Takeaways From The World’s Biggest Social Media Conference: SMMW19

Apr 8, 2019 | Blog, Social Media

If there’s one takeaway that I walked away from the world’s largest social media conference with it’s this: Your community is everything.

If focusing on your community and providing value are not the most important parts of your social media strategy in 2019, you’re going to start to fall behind.

What’s SMMW:

I recently returned from San Diego where I attended the world’s largest Social Media Marketing Conference hosted by my favorite industry resource, Social Media Examiner. The conference is called Social Media Marketing World and let me just say, I drank the kool-aid.

To say I loved the conference would be an understatement; it made me feel like a kid at summer camp. It was immersive; fun; engaging; stimulating, and exhausting. I was surrounded by thousands (literally), of others that feel passionate about using social media and wanted to learn about the future of the industry from the leading experts.

The speakers at this conference are people whose podcasts, blogs and social media channels I’ve been following religiously for years; it was neat to be able to meet them in person and see them speak.
I’m sure you can only imagine the excitement and energy I’m feeling as I settle back into agency life in Buffalo. We have a list of ideas, tools, and techniques that we are excited to start to implement. But before I share the major takeaways, let me explain how the conference works.

How SMMW works:

There are a few ways you can attend: all-access, “marketer” pass or the digital pass. I’ve bought the digital pass before and loved it. That’s what drove me to attend the conference in person. I saw the value from the digital pass for two years in a row.
This year, I got the all-access ticket to SMMW. This gave me access to every part of the conference from the workshops (held on Wednesday,) to the networking parties, and all sessions held on Thursday and Friday. What’s neat about this pass is that it includes digital access too, so I’m able to watch a digital recording of every session held. And good thing, because there were 150+ speakers and dozens of sessions to pick from.
It was tough to decide which ones to attend in person, so you can bet I’m excited to dive into the recordings of the sessions that I wasn’t able to attend. There are so many things that I’m eager to learn more about – from email marketing to Pinterest to Facebook Ads to generating leads on LinkedIn. Whatever it is you want to learn about in the world of social media, you’ll find it here at this conference. (Which is why Mike & I already bought our tickets for SMMW20!) 

My SMMW19 takeaways:

There were so many sessions, and so much value crammed into three days, that it’s hard to narrow down just a few takeaways from this conference.

There are different changes happening across the various platforms, and being nimble and adaptable – and keeping up on all of these changes – is probably the most important thing any social media marketer can do.

If we had to sum it down to just a few points, this is what we’re leaving with:

  • Be human. It’s about PEOPLE – people want to see the FACES behind your brand. Don’t be afraid to get on camera and share the story behind your business. People resonate most with people! Facebook wants to see people building community – people connecting. The more you can foster community – through organic content and groups – the better you’re going to perform.
  • It’s not all about Facebook – while Facebook is still the platform where the majority of people are spending their time, you need to be thinking about your Instagram strategy. Instagram is “Facebook’s new Facebook,” and if you don’t have a presence there, you need to get one. InstaStories are one of the best ways to reach people. Plus, they’re super fun!
  • Video isn’t going anywhere – this isn’t news anymore, and if you haven’t started to post videos, you haven’t been listening to the experts. Creating video is *the* way to make your Facebook page grow. The experts say that 70% of your page content should be video. While that might seem hard to do, you don’t have to overcomplicate it! The iPhone in your hand is good enough to use, so just get started!

Regardless of your industry, there’s no doubt that social media is one of the most effective ways to reach your audience today. If you aren’t keeping up with the evolution of the industry, you’re going to fall behind.

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