What We Learned at Social Media Marketing World

Now that I've had a couple days to decompress while binging on Breaking Bad and cuddling up with hubby-to-be & Gracie girl, I'm ready to divulge in my time at Social Media Marketing World.

Social Media Marketing World 2015

Overall, my opinion on SMMW15 is just "so-so". I can confidently say that I would never pay the full price of registration again as I just didn't walk away with enough lessons learned. With the exception of Jenn's and Cynthia's sessions and the amazing panel on Friday, most of speakers left me feeling frustrated or just plain neutral.

That being said, I had a great time connecting with my favorite Twitter friends. I also got to spend a lot of time with the lovely ladies from Marketing Co-op, Lindsey and Nicole. We're currently working on a little event that we'll be co-hosting with them — more details to come!

All that's to say, I did walk away with a few great tidbits. Some of them new to me and some of them I just have to share because they're fabulous!

Video is here to stay!

If I had a dollar for every time someone talked about video marketing at SMMW15, I wouldn't feel such buyers-remorse over my ticket price... Mike Stelzner led the discussion during the beginning keynote highlighting the importance of video in social media. Mike made it clear whether recorded or live, video is here to stay and it's becoming increasingly important to work into your social media strategy.

Tip: Facebook encourages native activity! Videos loaded directly onto FB will perform reach-wise much better then videos loaded to Youtube and shared to FB.

Do what’s right for you as opposed to doing it all.

Okay, who here feels entrepreneur envy every once and awhile? (Ahem, me. I do!) We all do but we shouldn't let that "I want to be like that" factor get in the way of our social success. Even if your competitor is posting twenty times a day on every known social platform, it doesn't mean that you have to and it certainly doesn't mean that you should. Focus on where your audience is hanging out and show up there! If your efforts are stretched thin, this is especially important. Do one thing (or maybe a couple things) really well, as opposed to doing it all.

Know your customer, Know yourself.

Continuing on from that same thought process from above, when you know your customer well you can better meet their needs and fulfill their wants. Additionally, if you're not listening to your customer, then posting amazing content is pointless! Make your audience notice you by listening to what they want and providing the value that they need.

Tip: Talk with your friends. What five words would they use to search for you? Are these the words you would have chosen? If not, you may need to reconsider your value.

You can’t assume just because you put something on one channel that everyone will see it.

This is huge! One of the most-asked question I get is "should I reserve certain content for certain platforms?" My answer: yes and no. Yes, for instance if you plan to host an Instagram contest and people can only participate on Instagram. BUT, you should be sharing about that contest on other platforms!

So here's the no side of it... No, because you can't just assume that if you share about your recent blog post on Twitter at 9am that Sally Someone and Billy Bob with both see it. What if Sally Someone was in class? What if Billy Bob is east coast time and it's lunch time for him? It's fine to share the same content more then once on each platform. Be comfortable with re-purposing your content but make sure not to overwhelm your audience.

You need to EARN their trust

Okay small business babes, bloggers, and entrepreneurs — are you listening? This one's important! As Guy Kawasaki so brilliantly put it, "I EARN the right to occasionally promote my products." When I heard this I just about jumped for joy! Yay, someone gets it! Deep down people want to buy from the people they trust. People don't trust pushy sales people. For this reason, you need to invest in your audience and provide value. Don't constantly focus on yourself and shoving what you offer in front of people. Instead, offer tips, insights, laughs, anything that your followers might find helpful. Then, once you have their trust, you can occasionally slip in something about yourself.

Everyone should have Facebook page.

This one's short and sweet but I still love it. Mari Smith (other wise known as the Facebook goddess) recommends that everyone have a Facebook page if only to help with their SEO. For those of you thinking "Facebook is dead" be careful what you read! The use of Facebook is increasing for marketers and if you embrace the platform, you can ensure that you will more people will see the content you are sharing (see above: #4 tip on re-purposing content).

Names and usernames are the only searchable items in Instagram.

My absolute favorite session, was by far Jenn's talk on How to Set Your Brand Apart on Instagram.

Me and Jenn!

For those of you that follow our blog, you know how much I respect and appreciate Jenn's helpful insights. I had the chance to meet her in person (she's a doll!) and chat about our views on social. During her session Jenn highlighted some great tips including this one! She also included a great example which I will extend to you...

If you're a photographer and you want other people to potentially see your account when searching for "photography", you would need to include that keyword in your username (@name) and/or your account name (the name that displays on your profile).

Tip: Your username and account name can be different. For search purposes, you could have @sallyphotography as your username, then your business name (Sally Gene Moments) as your account name — it's up to you!

Anyone else attend SMMW15? What did you think?