I’m still in a buzz from attending Social Media Marketing World a few weeks ago. SMMW is the biggest and best social media conference in the world with 3,000 attendees from over 55 different countries…and industry rock stars and best-selling authors and millionaire mom bloggers, oh my!

But every year the conference starts off the same way, with a sort of “state of the industry” address from Michael Stelzner, the owner of SocialMediaExaminer.com (the company who produces the conference).

Mr. Stelzner considers himself a “social media industry analyst,” as he spends a good deal of his time interviewing those on the front lines of the latest trends and technology for his podcast, Social Media Marketing (available on iTunes).

So, here’s what’s hot off the presses for 2017 according to one of the foremost experts in social media marketing:

#1 – Facebook Traffic is Down…& How to Cheat It

Stelzner has tracked a drop in Facebook traffic on his own page by 63%, even though his fans have increased. He has determined through surveys and interviews that Facebook is becoming less and less effective for content marketing (i.e. engaging Facebook users with your blog articles posted to your business page).

In a survey of social media marketers, Stelzner found that 28% agreed and 25% strongly agreed that Facebook traffic is down on their business pages, yet 2/3 agreed that Facebook remains a key priority for social media marketing.

The result?

Businesses are posting MORE. Stelzner says this is NOT the answer.

Stelzner says that posting less on your Facebook business page is more effective with the current algorithms.

The real secret to cutting through the Facebook clutter is…LIVE VIDEO.

As you’ve probably noticed, when someone is live on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg comes to your house and knocks on your door to let you know. OK, not really, but almost (live videos automatically go to the top of all your followers’ news feeds, notifications are sent to them, etc.)

#2 – What Instagram & Ryan Gosling Have in Common

They are both SMOKIN’ HOT!

There are 600 million users on Instagram and 150 million of them are tuning in to watch “Instagram Stories.”

IG Stories are SnapChat-esque live videos that only exist for 24 hours before they get swept into a blackhole. Instagram has also added other new features like looping pictures and Pinterest-esque shoppable tags.

#3 – A Picture Is Worth…

Yep, the current market value of a picture is still a thousand words. 41% of social media marketers say visuals are key over written content/blogging/videos.

Visuals would include quotes over images, memes, drawings, photos, and infographics. While “traditional” content (blogging, podcasts) still stands the test of time, it is crucial to pull a few quotables from each blogpost or podcast you produce and slap it on an image for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If social media marketing peaks your interest, I highly encourage you to consider attending the conference next year. It will be held at the San Diego Convention Center from February 28-March 2, 2018.

Right now tickets are available at a deep discount…or you can sign up to be one of about 200 volunteers and get a free ticket.

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Staci Nichols

San Diego wedding DJ Staci Nichols is a graduate of Book More Brides' "Rapid Growth System" and "Book Your Calendar Solid with Blogging" courses. She writes the wedding column for Mobile Beat magazine. Her writing has also appeared in San Diego Style Weddings, Offbeat Bride, Wedding Planner Magazine, Brides Without Borders, Wed Loft, and the Gig Masters wedding blog. To see her Book More Brides training in action, check out her website: http://www.sandiegodjstaci.com

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