I had the fantastic opportunity to attend Social Media Examiner’s first Social Media Marketing World conference here in San Diego this past week. For the very first conference put on by the blogging giant, SMMW was beyond impressive — not only with the caliber of speakers, but also the networking opportunities available to us.

With so many sessions planned for the two-day conference, our team had a tough time picking the sessions we hoped would be the most worthy of our time. We joked that it’s like Russian roulette – you just honestly never know if it’s going to be good or not. However, for the most part, every speaker and session brought engaging and insightful education to everyone who attended.

One session that especially stood out to me was the session lead by Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget. Immediately, I was drawn to his careful dedication to presenting a well thought-out and well-designed Power Point (or Keynote) presentation. He warned us that he had over 90 slides, and we all held our breaths knowing that we were in for a ride. However, much to our delight, each slide incorporated visually stimulating photography and pop culture references that we could all appreciate (his note: Watch all shows on AMC).

His session, 5 Social and Digital Trends Impacting Consumer Behaviors, was all about the key trends that are happening in social, and how we can optimize on these trends to improve our social media (digital) campaigns.

Trend #1: The Undead

  • Though publishers may claim that the web is dead, the web in fact drives traffic to their stories. The Internet isn’t dying; we’re just getting better at utilizing and optimizing them to our needs.
  • Social media, even though I want to believe otherwise, is just a single tool in our path to digital marketing success.
  • Insightful quote: “The savviest brands will begin to build small, highly engaged communities where they can learn more about what their audiences want, need, and desire.” – WeAreSocial

Trend #2: Co-Creation

  • Insightful quote: “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories ‘they’ tell.” – Seth Godin
  • Your customers are the best salespeople. Tactfully allow them help you bring your story out and in turn, bring you sales.
  • It’s all about building engaging content.

Trend #3: Moments

  • Real-time marketing is clearly the trend at the moment. We all seek those Super Bowl+Oreo moments, but we can’t all have that exact moment. Take advantage of your unique moment and build something for AFTER that moment. This is where social comes in to play.
  • “Moments” only work if we understand that the consumer is multi-channel.

Trend #4: Data

  • Data = Relevance
  • Opinions are great, but solid data proves that your opinion is worth something.
  • Insightful quote: “The ability to take data – to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it is going to be a hugely important skills in the next decades.”

Trend #5: Cross-Channel

  • Your customer is already cross-channel. Most have phones and a computer, right?
  • eBags and ExactTarget Case Study
  • Use email data to create a highly targeted Facebook (or any other platform) sweepstakes and promotion.
  • Ask for a commitment (email address).
  • Follow through and build a relationship with the users with relevant messaging — such as a “Shop Now” button on a Thank You page.
  • Measure it so you can learn from the results.

So what did I take away from his presentation? Think beyond social and what is presented right in front of you. Think about the bigger picture and what is surrounding it. As marketers, we should be involved in ALL channels and examining the data to ensure we’re doing a good job. And of course, to watch more AMC shows.

Share with us on our Facebook page or tweet us what you think are other trends in social and digital.