Social Media Week 2013 Toronto

Friday September 27

by Santiago Baraya ( @_idigital )

Last Wednesday, our very own PDT member Santi went to the Windsor Arms Hotel in Yorkdale to attend two conferences from Social Media Week Toronto 2013.

First, you will read a little context about the event and then we’ll share some of the things we learned at the event and basic takeaway points from the conferences.

“Start with a project, network, make sure its good and make sure it aims to change the world.” – @Rockethub

Some facts about Social Media Week

What is SMW’s Reach?
+ 5 continents
+ 16 countries
+ 26 cities
+ 70,000 physical attendees
+ 1M online/social/mobile
+ 150k Email Subscribers
+ 52,000 Facebook fans
+ 70k Twitter Followers
+ 6k Google+
+ 600m social impressions
+ 10k press/media mentions

Attendees by Industry



Social Media Week Toronto 2013

First PD would like to say that the location, organization and logistics of the event were perfect. Special thanks to the organizers and sponsors for making the event possible.

The 2 conferences that our PDT representative attended on Wednesday September 25th 2013 were:

  1. Using Social Media in a Crisis: A Look at How Social Media Was Used by the Red Cross During Alberta Floods by Red Cross Canada
  2. The Crowd funding Success Pattern by Brian Meece from Rockethub.

Taken the nature of both organizations, Red Cross Canada and Rockethub, the presented approach to social media is clearly different. The first one, focused on crisis assessment and community management, while the second one is more strategic and tips the attendees into following common patterns to success in their business, crowd funding.

Our team representative found the second one better that the first; maybe due to the practical knowledge obtained by the conference. While the first one told him a good story, and a very impressive story by the way, on PD we prefer to create the stories and Rockethub’s conference gave us an interesting tool to do so and share with you.

Key take-aways from each conference

Red Cross Canada

  • The Canadian Red Cross does a fantastic job on social media, especially taking into account their SM team is made up by 1 1/2 people (resource wise).  They manage 24/7/365, a 22K likes Facebook page and a 33K+ followers twitter account. Something even more impressive is that they have an average 1 hour  service level response for every comment or question on their SM channels.
  • Red Cross Canada relies most of the influence of their communications in a group of volunteer influencers that diffuse in a better way what they want to communicate.
  • Canadian Red Cross made it  clear that if a follower is in trouble should call 9-1-1. Even with a 1 hour average service level, the amount of messages they receive is so high and they handle so much information they are afraid the might miss something.

“The reality is that we don’t have a crisis communications plan because this is what we do.”@RedCrosscanada


  • Everything in crowd funding starts with networking and social media.
  • There are patterns that all successful /unsuccessful campaigns follow. The presentation focused on the patterns for the successful ones.

The recipe for success for crowd funding, as stated in the conference, is as follows:

  1. Start with a project, network, make sure its good and make sure it aims to change the world. 
  2. Make sure you have a truly good idea, research, ask questions
  3. Differentiate from other projects by talking about WHY you are doing your idea instead of defending benefits that may not be as important to your crowd. 
  4. Engage YOUR audience.
  5. Create the content focusing it to YOUR audience needs and wants.
  6. Build a solid base network that will follow you and then share.
  7. Depth in networking is social capital. Social capital is key, it shows YOUR reputation. First and second degree networks (Friends an family and friends of our friends and family) are fundamental to generate that depth that you want. Let the people that know you and believe you speak for you. 
  8. Nobody wants to be the only dancer in the dance floor. YOU need to be able to show confidence that YOUR idea will succeed, that your project is good and  that you have the social capital to make it happen and you are going to get the funds you are asking for.
  9. Listen to all feed back. They are funding your project.
  10. Repeat steps 1 to 9 until YOUR idea succeeds.

Start with a project, network, make sure its good and make sure it aims to change the world. – @Rockethub

Now, that we are shared with you the knowledge acquired in the conferences, apply it and let us know how it goes!


The Crowdfunding Success Pattern Conference Video

Feature Picture and SMW facts from: Social Media Week
CN Tower Photo by: Santiago Baraya

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