By Chris Sugrue

March 6th, 2018

We were in San Diego last week, attending Social Media Marketing World. Here are just a few examples of why we think this is a must-attend event for anyone working with social and digital marketing.

What a lineup!

Hosted over three days starting Feb 28, #smmw18 hosted more than 170 expert speakers.

Too many to list, but here’s a sample of the caliber: Guy Kawasaki (formerly of Apple), Jay Baer (Convince & Convert), Brian Solis (Altimeter), Brian Clark (Copyblogger.com), Mari Smith (Marketing Expert), Neal Schaffer (PDCA Social) and Pat Flynn (Flynndustries, LLC).

These are some of the highlights from a truly star lineup of keynote speakers:  

“Queen of Facebook” Mari Smith on the need to “rethink everything”

Social media continues to be a siloed department, a fact that is causing brands to miss out on the opportunity to provide a greater customer experience

“Social media is not just a business experience, it’s an emotional experience.” 

Facebook’s latest algorithm change has been on everybody’s lips lately. So it was no surprise that Mari Smith tackled it too. She suggested brands meet the challenge by zooming in on exactly what they hope to achieve with their Facebook marketing; be it exposure, reach or growing fans.

Social Futurist Brian Solis on the social as a “community”

“Social media made the world a smaller place. It was really a community…and still is.”

Renowned author and analyst Brian Solis’s keynote, The Past, Present and Future of Social Media was one of the event’s top draws. Going forward, he recommends marketers look at social media more as a social science than a technology.

He added that social media and marketing have never been so powerful due to success being ultimately down to trust: “You can earn trust among your peers, and trust pays off in reciprocity.”

Brian was gracious enough to do an exclusive interview with us. We highly recommend you read Why You Need to Stop Doing Influencer Marketing.

Thought leader Pat Flynn on “Super Fans”

The closing keynote was How to Build Super Fans That Speed Your Growth by Pat Flynn. For Pat “super fans” are the kind of customer that camps around the block for your next product—they will evangelize on your behalf and become “your top marketing team”.

Such fans are built “moments at a time”. It starts with speaking the language of your customer, then surprising and delighting them throughout their journey. Flynn recaps here.

With these guys representing Falcon

Members of our New York office hosted a booth and were blown away by the event. Pictured here: Evan Graening and Alex Riyad.

Senior Account Manager Jess Paloger was taken by the energy and the passion shown by all attendees.

“Conversations were buzzing and I think the event did a great job with encouraging networking in open lunch table settings, while being surrounded by booths and swag. Overall a very fun experience and I would love to go next year.

Or, in the words of Brian Solis…

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