake-Up

It’s back to school time. Isn’t this the year we’ve all resolved to learn what’s next for technology—including mobile, scanning, and wearable? How to handle our social strategy if our data is compromised? How to engage consumers around the world?  What we need to worry about when it comes to privacy and security? That’s why it’s exciting that in only a few short weeks The Social Shake-Up 2014 will be here.

Are you ready to be immersed for two-and-a-half days in the most valuable information on social business available today? You can also prepare to hear the buzz about collaborative economy trends and how they affect marketing at the second annual #socialshakeup. And because social slipups happen, it’s a good thing there’ll be discussions on dealing with crisis communications. You couldn’t ask for a more balanced social business conference. But let me count the other ways and go into some extra detail about why the #socialshakeup will be oh so worth it.


I’ve had the tremendous opportunity to learn from and collaborate with some pretty amazing thought leaders and top brands in social business—all with unique styles and strengths—and all with their own story to tell. I can’t wait to introduce the keynote speakers who will share their invaluable insight with us.

Brian Solis, the principal analyst with Altimeter Group, which helps companies adjust to technology disruption, will open the first morning of the Shake-Up on Tuesday, Sept. 16. He's also an author and in-demand speaker on the startup circuit, so we’re grateful to have him joining us.

Brian and I had a long conversation recently about how important our audience is to the enterprise of the future. That’s because they have the finger on the customer's pulse through social, and through internal collaboration and data. This is what led us to find a role for Brian—one of Social Media Today’s first bloggers—as our ongoing conscience.

We’ll also hear from Jeremiah Owyang, Chief Catalyst and Founder of Crowd Companies, which focuses on how large companies tap the collaborative economy. In this video, Jeremiah gives a sneak peek of his presentation on the collaborative economy trends we’re seeing out there.

And the notable new keynote speaker is comedian, author, and entrepreneur...

Baratunde Thurston: CEO, co-founder, and hashtagger-in-chief of Cultivated Wit. He wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black and served for five years as director of digital for the satirical news outlet, The Onion. When he’s not delivering keynote talks at gatherings such as The Social Shake-Up, he writes the monthly back page column for Fast Company and contributes to the MIT Media Lab as a director’s fellow. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack and Jill Politics, has advised the Obama White House, has more than 10 years' experience in standup comedy, and more than 30 years' experience being black. He lives in Brooklyn, NY. 

To complement the keynotes, there will be more than 100 other highly regarded speakers in the marketing, advertising, public relations, and social media industries. Check out the full list here.

I’d like to bring special attention to these other notable new speakers:

Chad Mitchell: Senior Director of Digital Communications at Walmart, positioned within Walmart’s Corporate Affairs division, he and his team are responsible for managing and supporting all aspects of Walmart’s corporate digital presence, including the corporate website and blog, social media platforms, and email communications both internally to associates and externally to customers. They are charged with managing and protecting Walmart’s corporate digital reputation, both reactively and through proactive influencer outreach.

Sandy Carter: IBM’s General Manager Ecosystem Development and Social Business Evangelist. She is responsible for IBM’s worldwide focus on building ecosystems around core growth areas: Cloud, Mobile, Social, Big Data, and Analytics. The ecosystem, which includes partners, developers, ISVs, entrepreneurs, influencers, academics, and venture capitalists, drives approximately one-third of IBM’s revenue and is a critical element in IBM's overall strategy. See more on this in IBM’s latest Tech Trends study. Sandy is also responsible for the award-winning Global Entrepreneur Program, which has delivered more than 2,000 mentors to help startups and entrepreneurs expand and grow. Here’s a tidbit on what she’ll share about social, ROI, and women in tech at the #socialshakeup.

Jay Bartlett: Jay leads the global organization responsible for digital marketing and eCommerce at Pitney Bowes. His responsibilities include web and content marketing, where Pitney Bowes is currently working to launch an all-new global brand and website in Q4 2014. Jay is a strong proponent of social and content marketing, and specifically "audience in" versus "brand out" communications. With 17+ years of global marketing experience, with significant focus around paid, owned and earned media, Jay has a unique perspective on what works best when engaging today's consumer in a digital environment.

Allison Stitch: Allison oversees the reputation, messaging, media relations, and strategic positioning of one of the world’s most iconic and powerful brands—The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Guiding her team through a period of unprecedented growth and evolution, she also oversees the company’s thrust onto social media platforms. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company is branching out with significant expansion across Asia and the Middle East, changing aesthetics of hotel design and dynamic initiatives in the realms of social media and communication trends, to name a few. She has driven the brand’s presence across the social space, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram and Sina Weibo, WeChat, and YouKu in China.

Jeff Smith: Jeff is based in Charlotte and leads the Southeast region for BuzzFeed. In his role as VP South, he partners with Fortune 500 brands to develop strategic ideas and create highly shareable social advertising programs. Prior to BuzzFeed, Jeff helped drive business growth and outreach for Twitter. Previous experience includes work at ShareThis, a social sharing platform, AOL, Marchex, and CBS Radio. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Marketing.

Andrew Bowins: Andrew is an award winning change agent and seasoned marketing communications and public relations executive with 20 years of blended agency and corporate experience. He was an early adopter of new media and is an expert in brand publishing, digital marketing, social media, public relations, and recognized as an innovator with a proven track record of integrating big data analytics, digital, and social into the traditional marketing communications mix. With a focus on direct to consumer and direct to merchant brands, he has successfully led and managed global teams that cover the complete gamut of communications, including product launch, events, consumer and corporate brand campaigns, issues management, regulatory and public affairs, crisis communications, media relations, employee communications, executive and CEO visibility, thought leadership, digital/social communications, and community management.


The #socialshakup’s agenda is brimming with informational sessions focusing on social business to give you the most of the two days. The 43 featured sessions at this year’s Shake-Up include:

Day One: Tuesday, Sept. 16

1.    How Marketing Can Lead Innovation: Driving Change by Connecting Data, Analytics, and Customer Insight

2.    Find Me a Van Gogh: Marketing with Visuals

3.    So Yesterday: Reaching Your Customer. So Today: Engaging Your Customer

4.    Protecting Your Social Brand: The Corporate Contingency Plan

5.    Data and Creativity: Become Your Company’s Match.com

6.    Sensors and Wearable Tech

7.    Social Brand Espionage

8.    Customer Strategy Should Begin and End with Community

9.    The Data Selfie: What to Serve Your Customers to Make Them Want You

10. Frankenmarketer: What is the Skill Set of the Future?

11. 5 BS Facts About Data Privacy Everyone Thinks Are True

12. Entertainment and Sports: How to Listen and Engage with Fans

13. Overhauling the Customer Relationship in Automotive

14. Why Shop When You Can Experience?

15. Financial Services and the Social Customer: What’s Next?

16. Storytelling: What Is the Art and What Is the Science?

17. The Importance of Being Purposeful: How to Maintain Community Engagement

18. The Art and Science of Data: Engaging Audiences the Data Science Way

19. Why are Marketing and Communications Still Separate: A Debate

20. Is Advertising Over? Being There with Relevant Content and Context

21. The Future of Social Business

Day Two: Wednesday, Sept. 17

1.    What Makes Things Crowdworthy

2.    Keynote: What the Collaborative Economy Means for the Business of the Future

3.    What Do Collaborative Startups Have to Teach Traditional Business

4.    From Real-Time Analysis to Story-Telling: A Coca-Cola Case Study

5.    When Your Customers Become Your Contributors: Brand Journalism Meets Traditional

6.    Social and Search: What’s the Science?

7.    How CMOs Drive Innovation and Revenue Growth

8.    Global Customer Experience: Be Relevant or Go Home

9.    The Transformation of Customer Engagement in the Subscription Economy

10. Customer Service is the New Marketing: Measuring and Turning Satisfaction into ROI

11. Social Selling: How Companies are Transforming Sales

12. What Does Customer Experience Mean for Your Social Business

13. Healthcare: Leadership for Innovation Through Knowledge-Sharing

14. The City as Online Community: Connecting with Constituents

15. Utilities and Data: Waking Up a Sleeping Giant

16. Where’s the ROI: Cost-Savings or Growth

17. Atlanta as an Innovation Hub

18. Crisis Communications: What to Do When a Social Message Goes Wrong

19. The Power to Convene: Live Events in a Social World

20. Paid vs. Earned vs. Owned: Finding a Common Measurement

21. Crowdsourcing and the Intersection with Customer Engagement

22. Closing Keynote: Baratunde Thurston


The Social Shake-Up 2014 is being hosted at the W Atlanta - Midtown in Atlanta, Georgia for the second year. While its meeting space is perfect for the conference, and the rooms combine style and comfort, the central location in Atlanta’s trendiest neighbored provides plenty of play opportunities. The 14th Street address leads to great food, shopping, clubs, and cultural venues, should you want to make a vacation out of it. Not only that, but as an innovation hub, there are many parallels between Atlanta and the Social Shake-Up. Check out this video.

Although the Social Media Today block at The W Atlanta - Midtown has filled up, there are rooms available at the full rate. Call to book your room at: (404) 892-6000. We have also reserved an additional block of rooms at the Aloft in Downtown Atlanta, just seven minutes to the conference. Click here to book your room now! We will be providing transportation to and from the event from this location.


There are plenty of networking opportunities integrated throughout the conference—from the opening night party and dining times to coffee breaks and after parties. And if you don’t have to catch a flight home (or get up too early the next day), the Pub Crawl through Atlanta’s coolest clubs will surely motivate networking.


The Employee Advocacy Summit is a half-day conference taking place September 15 as the opener to this year's Social Shake-Up. You'll hear from real practitioners at leading brands who've developed and scaled successful Employee Advocacy programs. Whether you're new to it, have a good start, or not sure how to begin, this one-day conference gives you pioneering industry leaders who will show you the ropes.

As the conference theme, Scaling the Human Spark, will focus on new ways to connect with people while keeping it human in the digital age, the value in the conference also comes from the human-to-human connections that occur during the unexpected “hallway conversations” with other attendees. While these are not on the agenda, two or more people discussing topics on a deeper and personal level make the success of the event irreplaceable. It is the face-to-face interactions that will bring the ROI to your time at the conference.

It’s not too late to buy your pass to the Shake-Up. For those of you who can’t make it, you can follow along while attendees tweet all about it using the #socialshakeup hashtag. We’re looking forward to seeing you in Atlanta soon.

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  • Sep 5 Posted 2 years ago suzyspring

    Now-a-days all business is relyed on social medium.

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