Today’s show is about something I'm very passionate about both for my clients and for my own brand: taking social media seriously. Social is becoming a bigger part for businesses large and small, and they are spending more and more resources on it, but it’s important to take it seriously and look at what you’re getting out of it. Putting processes in place can help you streamline your social media program and examine what is the best strategy for your business, which will in turn provide more ROI.
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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, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Shaper, Everybody, this is Neil Shaper. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Our Social. I'm coming to you today from my home office here in Lovely Irvine, Orange County, California where, believe it or not, in the morning when I take my kids school, the weather's been in like the forties for those of you overseas, or, I guess, for the rest of the world outside of the United States, like seven or eight degrees Celsius, it's been freezing. And when my son plays soccer and I goto sit and watch and play soccer soccer practice for an hour and 1/2 it's similar temperature. So I got my ski jacket out and I'm trying to keep warm here, but obviously it's February. Ground Hog's day is over. Looks like spring is gonna be coming soon. Hopefully, where were you on the world? You're keeping yourself warm as well. So the subject of today's podcast is something that I'm very passionate about. Both for my clients as well as for my own brand is really taking social media seriously. What I mean by this is, you know, companies are investing tons of money. Even small businesses tend to be spending more and more money or time or resource is and social. But what are you getting out of it? Are you really serious about it? Because if you're really serious about it, social is a little bit different in, obviously, how you measure R. A. Y. Because of the various impact, they can have the various social networks, the different ways in which it can help your business of different features that are available that can complement everything else your business does. So it's a little bit of a different beast than a mirror S C O R P P C campaign. And when I talk about getting Siri's, it means really taken a step back. And every year at the beginning of the year I have this. Here's what I want you to focus on this year. Here's the things that you need to make sure a part of your strategy for this year you need to relook at. So this podcast is gonna be a new of that. And it's really about putting processes into your social media program. You know, I quote Professor Edwards Demming a great deal when I speak and in my book Maximize Your Social. My framework for social media strategy is obviously based on the Deming Circle P. D. C. A plan to check action. But Professor Debbie Dawson said something that was very inspiring to me. And I hope when I say to you, it inspires you to action as well. It is, unless you have a process, you don't know what you're doing now. Obviously, Professor Dummy was talking about quality control is considered the Godfather quality control. But I've been talking a lot, beginning with social media marketing world last year, for those that saw me speak about the operations of social media, about making sure you're doing the right things, you're measuring the right things and therefore you're delivering on what you need to do in order to make your social media programs sustainable for whatever objective you're measuring at four. So by taking social media seriously in 2016 and I'm not saying you haven't been taking it seriously before, and I want you to think about Social Media about your processes and see where we can perfect them. I've actually been spending the first month of the year, and I'm still in February, still working on it as a speaker. Among other things, there is a seasonal calendar that I have, and for most businesses you have a seasonal calendar as well, especially if you're in marketing. There's certain types of activities. You do it certain parts of the year, and there's certain types of the year where you are more busy than the other times of the year. It's the times when you're not busy, that you need to tweak and build out your infrastructure and processes. And this is exactly what I'm doing as a speaker. And if you look at my speaking calendar and if you look at just you know, if you read my post on the 17 best social media conferences to attend in 2016 you'll know that's conferences or normally in March, April, May and then September October and maybe like 1st 2 weeks in November, and the reason is that well, at the beginning month of the year. There's a lot of budget meetings, the the years, just getting off to a start. You have travel worries because of the weather. Then you get the March, April May everything stable. Everyone's trying tow, you know, reach their goals for the year, lots of different conferences. And then it's the summer months. No one's gonna have a conference in the summer. Who's gonna come right? Everyone's on vacation. Europe closes down for August, right? And then it's back to school September October. Once you get into November, people are already getting in the holiday mode and they're starting to tune out. Or they have stuff they need to do before the end of the year. So I am the same way. I tend to have March, April, May, September, October, November, when I have a majority, maybe 75% of my my speeches, and that's what I'm doing. A lot of these podcasts on the road. So for me, January, February, the summer months, the end of the year, they're absolute times where I need to invest in my infrastructure in process that you need to find the right time for you If February's a good month, I really want you to follow my advice here. So the first thing is OK, re read, maximize social. The first thing I want you to do is re read. Maximize your social. Really? Look at your strategy. You might already be doing this on a monthly basis in a quarterly basis, but you better be doing, at least on an annual basis and what I mean by this. So what I mean by this is really what is the objective? If you are trying to generate more leads or you're trying to get more website traffic, which is often an objective look at where your leads you have been coming from over the last 12 months and you might be surprised this often surprises people. I was talking to an S e o expert the other day and he sees me as sort of a social guru, and I'm like, Dude, believe it or not, Google still gives me way more traffic to my properties than all the social sites combined. And if you know me, you know, I'm hyperactive throughout social media on those sites that generate a lot of traffic. So Maybe I should be spending more time thinking about the CEO aspects of social off, maybe trying to create more authoritative content, maybe create more content in a blogger, maybe try to get more social signals or back links. Or maybe revise old content instead of saying the same thing over and over again each year to try to improve my standing with Google. Right? So there's a way of using social media to help you do that. Another one is, you know, I want to rank high for certain key words. I don't want to tell you what they are because, you know, some of you may be my competitors, although I don't think anyone is a competitor. There's so much market to get out there, it's gonna come down the relationships in your audience, in your community, right? But, you know, there's certain key words that no matter how well I do, well, I still can't get to the first page. Or maybe I'm on the first page meant about the bottom. But at the top, I'm like, Huh, these competitors that are like, really big and social. They're also pain Google for Google AdWords. Well, maybe I should try a paper clip campaign. Maybe I need to invest a little bit more money too, in order to get a better standing with Google or to get more eyeballs and get more leads. Another way of looking at it, right? A lot of companies approach social from taking budget out of paper, collect, taking budget out of S E O. I started the other way around. This may be unique challenge to me, but you really need to balance everything, cause social complements, everything replaces nothing. Maybe you need to take another look at that, right? Email. You know, you don't see it if you have a wordpress blogging or were press website. You know, jetpack provides you some stats, but really, it's when you look at Google analytics, it's like, Wow, email drives me a lot more stats. I don't see my WordPress dashboard. Maybe I need to redo my approach to my newsletter and try to either do it more frequently or try to add more value to each time I do it. Or maybe find more ways to acquire new email sign ups utilizing my social and digital properties that I have. These are just some examples of what you should be looking at. But another example is, let's start looking at. Well, there's 22 ways of looking at the actual social networks. I like to save social media when it comes down to it, but the convergence of information and communication, it's contact and communication. So let's look at the communication. You have channels you can go to. We know that certain networks like Instagram Snapshot Facebook. I'll put up there as well are growing or continue to grow well. Lincoln's probably grown a CZ Well, we know that some networks and there's some signs that's quitter may not be growing as fast or may even be declining, although I don't want to add to those rumors because I don't have the data to prove that or even Pinterest, which you don't hear much about but it's still out there, or Google Plus might not be growing as much. But whatever communities that you're involved in okay, how much time you put into it? What are you getting out of it and what do you posting and what's the frequency? You're posting four things when you look out. Now, on the other hand, If you read, maximize your social. You should have these role models, and I wanted you to emulate that. You create benchmarks for it's time to re look at your role models and see what they're doing. Okay, for instance, I've been publishing a lot more to my Facebook business page. Maximize social business, and I use Facebook insects. I use other tools for Facebook. Post plan are big fans. Hey, Josh, hope you listening. I don't expect he is. But anyway, I look at Facebook insights and simply measures well, great tool. So what does this mean? For instance, I will look at my Facebook reports, perhaps use a variety of tools like I do. I use Post Planner, which gets great reports. Simply measured Is is prime. But you can even do this with Facebook insights. So what Facebook is that you can go in and actually put in your competitors pages, and it will show you the organic growth rate of their likes, as well as how often they've posted over the last week. So it's funny because Facebook is never a network that I prioritize my place more, more priority over these days, and I wanted to get my publishing frequency up because I knew I could reach more people by publishing a little bit more frequently than I had been. Well, I've got to the point. I have my own system and I'm gonna talk about the system, which is the process a little bit, but and I was basically sourcing content from a few different sources, including my own, and it got to a point where wow, I'm bombarding my fans with content. And there's no way that Facebook said drink or whatever algorithm they use is gonna figure out what you know what to show people the news feed. So chances are this might not be good. When I looked at that weekly report on Facebook insects, I realize that wow often publishing Maur on my Facebook page than even some pretty well known competitors in mind. So it's like, Wow, I don't I don't need to publish that much. If they're doing that well with that audience and that is the norm on Facebook, let's take a step back. So I am now actually trying to focus more on the quality and lessen the frequency. But now I know on publishing enough Okay, This is a good cadence and I can focus. The resource is elsewhere. Well, let's work on Pinterest. And with Pinterest, I feel confident they have a system in place where pinning the right things and publishing enough. I think there's more I could do with Pinterest of publishing more content on my digital media sites that could get pinned. And maybe that's a way of advancing what I do in Pinterest. Or maybe I need to do more Facebook contests to get the word out about what I'm doing on Facebook. Or maybe I need to do live streaming, But I'm sort of getting ahead of myself here. I'm focusing just on the social networks, not in the medium of content, as a hint of what I'm gonna be getting out. Or maybe Twitter, right? Man, I look at some of my competitors and they're treating literally every 15 minutes, and I finally realized why they were tweeting every 15 minutes and I thought, You know what? Let me experiment. I'm not gonna necessarily tweet every 15 minutes, and I don't want to just, you know, completely automate and two out things that make no sense. But Twitter is an area where I have increased my frequency and I have seen good results from its so far. But once again, at the end of the day, that data will speak for itself. I tried out for a month, and I'm you know, there's some things I do on a weekly basis. But when I really tweak my frequency and the social networks, I do it on a monthly basis. Linked in is someplace I need to get to because I know that Lincoln pulls is huge and I need to be re prison my continent blogging them or so I have my priority list. But these are just the social networks. I don't even talk about Instagram Snapchat, right? But then we get into the medium's okay with pinchers. That sort of hinted it at an infographic with Facebook. I hinted that live streaming. Okay. Fortunately in audio, I have a podcast. Maximize your social go to iTunes. Well, that's funny, because you're obviously listening to this. You might be listening to do soundcloud or on my maximize your social block, go to iTunes download all 126 episodes or so right now. Review. Even if you don't like it. I don't care if I get five stars or not. I just want your opinion. And I want the feedback. And I'm gonna try to improve upon this. Because if it doesn't offer any value to you, it has no value to me, right? So I'd appreciate your feedback, but continued on that point. What about video Man? I'm a speaker. I have so much video. There's someone checking me doing that. I haven't levers. I need to do more video. So I want to do more with audio, and I wantto promote my podcast more. I want to do more with video. I want to do more in a lot of different things. But at the end of the day, you know, I'm not like a scrub master and I'm not familiar with that field of work. But I do know that there are sprints. I want to do one month sprints of the different mediums of different networks. A different content, different frequency and within the social networks is content. I'll be speaking at social media market world in April on Twitter and how delivered the goldmine that Twitter is that's been forgotten, which I love that people forget about it. That's when I swipe in. Everyone's talking about Snapchat. I Snapchats great. When I have a presence there, you can follow me. Snap chap, You know Neil Schaefer N e a l s c h f f e r. But when people forget about social networks, that's when I swoop in, because that's when I find there's less noise and I get more attention. And I realized that even though Snapchat may have a huge community and still not may not be his largest, Twitter's community is. You got to put all of this in perspective, right? But with Twitter, it's about owning your hashtag. What is your key word? Strategy? What are the 10 things you want to tweet about? Have you been blogging about tweeting about those things and you're gonna find there's a gap and I want youto bridge that gap by refocusing what you're doing, and you can use different techniques to do that. But this is really, really looking at the strategy part. Okay, Number two thing I want you to d'oh is now. I want you to look at the resource part now what I mean by the resource part is, and those of you have heard me speak recently, I talk about the only way to scale. Can you need to scale your program? This is what my Social Tools Summit coming up in Boston and April 12th is about. It's It's It's the role of technology and best practices and within those best practices, its processes. Right. So we have resource is the only way to scale our efforts if we want to do more. And if you're like me, I mean, there's things I'm doing less up. But there's also other areas I want to do more off. We need to look at how do we scale? And there's only four ways of scale its people process paid and tools. I talked a little bit about the paid, which is, you know, pay per click. It could also be paid social. Hey, if we could just, you know, get a bigger community, maybe that'll help, and it's getting more traffic from that site. If we get relevant users that we handpick to follow, engaged with us, right? Or for an event, we you know, we promote the post, whatever it might be and tools I'm gonna talk a lot about as well. So when when I think about the resource is it comes down to outside of the paid social, which you can still use the people of the process in the tools. What about the people? Are you leveraging your people in the right way? Are you leveraging your agency in the right way? I think when you look at it, there's a few different types of resource is you need for a social media program. And if you're in a large enterprise, you've obviously divided these into departments or clusters or groups. Whatever you wanna call. If your small business, maybe it's one person doing all of them. But maybe it's time to outsource some of those tasks or look for an agency that could help. Video is a great a great one here, you know, you can record a little video yourself and send it to someone you can even go on a fiver, right? I haven't done five. I'm looking at experimenting with using fiber, and we all know it doesn't cost $5. It cost more than that, but upload a video yourself, speaking from an iPhone and all you need is an intercultural template. And maybe, you know, a few words flashing in here and there in a local here and there. And you got yourself a really nice video you can put on YouTube does not be fancy, but at least you can now have video content and leverage a network that you might not have been leveraging. The same goes with slide share. I have one person that I outsource my slide share, too, because I think she doesn't. Awesome job. Now I have Resource is well, I have a graphical resource like dude, you get videos, you get graphics. I need you to start working on videos for me, teaching something new, but leveraging that resource for more. I have a virtual system that Maur Maur is helping me with a lot of my social media as well as content research test. You can't outsource everything, but you can have the right people do the right jobs. And I know that that person is not someone that can write my content for me. But they could do a lot of the research for me and get it set up so that it helps me focus on the 20% strategic side and the 80% research side or back. Linking to my old content, I can have that person do. So we want to be focusing on the strategy, and we want to be focusing on the people in order to get her through the noise. Yes, you need to be in the right places with the right content. The content has to be powerful, valuable, resourceful but Maur Mauritz coming down to the 1 to 1 relationships that you have with people that you meet or engage with over social. And if you want to be strategically focused, that's where you need to be focused in my honest opinion. So in order to do that, there's these other tests that we have for a social media program. We need to streamline them some things I don't need any more. Let's treat. Let's get rid of him. Other things we can outsource. Let's outsource taking off our plate that we can focus on the strategy on the measurement and on the engagement and developing relationships and people, whether they're influencers, what other advocates employees that are part of our employees advocacy program, whether executives we've been buying from whether their customers partners. It's all about the people in relationships, isn't it? Right? So I want you to look at the resource is in terms of the people. Next, let's talk about the process and I'll talk about the tools as well. But I only want about talk about the tools part of the process because you, for whatever role you have at whatever company I want you to document everything you d'oh for Monday through Friday in a given week. What are the things you d'oh! If you can't document it, you can't improve upon it. Going back to Professor Demi if you don't know what you're doing, If you don't have a process, you don't know what you're doing. I want you to define your process because you're already doing it. You needed to find your process. Wants you to find your process. You can now have someone help you do that process and you can leverage other resource is and move on to something bigger. Better now, you can also leverage tools to help you do this. For instance, here's a great one. Simply measured love simply measured. They have reports that I subscribe to. I get reports on a weekly and monthly basis. I know exactly what information what report is gonna provide me the data I need to tweak, say, my weekly content on my Facebook page. Or who are the influencers I should be engaging with on Twitter or what is the mix of content categories? I should be posted my Facebook page. Once you define a process, you then overlay the tools to see how they can help streamline those processes. You don't want to create processes out of tools, and that's what a lot of people do. They find the tool and just figure they'll just do with the tool lets them do. And that's that's a process that really isn't. You need to have. The process is written up now. Sometimes tools bring up alternatives, the processes you have, and if you can do them better and it lets you focus on the engagement and the people and developing relationships, why not do a 30 day sprint on it? That's my recommendation, and that's where the processes and the tools come in. So if you put this all together and if you read, maximize your social or you've looked at my block post. I have an infographic. It's like the 11 essential components of a social media strategy. You'll see that I've touched upon a lot of these. So in the process of creating processes and learning how to better leverage, your resource is including outsourced resources and doing better benchmarking and looking at the different the channel strategy, the content strategy, how you're measuring your success. These all come into a strategic approach. And I'd say when you start to define your processes and you start to scale because you have a better understanding of your processes and what you need to streamline and you're measuring better and you're tweaking on a more regular basis. That's when you're truly beginning to maximize your social. And that's what I am all about to help you do that. And I'm passionate on my mission, and it's it's Ladies and gentlemen, it's never any mission. The concepts I brought up, Maximus your social that was written almost three years ago, but they're still true today. I hope you enjoyed this episode of Maximize your Social. Like I said earlier. If you haven't, I'd really appreciate your going over the iTunes I know. I know from the stats. Ah, lot of you are listening to it. Don't be shy. I'd really appreciate if you went over the iTunes, Gave me a rating or comment. And hey, you know, if you did let me know. I want to personally thank you for that. Because for me, the podcast, like social media at the very beginning. Like when I started my blawg in July of 2008 it was a networking tool. It was the ability to help me reach more people, help more people and develop relationships with more people. And ladies and gentlemen, for this podcast that is my r a y. So. But you contacted me and reaching out. You're helping me reach my most important K p I. All right, everybody. Wherever in the world, as I always say, make it a great social day until next time. Bye bye. 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 Centre of Excellence at social media, c o e dot com, as well as meals. Social Media Conference, The Social Tools Summit coming to Boston on April 12