Coming to you from the Women’s Business Symposium, sponsored by Comerica Bank, and benefitting Girls, Inc., this week Neal is discussing when to listen to advice, and when to ignore it. Last week, he held the event that he’s been talking about for months, the Social Tools Summit. It got him thinking about why it’s important to be unique in the world of business and social media. When planning the summit, Neal got lots of advice from his peers about how to run the event. Yes, it’s good to listen to advice from peers and role models, but it’s also good to know that you don’t always have to take that advice.
[02:02] Creating the Idea for Social Tools Summit
[02:41] Ignore Everyone Else
[03:06] Why I Think the Social Tool Summit Was A Success
[03:22] My Approach to Business and Social Media
[04:42] Social Media Replaces Nothing But Compliments Everything
[05:36] Data-Driven Approach
[05:47] Leveraging Social Media As A Tool
[06:36] You Need to Do Something Different
[07:27] Lead Through Innovation
[09:02] Social Media Center of Excellence
Hello. Welcome to maximize your social actionable advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social, social media author, speaker, consultant, founder of maximize social business through social media center of excellence, and the social tools Summit, Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to another exciting episode of maximize your social. No, I do not have an interview for you today. I know that leading up to the social tool summit, I did a lot of interviews with a number of great social media tools vendors. Actually, the social tools summit was this week this Tuesday. It's May 15, as I'm recording this right now, and it was a pretty incredible event for those that attended and even for those who followed our hashtag, we were able to trend the hashtag internationally social tools 15 There's already a few do a search on the tweets, or there's already a few blog posts that have been written a likeable local did a great blog post in the top 50 tweets, preparing a number of blog posts myself about the events. So hey, if you missed it, check it out. And today, I really want to follow up from that event. You know, I've done podcasts on a lot of weird places before. I've done podcasts in the back of a taxi. I've done podcasts from a food court eating ramen with friends. Today, I'm coming to you from the Irvine Marriott Hotel, where I am at a Comerica Bank sponsored Women's Business Symposium. The proceeds of this are going to benefit Girls Inc, a nonprofit that is very active to help empower women, I think they work with a lot of children, ages five to 18, I encourage you if that's something you want to be a part of the checkout Girls Inc. And many of you know that I do a number of speaking engagements with Comerica Bank, they are a VIP partner of mine. But today, I want to talk about something that's been in the back of my mind over the last few weeks. And it's as relevant to social media as it is to business. Now, when I started creating the idea for the social tools summit with my partner, Brian Mahoney, a lot of people give us a lot of advice. And with social media to say you got to do this, you got to do that. I don't think people are ill intentioned when they give us this advice. But at the end of the day, you have to stick with what's right for you. Right now, someone else did a presentation or someone else did a conference and they were targeting a different audience. Maybe they were they had a different brand, they had a different business situation. And all the advice that I got for the social tools Summit, pretty much I ignored. So I'm actually writing a LinkedIn blog post called the best businesses advice I can give you is to ignore everyone else's. Because if you're doing what everyone else has already done, you're not going to be successful, you have to do something different. And if you're true to your brand, and to your business, into your experience, into your capabilities into your limited resources, you will be able to do that. But it's not going to come from a copy and paste effort. It's going to take some soul searching, it's going to take some experimentation. Right. So with the social tool summit, I think it was a success. And yes, it was a positive investment. And we're going to do it again in San Francisco. And everyone said it was unique, but I think they meant it in a good way, hopefully. But we did something different. Because I had a vision. And I felt there was a need in the market for this type of information, and executed on that vision. And I did not let anybody get in the way. I was a man on a mission. And that's actually always been my approach to business. And it's my approach to social media. And it's my approach to social media consulting. I remember one time, early in my career, I was selling semiconductors in China, for those of you who know my past history, I'll never forget a trading company, a Japanese trading company. I work for a Japanese semiconductor manufacturer, Japanese trading company said, Neil, you are so good at sales. When I hear you speak you speak with so much conviction and passion. Are you hired by the investors to make sure that this company is profitable? And I said, Look, when I'm selling on the company, you know, I have the CEO, the executives, the investors are all in the back of my head. I'm trying to do best for them. Sure, I'm trying to hit my numbers. But at the end of the day, I want to do what's right. And that's the approach I want you to have for social media. You know, a lot of people are going to be giving you a lot of advice if they haven't already. But as I like to say it as I prepare to speak today in front of 300 businesswomen on the topic of social media started with two slides. And these slides are you know when I speak they seem to be the ones that people tweet the most. So they're sort of my favorite quotes. The first one is social media replaces nothing but compliments everything. So don't when someone says oh, you got to do this. You got to do that. You don't have to do anything. You have to be real to who your businesses what your resources are, what your strategy is, and you need to start slowly from there using social media as a complementary vehicle. Look, if your product sucks, and you can't sell online, social media is not going to be the golden dagger, it's not going to provide you the success. What it helps do is it helps amplify things and helps complement what you're doing. So if you're successful in social media, or you'll probably be successful with social media, that's my gut feel. So it's all complimentary. Look at where it fits. Because everyone's on Twitter 24/7 doesn't mean that your business have to or even you have to write, everyone's talking about Google Plus, you got to be on Google Plus, no, you don't have to be on Google Plus, if you're targeting Gen Y, you have to be on Snapchat, you have to be on Instagram, right? So there are things that you have to do, because they're defined by data. It is a data driven approach that I've always been a big fan of a data driven approach to everything you do in social media. What's the second slide you may ask? The second slide is social media is new tools, old rules, doesn't matter how late you out of the game, doesn't matter how old you are. When you use social media as a business tool, those that have more business experience, will tend to leverage social media as a tool more effectively. Which flips the common sense, oh, we need to have young interns and because they know how to use social media, it sort of flips that logic on its head, as it should be. Now, I say these things because they come from my experience, I'm not trying to copy what others have done. In fact, when I wrote my first two books on LinkedIn, I tried not to read any other LinkedIn book that was created. When I wanted to write a book on social media strategy. There were no more role models. For me, when I wanted to create a social media strategy consulting practice, there was no framework out there for social media strategy consulting, but I did it based on what I felt were best practices and what needed to be done. And, you know, you may not want to be innovative. But to be successful, you need to do something different. And it's so important in social media, because we know how noisy it is, and almost any tactic that you can find by doing a Google blog search, you know, I'm sure any given businesses implemented, some may be more fitting for you than others. And I do talk about when I do my social media strategy consulting, I speak a lot, I do talk about role models. So I do think there's a case for role models. But once again, whatever you do has to be true to your brand into yourself. And I want every one of you listening to this podcast, to become a leader. Because it's going to happen after a while. In any given industry, there'll be a few companies that rise to the top above the social media noise, and 80% of the companies that won't, that you know, the the 8020 rule, and I want you to be that top 20%. So that's my advice for you today. Lead, through innovation, through doing something different. And, you know, just coming back from the social tool Summit, if there is something you want to do on a given network, and you don't believe that you don't know how to do the functionality, or you don't even know if the tool exists, look for a tool that sells in the market and contact that company asking for their help. Social media tools, vendors have an incredible amount of experience. And that's why I'm very passionate about the tools, and the people behind the tools, because I know that they've helped a lot of other companies. If you want to implement a tool where you post on Facebook, and all people have to do is comment by saying buy to buy a product, there's actually a tool for that it's called Hey, all right. So you need to look around. And you need to have an investment in social media tools as well. Even if you're a small business, you don't have to pay $500 a month for tools if you're a small business, but you're gonna have to pay 1025 50, even $100 a month, and it's really going to help you do a lot of amazing things, use the tools to help leverage what you want to do. So it can help you do it more effectively. And the other thing I talked about my approach the social tools Summit, it's exact same approach I'm having to the Social Media Center of Excellence. Neil, you're big on LinkedIn, you've written two books, you got to create these modules or Neil, you got to do this, or you can't have that price point, or you need to do this or I've always wanted to create something unique, so that I can provide my content, in my experience, and help as many people and businesses as possible at the lowest rate possible. Because people do our budget concerns, right? There is a reality here, financial reality. And that's really what's behind my launching of the Social Media Center of Excellence. The Social Media Center of Excellence should launch in the next few weeks. Social media coa.com. There's also a Social Media Center of Excellence, Facebook group, social media, Coe, do a search on Facebook for that. And I can't copy anyone else. Because what I want to provide is a very, very different experience. It is almost whenever I speak, I look at it as a group, social media coaching session or a group social media consulting session. That's why I like to answer questions, you know, in between every slide. It's what I like to stay after and talk to people and try to help them. The Social Media Center of Excellence allows me to do that. And I'm able to do it, and I'm very confident that it'll be successful, because it's what's needed. And if I copied someone else and just do what they did, and it's funny, because I met someone in Boston, who said, you know, Neil, have taken the four major LinkedIn, sort of, you know, modules that I could buy in the market. And it was almost like they were replicating each other all saying the same thing to become a Thought Leader, to become an innovator to become a leader in your industry. To rise above the noise, you can't do that. You have to start from scratch, you have to do a reset button. Forget about what's already out there. Forget about the legacy of content, and tactics and strategies that you see out there that others have done. Build your own. That's it for another episode of the maximize your social podcast. Obviously, my voice has been a little rattled. Because of the social tools summit this morning. It's actually my eighth speaking event this month and I still need to go to Victoria, British Columbia for social media camp next weekend Bucharest, Romania the week after. I'm also speaking low here because I am in a hallway, you heard various people walking back and forth and talking. But wherever you are in the world, I really do hope you're enjoying this podcast, I don't really ask for as much as the experts say I should. But if you haven't rated this on iTunes, I'd really appreciate your recommendation, I had to switch over my podcast out about episode 88 or so. So I lost all the reviews that I got. I'd really appreciate if you could spend a minute, read a review, share the podcast with a friend that you think could benefit from it. And be on the lookout for my LinkedIn blog posts. I'm gonna talk a little bit more about this and obviously, be on the lookout for my social media center of excellence as well as the next version of social tools summit 2015, which will be in San Francisco in the fall. That's it for today. Everybody signing out from well, my home Irvine, California, I want to say sunny, but it's rainy today, but we need the rain here in Southern California. But wherever you're on the world, make it a great social Day. Bye Bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community this Social Media Center of Excellence at social media ce o e.com. As well as Neil's first social media event, the social tools Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12. And in the Bay Area this fall. Thanks again and make it a social day.