Three months ago at my graduation from college, I would not have believed someone if they told me that I would be attending a women’s blogging conference! Before then, the term “blogging” was not in my vocabulary. I never thought I would blog to have a voice and influence others. After three months in my current position in social media, I attended the BlogHer 2010 conference in New York City on August 6-7th for women (and a very tiny percentage of men) to share ideas, engage in discussions, and network. This was my biggest networking event to date, and I met a lot of intelligent women (and men!) whom I had the opportunity to have fascinating discussions with.
While my mother (who tagged along with me on my adventure to NYC) romped the crowded streets and museums all weekend- I was in panels taking notes on great blogging tips, conversing with other passionate bloggers, and carrying around a 10 lb. SWAG bag that wore out my arm!
I never realized before just how many people were passionate about a small, but rapidly growing niche in media, until I arrived and was at the BlogHer breakfast with all the attendees. I’m amazed at how vast the women’s blogging community is, and according to BlogHer founders- it keeps growing dramatically in attendance each year since 2005. This “power of community” feeling was a first experience for me. The vibe was everywhere I looked! Women were helping each other and sharing knowledge of how they can further build relationships and develop the sense of influence for their audience.
From the weekend, I reflected upon how everyone had the opportunity to give their “30 second elevator” speech to spark influence– including the brands that sponsored BlogHer. What I learned from my past marketing classes is that women, mothers in particular, have the biggest rate of influence in the economy amongst their friends. I got to experience this ‘influence building’ process first hand by walking around the expo with all the exhibits. All of the brands sent their best representatives to develop a trusting relationship with the women, especially the mothers. They know that the mothers do the most shopping in the household, and therefore have the most influence in the market. By providing information about products and services in person, and sharing the experience of sampling a new product, the brands made a huge and long-lasting impact on the attendees.
I had the opportunity to speak with the P&G External Relations representative, Anne Westbrook, about how P&G was there to provide helpful content and also become a trusted source for mothers to go to for household products. Their focus was on the kids who grow and develop with these products, and also the focus on the “look and feel” of products such as: Crest, Febreze, Tide, Olay, Pantene, and Scott Tissues. P&G realized that the consumers at BlogHer have bigger voices being a part of the media as bloggers and brand advocates, which influence a large community both online and in-person.
From a GenY perspective, it was wonderful to meet so many experienced bloggers and learn how they got to where they are now within the social media community. Never before have I seen in action the power of influence and word of mouth to such a large degree! The impact which one voice has is immense, once that trusting relationship is established at such events as BlogHer.
Filed under: Networking, Social Media | Tagged: blogging, branding, community, GenY, influence, Marketing, millennials, networking, New York City, Relationship building, social media, trust | 1 Comment »