Over the past few weeks, I have been blessed to attend two social media marketing conferences. One as a speaker at Social Slam in Knoxville, TN where I was honored to share a panel discussion on branding with Mark Schaefer and Jeff Bullas. I was able to share my passion around the fact that you can build a massive personal brand today. Social Slam is an incredible, community based conference that incorporated a lot of amazing speakers who shared a lot of great, value based content. I met some amazing
people there and feel very honored to have had this opportunity!
From Knoxville, I traveled to San Diego, CA for Social Media Marketing World, hosted by Social Media Examiner founder, Mike Steltzner. Mike has hosted a few online training events in the past that were amazing but I have to tell you, this conference was amazingly well done! Not only was there amazing speakers and content but the details of the event were also very well done. Opportunities for networking abounded and that was one of my best takeaways. I will share more about that in a minute.
I know many of you were unable to attend but still would like to know what top influencers in the digital space are talking about, right? I can't wait to share, honestly! My brain has been whirring the past few day and I had to sit down last night and actually force my brain to focus. I made a list of my top takeaways so I could share what I think are the most important for anyone who is in business and wants to use social media to put some BOOM in their business.
So here goes…my top takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2013!
Content is king was a resounding message throughout the event but the theme of content is shifting to relevancy. In other words, you can't just throw content out there for content's sake. The goal is to listen to your audience's pain points and provide content that addresses their needs. In other words, you have to meet your customers and prospects where they are. There was also a resounding theme of content is merging in a big way with social. Content and social will converge and be the driving force behind a brand's marketing strategy. Are you using your content effectively on social media platforms?
Mike Steltner made the statement that podcasting is the hottest trend in 2013…PERIOD. Frankly, this shocked me. I had no idea podcasting was such a hot and upcoming trend but after listening to Mike and Cliff Ravenscroft, I am convinced that we need to consider this as an alternative for our businesses in the coming months. Mike gave some stats that shared that a recent survey of 3,000 marketers revealed that there will be a 800% increase in podcasting in 2013! WOW, right? Think about it…1 in 7 people have a mobile device which allows for easy access to podcasts…kind of makes sense that podcasting has some legs, right?
Dave Kerpen of Likeable Media shared these powerhouse words…“The 4 most important words in business are, thank you and I’m sorry.” So many times we forget to showcase gratitude in our businesses and, more importantly, to share that gratitude with our customers. Take a minute every day to hand write a thank you note to someone expressing your gratitude! Do not forget to be transparent when you make a mistake in your business. Saying “I am sorry” and how can I fix it goes a long way.
4. Build Community
As many of you probably know, I am passionate about building authentic, engaged communities so it was great to see this focus popping up so frequently at Social Media Marketing World. John Jantsch talked about making sure that your marketing strategies showcase your brand culture so that you can build a community around it. I thought this was a great distinction. In other words, find the one thing about your business that stands out and then focus on building your community. Build communities that reflect CARE, CONCERN and SERVICE!
The value of a face to face meetup is invaluable. Seriously! I cannot stress how valuable the personal connection is, especially if you have already ‘met' online or have some core knowledge of each other from an online connection. I want to share a few of the social media influencers that I met in person with you. I would highly recommend connecting with all of these people yourself!
Mark Schaefer from Business Grow. He is he organizer of Social Slam and his website is chock full of great content!
Jeff Bullas from jeffbullas.com. Jeff is from Sydney, Australia and spoke at Social Slam in his first US speaking debut. Honestly, I could listen to him talk like forever but he is a genuinely lovely guy! Totally enjoyed meeting him in person!
Mari Smith …I mean who doesn't know Mari, right? She is an icon in the social media community. Everyone wants to meet her and I was no exception. She is as warm and gracious in person as she is online. It was an honor to meet her!
Jay Baer from Convince and Connect. He definitely speaks from the same place that I come from. He is always saying “focus on BEING social, not DOING social. I totally agree! It was lovely to meet him in person. A genuinely nice guy.
Ian Cleary from Razor Social . Ian focuses on sharing the in's and out's of social media tools and technology. One thing I learned from Ian was his incredible focus around networking. While fascinated with his Irish accent, I was more fascinated by his amazing focus and genuine sense of ‘how can I help you'. Ian is an amazing gentleman and you definitely want to connect with him!
Viveka vonRosen …wow, this gal just shines! She is like a moth to a flame…you can feel how genuine she is within a few seconds of your first encounter with her. She is a LinkedIn expert and I encourage you to connect with her!
I have known Neal Shaffer online for quite some time but nothing replaces the opportunity to meet this gentlemen in person. His kindness comes across right out the gate but who knew he was so much FUN?!
Cindy King is the director of editorial content at Social Media Examiner. I had an opportunity to talk to her the very first evening that I was in San Diego and I have to say that she is incredibly intelligent and down to earth person. It was a pleasure to spend time with her and get her perspectives on some interesting topics. I love getting ‘outside of the US' perspectives. This is a story in and of itself :-)!
Andrea Vahl is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies and the community manager at Social Media Examiner. She is also the well known Grandma Mary personna where she teaches great social media info in an entertaining way. What you may not know about her is that she is a genuinely sweet soul and she is funny! I really enjoyed meeting her in person and spending some time chatting about our businesses.
Bottom line, meeting people in person was simply amazing!
These “sketch notes” from Anne Mccoll highlight some of the great content that came out of the conference. Enjoy!