Social Media Marketing World takes place in the beautiful city of San Diego every year where top industry speakers come together to deliver 3 days of the best keynotes, workshops, table talks and panel discussions sharing expertise on social media and digital marketing for businesses big or small in all industries.

This year SMMW had over 3000 attendees and was talked about as the BEST event to date. I had the honour to join as a speaker this year to talk about Twitter. Yes, let’s be clear about one thing – Twitter is NOT DEAD!

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You can read my opinion on Twitter in my recent blog: The Future of Twitter: Dying Bird Gasping for Air or Rising Phoenix? 

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Looking at a report from Scraawl between February 21st to March 25th, there were almost 60,000 tweets containing the hashtag #SMMW17. Stressing consistency and quality – In the advanced analytic, Topic Modelling, we saw the words “consistent” and “quality” often stressed together. As social media marketing continues to grow, it seems that many attendees were concerned or interested in how to maintain consistency. 

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Visit the Scraawl blog for more about #SMMW17 data and other case studies around social media conversations and events.

Attending Social Media Marketing World reminded me of three things that I want to share with you:

Building Relationships and Networking Matters

Attending SMMW gave me the opportunity to meet industry leaders face to face for business and casual conversations – With over 120 international speakers present in one room it was the perfect opportunity to connect, network and build on relationships. I’ve been connected with most of my peers on social media for years and even collaborated on a few projects, but nothing is as powerful as meeting face to face to grow the relationship even stronger.

Running into my fans down the hallway, at the networking parties or even down the street was the most memorable experience! Connecting and learning more about others successes and failures in business, building brands or entrepreneurship was a highlight for me at SMMW.

Bottom line: Relationships matter – the strength of your network matters! Take the time to connect with peers, leaders, fans and others in your industry. SMMW is the PERFECT event to tap into relationship building and connecting.

My friend Rebekah Radice wrote a great article about leveraging events, you can read it here:

How ALL Wildly Successful People Use Social Media for Events

The team at TopRank listed the Top 50 Social Media Marketing Influencers from the over 120 speakers who attended SMMW17. Honoured to be included, you can read the blog here:

50 Social Media Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2017 #SMMW17

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There is ALWAYS Something Left to Learn

So you’ve been in the marketing industry for 15 years and feel that you know everything and have nothing left to learn? Wrong! At SMMW I realised just how much there is to learn from others and on any subject matter. The world of marketing is such a large ecosystem and changes not just on a daily basis, but actually on an hourly basis – crazy, I know!

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I learned so many valuable insights from other speakers and the event attendees. Everyone had a piece of gold in terms of knowledge they could share – You can NEVER know it all. If you want to up your knowledge by 100% in just 3 days, SMMW is the place to be.

Steve Rayson at Buzzsumo wrote a great piece highlighting some of the key take-aways from SMMW17 including that:

  • Facebook is the most important marketing platform
  • Twitter is still a great connecting tool and not dead
  • Social sharing is more powerful than you think

Read the piece here: 26 Lessons From Social Media Marketing World 2017 

Social Media Keeps Changing the World of Business

Social media is everywhere. Almost everyone has a social media profile. But there's more to social media than just another platform for marketing. It's very important that you understand the influence social media can have on your brand. Here are five ways social media has influenced the world of business:

Businesses are now more Approachable

Before the internet and before social media, brands were unapproachable entities that fans would have a hard time getting the attention of. Now, with practically every brand having a page on Facebook and a profile on Twitter, fan interaction has never been easier. Gone are the days when people had distant and impersonal relationships with brands. Social media makes communicating with brands easy. 

Social media forces customers to communicate with their audience

Because social media makes it easier for people to communicate with brands, it has become much more difficult for brands to ignore complaints from their followers. The viral nature of social media makes unaddressed issues a danger to brands. Complaints that are highly liked and shared simply can't be ignored. Brands must address these issues immediately, whether through a simple reply on social media or through a more formal announcement. This fact forces brands to not only adjust to the whims of their audiences, but to also constantly better themselves so that they can meet the standards of their fans.

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Negative publicity can easily go viral on social media, gravely damaging a brand's reputation. At the same time, brands should take advantage of genuine praise.

Like I mentioned in my Twitter panel discussion at SMMW, ‘If you don’t engage the algorithm will bury you’. Brands must step up their game and engage with customers and fans online – gone are the days of just broadcasting.

Improves customer insight

Insight is an important part of any marketing effort. A brand should know what their customers are currently into, and what sort of approach their audiences are most likely going to respond to. Social media provides brands with a platform where they can confidently observe their followers. There are plenty of tools that allow brands to analyse the browsing patterns of their target audience, what sort of campaigns get the most attention, and what kind of content has the best chance of going viral on social media. Instead of relying on surveys and questionnaires, brands can turn to social media to study what makes their target audience tick.

use social media

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Social media encourages word of mouth advertising

Social media functions on the same principle as word of mouth advertising. Word of mouth advertising is built on trust. Retweets and shares are the backbone of social media. People discover brands more from their friends and less from hashtags and ads. The more likes and shares that your posts get, the further your reach becomes. Brands on social media get more leverage the more their followers interact with each other. Influencer marketing is on the rise as people love people and not ads. There is a shift in the marketing playground as more people turn on adblockers and turn off ads.

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We had a great discussion about Twitter and creating content and strategy to be successful on Twitter as the whole ecosystem of Twitter has changed including the algorithm ​and how you should approach growth and engagement on the platform. The key takeaways from our panel was:

  • Create good engaging content including video and images
  • Post less not more
  • Engage and be active otherwise you will be buried under the noise on Twitter
  • Use good tools to track and monitor your Twitter audience and metrics - follow up and adjust!

You can connect with my fellow panel members:

Brian Peters - Buffer

Erik ​Fisher - Social Media Examiner

Sebrin - The Clumsy Traveler​

​Attending Social Media Marketing World is an experience I am truly grateful for and I won't think twice about attending again. Social Media Examiner provides so much value, not just in their events but in their blog, podcast and Facebook page. If you are a marketer or business owner that wants to learn about digital marketing you should follow their channels.

A big thanks to my two event sponsors - Please visit Scraawl and Brand24. I use both tools myself to manage my brand.​ Brand24 for my social listening and Scraawl for my research and social metrics.

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Adel de Meyer

Social Media Strategist | Live Streamer
Adel de Meyer is a New Media Specialist, Brand Influencer, Author and Mentor based in Gold Coast Australia. Adel is listed as a Top Digital blog, Top 20 Social Media coach and Top 100 Marketing Influencer of 2017 and has worked with many global brands some including Hootsuite, Pitney Bowes, Adobe, Brand24 and Huawei as a Brand Influencer. Adel regularly writes articles on analytics, influencer marketing, technology and personal branding with some of her work seen on The Next Web (TNW) and Business 2 Community.Adel works closely with global SMB enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Personal Brands by using Social Media and Technology to captivate their audiences. Adel is recognized as a leading Instagram and Twitter Influencer on Social Media and Business in Australia. She loves coffee and creative minds!