Social Media Marketing World 2017 was a must-attend conference for leaders wanting to be up-to-date with social media marketing trends.
Some of you may like attending conferences more than others but I’m going to just start this conversation by saying I’m that girl that loves conferences.
Yes, I just said that aloud.
Not because of the opportunity to absorb great new information (that’s great too) but mainly because I love the opportunity to cultivate relationships and to make new connections as well.
With 2017 being the 5th year for SMMW, this conference continues to grow and get better each year. This was my second time attending and I wasn’t quite sure how they’d be able to keep improving it because they always set the bar of excellence so high, but they did it again this year.
So imagine with me the joy I had when I was asked to be a Track Leader at Social Media Marketing World 2017 in San Diego, California. This conference is the largest social media marketing conference in the world and pretty much is comparable to the NCAA Championship game in college basketball or The Masters in professional golf. That’s all the sports references, I think.
Being a Track Leader at #SMMW17 is like being the emcee, moderator of Q&A to a room full of business and marketing leaders from all parts of the world. You have to be ready to be an energy booster for the room prior to the main speaker taking the stage. I couldn’t be more grateful for this amazing opportunity and I felt it a true blessing to come alongside such phenomenal leadership of Michael Stelzner, Phil Mershon and countless others.
In today’s post I’m going to share with you some of the main takeaways that I left Social Media Marketing World with and I’ve got great insight from fellow friends and leaders in the social media marketing space as well.
Golden Insight and Key Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2017
Your Audience is One of Your Biggest Assets
Do you know who you are serving? Are you showing up to social media and treating them like they REALLY matter to your business?
Really? Speaker Marcus Sheridan drove home the point that we must be going beyond the ‘fluff’, delivering what our audience needs and deserves from us.
Excellent Content is Not Optional
The opportunity to grow an amazing online business is more powerful and abundant than ever before with the advances in technology and marketing trends. However, it is also more important than ever to have something that is GREAT that you are offering people online. This means excellent content is required if you want to rise above all the noise.
And there is a lot of noise online. Now don’t be put-off or worried with the use of the word content. I simply mean the information that you share. Your information of value to help people. As Joe Pulizzi of Content Inc and Epic Content Marketing shared during his presentation called ‘How to Generate Large Amounts of Revenue From the Content You Create’, “we’ve got to find an area of little to no competition on the web that we can actually have a chance to breakthrough the clutter…If your content is like three or four other companies, you’ve got to look for another [content] tilt.”
By content tilt, Pulizzi simply means you need to identify what separates you from everyone else in your market area.
Pay Attention to Artificial Intelligence
Bernard Marr, a Forbes Contributor, defines Artificial intelligence as the following:
“Artificial Intelligence is the broader concept of machines being able to carry out tasks in a way that we would consider “smart”.
Bernie Borges, CEO of Find and Convert and a Social Media Marketing World Speaker, says ‘Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere! It’s in apps you use, in your smart phone and soon it’s coming to the B2B sales process.’
One of the keynotes at Social Media Marketing World was on this very topic of artificial intelligence and Chris Penn described it in a way that made a lot of sense. He said that if we can use AI to help us handle the tasks that we find ourselves repeating over and over, we can then ultimately free up more of our bandwidth to do more development and higher level skills as we focus on the H2H (Human to Human) piece of business.
Definitely be on the lookout to hear more about AI.
Networking is Alive and Smart Business
No matter the business or non-profit you have, social media marketing can truly make a huge impact for your business growth. I know this to be true.
In my own business I have found a huge piece of value in the relationships I’m building in my life. Even prior to working in the social media space when I was working in traditional marketing, I have always found it to be so true to value the people you surround yourself with and to always be looking to continue growing great connections and relationships.
That next handshake could change your entire business.
I had the opportunity to be a Table Talk host for Faith-Based Social Media and we had such a large turnout we ended up having to expand our table of 1 to 3. Not only that, but someone in the group took the initiative to start a closed Facebook Group so we can continue building on the connections we made at the conference.
The next person that you see across the room and extend a smile to could very well have the one answer you’ve been looking for.
Not from a self serving way of ‘what’s in it for me.’ but from a ‘how can the opportunity to meet someone that can lead to be being able to serve others better’. Social Media Marketing World does a stellar job of providing amazing networking opportunities. Whether it be at a speaker party, the USS Midway Networking Party, Table Talks with people interested in talking about a particular topic or going to dinner with an entirely new group of people, they help make these opportunities not only possible, but quite easy to get involved.
The countless people I was able to see again this year at Social Media Marketing World and new people I met for the first time, made this event so phenomenal.
It is all about the people.
Live Video is Here to Stay
If you have been following me on social media at all you have heard me talking about this for at least the last six months. But attending Social Media Marketing World validated exactly what I believe to be true and that is live video is surging and businesses, large and small, can leverage it for their business growth advantage. Chalene Johnson delivered the final keynote and before she went straight into the meat of her message she got the crowd energized.
Don’t believe me?
Take a watch and see for yourself. You’ll even see Social Media Examiner founder Michael Stelzner, Founder of Social Media Examiner & Social Media Marketing World. Chalene’s entire message was focused on people just getting started and doing live video. It doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact she shared experiences with TV and large budgets and shared first hand that video she made with her Iphone in her home actually got better results from the audience than highly produced ‘professional’ videos.
More Key Takeaways from Attendees and Speakers
Here are some of Katie’s favorite take-aways that she thinks can apply to ANY business owner (large or small) using Facebook Live:
- Good audio and lighting is key
- The Weather Channel is broadcasting on Facebook Live 3-5 times a day (holy moly!)
- Watch what other people are doing in the space
- People love stories – tell a good story!
- Use the pre-scheduling features Facebook has available
- Re-share your Facebook Live back into the NewsFeed once it’s over to gain exposure again
Prediction – the next hottest job will be virtual production companies that are assisting companies and brands with their live broadcasting
Brands to watch who are crushing it with Facebook Live: Game of Thrones and The New York Times.
There’s also a new Page admin role on Facebook – which allows you to grant access to someone to go live and essentially do a “take-over” of your page.
This was Rebekah’s 4th year at Social Media Marketing World and by far the most exciting and engaging year of them all.
Some nuggets Rebekah things are golden:
- Reaching your audience is harder than ever. Video is the best way to create intimate, high-value relationships.
- Influencer marketing is alive and well, but the rules of the game have changed. Brands need to take notice.
- Creating a seamless experience through each stage of customer lifecycle is critical to any companies survival… no matter the size.
- The power of the human connection is huge! There are REAL people on the other side of those computer screens and engaging with them in a one on one conversation is where the relationship is built. Using “some” automation, like messenger bots, to facilitate the one on one conversations is an upcoming trend that Kim personally feels has a ton of marketing application.
Great content is always KING.
- Creating content for content’s sake is no longer going to work. Great content is going to trump mass frequency of lessor quality content, not only with your community (social and otherwise) but also with the Google machine.
- People Matter – Nothing can replace meeting folks 1-on-1. That is why Social Media Marketing World is such an incredibly important event. This was Cathy’s first year attending and speaking and she took a lot of lessons home from the talks and panels, but the time she made for networking was the most valuable.
- AR/VR was Limited – While there was talk about chatbots, machine learning and AI, the conversation around VR and AR was limited. As someone that works in the field, Cathy was surprised at how few social media marketers really had an idea of how mixed reality will change content and social. Cathy’s hoping there will be more workshops and talk on the matter next year. The AR/VR/MR conversation is one about the next computing platform. Don’t take it from her, take it from Apple’s CEO Tim Cook: “I regard it as a big idea, like the smartphone. The smartphone is for everyone, we don’t have to think the iPhone is about a certain demographic, or country or vertical market: it’s for everyone. I think AR is that big, it’s huge. I get excited because of the things that could be done that could improve a lot of lives. And be entertaining.”
- Live Video and AI – As if we didn’t know it, Live Video is a big deal in social media marketing at the moment. Periscope and in particular Facebook Live are exploding onto the scene and we’ve even got Facebook Live audio, Facebook Live 360 and using drones and virtual reality. As digital marketers, we need to be forward-looking and seeing how we can use these new technologies as they come onto the scene. That’s going to be important if we are to stand out and be visible in this crowded world. Speaking of cutting through the noise, Artificial Intelligence is going to be big. It’s easier than ever to create bots that can respond to customer’s questions using Facebook Messenger, Twitter or elsewhere. This is something to be on the look out for.
- Breaking through Fear – This is more of a personal takeaway from Social Media Marketing World 2017. Most of us encounter fear when it comes to running our businesses. That could be a fear of failure, or of stepping outside of your comfort zone, or making a big decision. For me, fear is a big deal and it’s been strangling my business for too long. Speaking with other social media marketers and solopreneurs last week, it’s clear that fear is a bit of a theme. We all struggle with this. But it can also be a beacon or a green light – showing us that we’re going in the right direction. Making the right choices in our business – whether that is creating a blog post or our first course can be frightening things. But we need to break through that fear and move our businesses to the next level. The good news is that we’re not alone, and the connections Ian made at Social Media Marketing World have helped me realized he can do it!
Madalyn’s key takeaway from Social Media Marketing World 2017 is to “Just Do It.”
Press that button and record a Facebook Live, Periscope or a Snapchat/Instagram story. Don’t be held back by fear any longer. It’s time to go ‘all in’ on video, especially live streaming video. Which platform is your audience on every day? Start there. Be consistent then check back with me in 6 months. You’ll be glad you started this endeavor today.
- More people want to take pictures of you when you wear a blue wig. #TrueStatement
- The incorporation of AI (Artificial Intelligence) into our social marketing and social sales platforms, while kind of creepy, really means that we can use our human creativity for even greater results.
- Oh, and she got the flu.
- Instagram is Underutilized – It’s the 2nd largest social network with more than 600 million users! If you haven’t looked at Instagram, it’s time.
- Don’t Overlook the Data – My second is that there is a trend going on even within our own industry that is not looking at the data. Data-driven decisions should be the norm and it’s not. Not only does the data show you what’s working and what’s not but also gives you benchmarks to see how far you’ve come. It’s impossible to see ROI without the data.
As Track Leader for the live video sessions at Social Media Marketing World this year, I was able to experience some great sessions on live video strategy and tactics.
- Make Connections – Lou Mongelo, Ilean Smith, and Johnny Kapos showed us how to find the topics your audience is passionate about and connect with your audience on these common themes.
- Push the Button! – There are plenty of platforms for you to use to build up your courage on live video. Brian Fanzo, Joel Comm, and Sarah Moore showed us how we could start with Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook stories and work your way up to platforms like Facebook Live, Periscope and YouTube.
- Activate Your Audience – Kim Garst and Alex Khan had some great tips to activate your audience like using a timer for shout-outs and targeting commenters with Facebook ads to add to your list.
- Video Quality Reflects on your Brand – Luria Petrucci showed us how doing your homework and spending just a little bit can really improve your video quality, and likewise your brand image.
There are so many wonderful conferences to attend that offer great value and business opportunity. But Social Media Marketing World stands out to me as one that is the DisneyWorld of Conferences and is an ideal opportunity for both introverts and extroverts to not only leave with fantastic information that you can begin implementing in your business right away but also affords countless opportunities to meet new people from countries around the globe.
WANT TO VOLUNTEER FOR SMMW – Did you know that you can volunteer to serve at Social Media Marketing World and have an opportunity to receive a complimentary ticket in exchange for your service? If this is something that is of interest to you, pay close attention on social media starting early fall each year and you should see opportunities on being a volunteer. Want more information about my experience volunteering? Simply tweet this statement out below.
I Want to Hear From You
In the comments below, answer this one simple question: What is ONE thing you learned at SMMW or ONE person that you are glad to have met? Didn’t attend? Then tell me below if this sounds like something you’d like to attend next year.
Can’t wait to read all of your comments!
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