Recap: Social Media Week Independent Austin

One week later, and we’re still thinking about how great Social Media Week Independent Austin was! As we discussed in our pre-event blog, we were lucky enough to not only attend the conference but also host our own classes, panels and sessions. Here’s a quick overview of how the week went.

We kicked things off Monday morning with a conversation with Gay Gaddis, moderated by our own Kristen Sussman. It was the perfect way to start the week! Gay covered a lot of topics, from entrepreneurship (which she knows a thing or two about, as the founder of T3), to how women can stand out in the workplace.

Gay Gaddis and Kristen Sussman discuss the social media industry at SMWiAustin

Gay Gaddis and Kristen Sussman discuss the social media industry

Tuesday was another big day for the SD team. Ryan and Kristen joined UT professor of advertising Gary Wilcox and Chuy’s Social Media Manager, Emily Gartner for our Social Media, Tex-Mex and ROI panel. They walked through the three social media campaigns we ran for Chuy’s last year, explaining both the strategies behind them and the results. They also shared key takeaways and insights for the audience to take into consideration when running their own campaigns.

(From left) Ryan Johnston, Emily Gartner, Kristen Sussman, and Gary Wilcox discussing Chuy's 2016 campaigns.

Ryan Johnston, Emily Gartner, Kristen Sussman, and Gary Wilcox review Chuy’s 2016 campaigns

The final day of the conference was another eventful day for us. Ryan started his morning as a mentor, while Kristen taught a General Assembly class on Facebook advertising. It was a packed classroom, and judging from the tweets that we saw, everyone who attended got a lot out of it. Meanwhile, Robynne and I spent the afternoon attending a few other panels and sessions at the Stateside Theatre, including Jackie Huba‘s talk on how to gain loyal followers, or “evangelists”, a panel lead by Ben Thoma on the impact of social media for nonprofit organizations, and our friend Tim Hayden‘s talk on the age of mobility. (You might remember Tim from our Social Media Love blog series!) We wrapped up the day, and #SMWiAustin, with Robynne’s General Assembly class on how to grow your brand voice.

Robynne'sClass

Robynne walks through questions to ask to better understand your brand

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Austin’s first-ever Social Media Week, and we are already looking forward to attending again in 2018! A big shout out to Claire Winslow of Best Practice Media and Ashland Viscosi of Creatives Meet Business for organizing and pulling off an incredible three days of networking, learning, and presenting. Check out the official hashtag for the event, #SMWiAustin, to see all of the chatter and catch up on what you missed if you weren’t able to attend.

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