For Me, It’s About The People: Energizing Insights From Social Media Marketing World 2024 #SMMW24

by | Feb 23, 2024 | AI, Connection, Digital Marketing

Wow! After a three-year hiatus, returning to San Diego for Social Media Marketing World was nothing short of exhilarating! The anticipation of reuniting with fellow marketers from around the globe, diving into the latest digital marketing trends, and forging new connections while rekindling old ones was electric.

This year was a whirlwind of firsts for me – venturing solo without a roommate, stepping into the unknown with fewer familiar faces, and embracing new roles as both a Community Facebook group admin and a Speaker Concierge. These roles not only enriched my experience but also paved the way for unforgettable encounters, like meeting Doris from Maryland, a friend of my assistant’s from previous conferences. Discovering our shared online membership group after years was a delightful surprise, illustrating how small our world truly is. Together, we supported the speakers, including Michaela Alexis, Chelsea Peitz, Alex Cattoni, Mari Smith, Ron Callis, and Jon Loomer, ensuring they felt prepared and valued. The privilege of engaging with them on a personal level in the speaker room was truly special.

Despite the changes, the conference retained its familiar charm – the hallways buzzed with laughter, conversations, and connections. The smaller crowd this year made it easier to deepen these newfound relationships, a welcome change from the overwhelming numbers of 2020.

My goal for this year’s conference was to embrace curiosity, seek opportunities, and ask questions. The dream of one day taking the stage myself felt more attainable as I engaged with speakers, learning that the path to the podium varies greatly, from leveraging the right connections to years of hard work and practice.

Now, let’s dive into the golden nuggets of wisdom shared by the experts:

Be (Even) More Human: In an era increasingly dominated by AI, the need to be genuinely human online has never been more critical. Chelsea Peitz’s T.R.U.S.T method brilliantly encapsulates this, urging us to connect authentically with our audience. Ann Handley’s keynote highlight of a simple yet powerful tweet from Elmo showcased the profound connection we can forge by just being real, emphasizing the value of authenticity. She called it ROR = Return on Real. 


Embrace Disruption: The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and with AI’s rapid advancement, we must be ready to embrace this change. My initial fears about AI’s impact on my business were replaced with excitement about its potential. Crafting policies and strategies around AI will be key to navigating this new frontier.

We’re Not Alone: A recurring theme was the shared challenges we face – balancing strategy with tactics, professionalism with playfulness, and automation with humanity. The community, insights from speakers, and shared experiences provided a strong sense of solidarity and validation.

Key Actions Moving Forward: Inspired by the conference, I plan to:

  • Watch the recordings and discuss key takeaways with my team.
  • Follow up with new connections I met at the conference to keep the conversation going.
  • Develop strategic content prompts for clients to better use advanced AI.
  • Leverage LinkedIn Newsletters for dual notifications.
  • Experiment with AI tools like HeyGen for enhanced client engagement.
  • Explore visual AI generation with Runway and ChatGPT working together.
  • Develop AI policies for my company and partners.

Facing challenges with your social media strategy? I’m here to help! Connect with me on LinkedIn, and let’s spark a conversation. Here’s to the next chapter of our digital marketing journey!


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