Top 10 Trends + Tips from Social Media Marketing World 2014

smmw1 I recently attended Social Media Marketing World 2014 in San Diego for the first time. Close to 2,000 marketers, businesses, brands and consultants from over 40 different countries came together to learn the latest trends and the newest innovations in social media marketing.

The breakout sessions and panels featured a diverse group of experts in the social media and content marketing worlds, including: Jay Baer, Joe Pulizzi, Chris Brogan, Brian Clark, Stan Smith, Amy Porterfield, Lee Odden, Ian Cleary, Mari Smith, Nichole Kelly, Jon Loomer and many more. It was impossible to attend every session, as most of them ran concurrently, but I was able to gather a vast amount of useful information during the two and a half day conference.


Here are a few of the highlights, and what I consider to be important trends and tips for the year ahead:

1.  Visual assets are a huge focus. 2014 will be the year that visual content takes over social media platforms. 350 million images are shared per day on Facebook and Pinterest is the second largest traffic driver (behind Google). Including beautiful, interesting and inspiring visuals in your marketing will increase your likeability (and likes!) The magic happens when your visuals inspire attention, action and advocacy. A few great visual tools include: Over, Wordswag, Canva and Pic Monkey.
Donna Moritz:

2.  Your website is more important than your social media platforms. Blogging still remains a big focus and your site is more important than Facebook, YouTube and Twitter combined. While your social media platforms drive traffic to your website, you don’t own them. The only real estate you own is your online hub – your site – and that’s where you want to spend most of your time building your list. In addition, blogging is a great way to communicate and engage with your audience in your own unique voice.
Mike Stelzner:

3. Podcasting will continue to rise in popularity. There’s still tremendous room for growth. Apple just inked a big deal with Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Nissan and more to provide Apple CarPlay in all of their vehicles. This means that, soon, 300 million+ iPhone users will get their music – and podcasts – in their cars every day. In other words, most vehicles will eventually have podcast support built in, giving marketers and businesses an amazing opportunity to reach their audience for an extended period of time.
Mike Stelzner:

4. Facebook advertising is a good opportunity if used correctly. Businesses and brands must change the way they’ve been working with Facebook. Less than a year ago, you could post something on your business or fan page and more than 80% of your fans would see your content. That has changed dramatically in the last few months. In fact, in December 2013, organic reach was down to just 12%, and some reports show that it will fall as low as 6%. Brands that learn how to use Facebook advertising using the Power Editor function have the ability to run highly targeted and cost-effective campaigns.
Amy Porterfield:

5. Brands must move from mechanical to meaningful. We are in information overload. The amount of information we’re taking in will only continue to increase. The only way to get attention and build a fan base is to focus on quality, trust, building relationships and creating a useful experience for potential customers. Your content must create value and touch your customers emotionally to trigger action and advocacy.
Lee Odden:

6. Create stand out content to build awareness for your brand + connect with influencers. Define your goals and be the best answer to the main question your customer is asking. Ask yourself, “how do I want to be known?” and select your topics based on that answer. Reach out to influencers in your industry to include them (and their expertise) in your content creation.
Lee Odden:

7. Community is the most vital element to your growth. Business is about belonging. There are five stories/themes that you need to tell (on your blog, social media platforms, newsletter etc.) that will resonate with your audience. They include: – You are not alone. – Yes, that’s normal – I’m here and I will help you. – You are very special. – We are a tribe (but you are always speaking to just ONE person) You must always speak to your audience in their language and make them the hero. Don’t forget to tell them how awesome they are.
Chris Brogan:

8. Learn how to target the right people with your marketing. You have to know your audience before you can market to them effectively. Target the right followers on Twitter with and create a list of leads. Measure your ROI on Facebook with and find the people who are interacting with you the most. Identify influencers you want to build relationships with on and find high profile bloggers for campaigns with
Ian Cleary:

9. Growth hack your blog with SEOlicious posts. Come up with three phrases for each of the following: – Phrases readers use to find general information about your niche – Phrases readers use to research key topics pertaining to your niche – Phrases readers use to decide if they should take action and do business with you You now have nine phrases. Brainstorm five post topics for EACH of these phrases and you’ll have 45 SEOlicious post ideas for your blog. Plug them into your editorial calendar and write. Your mission is to get noticed.
Stan Smith:

10. He or she who generates the most trust online wins the game. Every industry is searching for simplicity, ease and amazing customer service. Tools come and go, but your business is about people. In fact, regardless of what you actually “do” in your business, what you REALLY do is: listen, communicate, teach and help.
Marcus Sheridan:


And a bonus tip: Be brave. It can be scary to put yourself out there, but until you do, we’ll never get to know your brilliance.
Stan Smith:


  1. This is GREAT info Liz! Thanks so much for sharing!!! xo

  2. Thank you… SO many useful nuggets! And thanks for the inspiring video/song too! 🙂

  3. What a great article! I love your tips and they will be my #1 guide 🙂

  4. Great article! Thanks for sharing the information.

  5. My visuals through my posts is something I really want to work on more this year. Especially because I feel so many people go on the internet for the visual appeal! As for Facebook, I can attest that whenever I have shared my links there, I get twice the views!

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