Social Media Marketing World Reflections

Looking back on social media marketing world, I wanted to share my thoughts as this was the first time I was there and there are some things we can learn from this mammoth event.

The first impression was WOA. I walked in and got my badge and as they started to hand me a swag bag (you know the thing you throw on your bed, leaf through once and then ditch) and they asked what gift I would like. One was a cool cable organizer, and the other was a battery backup pack to charge my phone or tablet. This wasn't a cheap bottom of the food chain device. For me, this was awesome as I was going to buy one at Best Buy before leaving and ran out of time. To me, this shows they know their audience. Either gift was valuable.

Becuase Of My Podcast

Becuase of my podcast, I know Paul Colligan, and Paul Colligan knows JJ Virgin who is now coming on my weight loss show (and I got to sample some cool stuff)

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Look at All The Icing

At first glance, one might say that the major draw of SMMW is icing. For example, the opening night you have a networking event on an aircraft carrier. This is not something I had ever done. It made the event unique. Now, you might say, but in the end, you still have a bunch of people talking, drinking, and networking.  I see that point of view, but every corner had a sense of adventure. I toured the top of the ship with Ray Ortega and Lou Mongello. If this had been in a restaurant back room, I was still hanging out with Ray and Lou. If I was doing this at another conference, it would be an event. I great event, but throw in that we are talking to a veteran about planes and now this is not only an event – it's an experience. It is a stronger memory than hanging out in the hotel bar.

The second networking event was at a club that had a live band playing Karaoke. It was very loud, but I was walking in with somewhat of a “What am I walking into? experience.” I was with Ray so we ventured further into the club and found ourselves on what looked like an outdoor patio except we were inside. This again brought on kind of a “What is this place?” feeling. We then walked through a hallway of white Chrismas lights into a room with booths lit up with neon green. We picked up some awesome cake in a cup and enjoyed our sugar rush. We walked over to one station where they were making some sort of dessert that was part ice cream cone meets cinnamon roll, meets strawberries and chocolate, meets, WHAT THE HECK IS THAT THING. You could even walk into the giant vault. Did we need an exotic building? No, but did it add to the experience? Sure, as now Ray and I felt like we were in a live dungeons and dragons game waiting to see what the next room would bring.

Their networking room was categorized by subject. There were three tables for podcasters, more tables for YouTubers, etc. It made it very easy to meet your tribe, and then introduce yourself to a new one. The one that was really above an beyond, I was in the speaker's room (a lovely quiet place to go with refreshments and snacks). When the crew I was sitting with mentioned walking over to the place where you could pick up your lunch, a staff member took our order and brought it over to us. This wasn't necessary, but as this was day two anyone had put a few miles in their shoes and this was a super nice touch.

Don't Write Off Icing – It's Important.

According to Betty Crocker's Website, 2 tablespoons of chocolate icing is 130 calories and 95 grams ug sugar. According to the Fat Secret website, a cupcake without icing has 105 calories. With this in mind, 55% of the calories come from the icing, but I'm pretty sure the part of the cupcake that gets people drolling is 100% the icing. This got me thinking about the phrase, “Icing on the cake” and I did some googling as to items that draw people's attention. Here is what I found.

  • Physical need. When we’re hungry and we see food, we pay attention. We wake up in the night when we need to go to the bathroom.
  • Self-made choice. We decided to buy a new BMW 325 and suddenly see them everywhere. This effect is also called priming.
  • Your name. We notice the name dearest to us.
  • Emotion. If something evokes an emotion in us, they have our attention. Ask anyone about the show this is us.
  • Contrast. We pay more attention to things that are in contrast to other things.
  • Novelty. The brain pays more attention to things in the environment that are new to a person’s experience. (see)
  • Another website stated:
  • 3) You can't understand it: Do you remember the last time you were searching for some information online? Do you remember when you stopped? Most probably you stopped when you got your answers. The things that we don't understand quickly grab our attention and force us to think about them even more.
  • 4) Because you want to run away: Sometimes things catch our attention because we want to run away from the current moment. Nostalgia is a great example where something pleasant that happened from the past quickly grabs our attention and forces us to indulge in thoughts about the beautiful past
  • 5) Because it's cute: You might wonder what does cuteness have to do with attention-grabbing but in fact, studies have shown that we are wired to get distracted by cute little things. Whether it's a small cat or a beautiful baby the algorithm in our brains gets us hooked quickly when we encounter cuteness (See also 7 psychological reasons cats are so popular on the internet)

A Cupcake Without Icing is a Muffin

Although cupcakes and muffins are strikingly similar in appearance, the taste and texture of the two are quite different. Cupcakes are a small, individual cake. They are lighter, cake-like and sweeter. Muffins are defined as a quick bread, usually denser. Another difference between cupcakes and muffins is that cupcakes are almost always topped with frosting and muffins are not.

What Kind of Icing Can Podcasters Provide to Their Show?

Keep them Informed

One of the things at SMMW is I never wondered what was going on. They had an app for your phone and an army of volunteers. I knew when buses were leaving and coming back. I knew where to go, etc. I listen to a lot of podcasts and many of them are like a bus. My friend Erik K Johnson from podcast talent coach says it's like getting on a bus with no name on the front. You have no idea where it's going (so you probably wouldn't get on), and if it took off with you on it you might be a little nervous. At SMMW I felt taken care of. When Emily Prokop of the Story Behind to a Hiatus to have a baby, it was well planned out, and here audience was aware of what was happening. She has some shows in the can to carry us over, and we knew there would be a small break.

Get Your Audience Involved

I know you are probably saying, “I would love to get my audience involved but I haven't got a single bit of feedback.” End your show with a question, and ask them to respond. MAKE SURE you have an EASY way to leave feedback. Did you know that in some apps if you put your voicemail number (say from ) your audience can often click it and it will dial your number? If you do get feedback, RESPOND. If possible play it on the show. For the person that hear's their name on a show, it is a mountain of icing. I was listening to Podcast Junkies with Harry Durran and they ended up saying my name three times before the show was over. Did you notice I counted? Do you know why? Icing. Did you notice what else happened? I just mentioned his show.

How is the Subscription Experience?

Contrary to popular belief, rating and reviews are great social proof, but don't do much for really building your show or boosting you up the rankings of Apple. The muffin, in this case, is “Find me in Apple Podcasts.” The icing is having an EASY TO FIND subscribe page with step by step instructions on how to subscribe or do it live on Facebook and embed the video. Guide your audience by the hand.

Give Them What They Need

My gift from SMMW was something I needed. It was so cool, and it made a great first impression. How did this happen? This was their sixth year doing this conference. I have a few conversations with Michael Stelzner and he's no dummy. He doesn't rest on his reputation and tries to make each year better than the last. Keep in mind this means when you first start your podcast it may not be hitting a home run, but work with your audience and you can create a podcast they start telling their friends about.

Do What Other People Don't

Jordan Harbinger has a popular show. His interviews are great. Jordon does something that most people don't. Some call it, “the work.” For example, if Jordan is interviewing an author, he may put the episode out of few weeks so he can read the author's book. What does this do? First, it is going to be OBVIOUS to the author that Jordan read the book. This will make Jordan stand out in a sea of podcasts hosts who want to do as little as possible in hopes that said author will share their show on twitter. This also leads to better questions and a better interview. Now put yourself in the author's shoes. Which podcast do you want to promote to your audience the one where the host read the book, or the other guy? Who has a better chance of building a relationship with that author? When the author has a new book out in a few years, which podcast is he going to want to appear on. Why? Icing.

Go One More Level Deeper

I sat in Jason Van Orden‘s session on how to grow your email list. Jason used a word that really hit home for me. The word resonates. You want your content to resonate with your audience. How do I know his talk resonated with me? Well, I'm telling you aren't I? Exactly. He said when it comes to your content you need to know the following

  • Why does it matter to you
  • Why does it matter to your audience?
  • Why does it matter to the world?

When you know WHY it matters to your audience it shows you really know your audience.

Mentioned In Episode 609

Alive Inside Documentary Official Website

Jason Van Orden

Jordan Harbinger

Emily Prokop

Podcast Talent Coach

The Feed Libsyn Podcast

Podfecta Nashville Conference

Craft Content Nashville

Paul Colligan – the Podcast Report

Gary Leland

Luria Petrucci Tedx Talk

Daily Podcast Tips

Daily Podcast Tips! Put Your Inbox to Work

About the Author
Owner of the School of Podcasting. Also produces the "Ask the Podcast Coach." He is also the author of the book "More Podcast Money" and is a regular speaker at podcasting and media conventions.

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