Lee Odden

Social Media Marketing World 2013 Wrap-Up #SMMW13

Social Media Marketing World Audience

Audience for “Integrating Blogging with Content Marketing to Inspire Action”

This week was the start of a 6 speaking event extravaganza over the next 30 days or so and what a kickoff. The inaugural Social Media Marketing World in San Diego put on by Mike Stelzner and the team at Social Media Examiner was nothing less than impressive.

When Mike told me about the event last year, I had no hesitation about saying yes. What I didn’t know was what kind of experience it would be.

With a very California warm and fuzzy feel, the practical SMMW13 conference sessions were sandwiched with inspirational and engaging keynotes from:

  • Larry Benet “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”
  • Sally Hogshead “How to Fascinate With Your Social Media Messages”
  • Dave Kerpen“The 4 most important words in business are, thank you and I’m sorry”
Sally Hogshead Keynote

The Sally Hogshead Keynote Presentation Rocked

As they should, the keynotes hit people over the head with compelling insights, perspectives and had people laughing, crying and highly motivated.

The practical sessions at Social Media Marketing World covered the gamut of topics from many of the top experts on platforms, strategies and tactics. It was like a “A-Team” of social media pundits and practitioners gathered together for two days of social vulcan mind-melds. For example:

When you want to learn about Facebook, who better to learn from than Mari Smith, Brian Carter, Amy Porterfield and Andrea Vahl?

When you want to dig into LinkedIn, look no further than Viveka von Rosen.

For Twitter, there was Mark Schaefer and savvy brand practitioners Michael Bepko (Whole Foods), Liz Philips (TaylorMade), and Shelly Lucas (Dun & Bradstreet). I couldn’t get into this session at all, it was so packed.

To learn about building trust and relationships, Chris Brogan delivered.

For Google+, where can you find more enthusiastic advocates than Guy Kawasaki and Jesse Stay?

And of course for Pinterest and Instagram there were brand marketers Callan Green (Sony Electronics) and Karen Worley (San Diego Zoo) as well as author Beth Hayden.

And when it comes to content marketing, I can’t think of anyone better to learn from than “the man” himself, Joe Pulizzi.

Many other practical topics were covered as well, including:

But wait, there’s more!

Waynette Tubbs & Justin Levy

Waynette Tubbs of SAS & Justin Levy of Citrix discuss big brand blogging.

Blogging was well represented by the likes of brand smarties Justin Levy (Citrix) and Waynette Tubbs (SAS), blogging savant Marcus Sheridan and conference organizer Michael Stelzner. Blogging was also the topic of my session, “How to Integrate Blogging With Content Marketing that Inspires Action”. Here’s a blog post preview.

Rachael Silvers Lee Odden

@RachaelSilvers is now on her way to becoming Optimized!

I was floored by the great energy the audience gave during my session and really amazed at the response on Twitter, guided by the incentive to win a copy of Optimize, for the best tweets. Thanks to the monitoring of TopRank’s Miranda Miller, I learned there were about 275 tweets during the 40 minutes of presentation time.

Congratulations to Rachael Silvers for being the winner of best tweets during my session!

For my presentation, I covered the importance of setting goals, following a plan, measuring progress and optimizing performance of blogging efforts as part of a content marketing strategy.

It might seem like common sense to do this, but it’s simply not in effect. When I polled the audience about having specific goals for their blog, 35-40% raised their hands. When I asked about using a blog specific editorial plan, 20% responded. The follow up to that was about monitoring KPIs and optimizing performance which each resulted in about 10% of hands. I guess they were in the right session, because that’s exactly what I presented and the feedback was amazing.

The punch line to the presentation was an equation: Add passion of individual subject matter experts and what the brand stands for with an understanding of your customers’ needs and the result will be stories that can Attract, Engage & Convert.

Anne McColl actually created a hand drawn infographic on her ipad of my presentation. How clever is that?

Anne McColl SMMW13

Speaking of livetweeting, our friends at Traackr did a cool thing and ran a list of the top 50 microbloggers during the conference.

It was nice to see a strong Minnesota contingent present including Christina Milanowski from Maccabee Group plus Sarah Kuglin and her partner in crime Colleen Olson Marcus soaking up social knowledge everywhere I looked. Sarah is working on a very special project for us and I can’t wait to share when it’s done.

Overall it was a great event and I was very happy to finally meet quite a few people in person for the first time that I’ve known online for years, like Ric Dragon, Liz Phillips, Waynette Tubbs, Dave Kerpen, Sally Hogshead, Viveka von Rosen, Paola Elizaga and many more. Check out some of the SMMW13 photos on Flickr.

Thank you Mike Stelzner, Phil Mershon, Cindy King, Jaci Feinstein, Irene O’Leary and the entire Social Media Examiner staff for putting on a fantastic first conference. Along with everyone else that attended this week, I’m looking forward to the next one.

If you attended Social Media Marketing World in San Diego this week, what was your favorite part?

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Thanks for a great wrap up

  2. My favorite session was the YouTube session by Steve Spangler. I left inspired and have already begun planning my series. Funny thing is, I had no intention of going to any of the YouTube sessions. (I went to two).

  3. loved to meet you, Lee. Thanks for this great wrap-up… im already missing the conference 🙂

  4. Just INSPIRING Lee! My friend Tracy (@magentacakes) and I flew across from England for this very first SME conference, and we’re so glad we did – what a line-up. And even better than the sessions themselves – the chance to actually meet and chat with some of the friendliest social media rockstars around. What an honour. Thank you so so much to you and everyone involved. Rock on SMMW14!

  5. Avatar MirandaM_EComm says

    Sounds like a great event, can’t wait for next year!

  6. So much fun, so much value, so many great speakers and tweets! Loved hanging with the MN crew 🙂 As always, your preso was inspiring Lee. Thanks for the great recap, can we go back again next week?

  7. Love the drawing. I was also in the corporate blogging session and found it pretty fascinating to listen to folks talk about organizing the sheer amount of content and people involved with Citrix. Wow. One takeaway I had was how many people, even with TONS of content, are using Excel and/or Google Docs to organize. Word to keeping it simple.

    We put together a social media marketing strategy infographic summing up the main takeaways. Hope it’s helpful!

  8. Was great meeting you on the SMMW cruise Lee, looking forward to following and learning more from you!

  9. @leeodden:disqus, it was so great to connect with you at #SMMW13 – thanks for the shout-out & congrats again on the packed presentation room. You Rock!