How should small businesses approach an investment in social media? Learn how a social media consultant views how small business should consider what business value they should derive from social - and how to better manage their expectations vis a vis budget spend on social.
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welcome to maximize your social actionable 10 minute advice on how your business can maximize your social media presence. Now the host of Maximize Your Social Social Media author, speaker, consultant and founder of Maximize Social Business Meals. Schaefer Everyone you know, I hope we start off these podcasts by saying, This is Neil Shaper working to maximize your social. And then I realized, you know that intro jingle right? Fresh start talking already says who I am. So do I really need to say who I am every episode? And sometimes it just becomes a habit that when we start something, maybe every day in the morning or a task or whatever it might be, the power of habit is a very, very strong one. And this is the lead into what I want to talk about today, which is the business of social media and the habits that companies have in terms of how they spend money to do certain tasks. You know, this podcast was originally called Social Business unplugged until I published Maximize your social and I like to keep it very much unplugged, as you've probably heard from previous episodes, especially that one at the pub in London or the one at the food court here in Orange County eating ramen while talking about podcasting and part of the concept of unplugged. And, you know, I was a drummer. And the music that you hear, by the way at the intro Outro This podcast is from a song of two CDs that my band called Jacqueline recorded in Japan. So I really liked the unplug concept. So I try to share stories and perspectives as I see them at this moment in time and a few days ago I got a phone call which I think really illustrates the business of social media, the power of habit and what have you And so let me give you the background. Obviously, when you become very active and social media and I know a lot of you listening to this podcast are you have a robust social media following. You have a website. If you block, you probably have inbound marketing of working for you, and at some point you just start getting phone calls. I mean, the funny phone calls that I used to get where people would find me. I have a blood post called How do I send the complaint? The length in and this is back in 8 4009 In my windmill networking days when I was blogging. Ah, lot about length in and I think I was sort of getting lost in the weeds. But on the other hand, I was just doing it for networking and for knowledge sharing. And I wasn't in the business of social media yet. I launched my Social Media Strategy consultancy in January 2010. But for some reason, that Block post just gets a ton of hits. And maybe it's when people think they have a complaint to send a link. Then they literally search that they find the block post. They find my phone them and they call me and I get these complaints like I'm gonna have a lawyer contact you, and it's OK. I'm not I'm not affiliated with Lincoln in anyway, right? But, you know, over time, those phone calls have changed, and I, you know, got a random phone call few days ago from it was actually a doctor, a specialized doctor in a one of the top 20 major metropolitan areas of the United States. I don't think I need to give any more details than that, but I think the story is a normal one. And it is something that I have struggled with. That I think a lot of people that work in social media struggle with us. Well, and it's this Okay, so, you know, you're a doctor. Small business. You've always had a marketing quote unquote budget wasn't a lot of money. Sometimes. Maybe it was for print advertising, right in a local newspaper, a local magazine. Maybe you had a little bit of money floor, paper, click abs. Perhaps you had money for S E. O to get your website to the top. And maybe you even have spent a little money with yelp advertising to get your company, you know, near the top. And Yelp, I think, has become more and more important for a lot of small businesses out there, including doctors. So for each of these tasks that I mentioned, you pay a certain amount of money a month, perhaps, and you get certain results. You may not even get results, but you feel like you're getting results. Even if people aren't necessarily converting from the paper collects. You're getting clicks and you can have someone you could have an agency report back to you saying, Yeah, we got 400 clicks and five conversions, whatever it is, right. But you're getting this when you pay yelp, you know that you're appearing more prominently, and hopefully that is bringing in more businesses. Well, print ads are things. Well, I'm right here, you know. I know. I'm gonna get exposure in the community. And s e l obviously is. You can write any report on any given keyword. Hey, we're now we're at number one Or number two or number three. We moved up five rings. What have you? The challenge, though, is with social Media. Because, you know, over the past five years, obviously, social media marketing has become mainstream, and more and more small businesses want to get into the game. And the approach is a similar approach to the way they view all these other tasks. Okay, can you just do social media for me? You know, I got a few $100 a month, and that's it. And obviously, for those listening to the podcast, we know that that is not the world of social in order to be successful. It takes time to obviously create relationships, develop relationships. There's a whole content side and above and beyond that, there's sort of a branding side that this doctor or this small business has their own culture, their own brand, their own differentiators in the marketplace. So how can someone be expected to speak on their behalf? How can someone be expected to create or curate content on their behalf? That would really fit what they want to? D'oh. So my approach has always been companies need strategy in education. Okay, I will work with you. Let's create a strategy. Let me educate your company that's having on boarding process so I can train your company. And let's keep an ongoing relationship as a social media advisor. That is basically the role that a social media consultant should play because we're Consul Tayyip. The agency, on the other hand, says, Oh, well, do social media for you, you know, in all honesty, I've always had a problem with that. Now I realize that large enterprises that work with large agencies already have. Ah, they have their own strategies. They have their own playbooks. They go through the training with agencies and good agencies can do a really, really good job at scale, replicating social media for certain tasks. You know, we're having an event. We're having a campaign. We don't have the resources to be able to ramp up. We need a lot of manpower. We know what we need to do. We can scale by working through an agency, and I get that. But it's the approach of Hey, give us a few $100 a month. We'll send out three tweets a day to Facebook posts and what have you So this doctor I struggled with again because we had the conversation. And obviously this person is just looking for a quick fix to throw money at something that they think will be successful. And it's really an interesting debate, which I think there is no answer for, because on the flip side okay, if I was in No. One and I wasn't even found in social media and by having someone post a few tweets posting a Facebook photo, I suppose it's going to get a little bit of brand awareness. I'm gonna get on the radar. If someone was doing a search. I may be ableto appear and therefore to give respect to those that are in the business of helping small businesses that $50 a month, $100 a month, $200 a month, $500 a month with some cookie cutter approach. Perhaps there is value in that that I just do not see because I am so deep in the business in the industry, had his social media, and that is sort of an approach that I have never taken. Some of you listening maybe on the ladder side of those that are doing that on behalf of businesses at a $500 a month, and you have very, very happy customers. I just, you know, maybe because I'm a passionate individual and I want to do the absolute best job possible. I just think that there's an incredible amount of time that goes into crafting a voice, crafting content, curating, content, engaging. That's a few $100 a month unless you price yourself forever, inexpensively just would not allow me to do the best job that I could. So is it about lowering my own expectations about my work and doing something that is Well, this is the time that you bought this is the job. Oh, you need me to do more treats. They need to be more relevant. You're gonna have to buy more custom package or is Hey, you know, if companies have that perspective of social is being another cheque list item of S e o of paper click, then, Yeah, I could do that. So this is something that I present to you in the spirit of being unplugged and have really opening up my mind to you and the things that I have struggled with as a social media consultant. I think that businesses and agencies and consultants struggle with it as well, because it's not as clear cut as a lot of small businesses would like to find it to be. And at the end of the day, you know, very, very early in my career I was doing some blogging and some tweeting on behalf of a company that said, Hey, here's x dollars. Just go and do it. And as I had predicted, the relationship ended very, very quickly because they just they feel good about saying, Oh, we're doing it now But Then at the end of the day, they said, Well, what's the our ally of doing this? And that's sort of the fear I have for a lot of people that do this sort of job, as well as companies that you know, put money into an effort that really isn't appropriate for getting business value out of a social media presence, I suppose, to be the best way to put it. So hey, those are my thoughts for this week just based on that phone call that I wanted to share with you. It's a topic that is a ver ver interesting one. There's no single right or wrong answer. This is the path that I've chosen. And this is why, for some of you who are thinking of going into business for yourself and helping other business with the social media, that sort of you know, something that you're gonna have to deal with from a personal philosophical as well as a business perspective. But that's the way I see it. And I really hope that this podcast, this particular episode sparks a conversation amongst you as to how do you handle this? Have you ever spent money and been satisfied with a company that did social media on your behalf in this way or hey, I'm doing social media in that wave on behalf of a lot of companies, and I think it works. You know, I remember I was in Scotland, actually, last year, and I met well, a woman who was considered sort of the queen of social in Scotland. And I don't want to go on any more details because I wanna keep this person. I guess you could do a search for Queen of Social in Scotland. I don't think she'd show up, but she was literally doing a lot of these small businesses. And as we were having lunch, she was showing me her, you know, hoot suite. And she was managing basically 30 different accounts, and that was her life. I don't think she had much of a personal life because, you know, at every moment there was engagement happening. What have you So you know, on the flip side of farm a business and I'm paying money, I'm becoming one of those 30 companies that someone else is managing. I just wonder how much TLC can be given. Like I said. If it's s e O, if it's paper click, there's some science behind it. And while there is a science behind Social, it's Maura about people and engaging with people, and that really is more of an art than a science. So those are my final thoughts for the fight gets. Like I said, I really do hope that you'll reach out to me. Give me your thoughts on the subject. It's very hard to educate small businesses who don't know better about social media on the subject. In an ideal world they'd all have. Resource is someone like myself, for another social media consultant would be able to work with them, educate them and get them into a social media workflow where they could be doing this effectively spending a little bit of time. Unfortunately, not all small businesses are like that. So so that's the challenge, And I wrote about this a long time ago. You can search on maximize social business for a block post called the oxymoron of Small Business Social Media Marketing, where small businesses want results without a lot of budget, and I think that that oxymoron remains today, and from my heart I know that small businesses really power the economies of the world, at least of the United States. And I I want to help, but this is sort of the divide that prevents me from helping these small businesses that are in a different mindset. And I get back to that habit, a different habit, different ways of thinking about spending budget for marketing. I'm gonna stop here, boy. I could talk for a long time about the subject, but I'll stop. Look forward to your comments, your engagement. Reach out to me. Anything I want to cover in the podcast. Always. All yours. I really appreciate, you know, it doesn't happen a lot, but people that sort of tweet out. Neil really enjoying your podcast. It really, really means a lot to me. And I want to thank you all for that. So that's it. And I'm gonna get back to my own habit of saying Thanks for listening to another episode of Maximize Your Social Wherever you are around the world. Make it a great social day. Bye bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content. Please contact meal Schaffer at Neil at Maximize Your social dot com. Make it a social day.