Prominent Conferences for Jobs in Social Media

By Brooks Briz, David Rose

Conferences are nearly a corporate rite of passage. This also goes for emerging fields, including social media. Give them a try. The following sections talk about the biggest or best, but here are a few good ones you should also check out:

South by Southwest (SXSW)

South by Southwest is by far the most prominent conference. Its subject matters cover a lot of area, but SXSW is widely regarded as the primary place for social media and electronic communication innovation. The conference has been around since 1987 and takes place annually in Austin, Texas.

The interactive conference (meaning you can watch a lot of the conference from home and interact with attendees via social media) has included the unveiling of technologies such as Twitter, Foursquare, and Digg 2.0.

SXSW has expanded the innovation aspect of the conference to Las Vegas, launching SXSW Vision to Venture (V2V). V2V focuses on entrepreneurship in terms of finding, financing, and developing new businesses, with a heavy slant toward social media sites and electronic communication.

Some SXSW attendees don’t get a lot of value because they’re overwhelmed and unprepared. Don’t let that happen to you! Check out SXSW’s first time guide.

Social Media Marketing World (SMMW)

Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) is put on by SocialMediaExaminer.com, which helps social media pros increase sales and improve branding using social media. The SMMW conference is held in San Diego, California, in March and hosts over 100 of the top social media experts. Though it’s significantly smaller than SXSW, SMMW has a laser focus and packs a punch.

SMMW features over 100 expert led workshops, round table discussions, question and answer sessions, and keynote sessions. With its intimate setting, you are able to directly interact with many of the best social media pros in the world and absorb targeted information about effective social media strategy, content creation, and general social media tactics.

SMMW provides two big advantages:

  • A sales pitchfree environment: SMMW markets itself as the only conference that features high‐quality information minus pitches from presenters. You can attend this conference with peace of mind that the presenters are trying to give you the best information rather than trying to sell you their goods and services.

  • Full access to every session: If your chief motivation for conference attendance is to network, then this particular conference is unique; you can watch the videos at a later date and focus solely on meeting people.

MozCon

MozCon was developed by Moz.com (originally SEOmoz.com) and is held in July in Seattle, Washington. Moz focuses on inbound marketing (online content that pulls people toward your products and services. Moz also focuses on search engine optimization (SEO), but MozCon has grown into social media, brand, and content marketing. This conference has versatile subject matter and does an excellent job of quantifying social media’s impact on facilitating sales.

MozCon chooses speakers who share revolutionary advice about how to build loyal brand customers and how to make better marketing decisions based on data from online sources. For example, a brand’s messaging or marketing spending may change based on the sales and consumer feedback that they get from social media. In addition, MozCon promises actionable information in the following areas:

  • Search engine optimization

  • Social media

  • Community building

  • Brand development

  • Social media analytics

  • Mobile technology

Social Fresh

The Social Fresh Conference is put on by SocialFresh.com.The event is widely known as the “original” social media conference and typically attracts social media managers, community managers, content marketers, and social media consultants.

Social Fresh only allows single presenters to present for 25 minutes within one room rather than hosting additional breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, or panel question‐and-answer sessions that are short and to the point.