The 3rd annual Social Media Marketing World is, without a doubt, the largest gathering of the world's most influential social media juggernauts. With the likes of Mari Smith, Guy Kawasaki, Ann Handley, Chris Brogan and Jay Baer (just to name a few), it’s clear to see that host Social Media Examiner has a pretty incredible Rolodex to call on for impactful, educational and engaging sessions. Over the course of two days, 2500+ attendees (plus virtual attendees) take in 150+ sessions with more than 100 speakers.
The two-day attendee conference kicked off with Founder/CEO Michael Stelzner’s recap of their 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, a survey of 3700+ marketers. Of those marketers, 58% spend 10 hours a week on social media, and 14% spend a mind-blowing 40+ hours a week on social media.
Trend 1: YouTube Is Powerful
Stelzner started out with an anecdote about the widely known iPhone 6 debacle, also known as #BendGate, and how it became a global story because of one blogger’s unboxing video on YouTube. Bottom line= YouTube is majorly powerful.
- 56% of marketers want to improve their YouTube knowledge
- 66% plan on increasing activities in 2015
Related Article: Under the Radar Digital Trends You Need to Know About
Trend 2: Social Drives Traffic
There are no “buts” about it: social media drives traffic, according to 78% of marketers. Get the most out of your linking by adding UTM parameters to your links, but more on that in trend 8.
Trend 3: Native Video Is An Untapped Frontier
Stelzner called 2015 the “year of native video,” and this has arguably been one of the biggest topics of #SMMW15. With Facebook’s major emphasis (and rewards by way of reach) put on native video and recently announced embeddable video, they are poised to become a major threat to YouTube.
- There has been a 360% increase in Facebook video publishing
- 57% of marketers are using video
- 72% of marketers plan on increasing use of video & want to learn more
- Small percentage of marketers are using:
- Instagram 36%
- Vine 4%
- Snapchat 2%
Related Article: Lights, Camera, Action: Ways to Add More Value to Video Marketing
Trend 4: Facebook is BIG for marketers
Think Facebook is dying? Think again.
- 93% of marketers are on Facebook
- 51% say Facebook is MOST important
Trend 5: Facebook Is Actually Growing
Not only is Facebook not dying, it’s a growing venue for marketers. Stelzner mentioned that
- 62% of marketers are increasing activity in 2015
- 67% of marketers want to learn more
Trend 6: Marketers Pause Before Adopting
When a new product/platform hits the market, marketers are not necessarily the early adopters you might think they are. They may be aware of the next new thing, but marketers are more likely to take a pause before focusing their efforts. In my opinion, this is likely because of the inability to prove ROI in the early days.
- 4% I actively engage and evangelize my presence on the network
- 19% I only register my handle/username on the social network
- 9% I try to engage on the network but don’t evangelize my presence there.
- 8% I am skeptical and wait and see what happens
Trend 7: Podcasting=Greenfield
Thanks to the true crime slash legal slash docu-style reporting podcast Serial, podcasting has become a focus for brands. No longer just left to big media, podcasting is taking off for subject-matter experts, and they’ve surpassed big media in popularity.
- Only 9% of marketers participate in podcasting (Up from 6% in 2014)
- 42% want to learn more about podcasting
- 26% plan on increasing podcasting activities
Trend 8: Measurement IS Attainable
Long gone are the days when social media was a giant question mark in terms of measurement and ROI. There’s no doubting that our tactics are working (or not working, for that matter) because the analytics and solutions exist.
One of the most talked-about tools at this years’ conference is the usage of UTMs, or “Urchin Traffic Monitor,” for Google Analytics. Go here to learn how to do it for your company or brand.
Announcing: Social Media Marketing Society
The biggest upcoming trend for marketers is not even a trend at all; it’s the big announcement made by Social Media Examiner at the end of Stelzner’s Keynote. The brains behind Social Media Examiner have created a resource and networking hub called the Social Media Marketing Society.
This education-focused network will function to help busy marketers to stay on the leading edge of social media with engaging video content. Think Mari Smith-like information sessions that will leave you empowered with the tools and skills you need to make impactful changes. Sign up to be first to know when the Society is live by joining the Founder's List via the link above now.