Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2019
We sat down with our friend, Meghan Martin, who is a co-founder of Green Loop Marketing, and talked about the key takeaways from this year’s Social Media Marketing World conference.
Colleen: What were the big differences between last year and this year’s Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) conference?
Meghan: This year, I picked up on a theme woven throughout most of the sessions. This theme highlighted a trajectory that spans every social platform. Almost every speaker I heard urged attendees to focus more on connecting, less on broadcasting.
Contrast that with the takeaways from last year. Maybe it was just the workshops I chose, but the sessions seemed to focus on the latest technology at our disposal. My biggest takeaways from last year were primarily which mediums would see the biggest growth. (Facebook Messenger, Messenger bots, podcasting, and episodic video were some of those communication channels projected to be huge last year.)
Colleen: What did you learn in Michael Stelzner’s keynote opening speech?
Meghan: Michael Stelzner’s keynote is always one of the highlights of the conference for me. This year, he gave a fascinating review of the past changes to the Facebook platform. He predicted that by 2020, Facebook as we know it will be unrecognizable.
For so long, we’ve all thought that bigger equals better on social. More followers. More likes. More comments.
Going forward, he proposed we work to get better, not bigger. And by being better, he means a shift in objectives from broadcasting passively-consumed content to creating opportunities to stay in front of our audiences, interact with them, and connect.
According to Stelzner, “Facebook is [now] a platform that thrives on people connecting, NOT on content. NOT ON CONTENT.”
As a fierce believer in the power of content marketing, this is hard for me to swallow. However, the Facebook platform values meaningful conversations over passive viewing.
Our challenge as marketers is to make this work in our favor since interacting with people is truly the only way to connect and develop influence.
I believe content will continue to be an effective tool, we just need to look at it through the lens of using it to connect, not broadcast.
Colleen: What did Mark Schaefer say at the keynote closing speech?
Meghan: Mark Schaefer kicked off his closing keynote by saying, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is. It is what consumers tell each other it is.”
Because of technologies like social media and review sites, consumers have taken control of around two-thirds of what is said about a brand. “Marketing isn’t about our story. It’s about their story.”
The way for marketers to succeed in this new era of marketing is by focusing more on bringing people together and showing the human qualities of a brand.
“When people try to access a person (or a company) they access them by two things: warmth and competency.”
The more marketers can showcase their brand’s warmth and competency while also bringing people together, the more success we’ll achieve. “The most human brand wins.”
Colleen: What did you do outside of the conference sessions that was new, different and fun?
Meghan: One area where SMMW really excels is in creating opportunities for attendees to connect outside of the conference. This year was no exception. Although I wasn’t able to meet up with my favorite communication pros Colleen and Michele from Martell Communications, I did meet a ton of interesting marketers from across the globe.
The film recounts the story of Chris Strub’s journey to 50 states where he conducted an act of service at one youth-serving charity in each state… all the while streaming live-video on social media to promote the individual nonprofits and their causes.
If you get the opportunity to see the film or read the book, I highly recommend it!
My other favorite after-hours event was a cocktail reception where Chris Penn demonstrated the Talkwalker social analytics and monitoring platform and how you can use it to find actionable insights from your social media data.
He put a couple of volunteers in the “hot seat,” using their actual social data to show how the Talkwalker product works.
Those events are always the cherry on top of the whole conference!
Meghan Martin is co-founder of Green Loop Marketing, an agency focused on building intentional growth for B2B businesses as well as B2C companies with multiple locations. They specialize in marketing strategy, analytical analysis, and day-to-day implementation in areas such as content creation, paid and organic social media, email campaigns, and sponsorship activation.
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