The future of social media – right here!

If you follow me on social media, you couldn’t have missed that I just got back from San Diego, where I attended Social Media Marketing World.

SMMW is one of the biggest social media conferences in the world, with around 5000 people from all around the world attending.

It was epic, and over the next month or so, I’m going to be sharing a lot of insights with you that I took away from the event. But I thought I’d just start you off with a few of my favourite insights, from three of the best speakers.

Duncan Wardle – former Director of Innovation & Creativity at Disney

Take it from a guy who once sent his son’s Buzz Lightyear up to the international space station (the toy is now in the Smithsonian museum): don’t be afraid of the big ideas.

“The biggest challenges to innovation are time, budget, risk-aversion, process (death by systems), resources, and lack of consumer insight.”

Duncan says the best ideas often come from the most unlikely places. He shared a story of how a call-centre staff member made a suggestion that ended up making millions for a hotel chain.

“Take a brand like Ford, for example: their biggest challenge is that they already know how to make a motorcar.”

Duncan is a big believer that the more you ‘know for sure’ about a topic, the less likely you’re going to be able to think creatively in relationship to it. If you want to innovate, start talking more to your customers, suppliers, newest employees or staff who rarely get to contribute to ideas meetings.

There’s definitely some good news for not-for-profit types though. “At Disney I often hired people from not-for-profits, because they’re really innovative,” he says. “They’re also used to being creative with other people’s money.”

Mike Stelzner – founder Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing World

This guy is all about numbers, and he had some doozies for us. The first being that 62% of marketers plan on increasing their organic Facebook activities, which with the big recent changes in Facebook’s algorithm – we know is the wrong strategy.

Instead of posting more, Mike’s hot tip is to focus our attention to building more meaningful interactions. Getting people watching your video and participating, having back-and-forward conversations with friends in your comment section – anything that is valuable engagement.

Don’t think – how can I create more content? Instead start thinking – how can I create more meaningful and interactive content?

Mike also predicts we will see a decreasing amount of video in our Facebook feeds. “Our job is to build video experiences that help people connect with friends, family and groups,” he says.

Don’t worry, he’s not saying video is dead – in fact, just the opposite. But we do need to get a lot more creative and thoughtful with our video.

In 2018 we will get even more reach with our live videos, and will be seeing more episodal content. Think about it like a television show that keeps telling a longer story, rather than creating once-off content.

Amy Porterfield

We’re all human, and we’re all a little bit scared of new things.

It might sound like a strange takeaway from one of my personal social media heroes, but it was an incredibly powerful message.

Amy talked about Facebook Live, and how we need to get over our fear of it. She did it by revealing her own – that people would see her on Facebook Live and think she was too fat.

It was a real ‘aha’ moment for me, because I realised I’ve avoided live video more than I should for some of the same reasons: my hair is a mess, or skin looks bad, or something similar.

The truth is, people actually enjoy your live videos MORE, when you’re being vulnerable, real, and not quite perfect.

Make 2018 the year where you give your video fears the boot, and start creating more valuable video.

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