Sessions 2014

[See sessions for this year’s conference.]

Session descriptions for Y’all Connect 2014:

The Accidental Jerk: How Brands Kill the Social Conversation

Kary DelariaKary Delaria: Brands don’t mean to be like this, they just want to “find efficiencies” and move people “into the sales funnel as quickly as possible.” They don’t mean to make people feel rushed or pressured, yet every single day, brands in the social sphere keep talking “at” customers instead of having conversations “with” them.

This subtle difference is the key to building the best relationships that engage the customer from first-interaction to post-purchase wonderlands.


  • How listening first helps you find the right customers;
  • Examples of the “at” versus the “with” style of conversation at each stage of the relationship;
  • How to overcome the habits of always talking “at” customers and shift to talking “with” them;
  • How to break down the barriers of the “at” brand.

• 10:15 a.m., Beeson C

Better Digital Branding: Three Live Case Studies

Jen BarnettJen Barnett: This class will skip theory and dive right into executable strategy. This social entrepreneur and marketer will offer live brand assessments and marketing analysis for three attending companies. (Apply by May 30.)


  • Understand why your brand is the foundation of all marketing and social media;
  • Get Jen’s step-by-step plan for creating your brand See live examples of ways to improve social media and marketing;
  • Get your own free assessment: Apply online by May 30 to be one of the three featured companies.

• 2:15 p.m., Beeson C

Don’t Worry, Honey – Your Story Hasn’t Changed!

Whitney BreauxWhitney Breaux: How we communicate has certainly evolved over time. From cavemen writing on a wall to the invention of the printing press, we all have a story to tell, and we can only hope an audience cares to listen. A little sweet tea with a hint of Southern comfort will help you explore your story and how to deliver it to internal and external stakeholders.

• 10:15 a.m., Bruno Hall

Emerging Social Trends, Technologies and Tools

Jenny SchmittJenny Schmitt: An exciting, fast-pace session focused on the top trends and the leading technologies and tools impacting the shifts in the social sphere. Based on newly released customer research and national industry reviews, you’ll gain insights into the three T’s to the benefit of your brand and your bottom line.

If you’ve ever been an early adopter or have wanted to be the person to know-it-before-they-see-it, this is the session for you.


  • Insights and revelations on trends, tools and technologies, forcing changes in the social sphere.
  • A topline understanding you can use to get ahead of the curve and gain the competitive advantage.
  • At least 10 cool things to tweet about and share with your friends.

• 1 p.m., Bruno Hall

Empower the Advocates of Your Brand: Your Employees

Ramon De LeonRamon De Leon: Empower your employees, because they are your brand! Every company can benefit enormously by recognizing the fact that social connection is an integral part of all of our lives now. Employees, interns, associates, friends and family members are an incredibly important asset for advocacy, market intelligence and ideas/input.

Remember that in today’s social world, every person has an extended circle of personal influence and an opportunity to build their own personal “brand.”

By helping your employees, and everyone you know, build their brand rather than squelching individuality, you could build an army of very powerful advocates. Most people, when given the opportunity, will advocate for their brands when they feel good about them.

Ramon will share his passion, personal experience and methods to help you unlock this incredible asset.

• 1 p.m., Main Ballroom

Free Is Disruptive, opening keynote

Syed BalkhiSyed Balkhi: Free is powerful. Learn how Syed used free in his business model to get more traffic, subscribers and customers. A simple lesson learned at age 7 allowed him to grow his business into a strong seven-figure income.

• 9 a.m., Main Ballroom

The Future of Search in a Social World

Alison GrovesAlison Groves: Search, social, PR and all of Internet marketing are converging together in ways we never expected, and quickly. She will examine the effect they have on each other, and what it means for the future of digital marketing.

• 4 p.m., Bruno Hall

How to Be Really, Really Attractive (on Social Media)

Jen BarnettJen Barnett: Learn how her grocery store Freshfully built a community of 20,000 local followers for its small startup business and how you can do the same. She’ll share simple steps for building your online community.

• 10:15 a.m., Main Ballroom

How to Use Social Media to Tell Your Brand Story

Kim GarstKim Garst: Social media can dramatically impact a brand’s image positively and negatively. Nearly 2 billion people use it not only as a source of news and information, but also as a resource to compare, shop, follow and evaluate brands.

The major difference between the old and new forms of brand messaging is that the consumer controls the message. That does not mean that the corporation does not have control over its online image: If it instead takes a positive, proactive and strategically balanced approach to crafting and consistently delivering high-quality, engaging content (brand storytelling), it can enhance its overall brand appeal.

Kim will discuss brand storytelling using social media and provide listeners with detailed, actionable steps they can follow to develop a comprehensive social media content strategy.

• 4 p.m., Main Ballroom

Humanizing Your Brand One Conversation at a Time

Ramon De LeonRamon De Leon: Ask 100 people to define social media and you’d likely get 100 different answers. The ways in which consumers engage with these platforms can vary drastically. This makes it more critical than ever for brands to understand the right way to engage audiences and humanize their brand.

Although most brands have adopted social media to help promote their offerings, many push their content in a mechanical way that just doesn’t feel authentic to consumers. Brands need to add a human element to their social media efforts to really connect with the modern-day consumer. By humanizing these interactions and maintaining a consumer-focused approach, brands can evoke genuine emotions with their customers and create brand loyalty.


  • Learn how to eliminate the automation between you and your customers: A human voice speaks from the heart, tweets with passion and responds in real time;
  • Understand what it means to use human metrics when humanizing your brand and why it’s important.
  • Learn how to use the tools of social media to make friends with your community, and as a result, how to create customers out of those friendships.

• 4 p.m., Beeson C

Less is More, and More is Better: Size Matters

Ike PigottIke Pigott: This session on writing for blogs covers the process of turning content into narrative. Learn the steps that ensure you have what you need, and no more.

It’s not about fitting a template, or blogging for the sake of blogging, but content that engages from beginning of post to the last word. In as few words as possible. (See more in Ike’s popular post, “The Chicken’s Guide to Writing a Better Blog Post.”)

• 1 p.m., Beeson C

Prove it: How to Design Social to Deliver Business Outcomes

Jason FallsJason Falls: Telling your story and serving the branding and awareness function of marketing only gets you so far. At some point, someone will ask what your company is getting from social.

Award-winning strategist Jason Falls will bring his candid, no-b.s. style to the task, illustrating how you can drive and measure business outcomes with strong social marketing efforts.

• 2:15 p.m., Main Ballroom

Time Management for Bloggers: Streamline Your Editorial Workflow and Grow Your Business Efficiently

Syed BalkhiSyed Balkhi: Time is our biggest asset. Using it efficiently can significantly catalyze the growth of your blogging business. Many bloggers complain that they don’t have enough hours in the day.

When Syed told people everything that he was doing, they would ask, “How do you do it all?” He’ll share personal insights on how to streamline editorial workflow, actively engage in social media, respond to every email, make new connections and grow your business without losing any sleep.

• 2:15 p.m., Bruno Hall

Note: Speakers, topics and schedule subject to change.

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