Of All the ‘Takeaway’ Lists From Social Media Marketing World, This One is the Best

Or, "You Know You Are a Marketing Nerd When You Get Star Struck Seeing Jay Baer Stepping Off The Party Bus." 

Earlier this month, the Data Connect marketing team descended upon sunny San Diego to attend Social Media Marketing World. Hosted by Social Media Examiner, the conference provided three days of expert-led seminars covering everything from LinkedIn to likability. Speakers included the aforementioned Jay Baer, as well as Chris Brogan, Guy Kawasaki, Mari Smith, Joe Puluzzi, Sally Hogshead, and Dave Kerpen, to name a few. A thousand community managers, marketers, PR reps, and bloggers attended the conference; as one speaker aptly noted, if the ship were to sink during the networking cruise, the social media industry would never be the same again.

For those of you who weren’t able to attend, we’ve put together a shortlist of our biggest takeaways. They do not include “Bring a coat to the keynotes because the room will be just shy of freezing” or “Be prepared to cry over a video about rice—yes, rice—during Dave Kerpen’s presentation on creating a relatable brand “, though they could.

Off to the races!

1.  Go Where Your Customers Are

Don’t spend time on social networks that your customers and prospects don’t use.  So often these days, businesses assume that they need to be present everywhere; this is something we are a bit guilty of ourselves. They just unveiled platform to create even fuzzier-looking pictures? Sign us up! There’s a new network for sharing upside-down 2-second videos? We’d better get the camera!

But does omnipresence really translate to more new leads? Isn’t it better to focus on a few key networks with a solid strategy than to spread yourself thin trying to be everywhere? 

2.  Think About Podcasting

Right now you’re probably wondering if you just went through a time warp back to 2009. As far as we know, there hasn’t been a rift in the space-time continuum, but there certainly has been a renaissance in podcasting for businesses. 

Unlike other content, podcasts have the ability to be experienced while the listener does other things. Visual content like video, blog posts, and photos requires dedicated attention. Podcasts, on the other hand, are well suited to our multi-tasking way of life. They can be listened to while working, driving, exercising, or taking out the trash. They go where other content can’t, and give marketers a unique opportunity to reach an audience in a way that fits busy schedules and diverse lifestyles.

3.  Newsletter Sign-Ups Trump Followers

This one kind of blew our minds. Like many marketing teams, we spend a lot of time focusing on likes, follows, re-tweets, mentions, and every other social metric we can analyze. But, at least according to Chris Brogan, there are only two metrics that matter: Newsletter sign-ups and dollars in your bank account. 

For Chris, social metrics are just noise, and don’t often correlate to sales. Getting someone to sign up for his newsletter tends to be a truer indicator of an individual’s position in the sales funnel, and actually leads to new business. 

That said, in order to get folks to sign up, you need A) A newsletter (just stating the obvious), B) content to share on your social networks that drives people back to your website or landing page, and C) a strong call to action on your site or landing page encouraging visitors to sign up for your daily/weekly/monthly missives.

Final thoughts

By the time the conference drew to a close, we had added approximately 42,000 things to our marketing agenda, including a few of the items on this here list. While our collective head still hurts from idea overload, we appreciate the opportunity to have participated in such a great learning experience, which showcased a diverse array of personalities and perspectives. As a company that helps to manage 150+ events annually, we were impressed that this one is just in its first year.  Hats off to the team at Social Media Examiner and Right Hand Events. Job well done.

If you are interested watching the sessions from the conference, you can buy a virtual ticket here. You may also want to see what people are chatting about on Twitter by searching #SMMW.