Highlights from our Leadership Retreat in Washington D.C.

Last week we wrapped up our 2019 Leadership Retreat in Washington, D.C.

It was our fourth-ever retreat exclusively for Board Chairs who are leading their social media programs. 49 social media leaders got together with us in Washington, D.C. to talk about the things that are most important to their work right now and programs they're planning to implement in 2020 — plus we had an incredible, private briefing at the Pentagon and exclusive conversations with FTC Associate Director for Advertising Practices Rich Cleland and Axios CEO and co-founder Jim VandeHei and Media Reporter Sara Fischer.

We also held 11 Member-Led Discussions where SocialMedia.org Board Chairs explored tough questions, shared experiences, and got help with specific challenges they're facing.

Discussions were with:

  • Pfizer's Chad Parizman on career paths and moving beyond social.
  • Jenny Wilburn at INVISTA on interview strategies for social media talent.
  • Lisa Klueppel at Exact Sciences on socializing social internally.
  • Rachel Krupitsky from Penguin Random House on leading social media strategy across multiple brands.
  • Nick Sucich from United States Postal Service on aligning multiple groups within social media to work cohesively.
  • Laura Lee from Nestle Purina PetCare on how big brands can handle being targeted, including social media rumors and misinformation, pay-to-play and review sites.
  • Shelby Khan at Cloudera on social media content trends for 2020.
  • Heather D’Amico at Travelers on brand ambassador programs versus employee advocacy programs.
  • Exxon Mobil's Jayme Meyer on preparing for 2020 elections.
  • Marshall Wright from Funimation on how organic content drives engagement.
  • American Power Electric's Josh Polk on best practices for leading a social care team.

Along with the Member Led Discussions, Board Chairs participated in two afternoons of fast-paced, intense conversations during the unconferences where they could choose what was most important for them to talk about with their SocialMedia.org tribe in a confidential setting.

Topics included:

  • Social-first and social-only campaigns: Coming up with out-of-the-box-social
  • Dealing with trending topics and current events on social media
  • CCPA and other regulatory challenges
  • Is it worth posting on social without putting paid behind every post?
  • Team structure: How big is your team, where does it sit, and who do you report to?
  • Channel consolidation and moving towards strictly corporate channels
  • The decline of organic reach on Instagram and strategies to combat it
  • CCPA and other regulatory challenges
  • Podcasts: Producing one for your company
  • Dealing with WhatsApp’s crackdown on business usage
  • Community management: In-house vs. agency
  • Live social content: Bandwidth issues, regulatory concerns, and optimization
  • Getting creative on LinkedIn: LinkedIn Live, InMail, and social selling techniques
  • Managing social risk on employee channels
  • Aligning social media operations with overarching brand pillars
  • Dealing with Facebook’s new ad rules
  • Preparing your team to thrive during employee turnover and corporate changes
  • Social media analytics
  • Bots: Examples of best service bots, developing bots, and the best tools and agencies for them
  • Content marketing: Team structure, processes, and how it fits with your overarching social media strategy
  • Executives on social media: How the social team handles executive social media profiles
  • Videos for social channels: Prioritizing formats, creating content, and deciding on professional vs. less polished videos

Here are the brands who were there: Abbott, American Electric Power, Amtrak, Auto-Owners Insurance, Autodesk, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Boeing, Brookdale Senior Living, Brother International Corporation, Capital One, Chubb, Cloudera, Con Edison, Discovery Inc., Dominion Energy, Emory University, Exact Sciences, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Funimation, The Hershey Company, Honeywell, INVISTA, Johnsonville Sausage, Kimberly-Clark, LexisNexis, Marriott International, Merck, Navy Federal Credit Union, Nestle Purina PetCare, Nissan North America, Penguin Random House, PerkinElmer, Pfizer, Phillips 66, Prudential Financial, Publix Super Markets, Raising Cane’s, Securian Financial, TE Connectivity, Thomson Reuters, Toll Brothers, Toyota, Travelers, Trend Micro, UL LLC, United States Postal Service, VF Corporation, Whirlpool Corporation, and Zurich North America.
Stay tuned for details on our winter Board Meeting, which will be this February on the west coast.