Being surrounded by 2,000 talented professionals in your industry is probably one of the most rewarding and intimidating experiences. Last week, I was lucky enough to attend Social Media Marketing World 2014 and learn from some of the biggest names in the industry. To say I learned a lot would be an understatement, and although I couldn’t take all of you with me, I did bring home a little bit of the wisdom from my week away.
Here are the top five most important things you need to know from #SMMW14:
- Be Human. I know, I know… you’re a business. But people don’t want to talk to a wall, they want to talk to a person. Find your company’s voice, whatever it may be, and stick to it. Don’t be afraid to let the human side of your business shine through, because it’s the part of you that people will care about.
- Facebook is making us pay. Marketers can’t ignore the plummeting organic reach on Facebook any more. For the past year, I’ve been working with clients with strategic Facebook ads, and now they are more vital than ever. Organic reach will be reduced to 1 percent or 2 percent, according to Valleywag, citing an anonymous source “professionally familiar with Facebook’s marketing strategy.” Now that I have the bad news out of the way, don’t panic! Yes, you will need to invest a little more in your social media marketing efforts, but a small investment every month goes a long way with a solid strategy. Send me an email if you need to talk or are looking for some advice!
- “Never build your content ship on rented land.” – Joe Pulizzi. This was probably my favorite quote from the conference, and Facebook is the perfect example of why. You want to attract and retain customers, but with Facebook organic reach dwindling, how are you supposed to? Don’t rely on any outside outlet to solely hold your content or messaging. Use your website, create a blog, build an email list… create something that you own and no one can take away from you.
- Visuals are more powerful than ever. Photos are by far the best performing type of post. In fact, since Twitter introduced image previews, those posts have gotten almost 2x the engagement of other posts according to Jeff Gibb from Simply Measured. What does this mean for you? Don’t skimp on the visuals! Invest in some high-quality designs for your profile, and take well-lit sharp photos and videos. If you’re looking at the photo and are questioning how nice it looks, that’s probably a sign that you shouldn’t be posting it.
- Be consistent. If you’re going to start a social media profile, a blog, or whatever your plan may be… stick with it! Pulizzi reported that 85% of corporate blogs have five or less posts. It’s an investment (of time and resources), but it’s an investment worth making. If you aren’t ready to commit, wait to make the leap until you are.
I could write for days about everything I found fascinating, but you’d probably be bored and I feel like I might have learned that “don’t” at the conference. Plus, I need to save most of the secrets for my clients!
Be sure to check back on our blog for more updates and tips for the ever-changing and always interesting social media marketing industry.