Main Menu
Main Menu
Main Menu

Value over viral – a theme of #SMMW18

04.06.18 Jeff Hoffelt

There have been a lot of social media changes this year. Algorithm updates. Organic reach decline. Metric shifts. Data security.

At Filament, we watch these changes closely. Through early 2018 updates, we predicted strong social media would not only survive but thrive. The updates prioritize meaningful interactions, valuable content and smart targeting – the foundations of our clients’ social media efforts.

I traveled to San Diego in early March for Social Media Marketing World 2018 (#SMMW18) to chat with other social media marketers.

Here are a few trends from the event:

Facebook still #1

One answer I wanted was if marketers were shifting from Facebook. It was answered immediately by Social Media Examiner’s 5,700-person survey.

Top digital marketer Mari Smith said it best: “Facebook is still the biggest opportunity for smart, savvy marketers who focus on relationships first.”

She said the Jan. 11 algorithm change could actually help adaptable marketers hone their efforts to better reach the right people. Besides Facebook’s unmatched targeting, she highlighted growing Facebook technologies – Facebook Watch, Messenger, Groups, Instagram and WhatsApp – and shared brand successes.

My key takeaway? It’s all about relationships. We will likely see overall reach decline as platforms focus on the “right content, right person” model. Relevant content that creates conversations will be rewarded. The best pages will have community managers who are great listeners, great helpers and who make customers feel valued.

“At its core, social media has always been about people helping people,” said Brian Solis, Altimeter.

“Content is king, but engagement is queen, and she rules the house,” Smith added.

Value over viral

With social ad space becoming more competitive, marketers will need to work smarter to have the same results. We need to make sure we are targeting the right people with the right content.

Speakers advised focusing on engagements as a top KPI. No matter the platform, the future is in quality engagements over quantity impressions. People who engage are more likely to connect and ultimately purchase.

“Create super-fans,” said Pat Flynn, Flynndustries. “Be a regular brand who irregularly cares about the people that follow you. Make everyone feel part of the team.”

In the past, brands could post engaging content and have success. We now need to elevate that content with paid support and targeting. Many predicted we will need to spend more to have the same results.

“Be present where you can make the biggest impact with decision makers,” added Rich Brooks, The Lead Machine. “Don’t try to be everywhere and reach everyone. Value always trumps viral.”

Other trends

With more than 120 sessions, there were a lot of actionable takeaways. I arrived back to Filament with two full notebooks. Here’s a quick look at eight top trends:

  1. Create connections and conversations. Be a brand your audience knows, likes and trusts.
  2. Social advertising is more important than ever. Spend more and target smarter to have the same results.
  3. Empower your team and customers to tell your brand story; they are some of our best influencers.
  4. Don’t limit yourself to Facebook. Evaluate and test other platforms. Compare cost per engagement (CPE) by platform.
  5. Look into automation, chatbots and virtual reality. They can be built with new software options.
  6. Remember video. Eighty percent of online content is expected to be video by 2020. Live streaming is the future.
  7. Create episodic content or an online series to keep people coming back.
  8. Focus on website content. Drive people to your site through social, affiliate mentions, referrals and lead magnets. Then secure emails to build your own

Want a deeper dive into any of these topics? Let us know and we’ll be glad to share more!

Jeff Hoffelt
Jeff Hoffelt