If you’re a social media professional or aspiring to be one in any way, Social Media Marketing World is the event you need to be at.
What do you get when you cram 3,500 social media professionals into the San Diego Convention center for 3 days? Why, Social Media Marketing World of course!
Without a doubt this is the biggest live event in the social media world. With the biggest names in the business in attendance.
Important: Get your ticket now and you’ll save on your ticket price. Skip to the end to grab your ticket now, before it’s too late!
In the words of Guy Kawasaki,
If you’re in the social media business, you’d be an idiot not to come.
I couldn’t have said it better.
But if Guy’s commentary isn’t enough, I’m going to give you my inside scoop, having gone two years in a row, on why you need to be at this conference.
To date, SMMW has always been the most fun conference I go to every single year.
I want to give you my insider look at why I believe this is the must-attend social media marketing event of the year.
If you follow any great social media thought leaders, odds are you will find them at the conference. Some of the speakers include:
- Guy Kawasaki
- Mari Smith
- Chris Brogan
- Jay Baer
- Ann Handley
- Darren Rowse
- Marcus Sheridan
- Pat Flynn
- John Jantsch
- Chris Ducker
- Amy Schmittauer
- Brian Fanzo
- Donna Moritz
- Ian Cleary
- Kim Garst
- Peg Fitzpatrick
Seriously, the list goes on and on.
It draws the greatest minds in the industry— between whom you’ll learn more than you’ll ever need to be successful online.
Oh, and did I mention… I’ll be there as a track leader!
That should be reason enough to go, right? Okay, maybe not– so keep reading.
Meet Your Social Media Marketing Heroes
Let me tell you the story of my first ever Social Media Marketing World. I went there with the sole purpose of seeing the people I look up to in the social media world, live, in person.
I didn’t expect to actually meet them, shake their hands and have actual conversations with them. But that’s exactly what happens.
You see, the folks at Social Media Examiner have been extremely intentional to encourage the speakers to be amongst the crowd, networking and having conversations. More on the networking in the next section.
Because of this, I’ve been able to get to know, on a personal level, some of the folks I have looked up to for years.
I got to spend time with Chris Brogan who has mentored me from afar (whether he knew it or not) through his blog posts and a handful of back-and-forth emails.
Thanks to the amazing Peg Fitzpatrick I was able to go to dinner with none other than Jay Baer, who gave me some of the best speaking advice I’d ever gotten.
Next time, I’ll make sure I tell Jay that I’m taking a photo.
But to make that dinner overwhelmingly special to me, joining us also was:
Yep, that’s right. Guy Kawa-freaking-saki.
Also there that night was Anne Handley (who also gave me great speaking advice), Michael Stelzner (founder of SMMW), Carlos Gill, Mari Smith and a boatload of other influencers.
All because of the connections I made and the relationships I built at this conference.
Pictured with me above is Rebekah Radice, Brian Fanzo, and (again) Peg Fitzpatrick. We still haven’t figured out who the photo-bomber throwing the peace sign was.
So, for me, the most compelling reason to go to Social Media Marketing World year after year has been to be amongst, and meet your heroes.
#SMMW18 is a place where you can be amongst and even MEET your #SocialMedia heroes.Click To Tweet
Put the Networking Back In Social Networking
Nobody does networking events as well as Social Media Examiner. At least, nobody that I’ve ever seen. And I’ve been to a lot of conferences.
The planning team has put an immense amount of thought and intentionality behind the networking side of the conference. If you walk away without making some valuable connections— you must have slept through it.
The relationships I have been able to cultivate through the power of this event have been second to none.
You have to be willing to network though. Understand that people come to this event to network with other business professionals. And you know the tickets aren’t cheap, so the people here are serious and don’t need to be convinced about the value of social media and digital marketing.
So. Much. Fun.
Take the business out of Social Media Marketing World and you have:
- A party on the U.S.S. Midway
- A themed party on the second night (details to come soon)
- Most likely a Karaoke jam at some point
- Did I mention it’s in San Diego?
If you like to work hard and play hard, you will have your fill of both— and then some!
All Access, All Recorded, All for You
You couldn’t possibly be at all 100+ sessions happening over the course of the 3-day conference. Luckily, you don’t need to be since they are all recorded.
As an attendee, you get full access to every single recording for up to a year after the event.
So Much Content for Your Audience
Take it from me— turning your experience at the conference into content for your audience can be pure gold.
Some of my SMMW notes, for two years, have been some of the most visited (and revisited) content on the site. Can you say evergreen?
Not to mention it’s also highly repurposable content as well. You can create quote graphics, recap videos, and continue to recycle that content in other posts as well.
Some people would gladly pay a much higher premium for this kind of content creation. And at Social Media Marketing World, you’ll have more than you could ever possibly create.
The Best of Social Media Marketing Worlds Past
Every year I attend the conference I come back with an overload of great notes. In the past, I’ve shared these full, unedited notes publicly. What I’ve decided to do instead is take the best of the best and add them to this post.
Below you can find the greatest social media wisdom from SMMWs past.
Keynote Panel with Social Pros Podcast
If you listen to any podcasts about social media marketing, the Social Pros podcast by Convince and Convert should be on the top of your list.
This panel discussion was led by Jay Baer and participants were Ted Rubin, Jeff Rohrs, and Nichole Kell.
Question: Have we lost the Social in Social Media?
Don’t think of social media as advertising, think of it as communication and relationship building with your audience.
Giving a sh*t does scale. It’s not just about the people who are commenting or you’re commenting on– it’s about the people reading those comments.
Question: Blog comments– which would you prefer, comments on the blog or comments as a tweet?
I measure the success of our blog by the number of comments. If your blog isn’t generating (sparking) comments then your post wasn’t provoking enough. Stop writing crap.
If you’re measuring success it’s about what conversions are brought about by social. Measuring your following doesn’t matter.
But today those shares are turning into conversations on the social share. And there are apps that bring those social conversations into the blog comments.
(On advertising) People share things about brands because it’s an expression of themselves.
People actually love when brands interact with them in a human way.
You have to listen and understand what people want. I will never put a question at the end of a blog post because it’s like begging for people to comment.
The Power of Visual Storytelling with Ekaterina Walter
The average adult attention span is 2.8-8 seconds. That about the amount of time it will take you to read this sentence.
Here are a handful of other interesting visual storytelling facts:
- 90% of the info interpreted by the brain is visual.
- 94% more traffic is generated by visual content than non-visual content.
When creating visual content, keep the following principles in mind:
- Stay on Brand – make sure your brand voice is consistent
- Context is crucial – audiences are different on every network, so make sure you cater to that audience. (A.k.a. one size doesn’t fit all.)
- Produce content and make it “Snackable” in that it can be quickly and easily consumed. (In other words, don’t put too much info on it.)
- Marketers using cartoons see newsletter open rate of 45% vs 5-8%.
- Find ways to add humor.
The most important part of visual content creation is to be creative. Have fun with it and create things that you would enjoy seeing in your social stream.
Another great “hack” is to encourage your fans to create content for you. This can be a viral social media tactic, as it was for converse:
Build Your Own Media Empire with Chris Brogan
Chris has long been one of my favorite speakers and human beings. As successful as he’s been in writing books, selling online courses, and being a highly in-demand speaker, he’s a humble, normal guy when you speak to him.
In his session he talked about ways you can build a media empire by creating a “family” atmosphere for people.
Use these five underlying messages over and over again in different ways with different stories.
- You are not alone.
- Yes, that’s normal.
- I’m here and I will help you.
- You are very special.
- We are a tribe.
This is how you build an audience that wont disappear overnight. This is how you build a family.
Content Creation Tips from Improv Comedy by Tim Washer
“Creativity is not a skill it’s a state of mind, being in the open state.” -John Cleese
“When you’re in an open mode nothing will stop you so effective as the fear of making a mistake.” -John Cleese
There are no mistakes, only gifts. Or if you’re a designer it’s “there are no mistakes only gifs.”
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes—risk being bad so that you can have a chance at being great. It’s the only way.
You have to go beyond what you’re comfortable with if you want to grow.
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. -Einstein
There are two great ways to tap into a creative goldmine that is often taught in Improv Comedy:
- Follow the Fear: Ideas are popping in your mind but you have this inner critic that gets in the way. Whatever idea scares the heck out of you is the one that holds the biggest opportunity.
- Juxtaposition: Take one idea and a completely unrelated idea and then do some “webbing” together of related items. Take the related items and put them in a setting together.
Remember that comedy is always about being truthful, vulnerable, and taking risks. That also happens to be the recipe for truly stand-out, unforgettable content.
Michael Hyatt on Blogging Consistently
A lot of people want to know the answer to “how many times a week should you publish blog posts?” Michael Hyatt’s answer is that it depends on your audience.
The “Minimum effective dose” according to Micael is 1 post a week.
However, don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Consistency is more important than frequency.
By being consistent you will teach your audience they can rely on you, and they will make consuming your content a habit.
One of the key things you need to be consistent in blogging is to develop a frictionless workflow.
Here’s an example of a typical blogging workflow:
- Write the first draft
- Edit the first draft
- Read it aloud
- Insert relevant links
- Find a compelling image
- Publish a draft
- Proofread draft
- Add SEO data
- Tweak as necessary
- Schedule for publication
Sidenote: I’ve actually documented my own blogging workflow in case you want to see it.
Create a template to work from. It gives you enormous freedom so you can spend your creativity elsewhere.
And here’s an example of a blogging template:
- Lead paragraph
- Personal anecdote
- Pivot – take the story and pivot into the content, making it relevant to the reader.
- Objective statement – frame it for the action items.
Deciding on both a workflow and creating a template for yourself will help you create a consistent and efficient flow of blog content.
Go to Social Media Marketing World
This event is 3 days of intensive networking, education, creative stimulation, and fun. There’s no reason not to go— especially if social media is any part of your professional career or business.
So be there. And make sure you tell me in the comments that you will be there— I want to meet you! Reserve your ticket!
Social Media Marketing World – All Access The All Access pass for Social Media Marketing World gets you in everywhere. All the sessions, all the after parties, all the recordings, all the everything! Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
So, who’s headed to Social Media Marketing World 2018 with me? You can leave a comment by clicking here.