Social media experts to discuss best practices at conference

Many of Milwaukee’s biggest names in social media will come together on Wednesday for a day-long conference exploring how businesses can best extract value from social channels.

The conference, titled Social Media University – Milwaukee, will feature a panel discussion and a lineup of concurrent breakout sessions bookended by two keynote speeches. The day will tie together all aspects of social media with a “holistic approach,” said Tom Snyder, president and CEO of Menomonee Falls-based Trivera, which is presenting the conference in partnership with BizTimes Media.

Snyder will kick off the day’s festivities with a keynote address on the need for social media to have a tactical place within a marketing strategy.

“Having a marketing strategy is the key so that you know which of these tools is going to be effective at achieving your goals and reaching your market,” Snyder said.

Speakers throughout the day will build on his keynote by zeroing in on specific social media outlets and elements and explaining how they can add to broader marketing strategies.

Scheduled speakers include Christina Steder of Clear Verve Marketing, Christopher Graham of Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Paul Stillmank of 7Summits, Dustin Zick of Marcus Hotels and Resorts, Leith Johnson of Aurora HealthCare, and Jeanette Pham and Michelle D’Attilio of Sosh.

A mid-morning panel discussion on ‘Milwaukee’s Changing Social Media Environment” will reflect on ways social media has evolved and what direction it’s headed with input from panelists who spoke at Social Media University’s first event five years ago.

Trivera’s first iteration of Social Media University in 2009 centered on theory and experimentation as businesses were beginning to test social media’s capabilities.

“Back in 2009, it was all so new that there was a lot of theory, and there were some companies that were riding the success of the early growth of social media,” Snyder said. “And people were just trying things. Some of it was working and some of it wasn’t, and there weren’t any real measurement tools.”

Five years later, Social Media University’s second event will shine a light on case studies, applications, best practices and measurement tools that have all emerged as social media has gained steam.

“Now we do know what works and what doesn’t work,” Snyder said.

This year’s conference will wrap up with a keynote speech by Mike Grahl, vice president of digital platforms for the Milwaukee Bucks. Grahl will pull the day’s lessons together by showcasing how the Bucks have developed a marketing strategy that incorporates tactical elements of social media.

Social Media University will run from 7:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Potawatomi Bingo Casino, located at 1721 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee.

Trivera anticipates about 300 attendees comprised of business owners, marketers and agency representatives. Spots are still available. Individual tickets cost $139 in advance and $149 at the door. Companies that register three or more employees at once will be granted a $10 discount per ticket.

For more information on Social Media University or to purchase tickets, visit

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