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Why Social Media Marketers Should Attend Conferences – The Reasons May NOT Be Why You Think

entrepreneur small business social media Apr 27, 2015

In the very competitive field of digital marketing, there are many conferences and summits every year that cover a wide variety of topics from trends, upcoming changes, tools, strategy, and much more.  There are thousands of digital marketers that must make a decision whether or not to attend these conferences.  For some, it is a given – they attend a majority of them and even speak at some.  For others, it comes down to a matter of how much it will help their business and the ROI of attending such conferences.  For some, it is simply not in their budget.  While clearly not every digital marketer can attend these conferences, the real question is whether it is absolutely necessary, and what you can do it you are not able to attend.

3 BIG Reasons to Attend

Rub Elbows with Influencers

One big reason to attend these conferences is to meet influencers in person.  By meeting them in person, there is a higher likelihood they will remember you and you may make a true ongoing connection.  By meeting influencers in person, you will have a better idea of how their personalities are reflected in their social media accounts and how they make their own strengths work for them.

Meeting influencers gives many a sense of belonging to something larger than their business and gives them a sense of community with other marketers.  Let’s face it – influencers have pull!  Meeting an influencer and grabbing an Instagram photo with them can make a big impact.

Also, the information they provide at these conferences gives you a heads up for what is coming soon and allows you to be one of the first in the know of upcoming changes and trends.  This can help your business if you use the information wisely.

Idea Exchange

Attending conferences puts you in the company of many other digital marketers.  There is no better way to learn than from your peers.  By connecting with peers, you will learn what works for them and what doesn’t.  You will get new ideas for your business and possibly rethink your whole business plan. You can brainstorm ideas with others in your field and get opinions from people who specialize in the very field you do.

These connections are valuable because after you return home, you can keep the relationship going with those you had great connections with and work with them on future projects.

Energy

What could be better than being at a conference with people who are excited about the same things you are?  The energy alone can light a fire in your business for months to come.  You will take this energy home with you and your excitement will carry through to your clients and prospective clients, which will help grow your business!

Is it Necessary to Attend Social Media Conferences?

NO! NO! NO!

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are not as good as them because you have not attended a conference.  Here are a few reasons why a social media manager is not necessarily better off if they do attend:

The Information is Available to Everyone from Influencers almost Immediately After the Conference


This means that you will have the same information available to you as those who attended the conference.  Sure, there was more detail discussed at the conference.  However, if you do your homework, you will have all the information you need to be as up-to-date as those who attended.

Upcoming trends are announced, new tools are revealed, platform change information is released, and new processes are rolled out through blogs and highlights on the conferences as soon as the day after they are discussed.  You are not missing the information.  What you are missing are the details discussed at the conference and any discussions that occurred regarding changes.  You can still find this information if you dig deep enough for it.

"You Can Connect with Influencers via Social Media and Build Relationships Through Social Platforms"
 
Sure, it may take longer, but it can be done.  How do I know?  Because I have done it!  Influencers tend to be very receptive to their fans.  Give them a reason to connect with you and build on that connection!  Compliment them. Ask their advice (they will usually give advice if you ask).  Comment on their posts.  There may be hundreds of other comments, but if you keep commenting, they will get to know who you are and start to interact.

If a Social Media Manager Does Not Do Their Own Posting or Pays Others to Do It, Their Employees Usually Did Not Attend the Conference!

What this means is that business owners who hire others to post for their business have NO advantage in knowledge. These social media managers cannot get inside their owner’s heads, learn what they learned,  and experience the conference.  The managers only know what they are told by the one who attended the conference, which is the same information you can learn for yourself online.  They have NO advantage.  That is one thing about the Internet that is priceless – it levels the playing field a little more.

Conclusion

So, should you attend the conferences? YES!  There are many benefits to being able to attend them.  Should you stress if you are not able to attend the conferences? NO!  You can still get the same information.  You are NOT doing your clients a disservice by not being able to attend.  As long as you make every effort to stay up-to-date and timely with information and trends, there is no reason to feel that you are at a disadvantage if you are not able to attend.

We do what we can with the resources available to us.  We all have different resources.  Do more resources mean that you know more or are better than someone with fewer resources?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  It just means you have to work harder if you have fewer resources!

I am writing this article for new social media business owners who often work on a shoestring budget.  Don’t ever feel you are less than someone else.  Keep it going and move toward your goals.  Your hard work in some ways makes you better because you have to work harder to be successful. This builds character!

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