Not long ago, Neal was on an “Ask Me Anything” on Product Hunt, a website that showcases new products, apps, and startups. Today he’s sharing some of the questions he answered during that session because he thought maybe if one person is asking this, other people are having these same questions. Listen in to hear Neal talk about everything from the best platforms to be on, tools to be using, advice for startups, and tips for fundraising for your new social business.
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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, bounder of Maximize social business, The Social Media Centre of Excellence and the Social Tool Summit. Neil Shaper Everybody, this is Neil Schaefer. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Social. I know that throughout the United States, in many parts of the world, it's been really cold recently, but the weather here in Orange County, California, is warming up. So sorry about the cold weather. I'm still in long sleeve shirts and log sleeve pants if that makes you feel any better. But hey, spring is just around the corner. Boy, I was asked the other day, Neil, what your Social Media Conference plans for the for the upcoming months, and it's gonna get pretty crazy starting in April with the Social Tool Summit, Social Media Marketing, World Social Media Strategy Summit and then in April, the content. When may I should say the Content Marketing Conference, I do expect in March I'll be doing some of Mike America bank events, primarily in California, for those of you that are Comerica Bank customers and or get the special V i p invites from Comerica Bank. Hint. Hint. All right, so I am not a Gary Vaynerchuk who is sort of the Ask Gary V. Ask me anything. I I was on one of his Facebook mentions live broadcast the other day, and he was talking about like racial issues and almost sounded like a politician. So Gary is a great guy. Crazy guy has a lot of chutzpah, but you've gotta love him. But I'm not about like the asking, Neil. I don't have like a nasty Neil has tag. But I do know that when I speak on social media wherever I am in the world, I want to educate and inspire you and provide your insight. And therefore, I always say, any unanswered questions about social media. Ask him now, and at the end of the presentation, when no one has any more questions, I'll say great. So off answered every question you ever had about social media, and I'll get some laughs and hopefully a lot of applause. So I always offer to my podcast listeners reach out. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll be more than happy to record my answers right here in this podcast. I'm gonna do this for the first time with this podcast because I was literally on a ask me anything from product hunt. Product Hunters is great website. It has a lot of start up tech companies, and it's really about tools. And if you're looking for tools for productivity or what have you become a member, check it out. It's a great sight. I have a list of my favorite social media tools on there in addition to my slide share, which hopefully you all have a CZ well, but, hey, if you could ask me any question, what would it be? And I want to share with you the questions I get asked recently, This chat happened on January 25th. It was product on dot com slash live slash Neil Dash Schaefer. So I'm gonna get to these because they represent a lot of interesting questions that perhaps you have a CZ. Well, this is from Emily Neal. What do you think is the most underrated social platform that businesses often overlook? So that's really a trick question, because dependent on your industry and your target audience is, it's obviously gonna define what social network you're on. But it's funny because everybody in social media market loves the new kids. Snapchat is hilarious because why? If Snapchat is so popular and you're so active on it, are you posting your Snapchat invite photo on Instagram on Facebook and Twitter? I don't get it. I thought being on Snapchat was about topping into the community there. And therein lies one of the problems with Snapchat. Oh, don't get me wrong. It's a wonderful platform that that has a huge audience. But in order to get a larger following, you literally have to self promote yourself. It's very, very hard, well, almost impossible to find others. It's it's It was originally created to be a personal sort of social networks of your Taco Bell or Madonna. If you're well known person that gets a lot of traffic. Oh, I see Taco Bells and snapped out of a phone. That's one thing. But if you're not a celebrity, I think Snapchat tend to be a little more challenging. It's I just think it's really funny that all these people you know they're on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and they're talking about Snapchat said, Well, why don't you talk about that on Snapchat? And and obviously the communication functionality is Snapchat, while being pretty cool and unique is limited. But, hey, this podcast is not about Snapchat. I'm gonna save that for another one. So I think the most underrated platforms of the ones that lose attention, especially when stock prices go down. Do you remember when Facebook stock dropped below $20 like two years ago? And everyone was saying, Ah, you know, Facebook can't leverage Mobile and Facebook has no future. And now they just announced they have 1.56 billion users or stock is about 100. So when things go down, that to me is usually a time to buy. I don't invest in stocks, by the way. I'm sort of ah ah, Vanguard Index Fund type of guy. But you know, low risk, decent return. But for those who remember that right now, I believe the most underrated social platforms Twitter, it's not often overlooked because, you know people talk about it, but it's never seen as a strategic network These days, with the rise of these other visual social networks like Snapchat or Instagram. What have you So it's funny. I'm actually in the process of writing a free e book on Twitter marketing. And for those of you, well, if you're new to the podcast, you might not know the history. But when I wrote my second book, Maximizing Lincoln for Sales and Social Marketing, I had 2/3 of a rough draft of a Twitter book already done called understanding, leveraging and maximizing Twitter. This was very similar to the understanding that Regina maximizing thing didn't book, which is my first book. But I decided to do maximizing Lincoln for sales and social media marketing because it was more of a business focus book rather than just a book on professional networking was more live with my business. So fast forward to 2013. And not only did I get an offer to publish with Wiley, but I got an offer to publish that Twitter book with another publisher who some social media authors have published with. I I will. I won't say the name to protect the innocent of the of the publisher, but at the same time, I gave widely three different book ideas I had one became Maximize your social. Another one was a Twitter buck, and 1/3 1 was a book that I was very close to publishing in Japan. A Japanese first book, which would have been pretty cool. Hopefully, I'll be able to do that in the future. Self always had lots of great Twitter content. And when social media examiner reached out to me for social media marketing World 2016 which I'm proud to be speaking out again for the fourth year in a row that said no, we want to speak on Twitter. You do it well, you teach it. Well, there's very few people who are really passionate about it and are teaching others about. It s so I'm really excited about that. And as a way of just generating some buzz around that I do plan on releasing this maximizing Lincoln for Twitter e book, just like my recent maximizing linked in for business, see, But which hopefully you've all downloaded and of all red. So, um, I look forward to revealing more about all of my ideas about how to maximize Twitter very soon. Next question. How did you first discover your love for everything. Social. What tools do you use daily and recommend businesses larger, small to maximize their social presence without spending a ton of money? Holy smokes! You're asking for the Holy Grail here. Come on. Social is gonna be different for every company every person would have you. I personally have always been an outgoing social person. So my love for social I mean, I love to meet people, new people from all around the world on a daily basis. That's that's what I love, right? And that's what social is all about. Now I, as you can imagine being the cofounder of the Social Tool Summit, I used a tenner tools on a daily basis. But the main ones companies should have is a social media dashboard. I'm gonna throw some names. We all start with Hoot suite. Usually some will remain The tweetdeck I moved on to sprout social Buffer is a great dashboard. It's a little bit different than who sweetened sprout social. But every company should have at least one if not two of these platforms for various reasons. Now there's other great platforms is a platform experimenting with called e clincher. Check them out there are social media. Das Portas. Well, I used to use something called Market Me Sweet. They're no longer around. We have a Gore pulse Gold sponsor, the Social Tool Summit, and they have, Ah, great dashboard, which is great with Facebook and Instagram and also Twitter. Post Planner is a buffer like platform, which is adding other functionality as well. So hey, there's a bunch of tools and all those tools air under you know, they're between three and $50 a month. And if you can't afford $50 a month, you should probably out of out of business, because hopefully social is important to your company. All right, next question. Ah, my good friend Eric Tongue marketer BMC Software. But this question has to do with international experience in social media. Can you talk about how she was differently either from society or marketing perspective and other countries that might be unexpected or unusual? Cool question. My answer. Social Media's used pretty similarly throughout the world, but there are differences and the stage of development differences. While Europe in general, I find I still find to be 6 to 12 months behind the U. S. In general social media marketing. I expect the gap to close, but it does seem a little behind within Europe. Every country is obviously different. The German speaking countries Germany, Austria, still using X i N g. Over Lincoln. But Lincoln is actually more popular in certain European countries like the Netherlands, then in the United States. Facebook is universally popular. Pinterest, and perhaps instagram to some degree are sites that are a little bit further behind. Then they are here, the United States now in Asia, it's a little bit different because Asia went straight from. They just, you know, we don't have time to create fixed phone line infrastructure. They went straight to a wireless. They went straight to mobile, and it's it's really a mobile First society in many of these countries. I'm speaking of like China, Japan, Korea. So in Asia, mobile social what I call it if you look at my things to look out for for social media like 2013 I was talking about the rise of mobile, social and mobile personal, but it's mobile social, using personal messenger naps and those of the predominant social media more popular than Facebook or any other Western social network. So specifically I'm talking about We shot in China in Chinese speaking Asia and line in Japan, Korea, something called talk. So if 2015 was the year, this is sort of my prediction based, you know, leveraging all this information it Facebook. If 2015 was the year Facebook started monetized instagram for marketing, I expect that we're going to see them release some new business applications marketing applications for whats app, which is the closest thing to a wee chat or line in 2016. To compete with these Tuapse we chatted online are all trying to get attention in America. In Europe. Facebook is obviously trying to get losing market share in your Asia, so it'll be interesting to see what happens there. I had a question about an app which I'd never heard of, so I'm just gonna pass over that because it's not worthy of discussion. Hey, here's one from Portia. Anybody named Porsche? I'm in love, right? I mean, what a name. I don't know if it's male or female, but you gotta love the name. By the way, there's a girl, my daughter's school named Mercedes so I don't know if it's a new boom trend. I have boring names for my kids, but, hey, I'm waiting to meet Rolls Royce whenever they come. So here's a question, and it's a three part question. So it's actually three questions in one. Tricky how some people do that. But let's get to it. Advice for startups Growth hack, leveraging social right. Create content to attracting. Sharing social. Build a hamper community by leveraging paid social in the savvy way. Build a list using like a lead pages like I was on a great weapon with lead pages. Today hands be helpful and push your product in an indirect way without pushing it. And I think you'll start to build up the community of hopefully loyal, impossibly users. Second question. What kind of budget should they expect? You know, but it's gonna be a toughie, right? I think it comes on the people and paid social more than tools. I mentioned all those tools between free and $50 a month right people unpaid soldier or not free or $50 a month, so you don't necessarily need expensive to us. Maybe a few $100 a month tops. The budget should be allocated to person, which doesn't need to be full time. Necessarily content creation, which might require a budget of at least a few $100 a month or more, depending how much you want to create in a few $100 a month paid souls to get started. You know that's excluding personnel started $1000 a month for tools. Content creation paid social combined makes sense. Hopefully, it does there a question. Best rates for traction. Wow, that's That's a hard one, right? If there was one best traction, everyone would be on it if there's one secret for best traction, right, regardless of industry. So Social Media's powerful. Only if people talk about your product right, that's the virus. Spect. Sometimes it happens organically, but usually at the beginning, you need to think of a creative way to get people talking about you. Some do it via leverage and influencers. Others using a Kickstarter, others with unique campaigns, social media as his marketing and general. I love to say this is half science and half art. E. I am teaching you the science. You need to step it up, become the artist and paint a picture that works best with your own community. Hey, portions. Back again with another question. Do you believe in Facebook paid ads? Well, I'm a huge fan. Anyone who knows me, I'm a huge fan of paid social in general, including Facebook paid ads. You know, if I wanted to target my head the 25 year old males living in San Francisco who already liked product hunt or like one of my competitors. I have the ability to do it on Facebook. But I can't do that anywhere else. Even on Google. Obviously another social networks. You can. But I can't do that outside a social second question, which paid ads Would you use? Facebook's ad? Revenues are impressive, but they're plenty articles out there. This is what portions saying, right? Facebook ad revenue is impressive, and with the latest earnings report they got even more impressive. But there are plenty of articles out there saying that they're paid ads are not worth the money. We've experienced some of the same issue as the author of the Bolo video. I didn't see the video, but anyway, I don't have time. It was pretty quick. Ask me anything. We've had issues with Instagram showing content of the completely wrong target group and Facebook ignoring all request investigative response. So let me to the best of my knowledge for instagram I blew. The Facebook has improved on instagram add posting is now set off as a default. Further, we're not. Every ad format can be posted to instagram further reducing the chance of that happening. But taking that out of consideration, the R wife of Facebook ad campaign is only as good as one you're targeting to your budget three your conversion definition and four the strength of your ad copy and visual To attract the relevant potential customer to drum roll, please convert. Take a look at each one of these right targeting budget conversion definition or conversion measurement and the strength year on copying visual as well as just the relevance of all this and is your product and convert is your landing page converting whatever it is. Look at each one of these. Look for waste optimized experiment Measure optimized. Repeat P D. C. A plan to check action Repeat never ended. I'm glad I got that off my chest. All right. Whose social media strategy. D'oh do admire now in terms of campaigns or brands. You know, I could ask this a lot. Here's the thing. The challenge about social media strategy of companies don't go out announcing what they're doing and that often it's a part of their core corporate strategy they might not want the competition to know about. I've been a fan of a lot of different brands and what they do. I love what Nordstrom's does on Pinterest, the books on Instagram. I just saw a sponsored ad, and I had to comment se I I bring up the books on every social media speech I do on Instagram, as I do with Nordstrom's on Pinterest B to B brands, leveraging excellent resourceful content for social a buffer, one of those social media dashboards and old school brands trying to stay relevant this day and age like General Electric. Lots of great social brands out there. Hey, Piers one. Who should we all be following to take inspiration for up in our social game? Hopefully you're already following Neal Shaffer. You're already following maximize social business or M social business, and you're already following the Social Tools Summit, which has failed social tools, and then s MMT my co founder, Brian gets mad at me. Why don't we get the Why don't we get the whole user name, social tools, someone? It's because there was a limitation of characters that went to over. So I had to get rid of the two vowels and summit. But hopefully that still works. You'll find finance and all three of those published different content for different industries and a lot of content, and I think you should be following them. So who are the other people in social you should follow? Wow. You know, some of you may even be listening. And even if I could give kudos everybody, I would. But you know, who are the people that I tend to follow and get a lot out of? I'm just gonna go through a list here, and maybe I should create a block poster on this, but Okay. Adele De Meyer. That's a Twitter handle, Andre of all she know her for Facebook marketing. Michael Brenner, Former. I don't think he was a c m o N s. A P might have been, but does a lot of great B to be Social. Jan Gordon, Karate J Bear, Of course. Mark Shafer. No, we're not related. His last name is spelled differently than mine. Jefe Boulis. The Man From Down Under Kim Garst Madeline School Are John Aguilar special about blogging? Pam Marketing that Pam or great great guy out there in Orlando in Cleary, Dublin, Ireland. Social tools. Rebecca Radisys Dear to my heart, my my fellow Maximize Social visits alumni that is located here in Los Angeles and is doing an amazing job in Social. John Haydon, especially social media for nonprofits. He's out there in Boston. Mike Alton does a lot of great stuff. Anna Traffic Cafe. Anna Hoffman Wonderful resource for blocking Daniel Newman U V Daniel does a lot of think It's the millennial ceo dot com. I don't know about the millennial part, but he has a lot of real thought provoking content about a lot of things social business, social enterprise and social media in general. I'll keep going for a few more questions here. Hey, Neil, what? Twitter's biggest challenges and opportunities. So this product hunt asked me. Anything was done right when all these executives left, so I tend not to get into this sort of end up content because it doesn't directly help you maximize your social. And that really defines everything I d'oh. But if you're curious, let me tell you what I think is gonna happen when Twitter and what I think the opportunities are. So I was really shocked with all the news that all these executives lost, like half the executive team lost. So I think that hint at extending the character limit, which is good for advertising revenue, obviously. And you know, immediately your stock takes a time on your executives. Leave the challenges that tweaking Twitter to generate more revenue. It has to be done while growing a passionate community without alienating them. Facebook and LinkedIn have been successful doing this. I believe Twitter can do as well. And I think the opportunities for twit are numerous. Because Twitter is the real time fire hose of information that everyone uses. They have a plethora of tools companies that make a lot of money through providing the maybe I access. They're supported by celebrities, television stations, newspapers, you know, all these different entities that are making a lot of money off indirectly off Twitter. So there are many ways to monetize Twitter to a greater extent and keep everyone happy. But they should be thinking outside of the box and do it in a different way than others have because they are different. You can't replicate success. You could only replicate things that make sense to do for your own business, but they're going to be inherently different. And if they're not, you're probably not gonna be successful. Here's what I love you. What do you think is most underutilized but effective method of social media for business? Boy, this is hard, and I was also about what your faves, social media tools to help with the process. Well, it's a pretty broad in general question, but to give a complete answer to, I always try. But the most effective method of social media for business in general terms, right? General process. 1/2 content on one's website that is terrible to build community and social. Three. Leverage that social community for business objectives. Part of that's gonna be obviously bringing them back to your website as part of your relationship building exercise with them, so to do above number one. Have content, want content, need WordPress content management system. That'll make it easy for you to integrate your Web with the Social Web or your website with the social and, I should say, to build community social. A big fan of spot social, my main social media dashboard I used day in day out recommend you do as well. Three leveraged up social community for business objectives. Lead pages. If you miss the Webinar today, maybe we'll do it again in the near future. But definitely do. Check that out. Okay, I'm cognizant of your time and I want to go too far year. But there's just two or three more questions left that I will get Thio as I think it might be interesting. So once again, I don't like to do op ed pieces, but, hey, what do you make of the Twitter dismissals? Over the weekend, I was pretty shocked and worried about future on speculate. There's disagreement about moving away from its 140 character roots. There was disagreement, Executive team, I might be mistaken historical perspective will inform us of that and then not so distant future. But the world is changing and social media is changing and always will be in order to survive, and this goes the same for businesses out there. You need to adapt to the present. And I believe that's exactly what Twitter's trying to do by extending that character limit. Okay, let's see here. One, 22 more questions and that will end this episode. What is your opinion of the social selling tools? They're around. Social Sierra, Big fan of nimble, open hearing Maur. Other than using linked directly, of course, which I do. So I'm in two opinions regarding the number one and I need to do well. I do a lot of social selling trainings and speak on it. I need to share more content with you on the subject. I have a lot to say, but anyway, number one sales people, even in this age of social media, still need to see your room. You need a tool, your management needs a tool, and you need to upend that serum with social data so you have everything in one tool. When you're looking at a contact, nimble is the best representation of that by far. If you're not familiar with nimble, do a search goto nimble social CR m do a search for that and Google. You'll find them, especially with the social appending of information. Of course, using linked in sales Navigator directly is another option, but you're limited. The Lincoln nimble grabs from all around social media all around the Internet. But on the other hand, this is my part to two part to answer to the question. On the other hand, just like social media, marketers need to use many tools to get the job done. Perhaps sales people, we need to do the same. I recently started using. I never used to see her in before because I never had to prospect for business for Social tool, summit and sponsorships. That's a little bit different, and I started using something a pipe drive as a C R M, and I must say, it's brilliant. It's really, really great app. If you're looking for a Ciera and your small business and you want to ah, break off from Excel, I would definitely check out Pipe drive. It's a real eloquent tool, but I can't manage my social contacts through there, but I do that to a separate social media tool likes around social, so it might be a little bit less efficient than using one tool. But I feel like I've been better control of the information because they are Ram's just don't do social right. Nimble is the closest, but it is still different than managing my social context to a dashboard like sprouts social. There's still Delta there, so I hope that gives you some insight. And the final question. Ah, dear to my heart, If you were to fundraisers, start up today. How would you go about doing it? And Porsche love you? Another question from Portia. So I would work on first being very clear. Okay, this goes beyond Social. What problem are you trying to solve, who the competition is, how you can defeat them? What the total market size and sales profit estimates are, And having a solid, well thought out business plan is obviously the first step. I assume you already have that if you're looking to fund Raiser started for the next step, I try to gather attention through freezer sign ups. Let's sign ups, et cetera. To validate the idea is their demand, for you're never gonna know into experiment. You don't need to even have a product to start, you can have a landing page and give something away. Have, ah, real simple bait. A tool that reveals 5% of the functionality promises more to see how many would sign up. There's a lot that's already been said about this, but on Lee, when I validate the idea what I'd like to raise money because you have a solid plan, assuming that you already have a proof that you can develop the product itself is one of some data now that support your plan. And I wouldn't like the social media for fund raising, but connecting with venture capitalists and angel investors in person through networking and maybe using social media helping the connection. But this comes more down to a B to B person, a person relationship type of cell, and it's a great example. And it's a perfect way to end. This podcast is, I probably say, once in every podcast that social media replaces nothing in complements everything. You know, just because you have a big social media community doesn't mean that you can easily monetize it, as I talked about in last podcast, which you should listen to if you're interested in that subject. You know, it comes down to, really where Comey his bits and pieces of social to help us knowing that social can't replace anything else we're doing. It can only add to it and augment our efforts. But it all comes with having product that sellable, that investors have one invested social help you build the story If you play your cards right, hope this all makes sense. Everybody hope you enjoyed this episode of Maximize your social hit This question like this you want answered. I have actually just signed up to a pretty cool new platform called Wise like W S C L I K E goto wise like dot com slash Neil Schaefer in the a l Dash s c h f f e r. You can subscribe and ask me questions, which I will answer. People already asked me 17 questions that I have answers to what could be done to create more awareness regarding the importance of social media marketing the new and small businesses. How did social media become one of those today? Should a writer consider like or share a higher honor and why I've already answered these questions so check out that site, and I look forward to getting your questions, which I can reveal in this podcast. So hey, I'll be coming back to again from my home office here in Irvine. Beautiful Orange County, California But until then, I realized it might be cold out there, man. When it's cold outside, it's good time to be productive inside. So I hope you're ramping up for your 2016. And as I like to say, with all my podcast reverie or in the world, make it a great social day until next week. 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 Tool Summit coming to Boston on April 12