YouToo 2014

Marketers learn something new every day, right? Luckily for us, we had a chance to learn more than a few somethings in just one day at the 7th annual YouToo Social Media Conference hosted at Kent State University.

We spent the day living and breathing social, hearing speakers and panels on resolving online conflict, building a channel strategy, being an influencer and more. Naturally, we tweeted the whole time about our findings in (just) under 140 characters! Of course, AKHIA participated, with our very own Amanda Kleinhenz participating in a panel discussion!

The four conference attendees share their key takeaways:

Ben Brugler
Ben Brugler, President

I always love returning to Kent State for YouToo. So many familiar faces. So many memories. So much to think about. Especially after hearing Andrea Weckerle speak about an epidemic facing this generation and the next: the lack of civility online. I’ll admit I was skeptical. Not about the topic – it’s one of my hot buttons actually – but the approach to it. That skepticism dissolved very quickly once I had the chance to listen to Andrea speak…with conviction and passion about the simple courtesies that, as a whole, we aren’t following online. I found myself nodding and tweeting in agreement for most of that hour, learning something new while having my faith in the positive impact of ‘one voice’ renewed.

Tweetable Takeaway: Lack of civility in the digital age isn’t a topic. It’s an epidemic. #YouToo2014.

Amanda Kleinhenz
Amanda Kleinhenz, Social Media Strategist

If you’re a human, be human. While social media supports brands just like it supports individuals, marketers have found themselves in a trance, thinking we can personify brands to the nth degree. We can’t, and users are starting to tune out the noise. But as Brimfield, Ohio Police Chief Oliver and Cleveland City Councilperson Joe Cimperman showed, you don’t have to be a brand to own a voice and make an impact. Being a social influencer does require you to be authentic and engaging within the community. Chief Oliver and Joe’s natural approach, paired with their genuine passion for their subject matters, is a picture perfect example of social media done right.

Tweetable Takeaway: Be passionate about your subject matter on social media, or your audience will see right through you! #YouToo2014

Jessica Forrester
Jessica Forrester, Senior Copywriter

My first-ever YouToo was an all-around awesome experience, full of interesting insights and industry experts (including our own Amanda Kleinhenz!) who basically knocked my socks off with the knowledge, advice and ideas they shared. For me, the highlight of the day was definitely the panel discussion featuring Police Chief David Oliver and Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman. Not only were they laugh-a-minute hilarious, it was just so interesting to hear what motivated these two local celebrities and social media mavericks to get active on social in the first place—and the best practices they use to make an impact. What struck me is that both of these extremely well-know, influential figures in Northeast Ohio realized that social media presented a truly effective opportunity to connect with their constituents and citizens in a way they never have… and they jumped on it. By simply being themselves, they’ve both built off-the-charts followings, all while engaging openly and honestly with the people they represent and protect. If you don’t already follow them, you should… Trust me. You’ll learn a lot.

Tweetable Takeaway: Being genuine is the key to basically everything… especially on social media. Be smart, be open, be honest and most importantly… be yourself. #YouToo2014

Zach Thoren
Zach Thoren, Social Media Project Manager

I think YouToo’s tone was set very early by the opening speaker, Andrea Weckerle. Her speech, “Too Much Digital Drama: A Better Approach to Online Discourse and Conflict,” set the stage for the theme that would carry on throughout the day. Whether it was intentional or not, YouToo’s theme quickly and consistently became one of good vs. evil, doing what’s right and acting responsibly even when its sometimes easier to hide behind a keyboard. As technology and the web continue to evolve, we too have an obligation to evolve and act as civil online as we do offline. It took many shapes and forms from the panel discussion between Councilman Cimperman and Police Chief Oliver to the speech presented by Andrea Joliet and Andrea Rogers of Akron Children’s hospital. Andrea Weckerle spoke so much about the world of incivility, cyber bullies and trolls; while Chief Oliver & Councilman Cimperman talked about protecting their communities and using technology to shed light where there otherwise would be none; and the Andreas from Akron Children’s talked about their own ethical dilemmas.

Tweetable Takeaway: Tweet unto others as you would have them tweet unto you. #YouToo2014

What conferences have you attended recently we should check out? Even better, what was your top tweetable takeaway?