Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Digital Influencers Marketing Summit

Do check out the locally organized talks and events about social media. For sure, you will not be disappointed because we have many innovative and experienced social media gurus out there, plus a few cool and creative young minds that are emerging out to be great “influencers” of our ultra-modernized society.

There is no doubt on my mind that social media and the Internet, and everything else in between and at the edges, are our new tools to help us shape our future to many amazing possibilities. “The future of social media is so bright; I’ve got to wear shades!”

I swear I could have worn shades that Saturday if only it did not rained on that gloomy morning. It would look weird wearing shades in the rain. I had only a couple of hours of sleep because I just came from a two-day event in Laguna attending the very First Laguna Blogging Summit in the said province. So my eyes were expected to be a bit stressed and hurting. However, it did not felt there were enough good reasons to sleep it out and rest that day. Why? Because I committed myself to attend another great event: The Digital Influencers Marketing Summit.

Early birds got the chance to introduce themselves to each other, and from there came out a few “stand-outs” who really caught my attention. They had the confidence to speak aloud and be noticed. They were not a bit socially inept in front of people; some even approach the front of the stage, so I could imagine they were perhaps even more creatively courageous in the online world. I envied them for taking advantage of the opportunity to attract a new network among peers of similar interests. I intend to be like them soon (well at least in my blogging) – partly the reason why I was there in the first place. I aim to acquire that unique “branding” and apply it in my social media work.

Janette Toral, a social media expert and the lead organizer of the summit, officially started the event by sharing with us a recap of the past years winners of the Top Ten Most Influential Emerging Blogs since it started way back 2008. She gave some background information about the blogs who made it into the top ten, and how the blogs have dramatically evolved from a personal layout to a more commercially influenced template.

She also told us that society nowadays have welcomed and accepted all types of blog categories written by all sorts of personalities regardless of political affiliations, economic status, age, and gender (including those members of the third sex). Later she revealed the winning blog: The Purple Doll authored by Sumi Go, a 21-year old foodie, writer, photographer-wannabe and Photoshop-junkie on a food adventure, exploring Metro Manila’s restaurants, buffets, caf├ęs and even food stalls.

Gary Viray was next on the speaker list, and discussed all about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). He informed us that what we previously knew about SEO is dead. Today, rankings don’t matter that much anymore, and that we should look more into putting great content in place while recognizing scrape rates and RSS feeds as the more prominent gauge factors.

Tof Salcedo’s talk was all about how to effectively land on Page 1 of search results. He shared with us some tools on how we could promote our online brands, and to make sure our contents are properly authored and are coursed back to our Google accounts.

Atty JJ Disini came in late but had one of the most interesting yet very controversial topics that day. The organizers even had to cut it short due to an afternoon engagement he needed to attend later. His topic was all about the very complicated and much flawed Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, or more popularly known recently as the Cyber Martial Law. He explained that there are several provisions of the law where it would be very difficult for social media practitioners to utter a libelous statement, and that your past indiscretion could even haunt you, as the law is retroactive.

I guess the next speaker, though admittedly not a blogger yet but is very active on Twitter, was the most influential for me that day at The Digital Influencers Marketing Summit because she identified a far more better personality than the “influencer”. Rosario Juan, the Ambassador of Positive Vibes, called it the “advocate”. According to her, “advocates” are the people who would support you even without getting anything in return. They are the people who would become your greatest supporter to the point of even reaching the level of becoming “F.O.’s” or “feeling owners”. She also shared that she would anytime prefer an advocate with a thousand followers rather than an “influencer” with a million followers.

The last speaker, Maita Siquijor, was a real estate master and a determined blogger both at the same time. Many were amazed on how she was able to balance her work along with the administration of her many blogs. She was also surprisingly very technical in her approach and even shared with us some tools that she uses in adding ”flavor” to her use of social media.

There were three opportunities where the speakers and other invited guest sat down on the comfy sofa on stage, and answered questions from the audience. There was Vanj Padilla from Pangasinan and Elisa Escobar from Baguio, who both had admirable exploits that they were able to successfully pull off with the help of social media. All of them tried their very best to provide intellectual answers to the many inquiries thrown at them by my fellow social media enthusiasts. The summit also included an opportunity were the attendees themselves were allowed to do a pitch of their company or advocacy.

Believe that you can also make a significant difference online by effectively connecting with people. There are indeed several opportunities where you can use the power of social media to “influence” and become memorable enough to the people whose lives you will touch. It is all up to you now on which strategies you’ve learned at The Digital Influencers Marketing Summit 2012 are you going to use to increase your reach to determine what type of memories you would leave.

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