How to Make the Most of #SMMW20 (Even If You’re Not There in Person)

Social Media Marketing World is an annual conference that invites the world’s top marketing pros to speak and share their experience with their peers. There is no better conference for learning about the latest trends in social media management, social strategy, social advertising, content and video marketing, analytics, customer advocacy, and more.

We understand that not everybody is able to attend in person, so we’ve put together this post that includes tips on how to join in on the conversations, build relationships with new people, and how to make sure that you stay in touch after the conference.

Add the Speakers & Insiders to a Twitter List

As you know, our Twitter home page can get pretty busy. From our experience, the best way to make sure that we are really focusing on our goals and the people we want to be developing and nurturing relationships with has been Twitter List.

Luckily for us, there are many people and brands that take the time to carefully curate great lists that you can subscribe to and save time on creating them yourself.

Last week, our team published a blog post with the top 48 people that we are following during this year’s SMMW20. You can take a look and subscribe to the Twitter List if you’d like.

If you’re interested in following all the speakers that are presenting this year, Social Media Examiner has a Twitter List of all of them available here.

Follow the Hashtag #SMMW20

In addition to following the speakers and insiders directly or via a Twitter list, we also recommend keeping an eye on the official hashtag #SMMW20.

This can be beneficial to both first-time goers and also seasoned attendees. If you are going for the first time, you can find amazing networking opportunities being shared. Many people share public invites to parties and meetups they are hosting, to walks, lunch meetups, meetups about certain topics in between sessions, and more.

Just take a look at this amazing conversation below. A first-time attendee, Dana, shared a tweet about attending for the first time. A bevy of people jumped in to welcome her and to tell her about how amazing this conference is, as well as to offer to answer any questions she might have.

Build a Top List

Create separate lists to organize the people you want to continue to engage with after the conference, the influencers whose sessions left an impression on you, or the people you missed and would like to connect with.

You can use the above mentioned Twitter Lists to do so, or transfer them into your CRM. A simple spreadsheet can also be used to keep track of the people that you would like to do business with or collaborate with.

Once we identify the people that we want to focus on building relationships with, we bring them into Nimble using our Prospector browser extension.

This powerful plugin allows our team to quickly discover more information about the people that we want to learn more about, including their contact information and social insights. We can simply hover over their name on Twitter, and Nimble will create a rich contact record for them saving us a lot of time on manual data entry.

Once you identify the people that you’d like to collaborate with or do business with, it’s important to add them to your list. It’s also important to properly organize your contacts; we use tags in our CRM to do so. As you can see in the example above, we used the tag “SMMW20” to add May King Tsang to our Social Media Marketing World 2020 group.

The best way to get on somebody’s radar is to do proper research. Take some time to go through the person’s social media feeds, add all their other social media accounts to their record, and mark which platform they are most active on.

We’ve learned that many influencers in the digital marketing and sales industries are very active on Twitter. This is great news because Twitter is the easiest platform to use when starting to build a relationship with somebody using social media. The platform is open and you can follow anybody without needing their permission like on other platforms. It’s very easy to share people’s content, attribute it to them, and it’s considered to be ok to just tweet at somebody to start a conversation.

Take The New Relationship to The Next Level

Once you have been connected to someone on Twitter for a while and you feel like you’ve build strong enough relationships with them, we recommend starting the journey of connecting with them on other platforms as well.

All platforms are different, but it’s really beneficial to be connected with your most important contacts on all the platforms they are active on to really get a whole and real picture about who they are and how you may best approach developing a relationship with them.

Our CEO, Jon Ferrara, described the different attributes of the main platforms before.

“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 them to be effective. If I was restricted to one, I’d choose Twitter. It’s the most natural way to authentically connect with people.”

We usually start the relationship on Twitter, then send a personalized connection request on LinkedIn, then follow them on Instagram, and once we feel that we have reached the point that it’s ok to send a Facebook request, we do so.

It’s very important to note that this all takes time. Interacting with your VIPs using your personal accounts helps tremendously. It’s ok to follow these people using your company accounts as well, but people like to connect with real people. Ideally, you also share a little bit about your personal life (no need to get too personal or share things you are not comfortable sharing) so people can relate and engage back with you.

Help When & How You Can

Once you’ve identified your top list, take some time to periodically go through their various social streams and look for opportunities to engage and to help. Many people share requests for help with promoting their conference sessions, their podcasts, their latest books. If you’re a fan of their podcast, take a few minutes to write them a nice review. If they’re speaking at a conference, promote their session to your network.

If they’ve just launched a new book, get creative about the ways you can help them to spread the word. Does your company do webinars? Do you have a podcast? Would it be possible to reach out to the author and interview them? Perhaps you could interview them on your company blog or purchase the book, read it, and then post your own review.

Connect & Explore Collaboration Opportunities

Take every opportunity to connect with people in person or via phone. What has proven effective for us is to find the right time and opportunity to reach out and ask to connect. This is usually after we’ve nurtured the relationship over time and have learned enough about the individual and after we’ve figured out how we may collaborate.

Once we’ve learned enough about a selected influencer and their business, we reach out and offer them a free license and show them how it may directly help them with what they do. We also offer one-on-one training to ensure their onboarding experience is a good one. Every time they have questions, they get VIP treatment as well; their questions and concerns get answered as fast as possible.

Once we connect for the phone, we also focus on listening to them about what things they are working on and what they have going on. During the conversation, we are always thinking about ways to help them reach their goals. We’ve offered introductions in the past, promoted their content via our company blog, webinars, newsletter, and more.

Write Down The Next Steps & Follow Up

It sounds basic, but following through with what you have told people that you would do is absolutely crucial. We only get one opportunity to make a good impression and gain trust. After each meeting (in person or virtual), make sure that you write down what was discussed and what the next steps are.

We use our CRM to do so as all this information then gets saved under each individual contact record for easy future access by our entire team. It also makes it easy to keep track of all our tasks and to-dos.

If you are not using a CRM or a project management tool, you can also put reminders on your calendar to make sure that nothing will fall through the crack.

We hope that you will find what we’ve shared useful and will use #SMMW20 to build some new relationships and to reconnect with those that you may have not engaged with in a while. Even if you’re not there in person, you can use this as an opportunity to reach out!

Do you have an effective relationship-building tip you’d like to share? Tweet at use at @Nimble!