The Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW2017) conference is one of the most important conferences you can attend. I don’t attend the conference because I am a speaker…I pay for it! Year after year Micheal Stelzner, founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner and author of the books Launch and Writing White Papers, brings together the most important minds in social media marketing in beautiful San Diego, California to educate, learn, and network with 5000 attendees representing 120 countries.
The conference features over 130 practical, action-oriented, social media marketing sessions and workshops from the world’s leading experts, and networking functions to rub elbows with the 120+ industry leaders in attendance – including a sunset sioreé on the midway to start things off in style!
Imagine, Steve Dotto, Joe Pulizzi, and Mari Smith – IRL and connecting with you! Now keep imagining – thousands of people just like you – your tribe! – sharing ideas, successes, and advice. #SMMW2017 is the nexus of Social Marketing and an exciting look into it’s future.
Want to attend next year? Get your company to sponsor with SMMW’s “Convincing The Boss” handout!
The Social Media Report
As expected, social media was on fire before, during, and after the conference. Here are a few highlights from #SMMW2017:
Alex Khan (speaker: How to Create Engaging Content with Live Video) wasn’t satisfied with simply speaking about 360-degree live mobile video, he took to twitter to show his off:
— Alex Khan (@1AlexKhan) March 26, 2017
Mari Smith (speaker: How To Improve Your Facebook Marketing ROI)
"Content is King, but engagement is Queen, and she rules the house." – Mari Smith
— Blog Authentic (@weblogauthentic) March 30, 2017
Madalyn Sklar (speaker – How to Use Twitter Chats to Grow Your Business):
"What makes a Twitter chat successful? – The people – Quality over quantity – Consistency."
What makes a Twitter chat successful?
— Madalyn Sklar 🚀 (@MadalynSklar) March 31, 2017
Lee Odden (speaker: Future of Influencer Marketing: Strategies and Trends) reiterated a common theme at the conference, it’s still about the content.
— Lee Odden (@leeodden) March 23, 2017
Jon Loomer (speaker – Facebook Targeting Priorities: How to Reach Those Who Matter Most Using Six Different Methods) demonstrated the power of authenticity during his talk at #SMMW2017:
— Kristin Bowen (@kbowen_westbend) March 23, 2017
Steve Dotto (speaker: How to Grow Your First 100 YouTube Subscribers) reminded us that video is a fast-track to engagement:
— Fi Birch (@fi_birch) March 23, 2017
And Sarah Moore (speaker: How to Create a Live Video Strategy) took the video talk to the strategy level:
— Brian Fanzo 😎 (@iSocialFanz) March 23, 2017
Everybody on #SMMW2017 loved this guy, Guy Kawasaki (speaker: How to Become an Evangelist on Social Media and Beyond). A true testament to the knowledge he has to impart.
— Teresa Heath-Wareing (@theathwareing) March 23, 2017
Walk Away from #SMMW2017 with This in Mind
With the most brilliant and innovative minds not just in social media, but innovative marketing, – and their global tribe – at our fingertips, we pursued our heroines and heros, studied, and pondered. Now we are proud to offer to you, Chunk of Change’s important take-aways from the 2017 Social Media Marketing Conference:
- Content and Engagement – according to Christopher Penn (speaker: “The Social Media Marketer’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence” and “Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and the Future of Social Media Marketing”) Content is on everyone’s mind and has to be upleveled to gain new eyes. Engagement comes from community management and content; the former keeps the audience you’ve earned, and the latter earns us new audience members.
The stories we tell, and the people we tell them to are our tribe – the audience you were looking for when you first put that stake in the ground and declared your Unique Value. Building content that puts the audience in a story, rather than simply (boringly!) serving as brochureware, engages and delights those who already know your value, and draws fresh eyes by communicating what makes you the best choice.
- Video – YouTube Guru Steve Dotto and social brand maestro Sarah Moore drove home the consensus that marketing programs without video are a dusty relic. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram recognized this and implemented live video applications. The algorithms from these platforms give preference to video, which makes it a great way to garner more attention and move your message to the top of the list.
- Going from public forums to mass chat apps – A major discussion at the conference was the importance of messaging apps as the they begin to take the place of forum-style conversations. Marketers will need to start considering offering services for customers on messaging platforms: value propositions, choreographed interaction campaigns, and good old-fashioned conversation.
- Bots/AI – The Terminator has arrived…still scared? Don’t be! A significant part of social media marketing involves repetitive no-brainer tasks. As AI improves, we can all offload some of those tedious tasks and free up time for strategy and creativity – something the brain still does best. As the fear of a Robot Overlord disappears, we can use Bots and AI to amplify our uniqueness and connect on a deeper level with our tribe. Rob Hatch is a leader in using “automation to connect.” He’s been the strategic vision behind Chris Brogan’s emails for years and they both do an amazing job reaching out to their tribe in a personal way, and replying, in person, to every reply to the first automated reach out.
- Authenticity – Connection is about starting from a place of helping people and solving their problems in an authentic way. As Joe Pulizzi reminded conference-goers, the audience is where the potential for monetization lies, not in the content. The conference’s host and creator, Micheal Stelzner got to where he is by first seeking to help. He shared influencer information for years, for absolutely free. The tribe he built by authentically meeting needs has repaid his generosity…and then some.
The Tech/Human Dichotomy
Social media is an analogy for where we are today (IRL) because we have to be able to embrace technology, and yet, understand that these things must fuel human connection. The Social Media Marketing World conference made it clear that to survive in today’s gig economy we have to have a mad scientist side (measurement, tools, and automation) that is well-tempered with human connection (authenticity, meeting needs, and cultivating our audience).
The need for authenticity never changes. No matter how advanced AI and bots become, they can never replace the human mind when it comes to connecting with people one-on-one and taking that to delighting your audience one-to-many. Our stories, experiences, and passions are what connect us with our tribe. Without that human element it’s brochureware bonanza! And nobody wants that!