4 light-bulb moments from SMMW conference

April 17-19 was Social Media Marketing World – a conference where the best of the best from the social media industry gathered to speak, network and hear the latest from the social hemisphere.

There were so many speakers, workshops, networking events, and photo opportunities it was almost overwhelming. You certainly couldn’t see and do everything. I’m sharing with you four light-bulb moments for me at #SMMW16.

1. Strategy

It came out in most of the talks – strategy must come first. You can’t just jump on the next new social platform because it seems ‘cool’ or was recently launched (Snapchat, Facebook live etc.). Just because it is the newest hottest thing doesn’t mean it is right for your marketing.

Consider if it is relevant to your audience and develop a plan before joining. How will you produce the content? Who will provide the content?

2. The value of consistency

This point came out in Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcast workshop – as part of your plan you need a content strategy. If your plan is to produce content every day or week or month: how will you do that? Do you have the resources? And is it sustainable?

Whatever the platform, keep your promise to your audience to deliver. The best way to lose an audience is not to produce consistently. And it isn’t unusual – the majority of podcasts don’t get past the seventh episode.

I learned the power of consistency this one the hard way through the Forge and Smith Instagram. We had the idea for one week, to post at least two images a day. We wanted to see what engagement we earned from it and what were the most effective posting times.

We went from 1-3 images a week to 10 images. We weren’t being consistent and lost some valuable engaged followers. Those people saw more posts than they were expecting, and unfollowed.

Those new followers we gained from the additional posts would have probably found us anyway down the track; but getting those lost followers back likely won’t happen. We had no intention of posting more than one image per day long-term. We weren’t being consistent – and it affected us.

3. Your most important digital marketing asset

Joe Pulizzi’s Content Marketing workshop made a point that was so obvious I couldn’t believe I wasn’t aware of it.

Of all the social media: Likes on Facebook; Followers, Retweets and Faves on Twitter; Comments and likes on Instagram; even connections on LinkedIn; what do you own? The truth is, none of them.

Those social platforms own it, and control them and what they see (and of course, are now charging businesses to market to those followers). Marketers have limited control.

So what is most valuable asset in digital marketing and social media? Email subscribers. You own the list and can control (mostly) what they see and when from your business.

Facebook, Twitter and Google are all constantly changing their various algorithms (and their terms and conditions). Who you reach, and how you reach those followers today can change tomorrow.

This graphic shows Joe Pulizzi’s “Yay! to Boo!” scale on the value of platforms:

4. The pee-cicle

Jeff Sieh (of Manly Pinterest Tips) session was in the last round and was definitely one of the most lively (and my favourite). One takeaway, and now favourite word around the office, was about a ‘pee-cicle’.

Jeff started with an elaborate story from his younger years. As a boy Jeff didn’t want to go downstairs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night; so decided to pee out the window. His father asked him if he was doing this, Jeff said no and claimed that it must have been a dog. Unfortunately though it was winter, and a urine icicle (or pee-cicle) had formed pointing towards Jeff’s bedroom window. The pee-cicle gave him away.

The takeaway from this was that all of your content will lead back to you (or your brand). The good and the bad. Make sure you don’t have any nasty pee-cicles pointing towards you.

The conference ticket included video recordings of all the sessions – I’m looking forward to watching them and hearing what the other speakers offered; and sharing some more light bulb moments. Stay tuned!

Have you had any lightbulb moments lately, or pee-cicle’s? Share them on Twitter @damianjo. Let me know what was your favourite light-bulb moment.