Top Takeaways from #SMMW18

by | Mar 8, 2018 | Social Media

Last week I spent time in sorta-sunny San Diego mixing and mingling at Social Media Marketing World. Brimming with social media’s best and brightest, it’s a drawcard for people from all over — some hailing from as far as Fiji (yes, really!). There’s nothing quite like it, and every year organizer Social Media Examiner does a phenomenal job of drumming up a savvy, inclusive atmosphere. 

Helping to create those positive vibes were 200 volunteers, and this year I was fortunate to be one of them. As a Networking Team volunteer, I helped ensure that people were making valuable, fruitful connections. With 4,000+ attendees, connecting the right people was a challenge, but definitely a worthy one! I had a ton of meaningful conversations, created some serendipitous moments and even got to sit in on a workshop and a few sessions. 

I’m a big believer that every moment is a learning opportunity, so it’s no surprise that I left with some powerful takeaways — along with some practical tips you can integrate into your business’s marketing efforts right now! Ready? Let’s get to it.

Do You Speak Human? (Here’s Why You Should)

We’ve all heard of B2B and B2C. But here’s a newer one for you: H2H, or human to human. It’s 2018’s take on Mari Smith’s P2P (person to person) marketing. Thanks to the rapid expansion of chatbots and artificial intelligence (AI), H2H is on everyone’s mind. The concept was a common thread throughout the sessions and keynotes.

This included Michael Stelzner’s opening remarks regarding Facebook’s latest algorithm tweaks, where he noted that “focusing on the smaller, more relevant and engaged audience is more valuable now than larger and less engaged ones.”

What does this mean? That marketers need to aim for quality, not quantity. With Facebook getting back to its roots, it’s essential that we put on our human hats and create content that’s valuable and engaging to our core audiences. Because whether we’re targeting “B” or “C”, there’s still a human involved!

Chatbots are Here, and They’re Getting a Personality Upgrade

The era of the chatbot is upon us, and I couldn’t be more excited. Why? Because chatbots represent strategic comms backed by serious data. 

According to the CEO and founder of ManyChat Mikael Yang, who took the stage on a panel at SMMW, open rates for chatbot messages in Facebook Messenger fall between 80-90%. That’s incredible, given that email rates hover at around 10-14%.  

Now, don’t take this as a sign to throw all of your resources into chatbots. You still have to diversify. But do start thinking about how chatbots can improve your customers’ experience. Get creative and think about delivering value and entertainment — if your chatbot just regurgitates your FAQs, what’s the point? 

Karlyn Williams with Molly Pittman, VP of Marketing at Digital Marketer and ChatBot Expert.

Give your bot some personality, and you have what mega-marketer Mark Schaefer calls “conversation marketing.” Chatting with a Nike algorithm might get the job done, sure. But chatting with a Michael Jordan simulation chatbot gets it done with H2H flair. 

To get it right, you need to be intentional, know your audience and speak to them. Think killer copy with a strong brand voice — one that triggers emotions and delivers powerful micro-moments amid all the noise on the web. 

If you’re interested in learning more about chatbots, ManyChat is offering a free course. You can sign up via their messenger bot using the keyword “course”, or just visit this link. 

Boost Your Conversions With This One Weird Tip 

Sometimes it’s the little things that make a huge difference. In his session, Andy Crestonia served up data nugget after data nugget designed to stat your socks off, but one small point really stuck with me. Did you know that a simple point-of-view copy tweak can improve your click-through rate (CTR) by 90%? Really. Data doesn’t lie. 

To get these stats, Andy A/B tested two buttons. One said “start your 30-day trial,” and the other “start my 30-day trial. Which do you think led to the largest increase? 

That’s right, the “start my 30-day trial.” A simple shift to a customer-centric POV led to an incredible 90% CTR increase. 

Don’t risk, not making that change of creating a more human connect! Set aside a few minutes right now to check your own buttons to see what kind of language you’re using. Switch out any company-centric language for customer-centric language and see if your conversions climb as well. Go implement!

Network Your Face Off

Or in my case, until you lose your voice. What I love about the SMMW event is that it’s all about making connections. Everyone is open and receptive to meeting and chatting with new people. The “social” part of social media was definitely on display and so was this double rainbow to add an extra dose of magic to the event. 

In all, it was a great event, and I hope that I’ll see you all in 2019 in San Diego!

In the meantime, if you’re looking to level up your social strategy or digital ads, let’s connect!