Last week's Social Media AZ or SMAZ conference, yielded great tips and good insights into the business end of using social media for brands and business.
I wrote a little more extensively on the day's activities, presenters and sponsors over at the Mint Social blog. Check the link there for more on specific presentations.
One of the highlights for me was a panel on Google + and how that's growing for brands and businesses. As I wrote at the Mint Blog... "Later in the afternoon to wrap up the conference was a panel session about Google + for brands. While one of the panelists spoke of Google + as 'just another part of Google’s moat around the castle,' and another called Google + 'a better bar where none of my friends are', most in the audience confirmed they are experimenting both individually and for clients how Google + can become a useful part of a company’s overall marketing strategy."
Increasingly, it's obvious that social media has outgrown its simple friend-to-friend beginnings a few years ago to become a massively influential part of nearly every business relationship and transaction. Attendance at SMAZ was far down from the past few years, and even the more local Phoenix-based PodcampAZ has thrown in the towel, declaring the recent gathering as its last (under the current format).
So what's next? We all know that social media is sexy, but where do you take social media next as a going concern when it's become bigger than an industry? It's more a way of life, now. It's human relations! And that's hard for any conference to reign in for a keynote topic. :-)