I have long been a subscriber to Social Media Examiner’s daily newsletter. So, when I received an automated email back in January from its founder Michael Stelzner imploring me to “discover the best social media marketing techniques from the world’s top experts,” I naturally needed to learn more. And that’s how I first stumbled upon Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) – the world’s leading social media conference.
Fast forward to March. Fellow assistant account executive Katie Byrne and I found ourselves on a plane to sunny – well, actually, rainy – San Diego for three days of hands-on workshops and networking sessions with some of the top social media experts in the game.
While we learned way more than I can type in a 1,000-word blog post, here are five of my biggest takeaways from this year’s Social Media Marketing World.
Implement Live Video
In Michael Stelzner’s opening keynote on the top social media trends for 2019, he emphasized the growing importance of live video – specifically Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Now, more than ever, Facebook has been discouraging passive viewing on its platforms. Instead, it wants you to engage with your followers. Short videos (under 10 minutes) that are filmed consistently and at the same time every week are proven to receive the most engagement. The best part? Anyone can do it! If you have a smartphone, interesting subject matter and an engaged audience, go ahead and start filming.
Retargeting Increases your Reach
A term that was used throughout the many Facebook ad sessions I attended was “retargeting.” Retargeting your ads means you’re putting them back in front of those who already have some level of interest in your brand or offering. With retargeted ads, you can drill down on those who have watched your video, visited your website, ‘liked’ your post and so on. If you have Facebook Ads Manager already set up, it’s simple to do. To retarget those who have visited your website, select ‘create audience’ and ‘custom audiences,’ then ‘website traffic,’ then ‘target audience,’ and last, place your pixel tracking code on your website.
Confused about how to install the Facebook pixel? Check out this guide from Social Media Examiner to learn how.
Emails are Unavoidable
Email doesn’t technically fall under the social media umbrella, but nonetheless, it is a critically important tool that every business should use. In Rich Brooks’ workshop on how to build a digital marketing plan, he said, “Email is stable, intimate and unavoidable.” When you scroll through Twitter or Facebook, it’s easy to miss a photo or ad, but emails are unavoidable because, in most cases, you’ve opted-in to receive them. Thus, it makes sense to build an email marketing plan just as you would a social media or digital marketing plan. Here’s how: Identify your audience and list-building tactics, define your email marketing goals, create valuable content and catchy subject lines, set up A/B tests and record your results.
Don’t be Everywhere
There’s a common misconception that you need to be on every social media platform if you want to do social media marketing right. That’s simply not true. It’s more important that you master one platform completely than doing a little bit on each one. And, don’t post the same content across all of your platforms. Determine one or two channels to focus on, use their built-in analytics to see what content is working there and then tailor your channel-specific editorial calendar around that content.
Human Connection is Key
My biggest takeaway from SMMW 2019 was the emphasis on human connection. In the conference’s closing keynote, author and “social futurist” Mark Schaefer gave a startling statistic. He claimed that more than 80 percent of consumers are skeptical of traditional advertising methods. Instead, humans rely on other humans they trust to help with their purchasing decisions. What Mark proposes, then, is that businesses stay ahead of the curve and learn to capitalize on human impressions instead of advertising impressions. Check out his new book, Marketing Rebellion, to find out what it means to be a marketer in today’s world.
These are just a few of the important trends happening in the social media marketing realm right now. Is there a social media trend or tool you’re excited to learn more about? Let us know in the comments below.
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