Top 12 Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World ’14 Attendees

It has been a week since Social Media Marketing World 2014 and it seemed appropriate to reflect on the key takeaways from the conference. There were so many great insights and speakers at SMMW14 and tons of networking opportunities! Not everybody can afford or take the time to go to a conference like this, so I gathered the #1 takeaway of 12 marketing professionals who attended SMMW14 just for you!

Top 12 Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World ’14 Attendees

1. Keep The “Social” In Social Media: Engage Your Followers!

In Social Media Marketing World’s keynote session Jay Baer talked with Ted Rubin, Jeff Rohrs and Nichole Kelly about “the loss of ‘social’ in social media”. Social Media Marketing World 2014 has addressed the need of talking about the social in social media. Whether your company does B2B or B2C, remember people want to connect with real people. In his closing keynote Marcus Sheridan showed us how we can restore the social in social media by focusing on listening, communicating, teaching and helping first!

Juan Felix, Community Manager @JuanFlx

2. Let’s Get Visual

We generate so much content, that it’s easy to forget about the many ways we can apply it to appeal to all audiences, while keeping them engaged. For example, all of those white papers? Turn them into something visual like Slideshare, so customers who get turned off by text heavy content will actually want to learn more! Got a negative customer response? Respond with a clever video! Tell stories! Remember, “Pics it or it didn’t happen” – Ekaterina Walter

Karen Gonzalez, Product Marketing Manager @kgonzalez1

3. The Power of an Online Social Community

My number one take-away from SMMW14 is confirmation in the power of an online social community, and how financial brands can instill additional trust through the knowledge and advice we can provide in our content. The company I work for prides itself in the relationships we establish with our customers. Social media is a way for me to extend that relationship and excellence in customer service.

Isaac D. Turner Jr., Digital Marketing Coordinator @isaacdturnerjr

4. How to Win BIG at Conferences: Get Curious

There is nothing more appealing than someone who is genuinely curious and open to suggestions. And there is nothing less appealing than an opinion that takes over the conversation like a bull horn in a hot sauna. I noticed that the most successful presenters approached their role on stage with a sense of humble curiosity and were quick to say they didn’t know when they didn’t or turn the question to the audience. The lesson for me is that it doesn’t matter how much success you have already created, an open-mind and closed mouth will always take you further.

Hugh Culver,  Author of Give me a Break – The Art of Making Time Work for You  @hughculver

5. SlideShare: A Hidden Gem

By chance and out of curiosity I attended Todd Wheatland’s presentation on SlideShare and was astonished to hear about all the great opportunities to use SlideShare for marketing purposes and as a lead generation source. His presentation inspired me to start right away with setting up an account and by next week my first SlideShare campaign will start.

David Gerginov, Website Manager @dgerginov

Connect with David on LinkedIn!

6. Social Media Marketing a la Kant’s Philosophy

Social media channels are a means to an end, not an end in itself. Marketers should use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc., to start a conversation, build awareness, foster trust, and grow their email list. Share valuable content – take the “marketing” out of social – pitch to sell only through email.  My new mantra: Schmooze on social, sell through email!

Heta Dave, Digital Marketing Manager @hetadave

7. “Social is Person to Person”

My #1 takeaway was something Ted Rubin said in his presentation: “Don’t believe social is digital, it’s not. Social is person to person, and it takes time for it to take effect.” Judging by the number of favorites and retweets that I got for that, I’d say I’m not alone. It’s important to remember that at the end of the day, these tools only help accelerate our message, they are not the message themselves.

Rich Brooks, Web Marketing & Social Media Consultant @therichbrooks

8. Don’t be Afraid to Network!

My #1 takeaway from SMMW14 is: don’t be afraid to network! Strike up a conversation with the person next to you, you might be surprised what you may learn! Everyone attending is pretty passionate about what they do, friendly, and eager to make connections. Also, you never know when you might meet someone who has an answer to that one question that’s been bugging you.

Heather Mellon Hurley, Social Media Marketing Manager @HeatherMayumi

9. Social Media + Email Marketing= Sales

Email marketing is one of the most underrated elements of Online Marketing and one of the best ways to measure your conversions. Having a quality email list and using it appropriately is key.

Jean-luc van Charante @JeanlucSR

10. “Don’t Build Your House (Brand) on Rented Land”

Facebook is constantly changing the rules, and so could Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google + or any of the other social media platforms at any time they choose. This makes it an extremely dangerous strategy to base your whole online presence purely on these social media sites. You must have your own Home Base (Blog/Website) which YOU own, and which nobody can take away from you.

Glen Smyth, Keynote Speaker / Seminar Presenter @Glen_Smyth

Connect with Glen on LinkedIn!

11. Create Original Content and Engage Your Followers

One of my biggest takeaways that I will be applying in my job as Marketing Director is to create new, timely and original content on behalf of my company, SHARE that content through social media and blog posts, and humanize our networks. Meaning, establish a brand voice and engage with people on that level – not just a one-way communication stream. This is valuable information for me as we are not currently active on social media, but will be implementing a social media strategy plan very soon.

Amanda Pensack, Marketing Director @RoxyDigital

Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn!

12. Start with WHY

We spend so much time trying to keep up with all of the changes to the larger social networks and being in the know of emerging ones, but we need to stop and ask “Why?” Why do we want to be on Facebook vs. Twitter or G+? If you are saying the reason you are on these networks is because this is where people are, I would ask you to dig deeper. START with WHY you want to be on each social media channel. Then build your social media and content strategy around that “why”.

Robert Anthony Delos Santos, Umm… This is my blog!

Well, there they are.The “Top 12 Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World ’14 Attendees”. What did you think? Did you attend SMMW14? If you did, comment your #1 takeaway and let’s keep the conversation going!

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