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5 Social Media Lessons Learned at Vegas Expo

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Social media's valuation explosion and obvious potential are captivating investors, however, the synonymous growth momentum forging the tantalizing space creates a minefield requiring careful navigation. One misstep and your portfolio could get "Myspaced" faster than a Snapchat video.

After a rocky start, to say the least, Facebook (FB - Get Report) investors (the majority of retail traders) may finally have their heads above water but continuously live in fear of what Twitter (TWTR), LinkedIn (LNKD), or the 12,000-pound gorilla Google (GOOG) may offer users next.

I wanted to gain an insider's view of issues, opportunities, and expectations from and for the people who work in social media every day. After all, I can examine 10-K filings and stock charts all day, every day, but that's driving with the rear view mirror compared to the view from the trenches.

In order to gain a front row seat, I attended the Social Media Marketing Expo, or SMX, in Las Vegas last week. It was a (very) full two-day event held at Aria Resort and Conference Center (MGM). What happened in Vegas isn't going to stay in Vegas because I'm going to share with you the most salient takeaways of the event from this investor's point of view.

As a blogger, I learned that if you're even half-way serious about online marketing and you're not attending a SMX show (they have conferences all over the world apparently), you should be worried, because your competition was probably there.

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