Four Takeaways from Charleston’s First SMAD-CON

Camille Livesay

Charleston, SC became the hub of all things Social Media last week. The Grand Hyatt Downtown hosted the first annual Social Media All Day Conference, or SMAD-CON, for industry, influencers and enthusiasts alike. The conference began Thursday continuing without a hitch into Friday, with the exception of some minor flooding downtown, but nothing Charlestonians couldn’t handle.

The conference featured panels on topics such as Personal Branding, Campaign Development, Marketing Agility, Social Change, interspersed with breakout sessions specifically focused towards each track. Influencers, bloggers and business professionals of many industries took the conference stage, notably Kate Delaney (Emmy Award-winning journalist), Jane Ko (food blogger), Melanie Vandersluis (content creator and entrepreneur), Matt Jayson (Product Manager at Google), Lawson Lindsay (fisherman, conservationist and YouTube Vlogger) and Charleston’s own Melissa Barker (Founder of MEL BAR MAR) and Hilary Elrod (fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger). (Read our interview with Hilary here)

Below are a few gems from the conference that can apply to social media newcomers and veterans alike.

Gem #1: Gear up, it’s not a hobby.

This level of blogger/influencer success is not haphazard, it’s specific and intentional and most of all, time-consuming. During the Content Creation Panel, Nathaniel James emphasized that achieving and maintaining this level of social media notoriety was a full-time job in and of itself. This ain’t your grandma’s Facebook page.

Gem #2: There is no secret sauce.

That includes magical posting times, magical hashtags or any other witchcraft and wizardry. These social media experts agreed that you must know your audience and study your analytics. Matt Jayson, a Google Product Manager, mused that one should know their audiences so well that they know what apps are on their home screens. *surprised emoji*

Gem #3: Consistency is key.

Whether an account has 2,000 or 200,000 followers, they all started with one. Why is this notable? Because slow growth doesn’t mean slowing down on the work. Quite the opposite in fact. Continue to communicate your message, and continue to provide value to those loyal followers, and the numbers will follow.

Gem #4: Do you, boo!

Be confident in yourself. Like yourself. Don’t try to be like other people. Don’t conform to today’s standard of “beauty.” Do it for the right reasons. Authenticity is palpable and contagious. Body Positivity Fashion Blogger, Kelvin Davis, noted that individuality, above all else, is king. Capeesh?