Inside Social Media Day Jacksonville 2018

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In only its second year, Social Media Day Jacksonville turned out to be an incredible event for the city and everyone who attended.

Our team was heavily involved as we sponsored a booth, had multiple team members attending workshops, and our company CEO, Jay Owen lead one of the keynotes at the event.

#SMDayJax is an annual conference in Jacksonville for all things social media and digital marketing. The conference that took place Friday, June 29th and Saturday, June 30th at UNF.

There was a long list of impressive speakers, including Dennis Yu, head of BlitzMetrics, Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation for Disney, and many more. Jay had the opportunity to speak, discussing ideas around “surviving and thriving in a constantly changing social media world.” He also guest-starred on a panel answering questions and relating personal experiences for other marketers in the audience.


There were too many great speakers to discuss each presentation, but we’ll go over a few of the highlights.

Dennis Yu was one of our favorites. Dennis discussed how to use Facebook Ads to your advantage and the importance of distributing content over multiple platforms. He even put his entire presentation on Facebook Live while he was on stage. Afterwards, he showed us how he would repurpose it across Instagram, Twitter, and other social media outlets. Dennis’s open transparency and candor when speaking about himself and his business is what really stood out. He wasn’t selling you on his services the whole time, he was simply trying to help the entire audience get better at what they do.

Carlos Gil was another great speaker. His charismatic presentation discussed how to maximize the ROI of your marketing strategy using social media and storytelling strategies on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. His philosophy on the bottom line was simple—the only metric that matters is the sale.


Another highlight was Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity at Disney. His presentation also included an extremely helpful packet on what it takes to imagine a great idea and put a plan into action around it. His 4 steps of innovation were:

Initiate: define an opportunity and inspire a team around it

Investigate: Discover consumer motivation that meets your goals

Ideate: Challenge yourself to think big and develop breakthroughs

Activate: Efficient and effective execution of the plan

Other Speakers of Note

Derral Eves, one of the world’s premier YouTube experts, gave us the rundown of how to build out YouTube video campaigns that actually get attention. Leslie Samuel, who runs two blogs with millions of followers, spoke on his unique content creation strategy and the importance of being honest with your followers. And Instagram aficionado Jenn Herman helped enlighten everyone on current Instagram tips and trends that can have a major affect on building relationships online.

An ongoing theme of the conference was transparency. Being open and honest is vital in order to make a connection with people. When people trust your brand, you can turn prospective leads into casual customers and casual customers into long-time brand advocates. Let social media be a way to show your customers that you’re human—that you’re just like everyone else. Don’t always try to sell with your content either—sometimes genuinely helping people is the best way to gain customers. These points were echoed by nearly every speaker.

DE Booth

DE had a booth in the lobby that got a lot of attention. Chris and Megan did an excellent job running the booth. They put on a promo for an apple watch that gave people a fun way to interact with our brand. All contestants had to do was take a picture with our frame and tag us on Instagram. The contestant with the most engagement (likes/comments) took home a free apple watch!

Chris and Megan also displayed copies of Jay’s new book, Building a Business that Lasts. Props to Megan and Chris for all their hard work!

#SMDayJax Wrap Up

We spoke with a few of the staff in charge of the conference, and they said there were at least 250 more people signed up than the previous year. This shows the major growth of social media advertising and digital marketing, even within the last year. Without an active social media presence, it’s very difficult to make it as a business. There were many business owners and marketers alike that were trying to learn how to leverage social media for their respective companies. That’s because social media VITAL to your success in 2018 and beyond. It’s important to grow and adapt with the changing environment to make your business last. 

That’s why we participate in these conferences, workshops, and seminars. There’s always something new to learn—new strategies, resources and tools that help us grow as a company.

Never stop improving your business, because the competition is too high to get comfortable…

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