You may be wondering why I didn’t call this post “takeaways” from Social Media Marketing World. That’s because I didn’t get to see all the sessions I wanted to see (so I grabbed the recordings) and I’m writing this from the plane with a glass of wine so, frankly, I haven’t had the chance to think strategically about the big picture takeaways!
I’m so excited about the quick tips and tools I picked up from some of the best social media marketers in the world that I wanted to share them with you as soon as possible.
Here you go:
1. Use More of the RIGHT Photos
Being in PR, I’m always bothered that many people (and businesses) infringe on the owner’s copyright for photos. According to Ed McDonald of the American Society of Media Photographers, this could result in a $150,000 fine! For bloggers and social media marketers that don’t want to have to pay that kind of fine, I learned from Rich Brooks about Compfight, which can help find the creative commons photos you can use from Flickr for example. Problem solved.
2. Find a Content Curation Tool You Like
A huge challenge for those implementing social media strategies or a social media campaign is where to find compelling content. Author and Facebook expert Mari Smith shared three great time-saving tools for your daily social media marketing plan: Flipboard (mobile app), Spundge.com and Trap.it (Click here to watch my interview with Mari Smith)
3. Manage Influencer Relationships
If you’re marketing a small business, you’re always short on time and budget. One of the best ways to succeed in social media networking is to keep track of key influencers in your industry. Ian Cleary, who regularly reviews social media technologies and tools recommends, Nimble. Not unlike a CRM, it’s a social relationship manager that keeps track of conversations your influencers are having with others, as well as your conversations with them. Simply having influencers on a Twitter list won’t give you this information in a clear and consistent manner due to the overwhelming amount of messages out there. Nimble allows you to stay focused.
4. Go Mobile
That’s also the title of Jamie Turner’s book and his post “Mobile Marketing: Everything you Wanted to Know but Were Afraid to Ask” reminded me to look into mobile websites for my businesses. Since I’m on WordPress, Jamie recommended a plug in like WPTouch.
5. Get your Google Authorship
Ever wonder why when you search for something on Google, some results bring back photos of people next to their posts? And isn’t that what your eye is drawn to? Google+ Marketing for Dummies author, Jesse Stay, says it’s about getting your Google Authorship. You’ll have to join Google+, which could be discouraging, because as Guy Kawasaki says in his book, “I needed another social network like I need my dog to throw up.” I felt the same way but after reading Guy’s book and hearing Jesse speak – it’s now on my to-do list.
6. Don’t Forget an Opt-in to Facebook Pages
I took down an opt-in offer from my Facebook page a few months back, intending to work on something, haven’t gotten around to it so thanks to Facebook expert Andrea Vahl, I’m back on track! If you’re looking to add a way for people to subscribe to your newsletter or to add new tabs (for example, “Speaking”) to your Facebook page, check out WooBox, Shortstack or Heyo. I personally use WooBox because they give you the ability to easily create these custom tabs for free. You only pay for when you start using premium apps.
7. Pay Attention to Who Comes Into Your Life
One of the fun things about an in-person event is just that: finally meeting online friends in real life and sharing experiences. One experience I will never forget from Social Media Marketing World was running to catch the networking boat cruise with LinkedIn expert and former pro athlete Lewis Howes, when it turned out the restaurant we were at was further away than we thought. I’m sure you can guess who got to the boat first!
And in an event with 1100 people, I also kept running into the same few people over and over again that it was almost weird. I noticed and I’ll be keeping in touch with them – maybe they will help me, maybe I’m meant to help them.
8. You Tube and Podcasting Are Where it’s At
Mike Stelzner’s opening keynote showed us that this is the year of video and audio. We now listen to podcasts instead of talk radio, YouTube has a massive user base of 1 billion, and survey results of 3000+ marketers showed this is where more of their budget will be spent in 2013. Two speakers at the event I’ll be following closely to learn from are You Tube expert James Wedmore and Smart Passive Income podcaster Pat Flynn, whose podcasts just hit 3,000,000 downloads!
9. Let go of Perfection
Speaking of YouTube, one of the best and most entertaining presentations I attended was the one from science teacher Steve Spangler who became a sensation on YouTube. What caught my attention though, is when he shared a slickly edited video of his friend – you know, the type where the person is standing in front of a white background and several jump cuts make his script sound just perfect. That got 10,000+ views.
However, Steve encouraged his friend to create a “one take” iPhone video from a coffee shop talking about the perils of identity theft. At one point you only see part of his head, as he sneaks up to a computer left behind, he takes us on a walk – everything you think you shouldn’t do. This video got more than 200,000+ views.
That’s encouraging for those of us just starting out, and for those who think they can’t get started unless they have a professional studio and videographer. There’s definitely a time when those will be useful, but if you’re thinking of doing a video – that example just gave us permission to go for it!
10. GO to Your Industry’s Best Event
As a small business owner I thought long and hard about going to this event. Besides the fees and travel cost which amounted to several thousand dollars, there is the time and effort. It took almost a day for me to get there, I had to make sure my client work was covered by my team and I have young children, so there were logistics I had to take care of.
And it was well worth the cost, time and effort.
I came away with so many ideas and the experience helped solidify where I want to take my business this year and how I’m going to do it. I will easily make 10x the return on investment for this conference. I am more confident about what I can offer my clients and I see new sources of revenue I haven’t seen before.
So do what you have to do, to get to your industry’s best event. Which live event will you be attending soon? Who knows, I might be sitting in the chair next to you!
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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