I get a lot of requests from various businesses saying, “We’re behind on our social media, and we need help.” A lot of these calls for help are coming from people with small businesses, so today I want to discuss some of the options that are available for you, such as working with consultants, agencies, and virtual assistants. We know that social media requires its own set of skills, so it’s important to be willing to dedicate the time to educate and the money to get you access to resources that can help take your business to the next level.
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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, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Schaefer, Everybody, this is Meal Shaper. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social. I'm coming you for my home office in beautiful Orange County, California But tomorrow I am going out to the Social Media Strategy Summit in Las Vegas, where I will be actually doing the closing keynote on future Proofing your social media. It's gonna be all new content, first time delivering always like the challenge myself at big events to take my own presentations in the next level. So if any of your in Vegas, I hope you'll stop by and say hi, and I hope you enjoy the presentation as well. So let's get to today's topic. You know, I promised you on last week's podcast that I was going to do the part two of my social selling part, one being about creating the infrastructure, my apologies, and I do intend to do it in the near future. There's just so many things going on in social media that there's always something great to talk about. No lack of topics here. Which is why this, I believe if I'm not mistaken, is already episode number 97. Is that crazy? Have you listened all 97? My episodes? I don't know how many of you have because I don't really do a good job promoting them at the beginning. But anyway, we're revving up the concept marketing machine and doing better promoting him, because I do believe there is a lot of great content out there that is still relevant today. So let's talk about today's topic. And, like I said, social selling, we're gonna come back to it. There's another topic that I want to create a separate podcast for, which is guest blogging, and I got a very, very interesting email from one of my partners or, I should say, marketing partners about some ver ver interesting data, some very, very specific, hard our ally data from some guests blogging that I did on their behalf, and I wanted to share that with you along with the philosophy of guests blogging that I have because I run a guest blogging site in essence, where I also blood got called maximize social business. But today we're going to switch gears a little bit, and I want to talk about the business of social media. I might have talking about this and an early podcast, but it's still bears reminding for some of you who are listening to this. Now I know a lot of you listening to this are social media experts yourselves. You own your own agencies, your small business owner, maybe some of your virtual assistance. Some of you may be doing corporate social media. I know that there's a wide range of listeners to this podcast, but I want to take a step back. And I won't explain to you the challenges that businesses have a social. And I guess for the purpose of this podcast, I'm gonna be talking mainly about small businesses who are not quite there yet with their social media and what I offer and what are the various solutions that are out there and I urge you all after you listens to chime in, commenting on maximize your social dot com. If you are a provider of one of the service is or if you have a different perspective. So let's keep going on the topic and it happens quite a bit. I obviously speak about social media, have a block about social media, have this podcast, and therefore I get a lot of inbound leads. Now somebody's inbound. The IDs are from large corporations summer for speaking this summer for consulting. So I always get a few that basically say we're behind with the social media. We need help and inevitably, it's probably a smaller business. I'm gonna assume less than 10 employees. I might be wrong. You know, the stuff that I like to give when I talk about Social is that 93 94% of companies are already using social media for marketing in the United States in 2014. And there's an asterisk. And the asterisk is companies that have over 100 employees. Well, what about the companies that don't have over 100 employees? They're a little bit slower, right? They lack the resource is the education, whatever. It might be there a little bit late to the party, and unfortunately they're probably the ones who need social media the most and have the most to gain from it, especially if they don't have a lot of brand awareness in their target market. But I digress. Let's get back to the topic. So getting back to the people who basically say I need help with my social media, can you help? It's obviously for those of you who get social. It's obviously a very hard question. Answer. You know, Social Media is not like S e. O or Web design, where it's purely technical. It's not like an ad campaign where here's some money sent me some creatives. I'll prove one and send me the leads. Or, you know, if it's just print or you may not have leads, just show me the magazines after you published them. It's obviously very different because it requires messaging requires a lot of messaging. I mean, even if you were to do a month worth the tweets, there's still you know, however many tens of tweets that need to be created, needed into individualized, customized for each company, their products, their target market, their branding and it really does. You know that that messaging really goes deep into who you are. You know what type of company you are. What is your brand about? And that's really the hard thing. You can hire people right? And there's a lot of companies out there from consultants, single person shops, two agencies that will take your money. Some are better than others. Some will try to utilize best practices. Try to go the extra mile tryto have meetings with you, confirm what you want, send everything to your pre approval. Others will like. Well, you know, here, few $100 a month. You pay me, I will do it all for you. And and maybe we'll report back to you. And maybe those reports will have some meaning. I don't know. So you have just a range of different opportunities out there, right? You obviously also have, in addition to you, no single person shops and social agencies, these air ones that offer sort of, you know, monthly social media management. Let's put it that way. Almost like check box will send out one tweet a day, one Facebook post a week and, you know, order the plan. That's just right for you. Hope I sounded sales. You there on the other hands. You know agencies. It'll be sort of more of a custom plan based on budget and what your needs are. And then you have virtual assistance. I know a lot of really, really savvy virtual systems that really gets social media, narrative, a system in place. And maybe they're not all doing it personally because they scale and they have, you know, employees overseas or whoever might be. They have a system in place. They do it for other clients. They can also provide you a great service. But that's gonna be charged maybe by the hour instead of one of these Social media management service is, which is probably gonna be the cheapest way for you to do it. But obviously the quality is going to be a little bit less with the virtual assistant or virtual social media system. Whatever you want to call them, you're going to get a lot Maur touch by that person and therefore probably the quality is gonna be a little bit better unless you're working with an agency where you have a dedicated account rep. But for a lot of these small businesses that you reach out to me with the question I really doubt that they are working with larger agencies because probably their budget simply is not enough. You know, most agencies I know what would want a few $1000 a month over the course of ah, three toe, You know, the bare minimum three months, but you know, six or even 12 month commitments or retainer to do business with them. So with that in mind, you see the challenges. Now, where do I fit in? I am not an agency. And, you know, maybe some of you don't know exactly what I do outside of my speaking and how I handle my consulting, it really comes down to Are you an SM E or small medium sized enterprise? Or, you know, smb, where you want to spend time where you want to learn where you want to create, you know, started with an audit, a full blown strategy where we work together for some time, Or are you someone that says I want to do it myself? I have a resource. I can teach the resource. Let me pay you, you know, whatever for your time. They start an hour. The thing let's work together for day after is when I need you, I'll call you. That's so you have the socially consulting, which is working in the larger businesses. You have the social media coaching, which is working with smaller businesses, which is primarily sort of already thing. But the unifying aspect that both of these is, I only work with companies that are willing to invest in time in educating themselves and wanting to do it themselves, or at least managing the process themselves so that they can manage the people that they hire, whether it be internally, where they'd be a family member in some cases, or whether they end up outsourcing it externally. And this is, you know, it gets back to the oxymoron of small business, social media marketing and why I end up not working with a lot of small businesses who even don't want to pay an hourly rate that I feel my value. That ad is worth because they want immediate results. Immediate Arli. Without a large budget, Najee no social media requires time takes time to create relationships with people. It requires a little bit of money, even if you wanted to work with some of these very, very inexpensive starting out, you know, 102 $100 a month or whatever it might be very inexpensive Social media management service Is that may do you Maur of a disservice in a service. But I digress. It's gonna require money and it's gonna require time. I don't care how little money it is. It requires a different mindset than just saying, Hey, I want you to set up a website. Hey, I want you to do some print outs. Hey, I want you to do ah, you know, a paperclip campaign or SDO It is fundamentally different now. Some small businesses may not treat it fundamentally different, and they're the ones that end up spending money over several months than thinking. Wow, we haven't seen any benefits from doing this. What are we doing? We have a few 100 Twitter Followers 100 joining Facebook fans. What's the meaning of all this? We haven't seen any business generated from all this. Why are we doing this? So you get the feeling that it's obviously very different and that is really the challenge of the business and social media. It's a challenge for, you know, some of you who are listening to. Hopefully not in that are experts as many people consider I to be is you obviously need to make a living and people can't scale. So if you hire people, go the agency route, you need to be able to charge a decent amount in order to be able to scale as a human being, right? If you go the consultant route, well, you need to be able to get paid what you're worth, and you're probably worth a lot more than what a lot of businesses are willing to pay you. And this this is the challenge. This is why now some of you, you know, I meet a lot of social media consultants. I started my social media consultants in January of 2010. I just celebrated my five year anniversary, and I've been doing, you know, social media logging since July of 2008. Been going a lot of networking meetings, meeting a lot of people that are in the field. And I tell you, I think this is one of the reasons why a lot of them simply don't last unless you get to the top echelon. Unless you start your own agency. It's one thing, and you're successful doing that. Unless you get to a top echelon where you can charge nothing, get enough because you're out there. You're working with larger companies and then had the benefits and the honor of being able to do that. You're able to last. For many, they say they're consultants. They may have a brand put up a website, but then six months later, just Hey, I just I just started working in such such company as, you know, Social Media manager. I love it, and it's like way. Weren't you a consultant and and that's that's really where a lot of the reality is. Very few last a long time. I remember meeting up with, I joke, because we're not related by blood. But I we often call each other cousins Mark Shaffer, who, hopefully some of you know at, well, the dollar Twitter. He's written a few books on our Why Returning influence and what Have You and we both teaches part of the record university social media marketing program, and when I happened to meet up with the months by chance because we were speaking back to back and finally had a chance to meet him like in real life and have a few minute conversation with them. He's remarkably, yeah, there aren't that many of us left out here that I've been doing this long. And that's the reason. Unless you're hooked up with a major publisher and do a lot of speaking, maybe teaching at a university, it really is hard. So it gets back to the challenge of this business that is social media or the business of social business. If you want to look at it that way, may the challenges. So you know, my reply to when these businesses reach out to me is hate. It's one you know, one of three ways. Do a Google for Social media Management service is blindly throw the money. Hopefully, you'll find someone good. Look for virtual system. I know a lot of great ones. I'm more than happy to make an introduction, if that's what you want, and I have given some of my friends have gotten introductions from, and hopefully they've made business from them and the otherwise. Hey, you know, you probably do not have a budget for a full blown social audit. Social Miss Tragic insulting. Let me work you through the process. Spend a few hours of me and then hire someone knowing that you'll be able to manage them and you'll be able to let them know what you need done. And it's gonna be better both for that person that assistant working under you as well as for you. And you will be able to be in control of your strategy. And you're our wine. And for those people say, Hey, buy a copy of Maximize your Social. You may be so competent that this that it's like a I'm gonna try doing it myself and that's great. You know my my philosophy and all this on the business of social media, and I like to refer to my good friend Michael Q. Todd out of Tokyo, Japan, the guy with the green here and Twitter. Hey has his own Brown that he has several brands, but one of his brands is called Abundance Marketing, and I love that term because there really is no competition. I know that some Tennessee competitors are listening. This podcast, Maybe you're taking notes. Maybe you're learning from it and it's helping your business, and that's great. I love it. I love helping people. Even if you're the same interesting cause you know what? It comes down at the end of the day to relationships. Who are the customers that you have? What relationships do you have with him? Because I don't have a relation with him. And you D'oh, I'm not gonna get the business anyway. Doesn't really matter, Right? So with that concept of abundance marketing, there really is no competition, Which is why I'm more than happy to give away all this advice. And maybe in the future, you know, you'll want to join Social Media Centre of Excellence. You'll wanna pay money for one of my webinars or you'll want to see me speak because you value my advice. And that's great, right? So there really is no competition. And that's why, no matter what the final customer decides to do, you know, many of you know that I learned my business etiquette and work ethic in Japan, where I worked for 15 years after I graduated from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and I was primarily doing sales, especially in Japan and in Japanese or in Japan. They say. Okay, Sam a old sama customers king, and it really is that way in Japan. And that's the way I feel. Even if you don't pay me money that the relationship we have as a potential customer, it's all about you and where you want to go. And there's plenty of business out there for everyone. So if that's the direction you want to go, great. If I would have helped you along, that's good karma. The bank account of karma, right? And if you know me from my old windmill networking days, you know that's what I'm about. So that's it. That is the business of social media and wherever you are, whether you provide a service where, whether you're on the other side and you've been unsuccessful looking for socially to help, it's very, very hard to get engagement from a podcast, obviously, so I really hope you'll tweet out at me when you see the podcast live on. Maximize your social dot com. You'll write a common if you provide a service. Hey, throw it down. If you need soldiers to help throw it down, then let's start a conversation. Let's get it going. Let's try to help as many people, whether your service provider or someone looking for socially to help out there, and hopefully that will become a resource as time goes by. Hey, that's it for another episode of Maximize Your Social. I'm heading out to Vegas to meet some great people out there, hope to have some interviews for future weeks of this podcast. But until then, wherever you are in the world, in whatever time zone, in whatever country speaking whatever language make it a great social death of everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate all of your iTunes descriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on the 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, as well as Neil's first social media event, the Social Tool Summit, which will be in Boston on May 12. Thanks again and make it a social day