Image representing Rodney Rumford as depicted ...
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Question: “What do Kogi & Twitter have in common?” (I’ll get to that).

But first–this past week, I’ve been collecting my thoughts from the first-ever social media marketing event at UCLA, put on by the awesome team at Gravity Summit. Led by industry notables such as Beverly Macy (Y&M Partners), Rodney Rumford (FaceReviews), David Reis (DEI Worldwide), Tony Adam (Yahoo), Ann Glenn (Sony) & Justin Goldsborough (Sprint), it was an event to remember. Not because of its flawless execution, fun-spirited group and great location, but because of this: Social Media Marketing For Business–In Practice.

The real case studies and incredible success stories from the field, coupled with insider strategies for how to build out campaigns for business, were illuminating, to say the least. Many conferences I’ve attended in the past include a stale, “one-way” PowerPoint presentation–and perhaps some questions at the end. Not here.

The summit was packed with an eager audience–wanting to learn more, of course (myself included)–but also to see the practicioners and interact and, may I say, at levels I’ve not seen in a while.

In speaking to Beverly Macy, she made it clear: “We are different. We attempt to bridge the gap that exists between the business community and the education about social media marketing. We empower the business community.” I couldn’t agree more. It was hands-on stuff and real information you can use. I felt like I was back in school, but with a support team behind me–with a strong business focus, and everybody super engaging.

The day was packed with great information and speakers. Here’s a top-level outline and my reactions:

  • How Social Media Has Evolved and Why Marketers Need to be Savvy (A+)
  • Using Facebook and Twitter in Business (A+)
  • Social Media as a Corporate Productivity Tool (A+)
  • Social Media and Entertainment Marketing (A+)
  • Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (A+)

All this, and with the interactive Q&A and experts on scene, I would recommend this event to anybody interested in using SMM for business. (Watch out for the Stanford “social media marketing for business” event May 5 at

Here are some of the tips that surfaced: (If you want to join the conference series, see the website above)

  • Groundswell (book by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, two Forrester analysts).
  • Facebook Pages can message followers (broadcast), but Facebook Groups cannot.
  • Facebook cannot use a corporate/business name–use only a personal account, and build out Pages for corporation.
  • Social Media is . . . Media that is Social (pun not intended). It’s about “them,” not “you.”
  • Twitter is a gold mine of conversation. It’s a “social river”–put up nets to catch the fish; you are panning for gold.
  • Write blog posts and use Twitter to “shout”–and change your strategy from “what are you doing?” to “what are you thinking?”
  • Find like-minded people on
  • Twitter’s not for kids anymore: Comcast, HR Block, Southwest, IBM, Intel, Quickbooks, and more.
  • Twitter as a Business Tool (new book by Rodney Rumford)
  • 3 million tweets per day.
  • Sony pictures–heavy use of social media and “Don’t expect anybody to come to you. Go where ‘they’ are.”
  • Sprint–learnings from how to build courage. “Management is not scared of social media, they are terrified.”
  • “Sharing is Caring”–use Twitter to share information that’s useful, unique, valuable. “Give to Get.”
  • #gravsum on Twitter
  • Keyword research, always–including competitive research and analysis.
  • Start by connecting locally, be conversational, be authentic and listen. Create consistency of brand across platforms.
  • Social Media is not one hour a week; it’s not a “set it and forget it.” Commit resources and time.
  • Bookmark on–every day.
  • “80 percent about ‘them,’ 20 percent about ‘your business.’
  • “Twitter is my drug of choice.”
  • Measure and Tune.

In closing, a very worthwhile experience. Anything to change? The audio was not always perfect, and sometimes the questions from the audience could not be heard. Organizers recognized that, and they are ready for the next one.

I’ll be expanding this list, but start by following this group:

Now, to the answer from the opening question in this post.

Kogi Taco Truck In Los Angeles. The guys at Kogi have used Twitter in a very innovative way. Folks are lining up to buy their exquisite dining–right off the streets in Los Angeles. See the Newsweek Story. What ideas for your local business can you use? (Note: It starts with the idea; the tools come second, so get to work. If you need more ideas, attend the upcoming Gravity Summit).

Final thoughts (borrowed from Rodney): Lots of folks are scared of joining the “new” conversation and/or don’t think it makes sense or that it cannot possibly yield returns (for a business). Ask the question differently: “What if you don’t join the conversation?” Now, that’s scary.

Further Reading Gravity Summit


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.