Skip to content

4 Key Takeaways From #SMMW2018

Thousands of people from around the world come to San Diego, CA., to attend the annual Social Media Marketing Week (SMMW) conference every year. The event packs three days of sessions and workshops led by top social marketers, who share tactics, strategies and the future trends shaping the industry. It’s a big event — over 4,800 people were there this year. It’s an interesting conference because you’re drinking through a firehose of brand spanking new information. It’s also fun because of its location (and food!)

2018 is my fifth year attending. It’s the only conference I go to religiously. There’s a bit of a split personality with it because on one hand you’re talking about technology and automation and on the other it’s all about connecting with people. It’s a lot of networking, learning and interacting over topics like creating relevant content, leveraging technology tools and platforms, and pretty much everything in between.

My top 4 takeaways:

IRL is still king.

We have a way to connect with a lot of people through different points of technology and consumption — blogs, YouTube, free community sites, paid community sites, etc. But “IRL/in real life” still matters. Our physical world still matters.

Even the conference itself is a networking event. You can’t count out the offline world. It’s still really relevant and enormously valuable. Technology is just one part. There’s more. SMMW was a reminder of this.

Web video’s golden era.

Internet video isn’t new. But it’s not just kids and influencers anymore. It’s TV shows, sports, commercials, live video. And it’s not just YouTube. Legacy platforms like LinkedIn are putting a lot of focus on video. 54% of business executives share work-related videos each week.

Speaker Vivica von Rosen had everyone at her SMMW session take a video interview of the person next to them and post it on LinkedIn.

We have truly entered web video’s golden years and it’s only going to get bigger from here.

Influencers in every segment.

Influencers can be found every corner of the market now, among consumers, in business. Speaker Neil Schafer talked about this during his session, how new influencers are rising.


SMMW had a really great mix of this — Neil is an influencer in his own right in the marketing and social media world. I shot a video with YouTube star Zach King before he was mobbed. Brands are going beyond traditional influencers with marketing programs depending on budget and goals to include people who have audience and reach in new segments.

It’s always (and forever) about community.

There was a lot of talk about artificial intelligence (AI), chatbots, automation, etc. But at the end of the day, it’s still about community. The speakers at SMMW are so good at engaging their audiences. Their communities help each other. Something that speaker Pat Flynn said that stood out to me was to “give people a quick win.”

Don’t just try to reach people at the level of what you know. Help people who aren’t at that level reach it. As Oprah once said, “People just want to matter.” It’s true. Help them win and we all win.

There’s something else that I noticed during the event that I want to give a little more thought. Sign up for the email list here at Chunk of Change to know when these thoughts are live, or follow me on social for new post updates there.

Thanks for hanging out!

Order The Gig Is Up on Amazon

to top of page