ICSC RECon 2016: Using Social Media to Your Advantage: Part One

Digital Marketing|Retail Marketing|Thought Leadership|

Ahh, it’s that time of year again when the conference heard round the shopping center industry induces panic and preparation in all the major players of the game: RECon. Words often associated: crazy, busy, non-stop, exhaustion, hard to keep up. Sound familiar? I say, bring it on.

My agency has been in business for 26 years with the same founding partners. That’s practically unheard of and it’s safe to say we’ve attended this conference a time or two since inception. Each year we prepare, plan, book and exceed our objectives: network with existing and new clients, and secure new business deals. As the years progress, so does the nature of the conference – and the demographic of the 36,000+ attendees. How many business cards can you collect, remember and keep track of in a single 3-day period to follow up with – when, next week? While this is still necessary based on any good sales SOP, there’s another way to touch base and stay top of mind than waiting to send emails on the plane ride home.

Our answer: Social Media. We’ve got our own tricks up our sleeves on how we cut through the clutter and engage with new relationships, and we encourage you to use our same tactics.

(Pause: A lot of my clients can’t believe how much information I share with them. I’ll give my best advice, free tools, industry insights and analysis to anyone. We have to stick together in this industry – it changes all the time. But that doesn’t mean everyone can actually do it on their own. And I’ve found my honesty, passion and expertise is what brings and keeps more clients than anything else.)

I say this over and over (shout out to my patient clients who can quote me in tandem!) – Whether you think you’re on social media or not – you are. So this year, own the conversation, build your profiles and use RECon 2016 as the launch pad to get your professional brand on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and the like. Trust me – people will try to connect, and we’ll be one of them. 🙂

Where to Engage

ICSC has done a fabulous job creating, owning and managing its own social profiles serving as a platform for all conference attendees to use as the local watering hole and connecting point. By engaging with their profiles and, in turn, their followers, you can get one step closer to your prospects faster.

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Our Recommendations:

  • Select your top 3 networks to leverage before, during and after the conference. I highly recommend joining and participating in the LinkedIn Group discussions, actively engaging on Twitter, and leveraging Instagram if you have it for business purposes. (Between the booth designs, cab lines, women switching out their shoes, golf cart rides across buildings, client dinners, corporate parties – there’s plenty of great moments to snap and share. Kidding, but in all seriousness – watch your back this year and don’t end up on any social feeds with #ICSCfail.)
  • Follow all of these profiles. Seriously. All of them. It’s easy networking at the click of your finger.
  • @ mention or tag ICSC’s handles in all posts. IMPORTANT: ICSC’s Twitter profile retweets each mention meaning your posts get repurposed to their 36.7K followers increasing your visibility and viral rates. That’s a no brainer.

Now that you know where to engage, tune in next week for what to post. You’ll learn how to use your time more wisely and leverage the wheel rather than reinvent it.

Stay social, friends.

-Chelsea Smith

Social Media Strategist
infinitee Communications, Inc.

About Chelsea Smith: Chelsea started with infinitee in 2013 merging her two-year old start up with infinitee’s twenty-four year old agency to develop its in-house Social Media Department. She created a proprietary and strategic approach to address all social media projects applicable to any industry and vertical known as Social 7 and has since evolved it to include Social 5 and Social 3. With her strategic and analytical mindset, innovative ideas and constantly evolving services, and easy-to-understand consulting tactics, department personnel and annual revenues have tripled since inception. She’s quickly made a name for herself in the Atlanta market and is now being asked to speak at industry wide conferences. You can catch her next one at ICSC MOCIAL in San Francisco this August 2016.

Want to connect on social media? Tweet @infiniteecom and ask for Chelsea!

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