Social Media Marketing World 2017 Recap and Takeaways

My adventure to Social Media Marketing World 2017 got off to a rocky start.

My alarm went off at 2:45am ADT (10:45pm PDT -1) and I quickly brushed my teeth and ran a brush through my hair–that is all that’s required when you’re going to sleep on a plane, right? Tina’s car inched up the hill in a snowstorm, looking for the house number, so I flashed the lights to let them know they’d found me. I set about checking all the pockets, making sure I had my phone, passport, wallet, tablet, chargers, etc. Then I stepped outside in the frigid cold, wearing sneakers and a light jacket. The sneakers were a mistake. Apparently we’d had some freezing rain the night before, too. My feet found the first step, but missed the last three completely and I slid down the wooden steps, throwing my carry on into the snow bank and landing unceremoniously on my behind. Being a social media addict, the first thing I did was find my phone in my back pocket to make sure the screen wasn’t smashed. Just then Tina looked up and I gave her a big “thumbs up” to indicate I was ok. In fact, the only evidence of the fall were the skid marks through the snow and a small cut on my thumb.

Luckily, the rest of the trip, and the conference didn’t follow suit! If you’re curious about the types of things one might learn at a conference like this, here are my best learnings, action items and takeaways from this year.

Lessons from Social Media Marketing World 2017

Opening Keynote

Social Media Marketing World registration
I made it to SMMW17 in one piece!

Two thousand nine hundred and ninety five social media marketers all gasped in unison when Michael Stelzner said the average Facebook Page, according to Social Media Examiner’s study, was posting eight times per day. Eight. Times. Per. Day! I’ve unfollowed many Pages for posting that often. Nobody wants you to fill up their newsfeed with only their stuff! He went on to explain how Page reach is declining and ad space is filling up. And so, the first major takeaway from Social Media Marketing World 2017 came in the form of Stelzner educating the other five marketers in the room who didn’t gasp, that they are wasting their time.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Frequency is not the answer to algorithm.’ – @Mike_Stelzner #SMMW17 ” quote=”‘Frequency is not the answer to algorithm.’ Michael Stelzner” theme=”style5″]

Thank goodness and hallelujah! I see the look of fear when I tell a class of small business owners they need to post once or twice per day on Facebook. I can’t even imagine what they would think if I told them they needed to post eight times per day!

There are only two ways to get around the newsfeed algorithm right now: live video and advertising. The good ol’ days of posting and having 80 or 90% reach to your fans is gone. The only organic way to reach high numbers right now is live video. And if you can’t do that, it’s time to put your money where your content is.

Analytics Sessions

This year my focus for sessions was on measurement, analytics and ROI. I attended three amazing sessions on the topic: Dennis Wu, Andy Crestodina and Ian Cleary. Each session focused on something different and gave me a ton of info to process.

  1. Dennis Yu clearly eats data for breakfast. I think he could ready your Facebook insights with his eyes closed. In this session I learned how to promote popular video content to gain even more traction (although, if I get a video featured on Ellen, I’m not sure I will want MORE traction). He also talked about the importance of looking at the 10 second video view metrics more than the three second video view metrics. It can take someone three seconds just to stop your video, but if they watch 10 seconds, they’re probably actually watching and interested.
  2. Andy Crestodina walked us through some very important, basic Google Analytics settings, like filtering out your own IP address from your website traffic. I have to go back and watch that part again as I still haven’t managed to do that. He also showed how to filter out common spam bots from your traffic. Both of these things will make your metrics more authentic reflections of your actual traffic. Google analytics is one of those things that seems overwhelming, but Andy makes it look very easy…and I’m sure when I have the video in front of me and he’s walking me through it again, it will be!
  3. Ian Cleary is the tool guy. He talked about many different tools to help you measure and analyze different aspects of your social media, but the tool that stuck with me was Social Warfare. It’s a WordPress plugin that has many benefits, including those pretty purple sharing buttons just below where you’re reading. It also auto-adds UTM tracking codes to the links shared from those buttons, which makes your Google analytics that much more efficient. Installing Social Warfare was one of the first things I did when I got back from the conference. And then I realized I even met the founder, Dustin Stout, at one of the sessions.

[clickToTweet tweet=”‘Analytics is like going to the gym: you hate the work, but you love the results’ @iancleary” quote=”‘Analytics is like going to the gym: you hate the work, but you love the results’ @iancleary” theme=”style5″]

Promotion Formulas

Another area I focused on this year was how to promote live streams, videos and my upcoming ebook on how to use Hootsuite. Unlink so many online webinars, and free courses, these speakers laid it ALL on the line and gave out truly useful, step-by-step information that I will not only use in my business, but will be able to implement for clients.

  1. Yaro Starak provided a great workshop on email automation and a formula for a welcome sequence to engage newcomers to your list. He reinforced the importance of owning your list and segmenting your audiences.
  2. Amy Porterfield wowed me with her 4 week live stream promotion formula. I know, I know. Everyone has been telling me for years that Amy is awesome and, well, now I know why. Stay tuned as I follow her formula to promote my Hootsuite ebook soon.
  3. Kim Garst’s session fit nicely with Amy’s as Kim gave more tips on how to do live videos and how to promote them. The best advice she had? “Serve, don’t sell.” If your live streams are valuable, people will come back.
  4. Chalene Johnson is another name I’ve often heard, but never really checked out. In her closing keynote she really packed in tons of information in her formula for how to structure your live stream sales videos.k

Content Planning

Blogs and stories and snaps, oh my! So much content, so little time. Planning the types of content you can provide will ease the stress immensely. I attended a few sessions that focused on building and planning your content strategies.

  1. Heidi Cohen stressed the importance of having a blog mission statement to guide your efforts. She provided her proven blog format and discussed the five types of posts everyone needs to have a long-lasting blog:
    • #SMMW17 attendee numbers
      A different kind of analytics!


    • FAQs
    • Cyclical
    • Crowd Pleasers
    • Long-playing
  2. Joe Pulizzi also talked about the importance of having a blogging mission statement on which to focus. He said you have to build your base before you can harvest the audience. You can’t start out asking people to do things if you haven’t built the relationships first. Once you’ve built up your base, then you can monetize your blog in a multitude of ways.
  3. Mitch Joel turned every formula you’ve ever read on its head and said “start with the tactics”, then worry about the format, frequency and distribution. He also said maybe we should “Do as I say, not as I do.” He also gave us permission to post our blog content on Medium, LinkedIn and Facebook Notes all at the same time. (I’d love to know what Andy Crestodina thinks of that strategy re: SEO!)

Most Interesting Session

For me, the most interesting session was Molly Pittman’s session on Facebook Messenger and bots. If you’ve been hanging around for a while you already know I’m playing with Facebook Messenger Rooms and now I can’t wait to add in the bot experience. Molly described how Facebook Messenger Ads currently work and how they can be used to build a list, either in email or a Messenger distribution list. When she said she gets an 80-90% open rate on her broadcast messages I was sold! Look for me to be testing these features out soon.

Least Useful Sessions

In a conference this big there are bound to be a few duds. I experienced two this year, one of which I actually walked out of because I just wasn’t getting anything from her…but with the quality of speakers and information presented above, you really have to knock it out of the park to keep up.

Three Big Takeaways

With 23 pages of handwritten notes what were my most memorable moments? The most important learnings? My biggest takeaways?

  1. Frequency is not the solution to algorithim.
  2. It’s time to pay to play. Social media is no longer free.
  3. I need to get back into the live stream business. I really miss having a weekly live show on Blab. So, I’m adding live streaming back onto my to-do list for this year.


SMMW17 group photo
SMMW17 Maritimes Squad Photo: Kerra Aucoin

Will you be joining me in at SMMW19? I’ve already bought my ticket.





7 thoughts on “Social Media Marketing World 2017 Recap and Takeaways”

  1. Great post, so many social media avenues to discover and try, you always point the way! Thanks for sharing Anita, I always look forward to your expertise 🙂

  2. Pingback: 20 Types of Conference Blog Post Content You Can Use - Internet Marketing Club

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