My Reflections After Attending Social Media Marketing World

By Leslie Samuel | Podcasts

Mar 29

My wife asked me not to post that I was going to Social Media Marketing World last week.

She wasn’t comfortable with my social media friends knowing that she was home alone with the kids.

At first, I was disappointed.

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I was going to be in San Diego at a SOCIAL MEDIA conference without posting about it on social media.

Then, I accepted it. It was what it was. Yes, I would miss out on some of the benefits of being at an event, but I would survive.

But something different happened – I didn’t actually miss out. In fact, I got more out of the conference.

The People at Social Media Marketing World 2017 Photo Credit: SMMW Facebook Page

The People at Social Media Marketing World 2017 Photo Credit: SMMW Facebook Page

What I accomplished

The beauty of being at the conference without trying to share it with the world is that I was able to be present.

As a result, I was able to :

  • Connect with a few bloggers in a much deeper way than I would otherwise
  • Record 26 video interviews
  • Do some long-term strategic planning for my business

I can confidently say that this has been my most productive conference to date.

My Reflections:

When thinking back on my experience, there are a few things that stand out.

I'd like to share some of my reflections with you…

Being present is better than trying to be everywhere else.

This is something I touched on in my last podcast episode.

While at the conference, I had many different experiences.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Cole

Photo Credit: Jennifer Cole's Facebook page

Many of the attendees were trying to share the experience with everyone else.

Since I decided not to, I was able to embrace the moment.

I focused on the conversations I was having while eating instead of sharing pictures of my food..

I was able to look into the eyes of the people I spoke to and show them that what they were saying was important to me.

Instead of making videos at the parties, I was able to enjoy my dance.

Planning and goal-setting makes a HUGE difference.

Photo Credits (Top - Bottom): Wendy Marrow Grubbs, Denis Wakeman, Amanda Robinson, Kelly Baader, @premierexmedia, Natchi Lazarus, Bucky Beeman, Ai Addyson-Zhang

Photo Credits (Top – Bottom): Wendy Marrow Grubbs, Denis Wakeman, Amanda Robinson, Kelly Baader, @premierexmedia, Natchi Lazarus, Bucky Beeman, Ai Addyson-Zhang

I've attended many conferences to date.

This was my most productive conference. Why? Because I had two very specific goals.

One goal was to record a bunch of interviews. My second goal was to connect deeply with a few specific individuals.

I accomplished both, and that will be big for my business.

Going deep is better than casting a wide net (for me).

There's one thing I've come to know about myself. I value relationships.

But not any kind of relationship. It's not just about knowing a bunch of people.

Erik Fisher, Andy Traub, Jeff Sieh, Leslie Samuel, Juan Felix and Jennifer Cole Photo Credits: Erik Fisher

From left to right:  Andy Traub, Erik Fisher, Jeff Sieh, Leslie Samuel, Juan Felix and Jennifer Cole Photo Credits: Erik Fisher's Facebook Page

It's about getting to know a few people very well. My goal wasn't to walk away with tons of new relationships.

It was to nurture a few key relationships in a deep way, and that paid off.

It's important to have a vision.

I'm impressed by Michael Stelzner's vision for Social Media Examiner.

Leslie at SMMW2017 Photo Credit: SMMW Facebook Page

Leslie at SMMW2017 Photo Credit: SMMW Facebook Page

Their vision statement is “All we serve is quality and we serve all with excellence”.

But it's not just a vision statement that is displayed on a wall somewhere. It's a commitment they've made to their audience.

It's a commitment that's reinforced in all meetings and in all they do.

This was tangible in all aspects of the conference and makes me want to strive to do the same thing in my business.

Pay attention to the details that align with your vision.

I know what you're thinking – this is obvious from the last point.

But what really impressed me is how this was emphasized even in the little things.

Here's an example . . .

One of the main focuses of the conference is on the importance of networking.

They had toothbrushes and toothpaste in all restrooms to help to make the verbal networking experience a pleasant one.

If that's not attention to detail, I don't know what else is.

It's essential to build a team.

Photo credit: Mike Stelzner's Facebook page

SMMW 2017 Team Photo credit: Mike Stelzner's Facebook page

Social Media Marketing World is a HUGE event. An event of that caliber needs a strong team.

There were hundreds of people working to make the event a success.

As I build my blog, I want to focus more on building a strong, cohesive team.

Visuals are more important than ever.

Visuals

Visual are important

41% of marketers claim visuals are the most important form of content, more than blogging, videos and podcasting.

That's a huge deal.

I have gotten much better at focusing on visuals (as you can tell by this post). But I want to make it even more of a priority as I move forward.

Video, video, video (especially live).

There's a lot happening in the online video space, and especially with live video.

Video is something I enjoy doing and is an area that I want to spend more time on.

I've already been dabbling with live video, but you can expect to see more coming from me soon.

Message Bots

Message Bots

Messenger bots are the next big thing.

As much as I love my email list and still see it as one of my most valuable assets, open rates are declining over time.

However, messenger bots are still very new and the open rates are astonishing. It’s something I’ve been experimenting with and will continue to do so.

As I learn, I will share with you.

Question for you

Of these nine points of reflection, which do you resonate with most? Let me know in the comments below.

Infographic

SMMW 2017 Reflections

  • Denisha says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I like when you stated that its not
    about having a bunch of relationships, but a few good relationships. Since I have started blogging I have meet some really nice like minded people. I’m in Facebook group, I now desire a team. Again thanks for sharing.
    Grace and peace!

  • Hadarah says:

    Being present is such a huge thing. Huge. I’m looking forward to your fearless Fridays show. Sounds good.

  • Way too many people online not placing emphasis on solving problems.

    People are referring to themselves as bloggers and podcasters instead of problem solvers.

    The typical person that has a problem doesn’t want to deal with a blogger or a podcaster they want a problem solver.

    I guarantee you typical bloggers and podcasters are placing way too much emphasis with their online effort and avoiding cultivating opportunities in their communities and in the real world.

    Marketers are over-complicating the problems and solution game – I contend that visiting the homepage of a typical blogger or podcaster….the average visitor isn’t going to know what solution is being offered.

    Have you ever heard of Zig Ziglar talk about people being a ‘Wandering generality” and not a “meaningful specific”?

    I’ve purged my podcast feed and blog RSS feed by 95%.
    Why should I be consuming other people’s content when I should be creating.

    Big picture observation that I don’t hear people talking about – ” we must exit out of constant learning mode” and start living the life of a producer. Stop being a consumer and start being a producer.

    Leslie, without fail …..
    I look for your update podcast in my feed every week.

    Re: Messenger Bots – I am anticipating a backlash from the consumer.

    • I definitely agree with the problem-solving mentality and the importance of producing. That’s what we do as bloggers and podcasters. I too anticipate a blacklash from the consumer on Messenger bots. But I think FB has thought that through. There’s a backlash to so much of what they’ve done. And some marketers will abuse bots. However, I think it has massive potential for those who use it to provide value.

      Thanks for tuning into the podcast consistently Byron. I appreciate it.

  • Kantis says:

    Thank you for sharing these nine lessons. The three that were most essential to me right now in my business were:

    1. Paying attention to detail.
    2. Video video video
    3. Going deep rather than wide.

    Thanks for being present and sharing this Leslie, you just opened up my eyes.

    • Glad to hear it Kantis, because my eyes are definitely being opened. Let’s do this stuff the right way – valuing relationships over status updates ??

  • Mary Lahti says:

    Leslie, great podcast. I’m the same way, I don’t normally post when I’m away from home even though it is very tempting. YES, being present is SO important. People are losing the communication art and respect of giving full attention which benefits the listener and presenter. As an actor, we hear this all the time. But as a trainer, I still have a hard time accepting this social media behavior of people always having to be online. Anyway, wow, 26 interviews in such a short time. You rock. Thanks for your other shares and observations as well. Always great. Thanks.

  • CJ says:

    Just wanted to say I listen to all your podcasts. Your voice always cheers me up!

    C.J.

  • Barbara says:

    “Being present is better than trying to be everywhere else.” So so true! Excellent article, insightful and engaging. Just found you through SocialMediaExaminer.com and Mike Stelzner, hope to be reading more of your stuff!! :o)

  • Loretta says:

    I love that you set aside the gadgets and were so engaged with everyone ~ 26 interviews in a weekend is kind of amazing all by itself! I haven’t been to a conference in a few years (for health reasons that needed taken care of) and I kind of miss it. Thank you for sharing your experience in such a way to remind me how fun these kind of events are, motivation to get myself back out there again.

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