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Epiphany Search

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending ‘Sociality’ where experts discussed the latest trends and updates in social media. The event, held at The Adelphi Pub in Leeds, served as a preview of what will be on offer in November when the Leeds Digital Festival officially kicks off. Sponsored by the Marketing Industry Network, Sociality featured a nine person panel, which was a mixture of agency and non-agency representatives. Adrian Johnson from Umpf, a PR company in Leeds, was the chairman and led the discussions between the panel and audience.

The organisers of the event shared their excitement and appreciation with the audience, which was estimated at more than 100 attendees, for their participation and support of the festival. Volunteers have been working hard to ensure that the 2011 Leeds Digital Festival exemplifies the skills and talent of the digital community. After yesterday's event and AweSEOme, a similar event that featured experts in SEO such as ourselves, it is clear that those involved are well on their way to making Leeds the digital city of the north. Most of the questions for the expert panel at Sociality were submitted in advance but that did not stop the audience from participating. From a small business that sells mobile phone chargers for festivals to the marketing director of the Northern Ballet, the need for free advice on how to best promote a product or business with social media did not go unanswered. While the panel members debated on the pros and cons of different social platforms like Twitter and Facebook, one message was universal: social media is here to stay. ''Social media is built into the fabric of our lives,'' said Greg Felgate from Finn PR. Chris Norton from Dinosaur PR added, ''While certain platforms may not be beneficial for every business, building a social media strategy is.'' But does traditional marketing still have a place in a social media world? This was a question from one audience member and according to Jen Holmes from The Friendly Copywriting Company, not only does it have a place, but it definitely needs to come in the mix. ''Social media is not that different from traditional marketing,'' said Jen Holmes, an online writer and social media manager for The Friendly Copywriting Company. ''The base skills are the same and the core of both is communication.'' Overall, I felt the event was a great success and I enjoyed that it was both professional and laid back. The panel was helpful and honest when giving advice and demonstrated a thorough knowledge of social media. Working at one of the leading agencies has allowed me the opportunity to become involved in the best industry events Leeds has to offer. Social media is indeed an integral part of SEO and the digital industry as a whole, and after listening to the panel yesterday, it is evident that while society has come far, there is still much to learn.