Once again, I spent an exciting week in San Diego at this year’s SMMW learning about the most up-to-date tools and trends in social media marketing. In case you don’t know, SMMW is the premier social media marketing conference in the industry, and draws people literally from all over the world. The speaker line-up was stellar with up to 10 sessions running concurrently. Rather than cover every little thing that was discussed (as if that was possible), I’ll share the highlights that I feel are most important for small to medium sized businesses.


Facebook is still numero uno.

Despite the decidedly lower reach pages are getting (between 1 and 2%) and the many other social channels businesses could use, no one seems to be leaving Facebook. In fact, over 53% of marketers polled said that they planned to expand their Facebook marketing. Facebook has a humongous following (over 84% of adults on the internet!) and knows more about its users’ behaviors than any other platform. The advertising tools are effective and Facebook Live just launched, making Facebook a serious player in the live streaming space. Which brings me to point number 2…..


Live steaming is going to be big.

In addition to Facebook Live, there is Periscope and the nearly-live option of Snapchat. No longer are selfies enough – you can now bring your customers into your office, your studio, your factories, and other aspects of your businesses with live streaming videos. It’s already a hit with many camera-ready industry experts and thought leaders. And as we all get used to the casual, my-hairs-a-mess-but-here’s-the-real-me vibe of live streaming, you will find that small businesses and large businesses alike will follow suit.


Content is still king.

Forget trying to be on every social channel telling your story. Decide where your customers are and what fits with your business and focus on creating consistent quality content on that channel. Sure, you can repurpose your content onto other networks, but make sure you have a solid content marketing plan to support it. Creating content takes time, energy and know-how. You want to make sure you are sending it through outlets strategically to get the best return.


More people will be getting snappy. It’s true.

What was once a platform for teens to communicate with each other is expanding in many directions and going mainstream. Now, I’m not going to predict that your grandma is going to start snapping anytime soon, but as a business owner you need to decide if your target customer is on Snapchat and if so, start getting familiar with the platform. Again, the style is casual and fun so you’ll need to adjust your marketing to appeal to the 100 million people on it.


Influence marketing is changing shape.

I personally have been amused by the world of influence marketing as it’s developed in the social media space. It’s taken our previous concepts about who can be an influencer and turned it on its head. Now your teenage photo-obsessed neighbor with 100,000 Instagram followers who you never paid attention to before can charge you to share your content, and she might not even give you a deal! Influencer marketing is challenging businesses to re-think who can help them share their story. Oftentimes the most effective influencer marketing campaign is not pushed out by famous people, but by normal people and businesses who have authority on a topic and who can genuinely be a credible spokesperson.

So there you go: five take-aways that I am sure you will keep hearing about for months to come. I will likely dive into each one in more detail in the next couple of months so stay tuned for more of what-to-watch-for in social media marketing.

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