#SMMW16 Social Media Marketing World 2016 – Highlights and Key Takeaways

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The Social Media Marketing World in San Diego has just concluded and my head is brimming with ideas and action plans after all the talks, workshops, and networking that we did in this three-day social media conference. Dubbed as the largest social media event in San Diego the event has easily doubled its attendance from its first year participant list of only 1,500 to over 3,000 social media professionals this year!

Just to give you a full grasp on the sorts of things that this event is about, here are some of the top sessions that I went to (NOTE: I’ll be doing recap blogs about each of these over the coming weeks so stay tuned!):

  • Guy Kawasaki’s How to Perfect Your Personal Marketing: Insider Tips on Social Media and More
  • Jon Loomer’s How to Create and Evergreen Facebook Ads Campaign That Keeps on Working
  • Gary Vee’s Testing, Hustling and Outrageous Transparency in the Digital Age
  • Ian Cleary’s 9 Essential Tools for Every Social Media Marketer’s Toolbox
  • How Brands Use Instagram to Tell Visually Compelling Stories (hosted by Jenn Beening, Calli Cholodenko, Sue Zimmerman, and Matt Rozen)
  • How to Use Facebook Messenger as a Social Care Outpost (hosted by Bryan Hurren)
  • How Businesses are Building World Class Customer Service (hosted by Whitney Drake, Dan Gingiss, Jessica Mack, Kriti Kapoor, and Laurie Meacham)

 

Key Learnings

If there are two things to keep in mind, these will be:

  1. Planning is relatively misunderstood for social media. Most people consider this to be scheduling posts on Hootsuite. However this is just publishing, and publishing can be done ad-hoc with no thought.
  2. Live video streaming in social media is going to be big this year. While there are currently 14% of marketers using live video, this number is expected to increase to 50% within 2016. Embed: https://twitter.com/iSocialFanz/status/722085127539597312 While big brands are the first to use live video and personally, I’m still figuring out how all brands can use it. Definitely, it’s on top of the list for social marketing innovation of major players in the social media space.
  3. People still care about Facebook, in fact marketers prefer it. The social media giant has over 900 million daily visitors, and its ads allow marketers to target specific audiences by location, age, interest and other factors. By the end of 2015, Facebook advertising revenue was at 17.08 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to grow further.
  4. Social media channel choice is about exploration. Don’t take too much time deciding whether something is going to be good in the long term. If it works for you now, then go for it! That’s a Gary Vee truth bomb that a lot of corporate planners and larger companies will gasp at the thought of.
  5. Social Media Tools are at the forefront of marketing success for business, but it is still early in the game, with no one clear leader.
  6. Data, as usual, is one of the most powerful assets to a business on social media.

 

Just a note, it’s just a super fun event.

The Social Media Marketing World organisers definitely didn’t forget the “social” part of the event. We didn’t just learn the latest from the top social media marketing experts. There were also a lot of opportunities to network with social media professionals from over 50 countries, which was kicked off with a very festive and cool Opening Night Networking Party aboard the Naval aircraft carrier USS Midway. Food and conversation while aboard a warship – how cool is that!

The second day was nicely rounded with a Networking Cruise around the bay! Again, an excellent opportunity to meet the speakers, sponsors, organisers and the very cool attendees of this great event!

In and amongst the event, there were networking breakfasts, brunches, lunches, afternoon teas and dinners, as well as topic tables to eat at, and online networking opportunities a couple of weeks before the event via bizzabo, slack and the various Facebook groups. Overall, absolutely worth it.

Coming up soon: Recap posts from each of the sessions that the knackmap team attended! Stay tuned.