Summary #SMMW13 – Chris Brogan: social media isn’t the answer

chris brogan #SMMW13This is the first summary of the second day at Social Media Marketing World 2013, recalling the most important points of the talk given by Chris Brogan. I’ll dedicate a whole post to this speech because it deserves it.

Chris Brogan: You’re not going to like this but social media isn’t the answer

This is probably the reason why I came to this event; being able to see the person who’s inspired me since my first day working in new media back in 2007: Chris Brogan. I remember his was the first blog I subscribed to and the first person I followed on Twitter. Since then, I’ve tried to read all his posts, every day, keeping also those I’ve been unable to reed (I have approximately 1,500 emails containing his daily posts.)

Chris is probably the most respected person in the Social Web. This is something you notice when you share a round-table conference with him and other professionals as important as Jay Baer or Mario Sundar tell the audience, “I want to be like Chris Brogan”. He went straight to the point and touched on topics and concepts that no one else talked about during the event. He explained techniques and uses, sharing his knowledge in great detail and depth.

He talks with self-assurance about what he does, sharing useful and valuable reflections with the audience. As the audience, you realise you’re seeing someone who is capable of changing everything. These are the most relevant points I extracted from Chris Brogan’s speech:

  • Stop 80% of what you’re doing and work on the 20% that is making your business happen.
  • Create more businesses, many.
  • Followers don’t stop you from having to pay your mortgage.
  • When Twitter makes you put on weight, lose time and lose control of your followers, then put Twitter on a diet, cut down the time you dedicate to it and stop following those you’re not really following.
  • 200,000 Twitter followers aren’t as productive as the 20,000 blog readers who receive my newsletter every Sunday.
  • Talk about stories that people wish to learn from.
  • Tools are unimportant. What matters is what you’re capable of creating and how this is useful for people.
  • Find the quickest way for your readers to do something on your blog. Ask yourself, what would you like to happen right now? The answer’s easy: for people to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • Don’t work towards getting a larger number, work towards creating lists with the people who love you.

How to control your digital channel

  • If you’re not creating a digital empire, you’re missing your chance to reach the people who’re going to buy off you.
  • Foundations: a website that is responsive: we sell from our own site. However, we don’t simplify because we’ll usually do the following: “come to my store and then go on to any other page with all the information we publish to find distraction”.
  • Social test: Create a very human “About me” page. Connect and remain human.
  • Create a warm, human and simple landing page.
  • Measurements: there is only one measurement and it isn’t the number of newsletters; it’s the number of $$$ in the bank.
  • Empire: we need to improve in our creation of email lists.
  • Blog: my blog is important because more and more people find me because of the strange topics I talk about, not through social media.
  • Social Media: who cares? Time yourself and stop wasting your time on “the community”. Stop what you’re doing. Spend only a short time each day.
  • Sales: my blog produces money, it’s what I need and it also helps to sell my new products.
  • Community: mainly curation and engagement. No one wants to celebrate your victory, people want to celebrate their own victory.
  • Time: spend 39% of my time connecting with people and 51% doing business.

Create your digital platform

  • Blog (home base): here’s where all my effort is going to.
  • Video: I no longer do as much because it takes time and effort.
  • G+: I connect with my community.
  • Twitter: I create conversations and I’m human.
  • E-books: help to build email lists.
  • Podcast: I create community.
  • Email: I reach the people who love me.

Chris’s competitive advantage

During the Q&A after his speech, I wanted to ask Chris a question: “Chris, what’s your competitive advantage, besides your email subscription base?”. This was his answer: “The speed and skill with which I create content that is helpful and useful.” His answer speaks for itself.


I was shocked when before I had time to introduce myself to ask the question, Chris said “My dear friend Isra García, thanks for being here”. That’s what I keep talking about when I refer to Human Media. However, what really grabbed me about meeting Chris Brogan in person was his honesty, humility, clarity and his commitment to giving the best of himself.

After the talk I wanted to greet him and I realised that he really puts his money where his mouth is: when I was going to shake his hand, instead, he gave me a big great hug, saying “We finally meet, it’s such an honour to meet you after such a long time. Thanks for being there always and thanks for reading me!” (This is what I was supposed to have told him, not the other way round! I did get to say it back though.)

He commits to his readers fully. He understands where the value of his brand is, what he does. And where the money in his bank account comes from. Undoubtedly, attending #SMMW13 has been worth it just by listening to and meeting Chris Brogan, as well as Guy Kawasaki.

However, another of the reasons to attend was to travel Route 66 and end up at Coachella, but that’s another story… and perhaps a post.

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Summary #SMMW13 Day 1 – Guy Kawasaki

guy kawasaki #SMMW13Second summary of the first day at #SMMW13 to tell you the most important things that Guy Kawasaki had to say. I’ve decided to write a whole post on this review because it’s really worth it.

Guy Kawasaki: how to build a platform

This was one of the speeches I wanted to attend the most. It was definitely worth it and way better than I expected. Guy Kawasaki shattered everyone’s preconceptions and exceeded their expectations. He knew what he was there for and what he needed to do to get us thinking. He started irreverently, elegantly correcting what the presenter had said about him. He also said he wasn’t here to talk about Google+ or his book but about how to create a successful online platform, possibly by using social platforms such as Google+. This is what I extracted in essence from Guy Kawasaki’s talk:

  • I don’t want friends, I’m here to do business. There are two types of people on the social web: those who want followers and those who lie.
  • Start tomorrow: in order to promote a product, service or book launch you need at least 9 months before you even get started on that product or book.

Segment your services: this is how Guy Kawasaki uses the Social Media

  • Facebook: for the people.
  • Twitter: perceptions.
  • Google+: sharing passions.
  • Pinterest: publishing and pinning.
  • LinkedIn: promotion.

Create a great profile:

  • Original.
  • With a great avatar, showing your face at the centre, not with your dog or car.
  • Attractive.
  • Your profile should work like on a dating site: “hot or not”. Someone visiting your profile should think: “hot”
  • Enticing others to connect with you.

Retrain yourself:

  • Share and help out, always and a lot.
  • Spend 5% of your time promoting yourself.
  • Add value in your own environment, share other people’s stories.

Add something special:

  • Pictures.
  • Videos.
  • Consider your answers and answer the questions made.
  • Cheat: seek out what is trending and become an ally with it.
  • Stay positive or go home. We need optimism, not doubt.

Negativity in the social media is like a boxing match:

  • Round 1 – publish.
  • Round 2 – react.
  • Round 3 – react to the reaction, fight.
  • Round 4 – comment again.
  • … and so on …

Repeat tweets:

  • Not everyone reading your tweets is your target.
  • Repeat 4 times a day: the return from 4 tweets is better than only one.
  • Out of one million fans, it’s usually 5/6 who complain: if no one complains about what you’re doing, there’s something you’re not doing right!
  • Don’t publish when Asia is awake, you’ll only get spam in return.


  • Create a private community to use as a “to-do” list for posts that you’re interested in sharing.
  • Use a clipboard tool to store content: Multiple Level Clipboard.
  • Tell stories that your community are interested in listening to: Alltop, Smartbrief or TEDxtalks on Youtube are ideal resources.
  • Communities: 1. create communities that refer to specific passions; 2. create internal communities with workflows in companies, teams in resources sites, editors, etc.


  • “Do Share” – programme posts anywhere, including Google+.
  • Buffer – programme tweets.
  • “Nuke Comments” – this allows you to delete comments, block users and eliminate them all at once.
  • “Replies and more” – answer comments on Google+ directly to the user who mentioned you.
  • “Shareholic” – social sharing button that can be integrated in any website.

Guy Kawasaki’s strategy:

If you share content continuously, that content will reach people and it may add value. That could happen with your first content or your thousandth content. So, when you add value, someone or more than one will share. Every time someone shares, new people get to know you. The more people know you, more people will start finding interesting content among what you publish. And they’ll start following you; increasingly so. It is then that you’ll be able to use that 5% self-promotion to sell your book or product or service.

Final note

The following statement summarises Guy’s essence: “Curation is as valuable as creation.” Straightforward, fun, simple, smart, valuable and irreverent. It was, by far, the best talk on Day 1 and practically the whole event, only surpassed by Chris Brogan’s intervention on Day 2.

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Summary #SMMW13 Day 1 – Michael Stelzner, Larry Benet, Mari Smith

This is the first summary for the first day at #SMMW13. Talks by Michael Stelzner, Larry Benet and Mari Smith.

social media marketing world 13

Michael Stelzner: social media marketing 2013

To kick off, the founder of #SMMW13 and Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner, took the stage at 08:30. These are the main ideas I jotted down:

  • Social media is young: LinkedIn, 10 years old. Facebook, 9 years old. Twitter, 7 years old. Pinterest, 3 years old. Google+, 1 years old.
  • Social media isn’t dead, it’s boring.
  • Huffington Post is a clear example of how new forms of communication have superseded the old ones.
  • Maturity in an industry leads to disruption in the industry. We’ll soon see emails being left aside in favour of Facebook messages.
  • Other outstanding trends are related to social funding: crowdfunding platforms such as the well-known Kickstart and the example of Seth Godin and his latest book “The Icarus Deception.”
  • Podcasts will undergo the most significant growth on the market. There are three reasons for this: car integration, the little time available we have and Apple’s podcasting app.

The following conclusions were reached during a Social Media Examiner study:

  • Social media platforms that are relevant for business: Facebook 49% – Twitter 39% – Blogs 9%
  • Why social media is important for business: 71% answered “increased exposure”.

Most important trends that marketing professionals want to learn:

  • 2013: blogging (according to Technorati, 62% want to learn about independent blogging and 86% about influencers)
  • 2012: Google+
  • 2011: Facebook
  • 2010: Social bookmarking.
  • Marketing professionals plan to dedicate 69% more of their efforts to social media.
  • 54% of the small communities prefer small communities: small is the new large.
  • Forums are coming back to life. Forums help shape our own social networks.

 Key points:

  • People matter.
  • Social media isn’t dead.
  • Social media is still very young, there is still much room for growth.
  • YouTube will be a key tool in 2013 to direct traffic and marketing.
  • Podcasting will grow this year, becoming the great opportunity.

Larry Benet: how to create lasting connections

At 09:00, Larry Benet took the stage after Mike. He’s known as the super connector, a very active guy with such charisma and personality that he’s made his mark on people like Bill Clinton, Warren Buffett or Richard Branson. A dynamic talk from which I extracted the following ideas and conclusions:

  • The more you give, the more you gain. The more value you add, the better things work for you.
  • Our most powerful skill is our ability to connect.
  • The secret to connect with kids is to use SpongeBob SquarePants.
  • The best strategy to connect is: contribute, feel and give.
  • The new PPC isn’t “pay per click” but “pay per compliment”. This opens the door to a culture of generosity.
  • How can you connect with someone when you find out that something is important to that person?
  • We only have 10-15 seconds to make an impact on the first impression.
  • To connect: concern yourself, give, read and listen more.

Questions to connect with someone and make an impact:

  • What do you do to have fun?
  • What is your favourite cause or NGO?
  • What is the achievement you’re most proud of?
  • What haven’t you done yet but would love to do?
  • What has been your biggest failure?
  • How can I help you?
  • What is the most important project you’re working on and how can my network or I help you to turn it into a reality?

A mistake you must avoid when you connect: don’t ask difficult or big things from people and don’t ask with increasing frequency.

His talk was dynamic, inspiring and very emotional. He’s like a steamroller PR and his ability to connect with people in a very short space of time is amazing.

Mari Smith: 10 ways to improve your reach in Facebook

We attended Mari Smith’s talk at 10:30. She’s known as the Facebook Queen. I was very surprised by the admiration and commotion this speaker gives rise to. She appears to be loved quite a lot by everyone in attendance, the organisers and speakers.

These were the highlights of Mari’s 10 steps:

1. Insights: experiment with traffic windows and use a spreadsheet to measure the best times to publish on Facebook.

  • The fans may hide your content because you’re publishing too much or you’re publishing topics that aren’t relevant.
  • The new Facebook start page and feed will make it possible to follow feeds and become interested in lists.

2. Test your audience profile by changing parameters constantly.

3. Vary your content often.

4. Improve your “Calls to Action”: increase your chances of driving your fans outside Facebook.

  • Click here.
  • Get your tickets.
  • Join Us.
  • Make your reservations here.

5. Strengthen your response time:

  • Passionate community management.
  • The key lies in good customer service that is persuasive at the same time.
  • Response ratios remain under 30 minutes.
  • Tag your fans to bond with them when you speak with them.
  • The best way to respond is to be responding the impossible. That’s where opportunity lies.

6. Pay for greater reach

  • You can pay to get better reach, but only when the situation requires it.

7. Organise events/promotions:

  • Customer service hours, pre-sale or post-sale.
  • Carry out events every Friday, rewarding your most loyal fans each week.

8. Launch your fans: empower them by talking about them, not about yourself.

9. Start contests.

10. Create interesting contacts/friends lists that can help out:

  • Work with both personal and professional profiles.
  • Monitor regularly: eliminate irrelevant contacts/lists that don’t add value.
  • Talk about relevant topics.
  • The key is to educate friends or fans with regard to the subscribe button.

The truth is I expected much more from Mari Smith. At the end of her speech I was left with the feeling that I would have taken out as much by simply reading a post on “10 ways to improve your reach in Facebook”. There was no insight, no shrewdness, no risk involved like when you deliver something valuable and can actually fail; none of that. None of the vulnerability you feel when you deliver something that can change everything. That’s what was missing.

In the next summary…

However, during the second part of the summary for the first day at #SMMW13, I’ll talk about the incredible wit and mastery of Guy Kawasaki and others.

Here, you’ll fine a real-time twitter stream to follow everything I published about #SWMM13. Simply follow the hashtag #IGSMMW13.

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