Instant-cram: Intensive social media workshops planned

Events slated for Des Moines, Omaha and Madison

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There will be sharing of direct messages — an instant-cram, if you will. And the organizer's goal is that you will enjoy it.

Nick Westergaard, founder of Brand Driven Digital in Coralville, will lead interactive workshops at one-day Social Strategy Boot Camps. Events are planned in Des Moines, Madison, Wis., and Omaha, Neb., over the next six months.

“It’s really a foregone conclusion that social media is not going anywhere,” Westergaard said. “To really have a sustainable program, you need to ground your business’ social media and marketing with a sound business strategy that can be executed and measured, to see if you’re on the right track.”

All attendees will leave the boot camp with their own draft social media plan. Westergaard said the information presented will apply to smaller businesses that wish to launch a social media presence with limited resources, as well as larger organizations that want to evaluate and upgrade their strategies.

“We start with a blank page and talk about developing a social media business objective for your business, so you’re not just throwing up a Facebook page, but that it’s aligned with an actual goal that your business has,” he said.

Other topics included in the workshop include implementation, personnel policies and return on investment.

Westergaard organized the two-day Social Brand Forum 2012, which took place last fall in Coralville and was co-sponsored by Fusionfarm, a subsidiary of The Gazette Co. Last month, nearly 70 people attended the first Social Strategy Boot Camp in Cedar Rapids.

Westergaard, who writes a monthly column for Business 380, said one goal of smaller-scale “tour stops” during the year is to generate interest for Social Brand Forum 2013, scheduled for October.

The boot camps will be held in Des Moines on April 11, Madison on June 6 and Omaha on Aug. 29. An early-registration discount is offered until 30 days before each event. Go to

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