Ever since my first PodCamp (PodCamp CT, October 2010), I’ve been a PodCamp die-hard. I love the energy, the sessions – and the lessons learned. So Saturday was no different; I attended PodCamp Western Mass at the Kittredge Center at Holyoke Community College to brush up on the latest in social media and marketing. Here’s what I learned:

Augmented reality is really cool.
Morriss Partee gave an incredible session on augmented reality, which pretty much left me speechless. Your smartphone can actually link to restaurants as you move it around and scan the area, or you can point it at a building and it will tell you what that building is. Retailers and restaurants need to get listed on Yelp right now if they want to be a part of this. 

Not only was that incredible, but it brought up some interesting ideas for content marketing: what if your prospect could aim their phone at your business and be presented with not just your name and contact information, but with a quick value-add that they could view on their smartphone?

Going mobile is the way to go.
In Mary Wiseman‘s session on mobile, she demonstrated how using QR codes can be a fantastic marketing opportunity. At one wine shop, she looked at 80 bottles of wine – and only three had QR codes! 

Imagine the possibilities. QR codes may go the way of the CueCat, but mobile is here to stay. By 2013, most people will be hitting the web with a mobile device. There is a tremendous opportunity to optimize your website for mobile, and that includes writing for the mobile web. Even Ms. Wiseman noted that companies need to optimize their newsletters for mobile devices to avoid frustrating readers. Get her presentation at ht.ly/9hSnn to learn more – but here are the big takeaways:

  1. Always figure out your mobile marketing objectives.
  2. Reward early adopters when you use mobile marketing.
  3. Remember that QR codes can drive people to a sales page, a landing page, or your home page, so market accordingly.

Social media requires work.

As @jimmckeever noted in a Tweet, social media success requires a mix of old-school marketing and high-tech to get eyeballs to your site.
Drilling down to the more specific, as Jaclyn Stevenson noted from Alfonso Santaniello‘s session on Google+, “Don’t compare Google+ to other social networking sites. In fact, that goes for all social sites.” That means that, for each site, you have to think about your audience and your strategy and tailor your messages accordingly.