Social Media World came “back,” bigger and better after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. The show is each year in March in San Diego, and the team at Social Media Examiner blows it off the roof as one of the absolutely best shows I attend each year. If you have the budget, get it and go to it. #lovethisshow. Here are my own random notes and thoughts from Social Media Marketing World 2022.
- The Metaverse. With the name change at Facebook in the rearview mirror, everything is coming up “meta,” and not just “meta,” but NFT’s, Crypto, VR / AR, and all of that. I’m still kind of skeptical about what this means for “marketing” if not technology. Will we really be using NFTs? Will Crypto be that big of a thing for your average small business that currently places ads on Facebook, Instagram, etc.? Not clear. Some key speakers were Joel Comm and Cathy Hackl. Take-aways: pay attention to everything “meta,” but also be skeptical. This is either going to be big or it’s going to be like “beanie-babies” (or possibly some of both), and it’s not clear how much of it is truly relevant to media and marketing vs. tech more generally.
- Metrics and Conversions. Social media marketers aren’t the best known as being pro-metric. Much can be measured, but – to be honest- we all struggle to measure it. Speakers like John Janttsch (emphasized the relevance of referrals, encouraging referrals, much in the vein of Talk Triggers). The Take-away here is to figure out what our goals and KPIs are and how to measure them using tactics like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixels / Facebook Conversion API, etc. But first you have to know what your business does, who wants what you sell, and what actions you desire from your social media efforts. Even GA4 came up as the “new” measurement tool to replace Google Analytics. Take-aways – learn to measure, and make measurement a priority.
- TikTok. Many sessions on TikTok, though – in my humble opinion – the incredible trends coming out of TikTok (recommendation engines and the critical (!) importance of content marketing) were getting swamped because the movers and shakers have doubled and tripled downed on the “MetaVerse.” In the near-term, focus more on TikTok, trends towards the recommendation engine, and content marketing; maybe in the long term, the MetaVerse. But then again, maybe not (ever). Another subtheme: the trend towards content being “entertainment” rather than “friends.”
- Facebook Animosity. MANY speakers and MANY people in the audience were very negative on Facebook, including Mike Stelzner (creator of Social Media Marketing World). Complaints about the interface, complaints about Zuckerberg taking his eye off the ball (his main revenue source being Facebook and Instagram), the slavish imitation of other innovators (TikTok), etc. Even polling data of marketers that they are decreasing rather dramatically their focus on Facebook at both organic and advertising level. Facebook is in trouble and this was a clear subtheme of the show; but, like the Titanic, it may take quite a long time to either sink or jettison the “captain” and get another one. Stelzner made a big deal of Chris Dixon’s S Curve, which is worth reading about, here.
- Weird Technical Details. For example, Judi Fox explained that you can and should turn on “creator” mode on LinkedIn, and this “creator” mode exists on other platforms such as TikTok. By enabling it you get some cool features (depending on the platform). Another tip was from Elise Darma, on using “templates” to create video content for TikTok and a very systematic way. She also identified the Snaptik.app site where you can take a TikTok recording, upload it, remove the watermark and then share it across other platforms. She also emphasized the you should record in 4G for best quality as it will nonetheless be downgraded on each platform.