DisneySMMoms Celebration 2011
A Magical Day of Learning
Our conference day started out with a fabulous breakfast at Citricos, one of the Signature restaurants on the second floor of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. I had never eaten there before so I was pretty excited. There was a fabulous buffet breakfast set up for us and everything was delish! I also got to sit with Lou Mongello of WDW Radio, Chris Brogan, and Cindy who writes Mom Maven! Very fun!
After breakfast, we headed over to the Convention Center. We were welcomed to the conference by Meg Crofton, President of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is always so sweet and excited to see us all.
Our first speaker of the day was Matt Jacobson, the Head of Market Development for Facebook. He offered some helpful suggestions to make Facebook work better for you by using available social plug-ins on your blog, advertising effectively by targeting the right audience, and separating your personal page from your business page. He also pointed out that there are 500 million Facebook users and 1 million users are added daily. He reminded us that “the world is stunningly small when we are all connected.” Makes sense to me!
Next, we had the pleasure of meeting Rene Syler of Good Enough Mother. She was amazing from the first moment she took over the stage. She talked about parenting and how none of us are perfect, we just do the best we can. She spoke to us about how she found her voice through the use of social media. She made us all laugh by saying she is an over-achiever because she was fired from a job not once, but twice. She brought tears to our eyes with her personal story of surviving breast cancer and how she made the decision to have her breasts removed. She was an inspiration and reminded us that “no one will ever believe in you as much as you believe in yourself” and “real growth hurts, you will not grow when you’re comfortable” and my favorite, “don’t spit fire with your message because your message will be lost.” She truly made me feel like it doesn’t matter how big or small of a blogger you are, YOU are important! You should really follow her on twitter at @ReneSyler and @goodenufmother.
Next up was Chris Brogan. I was thrilled when I learned that he would be returning this year because I loved his talk last year. If you go to Chris’s website, you’ll find that he uses video a lot, video of himself, so people can see and hear who he is. He’s very genuine and REAL. He told us that seeing someone is so much more important than simply putting your words out there. He thoroughly enjoys meeting each and every person he interacts with online. He even remembered me from last year and I was completely tickled!
Chris continued to give us all more pointers about blogging. He said that we need to “ask ourselves why a hell of a lot…how is easy to answer.” He told us to focus on the top three things that really matter, customer service, sales, and marketing. He reminded us that EVERYTHING is content when you are a blogger and that “you need to take care of you first…you can only do so much…the you will eventually turn into a community.” Most importantly, he said to figure out distribution, if you want to be remembered, do different things. Then he talked a little CRAP with us:
C = Connections
R = Referrals
A = Attention / Awareness
P = Presence
An important motto of his is “Always Be Connecting” and I strive to connect with more and more people each day. You live or die by your database! My very favorite take-away from Chris’s talk was when he talked about supporting each other. He talked about how the competition in the blogging world gets so ugly sometimes and recommended that everyone just come together and support each other. I personally have felt like a huge underdog in the blogging world, often wondering why anyone would care about what I have to say. I’ve often felt like I’m just repeating what other bloggers have already said in their blogs that are much bigger than mine. I’ve often not posted articles I’ve written just because I felt like it had already been said, just in a different way, by a different person. What I learned from Chris (and a couple of my dear blogging friends) is that everyone has their own take on everything and we all need to “raise each other up…give it in order to get it.” Think about how many Facebook “likes” we would have if we all just returned the favor! By the way, Chris said these “likes” are a great distribution tool, more powerful that re-tweets! He also told us that it took him eight years to get his first hundred readers!
Chris’s talk was broken in half around our fabulous lunch! We walked over to eat at Citricos again! Amazing! When we came back, Duffy was in the hallway waiting for us! I had never met him before so that was a real treat!
When we went back into the conference room, we all had a stuffed Duffy to take home with us and he was wearing a very fancy DisneySMMoms T-Shirt!
We were welcomed back from lunch and there were some raffle drawings for some VERY fun things. One of which, was a night’s stay in the Cinderella Castle Suite! You can read about my friend Amanda’s experience over on her blog.
All of a sudden, a lady from one of the back tables started talking very loudly and fast as she approached the stage! It took many of us a few minutes to figure out that she was part of the show! Her name is Fran Capo and she is the Guinness World Record Holder for the fastest talking female. I highly recommend that you check out her website and you’ll get a bit of a taste of her! She was hysterical, although she spoke too fast for me to take notes! LOL! You can follow her on twitter too, she’s lots of fun and full of great information…trust me, it’s much easier to read! LOL!
When I saw on the agenda that Georgia Stitt and Susan Egan were going to be there, I wasn’t really sure who they were exactly…shhh…don’t tell them. Well, they were truly amazing singers! I’m so glad to be able to share a video of Susan Egan singing “I Won’t Say I’m In Love” from the movie Hercules, that a fellow blogger posted on YouTube…
Disclosure: I paid to attend the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. In exchange for my registration fee, I received deeply discounted rates on hotel, park tickets, events, meals, and swag. I am not required nor was I asked to write about the events by Disney or any other party affiliated with the event. Thoughts are 100% my own.