Social Media Marketing World 2016: Key Takeaways

I just came back from Social Marketing World 2016, the largest social media conference in the world. It was a tremendous event with great speakers, tons of new information, networking and the sunshine of San Diego!

Photo credit: Julia Bramble


This is my 4th year attending, and I've met tremendous people from all over the world!  Business owners to marketers, each that is trying to use social media effectively for their business.  I've had the chance to rub shoulders and eat dinner with multiple thought leaders, authors, and speakers on the leading edge of social media marketing for multiple social media networks.  It's been a great venue for learning, collaborating, and connecting in-real-life with those I met online.

social media marketing world 2016

I'm creating a short podcast synopsis of my conference learnings.  If you're a small business owner or marketer, here's what you need to know about social media trends and topics for your business from what I learned at the event!  It's what you need to know for your social media marketing to be effective going forward.

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Social Media Marketing World 2016: Key Takeaways

Here are my key takeaways from #SMMW16 that small business owners and marketers should be aware of and take action on to keep current with the latest shifts in social media marketing!

Key 1. Facebook is stronger than ever

This comes from Michael Stelzner's data report of the social media marketing trends. This report is generated via an extensive survey among marketers and business owners, those using social media actively.  The compilation of data reports what marketers are doing with social media for their businesses.

The result:  Facebook is stronger than ever because Facebook continues to evolve. Facebook has been around for 10+ years for the mainstream user. It has had to change from desktop to mobile, and it continues to constantly evolve and change to be relevant and stay at the top. Facebook continues to be #1-way marketers reach their audience because every major demographic is on Facebook.

It's the only social media network with all the major demographics active on it. Instagram is emerging, but it doesn't have that key buying demographic age 50+ bracket as a strength. Facebook is the only one with that strong contingency of the 50+ buying bracket, and the middle section buying demographic, age 30-50. Even though it's not really shiny and new, there are still tons of 20 somethings and teenagers using Facebook.

If there was a theme to the conference, it was live video, and Facebook is a key player there. In August of 2015 Facebook rolled out live video for celebrities, now it can already be used on personal profiles, pages, and Facebook Groups.

What's new?  

Facebook live video is simple and integrated into the mobile app, making it available to more people.  Just push the button and you're live! People are already on Facebook, so it's a ready-made audience.

Why should your business consider live video?  Because Facebook is prioritizing live video in the news feed. They rank news feed items based what you've interacted with in the past, what you've liked, shared and commented on and other factors. And one of these "other factors" now is live video!

Your traditional Facebook post reach is only about 5%, meaning any given post will reach only about 5% of your fans on average. You'll be seen more if you use Facebook live video because Facebook is prioritizing it. Your fanbase is alerted, you'll rank at the top of the news feed, it's guaranteed to be shown to your fans. Your live videos may get up to 40% reach.

How to Use Live Video:  Use live video in smaller segments to introduce and direct viewers to other content you already have.  Say you have a new product, you can use live video to introduce the product and direct them to the website page for the product. You'll gain awareness and exposure for your products and business. You can interview your project manager, go on the manufacturing floor, etc. Find creative ways to talk about your new product.

Don't worry about not being professional. It's accepted and acceptable to have "homemade" live video. You have to get past the fear of it!

Key 2. Snapchat

It's growing.  The userbase is young and dedicated. It's a platform to WATCH.


You don't need to jump on the bandwagon unnecessarily and put lots of effort in this new platform. But pay attention to it and experiment with it personally, so you at least know how to use it!

Daily Snapchat video views in May 2015 were about 2 billion, in Nov. 2015 it's up to 6 billion, Jan. 2016 it's up to 7 billion, and Feb 2016  it's up to 8 billion views a day.  Wow!  That's amazing activity growth and the key reason it's "one to watch."

There are a lot of people putting content on Snapchat, but it isn't a great business tool, yet. However, celebrities and Fortune 500 companies are consistently using it for marketing right now. Currently, it's mostly brand awareness type pieces. So keep an eye on this one and make sure you have experimented some and know how it works.

Its main demographic audience is the teenage contingent and 20 somethings.  Now it's moving into the 30 and 40 somethings that are using it.  Again, we need to see how things evolve over the next year.  It's one to watch, not necessarily to use right now in your business.

Stories are KEY!

It's also a quick video creation tool.  You can create Stories from 10-second video segments, which you can combine into a video story.  It has lots of tools to use to customize your video.  You can download it to your phone and upload to YouTube or Facebook as native video.  You can use Snapchat tools to add text and animation on the video.  Videos are live for 24 hours.

Snapchat also has messages and chats.  These functions continue to expand.  It's all about getting people to use these networks as their default.  It's taking away text messaging; it's a potential threat to Facebook Messenger and What's App, simply because there's lots of potential there and it has momentum among the younger demographic.

Key 3. The Online Challenge...there's so much noise!

There is so much content out there!  So much content!!!  So many blog posts and videos and social media posts!  How do you get your content to rise up and be seen? This is a challenge to overcome.  What's the answer?

Adapt to get seen - You can't do the same things you've always done on Facebook.  So instead of just posting a link, take some live video, talk about it and then tell them to come over to the piece of content and post the link in the comments.  Adapt to tools and methods that will get you in front of the people.

Even on Twitter you can use Periscope to do live video or record video with your mobile device. These types of posts are getting more views on Twitter.

Instagram is continuing to grow and moving their video from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. So there'll be more video on Instagram.

Content still matters - Continue blogging, continue adding resource, rich content to your website.  The key is to find ways to ignite it, to direct people to it in an engaging way.  Today, it's not simply enough to produce content, you must light it with other media to bring the focus to it.  This can be through live video, recorded video, or images....depends on the platform and what can engage your audience to help bring attention to your deeper, resource content.

Niche your content - Use Google Trends to see what people are searching for. It's about adapting, find the search term that matches your content and has low competition. It's not just about creating content; it's about content promotion also.

Find content partners - Reciprocally share content with them.  Find businesses that have an audience similar to yours that are willing to share your content on their Facebook page and social media.  Then share their content on your Facebook page and social media networks.  Find synergies and complementary pieces.  Align your businesses some way and then grab the advantage of their audience.

Key 4. Relationships Always Matter

social media marketing world 2016 mike stelzner jed record mike gingerich jessika phillips

People do business with someone they know, like and trust.

When you think of the sales funnel, social media is top of the funnel.  This is where the net is wide, and you want to attract the right type of audience.  Then engage the audience and give them an opt-in offer. Nurture them to build trust for you and your information and ultimately you'll be the one they contact when they're ready to make a purchase.

Again, social media is top of the funnel marketing.  You may not get direct sales, but it will get you found and can get you on their radar.  You'll build their trust in your business and you as an individual.  By directing people back to your website, they can learn more and if you have a soft call to action on your website you can add them to your blog email list.  This will continue to nurture the relationship, which can give you a deeper relationship that results in business.  It's a non-linear pathway and can take a while for that sales conversion to happen.

I've met people online; I then met them at Social Media Marketing World, and that gave us a foundation, and we've stayed in touch over time. I met them again this year, and now they're saying "Hey, don't you do this? I've got a client that needs this."  And here we go. So it was out of the relationship. I wasn't marketing to them, but they were aware of what I was doing, they were learning about me.  And that ultimately leads to business. We do this already, but we just don't think of it this way with social media.

That's a quick wrap on my takeaways!  The podcast contains more "meat" and dives into more details and examples.

What’s your key takeaway from this?  What do you need to do in the next 24 hours based on listening?

Share below!

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Why the Halftime theme Mike? 

I’m an Indiana Hoosier native where basketball is the top sport. Every team heads to the locker room at halftime to evaluate the first half and create an updated plan for the second half. That plan includes adjustments based on reviewing what worked and what didn't. The “halftime” is a key review point where the game stops, the team pulls away to huddle in the locker room away from the fans, and they come out prepared and ready to succeed in the second half.

That’s what this podcast is all about, taking the time to pull away for a bit to evaluate, learn, and set some strategies for your business to succeed in the second half. Join me by subscribing and let me be your “business halftime” to help you find great success going forward!

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