This was my third year at Social Media Marketing World in San Diego. I first went in 2015 and then all the excitement was around Meerkat and then suddenly during the conference Periscope was announced so Meerkat quickly died off. A year later in 2016 it was all about rediscovering Snapchat and meeting Gary Vaynerchuk (yes, I admit, I’m a huge fan!). And attending this year was all about “it’s not too late”. Like every year I do a webinar shortly after the conference with my key takeaways and this year I also did a Facebook Live, of course, and here are my takeaways for you.
1 – Live Streaming
Grab your phone and do a livestream after you read this, if you haven’t done it already. Live streaming was a big deal at the conference last year but it was a bit more niche and mostly geeks were doing it. Now this is a tool everybody can use. Especially using Facebook Live, it’s super easy. Make sure you do it from your Facebook page and not your personal profile so you can change it into an ad.
2 – Be yourself
With live streaming you can show authenticity. By using pre-recorded videos, you can have a nice background, fancy equipment and lighting, you don’t have people walking past you… But that’s what’s so great about Facebook Live and other live streaming tools, you can be more ‘you’.
It’s not just about the surroundings or whether you put on makeup or fake eyelashes, it’s about what you share. What you share in the moment, quickly, live versus totally prepared with slides in a webinar or something like that, it shows more of ‘you’ and your authenticity. It’s okay to make mistakes because it shows that you are human, makes you more likable and increases your following and gets more people on your list too.
3 – Consistency
Creating content and being on social media consistently, not just when you feel like it but often enough that you cut through the noise so that people notice you.
Consistency is not my strength but a weakness. If this is also your weakness, there are ways to overcome it. For instance, when I did weekly webinars (I don’t do them weekly anymore – on purpose), I wondered how I would pull it off. So I put the dates in my calendar as well as when I had to prepare the content and when the emails needed to go out. I was able to do over 90 webinars in two years.
You can be consistent. I’m pretty consistent about emailing to my list. While I’m not emailing every Tuesday at 10 am, that’s not the kind of consistency you need. It’s more about consistently thinking about how you can serve your audience, what they need from you and how can I communicate with them through email and social media.
Here are some examples I learned about at the conference:
During a talk by Mark Schaefer, author of Known, talked about how he was looking for a shortcut. He interviewed 100 people to find out how you might become known in 30 days to 6 months and he came to the conclusion that the shortcut doesn’t exist.
He also talked about a man who had an online store and it wasn’t doing so well so the man decided to give fashion advice for me. He did 200 YouTube videos in 200 days and this man is now a multi-millionaire. Of course, he didn’t reach this status in 200 days but it was how he took off.
Once you have done something like this, you can decrease the amount. You don’t have to do this the rest of your life. But in order to cut through the noise, you have to do something different. Someone doing a video once a week is never going to cut through the noise.
In another talk, the speaker was a businessman who had started something like 15 businesses in 30 years. He was actually retired at 50 until someone suggested to him that he become a business coach because he had so much to share and so much knowledge to help other business owners. How did he go from unknown to known as a sought-after business coach and a speaker at SMMW17? He did 350 podcast interviews in 30 days! He filled two masterminds through one of those interviews. This was so inspiring to hear!
4 – Facebook Newsfeed is Filling Up
There have been doomsday announcement for a while but it’s gonna happen, whether it’s next month or in six months. They are constantly tweaking the algorithm. You have to be thinking about other platforms and methods, even if you love Facebook as much as I do.
And one way to cut through the full newsfeed, is Facebook ads which is point #5.
5 – Facebook Ads
There are 60 million Facebook pages and only 4 million are using Facebook ads. So what do you think will pop up in the feed? Those pages doing ads or those not doing ads?
Of course, if you have fantastic posts or great Facebook Live videos you might be able to cut through the noise and get organic reach. But you also have to be thinking about how you can increase your participation by doing strategic Facebook ads.
To be strategic with Facebook ads, you’ll want to use them to help you build up your audience. While three year ago you could create ads to get people to sign up for your webinar right away and pay 50 cents, now you might easily have to pay $5 or more. That’s why you need to warm up your audience.
For instance, show a cold audience a video. You can make a Facebook Live into a video or have a branded video (like the one I have for Mastermind Retreat Iceland) that you share with a cold audience. Then, you could share a post on the same topic and follow that up with PDF they can download. The signup for your webinar would be a third or fourth step in an ad strategy that will save you money.
6 – List Building
You don’t own Facebook, Instagram or any social media. While not likely, any of them could disappear one day. The only thing you own is your website and your list. So you have to get people on your list. You want to have a call-to-action for the content you create on social channels. For instance, on Facebook Live, you might have people visit your page and download a checklist.
Likes are not the same as revenue. Even if someone has 100K Likes, if they’re not building their email list they’re probably not making much money.
7 – Podcasting
It’s not too late to start podcasting. And there are relatively easy ways to create podcasts. Kate x, John Lee Dumas’s partner, wanted to start a podcast but was worried both in terms of the technology as well as putting herself out there as an introvert. She ended up simply narrating her blog posts to create her podcast. In the beginning, she podcasted twice a week and has now gone to once a week with breaks here and there.
You don’t have to be committed forever. You can do seasonal podcasts, a bit like a tv show with breaks. Although as mentioned in point 3, it’s always better to be consistent and put out a podcast at least twice a week to build up an audience and engagement.
Podcasts are great to listen to while driving or walking. You can’t watch a video or read a blog post while doing those kinds of things. With a podcast, there is a higher chance that a listener will take in the whole thing from beginning to end. And you can have this more captive audience take an action at the end, be it signing up for a freebie or joining your Facebook group.
8 – It’s not too late but it will cost more
It’s not too late to live stream, create a podcast or anything you’d like to do but the longer you wait, the more it will cost you.
When people started Facebook groups two or three years ago, it didn’t cost them anything. We were so eager, looking for online groups and communities. And now that there are so many groups, it’s much more difficult to get people to join a new group.
If you wait to create your group, podcast or live stream, it will only be more costly. So get started today.
9 – Engage with your audience
Jasmine Star, who is in my Inner Circle mastermind group, gave an inspiring talk. She has 200,000 followers on her Instagram account (follow her). First thing in the morning, she spends 10-15 minutes and again in the afternoon, replying to comments on her account as well as going to other people’s accounts and commenting there. Besides having spectacular images, this is how she builds her following.
10 – Abundance
This topic is dear to my heart. At SMMW, you see people who you think would be competitors and trying to outdo each other but instead, they collaborate. That’s how they grow each other’s businesses.
For example, I invited a business coach to speak at my Mastermind Day before the conference. She does very similar things to me but with an abundance mindset, I felt that there’s always something you can learn from someone else.
The abundance mindset was especially tangible in the podcasting community where they “share for share”. This is how they grow their audiences.
So look out for possible collaborations whether it be people who do something similar to you or in an adjacent industry.
11 – Bonus Takeaway – Standing out
The first time I attended Social Media Marketing World I didn’t know anyone and didn’t make many connections. The second year I prepared better and ended up talking to all the speakers and making great connections. This year I attended the conference with my clients after hosting Mastermind Day San Diego with five private clients. One of my Mastermind Day participants suggested to the others that they all dress in red to honour my brand colour – RED. I Even though I love red, and everybody who knows me, knows this, I wasn’t prepared and had to buy an extra red dress for the conference.
#teamred as a hit, we were mentioned on a podcast after the conference, featured on Social Media Marketing World Facebook page and on Social Media Examiner Instagram account. The lesson is, if you want to stand out, find something that makes you stand out….
Join us next year at Social Media Marketing World 2018! #teamred