Day 1 of Social Media Marketing World was a whirlwind of new names, faces and thoughts. Last night at our kickoff party onboard the USS Midway we ran into Kim Reynolds (@kim.reynolds) who encouraged us to invest in the people of SMMW15 even more than the content. It was good advice! Check out the amazing photography of Travis Longmore. Following Kim’s advice, we spent some time getting to know a colleague in the travel industry and daydreaming about his globe-trotting — though exhausting — life!
Key Takeaway: Only 42% of marketers measure their ROI.
The morning kicked off with a session by Michael Stelzner (@Mike_Stelzner), the founder of Social Media Examiner. He presented the 8 social media marketing trends he sees coming in 2015.This is where Visual Creatives can help: our analytics and data help marketers make better use of their marketing budget.
Key Takeaway: Develop separate strategies for each social platform.
Our second session featured Lynette Young speaking on becoming Google+ Ninjas. I don’t know if I aspire to be a ninja, but the deep focus on Google+ was helpful for many reasons. Google+ gets overlooked many times, but with the ability to segment the people you follow into topic or persona related circles, it becomes a great marketing platform. For starters, Lynette recommends segmenting your circles into visitors, leads and promoters and then feeding each circle custom content.
Key Takeaway: You can solve every problem; you just need more options.
Chris Brogan is one of my social media and business heroes. I admire his tenacity, his wit, and his really caring heart. It isn’t easy to glimpse someone’s heart in the marketing world — we’re usually focused on business more than serving each other — but Chris is the exception to that rule. He’s faced some ups and downs in his professional career and has managed to reason and think his way out of them. I appreciate that. If you asked me for the definition of authentic, I’d probably point to Chris. Go check out his stuff: it’s helped Visual Creatives focus on helping our clients. Fun Chris quote from his interview when asked if everyone has a book inside them. “Oh dear Lord, no. Some people just can’t write. But they might have a movement in them, or a podcast.” And finally, I love this statement: “I’m not interested in social media. I’m interested in business and connecting people to each other.”
During lunch we sat with Michael Gerard, (@MichaelGerard) the CMO of Curata curation software. We use Curata, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him over a wrap and a brownie. Bonus: the Curata office is around the corner (literally) from our Boston condo so we are hoping to stop in and meet the team one of these days.
Key Takeaway: If your website is the mousetrap, content is the cheese. Get more cheese.
Andy Crestodina (@crestodina) presented his seminar on advanced optimization tactics to a totally packed room after lunch. Now i’m not gonna lie: David probably got into this seminar more than I did. But I learned a few hacks in spite of myself. For one thing, we need to write an about page for each of our team members so that we can rank #1 for each of our names. That only makes sense, but we just haven’t done it yet. Another hack is to go back to your old posts and add links to your more recent posts. We’re accustomed to doing it the other way around (and we should), but we can double our reach by using this simple technique. Finally, get your testimonials off a testimonial page and out into the wilds of your blogs. Every time you make a claim (“We’re the best at SEO!) you need to back it up with a testimonial. It’s called social proof. We loved his seminar and are heading home with his book, Content Chemistry, to keep us busy for awhile.
Key Takeaway: Always be who you are; be passionate
There is no one who represents being passionate for companies he cares about more than Guy Kawasaki (@GuyKawasaki). Long an Apple evangelist and lately a Canva evangelist, Guy drips practical inspiration. We heard him interviewed in a (fairly) small environment, and really enjoyed his thought process.
Key Takeaway: We don’t compete in price wars; we compete in experience wars.
The afternoon keynote was presented by John DiJulious (@JohnDiJulious), authoer of Customer Service Revolution. It was a great plan to end the day refocusing on the reason we create: our clients. Customer service begins at the top and filters down to every corner of your business. One of his main points was that you can make price irrelevant because your customers won’t even know what your competition charges, they will be so satisfied with the experience you provide. We loved his concept of creating a Never/Always list for your organization. Example? We never say “I don’t know.” We say “Let me find out for you.” Visual Creatives tries to embody a client-first ethic, and it was good to hear John articulate it so well. Looking forward to reading his book when we return. John DiJulious quote: “Don’t punish 98% of your customers for what you are afraid 2% might do.
Key Takeaway: The best parts of a conference may happen in the hallways.
We took a few moments after the last session to meet up with our new friend Ryan Armstrong. Ryan is a fellow storyteller, and we immediately bonded over brand archetypes, story arcs and creative filmmaking. Once in a great while you meet someone who is destined to be part of your tribe, part of your future. Ryan is one of those. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for him!