Take Aways From Social Media Marketing World 2016

Welcome Social Media

Wow! Wow! Where do I start?

While researching how to categorize and tag my blog earlier this year, I came across a website called Social Media Examiner…and was blown away! I quickly realized they hold a conference every year right here in my fair city of San Diego…and I knew I had to attend.

I entered a comment contest on their blog to win a free ticket (I was supposed to explain why they should pick me…I said a vote for me meant I’d share what I learned with the entire Book More Brides community!

There were hundreds of entries from around the world (SMMW is the world’s biggest social media conference…and this year there were 3,000 attendees from 45+ countries), but, a few weeks later, I got a phone call from SMMW.

“You’re calling me because I won, right!!!”

No, I hadn’t won but my entry was in the top 5. The judges had noticed I lived in San Diego and was a DJ.

They offered me a free conference ticket in exchange for DJing at their opening night party and during the morning networking breaks. Woo hoo! Done!

So, fast forward to the conference a month later, and I found myself surrounded by industry rockstars and was completely in awe.

At Bryan Kramer’s lecture “How to Get People to Consume Your Content in Noisy World,” one of the very first slides he put up said that B2B or B2C (“business to business” or “business to consumer”) no longer exists—there is only H2H now (“human to human”).

Marketing is “Human to Human”

This one slide seemed to really sum up the entire conference for me.

So much of what I have been taught about marketing is the “same old stuff” like making an email list, presenting yourself professionally (i.e. impersonally), and asking for referrals. These type of things are like the staples, the “go-to’s.”

At SMMW16, I was reminded around every turn that, not just Millennials have grown immune to the “same old” advertising and sales techniques, all of us have.

Banner ad clicks are down in every industry. Email open rates continue to plummet. Commercials are fast forwarded through. A single pop-up on a website is enough to make us leave and never re-visit.

What does H2H look like in action?

give give giveBryan Cramer put it like this: Give great, non-SEO-heavy content.

Give an ebook with your secret sauce recipe. Give a video series that teaches something cool. Give a bit of humor or beauty.

THEN ask for the sale.

I think about, for example, the term “squeeze page.” During the conference, one of the presenters said, “C’mon, who here wants to be squeezed?” Nobody!

H2H is like do unto others as you would like them to do to you.

And what all the H2H philosophy boiled down to seemed to be authenticity (or what keynote Gary Vaynerchuk referred to as “outrageous transparency”).

real person

Authenticity is Essential

I’ve always been a big believer in “Fake it till you make it.”  I’ve used that mantra in sports, in business, as a new mother, you name it.

But in David H. Lawrence’s workshop “How to Be Authentic with Audio and Video,” he suggested admitting you were new, terrified, or the underdog. People can relate to that.

New doesn’t have to mean bad…it could mean the next cool trend. It could mean you’re flexible where the competition is rigid.

Ask yourself, how else could Donald Trump make it this far in the presidential election if authenticity was not valued more than old school professionalism today? He’s new to politics, and he’s not “faking it till he makes it.”

I remember my dad starting his truck tire business in his early 20s. He grew a mustache to make himself looked older so he would appear more experienced and reliable. He wore it for years, and we all hated it. This to me is the old professionalism.

Today you can be tattooed and pierced and still be professional as long as you return emails and phone calls quickly, know your trade, show up on time, are prepared, and do what you promise you’re going to do. That is H2H.

The game is changing! These changes are here to stay.

You don’t need to have an MBA any more to stay afloat—you just need to be you and follow the golden rule.

What do you think about authenticity in the wedding business?