Monday, January 22, 2018
Business

Social media professionals gather at Social Fresh conference in Tampa

TAMPA — About 300 professional tweeters and Facebook posters gathered Friday to hear from industry leaders about how they can better use social media to boost their brands and businesses.

Don't keep chasing the shiny and new, said Chris Brogan, an author and prominent consultant on social media marketing. Emails, blogs and podcasts are more relevant than ever.

Don't overspend on Facebook ads, said Jim Tobin, president of Ignite Social Media. "Organic'' free posts and promotions are just as effective, if not better.

Don't focus on money, focus on the content and building relationships, said Ted Rubin, chief social marketing officer at Collective Bias. Content drives engagement and, ultimately, leads to sales.

The Social Fresh conference in Tampa drew digital marketing gurus from social media agencies and major corporations such as JetBlue and Dunkin' Brands. Adam Kmiec of Campbell Soup talked about how the company successfully marketed its new Go Soup and Skillet Sauce products.

Held at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel, the conference was Tampa's fourth annual and the 16th nationwide. Social Fresh founder Jason Keath said the Tampa area has had a particularly active social media community based partly on its proximity to Disney, Publix and other large companies with a strong digital presence. Nearly all of the conference attendees work full-time in social media, up from just 10 percent a few years ago.

"Our goal is to inspire people to take more chances with their marketing,'' he said. "It's about investing in it and putting money behind it.''

Ryan Cohn, vice president of social/digital operations for Sachs Media Group in Tallahassee and Orlando, urged attendees to encourage CEOs and other C-level executives to get more involved in social media to better communicate a company's message and recruit employees. Only 16 percent of CEOs are on social media, he said, despite surveys showing that 82 percent of consumers are more likely to trust a company with leadership that engages with social media.

"When they see their kids on phones all the time, that's their perception of social media,'' he said. "We've got to deconstruct that perception. It's not just about youth.''

Adam Nerland, a designer and developer for Social Forces, a social media and marketing company in Ybor City, said the insight would come in handy when creating websites and Facebook apps for clients, which have included Circle K, Aveda and Red Bull.

"Social is absolutely where brands are going,'' he said. "There are people here doing a lot of exciting things.''

Comments
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severs contract with CareerSource Pinellas

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severs contract with CareerSource Pinellas

Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gualtieri severed his agency’s contract with CareerSource Pinellas on Monday after learning that the jobs center told the state it helped 624 sheriff’s employees get hired since 2014.The sheriff said he has no record of CareerSou...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Water Street Tampa sketches vision for Marriott Waterside (with video)

Water Street Tampa sketches vision for Marriott Waterside (with video)

TAMPA — Water Street Tampa developers outlined some broad goals for their planned $40 million renovation of the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina in a video posted to social media on Monday.In short, they want a hotel that feels inclusive, not ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels

Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels

Associated PressDALLAS — Some in the U.S. solar-power industry are hoping a decision this week by President Donald Trump doesn’t bring on an eclipse. Companies that install solar-power systems for homeowners and utilities are bracing for Trump’s call...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Tampa Bay ranks No. 5 for top moving destinations

Tampa Bay ranks No. 5 for top moving destinations

TAMPA — Tampa Bay was the No. 5 moving destination in 2017. Penske Truck Rental’s annual list ranks metro areas based on the number of one-way moving truck rentals to them.The Tampa Bay region, which includes Sarasota, held its position from 2016. It...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Free clinics respond as more people head to the ER with dental problems (w/video)

Free clinics respond as more people head to the ER with dental problems (w/video)

Charles Lee had been dealing with an excruciating toothache for days. The pain made it hard to eat or sleep or focus on work. But Lee, 54, didn’t have dental insurance. His job as a delivery truck driver offered only a supplemental policy that was to...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Fur and fury at 40,000 feet as more people bring animals on planes

Fur and fury at 40,000 feet as more people bring animals on planes

When Marlin Jackson arrived at his row on a Delta flight from Atlanta to San Diego in June, the middle seat was already occupied by a man with a sizable dog on his lap. Jackson squeezed by them to his window seat, and the Labrador mix lunged at his f...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier - up to a point, new research shows

Teens who spend less time in front of screens are happier - up to a point, new research shows

In recent months, Silicon Valley executives have been speaking out about the purposely addictive designs of smartphones and social media, which make them hard to put down for anyone, but particularly teenagers. Now, a new report puts numbers to the w...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Sirata Beach Resort is getting a $15-million facelift

Sirata Beach Resort is getting a $15-million facelift

ST. PETE BEACH — A year ago, the longtime owners of the Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center acknowledged they couldn’t afford the improvements it needed. They sold the 382-room hotel to a Texas company.Now the new owner has launched a $15 million...
Published: 01/22/18
This is how MoviePass hopes to make money off your low-cost subscription

This is how MoviePass hopes to make money off your low-cost subscription

MoviePass is a film nerd’s dream. The subscription service allows users to see one movie a day at a theater for a single monthly cost. The service isn’t new, but it’s become popular among a lot more than movie buffs in the past few months.During its ...
Published: 01/22/18
Florida pump prices jump 10 cents, highest in four years

Florida pump prices jump 10 cents, highest in four years

Gas is off to an expensive start this year — the most expensive start since 2014. Florida pump prices jumped 10 cents in the past week to hit $2.54 per gallon Monday, 18 cents more than last month, according to AAA The Auto Club Group. Tampa Bay gas ...
Published: 01/22/18