Every spring, thousands of marketing enthusiasts come from all over the world to the convention center in downtown San Diego for Social Media Marketing World. They come to network, and attend workshops and in-depth talks from the top social media marketing experts in their current field. These speakers are well versed in areas such as social platforms, e-mail marketing, content creation, and even obscure things like chatbots and software that allows you to stream live in the best quality from multiple accounts at once. Each year I attend for my media business Triple Peak Media, and my husband attends for his business QuestFusion, and each year, my mind is blown. (Here are Patrick’s top 10 takeaways from the conference.) I always learn so many new things. It is so tough to narrow down the things I have learned, but I will try. Here is my overview video of the entire conference this year. It lasted 3 days and was filled with selfies, video blogs, and meeting new people! Take a look:

Here are the top 5 things I learned from Social Media Marketing World conference this year:

1. Find your specific expertise. You do NOT have to be an expert at everything online.

In fact, it works to your disadvantage when you try to do everything you can possibly do. If you’re on every social platform and using every different software, you can get overwhelmed quick. What I found most interesting was in the session about how to become a speaker at SMMW, Phil Mershon and CEO of Social Examiner, Michael Stelzner, were explaining in great detail exactly what it takes to be a speaker in one of these sessions or workshops.

Michael Stelzner Social Media Marketing World

One of the biggest requirements is that the person is very enthusiastic about ONE aspect. They live and breathe that part of the overall picture, and they know more about it than almost anyone out there. The requirements were not that you made a certain amount of money, or had a certain amount of followers, but that you know what you were talking about when it came to ONE thing. Although this was specifically for getting on the speaker list for this conference, I think it actually showcases a HUGE point. If you want the most amount of people to relate to you and be interested in your message, products and services, you need to be very specific.

2. Become OBSESSED with providing value.

I think this point was apparent in almost every single session I was in. From Zach King to Marcus Sheridan and so many others, every speaker was pretty excited about their topic and how their talk could help people immediately. They had become obsessed with this specific topic over the past year, and they brought their absolute best to the conference. Do this with your audience, and work every single day to bring new value in your current market.

3. Start a LIVE show!

This point was brought up over and over again. Almost every speaker has a specific time of the week that they do a live broadcast, and they train their audience over time to be prepared for that live time. Many of the speakers called it a “show” but I quickly found out that even a 5 minute broadcast from your phone can be a “show” you simply have to pick a time, and be consistent. The people who have started a weekly broadcast have risen in popularity over the past few years dramatically, and with social media marketing on the rise, I do not see this plan as being out of date anytime soon. I plan to start a show…as soon as I can think of a good title. (I’m thinking “Be Bold” or “No Boundaries” something like that?!) I am sure many conference attendees walked away with the same thought. (So..you will be seeing lots of live shows popping up soon.)

4. Find a way to incorporate chat bots into your business. If not now, in the next 6-12 months.

Bots are coming. In a scary and yet exciting fashion. As marketers we get SO giddy about complicated things like bots that can turn our conversion into GOLD! I am not 100% sold on the fact that I NEED a bot for my business yet, but,..yes I guess I am and fear is what is holding me back. I did not attend the workshop of “How to Setup a Chat Bot in 45 Minutes” but since as an attendee I have access to every recording from every session, I can go back and listen to it and craft a bot for myself. If you haven’t thought about bots for your business, spend one day online interacting with brands and I guarantee you will interact with at least one bot throughout that day. They are everywhere, and they are actually quite helpful! Use them, or be swallowed alive by your competition who is using them.

5. Create SHAREABLE content.

This is the most important thing I took away from Social Media Marketing World this year. (Oh, by the way, I was also involved in the SMMW choir which is always a great time! If you like choir at all, I highly suggest it!!) If you wouldn’t share your content online, why should anyone else? This was by far my biggest takeaway, and made me think about everything I post. Does it have a clear message? Is it funny or over-the-top informative. Think about the things you share to your timeline. What makes them unique? Create content that everyone feels like they cannot live without telling their friends about.

I learned 281157293746 other things this year, but these 5 will stick in my head for the next year, until the next conference! (I already have my ticket!) Have you been to SMMW? Let me know how your experience was!!