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Social Media Marketing World Recap

The grand event is over and I’m just over a week back into reality, so to speak. Of course, life doesn’t stop while you’re out of town but I was lucky to have a bit of reflection time while traveling home. (That’s the benefit of attending a conference on the opposite side of the country… long hours on planes!)

The short of it is this: Social Media Marketing World had my head spinning… still has my head spinning to be quite honest. And get this: I only attended 13 sessions out of over 100! I think my brain would literally blow up if I crammed any more in there. The great thing is that, as an attendee, I have access to all of the recordings, which should, you know, keep me busy for the next five years!

But I remember a slide from Phil Mershon‘s opening greeting: “You never know when a 15-minute conversation could change your life” with the hashtag #ExpectSeredipity. So, I didn’t get too worked up about not being able to attend some of the sessions I wanted to because the rooms overflowed. I also didn’t get too shy about doing a few live Periscopes. In fact, after one of them, a marketer came over and asked me to be a guest on his Periscope! Too fun. Overall, I went with the flow and it was awesome.

Most of the main takeaways I covered in my Day 1 and Day 2 recaps. However, not everything translates directly to your role or even to your organization. The learning is one thing. The application of the knowledge is quite another.

So with this avalanche of new information, there are a few specific ideas and tools related to growing our housefile and amplifying our message that really resonated with me.

Facebook Drip/Nuture Ads

Who knew that you could set up Facebook ads to pull in a fresh audience on a regular basis and then serve custom ads to those audiences dependent on their actions? Brilliant!

The key is coming up with a campaign relevant to your organization. For example, I could envision an ad related to volunteering FAQ that is served to all website visitors of our volunteer page. The ad directs them to a specific volunteering FAQ webpage. The second ad would be served to visitors of that page about a week later related to perhaps viewing a video about volunteering at the organization. The third ad might be delivered about two weeks later to the visitors of the volunteer video to offer them a certificate of appreciation for their community involvement. The key to this? An email address is needed to deliver the certificate to their inbox. Ding, ding, housefile growth!

The wonderful thing about a campaign like this is that there is no need tweak the ads, run them at different times, refresh the copy, or manage them in any way. Jon Loomer calls this an Evergreen Facebook Ad and you can find out more details on his website.

Nurture Campaigns by Email

At my organization, we’ve had a Welcome Series set up for years. Anyone who is new to our file, either by signing up for our enewsletter, filling out a survey, or by making a donation is entered into a 3-part welcome series from our CEO. It’s sent every Tuesday for 3 weeks in a row. The first gives an overview of the mission and activities, the second talks about how to get involved, and the third goes into specific details about managing their account.

This same process can apply to any series related content! Receive a series of recipes by a famous chef, safety tips, travel features, puppy training ideas, or new science breakthroughs. Depending on your organization, there could be several series emails running at any given time. They are perfect offers for Facebook or Google ads, features on blog posts, or content for tweets!

Online Quizzes

One buzzword I heard over and over was “lead generation.” In some sessions they talked about influencer marketing, such as an ambassador program, and in others they talked about lead magnets, or freebies. I couldn’t really think of a freebie that we have to offer but through a quick search on “nonprofit lead generation” I found a pretty cool idea: personality quizzes.

An article from a service called Interact listed three examples. The American Red Cross did a quiz on fire safety, the World Wildlife Fund did one on your animal soulmate, and the Girl Scouts did one on what type of cookie you are. Through each of these quizzes, I would envision a nurture campaign based on the associated topic!

I have a note to look into one recommended service called Apester that embeds polls and quizzes into your website.


I have had lightboxes on my eternal long-term to-do list. They are essentially popup boxes that I had intended to use during a campaign or at campaign time. After attending some of these sessions, my ideas have expanded to offer specific content on specific pages.

For example, our Google Analytics has shown (for years) that the second most popular page on our website is our volunteer page. An inexpensive little tool called OptIn Monster would allow us to create an offer for volunteer visitors such as a certificate of appreciation. The cool thing about OptIn Monster is that they have a feature called “Exit Intent.” The webpage remains undisturbed until the visitor attempts to leave. Only then is the popup box shown with the offer.

What I love about this idea is that the visitor can obtain all the information they need before being bothered with a pesky popup box. I can’t wait to try it!

Other Tips and Tricks

There was an overwhelming number of tips and bits of advice on how to make things easier, more efficient, and create more impact. For me, I liked these ideas:

  • Facebook Live Video. I’m so curious about this, particularly because Facebook will be prioritizing live video in the news feed. While not everyone might have a strategy that works for live video, I’ll certainly be investigating this for our 24 hour new media telethon!
  • Making content easy to share using tools like Social Warfare. Depending on the objective of your organization, it might be worth the minimum package that starts at $24/month.
  • The tool called Ripl looked pretty cool to spruce up your images with animation. As Mari Smith said, “eyeballs are monetizable!”
  • A super cool tool to help with blog and social media content ideas include Answer the Public. Not only does the guy on the home page crack me up but the results it produces is incredible! Check out this chart on the term “charity.” It’s beautiful AND informative!
Answer the Public on Charity
Answer the Public on Charity (Click for Larger View)

Social Media Marketing World was an incredible experience and I am so fortunate that I had the chance to attend. If you are an online marketer or involved in social media in any way, I encourage you to follow Social Media Examiner, check out the podcast, and attend the conference if you get the chance. These folks have their fingers on the pulse of social media and it’s a great way to keep current with the latest trends!

View more photos on my SMMW2016 Flickr Album!