Social Media Marketing World. While it’s not a theme park for Facebook lovers, it IS one of the largest social media-specific conferences out there. I’ve ventured to content-specific conferences like Content Marketing World and interactive-focused conferences like SXSW, but thought something social-focused in the midst of recent buzz-worthy items like the Facebook apocalypse would be interesting this year. We have a pulse on social media trends at Lemonly, but getting the chance to be around 4,500 other social media nerds people was something I couldn’t pass up.
While I didn’t hear anything Earth-shattering of platforms going away or changing any more than we’ve already heard, here are five of the recurring themes I picked up during the sessions I attended:
1. Root content in story. (yay!)
“The basic human operating system is wired for stories.” – @chrisbrogan
I mean, I already knew this working somewhere that specializes in STORYTELLING, but it’s nice for that to be reaffirmed. Storytelling was mentioned in almost all of the sessions I attended, and for good reason. Simply put, people are sick of marketing meaning they’re being shouted at. (Pro tip? Learn how to show, not just tell.)
Have you ever been at a party and that one guy can’t shut up about himself? Don’t let your brand to be that guy.
Via @mdeziel pic.twitter.com/B1Y0VX9pSr
— Charlotte Becker (@charabroad) March 2, 2018
ROI on storytelling @ParkHowell @MiriRod @cassieroma #smmw18 #liquidsketch #sketchnotes #storytelling #graphicrecording pic.twitter.com/lamLN4087z
— Anne McColl (@annemccoll) March 1, 2018
#SocialMediaMarketing in an age of #ArtificialIntelligence?#EmotionalIntelligence remains key to #Storytelling #SocialSelling #CustServ #CX?
Consumers even want #chatbots to be more HUMAN! ? To empathize! #AI
Consumers still crave human attention and community! #smm #SMMW18 pic.twitter.com/h6uSQ2MsAz
— Glen Gilmore ? (@GlenGilmore) March 1, 2018
DNA of a Story?
??A — And
??B — But
??T — Therefore
Works beautifully into everything you communicate.
Do an ‘ABT’ for your story and see it simplify! #storyon #SMMW18 @ParkHowell pic.twitter.com/2id1cvLvUY
— Shilpi Joshi (@Shilpi_Joshi) February 28, 2018
2. Automation is for everyone.
Chatbots, messenger marketing, it’s just the beginning. Tons of brands are taking notice and utilizing automation in many ways for their brand. You CAN be authentic (see below) and automated, you just have to try harder to weave it in. Though automation and chatbots seem like a scary ordeal for a small service company, it’s something I’m definitely paying attention now and will continue to explore how it can save us time while not sacrificing our brand.
“Chatbots need to be entertaining and fun – think conversational marketing. Imagine talking to a Jordan Chatbot rather than a Nike representative” – .@markwschaefer #SMMW18 pic.twitter.com/sMFI2DLSFU
— Dan Howe (@howedan) March 2, 2018
The future is already here. It’s just not distributed evenly. We aren’t in early maturity with automation of #bots yet. There are 20 million businesses on Facebook Messenger though. #SMMW18 #automation
— Katie McDonnell (@kqmcdonnell) March 2, 2018
Gamechanger. #chatbots We care about the engagement. What’s more engaging than an instant messaging system? #smmw18 @MarTechBen pic.twitter.com/LeOlYzrxcv
— Marya Sherwin (@MarketingMarya) March 2, 2018
Customers no longer have to manualy type in email addresses and phone numbers when in Facebook Messenger. Now it is just a quick click and the data is pulled from Facebook so it is good data! #smmw18 #chatbots
— Kelly Noble Mirabella ☄ #SMMW18 (@Stellar247) March 2, 2018
3. It’s [still] all about authenticity.
This isn’t new, but a key theme in several sessions I attended mentioned being authentic as a brand, no matter the platform. Users want to see the real you, know the true story. It’s all about getting past the buzzwords and marketing speak. Social media was originally created for PEOPLE, not businesses. *Preach!*
Unfortunately I’m one of those people who, when asked to cheer for something/one…I probably won’t. I cheer all the time, but I’m not *persuaded* to cheer. I’m *motivated* to. #lightbulb I think that’s true for marketing in general. #protip #smmw18 #authenticity #cheerleader
— Marya Sherwin (@MarketingMarya) March 3, 2018
AMAZING talk about how embracing our screw ups is the key to being human In our interactions, courtesy of @bryankramer. #SMMW18 pic.twitter.com/PVaEzisucT
— David “Rhoadey” Rhoades (@Rhoadey) March 1, 2018
Figure out how to be human at scale. – @Mike_Stelzner #authenticity #SMMW18
— Karlyn Williams (@Kar_lyn) March 1, 2018
Notes on notes on notes about @iSocialFanz’s ridiculously awesome #SMMW18 #Facebook strategy session. Some key takeaways:
—Embrace the SOCIAL in #socialmedia.
—Be purposeful. What does authenticity mean for YOU?
—Talk WITH, not AT.
—Focus on EXPERIENCES.
— Anne Chaconas ??? (@anneannebobanne) March 1, 2018
4. You’ve gotta try video. (duh!)
Live video, short video, long video, we heard about it all. In the end, it’s smart to do SOME form of video but really think about which type fits your company most. Since we record, animate, and produce videos as a service, we should post those and typically stay away from relying on live video as a consistent part of our social story. We can shine live on Instagram stories, where we share “behind-the-scenes” content, but as a brand, we’re not going to go live on all platforms just because the algorithms are telling us to. Customize your video use for what makes sense for your brand.
“People gaze 5x longer at video vs static content.” @MariSmith from #SMMW18
— Whitney Bingham (@Bingham_Whitney) March 2, 2018
#SMMW18 Facebook Watch is where video creators can subscribe to shows – similar to Netflix. Download Creator app and create long form shows when available in 2018. Opportunity for great storytelling. @Mike_Stelzner pic.twitter.com/B2yH1hmSsL
— Christopher Penn (@cspenn) March 1, 2018
The reason #livevideo is amazing is because anyone can go live. And the reason live video can suck is because anyone can go live… ~@iSocialFanz #SMMW18 pic.twitter.com/CaZ3svqB5y
— Kylene Kaelin (@kylenekaelin) March 1, 2018
5. There is so much to analyze.
Campaign tagging, custom channels, predictive analytics, oh my! There are so many things to track with online content, but you have to know the reasons why you’re tracking it all and connect your data together. I know on behalf of Lemonly there are more things we can track with our internal content, and thankfully there are tools out there to help with this. A big takeaway for me was to utilize Google Tag Manager. I didn’t realize all of the things it can do!
“Only behavior matters.” #SMMW18
Google Tag Manager gives you accuracy, specificity, and flexibility for your tracking. Thanks for the insights, @mercertweets! pic.twitter.com/P2LAbBkT70
— David “Rhoadey” Rhoades (@Rhoadey) March 2, 2018
5 steps to predictive analytics. #SMMW18 @cspenn pic.twitter.com/ouPVeTtBOV
— Karole J. (@KaroleJay) March 1, 2018
Top skills needed in the marketing world – data/analytics, digital advertising, and ability to quickly test and adapt. @markwschaefer #smmw18 pic.twitter.com/uiJHew1Gwa
— Steph Nissen #MDMC18 (@stephnissen_) March 2, 2018
100 Sales on Facebook, 35 Sales on Google Analytics, 10 Sales on your Shopping Cart – FRUSTRATING! But they all track a different way. How do you improve with unreliable data? Google Tag Manager allows you to have consistency in those numbers by using triggers. #SMMW18 pic.twitter.com/NoWhezUYB2
— Steph Nissen #MDMC18 (@stephnissen_) March 1, 2018
Now that I have some takeaways and new tools to try, it’s time to implement! Huge thanks to the SMMW crew for a great event and providing access to so many speakers at once.