Despite the fact that Social Media Marketing World 2013 (#SMMW13) Conference has been over for nearly a week, digital marketing pros are still buzzing over the thoughts, ideas and trends that came up at one of the industry's most exciting gatherings. While it was unfortunately impossible to listen in on every one of the 49+ sessions with subject matter experts, I've highlighted some of the best takeaways from the talks I was able to catch:
1. Guy Kawasaki: Using Google+ to Build a Platform
Guy Kawasaki, author of What the Plus! and APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, has gained a reputation as a marketing thought leader due to his ability to predict trends and make key recommendations. His primary tip for marketers was to get started yesterday building a presence on Google+.
2. Dave Kerpen: Why It Pays to Be Likeable
image credit: Mike Gingerich
One of the most-discussed presentations of SMMW13 was undoubtedly New York Times bestselling author Kerpen's keynote. The single biggest takeaway? "The two most important words in business are 'thank you,' and 'I'm sorry.'" Your company simply can't get far on social media if you're not grateful or apologetic when it counts.
3. Lee Odden: Integrating Blogging with Content Marketing to Inspire Action
As social media and content marketing become increasingly more integrated, there were more discussions than ever on how to improve your content strategy. TopRank CEO Odden had a lot of great points to share in his session, but one of my favorite was the simple manta: "follow a plan, measure progress, and continually optimize." Audience polls indicated that no more than 20% were using an editorial calendar. Having a clear strategy in place to continually improve and pivot based on metrics will put you miles ahead other marketers:
image credit: Anne McColl
4. Mari Smith: 10 Ways to Improve Your Facebook Reach
One of the world's best-known social media influencers, Mari Smith, lead a session that emphasized the importance of building a highly-engaged Facebook audience. Her recommendations include experimenting with different content formats, posting times, and most importantly, strengthening your response times. In case you weren't convinced that improving your relationships with Facebook followers should be a key goal for the year to come, I'll leave you with her thoughts, which is one fo the funniest quotations to come out of the conference: "Content may be king, but engagement is Queen, and she rules the house."
5. Joe Pulizzi: 10 Content Marketing Secrets That Will Propel You Beyond the Competition
Is there really anyone better to speak in-depth about content marketing trends than Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute? His talk focused on encouraging listeners to realize that we're all publishers, and truly great writers are those who coordinate efforts, own their channel, and dominate their niches' keywords.
6. Sally Hogshead: How to Fascinate With Your Social Media Messages
Did you know the average, modern attention span is just 6 seconds? Author and entrepreneur Sally Hogshead does, and she revealed many of the secrets of her formula in her talk. Cautioning that "boring is the kiss of death," she highlighted the seven triggers of human emotion that can form that critical emotional connection brands want with prospects and customers. If you manage to hit on passion, trust, mystique, prestige, power, alarm or rebellion, your chances of being fascinating are much higher.
7. Chris Brogan: You Aren't Going to Like This: Social Media Isn't the Answer
Best-selling author Brogan is always controversial, but the thing is, he's usually right. After making headlines a few months back when he blogged "I'm Not Into Social Media," he broke down his position a little further for a particularly enraptured audience. Brogan stated that your total number of Twitter followers are an important tool for prospecting and brand awareness, but they won't put money in the bank. He encouraged marketers to develop a trust set of metrics for success. And you know what? We couldn't agree more.
Sound Off: If you attended #SMMW13, what were some of your favorite sessions and lessons?
P.S.: Watch the interviews on YouTube here!