July 6, 2017

June 30th is officially one of the days I look forward to every year! If you didn’t know, June 30th is the official social media day. And it is celebrated around the world by crazy weird marketer people like us  And, fortunately for me, here in San Diego, we have one of the (if not THE) best events in the world! This year’s Social Media Day San Diego 2017 lived up to its expectations in many ways and threw us a few curve balls too.

In its 7th year, this event has always been hosted in downtown San Diego. But, this year, for a few reasons, the venue was moved – to the beach! At the Bahia Resort. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been to this place before and it’s not one of my top picks for locations in San Diego. It’s older, they do NOT have valet (which is frustrating for a girl in 4 inch heels all the time), and their food isn’t so great. I didn’t have super high expectations for the location. But, Tyler Anderson and his team pulled off a great event – like they always do. And we even ate lunch on the beach – yes, literally in the sand. I have photos of my 4 inch heels in the sand to prove it if you go check out my social media accounts!

The banquet hall where the event was held was beautiful and had great lighting (always a win for the insta-worthy photos). Fortunately, a friend of mine saved me a seat in the front row so I had prime real estate for the whole day (I just got cut off on the very right side of this photo). And I actually didn’t speak this year (I’ve spoken twice in the past) so I got to relax and enjoy the whole day as simply an attendee.

While I could go on much more about the side stuff, you really only care about the good stuff! So, here are all my Social Media Day San Diego 2017 takeaways for you.

Pat Flynn – Customer Service

Let me start out by saying I really enjoy Pat Flynn’s presentations. And if you know me well, you know how much I stress good customer service. So I was pretty much destined to love this presentation to start the day. But Pat really did bring it!

Funny story – and how Pat started the presentation – was that his prom was actually in this exact same room! He enlightened us to his band-geek experience and how, only minutes into the presentation, this was already a much better experience than his prom 

I can’t do the whole story justice but Pat built his whole presentation about a homeless man that lived on campus where he went to college and how that man transformed the lives of all those he met. To the point that the campus hosted a memorial for the man when he passed away. It was touching and relatable – but also validated key points throughout Pat’s discussion on customer service. You had to be there to really get it… sorry!

Ok, so the first thing Pat talked about was onboarding yourself. In order to maximize the customer experience – from buying a product, registering for a service, enrolling in a program, downloading an app, etc. – if you don’t know what the experience is like, how can you ensure that your customers are getting the best experience?

One of Pat’s key tips for personalized onboarding is to record a short video that is directly personalized for each new customer – use their name, their business, their story – and genuinely welcome them as a customer. It takes just a minute or two to record these videos on a mobile device and hit send (using the right software) to get these directly in front of your new customers. Talk about retention!!

Another thing Pat talked about was crushing response times. The average response time of an email is 44 hours. Surely, you can respond just a little faster than that, right? But responding is more than just the time it takes to answer, but the quality of the answer. Engage in real conversation and be a real human being.

Here are Pat Flynn’s 5 Rules of Customer Service

  1. Have empathy
  2. Figure out what they really mean
  3. Apologize – even if it’s not your fault
  4. Turn “not my problem” into a win
  5. You can’t win them all

Obviously, I could dive into each of those 5 more… but I have 10 more sessions to recap… and we don’t have that much time!

Finally, Pat encouraged us to consider these three things in our business:

  • Share ONE simple message (just one, people!)
  • Share it in a simple way
  • Care to care about people


Tyler Anderson – UGC

Tyler, the one who is responsible for this whole event, took the stage to talk about user generated content (UGC). Not really surprising, given that their tool Tack (http://foundontack.com) is a tool to curate UGC easily. Honestly, I’m not an affiliate or anything, but if you want an easy tool to find content related to your brand or business, this is a good one!

Tyler started out the way I like – stats! Tell me WHY this is important  So here are some stats to think about:

  • 91% of Americans trust recommendations from friends and family members
  • 88% of consumers trust anonymous reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations
  • Effective UGC can generate 6.5 times greater engagement than brand generated content on Facebook

But more than just that, UGC:

  • Increases your marketing team (every one of your customers becomes your content creators)
  • Solves the content problem (you have plenty to choose from!)
  • Saves time and money (you know how expensive it is to run a photo shoot)
  • Is more trustworthy (even when “staged” by your customers, it’s a real event with real people)
  • Is more engaging (yeah, because it’s other people you can relate to, not a brand telling you what they want you to hear/see)

So, how do you get your hands on UGC? You have to go find it!

Honestly, as Tyler mentioned, Instagram is the holy grail of UGC. It’s all beautiful content built on a visual platform. And most profiles are public so it’s easy to find. Not to mention, people are using hashtags to get their content found. They kinda make it easy on you 

BUT… oh, and this is a big one!

BUT you MUST get permission. Period. All the time. Written permission too, btw.

The copyright of the image belongs to the person who took the photo, no matter who they are. And if you are going to republish it, you need permission. You can read more on this in my previous post.

This is where the Tack tool comes in handy – it allows you to source information AND get permission to reuse it in any capacity – which is key for businesses.

Tyler gave us a list of ways and places you can use UGC for your business:

  • On your website
  • In social media posts
  • In ads
  • In your newsletters
  • For sales presentations
  • With offline marketing

Finally, here are ways you can ask for or find UGC from your customers:

  • Ask in your newsletters
  • Ask for it in social media updates
  • Run contests or promotions
  • Window clings
  • Paper tents near the checkout
  • Signage on shelves
  • Packaging
  • Receipts
  • Menus
  • Posters and flyers
  • Stationary or cards
  • Display screens
  • Chalkboards
  • And whatever other creative ideas you have!


Azriel Ratz – Facebook Ads

This was one of the sessions I was most looking forward to. I met Azriel in March at Social Media Marketing World and we’ve connected via social since then. We had chatted a little via Messenger prior to this event about his presentation and I even had a sneak peek at his slides – though it didn’t even come close to what he delivered.

Oh, I should also point out that he flew all the way to San Diego from Israel!!! All for this event. Now, that’s dedication 

First of all, the guy can talk FAST. Like Jenn Herman fast  It was… awesome! I loved it, seriously. I was like, ok, I can keep up with this guy! lol

But his topic and content was pretty awesome too. He’s a machine when it comes to Facebook ads. You’ll see…

It’s important to know, according to Azriel, that Facebook wants you to get good results from your ads, it’s just that you and Facebook might have different definitions of “good results”.

You have to create ads that fulfill your business goals. If all you’re doing is looking for views of your ad, you’re going after the wrong people.

Instead, Azriel recommends you find your best potential audience by creating a bunch of small audiences and creating small ad sets to test against each target group.

Here’s where it gets crazy. He literally creates 48 versions of every ad. Yeah, I thought that was like me throwing out a random exaggerated number. But no, he literally creates 48 different versions of each ad.

I can’t possibly do his method justice, but quickly, he varies the wording in the text, call-to-action, and description. So, for each of those 3 areas, there are 3 key components: A, B, and C. You can then put each of those components in each of the 3 different spots. You have the following configurations: ABC, ACB, BAC, BCA, CAB, CBA. Then, he creates 4 separate images to best test results. So you have each of those 6 ad sets times 4 images = 24 ad sets. Oh, but that’s not enough! He’ll create another set with slightly different wording: options, D, E, and F. With the same formula, that’s 24 more ad sets, for a total of 48. I told you… he’s a machine!

BTW, he does all this in Power Editor so that you can upload all of the ad sets and then push them out at the same time without prominence given to one uploaded first.

Azriel also discussed the four components to maximize your ads:

  • CPM
  • CPC
  • Time on site
  • Conversion rate

His big takeaway from this is to NOT assume Facebook knows best for your audience targeting. You are better off not leaving it to chance and testing it all out for yourself to get the best results.


Dennis Yu – Facebook Ads

Gee, I wonder if Facebook ads are a big deal?

So here’s the funny thing – and something I appreciated with Tyler putting both of these speakers up here – Dennis preaches pretty much the exact opposite of what Azriel does. But, it just shows that there’s no one right way to do anything on Facebook 

I’m gonna admit that I’m still a little confused by this presentation and what they delivered, but we’re gonna roll with it. You see, it was supposed to be Dennis Yu. But instead, he manned the computer and Logan Young was the guy on stage talking to the crowd. Although Dennis was mic’d up and chimed in at a few points throughout. I kept waiting for Dennis to come up front, but he never did. Until afterwards when all three of Dennis, Logan, and Azriel took the stage for Q&A.

So, anyways, some of the takeaways from this session were:

  • Video ads should be about one minute in length for optimal results
  • In ranking order, a like on an ad is worth 1 point, a comment is worth 6 points, and a share is worth 13 points
  • One negative interaction (hide, unfollow, etc.) counteracts 100 positive engagements!
  • The average video view on Facebook is 6 seconds

Dennis and Logan also recommended that you commit 20% to creating new content, and 80% to optimizing (promoting) well-performing content. Well-performing content is content that has 30% organic reach. If you hit that threshold, put money behind it to promote it. And you want to see a 30% view rate to your reach.

A key tip they shared also included targeting the media and using ads to get your content specifically in front of those who work in tv, radio, or print media. Using ads to target your content to them can help get your content in front of them and get your content into the news. Although I would caution doing this for only select content or purposes.


Sue B. Zimmerman – Instagram Stories

My girl Sue was in the house! You know Sue and I support each other and encourage each other. We even collaborate on programs and projects so I was happy to see her bring her Instagram flair to San Diego 

Of course, if you know Sue, you know she loves her some IG Stories – so it was fitting that she would share that brilliance with us.

First off (and you know how I feel about strategy), Sue preached the value of having a plan for your Stories. You aren’t jumping on there all willy-nilly!

You need to look at your day and determine where you’ll find parts to incorporate into your Story.

Sue also recommended you share exclusive content. Micro-content that can only be found on Instagram so that it gives people a reason to check in and see what you’re talking about each day.

One of Sue’s big tips (which I loved) was to use branded colors. Don’t go all color happy with your selections. Instead, pick 3 or 4 colors that relate to your branding and consistently use those in your Stories. From text, to images, to stickers, to backgrounds, etc. Stay consistent and build your branding.

Furthermore, don’t just use graphics (I know, I’m guilty of this!). Instead, mix in photos and videos for more personalization and connection with your audience.

Sue talked a bit about location and hashtag stickers which are a new (awesome) feature in Instagram Stories. If you really want to know more about this, check out the post I wrote on Social Media Examiner for this.

The big goal – and what many struggle with – on Stories is viewer retention. How do you get people to click through each Story post, all the way to the end? You need to work on your content strategy and look at your analytics to optimize this.

Sue recommends you storyboard your ideas and plan out your Stories for best results. She’s also a big proponent for using calls-to-action and making sure you respond to ALL direct messages that come from your Stories.

Finally, it’s important to point out that your Stories should not be disconnected from your Instagram content. You want the general message, tone, style, and voice to be the same in both. Even though Stories are a little more casual and interact differently, your personality and brand should be consistent across both aspects of Instagram. If not, you can expect to lose followers quickly!


Mariana Cimino and Joshua Hager – Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is such a hot topic right now so I am glad it was discussed in great detail at this event. If you’re wondering who these two are, they are both affiliated with Casual Fridays – the company Tyler Anderson runs. Mariana works with a number of influencers for her clients and Josh has worked as an influencer with brands including Nestle.

So, first of all, NEVER work with a self-proclaimed influencer. You know the ones who list themselves as an influencer in their bio. Yeah, not so much, thanks!

“Influence is the result of something, it is not the something.”

For the record, all those selfies holding up a product. That is just spam. That is not the kind of content you want nor the “influencers” you want to work with.

Mariana and Josh describe 3 general groups of influencers:

  1. Massive audience and mediocre content
  2. Average audience and excellent content
  3. Massive audience and excellent content

Here’s the thing… you might think you want group 3. BUT, if they are massive with awesome content, they know their value and likely charge a lot more per post/promotion. Instead, focusing on group 2, you can get more bang for your buck.

When it comes to choosing an influencer to partner with, you want to consider these two things:

  • Do your values align?
  • Do your aesthetics align?

If either of these answers is no, this person is not the right fit. Don’t try to make it work.

Some of the results of influencer marketing include:

  • Trust: building relationships with the audience
  • Reach: influencers use passionate traffic so you can eliminate cold traffic
  • Content: user-commissioned (not user generated) allows you to guide the experience to create the content you want and can repurpose

That being said, here are some things to consider when partnering with an influencer:

  • Don’t pitch blindly and abruptly. Build a relationship. Do research. Build rapport. This can take months!
  • Don’t outsource your efforts to reach influencers. Agencies will ruin your reputation. Do the work yourself.
  • Don’t micromanage the creative process. You hired the influencer. Let them do what they do.
  • Give something for nothing. Reach out and give to the influencers without asking anything in return. Send them free product. Don’t ask for anything. You’ll be amazed at what they do.
  • Compensation doesn’t always have to monetary.


Stephanie Liu – Facebook Live

Ok, this girl has got some serious energy! It was great to finally meet Hey Stephanie IRL and see her present. The girl can bring it, I’ll tell you that. Especially when her session was right after lunch 

So, obviously, Facebook Live is kind of a big deal. But if you’re not taking full advantage (or any advantage) of this tool, you’re missing out! Don’t worry, I have Stephanie’s tips for you here.

First of all, when going live, you need to leave that “extra baggage”. Let these three things go:

  • “I’m terrified of being on live video”
  • “I’m awkward in front of the camera”
  • “I’m afraid of not being perfect in front of the camera”

Ok, then it’s important to set your desired outcome. What is the purpose of your live video?

After that, it’s all about preparation. Get yourself ready with the tools and resources you need for a successful video.

Ok, next, chances are you don’t know what to talk about, right? This is a major concern… you go live… why? What do you have to talk about? Well, Stephanie recommends you write down the top 10 most frequently asked questions you get. Then the top 10 questions you wish people would ask. Boom! You now have 20 topics for your live videos!

Other things you can do with live video include:

  1. Teach a live class (like a webinar). Side note, if you’ve seen my live videos on Facebook or Instagram, you know this is how I approach my videos.
  2. Do a product demo
  3. Answer live Q&A
  4. Show a process
  5. Screencast
  6. Run a contest
  7. Share breaking news
  8. Spill insider secrets
  9. Share your wins or testimonials
  10. Do a challenge series

Some of the tools to support live video include:

  • Belive.tv – free then paid upgrade
  • Open Broadcast Software (OBS) – free
  • ecamm Live – $30 one time fee (Mac only)
  • Zoom – $55/month and up

To increase your views and activity on your live videos, create a Facebook event for your live video. This way people get notifications around your upcoming video!

Stephanie also recommends adding captions to your video after the broadcast. You can use Fiverr or other tools to easily get this added.

Finally, it’s all about conversions! Make sure you’re using your live videos to drive that call-to-action and get the conversions you want in your business.


Mitch Jackson – Legal

You know I love to geek out on the legal stuff when it comes to social media! When I do my trainings or courses I love to dive into the ways to protect you. So I was just a little excited for this session and Mitch did not disappoint.

First off, Mitch strongly stressed the need to operate as a Corporation or LLC when running your business. This protects you financially (and more) from liability in your business.

Then, Mitch really stressed the need to focus on protecting your own intellectual property rights and to also respect those rights of others.

One thing he brought up, which actually had me stopped and pondering, was the need to promote products and services as your business. For example, when going on live video, state that you are broadcasting this video as your business name, not just “you”. When you say “Hi, I’m Joe Smith and tonight’s video from XYZ Consultants is all about ABC” then you are limiting your personal liability as the source of information. Instead, any liability is now associated with the business.

Of course, and I think we all know this, but often forget to do this, use written contracts. Verbal agreements and “handshakes” are hard to manage, let alone prove. Take the time to do this right!

Another thing many of us don’t think about are laws outside our area. You may have state laws you consider, but what about federal laws, or international laws. And what if your customer is in another country or state? Which location takes precedence in court proceedings? (Just so you know, this is information that should be included in your written contracts.)

You should also include a clause that states you’ll source mediation or arbitration as a resolution (this is way cheaper than court and attorneys fees). Speaking of which, there should be a clause in your agreement as to who is responsible for attorneys fees.

Finally, Mitch left us with this thought: Be human. Be kind to people and tough on issues.


Owen Hemsath – YouTube Video

I’ve actually known Owen for, what seems like forever, but it’s probably been about 3 years now. I’ve worked with him on multiple projects (as a client of his) and have gotten to know him personally. But I’ve never heard him speak on stage. So this was a treat – and he did not disappoint. And I actually learned a lot!

Well, the guy teaches how to be good on video, so he’d better be good on stage, right? 

Just so you know, Owen recommends the Iographer kit for live video if you’re looking for a good set up.

So, the biggest thing is to get great audio. People will watch crappy video but they won’t listen to crappy audio.

For a video content strategy, you must design a programming strategy. This consists of 3 types of content:

  1. Pull content – where the keyword(s) pull in results from a search query. This should be 70% of your content.
  2. Push content – the content you want people to see (brand driven content). This should be 20% of your content.
  3. Pow content – ads and other conversion content. This should be 10% of your content.

On YouTube, the title should have keywords included and used naturally (not just keyword stuffing!). And the tags should be as many hyper-related phrases as you can. They should be long phrase tags, not single keyword tags.

Owen stressed that you need to both visually and audibly enforce your call-to-action (CTA).

You can use end cards which are the last 20 seconds of your video. These can help keep them watching your channel. BTW, there are 19 other videos down the right side bar that are trying to distract viewers, so do everything you can to keep their focus on your channel.

Owen laid out the proper channel structure for a YouTube channel (and this was news to me!).

  • Your channel should be only ONE main topic
  • Use playlists for sub-topics
    • Each playlist should be 3-10 videos
  • Each video is only meant to achieve ONE goal
    • More views, subscribe to your channel, optin, leave a comment, etc.
    • ONLY ONE per video

In order to really brand and style your videos effectively, Owen recommends using a master storyboard template for each playlist. This includes alignment, colors, banners, etc. so that every video is consistent.

Your storyboard template should include:

  • A snappy headline
  • A branding bumper 3-5 seconds
  • The channel value statement

Each playlist should also be branded for easy recognition within the viewer and throughout YouTube:

  • Have a branding bumper
  • Use a lower third for your CTA or to add info
  • Have a consistent transition – don’t just jump between frames
  • Use full screen graphics

Now, for your thumbnails… did you know thumbnails are the #1 driver of YouTube clicks? Yup! That’s how important they are. What makes a good one?

  • A branded connection bar along the left margin for every video in the playlist
  • Limited words that compliment the title (3-4 words max)
  • Words should be bold and easy to read (avoid the “pretty” fonts)
  • Make a promise of what to expect
  • Feature a human (eyeballs usually help)
  • A branding component

Tell me you didn’t just learn something about this?! This was one of my favorite sessions of the day!


Mari Smith – The Future of Facebook

What SMDaySD event would be complete without Mari Smith?  This was her 6th year speaking and I always love a little Mari session!

This time she was talking about the future of Facebook and what we can expect. Here are some of those expectations.

Facebook TV and ads. Yes, if you haven’t heard, Facebook is committed to creating its own TV content. Which, of course, will house plenty of ads 

Search and review apps are big and Facebook is getting on this bandwagon. Mari recommends you go to http://facebook.com/services to see how you show up in the results.

In case you weren’t familiar with all the ways Facebook is dominating the planet, here is some information on how they view their family of apps:

  • Whatsapp: one-to-one
  • Messenger: small groups
  • Facebook: friends
  • Groups: community
  • Instagram: the world

Side note: I love that Instagram is the “world” according to Facebook!

Mari reminded us that Messenger bots are still the future. While this hasn’t grown as much in the last year, give it time!

Augmented reality and object recognition were recently promoted by Facebook and they are some pretty awesome looking tools if you haven’t yet checked them out.

This is fun for the future: Facebook meets QVC. Shopify allows real-time shopping within Facebook. This will be great for B2c, but B2B types will have to get creative.

Instagram is the next Facebook. Duh!  Mari, Sue, and I all agreed at the conference, during these sessions, that Instagram will bust through the 1 billion mark by 2018. Just saying.

Virtual reality and artificial reality is the way of the future. Facebook spaces will be for VR. And VR/AR glasses will look like Raybans in the future.

Mari also shared some of the things that Facebook has said they are working on in Secret Building 8:

  • Camera
  • AR
  • VR
  • Brain scanning (yes, this is a thing!)
  • Drone
  • Disruptive shopping experiences

Oh, and finally, Mari wanted to remind us that SQUARE video is the best performance right now. So stop worrying about the orientation of your camera and just go square!


Mike Stelzner – The Facebook Algorithm

Mike shared his research and thoughts on the Facebook algorithm – which if you were at SMMW17 or heard my recap video of that session, this was pretty much the same thing. But, if you didn’t hear that before, here’s what Mike covered.

Obviously, the stuff we’re sharing on Facebook isn’t being seen. Thank you algorithm!

But that’s because the algorithm services users, not marketers.

So, how does the algorithm work? Like this:

  1. You post content
  2. It’s scanned for substance
  3. It is selectively shown to some people
  4. If people react, reach is expanded. This is NOT based on the time of your post.

Here’s my big preach… are you listening?

Frequency. Is. Not. The. Solution.

Bam! Applause. Jump up and down in agreement.

Stop sharing more stuff. LESS is better!

Instead, focus on your community and building those relationships.

Did you know that only 6.7% of businesses are paying for advertising on Facebook? Yup!

And what’s scary is how many people can’t tell you if their reach on Facebook is increasing or decreasing. Hint… it’s decreasing!

Oh, and if you want one final “trick” for the algorithm… it’s live video. Facebook gives preferential placement to live videos. So, yeah, go do that! 



Ok, that was  LOT of information. I mean, I knew it was a jam packed day. But dang, that’s almost 5000 words of recap for Social Media Day San Diego 2017. I don’t think I’ve ever written that much in ONE post before. $h!t… phew.

So, if you’re in San Diego next year on June 30th and want to get all this and more in real life, I’d better see you there!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. It is so interesting to know Jenn! We also celebrated the SM Day in Surat city in India. You can check the website of smdaysurat.in to know about it though. We had a topic coverage like Social Media for Branding, Social Media as a marketing communication channel and How to build the social relationship with storytelling. This was the second consecutive year for us to celebrate the day and there were 150+ participants.

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