Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Strategic Social Media Conference in Manchester, organised by Don’t Panic Event Management.

Speakers included social media gurus from across the UK including Sarah Hartley, Guardian Local Launch Editor (Guardian), Ann Longley, Digital Strategy Director (Mediaedge:cia), Sarah Lundy, e-Marketing Manager (Lancashire & Blackpool Tourist Board) and Simon Collister, Head of Non-Profit & Public Sector (We Are Social).

So what did I learn, here is a quick run down:

Listen, listen, listen

Understand who you are trying to speak to and why? What are the objective?

Converse with your audience – as they are probably already out there talking about you… not that you need to feel paranoid about it!

Engaging with communities is a powerful way to create social capital

The impacts of social media are measurable (to a degree)

No one needs a Twitter strategy (don’t believe those who tell you other wise)

Social media must be integrated into your overarching communications plan – it does not sit alone in it’s own social media silo

Listen again!!!

Oh and that one of Visit Lancashire‘s top tweets was “In her saucy tattooed sailor outfit Onion (the miniature bull-terrier) will be the face of…” I’ll leave you to fill in the blank.

Image c/o  lintmachine licensed under Creative Commons.