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5 Things I Learned from 5 Sessions at #SMMW14

Are you still reeling from Social Media Marketing World? I know we are. When we weren’t talking to you fine people at our booth or gawking at the Twitter celebrities in the hallways, we actually had time to go to a bunch of sessions! The line-up was stacked and it’s hard to pick favorites, but these are our 5 big lessons from a few of our favorite SMMW sessions.

1. @MariSmithProfitable Facebook Marketing

Key takeaway: Engage on the wall, sell on the ads.
The decline of organic reach made Facebook an especially hot topic at SMMW, and Mari didn’t shy away from the topic. At one of the most crowded sessions, Mari not only spoke about how to attract fans to your Fan Page, but how to convert those people to paying customers. According to Mari, “Content is king, but engagement is queen. And she rules the house.” Just because organic reach is down, doesn’t mean that brands should get desperate and bail on engaging organic content. Make sure you continue to produce great content and engage your current audience as much as possible organically, and save the selling for your ads.

2. @RickMulready, @Umang_Shah, @NewmanNikki & @JoelPriceHow Big Brands Creatively Engage Their Facebook Fans

Key takeaway: Before you jump ship, take a good, hard look at what you’re doing on Facebook and see if you can adapt.
Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 3.09.17 PMScreen Shot 2014-04-01 at 3.09.11 PM

Once again, another session that turned into the Facebook Organic Reach show. While the panelists initially probably set out to discuss tactics to increase engagement on Facebook, most of them ended up fielding questions about decreasing engagement on the platform. Many people expressed their desire to leave the platform all together and, although none of the panelists encouraged abandoning Facebook, each was very insistent on analyzing your performance, deciding whether the platform is right for you, and then allocating the appropriate amount of time and money.

3. @KimGarstHow to Use Twitter to Grow Your Brand, Leads and Sales

Key takeaway: Don’t be afraid to automate to help your content plan, but never automate your voice.
Kim Garst did a great job of taking her audience through the process of creating a content calendar. She discussed effective content, delivery and analysis. Kim was very insistent that before you can sell to your audience, you have to establish a personal connection. But how can you do that with a Twitter audience? Develop a voice. Once you have a voice, don’t worry about standing by the computer 24/7 and Tweeting every 10 minutes. Feel free to automate, but make sure your voice stays unique.

4. @JayBaer & @RustinBanksHow to Build a Social Content Marketing Strategy That Works

Key takeaway: Create “youtility.” Make your marketing so useful, that people would pay for it, and then give it away for free.
Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 3.08.22 PMThis was one of my favorite sessions. “Content is king” was practically the subtext of SMMW, so having Jay Bear and Rustin Banks discuss how to make killer content was awesome. This session covered the top 3 types of compelling content- produced content (what you make), curated content (what you find), and cooperative content (what you make with other people). At the end of the day, the conversation boiled down to picking quality over quantity, and making sure that your FREE content is just as good as content your audience would pay for.

5. @LeeOddenHow Content Plus an Influencer Network Can Grow Your Business

Key takeaway: Discover, engage and maintain.
With a ton of influencers speaking and in attendance, Lee’s session couldn’t be more timely. Especially considering the fact that Facebook organic reach is declining, marketers are constantly looking for new ways to get their name out there and Lee delivered. Influencer marketing is a hot topic on social these days, but many people don’t know how to strike up these relationships properly. Lee’s most valuable lesson was about the process of these relationships. Many people get over-eager and randomly reach out, when in reality, it’s very unlikely people will respond to someone they don’t know. Lee suggests that you strategically identify influencers, engage with them over a few weeks, make a soft ask, and then maintain the relationship. Whether you’re looking for a quote or content co-creation, this type of outreach should be extremely effective. You can view Lee’s entire presentation below!

Which sessions were your favorite at SMMW?

Jade Furubayashi

My name is Jade and I'm the Social Media Manager for Simply Measured. We can find common ground in Beyoncé and Chipotle burrito bowls.

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