Return on Opportunity: Reflections from #SMMW13


I'm winding down from attending Social Media Explorer's first live conference, Social Media Marketing World (#SMMW13). There were 1,100+ attendees, amazing networking events, packed sessions with the top social media thought leaders, authors, and speakers- which was overwhelming for even a high flying social butterfly like me. Check out the pics with fellow social media marketers at #SMMW13's networking cruise. Everyone there shared a passion for social media! So what did I learn?

Social Media is Return on Opportunity. This is the theme that comes to mind, as I am reflecting on all the new friends I've made at SMMW13, connections with these thought leaders, and their words of social media marketing wisdom. A lot of the SMMW13 speakers emphasized how social media is about building a community, having passion for the content, and genuinely connecting and helping others via social networks.

What if that Tweet was shared and brought in a new customer that again shared their experience on Facebook and another person liked it and someone they were connected to saw it and went to your website to buy? Sounds dreamy, right?

Yes, we know companies want to sell and people want to buy. Nichole Kelly was there to remind us of the ROI and that the boardroom is looking for proof. That's why we social media marketers invest in fancy analytics tools and software like Exact TargetHootSuite, and Google Analytics to connect the dots.

Surprise! Social media is not free and your intern does not understand integrated marketing strategy and the how to track the customer relationship life cycle.

  • What's interesting to me is the psychology behind why people buy, what connects them with a brand, why the share on social media channels, and why they talk about about their experiences online. I was thrilled to learn that there's a Social Triggers PodCast,  focusing on understanding "what makes people tick."  SCORE!!!
  • Did you know? Per Derek Halpern, people post on social media networks for two reasons: *This is not an exact quote.

1) It is a signal to the world about how they wish to portray themselves.
2) It is a signal to the world about how they see themselves.

  • Lary Benet, "The Connector" talked about connecting and building relationships.
  • Jay Baer talked about Youtility: If you sell something, you make a customer today, but if you genuinely help someone, you create a customer for life.

If you can understand the "what" and the "why" and then give freely, you will have social media marketing success. The "opportunity" is genuinely connecting and helping people with the hope, anticipation, and expectation that good karma will step in to complete the cycle...and hopefully you have a basic strategy and tracking tools in place so that you will see your "Return on Opportunity." Dave Kerpen talked about being "Likeable," which also involves connecting employees with customers and brands, sharing stories, and helping others. He also talked about being grateful and thankful. I'm very grateful and thankful for the experience to broaden my perspective at SMMW13, while building connections and opportunities.