It's taken well over a year of planning, but the Deep South is finally going to have a social media conference. In August, the city of Birmingham will host the first Social South, a conference devoted to social media with a decidedly Southern flair. The speaker list is still being assembled, but already includes some of the brightest minds in social media:
Toby Bloomberg - Atlanta's own Diva, Toby is well-respected as one of the foremost experts in corporate social media use, and her Diva Marketing Blog has been online since 2004. She's also spoken at some of the top social media events in the country, and SoSo is damned lucky to have her.
Paul Chaney - Everyone's favorite Social Media Handyman, Paul is the pride of Lafayette, Louisiana, and Director of Marketing for Bizzuka. Like Toby, he also writes for Marketing Profs Daily Fix blog.
Jason Falls - Jason is the Director of Social Media for Doe-Anderson, one of the country's oldest advertising agencies. He blogs at Social Media Explorer and has spoken at literally every major social media conference in the nation. And to keep the Southern-ties thingie goin', he lives in Kentucky and in a previous life was a native of Birmingham.
Ike Pigott - A Birmingham native, Ike is a social media and communications expert, and one of the most respected PR voices in the blogosphere. He's also been one of the driving forces behind Social South becoming reality.
Scott Schablow - Scott is the Chief Strategic Officer for Provenance Digital Media and like Ike, is a Birmingham native and has played a huge role in getting Social South off the ground.
This is the initial speaker list, and others will be added shortly. Social South will be on August the 21st and 22nd at the Innovation Depot in Birmingham. The website for Social South is currently having the finishing touches put on it, and should be ready to go in a day or two.
Now if you're wondering if I'll be speaking at Social South, you're damned skippy I will be! And the best part is YOU decide what I will speak on! I told Scott I wanted to speak on something a bit 'edgier' than most of the conferences I speak on, but at the same time, edgy can be a total hit, or a complete bust. So I wanted to throw out several possible topics, and let you guys vote on your favorites. Voting will run through July 10th, and here's the choices:
Six Reasons Why No One Likes You Online - Building a Better Community Site
This presentation is based on this post, and six pitfalls to avoid in creating a successful community site. We'll also cover examples of companies that are doing this the 'right way'.
What Rockstars Can Teach You About Kicking Ass With Social Media
Based loosely on this post, this presentation looks at what music artists do successfully (they don't think in terms of 'customers', they think in terms of fans), and how you can use social media as a set of tools to not just connect with your customers, but excite them. This one is probably the presentation I am most excited about giving.
Five Reasons Why Your Company Blog Sucks
Based on this post, this presentation will look at five common mistakes that most companies make with their blogging efforts, and how to correct them. We'll also look at examples of companies that are creating successful blogging efforts.
This Changes Everything - How Social Media Can Transform Your Marketing and Your Business
This presentation will look at how a business and the way it communicates with its customers (and internally with itself) can be changed and improved by using social media. A bit heavier on theory (with real-world examples mixed in), we'll examine how social media can improve your marketing, and how you connect with, and understand, your customers.
Ten Steps to Helping Your Business Kick Ass on Twitter
Twitter is the hot social media site right now, and businesses are scrambling to figure out how to use Twitter to grow their business. This presentation is based on this post, and will walk you through ten steps you can use to successfully launch a presence on Twitter.
And you can vote using the poll below:
So please cast your vote, and also if there's certain points you want covered/addressed in a particular presentation, please add those in a comment or email me. Can't tell you how excited I am about this presentation, and this event. Hope to see you in two months in Birmingham!
Pic of me and Jason Falls via Beth Harte