Well it’s been an intense two days here in San Diego at Social Media Marketing World, the breakout sessions and keynote talks have been absolutely outstanding. The Conference takes place at a pivotal moment as many social platforms grapple with important big issues.
Facebook for example, has undertaken a wellbeing initiative focused on improving their users experience using social media and promoting healthy behaviors. The move comes partly in response to ripple effects from the 2016 election and growing public concern about social media addiction and the threat to Democracy.
The big story of the conference was Facebook’s recent moves to radically change the news feed and how marketers are going to have to adjust their marketing playbook if they want to work with Facebook. On the final day there was a panel discussion moderated by Molly Pittman titled “Facebook Messenger bots: an Alternative Future For Marketers and Creators.” The panel included Mikael Yang from ManyChat, Andrew Yaroshevsky from ChatFuel and Linda Lee from Facebook’s Strategic Partnerships team. There’s a lot of excitement for the technology, but now a lot of mistrust and trepidation from marketers worried that Facebook may change course again.
Molly offered some great advice in telling the audience to ratchet down some of the entitlement and pointed out again that Facebook is only doing right by their users and if less people use Facebook because marketers have ruined it there. There may not be an audience for us to reach.
“If people are not having a good experience on Facebook and they are deleting their accounts or not spending as much time on the platform, we have less people to reach out to as marketers.
I understand your concern, but I think we need to back the entitlement down a little bit in terms of Facebook, and realize that we get to play in someone else’s sandbox, and it’s our job to adapt to the changes that the platform makes.”
- Molly Pittman
I went to several sessions on LinkedIn and one stand out was “How To Use LinkedIn Ads to Crush Your Marketing Goals” with AJ Wilcox. AJ’s built a solid reputation in social media as being the go-to resource on all things LinkedIn, and his honest advice was to use LinkedIn ads if you were selling B2B services with a high price point and longer sales cycle. Since being acquired by Microsoft LinkedIn has really started to emerge as a viable platform for B2B marketers with white papers ebooks or webinars being the sweet spot assets to advertise. AJ wouldn’t recommend advertising top funnel content, and I thought this was really good advice. You wouldn’t necessarily be promoting blog posts per se.
Finally Mark Schaefer presented “10 Mind Bending Ideas For Our Social Media Future” delivered in countdown format. Mark went through his run-down which included the decline of search as we know it, and the emergence of voice search and the smart speaker, and the competition which is raging with the major platforms for the ears of the consumer. Mark also talked about how more people are using private social networks and messaging apps, and the behavioral changes driving that trend. He thinks people are tired of being social shamed and are starting to share privately and sharing only short stories or pictures that can disappear quickly.
Mark also sees Chat Bots and improved customer experience particularly the high transaction industries like airlines or insurance. The complexity may keep the majority of businesses away for two to three years. But it was a very visionary talk.
The bottom line for me is to be successful, marketers are going to have to stop thinking in terms of driving more leads, and start thinking more in terms of starting conversations, making their marketing more personal.
And that’s my wrap up from Social Media Marketing World in San Diego.