The 5 Hottest Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2016

It’s been a few days since the conclusion of Social Media Marketing World 2016, and the excitement has slightly subsided. But, there are still a few lingering embers from the industry’s hottest social media conference a blaze in our minds…

Social Media Marketing World 2016 | SplashU

If you missed it (and even if you didn’t), we’re going to dig into some of the newest, sexiest, and most relevant quotes, tips and tricks from the expert speakers at this year’s social extravaganza.

So sit tight and put your best selfie face on:

SplashU Selfie

Because here are the 5 hottest takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2016.


Live Video is the New “Video”

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At this year’s conference, there was A LOT of talk about live video. Many panels, talks, and mentions across the board. Even in talks where live video was not a focal point, people would ask something about it in the Q&A section.

Here are your current live streaming options:

  • Facebook Live
  • Periscope
  • Blab

Right now, I am a huge fan of Facebook Live because you probably already have an audience on Facebook and can get started a lot faster with this new feature, rather than build an audience from the ground up, or force someone to migrate.

Not sure you want to jump on the bandwagon? I say JUMP!

There are currently a couple of bonuses to “going live” that can be enjoyed by personal Facebook users (and very soon businesses and brands will have the same capabilities).

When you start broadcasting, your live stream takes priority in the newsfeed. Facebook has worked their algorithm to give people who are using Facebook Live the greatest possible organic reach for the period of their live stream, and up to twenty minutes after.

Not only that, but whenever someone does a live broadcast, everyone who follows that person gets a notification so that they have the opportunity to go watch while the video is live.

This is huge, especially for people with strong Facebook networks that can push their audience to their Facebook pages. Think about this as a way to sidestep Facebook’s dwindled page post reach-pocalypse.

Even though Facebook Live is not yet available for Pages, you should figure out a strategy now so that you too can reap the benefits of massive organic reach once again.

And fortunately, building a live streaming strategy for your brand doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. Guy Kawasaki gave a couple of ideas for future broadcasts in his talk:

  • AMAs (Ask me anything)
  • behind the scenes tours of your company processes and facilities
  • quick tips and tricks
  • interviews
  • product unboxings
  • events

He also goes on to recommend that all of your profile pics across all of your social media accounts should be the same, a close-up image of your face, displayed in an asymmetrical way. It’s important that people can recognize your face while you’re live streaming or when they run into you at an event.

Keep in mind that Facebook Live isn’t your only option.

If you haven’t used Blab yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. I think that the format of being able to have an open conversation helps to change your audience into a community, and that is very important.

But as fond of community as I am, I’ll save that discussion for another post.



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Feel free to add me. I’m new, but getting better at it.


Snapchat was talked about A LOT.

Many people were walking around with their snapcode t-shirts on, and most of the speakers had their snapcode up at some point during their presentation.

Live Video Panel SMMW16

Snapchat is quickly becoming a real opportunity for marketers… and Gary Vaynerchuk never misses an opportunity to remind us of that. He’s not shy about professing his confidence that Snapchat is the future, and it seems that most other industry visionaries agree.

Marcus Sheridan and Gary Vaynerchuk

In his talk with Marcus Sheridan on the main stage, Gary talks about the platform being a huge opportunity, but specifically addresses the fact that you need someone in your company that can handle and understand the platform to best utilize it.

Is that you? Or do you know someone on your team that can handle Snapchat?

If you are looking to stand out in this noisy industry, being able to cultivate a profitable strategy on Snapchat may be the hottest way to go.

Gary also goes on to explain why he plays the long game, which not enough people are trying to do:



While everyone still believes that Facebook is social media’s Goliath, Snapchat is gaining popularity fast, especially if you’re attempting to reach a millennial audience.

You know who’s on Facebook? Grandma. That’s who.

Snapchat Grandma


So, if your Snapchat game is strong, you’re ahead of the curve. But, if you haven’t had the time to fiddle around with the platform yet, it’s time to get on there and start poking around.

I’ll admit that it’s a little confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, it can be quite fun.

In order to craft a winning Snapchat strategy, a few things come into play.

Being able to imaginatively tell a story with Snapchat is something that many big companies are working on.

This is not the place for boring content. Snapchat marketing must be amusing, engaging, and leave a little to the imagination, if you know what I’m saying…

All in all, the goal is to deliver value to your audience in a new and creative way. You want to grab people’s attention, so you need to give them a reason to stick around. Your Snapchat strategy better include more than pictures of your office and lunch break bathroom selfies.

Finding ways to give your audience things to look forward to is at the top of the list for winning at Snapchat. Shaun McBride (or popularly known as “Shonduras”) suggests doing giveaways in exchange for engagements, like asking people to draw a funny face on themselves and snap it to him. He picks a few winners every week and gives them prizes.

He also mentioned that moving people over to Snapchat is hard because everyone is already so overwhelmed with interesting stories. You need to give them an interesting reason to follow you.



Shaun recommends interacting with your followers in ways that you can’t on other platforms. Instead of taking just pictures, really create stories and experiences. Ask your followers to choose things for you to do and do them together.

One last thing he advises is to leave a little mystery in every snap. Don’t leave enough time for the viewer to see the whole thing. Make it disappear faster than it actually takes to view because this will hold people’s attention and get them really interested in following along with your Snapchat story.



While a lot has changed in the world of social media, I don’t think the main problems of Social Media marketers has changed.

Everyone in the industry is noticeably terrible at analytics, tracking, and attribution. It’s painfully clear that marketers need to start with analytics, and as Dennis Yu says, “Install your plumbing.”

Dennis Yu and Mike Stelzner

I was lucky enough to hang out with Dennis a few times throughout the trip and snapped this photo of him and Mike Stelzner right as they are hopping on the Hornblower (a big party boat) for the day 2 party.

I was also able to check out Christopher Penn and his talk on advanced analytics strategy and the customer journey. After just building an inbound funnel for a company, I realized how right he is that we do not control the customer journey, and building a funnel in an attempt to force a flow is really counter-intuitive to letting the customer discover your company/product in the way that they would like to discover it.

He described the customer journey like trying to get from LA to New York. We, as marketers, want the customer to take a direct flight, but this is what is actually happening:

How Our Customers Actually Buy


If you’re a solopreneur, a marketer, or a small business owner where the web is a crucial part of your business, I would HIGHLY recommend spending 5 hours breaking down Google Analytics, getting certified, and understanding how to track a user from clicking on a Facebook post, to converting to a $1,000 sale, and the journey in between.

Being able to track, attribute, and understand your customer’s online experience is the single biggest advantage you can have over your competitors. Especially in this world where so many companies are just scraping by, just getting off the ground, or plain just doing it wrong.

[Tweet “Know thy customer! Know thy customer journey via @SixPeppers”]


Content Marketing

The headline is what gets them to click. Pay more attention to your headline. This is an old truth of social media. Too many marketers are spending too much time on the content and not enough on the headline.



Marcus Sheridan – currently my #1 favorite marketer in the world – truly is a Mad Marketer. He was just a little amped up talking about content marketing and running around the room. As usual, it was a great performance (he’s not acting, but I believe he would still call it a performance). And even though I had already seen this exact talk before, it was the best one of the event.


Marcus Getting Amped

A couple of gems from Marcus Sheridan – @thesaleslion:

“Consumer ignorance is no longer a viable marketing strategy.” The answers are out there, so it’s best to address those questions on your own turf than risk losing a customer to someone else.

“The game we are in is trust.” People don’t buy from companies they don’t trust. Your job as a marketer is to build trust, plain and simple. You don’t sell people, you build trust and let them decide if they want to buy.

“There is no such thing as a social media strategist.” I agree. You are a business strategist who uses social media to acquire, retain, and convert customers. Social media is not the end goal, it is the means to which you gain those things – awareness, retention, etc. This means if you are just concerned with growing a Facebook audience, you are likely missing out on the end goal of building a base of customers. Keep the end goal in mind when focusing on growing your audience.

Always keep the end goal in mind when focusing on growing your audience. #VulpineInteractive Click To Tweet


My biggest takeaway from Marcus Sheridan

Businesses are failing at content marketing because they’re creating all these content pieces but are failing to define a real strategy and journey across their content.

While we aren’t failing at content marketing as a company, I realized that we have too many posts centered around strategies and tactics, and not enough around the questions I get asked all the time through the process of hiring an agency or creating an online business.

Our blog will continue to pump out great strategy articles, you should expect more posts on stuff like “how to hire a marketing agency” and “why my startup should start a blog” and the like. We need to produce content that drives business as well as builds authority, and I think we forgot that somewhere along the way.


Other great content marketing takeaways:


“Delight audiences with content driven experiences.”Robert Rose

Delight audiences with content driven experiences - @Robert_Rose #LikeAFox Click To Tweet

This is also in alignment with Oli Gardner’s philosophy of being in the business of delight.


“Start with the customer experience and work your way backward to develop the technology.” Robert Rose

Instead of thinking about your product and features, think about what end goals and experiences your customer wants, and build the product from there.


“Podcasting is the one form of content marketing that you can’t skim.” -Michael Stelzner

[Tweet “Podcasting is the one form of content marketing that you can’t skim. @Mike_Stelzner”]

It’s a good quote, but I disagree. You can skim it, and you can skip the commercials. I do all the time, especially the first 5 minutes of Tim Ferris’s podcast.


“Make your customer feel smart.” -Ann Handley

Make your customer feel smart. @Marketingprofs #LikeAFox Click To Tweet

This speaks to those scare tactic buzz articles (which we have done ourselves) like “8 things you are doing wrong with X” and “Why your Y will fail.” It’s better to make them feel smart, than stupid. Overusing fear as a motivator may come back to bite you in the butt.


Influencer Marketing

Lee Odden Quote

I’m convinced!

We are changing focus of our marketing efforts to go “all-in” on influencer marketing. It’s worked well for us in the past, and helped get our Top 10 Digital Marketing Agencies in San Diego blog post to #1. Now it’s time to expand that strategy across the board.

Dennis Yu talked a lot about how targeting influencers, such as employees at major publications, for only $1 a day can get you massive exposure.

Stop thinking about how you reach your end users, and think about how you reach the influencers of your end users.

Create content that gets an end-user and you’ve got one extra set of eyeballs. Create content that influences the influencers and grow your business exponentially.

What do you think? Are you going to go all-in on Influencer Marketing with us?


Final Thoughts

The main takeaway from the conference for me was all about creating content-driven experiences with social media. So in 2016, the top social media skill to have is an understanding of your customers, and the ability to create interesting, engaging content from a perspective that hasn’t been seen before. Track their experience with your company from end to end to prove out ROI and get “buy-in” from the bosses (or in small businesses this is simply just being confident that you can spend $1,000 and get back $1,100).

What do you think? Are there any additional takeaways you got from Social Media Marketing World 2016? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

And don’t forget, if you learned something, share it:

Just discovered 5 takeaways from #SMMW16 on #VulpineInteractive. You should check 'em out here: Click To Tweet

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