It was a whistle stop at three and a half days in San Diego for Social Media Marketing World, which is the largest global gathering for social media conference in the world. It’s a gathering of the nerd herd, which runs over three days covering topics like Facebook, Linkedin, snap-chat, YouTube, content creation, local area marketing, lead generation, and all the good nerdy digital stuff in between run by Social Media Examiner and attracts some of the world’s leaders in social media marketing.  It was truly an inspirational couple of days and it’s left me coming back with really, really big ideas, questioning some of the beliefs I’ve always held about marketing on social media and really starting to look at how to future proof my business and the businesses of my clients with the upcoming changes that are looming.

lynsey at social media marketing world

So here are some of my key takeaways from social media marketing world for 2019.

The first thing I’d say is that the keynote address from Michael Stelzner was one of the most interesting and most profound pieces I’ve seen on social media in a long time. Michael really helped us address the changes that are happening in Facebook, looking at the trends in the platform and how it’s moving away from being a content publishing network to being a much more community focused platform. So what does that really mean? Well, we know that Facebook is changing after a terrible couple of years of bad press, gaping holes in privacy and data handling and the platform is losing users in favour for Instagram.

The relationship with Facebook is changing. Facebook is adapting and modernizing to these changes. There are rumors that all of the Facebook messaging apps from Whatsapp to messenger, Instagram DM, we’ll all be merging into a privacy focused, fully encrypted messaging app that will allow you to communicate privately between each platform.

There’s also been an interesting movements in Facebook, senior management and leadership team with the CEO that set up the Facebook newsfeed resigning in one week. So what does this mean?

Well, Facebook is potentially moving to a world where there will no longer be a Facebook newsfeed, and what is that going to mean for us as marketers? It definitely shows that we need to be strengthening our focus on Facebook to run groups and communities and really not worrying about the metrics. Your reach really doesn’t mean much if the people you’re reaching aren’t really interested in what you have to offer.

Facebook’s making massive improvements to Facebook groups and that’s definitely an area of growth and focus within the platform. So having less interactions with things that you don’t care about and more meaningful interactions and deeper communication with the stuff that you do care about.

The Second BIG takeaway was that video is still ruling across every platform now, but not all video formats are working on every channel. Social Media Examiner showed some really interesting stats around video content on Facebook – not many viewers were getting past the ten second viewership point. However, they showed that audiences on YouTube are similar but we’re consuming up to 35 times more of the video content because they were viewing it from a different platform.

It wasn’t that they were delivering the content to different people, it’s just the way that the behavior of the user was focused on the platform. People are not really watching long format videos on Facebook, but they are watching that content when YouTube, so creating video concept with the mind of the user on the platform is really, really key to making sure that your video content is actually delivering what you need it to do. Shorter video content for one to two minutes on Facebook and then your longer video content on YouTube. Short video content is ruling again and the other major take out of the third one is Instagram stories that are now currently 500 million daily views of Instagram stories.

Instagram is receiving six times the engagement of Facebook and it’s really going to show that the short, highly consumed snackable content is where our attention span is out.

So if you’re not using Instagram stories for your business already, you’re potentially missing out on a huge amount of attention and you’re not meeting your customer where they’re choosing to spend their time. The great thing is that Instagram stories are fast and easy to create just using a cell phone and the nice thing as well is that they help humanize your brand. They help take people behind the scenes and let them get to know you in a much better and more honest way than having a polished piece of video content that you blast out on Facebook.

The studies are now supporting that Facebook is not happy about sending people off platform and would rather that they consumed all of the content available within the Facebook platform. So have a think about how that could potentially change the way you’re producing your blogs. Are you just writing a blog a week or a month for the sake of it? Is anybody actually reading your blog and are you getting good feedback or interesting comments or business from the amount of work that you’re putting in?

All across the different sessions that I went to, one thing really, really stood out from the Facebook changes in early January 2018 we know that Facebook organically in reach is seriously, seriously declined. So the number of businesses that have yet jumped on board and actually invested in their marketing is really quite staggering. Yes, you can still get some organic reach on Facebook, but why would you spend all that time and effort working so hard when you could actually just invest into the platform, spend a couple of bucks and it will help boost your organic reach as well.

That was an interesting take out from a session from Mari Smith officially the Queen of Facebook showing that organic reach has declined, but actually using things like live video and putting some spend into the platform will help boost your organic reach. Invest to grow.

We can’t hide the fact that our world online is changing the way we use the platforms and our own relationship with the platforms is changing and maturing. We’ve had a relationship with Facebook now for nearly 15 years and after 15 years things can change, so it’s important for us as marketers to be able to adapt our approach, consider the best way to reach our consumers and really meet them where they’re at across each platform. We don’t have to make it super hard.

A final  key message and what I really enjoyed was from Andy and Pete, the keynote about focusing in on content that you’re really good at staying in your lane and having fun with what you do. I think if he can do that, the more honest and genuine the communication will be and the better the content you produce will actually come out.

So really focused on where’s the fun in your business, what do you enjoy to do and what feels most authentic? What feels like you when you’re putting a message out on the platform. If you’re blogging for the sake of blogging, stop..but if you have fun creating videos, do that. Times are changing in the world of social media and I think 2019 will be an interesting year for Facebook.

If you have any questions or comments on this, please feel free to reach out to me. And if you want help tracking your social media or getting on top of what you should actually be doing with your social platforms, join one of our upcoming 30 day challenges.