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Key Points from The Social Media Marketing Summit in Toronto

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Steve Loates Social Media Summit

On Tuesday, June 11 I, along with my co-worker Amy, attended the “Social Marketing Summit” presented by enterprise Toronto in partnership with Constant Contact. It was held at the North York Civic Centre in the Council Chamber which I must say was a great venue for the jam packed audience in attendance.

Being a public speaker myself, I do have a soft spot for other presenters trying to cover everything on their agenda within a short period of time and to an audience that spans a wide range of industries and varied levels of knowledge. Each session was held to a maximum of 45 minutes, so everyone needed to get their points across very succinctly.

Overall, I thought the day was well organized, with some of my own personal highlights being Lowell Brown’s presentation on Pinterest, Ross Macpherson’s session on LinkedIn and Marie Wiese’s concluding seminar on the importance of your website as it pertains to your overall online presence.


I must admit that I was looking forward to this session because, quite frankly, Pinterest was an area of social media where I felt I had the most to learn. And although the presentation was probably basic for some, it was ideal for me, and I found it to be an engaging and educational experience. Here are some of the takeaways from Mr. Brown’s general overview that I felt were important (in no particular order):

  • Currently 48.7 million users (more than I thought)
  • Most popular age group 25-34 with the majority of users being female
  • Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined (WOW!)
  • Pinterest has grown faster than any other independent site in history
  • Pins containing prices get 36% MORE likes than those without

And here were some tips to make Pinterest most effective for your business. Some were basic –marketing 101 – but there still some great insights:

  • Set goals for what you want to achieve with Pinterest for your business
  • Know your target audience – what would be of interest to them?
  • Use keywords everywhere – in account name if possible, about section, account profile, in each board description, pin description, etc.
  • Create sharable content – great quality images, Use CTA’s (Call To Action) on images and include URL on image
  • Share your Pins on other social platforms and always link them back to your Pinterest account


The LinkedIn presentation was also well done, but for different reasons. My LinkedIn profile, which I had previously thought was quite good, needed more editing than I thought – and Ross certainly knew his stuff when it came to optimization for this particular part of social media.

Some of the more interesting facts he shared were:

  • 87% trust LinkedIn as a source of information
  • Most people spend less than 10 seconds on a profile
  • Use a good photo of yourself – particularly if you are the face of your business
  • Customize your headline – this is your branding statement (120 characters); pack it with value and SEO keywords; show who you work with, who you help, what problems you solve, etc.
  • Make everything readable – illustrate your personality
  • Make it creative and complete – make it your own, complete all applicable and relevant areas; include your contact info in your summary; make it easy to find

One of the great points to me was remember to TURN OFF broadcasts in your SETTINGS before you start so that all your connections don’t get notified about every change you make. Equally important remember to turn it back on when you are done. J

  • Make your summary (2000 characters) both personal and conversational but still professional
  • Use short “chunks” of information (avoid long paragraphs)
  • use keywords but don’t overuse them
  • Don’t write the employment section like a resume – again make it personal
  • GROUPS – join those that are relevant to your skills, services and industry; participate and get noticed
  • Complete every section that is RELEVANT TODAY – nobody cares about your hobbies
  • Use your profile to market yourself – showcase your value, resonate with your audience


The last session talked about the importance of your website, its role as your most important sales tool, and what to do to get a measurable ROI. I thought Marie’s presentation on this topic was both articulate and smart (I’m sure my feelings about the presentation had nothing to do with the fact that I agreed with almost everything she said. :-)

And again, the key takeaways for me:

  • 97% of people searching for a solution start their search online
  • Most buyers are 70% through the buying process before you ever hear from them
  • Your web presence is NOT just about your website…it is everything you are doing online for your brand
  • The message on your website should center on why what you do matters to your customer – not just what you do.

The Three Key Things You Need for Your Website to Work

  1. Have a message – clear, concise and different – what is your value proposition?
  2. Ensure you have a complete web presence – utilize all the online channels available to drive traffic to your website
  3. Measure the results (Use Analytics – test, measure, evaluate and test again – this one is a biggie, folks!)

She also included a brief but accurate list of Do’s and Don’ts.


  • Ask someone to marry you on the first date
  • Try it once and say it doesn’t work
  • Try a tactic that doesn’t have a clear objective
  • Ignore your customer’s buying process


  • Be persistent – it takes five to seven communication touches to determine an action
  • Always remember that Google Analytics is your friend – you cannot measure what you cannot track. You cannot track objectives you don’t have.

So overall, a day well spent. Kudos to Enterprise Toronto and Constant Contact for making this event happen. And special kudos to each and every presenter for a job well done.

As always, your comments are welcome. Do you agree with these observations?

Talk to you soon.

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Steve Loates

About the Author:

The e-Commerce Essentials internet marketing team is lead by Steve Loates – known in the online industry as creating one of the most successful e-commerce stores in Canada. As a pioneer in the industry – in 2004 he developed one of the first e-commerce stores in that niche and prior to selling his online business in 2012 he had built it to #1 in its vertical in Canada. His passion is to help business owners achieve online success, whether it be selling their products and services online or generating leads and opportunities from their website.

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