How to Become More Influential at #SMMW19

Attending conferences provides you with the opportunity to meet people in person you’ve built relationships with online over the years — as well as making new connections.

Whether you’re a social marketer who’s outgoing, loves meeting new people wherever you go, or an extremely introverted person, I hope this guide helps take your networking game to the next level at this year’s Social Media Marketing World.

I’ll be heading to San Diego with Nimble team members Jon Ferrara and Michaela Underdahl for the next #SMMW, which I’m happy to say is lucky #7. If you’re fortunate to attend this year, I sincerely look forward to seeing you there.

Two Weeks Ahead

Social Media

  • Follow our #SMMW19 Speaker List: an inclusive list of this year’s Social Media Marketing World’s 2019 Speakers.
    • Follow: Follow influencers, share their content, and start engaging with them ahead of the event by adding value to their social shares.
    • Message: Want to meet them IRL at SMMW? If you’ve successfully connected via Twitter, send them a direct message to connect.
  • Twitter & LinkedIn: Start connecting and communicating with colleagues, influencers, vendors, and speakers more broadly using Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Facebook & Instagram: Check out the Facebook and Instagram profiles of people you want to connect with before you meet them in person. A few minutes of reviewing an individual’s personal photos will reveal a lot about their passions and interests, and provide an authentic icebreaker when you meet.
  • Leverage Nimble’s Smart Contacts App to expedite your research: Access people’s full social footprint, areas of influence, and company insights in one click. Look up contact details, tag them, and click to add them to your contacts. For existing contacts, you can also bring up their engagement history from wherever you happen to be working.
  • Systematize your outreach across social media and email, and plan multiple touch points in order to book as many meetings as possible.

Relationship Building

  • Make a date: If you only see your SMMW connections once a year, make sure you connect and get on each other’s calendars before the conference begins.
  • Have concrete goals in mind: Your conference goals will influence which sessions you attend and which people you want to meet.
  • Research attendees: Set and finalize calendar days and times to connect with people you want to see there before you go.

Session Planning

  • Leave Time to Network: Schedule time for a quick meet up or get in line to meet the speaker after each session.
  • Plan Ahead: Sometimes sessions at conference have limited capacity, so make sure you plan ahead and get in line early for the seminars.
  • Download the #SMMW App: Visit the app store and find the Social Media Marketing World 2018 app in iTunes or Google Play.
  • Create your agenda and take a look around the #SMMW App. Start networking with attendees today to meet like-minded industry peers by clicking on the “Attendees” section or start a conversation in the “Activity Feed” section.

Things To Do

How To Be A Nimble Networker

Remember

You can use these networking tips even if they are not attending in person. You can start networking with speakers and attendees ahead of time by following the hashtag and then use the same stream to keep up with what’s going on at the conference. Speakers and attendees love to tweet screenshots of slides and quotes so you can still learn a lot even by participating remotely.

One Week Ahead

Social Media

  • Conference Hashtag: To stay in touch with the pulse of the #SMMW19 Twitter hashtag, create some Tweets and graphics ahead of time to help amplify your presence and participation at the conference. Follow hashtagged tweets here.

Relationship Building

  • I meet many people who are intimidated by conference speakers and nervous to walk up and introduce themselves. They’re at SMMW to meet new people and build new relationships — just like you. If you find an appropriate opening, walk up and introduce yourself, ask your question(s), or connect based on common interests, and be courteous of the other person’s time.
  • Prepare your mindset that you’re going to provide tremendous value to whomever you meet with.

Session Planning

  • Double check the sessions you registered for with your conference app to ensure they’re set up correctly, and make any session changes you might have based on new people you want to connect with.

Things To Do (Great Reads)

How To Be A Nimble Networker

Three Days Ahead

Social Media

  • Pursue a multi-channel approach to your social media networking. Nimble’s Founder Jon Ferrara says: “LinkedIn is like going into the lobby of your business contact. Twitter is more like going for a walk or taking them to lunch or a ballgame. Facebook is like having dinner in their home. All are great ways to connect.

“You need at least two of these connections to be effective. If I was restricted to one, I’d choose Twitter. It’s the most natural way to authentically connect on a human, personal level.”

Session Planning

  • Session Q&As: Many sessions have a Q&A portion toward the end. Prepare meaningful questions you might want to ask the speaker ahead of time and sit next to the microphones to ensure you’ll have the opportunity to get your answers.

Relationship Building

  • Reach out and touch base with all of the meetups you’ve scheduled to remind people that you’re still interested in getting together. Confirm the time, date, and place (with an address) in your communications to make it easy for your friends and clients to remember.

Don’t Forget

  • Don’t forget to pack a light jacket or sweater. The conference can tend to be chilly and you don’t want to get caught without one. Plus, the winds are always changing on Cleveland’s Erie Lake.
  • Meet and Greet If you are arriving early to Social Media Marketing World and have some free time Tuesday evening keep your eyes open for some pre-event meet ups.

How To Be A Nimble Networker

  • Keep an eye on your Today Page dashboard. The data visualization tool serves up contextual insights that help you use your remaining time wisely.

At the #SMMW Event

Social Media

  • Conference Hashtag: #SMMW19
  • LinkedIn: After you meet someone at the conference, connect with them on LinkedIn. Too busy? Grab their business card (scan it, if you’re using Nimble) or take a photo with their conference badge next to their face so you can circle back later

Session Planning

  • Attending sessions and meeting people will keep you on your toes. You will learn the most if you sit in the front of sessions and stay engaged with the speaker. This was a strategy Andy Crestodina, Barry Feldman, and I used for years at Social Media Marketing World.

Relationship Building

  • Do you typically stay in your team cliques, or are you more on the shy side? Make it a point to meet at least 10 new people every day at the conference. Set a personal goal; if you meet with 50 new people and connect via LinkedIn, reward yourself.

How To Be A Nimble Networker

Use the Mobile app to scan business cards, take notes during meetings, schedule follow up task, and (for iPhone users) send  trackable email templates during the show.

One Week After Event

Social Media

  • Continue the conversations you started and build relationships you spurred at SMMW.
  • Don’t forget to check the #SMMW19 hashtag for anything you might have missed.

Relationship Building

  • How Can You Help: Did you make an offer to colleagues or new connections at SMMW? Make sure you follow up on any promises you made or just reach out and ask if there’s anything they need. Be genuine and don’t offer your help in the hopes of anything in return.

How To Be A Nimble Networker

  • Use Tracking in Nimble to keep an eye on who’s opening your emails and who is not. Create templates for follow-ups and send them a few days later to get on top of people’s inboxes.
  • Use Templates in Nimble to send everybody thank you notes. Don’t forget to include a call-to-action; do you want to connect for a phone call to learn more about each other and explore possible collaborations? Include your calendar link in the template!

Not Attending?

No worries! Some conferences like Social Media Marketing World offer virtual tickets which allow you to listen and watch all the recorded sessions.

If purchasing a virtual ticket is not an option, you can always follow the conference hashtag online and look for learning opportunities.

People love to share their experience from conferences. It’s easy to just pull out your phone and take a picture of the presenter and their slides or tweet their quote. Using the conference’s hashtag makes it easy to follow the conversations. Since Social Media Marketing World is starting Wednesday, feel free to follow #SMMW19.

Let’s Connect at #SMMW

If you’d like to connect and meet up with our team, talk social marketing, or learn about how to use Nimble (and a special SMMW free trial), feel free to reach out:

Jon Ferrara, Founder & CEO Nimble

 

 

 

Lisa Loeffler, Director of Content 

 

 

 

Michaela Underdahl, Community Engagement Manager  

 

 

 

 

If you think you’ll find yourself in back-to-back sessions and don’t have time to meet up during conference hours, we’ll be attending many of the sessions and event festivities. We’ll have the chance to meet at one of those events too.

Don’t worry, if you haven’t secured your SMMW ticket there’s still time. Head over to the Social Media Marketing World website to learn how to be a part of this year’s content marketing experience.

Looking forward to reconnecting and meeting new friends this year in San Diego — See you there!

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