Insights from the Social Media Marketing World 2017 Conference

I was in San Diego last month at the “Social Media Marketing World“, one of the largest gathering of social media people in the US (over 3,000 attendees).

It’s fair to say that the world of social media marketing is fast moving and changing at the speed of light.

It’s my job to stay tuned to what’s next!

Below are some of the pearls and highlights of what I heard and saw.

1-Facebook is the 800lb gorilla in the room
Facebook grew from 55% of the market share in 2016 to 62% of the market share already in 2017. All the data is showing that Facebook is by far the largest and most popular social media network and getting bigger by the minute. Behind Facebook is Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

(From Michael Stelzner’s Opening Keynote)

2-Facebook organic reach is dead (on life support)
If you want to reach your audience from your business Facebook page, you’ll need to pay for Ads. Your organic reach has been declining steadily since 2015 and is now in the 3-5% range at best. Which means that if you have 100 followers on your FB page, about 3-5 people will see it….that’s it.

If you want to reach all your followers and beyond, you better get used to paying for Ads.

(From Michael Stelzner’s Opening Keynote)

(Slide showing Fan Growth (top chart) vs. Organic Reach of same audience (bottom chart)

3-Frequency is not the answer
The data shows that posting multiple times on any social network doesn’t help. Once a day is sufficient. Just make it a good post. Quality will win over Quantity every time.

(From Michael Stelzner’s Opening Keynote)

4-Facebook Ads are cheap…for now
The general consensus was that Facebook Ads were still very cheap compared to other forms of advertising, traditional or digital. But this won’t last long. We anticipate that as demand grows for Facebook Ads, the cost will climb.

For now, Google Ads are disproportionally expensive and Facebook Ads are disproportionally cheap. We expect this trend to reverse sometime in 2018.

(Attended Anissa Holmes session: How Local Businesses Can Triple Their Growth With Facebook)

5-It’s all about videos baby
That’s what we want to consume all day long. Videos are proving to be the best way to reach the largest audience. Our tests show x4 more reach with a video vs. a picture post.

Facebook live is also getting huge but most people (including us) have no clue on how to make good use of it….yet!

(Attended Mari Smith’s session: How To Improve Your Facebook Marketing ROI)


6-Stop writing blogs like it’s 2012
The days of writing “600-800 words” blogs on a daily basis are over. Just stop it, save your money and your time. High-quality content rules in 2017.

Your blogs need to be well written, with tons of research, interesting & resourceful. Tell a story and be authentic is the way to go.

Here is an example of the types of blogs you need to write:

(Attended Ann Handley’s session: How to create breakthrough “written” marketing content)


7-Artificial Intelligence (AI) is happening fast
Everything that can be automated will. That’s just a fact. And you shouldn’t be afraid of it. Automation mostly happens to make our life easier and more efficient.

Case & point was a large company that conducted an accounting audit. They hired a team of people and got it done in 3 months. Then they used “Watson AI from IBM” and it was completed in 7 minutes!!…and it discovered 40% more discrepancies than the humans.

Seth Godin wrote a brilliant blog on the subject called “23 things artificially intelligent computers can do better/faster/cheaper than you can”

(Attended Chris Penn’s session: The Social Media Marketer’s Guide to Artificial Intelligence)


Conclusion & Final Thoughts:

The digital marketing industry is still in its infancy. Things are moving fast and there’s no sign of slowing down anytime soon. I’m very excited to be in an industry that is very vibrant and fun.

I’m planning on going back to San Diego next year.

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Antoine DupontInsights from the Social Media Marketing World 2017 Conference

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