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Nov. 11, 2014

86: What I've Learned in Building a New Social Media Community

86: What I've Learned in Building a New Social Media Community

Neal talks about the launch of his new Social Media Center of Excellence Facebook Group and what he has learned building a new community in social media - and how you can leverage Neal's experience.

Transcript

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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, founder of Maximize Social Business and the soon to launch Social Media Centre of Excellence. Neil Schaefer. Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social Today I'm at my home office here in beautiful Orange County, California next week. Well, by the time you hear this, I will be speaking at California State Fullerton on the do's and don'ts of social media for college students. I always love to share the potential benefits, but also the potential disadvantages that social has to, well, the demographic that uses social more than anyone else, right? So that should be a really, really good event. Hope to report back to you on that one on the next podcast. But this podcast I want to continue with my story on creating my own community via a Facebook group for this new Social Media Centre of Excellence project that I am in the process of launching. You'll have to listen to my previous podcast, maybe two or three weeks ago where I talked about, you know, discovering the value of Facebook groups. It's been interesting because not just my own group. By being active in a few vory selected group, sort of that engagement spills over right. You see people in those groups that you already know from Twitter LinkedIn that you were never friends on Facebook. You become friends, you have more conversations, you can help people out with the knowledge that you have and make new friends. And it's really just help me learn about a lot of things. There's new people that I can ask questions, too, and hopefully offer advice to others that might need it as well. So, once again, if you need any guidance on a few Facebook groups, I recommend some are very much very closed to new people, but others even though they're closed, if you fit their relevant demographic, you know more than happy to make the introduction to you and you comply. Just hey, you know where I am. Feel free to reach out to me on social media or on one of my digital property. So it's been interesting because with my own social media centre of excellence Facebook group. It really is an experiment. It's a new brand, although I have a Neil Shaper brand. I had a windmill networking brand. I have a maximize social business brand. I have a maximize your social brand. And even though the the branding, the logo, the visual of the socially dissenter of excellence, ties in to maximize social business, maximize your social. It's still knew when people have never heard of it. They're like, What the heck is this? Why would I want to join this group in once I joined the group? What to expect? And it's almost like an experiment in creating a community. Whether you create a new Twitter handle a new Facebook page, it's the same thing. How are you going to generate engagement now with a Facebook group? The engagements were interesting, obviously, when you have a linked in group and someone posted a link in group that can often go out in the network update that someone so just posted something in a linked in group and Facebook is the same. We all know the value of trying to show up in Facebook news feed, So I've been really surprised now that I'm starting to get active in Facebook groups. How much Facebook will prioritize Facebook groups in your news feeds? I was I was actually shocked to see that Probably I'm getting Maur display of notifications of Facebook groups than I do of Facebook pages. And once again, this ties into the theme of sort of the uncharted territory that I think Facebook groups can have for, ah, lot of brands, not just for the temple community that I'm building, but beyond that. It's also that you know, once your friends join a group and you go to any given group, you're going to be recommended to join these other groups. And often those groups are gonna be where you have a lot of friends on. So the idea is to get as much engagement in your group so that Your post show up more in the news feeds of your members. But also the more people that join your group because they like that engagement. They think it's relevant, the more their friends will see that they have friends in your group, and the more that they'll join your group. And I think it's very much and I've seen, you know the same groups pop up over and over on the suggested groups. I think it's sort of like this, you know, tumbleweed approach. Now, obviously, numbers are not everything. It's more about quality versus quantity. I want the right people into the group. And the interesting thing is, I started my group very differently. Most people well, if you start a Facebook page or Twitter account, you can't automatically add people in. Even with a lengthy in group, you can't. Facebook groups are really the only ones, and it causes a lot of controversy that you can actually up people in. So who would you opt in? Right? I'm totally against opting people, and I think it goes against, Ah, lot of basic principles of etiquette and of online social networking and social media principles. But I know a lot of people do it now. I will be honest that I have a social media suey dot com site for Social Media Centre of Excellence, and I said, Hey, we'll let you know when we launch. So I had a very, very small email list and I literally went through the email dresses in that list of the people that I knew. Okay? Only the people that I knew who I thought would wouldn't mind, be a part of it. And only from those people. I don't know. Maybe 20 or so people started very small. I upped in them into the group. I also sent out a message, You know, Hey, if you've been opted into the group, you've shown an interest by opting into the newsletter for social media Stewie dot com. We're not ready to launch yet, but I'm gonna be using this Facebook group to give you updates on that. So you decide who you want to opt in. You know what? I'm gonna be your parameters for opting people and should you decide to do that. And like I said, you can't do this and other networks. And maybe that's what makes Facebook very interesting for a lot of people, but also wants you up them in. Once they go to the group, you need to have a clear visual, clear rules. Posting rules it clear about section, and you need to tell them. Hey, you know, if you're offended, please opt out. You had already expressed interest. That's why you're here, But above and beyond that, you know, How do you get? But so we'll talk about two different things here, right? And it's the exact same for any new community that you create in social media. How do you get more followers and how do you get more engagement? It's the same themes over and over and over, and there's no one Golden Rule because every community is gonna be filled with different people with a different objective. It's the whole social media's half science half art. This is sort of the science, but you all need to be the artist because we're dealing with people here and everybody is different, right? So let's talk first. The Easy one is sort of trying to get new followers into the group, and I talk a lot about this whenever I do. Ah, social media presentation of sort of cross pollination. You already have communities that have an affiliation with your brand across different social networks. Well, let them know that you've created a community, put it in your email in his letter. Just because it's Google Plus doesn't mean you can't be shy about talking about the fact that you created a Facebook community and I even told the Google Plus people, Hey, I decided to create a Facebook community over Google plus community for a few different reasons. You know, I detail in my podcast, but if you're interested, please check it out and on Twitter and the email newsletter and what have you. But really, your group or your community should serve a utilitarian purpose. And I think a lot of brands businesses don't really have that utilitarian purpose because they're looking at purity as a marketing objective. This goes back to how I started my Pinterest account, and now Wow, I'm at about 4000 pins opinion like crazy trying to create a resource. And I started Pinterest Well, I got the ah ha moment with Pinterest, and I think this is on. One of my earlier podcast will have to do a search for it. Where I did a pinch is for business Weapon are, and I do these regularly and you'll see me doing more of those in the future when Social Media center of excellent starts. But I said, Hey, there's a lot of data, a lot of tools, a lot of quotes that I reference let your l's in a reference that presentation. These are all going to be put on my Pinterest for marketing board on Pinterest. So please make sure you go there if you want to get access to the list of tools as well as you know, the original sources. For a lot of the data that show it was utilitarian, it was social bookmarking. So now I do the same thing, you know? Hey, if you're looking for some great resource is maximize social business dot com in itself is a resource. You know, I've had a campaign of trying to promote this employee out because the e book that I co wrote with the people of people links and I got a reply. Hey, if you have any other Twitter resource is, please let me know and I don't have a Twitter e book yet just coming in the future. But I do have 20 or 30 blood posts and maximize social business relating to Twitter so I can send them that link and its a similar thing with Pinterest. You're looking for infographics. You're looking to do some research and data. Well, I have 49 different boards on my pinchers dot com slash Neil Schaefer count right now that you can use almost like a social bookmarking, right? But in a visual way. So what is the utilitarian part of a Facebook group? Well, it's very simple, in my humble opinion is very simple. You know why To use Twitter. Well, a lot of brand started using Twitter for marketing, obviously, but then they use it for big data analysis, or they use it for customer service. Hey, if you're looking for real time customer service, we have people on standby on Twitter. Please contact with their Well, what is what would a Facebook pages were? Well, maybe Facebook pages for all the fun stuff is, that's where you concentrate. All your contest promo is giveaways. Maybe that's what people want. Give them what they want, right? What about a Facebook group? Well, it's a community. Okay, So you're encouraging people to talk to each other now. Ah, Linked in group may be very similar where, you know we want to get your feedback. We want to talk about issues that impact professionals and impact your career. Well, you know, Facebook can be the same because the same people that are linked in or on Facebook, and they probably spending more time on Facebook. Andi may just be easier to engage with them on Facebook. So for me, what I've been doing to try to get new members above and be all sort of this this promotion that I've done on and off on the different social networks in the email newsletter and dropping links and blogged posting have you is whenever someone asked me a social media question, I said, Hey, I'm only answering social media questions in my community on Facebook. Here's the U. R L. So you could use the diplomacy. If you want to give consumer feedback, feel free to join our brand new group on Facebook. We'd love to hear from you, and you can connect with other bread advocates other fans of our brand as well. It could be a V I. P Group for your most important fans or customers. Really, it's unlimited, but you need to have a utilitarian view. Then it just becomes national. Push people there, right? I mean, I have linking groups. I don't have the Google plus community, but the Facebook group just I know that that's where a majority of people are even the people you see on Google, plus 95% of them for my experience, still have Facebook profiles. The social media gurus will quote unquote gurus that you think have left Facebook are still actually very for active on a few groups that I've joined on Facebook at least, so it really is a great place, I guess, that engage where people are. And the beautiful thing about this engagement is that EJ rank actually works in your favor. If groups are getting Maur a drink than pages are, you can imagine. And if you understand the way the Facebook groups work is if you join a Facebook group, the default setting is that you get notifications when one of your friends posted. So if they're a member of group and they don't check it out. But one of their friends is a member of the group, and this happens naturally when they see suggested groups and their friend posted immediately is a reminder for them. It's a notification, you know, that shows up that drives people back to the group over and over again. It's really brilliant, actually, in terms of engagement. So that is the first part about how to get new followers. I talked about the word engagement from was supposed to start about that. So let's look at the other side of the equation, which is the engagement. If you've ever started elected group or even a Facebook page, it's sort of the same, right. I think making groups actually harder and Facebook groups are harder because it's about discussions. You're not putting up Mihm's or photos trying to get likes and shares. The objective of a group is to get actual discussion from people and not just comments on what you write or answers to your questions. But you want them to submit their own questions. And then you went your community members to respond to those questions. That's a community, right? Communities in something that you will. You sort of own it, but it becomes everyone's. And on Lee, when your community members actually start to pipe in and respond, doesn't really take on a new life as being a community. If you're gone on a business trip for a day, whatever it may be, the community still lives, and invariably, whenever any community starts it starts where you have to do all the work until others get engaged. And it's no different than while. How'm I gonna generate engagement on the Facebook page? What am I gonna talk about? What questions am I gonna ask? What information am I gonna provide people that will interest them that will make them when you come back? That will encourage them to respond to my questions or the questions from other members when the time arises? And that's really the challenge. Enough. I've tried to mix things up on Social media, Centre of Excellence. I am currently, whenever we have a new member tagging them and welcoming them to the group, I'd like to think that every person is important, especially in the early days. Just had our 50th member. You know, everyone's important. I want everyone to feel welcome, and it gives you It gives me a chance to show that I value them, but also to start up a conversation with them and invariably someone else in the group already knows them, and they'll add on to that right. And there are other members of the group who will welcome everybody just like I do and I feel they're becoming strong members of the community. So that's sort of the number one thing I d'oh. And that's a good thing to do whenever we have a new member. And if I know the member personally, I can add commentary about them. If I knew about them through social media or about their business, you know, I'll try to personalize it. So that's sort of the number one thing. I d'oh the number two thing that I do. Once you start getting engagement, it could become the Wild West is I created rules, and I pinned those rules at the top of everybody. No, hey, 100% be moderated. We want to keep this tightly focused. Spam will be deleted. You know, personal things. Take that conversation offline off the group. We're gonna be very targeted. And if I don't accept your post, it's not because I don't like you. It's just because the mission of the group is not a line with what you want. A post. I think a lot of members really appreciate that, because there's a lot of spam out there, and a lot of groups that have a lot of spam and I want people to know that we're gonna be very focused. I want them to value it. I want them to. I want my group to attain mindshare for what it is versus competing groups, wherever they may be in social media. But the next thing is, you know, you need to have a combination now. Obviously, it depends on what sort of group it ISS my group is all about. The tagline for Social Media Centre of Excellence is take your social media to the next level, so it has to be based on a news. The factor. There has to be some tactical advice. You have to talk about tools and you have to ask questions. And if you were to ask me what was my combination of things that I didn't try to generate engagement. It's almost like a combination of all those. In fact, I was thinking today I could probably create an editorial calendar for the group that stretches for, you know, a month, if not a few months, that basically categorise is what I want a post on a daily basis, and I don't post on weekends, and I told people I don't know weekends we should take. We should take time off. I don't plan on responding on weekends, but you can almost create an editorial calendar for this. Once you create your community content buckets, this goes back to if you've read, maximize your social and my concept of content buckets for a block by categories. Well, you do the same thing with your Facebook group and your experiment, right? You always need to be experimenting and finding the things that engage people. I've already been pretty happy what I've seen. If you're not providing value, if you're not doing something there that you're not doing anywhere else, people will see through it. So I'm really trying to provide unique value. They're introducing unique things and really almost having an inner circle there. Now this is a freemium model. Once I launch the paid Social Media Centre of Excellence, it's gonna be a little bit different as to how much I'm able to comment on things because I want those comments actually be in the paid community. The forum there were probably going to more depth, but you need thio give to get in this society, and that is gonna be the focus of where I plan to give. Yes, I'll be giving on the website as well. But hopefully by giving here in this community, it sets a very, very strong Brandon and really, really strong impression on people, even if they don't go there every day or engage with anything. When they need something, it becomes their number one place to go. And it's interesting. I've seen people post the same question in my group as in other groups, and I want to give them a unique answer, not only based on my expertise, but based on the community members and the mission of the group as well. And hopefully, over time, you know, we're starting to get people that submit their own questions, which really was. The mission of the group is to help, you know, take their social media to the next level. But it's also a place where you can ask your social media for business questions, whether you're a beginner, you know, one of the questions was, hey, $100 Facebook ads. What's it gonna buy me? And obviously it leads to a deeper discussion as to what? Your objectives, how you define our ally. What have you all the way to, you know? Hey, what tools do you recommend to create infographics These air? Just obvious examples. There's a lot more going on. So Well, you know, this podcast is another way that I'm sort of spreading the word about my community, isn't it? But I also wanted to share with you my own experience so that when you launch a new user profile on a new social network or you begin to create a community because I still think they're under leveraged, I think finally, be to be brands. And even big consumer brands have caught on to having linking groups. I don't know how much they're actually, you know, I don't know how many of the group's heir very engaging. There's a few success stories out there, but you know, if you have been frustrated with community management group management or you're thinking about starting your own group, whether being linked in a Google Plus with Facebook groups, hopefully this advice will serve you well. And yes, I really do hope you'll join the Social media centre of excellence because this podcast is dynamic in that I was asked today over sushi at lunch, and I wish I'd brought my podcast for quarters. I was totally I wish I had it. We could have done an interview over sushi. It would have been awesome. But I said, Hey, these air not preplanned. I pre planned the topic, which was gonna be about Facebook community management. But everything I talk about, a sort of off the cuff, and I tried to, you know, we've different concepts of things that I talk about in my speeches and with my consulting clients. And even on previous podcast, you begin to see this. He's coming themes and social marketing, but I can't help you on a daily day basis. Dynamically, I can only dynamically record my advice through this podcast, and then it lives in a static world which you download and listen to. But you can't engage with my podcast, but you can't engage in me. So I do hope that you'll give the Social Media Centre of Excellence on Facebook do a search on Facebook groups. Sign up for social media ceo dot com and I'm obviously really, really excited to launch it because I think that you know there's the science and the arts, the podcast and my books and blocks cover the science. The art requires consultation and requires understanding your specific situation and providing you targeted advice. And guess what? It's doing it over time, and it's a long term relationship. I don't plan on doing something more. Hey, by these four modules and you'll become a social media. Jenna Iet it doesn't work that way. Social media is always changing. Your objectives are always changing people that use socials, how exchanging it requires a different approach than what we've seen. And that's what I plan to unveil with the Social Media center of accents. I am going to stop there. I do not like to be self promotional fact my friends over suit today, like me. I didn't realize you even had a podcast that I am. I'm not really good at promoting it, you know, I already have. I don't know, 70 something post up their episodes, but hopefully you've enjoyed it. I always enjoy your feedback. I always enjoy when you say Neil really enjoyed listening. Your podcast. It puts a big smile on my face, believe me. So that's it for today. Wherever you on the world. I hope you make it a great social day and you'll be tuning in next week to listen to another episode of Maximize Your Social wherever you're on the world by everybody. Thanks for listening To maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and Commons. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content, please contact Neil Schaffer at Neil at Maximize Your social dot com. 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 Thanks again and make it a social day.