Wow. SMMW16 was awesome. Not only was I back in my most beloved town, San Diego, but I was surrounded by incredible marketers, entrepreneurs, and successful people all talking about social media. The pull to go to the beach or listen to one more incredible session was so tough! Luckily, I went a couple days early to see the ocean and spent the last two days fully immersed in the conference. I also connected with an amazing company and am now in charge of their social media. You just never know where a 5 minute conversation will lead. Here is what else I learned:
- Snapchat is not just for teens-I was really hoping to avoid getting on Snapchat. I have still resisted but may finally decide to jump into the mix. It is not a platform for just teens. Businesses, managers, executives, and more are using it and really enjoying it with success.
- Video is big and is only getting bigger- Yes. As we have seen with Facebook Live, video is huge. A Facebook Live video gets way more engagement than a normal post. I have been trying to embrace this as well. Baby steps.
- Not everyone has it together.-Thank goodness. I think when we are online we often perceive people to be really successful or really happy. Remember, people want you to see them at their best. Not very often do we post about the tough stuff. It is nice to meet people in person and have real conversations. Some people may look successful but that doesn’t mean they are making any money or have any clients. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t beat yourself up. This is your journey. Embrace it.
- Meeting face to face is so important and vital to any relationship-Yes, it is great that we can connect and make friends with almost anyone through social media, Skype, and the internet. However, if you have the chance to meet in person, do it. There is no substitute for hearing each other’s voice, looking each other in the eyes, and really having a conversation. Things come up in real life that may, or may not, ever come up over the phone or email.
- You never know where a 5 minute conversation will lead-This was said from the Director of Events from Social Media Marketing World, Phil Mershon, and it proved to be so true. I spoke to several people whom I am now happily connected with. I even spoke with a business owner who was looking for a social media manager. I raised my hand and told him I wanted to be on his team. He said yes! I have been with them for a little over 30 days now and it is incredible. And also totally unexpected. When you are sitting there waiting for a coffee, or checking out at the grocery store, don’t be afraid to talk to the person next to you. You really never know where a 5 minute conversation will lead you.
- Red Eyes will kill you- Seriously. I am not sure if it was the 3 hour time difference, the information overload, the 9 hour shift, or the actual red eye home but when I arrived in Washington, DC on Wednesday morning it took all I had to grab an Uber home and crawl into bed. I stayed in that bed for 2 days. I battled fevers, shakes, the whole nine yards. You know you are sick when even your sweet little boys can’t convince you to get out of bed. So much for getting back early and getting things done. Note to self: no more red eyes.
- It’s Ok to be Human-The closing keynote was by Mark Schaffer. One of the last things he said was, “be human”. If you really want to rock your online marketing, be human. This is so true in so many areas, not just social. I was so worried about my clients and all of my deliverables yet I was so sick I couldn’t even see straight. I emailed all of my clients and told them I was sick and you know what happened? Nothing. They told me to rest. They told me to get better. They are human too and they get it.
Social Media Marketing World was absolutely awesome. If you are a marketer and debating whether or not to go, GO! You will learn so much and meet so many amazing people. Go early or stay late. Sign up for the dinners and connect with people as often as you can. If you are a small business, GO! Again, you will learn so much and it is fun! And who wouldn’t want to spend 3 days in San Diego?