16 days. 6 countries. 2 continents. After a business trip around the world, I pondered what role businesses should play in social media. And then it dawned on me: Social media marketing has been going on for ten years, but brands on average still suck at it. Should businesses keep trying to do the same thing? Or is it time for a next generation, new approach to social media marketing that takes into account the fact that we are now entering our second decade of implementing organic social? Listen on for the conclusion that I have and the advice for you to completely blow up and reconstruct your social media marketing efforts to be more effective in 2019 and beyond.
[00:49] It's Time For Second Generation Strategies
[03:41] Why Influencer Marketing Is Ahead In Southeast Asia And China
[04:42] How Influential Influencers Are In China And Southeast Asia
[06:03] Brands Moving More Into Paid Social
[06:40] Do Consumers Want To Talk To Brands On Social Media?
[08:28] Influencers Are The Best Content Creators
[10:44] How Most Businesses Started Out
[11:53] Inciting Word Of Mouth
[12:47] Marketers Are Miseducated On Influencer Marketing
[13:38] Redefining Influencer Marketing
[17:07] Invest In Relationship With People
What's up, y'all? Let's go. Welcome to the maximize your social podcast, follow me discover the latest social media marketing techniques from the world's leading experts from top to bottom. This is the podcast where business professionals come together to master social media without all the confusing mumbo jumbo. With no further ado, turn it down. Here's your host, the one and only Neal Schaffer. Hey, everybody, this is Neal Schaffer. And welcome to another exciting episode of maximize your social, the podcast. I'm really, really excited about this podcast because I've been thinking a lot about this subject. The subject really is, I believe that the social media marketing revolution of the last decade, is slowly coming to an end. And it's time for social media marketing, second generation strategies that brands I think are going to need to be implemented to remain relevant going forward. So this comes both because I'm recording this at the end of 2018. And everyone's like, Neil, what are your predictions for 2019? So Well, I'll tell you what my predictions are. But most importantly, I just came back from a 16 day six country round the world business trip, I teach every year at the Irish Management Institute in Dublin, which is an excellent institution, for those that want to get a certification in digital business. Even if you're not in marketing, we have executives from all industries, all disciplines take the course. And it's a it's a great one day course that I teach there in Dublin. And, boy, I had a chance to check one off my bucket list because I was also able to see you to live in Dublin, believe it or not, which was a dream of mine, considering I've been a fan of them for a long time. So I was in Dublin. I then was in Berlin, Berlin is where the developmental editor for the business of influence my book on influencer marketing is located so I was able to have a great meeting with him. And pretty much close off the book, you'll be hearing from me some exciting announcements of the publisher that I'll be working with shortly. But it's a little bit too soon to announce that unfortunately. Then I was up to Copenhagen to speak at Falcon AIOs spark conference. And if you listen to my last podcast, which I hope you did, about bringing content marketing, social media marketing and performance marketing teams together that was recorded with the CEO and founder falcon.io. So hopefully, you will have experienced a little bit of Copenhagen, just by listening to that podcast, I was enough to London, if you follow me on Instagram, you saw that I was able to meet with the CEO and founder of sendible, another great social media dashboard out there Gavin hammer, and look forward to future collaborations with him. So then I was off to Singapore, where I had a very, very important business meeting with a very, very large consumer brand, who was looking for advice on influencer marketing. Then I went to Tokyo, we're actually spoke at an event for the Japanese government who is investing in about 20 startups, both inbound marketing and outbound marketing help. So I did an hour presentation in Japanese and actually stayed around the entire day, giving marketing advice in general, that was a very, very rewarding day, I also spend time with my clients in Japan. So that was at 16 days in six countries. And doing that I was really able to reflect upon, you know, you get sort of a esoterical when you're on a 12 hour flight from Munich, Germany to Singapore. And, you know, you begin to think and it was really good for me, because what really got me was in Singapore, this consumer brand, I have found that influencer marketing is just way ahead in Southeast Asia and in China, compared to anywhere else in the world. So, you know, let's think about it. Those are countries where maybe traditional media was not as strong, where smartphones leapfrogged over fixed wire technology and where people use overwhelmingly use their smartphone to get information. So with the democratization of media influence, people came along to fill the gaps, right, you know, YouTubers, bloggers, Instagramers, and influencers really, you know, I think in the United States, and maybe in Europe, there's a lot of talk about fake influencers, what have you. I think that businesses really understand the influence that these people have in that part of the world. In fact, one of the things I talk about when I speak about influencer marketing is the Amazon of China. Taobao online, five of the top 10 fashion brands were actually launched by influencers, that that's how the influential influencers are in China. No. And we see the same in Southeast Asia. And it was really, this brand was launching a well, it's one of these large conglomerates that manage many, many consumer facing brands. And their APEC headquarters was in Singapore. And they are launching a new beauty brand. And as they said, you know, if we want to get the word out about our, about our company, about our brand, where else will be go, but to work with influencers? And I thought about it right, you know, it made a lot of sense. Because, yeah, I mean, if you already have legacy, it's one thing, but we look at these case studies of startups on Instagram, that just shift, they just bypass those traditional marketing channels, like consumers, bypass PCs, and modems, and fix line telephones, and traditional media. And they don't even read the newspaper, magazine or watch TV for news, it's all on their smartphone, right? And therefore, it doesn't matter if it comes from BBC, or CNN, or Yahoo or someone else. So when you think about it, and then you think that, you know, we know that reaches declining and will continue to decline for organic social, we know that companies move more into paid social, but that becomes more expensive. There's some GDPR and other questions about how much data marketers are going to be able to access or third party data going forward. And at the end of the day, right? At the end of the day, it's still an ad. Now, some people even though they know it's an ad will still engage with it. So there's obviously still going to be value, but I think that they're going to be less effective, right. But, you know, let's turn the tables. And this is really the direction I'm thinking, do consumers want to talk to brands on social media. And it was funny, because at the spark conference, there were some case studies of brands that were doing social media really interesting, like on Twitter, and one of them was, you know, like Wendy's talking to Taco Bell, or I forgot which the examples were, but they were brands just talking to each other. Right? You know, I just want to say, we've been doing social media marketing for a decade now. And I think we need to come to the realization, and I keep saying it, but it bears reminding that social media was made for people, not for businesses, right? Businesses really shouldn't be in social media. And I know, that sounds very counterproductive or hypocritical. It sounds like an oxymoron coming from a social media marketer. But I don't think that people want to have conversations with brands in social media, unless they're gonna complain, perhaps if they have a question. And of course, if they get a freebie, so I am really big on and when I was in Japan, I'm gonna talk about Japan separately a little bit. And I posted this on on Facebook and LinkedIn, of this book called Customer Success, and customer success marketing. And there's a relationship here with sort of customer experience marketing. And we can even connect that with social customer support. I am bullish on social customer support on customer experience, marketing, customer success, marketing, and using social media, not to spray and pray marketing messages. But as a way to really help build relationships with people. That's what social media is about, is about building relationships with people. And I think the approach that brands have taken, I'm going to go right out. And this is going to be a little Gary Vaynerchuk ish. But brands suck at Social Media Marketing, I'm sorry, I go to all these conferences, people spend a lot of time studying a lot. But guess what? The best content creators are influencers, right? So if you want to cut through the noise, why don't you work with the experts, instead of trying to spend cycles and spend a lot of money trying to figure it out. But let me get back to my story about Japan. So that was where I thought, you know, what is the role that brand should have in social media. So it begins with the customer service, customer experience, customer success, and conversations and relationship building. So in Japan, and it's funny, because the first 15 years of my career, I lived and worked in Japan for those that know me. So Japanese business and the Japanese work environment has extremely influenced how I work in my perspectives on business. And I was often responsible for multicultural marketing in in Asia, you know, selling to Japan to China, Korea using English, Japanese, Chinese, different business customs, different ways of doing business, different ways of marketing, and therefore I was required to have a really, really holistic perspective on business. And I think that a lot of people that listen to me speak or read my books, find it very refreshing find it, for lack of a better word dumbed down and find it really absorbable internalize double I'm picking up words here as I go but I hope you get it and actionable most importantly, right so I love it because when I speak in Japan, I always get a lot of kind words told to me and I know that part of that in Japanese because Shakeology day, which is you know, if you have someone come from overseas and they spend time with you, you're gonna say nice things. But I genuinely feel from the comments I got from some people that they finally got it. Right. And really it was about influencer marketing that that wasn't necessarily the topic. It was really about the latest trends in global social media marketing, which included influencer marketing, but but they got it because guess what, how did companies become successful? And all these companies came up and said, Neil, you know, what resonated with my talk, I talk about influencer marketing is about community, not a campaign. And if you haven't listened to that podcast, or read my blog post, I highly recommend you do you're going to see it in the business of influence as well. But most importantly, right? Many businesses started out word of mouth, happy customers, successful customers, they told their friends, and so on, and so on, and so on. For those that remember that TV commercial and just severely ag myself. But what's important here is that I applaud falcon.io Because one of the keywords in Spark, that digital marketing conference I spoke at was how going forward? Do we incite conversations that connect? And I think that's what it's about, right? It's about leveraging our customers who 10 years ago, we're not on social media, but they're on social media. Now, it's about spreading word of mouth through social media. That is why we began 10 years ago, investing in social media marketing, right? It's about word of mouth marketing, that somehow our messages are going to go viral. And there was a day, when the average organic reach per post hit, you know, 10 15% of our fans and early days of Facebook, we still see an Instagram, I still get a solid, you know, two 3% on most of my posts, you know, it's still possible that Facebook is a little bit different, obviously, what's important here is if businesses about inciting word of mouth from our customers, that our customers are the influencers. And we see, you know, in, for instance, how you measure customer lifetime value, this referral component that I like to talk a lot about. So if business is about word of mouth marketing, and social media should have been about word of mouth marketing, the only way to incite word of mouth marketing is not from the declining reach of your organic posts, nor is it about your advertisements. It's about leveraging people. So I've had this term leveraging the other for some time. And in Copenhagen for the first time I said, You know what, employee advocacy, brand advocacy, influencer marketing, they're all influencers, let's completely get rid of the term employee advocacy. And I know that I'm sort of going away from where I was going, talking about customers and word of mouth marketing. But here's the thing, marketers have been mis educated on influencer marketing. There was a time when, you know, I talk about that example, like in Southeast Asia, in China, where there's lack of traditional media and these people came in, you know, we've had that here in the United States, we've also had people priced themselves way out of the market, we have people that just do it for a living, and they become the media, they're not influencers. They're a media entity, that just do it for the living, and therefore it's 100% paid media. That's why an influencer marketing, we're shifting to micro and I'm really excited to see a shift in nano influencers, micro influencers, generally, I don't know, five to 50,000 followers, or five to 100,000, or 10, to 100. There's lots of different definitions where the Nano might be 500 to 5000. But their community is locked into what they say Right? And it might be a little bit more niche. So the whole idea here is influencer marketing has a bad rap in the eyes of many, especially here in North America and Europe, a little bit different in Asia, like I said, but what's important is that we need to redefine and the business of influence is going to be all about redefining it. And I think that employee advocacy is a great way to begin that thought process of redefining influencer marketing, when you consider your employees influencers. It's not about buying a tool and saying, Hey, share our message, right? The first thing, the first rule about influencer marketing, and I like I said I really can't wait to release my book is w if m raise your hand if you know what this acronym means. I can't see you raising your hand. If you're in sales. You better understand this because sales is all about understanding our customers needs. Well. In this case, we want to understand the influencers needs so wi FM is about what's in it for me. And you know, what, if they're just in it for the money, not sure if that's the influencer you want to work with? It's paid media, right? You're not inciting word of mouth marketing. You're paying for an advertisement. So not in every case. Obviously. There are influencers who don't work with any and every brand, there are influencers who don't post sponsored content day in and day out. Those are the ones you want to work with, if you want to work more with like macro influencers, celebrities, but let's forget about them for now. Because when people think of influencer marketing, that's all they think about. When you redefine your employees as influencers, instead of saying, We want you to do this, you begin a conversation to collaboration, right? You know, we want to get the word out about our product, we know you're active in social, if you're in sales, and you've taken social selling training, something that I do a lot of you understand that content can help your personal brand. So, you know, is there a way we can work together, maybe, you know, you can help us create some cool content, or we can create some cool content for you. Or we can train you in personal branding, or bring Neal Schaffer in and, you know, train you in social media marketing? I don't know, right. But that's the conversation that I think employee advocacy programs need to have, they need to do a reset, and treat employees as influencers, treat your fans and customers as influencers, right? I don't care if they only have 500 followers, they know who you are, they're your fan, they might even be a customer of your product, instead of going after people that have no brand affinity with you build from your fans. And there have been books written about brand advocacy. So I you know, I'm talking about this in a social media perspective, your followers, your customers that are already active in social media and yield some influence. And let's say 500 followers, as a minimum, it's funny in Southeast Asia, they're like, well, like everybody in the Philippines and Indonesia have at least like 3000 friends on Facebook. So, you know, there are some communities that are more locked in and others, but begin from there. And in fact, okay, I'm going to throw it out there. Because in Japan, they got this really, really clearly that they should be focusing primarily on influencer, marketing, their budget, and inciting that word of mouth, is think about it all the time you spend trying to create all the content and use all the tools and all the paid social, think if you invested that money in your customers that have some influence in social media, I think if you invested that in relationships with people, and this gets back to the connection with customer success, marketing and social customer service, it's about that connection. It's people, people rule, social media, people will always rule social media. And I'm not putting myself out of a job as a social media marketer, because this changes the whole way that I believe brands need to reset their relationship with social media. And with social media users, I think it actually generates a lot of demand for people that can help navigate that. And there's still a need for agencies, what have you don't get me wrong. But when we redefine influencer marketing, and we see people out there for the influence that they have, even if it's a little bit small, that's okay. Right, start small. And in fact, I was really encouraged because this brand, and obviously, under NDA, I can't name names, but this is the future. This brand is not only investing in influencer marketing in Southeast Asia, but they are investing in training their fans in social media, how to better use social media, and how to become an influencer, that, my friends is the future is if you want to create a community, what are you going to invest in the community? How are you going to reward your customers and what's in for them. So I know this is a little bit esoterical. And it's, it's actually funny because I finished writing my manuscript of the business of influence in Berlin. And then I go to Singapore, in Japan, it's like, ah, and then I come home back to Orange County, California, and obviously, continue to rethink these ideas. And as you know, you know, I think of content as part of a manufacturing process, right. And my ideas always begin with these podcasts. So if you always want to get my freshest, newest ideas, you got to subscribe and listen to every podcast. That's my promise to you. So I'm still absorbing this and digesting this and figuring out as hopefully, when I signed my contract with this major American book publisher, I'll be able to spend a few weeks during the first edits with the editor and sort of work this into the content. I think, at Social Media Marketing World, this will be the first time where I am going to be presenting this as my main topic for my speech. So if you can wait until then that'll be the first time you'll see all of this all fleshed out. In San Diego, there's a virtual ticket available. I'm not here to market their events. But if you're curious, I'm really curious to see what you think. Do you think that I'm on targets everybody, you know, you read all these social media marketing trends for 2019. And I do the same I say, Look, just because the calendar year changes, right. Nothing changes. It's an evolution. Okay. Yes. Do more video. Yes. invest more in Instagram. Yes, work with more. I mean, right. Yes, AI is coming. But we need a fundamental change. I believe brands need a fundamental change. I think those companies that do really well on social media have already accepted this and invest most of their marketing budget in influencer marketing primarily on Instagram, we see that with a lot of, you know, fashion brands or what have you ecommerce brands. But I believe this is the future. I believe this is the next generation of social media marketing. And it's obviously about user generated content. It's about community. It's about relationships. It's about what's in it. For me, it's about redefining influencer marketing for this new generation, for this new evolution of social media marketing. I'm really curious to hear your opinion. So if you are listening to this on my blog, I hope you'll write a comment. If you're listening on iTunes, I'd really love for you to write a review, even one sentence that really helps expose this podcast to more people. And I think a lot of people need to listen to this. Because guess what, whether you agree with me or not, I'm hoping this is food for thought. So you stand back and go, You know what, maybe we do need to rethink our approach to social media marketing, I am already bringing this out with my clients and helping them achieve greatness in what I see as the road going forward. Love to help you as well, hoping this podcast adds value to your business to your life. And I'm going to stop here like to keep these relatively short and sweet. Hope you enjoyed this. I invested 20 minutes of my Friday night waiting for my wife and kids to come home before we go out to dinner. So it was really good timing for me to put all my thoughts together and stand up and walk around my house as I record this podcast so that I can that the ideas smoothly and freely come out. So I'll stop there. Like I said, we'd love to hear what you think. Agree. Disagree? You think I'm full of shit and Gary Vaynerchuk terms? Let me know. Let's have a conversation. I don't want podcast to be a one way conversation. This is real. My voice is in your headphones in your car speaker. So talk back to me, please. I'd love to know what you think. Alright, everybody, that's a wrap. And as I like to say, wherever you are in the world, make it a great social day. I am genuinely excited about the new opportunities that this next generation of social media marketing has for brands. And I hope that you agree with me and join with me on this journey. already ready. Make it a great social Day. Bye Bye now. Thanks for listening to the maximize your social podcast. Don't forget to subscribe and rate the show on iTunes so others can enjoy it to continue the conversation and empower your business through social media. Visit Neal schaffer.com right now. Have a great week. Let's go we'll see you on the next episode.