All of last week was Social Media Week.  This is a week where industry professionals hold social media events for free. It is meant to educate on the different aspects of social media and how different industries are using and adapting to this phenomenon.

This was my first time attending Social Media Week and I tried to make it to a few events each day. I wanted to briefly share with you the lessons that I learned:

Day 1, Lesson 1: VIA Rail has express deals

Yes, I know, this has nothing to do with social media, but I found this neat. Taking the train across Canada can be expensive but this is a cheaper alternative that takes longer….with a better view. One of the panelists, Christine, also caught my attention. She’s a blogger with humour and when she spoke, I enjoyed what she had to say.  Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, from VIA Rail, also spoke about how they are using social media to promote their company and that (soon) there will be Wi-Fi on the trains.

What's that in the sexy blue on the right?

Day 1, Lesson 2: Free wine and cheese makes any event a good event

Cheers to VIA Rail and CBC for the great kick off to Social Media Week. Due to the free flowin’ bevies, I was front and center during this panel discussion. It’s a good thing that the wine I spilled on my white shirt was white wine!

Day 2, Lesson 3:  There are 19 secrets you need to know about Guerilla Social Media Marketing

I finally met Shane Gibson (after being his virtual friend for a loooong time) and he shared these secrets. Tip 9, amazement, is my favourite tip and you can visit a blog post of his to see the 19 “secrets” in full! When working with clients on social media campaigns, I implement most/all of these tips.  TRY ‘EM OUT! Oh, there was free beer at this event that ING hosted.

Day 3, Lesson 4: I now know all 8 key components to building a strong social media strategy!

 Thank you for sharing, Matt Astifan. These are the components:

  1. Personalized Interactions
  2. Mobile Marketing
  3. Key Influencers
  4. Live Broadcasts
  5. Crowdsourcing
  6. Contests
  7. Gamification
  8. Content Marketing

Day 3, Lesson 5: Social Media is a great tool if you want to make the world a better place

Social media’s main cost is time and is a great tool to use to help get your message out. I also discovered Five Hole for Food . They are doing great things and involve people both online and offline…..where they get to play hockey!

Day 3, Lesson 6: Social Media is a fast way to spread the word in REAL TIME

Molson was on the street giving away 4 FREE beers to anyone who was of legal drinking age. I took a picture, posted it to Facebook and shared with my 1900+ friends. Some came and got beer, some commented, and most were jealous. This is not something that I learned, but something that I knew and wanted to share.

Day 4, Lesson 7: a) Journalists are not Public Relations Specialists and b) Journalists need my help in promoting their own brand

The lesson I learned should say it all.  If you want more clarification, please ask me.

Day 5, Lesson 8:  Following #SMWVAN on twitter while getting a pedicure is the same as being at an event.

It was Friday, after all. I just followed the Twitter feed.

It was a great week and I’m thinking about putting together a few events (at least one) for next year teaching people how to use social media as a public relations tool. Would you come to a free event that teaches you that? What type of event would you like to see me hold?

Follow me on Twitter: @blairkaplanpr

Note: I did learn a few new things during the week but I am also a “social media specialist” so I already knew a lot of what was being taught. If there is anything you would like to learn please comment and ask below.