South by Southwest® is a unique annual festival in Austin where music, indie film and emerging technologies combine. This year Sarah, Jen and Emily from AKA’s digital department put on their cowboy boots and headed deep into the heart of Texas to check it out. There they found themselves surrounded by over 30,000 digital specialists from around the world.

We’re excited to start implementing the things our team learned in a variety of channels over the next few months. To whet your appetite, here’s a peek at our favorite 10 takeaways:

  1. Consumers don’t think per medium, they engage with all mediums.
  2. It’s all about engaging consumers authentically.
  3. We never understood how people consumed media and news before digital. We only knew reach.
  4. Technology should fade into the background, helping you to do the things that you love.
  5. Those people bored at work who surf the web (blogging, tweeting, FB and IM) are a bigger audience than the BBC, CNN or any other traditional media channel.
  6. Be a brand partner. Help brands figure out what people are interested in and help them share it in a clever, relevant way.
  7. Social media is real-time marketing – people engage with relevant content that matters to them at that moment.
  8. In this day and age, everyone is a media company.
  9. Be emotive. You don’t remember the joke, you remember that you laughed with your friends.
  10. Social media is becoming the new starting point for content.

For the more visual people out there, take a look at our SXSW album on the AKA Facebook page.