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Changes in Social: What I Learned at #SMMW18

Derek Christians | March 6, 2018

Social media is ever-changing; so there are only a few things one can do to stay ahead, stay home and read articles or attend a conference in sunny San Diego and learn from the industry’s best. Which would you choose?

This past week I got the opportunity to volunteer at Social Media Marketing World 2018! If you are into social media marketing you should be familiar with the Social Media Examiner podcast, they keep listeners up-to-date on all things social. They have been hosting the conference for six years now, and every year thousands of social media marketers and business owners head to San Diego to attend.

As a volunteer I was able to be on the front lines, and behind the scenes, of the event. My responsibilities included registration and hosting rooms for speakers and attendees. During my time at the conference I got to meet some amazing people who shared the same interest in social media marketing and had the opportunity to attend workshops and sessions. When I wasn’t working or recharging, I was able to sit in on the industry’s best and listen to their experiences and insight on social media.

The biggest topic at this years event was about the renowned “Facebook Apocalypse.” At the beginning of 2018, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced there were drastic changes coming to the Facebook news feed algorithm, which has many digital marketers scared; including Social Media Examiner’s CEO, Michael Stelzner. Stelzer was one of the first in the industry to go live on the big news and later shared his thoughts as a keynote at the conference.

No one truly knows yet what will come about this huge announcement, but attendees at the conference did get some insight on what to expect. In the past Facebook’s algorithm was based on engagement; likes, comments, and shares. Though Facebook is going back to its roots and focusing on bringing people closer together, which scares marketers because it means less potential reach for their businesses. Facebook will be changing from an engagement community to meaningful interactions.

What does meaningful interactions mean? It means quality over quantity. Expect to see more talked about and conversational posts at the top of your news feed and less sponsored business ads.

What can your business do to be ready for these changes?

  1. Interact with your followers - Businesses will need to interact with their consumers on a meaningful level. No more just “Yes” or “No” responses. Have a conversation with your consumers, it will do wonders!
  2. Continue to create quality content - Creating quality content is important on every platform. By creating eye-catching images and video more users will notice your brand and in the end encourage them to reach out.
  3. Increase ad budget -  Putting more money behind your campaigns or posts will increase the number of users who see your content.
  4. Encourage conversation - On your business page, encourage your followers to engage with one another. Ask open ended questions or ask for their opinions. The more conversations you create on your page or group the better.
  5. Create a facebook group - Have a dedicated place for your customers to have an open conversation.

Mark Zuckerberg's announcement:

Michael Stelzer’s reaction:

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