Top 5 Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2014

Did you attend Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) this year?

social media marketing world

No? Well, no worries, I’ve put together my favorite takeaways from some of the most educational sessions I attended!

Social Media Marketing World brought in more than 140 top social media speakers and presenters who were there to discuss EVERYTHING social. It really was the Who’s Who of social media and the presentations did not upset! As you can imagine, with 140 speakers in two days, there was no way I would be able to attend every session. Going into SMMW14 my focus was to hear about high level social media tactics, reinforce what we are currently doing, and connect with influencers in the digital marketing space. These 5 takeaways are the concepts that have the broadest reach and most impact. So, whether you are a small business or a marketing firm, these takeaways are for you!

the sales lion

Here are my favorite takeaways from Social Media Marketing World: 

1. People who say Facebook ads don’t work are probably doing them wrong.

  • Lots of speakers mentioned the latest  (frustrating) algorithm changes by Facebook, changes that are forcing brands to put money behind their posts and campaigns if they want them to be seen by their audiences.
  • According to Brian Carter, Facebook is the biggest marketing opportunity in history. You can target an audience of 1.26 billion people, with 12+ categories of targeting criteria for as little as $1 a day.  Compared to traditional media, where it would cost roughly $35 to reach an audience of 1,000 people.
  • Facebook Ads Expert, Jon Loomer, unleashed the power of Lookalike Audiences, Website Custom Audiences, and Fan targeting.  There is so much to say about these categories, you need to check out his website!

2. Develop relationships with Influencers in your niche.

What is an Influencer?  An influencer is someone who has the authority/trust to sway consumer beliefs, behavior, and actions.  Presenter, Lee Oden, gave some great examples of companies using influencers to create content and shift consumer focus and behavior.

  • Content = Influence = Content
  • Content and Influence = Inspired Action
  • Create “evergreen” content – content that does not expire

When you are trying to find/connect with people of authority in a particular business niche, make sure you are offering support to them.  Find out that is important to them, don’t be greedy, and make sure that you keep their interests in mind. Larry Benet put it best when he said, “always be genuine and authentic.”  Lastly, don’t wait until you have something to promote to start connecting with influencers.  These are relationships that need to be developed over time… If you wait till the last minute, you will probably have to pay!

3. If you aren’t answering consumer questions, someone else is.

  • Content Marketing has been perceived in the wrong way for some time now.  Companies are focusing on their own initiatives instead of listening to consumers and providing solutions/answer to their consumers questions.  Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, states, “When prospects visit your website, do you help solve their problems better than anyone in the world?”
  • What do we really do?
    1. Listen
    2. Communicate
    3. Teach
    4. Help


Tweet: You can either address the comments and questions of your prospects or not, but someone will. – @TheSalesLion #SMMW14

Tweet: This is not content marketing, it’s not SEO, it’s about being the best teachers in the world – @TheSalesLion #SMMW14

Tweet: When prospects visit your website, do you help solve their problems better than anyone in the world? – @TheSalesLion #smmw14


4. Social Media Literacy is becoming a source of competitive advantage.

I can’t express how true this statement is.  Times have changes and new methods have been developed to communicate a corporate message.  Think about your news feed on Facebook… What stories are you seeing more of?  Are you seeing messages from friends and family more than you are seeing business posts?  Jay makes the point that, the reach of your employees, vastly outweighs the reach of your companies business page (for the majority of businesses).  In other words, the more your employees know and understand about social media, the better equipt they are to communicate, promote, prospect, and build new relationships.SMMW14 - Jay B Click Image to Tweet

5. Branding mistakes effecting your company.

In a session with Matt Clark titled, “Brand Well: The Do’s and Dont’s of branding consistency,” Matt outlines the Top 5 Social Media branding mistakes that he has seen coming through his firm,

Top 5 branding mistakes online:
1. Don’t advertise their advertisement
2. “The Social Media Loop” – Don’t send people to other social media sites… send them to your direct response page.
3. Content overload – Remember, less is more. Make sure people can consume your message very quickly
4. Inconsistency – make sure your look is consistent throughout the web
5. Doing nothing – make sure, if you have a social media profile, it is updated


If you have any takeaways or stories from Social Media Marketing World, please leave them in the comments below!

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