Social Media Marketing World 2023 Recap: Key Takeaways on Community, Content, and AI
Updated: Mar 28
A few weeks ago, our team was lucky enough to attend Social Media Marketing World 2023 in San Diego, California. In-person. IRL. All together. The conference was jam-packed with hot tips, perspectives and takeaways and we all went home freshly motivated and ready to apply this new knowledge to our client's brands. And we thought we’d share a few of those insights here with you!
My biggest takeaway is not to get distracted by shiny objects. New platforms and technologies will continue to emerge -- such as TikTok, BeReal and ChatGPT -- and it's our responsibility as marketers to stay on the cutting edge of the latest and greatest. However, we shouldn't lose sight of what matters most: our communities. Lead with serving quality content to your community first, and think about the tactics and channels secondly. Bonus: don't forget about the "old dogs"... Michael Stelzner says Facebook is still the marquee social platform globally, and has some new tricks up its sleeve.
– Briar, Brand Experience Manager
“Consumer default is to mistrust brands. Our job on Social Media is to create human experiences on digital channels. Customer care and community will attract AND retain customers.” Brooke Sellas, CEO of B Squared Media
– Casey, Chief Creative Officer
My biggest takeaway is that the simplest of changes can go a long way. You don’t always have to overthink social media. Doing little things like uploading different forms of content, changing your bio, updating the searchability of your name, and so on, can make a world of difference! Millie Adrian did an incredible job at demonstrating this and giving some concrete steps on how to up your social game with these little yet effective tweaks.
– Gabrielle, Lead Brand Experience Manager
I really enjoyed the overarching “community is key” theme throughout the sessions. Going along with this theme, it is important to be cognizant that you are not just selling something. We, as businesses/business managers, have to do is camouflage our content to come across as being just a regular guy in someone’s regular feed sharing regular content in a scroll-stopping way. Here are my notes about going incognito in an ad-heavy, sales-gimmicky space:
Don’t make your business posts look like they’re coming from a business; be relatable and have a spokesperson/spokes vibe or voice
Keyword insights: what’s popular amongst sub-communities (TikTok creative centre)
Cut between multiple scenes to keep the viewer’s attention
Change perspective to keep attention
Use bold captions throughout
Use sounds that trigger dopamine hits like Shopify notification
Overlay popular UI elements like iMessage or AirDrop notifications
Leverage trends but don’t make trends your identity
Grab attention with “glitch” in tech/video (loading screen, pausing etc). People are more likely to commit after they’ve effortfully waited a few seconds for the content to “load”
Shout out to Austin Armstrong for these insights in his session on How to Use Tiktok To Scale Your Business!
– Courtney, Brand Experience Manager
My biggest takeaway was that you don't always have to jump on the trends that you see lots of other people doing because there are so many different people out there who will appreciate and even search for your content as long as you are consistent and know your audience. What really stood out for me was the example Derral Eves shared of a person who posted a seemingly boring 34-minute video on the ingredients in a can of Campbell soup… and it got over 3 million views!
– Sasha, Brand Experience Manager
My biggest takeaway is the importance of community. Going viral doesn't necessarily generate sales. Fostering the community you have and building a bigger one is really important. People want to feel like they are talking to a real person. Foster those relationships by being social. Respond to all your DMs and comments, sign off with your name. etc.
– Kelsey, Brand Experience Manager
My biggest takeaway was Latasha James’ strategies and tools for creating effortless video content. For those looking to repurpose long-form content across shorter-form platforms cutting the video down to include the rising action + climax for TikTok and Instagram Reels. Tools she uses for video-making success are Final Cut Pro, Descript and Capcut.
– Jamie, Brand Experience Manager
“AI won’t replace marketers, but marketers who use AI will replace marketers who don’t.” I heard that in the “How to Use AI Tools to Transform Your Marketing and Career” session with Paul Roetzer, and it stood out for me. Artificial intelligence is moving fast, and we should embrace it and see how it can help us rather than fear it!
– Mélissa, Brand Experience Manager
It was cool to see a conference incorporate so many ways to connect with other event attendees and speakers to give people a way to network. It can be intimidating walking up to complete strangers, so their “Table Talks” was a smart way to give those not-so-outgoing personalities a relaxed way to meet other like-minded individuals who share common interests.
– Cheyanne, Chief of Staff
I’m so grateful that other professionals/presenters have been so willing to share their ad metrics! I absolutely geek out over data and think paid is SO powerful, so being able to compare notes and learn from other people's testing helps us up our game in big ways without having to spend our own time and money! My favourite session was about Facebook advertising with Molly Pittman from Smart Marketer. I love how she showed us the back end of her ad campaigns so we could really get in there!
– Tessa May Marr, CEO
What was your favourite insight here? What would you love to learn more about? We’d love to hear!
P.S. We always dress on brand when we attend conferences to increase brand awareness! For this event, we ordered custom pins from StickerMule–our fave place to shop for quality, affordable branded merch. If you haven’t heard of them, check them out. We recommend you get on the mailing list to jump on weekly deals!