SMX West 2013 (our coast’s version of Search Marketing Expo) offers three days of intensive of topics ranging from search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising (Google Adwords), social media marketing, content marketing and more. This year we decided to check out Tuesday’s Keynote (to learn about what’s up with Facebook) as well as take a peek at the Exhibitor’s Hall (to hear of any new cool tools).
Surprisingly, the San Jose Convention Center wasn’t packed. Granted we weren’t there for Monday’s SMX West 2013 official kick-off but we expected a lot more marketers. Hopefully it’s a sign that they are so busy they can’t tear themselves away from their desks. Even so, the auditorium was two-thirds filled for Grady Burnett’s Keynote. He’s the VP of Global Marketing Solutions for Facebook. It was less of a keynote and more of a interview/talk session moderated by Editor in Chief of Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan. While the information he shared was good (albeit very informal), I think it would have made a bigger impact had it been a more traditional Keynote address. Here are few takeaways:
- Facebook remains committed to the user experience, providing a platform and framework for people and businesses to connect.
- They are looking for ways to improve the value of engagement. They tested larger images and metrics show it elicits more engagement from users.
- No plans on having an ad-free Facebook experience.
- Expect more to come from their recently announced negotiations to acquire Atlas. He touched on Facebook Exchange and the recent announcement of Facebook Graph Search beta.
- Grady doesn’t personally use Twitter. He did not say “don’t use it.”
The SMX West 2013 Exhibition Hall was much tinier than expected, only three rows of booths. All the usual suspects were present: Bruce Clay, Google, Marin Software. All in all, we’re glad we went. Schwag was very sparse, though. Massimo only added one t-shirt to his collection.
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