Our Marketing team is recently returned from Social Media Marketing World 2016 in San Diego and they brought some great insights back with them which we broke into some categories here. Did you make it to SMMW? Share your insights with us on Twitter, @UnionMetrics.
On standout speaker ideas
Our Marketing Manager, Lisa Messelt: I liked what Gary Vaynerchuk said: You have to stop asking whether these new platforms are going to last. Of course they won’t last! That’s the industry we’re in. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve resources. Social marketers should focus on riding the wave, jumping on the new hotness. Not every strategy has to be long-term. (Editor’s note: This is that room-for-experimentation we’re always talking about!)
On standout conference organization
Our VP of Sales and Marketing, Dean Cruse: This was the first conference I have attended that set up a Slack team for the attendees. They also had a LinkedIn Group which was super active and engaging with pre-show Q&A, suggestions for sessions and general networking. But the real-time nature of the Slack team created a sense of community around the event that really made the whole thing come together. Weeks before the conference, you were able to have conversations with attendees about everything from business-to-business marketing, big-brand marketing, tech marketing, corporate marketing, blogging, and analytics (our favorite).
Special channels were formed for verticals like arts and entertainment, consumer goods, and agencies, giving members of these communities and place to hang out and compare notes. Of course, as Slack is prone to do, special groups for everything from craft beer and fitness, to faith-based initiatives also popped up, giving attendees a place to network outside of the usual work-based topic. The Slack team for SMMW provided a great resource for attendees, and stands to be an ongoing place for networking for the social media community.
What everyone was excited about
Dean: Lots of excitement around live video but mostly by the social media experts- the brands and agencies I spoke with don’t seem to be there yet and are focusing on the big three channels that work today- Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Although, Mike Stelzner, founder of Social Media Examiner predicted that Snapchat would be a top 3 social platform by next year. Attendees were very into it, too: People striking the familiar selfie pose were everywhere— you couldn’t walk more than a few feet without seeing someone talking into their phone, taking video, or interviewing someone else. People were excited about it, it was talked about in sessions, but does it make sense for B2B companies? Based on the companies I spoke with, I’d say the jury is still out.
Lisa: Definitely live video. Specifically Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Blab.
On big ideas in the industry
Dean: Social is clearly no longer a side project for the marketing team. We talk a lot about how all media is social— and it was clear from this event that many organizations agree. Social media is a fully integrated discipline within digital marketing. As that has happened, the need for careful planning and measurement is even more important.
Shaan Puri, the founder of Blab, spoke about the importance of influencer marketing and community, or tribes. He talked about how if you are able to build an effective community around your brand – he called them tribes – the tribe will support you no matter the platform or channel you use. Gary Vaynerchuk is a great example of this – his tribe follows him to whatever platform he uses. Puri also talked about following trends and that by the time you’re hearing about something it could already be too late to take advantage of it. Unless you have a loyal tribe or community around your brand. Trends come and go. Community endures.