Social media conferences, unlike writing conferences, may not ring a bell in you if you are not really into content marketing. Still, it is one among many types of conferences that writers shouldn’t ignore, especially if they’re into writing fiction or do content production for online and social media consumption.
If you want to up your social media marketing skills, boost your creativity in design and writing, or open up to new possibilities in areas such as tech, you may have to look beyond conferences aimed just at writers.
Luckily, the start of a new year brings with it many conferences for writers and digital marketers. It is also a time for us writers to reflect, make resolutions, and plan on events to attend during the year—and this is where social media conferences, just like writers’ conferences, should enter in our planner.
In this article, I will share the knowledge and essential takeaways you will gain as a writer by attending a social media conference this year.
You might think social media conferences favor marketers or content managers, but as a writer, you are essentially running a business. You need tips on publishing, marketing, search engine marketing, advertising, finding a team to manage your content marketing plan, and many more, which only a social media conference would cover.
As it most often happens, you might try Googling a social media conference. However, the chances of getting lost in a sea of conferences are high with basic social media if you do not land on the right site.
Social Media Examiner has a great list of social media conferences you can attend, no matter your specialty.
There are also rules on how to carry yourself at these events, though many are quite similar, and in some cases, highlighted on the event’s website.
Now, on to what you will learn.
Perhaps you have heard or been told that the quickest way to get started on social media, whether you want to promote your book or your services, is to get yourself a social media manager.
While hiring a social media manager is the logical thing to do, it is ideal only if you have a heavy purse, which, for many writers, is unfortunately not the case. Nonetheless, you have to use social media.
It may take you a long time or a short time to learn the ropes around social media platforms; it all depends on your schedule. However, we live in a fast-paced world, and thankfully, there are quick ways to do most things, including acquiring new knowledge.
Tons of social media conferences have one- or two-day courses on how to use a social media platform. Whether you want to use Google My Business to share videos and photos to build credibility to your searchers and customers, or you want to use YouTube, Facebook Live, or augmented reality for interactive content, product launches, or competitions, there is a conference for you.
Google an event, show up, and the results will surprise you. In my experience, the knowledge you get from a social media conference can help you decide which platform to be on depending on what you write. For example, YouTube tends to be an ideal platform for writing coaches, as they can easily carry out Q&As and even interview other writers and authors.
You just got started with social media marketing, and after spending quite some time on the platforms, you realize that they’re robbing you of lots of productive time.
You search for a solution and find a tool that can help you reduce the time you spend on social media and make you more productive. What a relief.
You settle on one, and after a while, it is just not working for you. So you Google another one, and that too is not doing you any favors.
It happens … The growth of social media and writing has led to the availability of many different apps with varying features and benefits, all claiming to be better than the others.
While the availability of different social media apps may be a blessing because of the array to choose from, it is also a curse because it may be hard to find the right tool to use. Choosing one might mean missing out on another, better option.
But there is a solution. The owners or founders of these apps, tools, and assistants love social media conferences and, in some cases, are the organizers of these events.
So, if you are struggling to find the right tool, you can meet these owners and founders at social media events, interact, learn, and pick the right tool for your social media marketing goals—whether it is for monitoring and reporting what your audience says about you, or measuring your return on investment.
Writing tips, writing laws, or writing rules, call them whatever you like. The fact is that all touch on crafting yourself a niche as the number one way to lay the groundwork to writing success.
However, not all writers believe in the gospel of niches. I have come across writers who consider themselves generalists, because working in multiple niches brings them more returns and makes them more productive.
One way of discovering a new niche or skill set is tapping the social media marketing hive. Social media content is usually short and more comfortable to write, market, and build a business around through copywriting.
The puzzle, however, is creating advertorial copy and other posts that generate buzz. This is what made me visit a niche marketing conference that was once held at my former university hall.
Though it was a one-off event, it came at a time when I was desperate for an exciting niche other than blog writing, and social media seemed to be the answer. But the question of how to start remained.
To avoid false starts, unnecessary revisions, and frustration, you can learn how to write content that creates buzz from a social media conference.
Also, you become quicker at producing content for social media because you have the latest research at your disposal, and subject matter experts in this field that you can interview or research later once you have specialized in social media writing.
Many of us are guilty of exhausting our marketing strategies without the numbers to show for it, so we try to snare whatever gimmick might work, including emulating ads and anything else successful writers do in the name of chasing after the numbers.
Or we hold on to a particular myth: the belief that one must invest in paid ads to be successful. This is what I believed at first, until I heard from speakers at a social media conference that there are ways of suppressing the competition other than paid ads. A couple of other myths I held about marketing and competition were also debunked.
The best way to learn how to shift gears in your marketing strategy and understand the falsehood in marketing is from a social media conference. A general admission ticket grants you access to the sponsor exhibitor hall, panels led by experts, workshops, and classes where you can connect with speakers, vloggers, bloggers, and content managers who are also marketing gurus.
Some of these speakers you will find have authored and sold several books and are ready to share what worked for them, or give you ideas that you may want to use to overpower the competitor and avoid the marketing myths.
When people talk about social media marketing, they most often refer to the way in which individuals and businesses share content. This is usually short bursts of information such as images, videos, or text for the purpose of reaching prospects and customers.
Social media experts refer to this as using organic social media.
However, using organic social media to get content in front of people is becoming increasingly difficult. It now requires social media marketers to use a combination of methods like earned, owned, and paid channels while putting their best foot forward.
While using different methods and channels works, it is understanding the fundamentals involved that will help you create a content strategy to better position your content.
A social media conference is jam-packed with social media marketing courses and how-to sessions, case studies, and techniques for marketers and writers to learn about their audience.
Besides, you will learn how to use tools like Google Trends to find topics and check out how they are behaving according to search trends, as well as use Facebook to build users’ identity from social information.
There is also big news or stories flying around that you can use to your advantage and generate quality backlinks. One of the best conferences to find stories to write about is FinCon, a conference that is a favorite for tax and financial writers and content producers.
We know that any story from the tax and financial world automatically generates ripples in many industries. Armed with the knowledge from a conference to present such stories to the public will guarantee you greater success.
Data is huge and is also everything in social media marketing. It can directly impact how you want your content to appear to your audience.
Data can help writers spot trends and patterns to explore or support with other methods while carrying out their own campaigns.
Data can also help writers answer questions such as how much revenue was generated by a Facebook post you shared one or two months ago or the number of new customers brought in by your recent tweet.
More real proof of the power of data is President Trump’s campaign team collaboration with Cambridge Analytica and using data to support other methods as the key in targeting potential voters.
While you may not have the humongous resources the Trump team had to spend on ads and to extract data, I am sure the resources at your disposal can help you launch a data-driven campaign.
However, such a campaign requires some knowledge and level of expertise to avoid getting entangled in any ethical implications.
A social media conference can help you avoid the risks with relevant bits of knowledge on how to extract and use data.
Other things you may learn include how to use searches to find data and publications that you can use for your content needs or how to twist your data to create a good story.
Or how to use social media data to help you confirm and flesh out stories.
You can gain this knowledge at conferences such as Savage Marketing and Content Marketing World, which are packed with information on data science, how to use HARO to find content and sources, and how to use data extracted from customer behavior to drive revenue.
OK, this is not about joining Jenna Bush Hager’s book club, nor Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club. If you do, the chances of your book not being picked or shared with the community or fellow members are incredibly high.
I am not saying you should not try, and if you think joining a book club will bring you greater success, go for it.
However, the best influencers to work with are not the ones with big names but rising social media stars with an audience that targets your readers. Whether they are on Instagram or run a successful blog, if they have high engagement, they are most likely to help you reach a wider audience quickly.
The problem is that finding a good influencer is what makes writers shy away from anything to do with micro-influencers. There is also little information about micro-influencers and a high chance of getting scammed if you rush the process.
Here is where a social media marketing conference can help you as an author close the gap between you and influencers and you and your audience. At these events, you learn how to discover and approach an influencer, build relationships with them, and the hidden compliance procedures.
Events where you can benefit more on the topic of influencers are influenceTHIS and Influencer Marketing Show, where you will also see why connecting with an influencer is the best way to garner more book reviews.
We have heard about how artificial intelligence (AI)-powered assistants like Alexa and Siri are taking over not just our homes but also our online activities. While you can tell your Alexa or Siri to start your microwave or TV, you can also tell these devices to write and save your documents in the cloud.
AI-powered tools can also do extras like posting content to social media or writing your marketing copy or ad, leaving you time to do other things. They can also teach you languages.
For example, Alexa has Skills such as Grammar Teacher or Vocabulary Builder that can help you improve your grammar, vocabulary, and other skills to motivate you to write.
Chatbots also come into play, as they help improve your audience experience and do tasks without involving actual human beings. Marketing Land estimates that over 75% of online users expect to interact with a chatbot when they visit a website.
Chase Bank also found that AI-written copy generates more clicks than human-written marketing copy. Actually, it is not the first time copywriting machines are producing surprising results, presenting a trend with no signs of stopping.
So, where can we, as writers, learn of this shift in trend and technology and how it influences our writing, publishing, and marketing activities?
Well, product managers and developers of these technological products frequently visit social media conferences and allow users to have firsthand experience of these products and decide whether they can help us expand our marketing and writing efforts. The ContentTECH Summit is a great place to learn how new technologies are changing how we work and what our work will look like in the future.
Every day, we find ourselves debating on how often we should post content on social media, which social platform is viable to market on, whether influencers can really improve our marketing game, the best way to extract social media data without ethical implications, which free and paid tools are the best for social media marketing, and much more.
Since social media is the biggest distribution channel out there in content marketing, these debates make it increasingly necessary to expand our knowledge on social media.
And if you’re looking for a new skill set, social media conferences can help you progress to becoming a social media manager, content strategist, social ads manager, or Messenger expert.
The best place to start is at a social media conference. And, as I mentioned earlier, Social Media Examiner is a great place to start looking for marketing conferences.
Derick loves looking for opportunities wherever he goes. You can always find him switching between writing and social media management, building programs in the Python language, seeking divine intervention, or just watching Manchester United topple rivals. Follow him on: LinkedIn | Facebook | Carthall.com