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Jan. 18, 2016

124: My Social Media Theme for the New Year: Focus

124: My Social Media Theme for the New Year: Focus

Happy new year and welcome to the first solo episode of 2016. I've been thinking a lot about skills of the best social media marketers, and what I should be focusing on this year. The answer is focus: social media marketers wear lots of hats, and the only way to maintain a strategic approach is the ability to focus and keep on track. Listen in to hear how I keep focused, and why focusing on your business objective is crucial to your success.

Key Highlights

[02:19] Focus, Focus, Focus!

[03:41] Create More Vidoe Content

[04:10] The Way I Focus

[05:22] "Big Content"

[05:57] "Other Content"

[06:18] Optimizing My Tools

[06:54] Idea Of Monetizing

[09:03] You Need A Product Or Service

[09:53] Becoming An Influencer Or Brand Advocate

[11:55] Influencer Platforms Examples

[13:29] Launch New Brand

[15:36] Social Media Is About Having An Objective

[16:46] Performing Audits On Your Social Media

Notable Quotes

  • As social media marketer, we wear a lot of hats, right? Whether it's content creation, engagement, listening, campaign planning, or analyzing the best social media marketers need to wear many hats across many social networks. And the only way to maintain a strategical approach amongst this whirlwind of never ending activity, that is social media, is the ability to focus and keep on track, ensuring that tactical objectives are implemented, and social media activities are strategically aligned. It's one habit, which truly separates the best from the rest.
  • Social media replaces nothing, but compliments everything.
  • Just getting lots of followers like a vanity metric, right? It has no business value. 
  • Just because someone likes your company doesn't mean that they have opted into your email or even considering buying from you. They can like you for a lot of different reasons, right? But without a product, there's no business there's influence but it has no power.
  • The followers give you the credibility, but you need to be able to deliver on the cliques. And if you're on a social network, where you're just unsure as to what sort of clicks you're getting. That's a black hole.
  • But really, you need to have a product, you need to have a service, the beautiful thing is, okay, once you get a large following, in social, as a business or a brand.
  • So the bigger the community, the morbidity, you have to cross promote, and therefore the more ability you have to launch new brands, or new offerings from scratch, and I think that's really the exciting thing here is if you can find a product or a service that you can either create or partner with But someone that has a lot of business value to your community, probably in there, you might be able to find another niche or something complementary, where you can branch off.
  • At the end of the day, right, social media is about having an objective, and it has to be a business objective, and therefore you have to have a business. So that's only a question you can answer.
  • ut the key thing is, you got to have focus, you got to have clarity, you got to be clear about your business objectives. And everything you do in social media, either directly or indirectly, has to be all about those business objectives.
Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

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, and saltan, founder of maximize social business, his Social Media Center of Excellence and the social tool Summit, Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to a another episode of maximize your social, and more importantly, Happy New Year. This is the first well the second episode I'll be publishing this year, but my first solo speaking episode. I hope you enjoyed all that the 2015 holiday season brought you I know that I tried my best to unplug, have fun with my family, learn to become a better cook, have family and friends over for the holidays. What else is there in life? Right? This is the ultimate. So now it's 2016 We're back to work. And we're trying to figure out what all these the year ahead and social media marketing and what it all means. You know, this podcast is not about giving you advice for the year I plan to have that or create separate content for that purpose. But you know, Mari Smith, my good friend, and you probably know her for she's obviously the most famous person in terms of Facebook marketing, has been talking about this one word theme for the year. I think her she said last year was partnership. I'm trying to remember what hers was for this year. But similarly, I was asked by one of these social media dashboards, these up and coming ones called E clincher. And for their blog posts, they were doing an expert roundup and they said, Hey, Neal, what is your suggestion for a skill that the best or score habit that the best social media marketers have? So this leads very well into what my one word theme is for 2016. And I hope that you'll share the importance of this with me. But just to tell you what I told him and I literally just responded to this lesson 24 hours ago, a few skills come to mind that the best social media marketers have. But I think the most prominent habit is being able to focus, focus, focus, and if you're a fan of Dave kirpan or haven't heard of Dave Kirpan, you should check out his books on Amazon, his likeable books, he has one ebook only or Kindle only ebook where he provides a lot of advice. And this was also the focus, pun intended, of one of his chapters. But it you know, this is really what it comes down to. And whether it's, you know, as a social media marketer, we wear a lot of hats, right? Whether it's content creation, engagement, listening, campaign planning, or analyzing the best social media marketers need to wear many hats across many social networks, which never go to bed, right. And the only way to maintain a strategical approach, because it's easy to just get rid of the strategy and forget what you're doing and just do it, which has no business meaning. So the only way to maintain a strategic approach amongst this whirlwind of never ending activity, that is social media, is the ability to focus and keep on track, ensuring that tactical objectives are implemented, and social media activities are strategically aligned. It's one habit, which truly separates the best from the rest, focused Focus, focus. So I hope that you will share my sentiment that this is going to be critical, especially as in social media marketing, we become more visual in our approach. And I'm not just talking about creating different sizes of images for Twitter, and Facebook. And I'm talking about purely visual social networks I'm talking about now, video social networks, live stream social networks, and having to create multimedia on the spot real time, visual content, I think it's going to drive a lot of us crazy, in addition to being heard above the noise, which is always the challenge as content becomes more and more of a commodity. So there it is, focus, you know, to help you understand the way that I like to focus. I have a whiteboard that I love to use that is right behind my desk, as sometimes you'll seem to Google Plus hangout with a bookshelf behind me which showcases you know, maximize your social pretty prominently. But other times you might see a little whiteboard I try to hide access a lot of confidential information on right a lot of business secrets and, and customer information. But um, if I was looking right now, there are a few areas where I focus on number one is dollars, that's what you're in business for. So this is either accounts receivable, or contracts and I'm negotiating just to make sure that I keep my eye on the ball. Another one is the infrastructure. I am constantly looking to invest in my infrastructure as a business and obviously that primarily includes my social media infrastructure, but other infrastructure. And then for me content, like most companies, and most social media authors and speakers, consultants I want to be, I want to be everywhere, right. But I need to be strategic in that approach. So I have my own plans in terms of audio and video, which I'm pretty excited about. And I'll be sharing those more with you as the year goes on. And then I have one called Big content. This is after the big rock content that Jason Miller from LinkedIn finally spoke about. And it was the first time I heard it, when I spoke with him at b2b Marketing profs have this concept. And it's something that I was surprised to see an editorial calendar, a blog post today that actually included that on a monthly basis in a content marketing editorial calendar. And I think that is bang on. So I have my big content ideas that I want to implement on. And then I have my big product ideas, these are new ways of productizing. And generating money. And then I have another one, which is other content. It's not strategic. It's not big rock content. And it's not strategic in terms of these new forms of content, that allow me to be everywhere, but their ideas that I have, right, that I want to implement upon. And then I have another area, which is workflow, different from infrastructure. This is sort of what I'm doing. Now, I use a variety of tools, as you can imagine, for a variety of different objectives. And sometimes I just need to write it all down to figure out what I'm doing what have my hands in. So that helps me really focus on what I need to optimize, can I merge tools together? Are there tools I don't need to use, it's all about that workflow, and maximizing your social from an operations perspective. But I want to get back to that new product idea, that monetizing idea. And this is critical to today's episode. And I'm glad that I got to share with you that that focus I have and some of the areas where I try to focus this year. But I want to get back to this idea of monetizing because I get lots of email. Boy, I get tons of different types of contact requests. And this is one that I get from time to time. And maybe some of you want to ask me this question as well, which I think will reveal a greater truth about social media, and therefore I wanted to cover it in today's podcast, although it is a very, very brief email. Hi, my name is I will, you know, keep that name confidential. And I'm, well, this person is a 20 something, let's put it that way. I recently came across your website, and I am fascinated by the content you put up, I run a certain niche category, a certain niche category account on a certain niche social network with over 500,000 followers, but I'm having some troubles monetizing. I'm wondering if I could potentially work with you or your clients. Thanks. That seems like a really, really innocent request for my expertise. The problem, though, is, and I like to say this a lot, but I'll repeat it again, for the purpose of this podcast, social media replaces nothing, but compliments everything. And maybe you've heard me say that you've seen the tweets somewhere. But this is a perfect example. Just getting lots of followers like a vanity metric, right? It has no business value. Okay, so the only way for some of you that might have a big network, hopefully, if you have a big community that you've built in social media, you're also a business and you also have a product, and you've been able to monetize that and generate ROI. Because that community over time converts into being a customer, right, or maybe you use that community to get some ideas that allows you to create a product to convert them into being a customer. The whole idea here, just like I talked about, I have these new revenue generating product ideas, because I'm always looking at ways that I can cash in on my IP, which is my experience and my ideas, my insight about social media for business. So in a similar way, right 500,000 followers gets you nothing. You need a product or a service to sell to your 500,000 followers. That's obviously one approach that I think makes the most sense. And therefore you need to talk with a business coach that can help you develop a product that those followers might be interested in. There's always risks there because there's so many bots and what have you. Just because someone likes your company doesn't mean that they have opted into your email or even considering buying from you. They can like you for a lot of different reasons, right? But without a product, there's no business there's, you know, you you influence but it has no power. And that's the other sort of angle you can go. Ideally I'd like you to go where I need a product or I need a service to sell to these people. The other route to go is I have 500,000 followers, I yield influence and I have influence in a certain niche and I want to monetize that influence by sharing my community, with brands, by promoting brands to my community, now, this is more of becoming an influencer, or a brand advocate. And this is not an easy thing to do. Because once you start trying to sell to your community, it can be a major turnoff to your community, it also means that you're gonna have to be directly involved in creating content, a lot of times that you may feel uncomfortable doing, because it's not what your site, you know, whatever community you have, and whatever content you've been posting, it's not what it's about, you may be asked to represent brands that you don't feel comfortable representing because you're not a personal fan of them know, or their user of them. So it brings up a lot of ethical issues. And it's also very, very well, I mean, it's getting more and more difficult to represent brands, because the influencer marketing platforms and dashboards are getting better and better at basically saying, Okay, and let's see how many clicks this content gets, and we'll pay you according to clicks. In other words, the followers give you the credibility, but you need to be able to deliver on the cliques. And if you're on a social network, where you're just unsure as to what sort of clicks you're getting. That's a black hole, right? I think a lot of brands when working with influencers are also going to look about well, do you have a website? Do you have a blog, because that has SEO power that has long lasting evergreen power, that account on a social network does not have. And by the way, if you plan on releasing a product or service, you're going to need a website to sell it in as well. I mean, even you know, people that are very active on Pinterest, that are selling their wares, it's all integrated with an Etsy store, right? So they have not necessarily a website, but at least they have a store on an Etsy or Shopify, whatever platform you want to use. So that's really the key issue here, right now, you know, for those of you that want to go the influencer route, or one of the sponsors of the social tool Summit, they were called fame bit. And they're an example of a influencer platforms. It is a marketplace for influencers. So you log in with your, your user credentials. And you might get offers for you know, spreading the word about brands, so or campaigns, one of the more famous ones that I would recommend you check out is something called Tap influence. And what a lot of these, if you're able to get signed on as an influencer. And if you're a business looking to reach out to influencers, you should check these networks out as well, you're basically going to be paid either by the click, or to send out a tweet or whatever it is a certain amount of money, it's not a lot of money, right? You really have to build up a reputation. And you have to build up a track record to be able to get, you know, in the hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So at the beginning, I would not expect more than the 10s of dollars in all honesty, even with a following a 500,000. Although I might be wrong. And it also depends on the industry and how aggressively you want to promote yourself. But obviously, that may not be the best way of sustaining a business. And therefore, I don't know how many influencers out there actually make most of their money from influencer marketing campaigns. It is just like myself, and part of my income comes from being an influencer. It is complementary, right? And it just goes back to social media complementing everything. So if you want to go the influencer route, I believe that's going to be a complementary route. But really, you need to have a product, you need to have a service, the beautiful thing is, okay, once you get a large following, in social, as a business or a brand, I worked with a musician, we were able to generate successfully such a large following for him, that we can create multiple brands, we can basically create another brand. And we can target that following either through you know, a custom audience or targeting with a paid ad. Or we can cross promote it right and say, Hey, we have a new brand, we've launched a new brand, we've launched a new site, and the bigger your community is, the more you can do that. And ideally, if you were thinking of doing that and launching new sites, so I have maximize social business. Well, you know, I started off with windmill networking that merged into maximize social business and I took my personal branding and put it into maximize your social. So there's certain things I do maximize social businesses where all my audience went. I had to start a new with maximize your social, but there's certain things I do to crossbreed social tools summit, I crossbreed and I cross promote the same thing with social media center of excellence, my newest venture, which is going to be launching soon, social media theory.com, I will cross promote that across the channel. So the bigger the community, the morbidity, you have to cross promote, and therefore the more ability you have to launch new brands, or new offerings from scratch, and I think that's really the exciting thing here is if you can find a product or a service that you can either create or partner with But someone that has a lot of business value to your community, probably in there, you might be able to find another niche or something complementary, where you can branch off. And hopefully from that 500,000 get, you know, a few percent to convert on becoming followers of a new page off the bat. And therefore, you already have a five or 10 or 25,000 person following, which for a lot of businesses they'd be envious of. Right. So I think that's the way to think of the community and, and you know, if you don't have a business or a product, obviously, there's value in yielding influence. There's also value in sort of getting feedback, and understanding what's important to those people. But at the end of the day, right, social media is about having an objective, and it has to be a business objective, and therefore you have to have a business. So that's only a question you can answer. That's not something any social media consult, like myself, will be able to answer for you, perhaps a business coach. And, you know, I've never heard of business coaches that specialize in people that have large social media followings, and they created them organically, when it was a lot easier to do. So maybe, and now they're trying to figure out how to monetize them. I have met people like that, like this person, through the years. And it kills me because you gotta have a way of monetizing it. And the only way to monetize it is by having a product or service in order to help you monetize it. Hopefully, a majority or an overwhelming majority of you listening this podcast don't have that problem. Right, you've been selling products and services, and you're trying to figure out how to use social to sell more of them. But I think now looking at it from the flip side, once again, if 2016 is your focus, it's time to rekindle the business objectives of your social media strategy. And this is something you know, we talked about doing audits of your social media strategy on a regular basis. When you do an audit, you don't often get down to that core business objective. It's more about are we on the right social networks to be tweeting enough. So each week our content, you know how the KPI is looking, should we use more paid social, but now it's time to rethink those core business objectives, and revamp what you do to ensure that they are an integral part of your social media operations, I still get random tweets saying Oh, my boss still doesn't understand the ROI social. And it kills me because it is so clear, if you go through that exercise. And if you haven't, buy a copy of maximize your social. I mean, it's there. It's the blueprint to help you create that social media strategy. If you have any questions, you know, ping me comment on iTunes with your questions, we'll be more than happy to answer them, whether it's on iTunes, or whether it's on maximize your social. But the key thing is, you got to have focus, you got to have clarity, you got to be clear about your business objectives. And everything you do in social media, either directly or indirectly, has to be all about those business objectives on the same thing, right? I get pinged by a lot of people, a lot of businesses, I get my arms pulled on in a lot of different directions. And I told my wife, everything I do has to have a revenue generating aspect to it. You know, we are not in the business of PR, if you're in the business of PR, that's great. But you know, PR and social is only secondary, it's a secondary objective to our primary objective. And now I'm speaking the language I talked about and in, you know, calculating your social media ROI and maximizing your social or maximize your social, I should say, it is all about that primary business objective. So it's a great time, take a step back and think about it don't become the business or person has a large following, and can't figure out how to monetize it. Make sure that you are monetizing, or for whatever business objective you have, that you can, you know, sanely say on a daily basis. Yes, this is working. This is meeting its objective. And that's really the best advice I can give you at this first live podcast, the beginning of 2016. And how you can best maximize your social for the coming year ahead. Well, friends, that's it for another episode of maximize your social coming to you from my home office here in I want to say beautiful Irvine, California, we've had a lot of rain with this El Nino, if you've heard about that over the last few days, but but we're surviving and keeping dry today. But hey, wherever you are in the world, I want to wish you a happy new year. And I also want to just throw out one more request. I know some of you if you've been a longtime listener, you know that I had, I changed my RSS feed, I had to create a brand new iTunes page. And I lost a lot of the reviews that I used to have. So if you're listening to this and you find value, I'd really appreciate if you go to iTunes and and write a review and tell me what you like and even what you don't like about the podcast. And that's really great feedback. For me. That's the ROI of doing this is to better understand you and your needs. So I'd appreciate if you could do that. But as I do with every podcast, wherever you are in the world, make it a great social Day, everybody. We'll be back at you soon, but until then, bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening To maximize your social, we appreciate all of your iTunes subscriptions ratings and comments. Please also make sure to check out Neil's new community, the Social Media Center of Excellence at social media ce o e.com. As well as Neil's social media conference, the social tools Summit, coming to Boston on April 12.