Today’s show is about something I'm very passionate about both for my clients and for my own brand: taking social media seriously. Social is becoming a bigger part for businesses large and small, and they are spending more and more resources on it, but it’s important to take it seriously and look at what you’re getting out of it. Putting processes in place can help you streamline your social media program and examine what is the best strategy for your business, which will in turn provide more ROI.
[01:25] Take Social Media Seriously
[03:36] Think About Your Processes And Protect Them
[05:19] Find The Right Time For You
[05:32] Re-read Maximize Your Social
[07:14] Improving Your SEO
[07:58] Re-doing Your Approach To Email
[08:35] 2 Ways Of Looking At The Actual Social Networks
[09:31] Look At Your Role Models
[11:09] Look At Your Facebook Insights
[11:47] Working on Pinterest
[14:29] My Snapchat Presence
[14:51] Own Your Hashtag
[15:11] Loom At The Resource Part
[15:50] 4 Ways To Scale
[16:22] Leverage Your People In The Right Way
[16:43] When To Outsource Task
[19:39] Define Your Process
- When I talk about getting series, that means really taking a step back. It's really about putting processes into your social media program.
- It's about the operations of social media, about making sure you're doing the right things, you're measuring the right things, and therefore you're delivering on what you need to do in order to make your social media program sustainable for whatever objective you're measuring it for.
- What I mean by this is really what is the objective, if you are trying to generate more leads, or you're trying to get more website traffic, which is often an objective, look at where your leads have been coming from over the last 12 months. And you might be surprised that this often surprises people.
- There's so much market to get out there. And it's going to come down to relationships and your audience and your community.
- You really need to balance everything because social complements, everything replaces nothing, maybe you need to take another look at that right?
- Whatever communities that you're involved in, okay, how much time you put into it, what are you getting out of it? And what are you posting and what's the frequency you're posting for things want you to look out.
- I am now actually trying to focus more on the quality and less than the frequency.
- I want you to bridge that gap by refocusing what you're doing. And you can use different techniques to do that.
- You can't outsource everything. But you can have the right people do the right jobs.
- You need to be in the right places with the right content, the content has to be powerful, valuable, resourceful. But more and more, it's coming down to the one to one relationships that you have with people that you meet or engage with over social.
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, and saltan, founder of maximize social business, his social media center of excellence, and the social tool Summit, Neal Schaffer. Everybody this is Neal Schaffer, welcome to another episode of maximize your social. I'm coming to you today from my home office here in lovely Irvine, Orange County, California. We're Believe it or not, in the morning, when I take my kids to school, the weather has been in like the 40s. For those of you overseas, or I guess for the rest of the world outside of the United States, like seven or eight degrees Celsius, it's been freezing. And when my son plays soccer, and I go to sit and watch him play soccer at soccer practice for an hour and a half, it's similar temperature. So I got my ski jacket out. And I'm trying to keep warm here. But obviously, it's February, Groundhogs Day is over, looks like spring is going to be coming soon. Hopefully, wherever you are in the world, you're keeping yourself warm as well. So the subject of today's podcast is something that I'm very passionate about both for my clients as well as for my own brand. It's really taking social media seriously. What I mean by this is, you know, companies are investing tons of money. Even small businesses tend to be spending more and more money, or time or resources in social. But what are you getting out of it? Are you really serious about it, because if you're really serious about it, social is a little bit different in obviously, how you measure your ROI because of the various impacts that can have the various social networks, the different ways in which it can help your business, the different features that are available, that can complement everything else your business does. So it's a little bit of a different beast than a mere SEO or PPC campaign. And when I talk about getting series, that means really taking a step back. Now, every year at the beginning of the year, I have this, here's what I want you to focus on this year, here's the things that you need to make sure are part of your strategy for this year, you need to relook at. So this podcast is going to be a new of that. And it's really about putting processes into your social media program. You know, I quote Professor Edwards Deming a great deal when I speak and in my book, maximize your social media framework for social media strategy is obviously based on the Deming circle PDCA plan, do check action. But Professor Deming also said something that was very inspiring to me. And I hope when I say to you and inspires you to action as well, it is unless you have a process, you don't know what you're doing. Now, obviously, Professor Deming was talking about quality control, he's considered the godfather of quality control. But I've been talking a lot beginning with Social Media Marketing World last year for those that saw me speak about the operations of social media, about making sure you're doing the right things, you're measuring the right things, and therefore you're delivering on what you need to do in order to make your social media program sustainable for whatever objective you're measuring it for. So by taking social media seriously in 2016, and I'm not saying you haven't been taken it seriously before, and I want you to think about social media about your processes, and see where we can protect them. I've actually been spending the first month of the year, and I'm still in February, still working on it as a speaker. Among other things, there is a seasonal calendar that I have. And for most businesses, you have a seasonal calendar as well, especially if you're in marketing. There's certain types of activities you do at certain parts of the year. And there's certain types of the year where you are more busy than the other times of the year. It's the times when you're not busy, that you need to tweak and build out your infrastructure and processes. And this is exactly what I'm doing as a speaker. And if you look at my speaking calendar, and if you look at just you know, if you read my posts on the 17 best social media conferences to attend in 2016, you'll know that conferences are normally in March, April, May. And then September, October, and maybe like first two weeks in November. And the reason is that well at the beginning month of the year, there's a lot of budget meetings the the year just getting off to a start you have travel worries because of the weather. Then you get the March, April, May everything stable, everyone's trying to, you know, reach their goals for the year. Lots of different conferences, and then it's the summer months. No one's gonna have a conference in the summer who's gonna come right, everyone's on vacation. Europe closes down for August, right and then Back to School September, October, once you get into November, people are already getting in holiday mode. And they're they're starting to tune out or they have stuff they need to do before the end of the year. So I am the same way I tend to have March, April, May, September, October, November when I have majority, maybe 75% of my my speeches. And that's what I'm doing a lot of these podcasts on the road. So for me, January, February, the summer months, the end of the year, there are absolute times where I need to invest in my infrastructure and process a you need to find the right time for you. If February is a good month, I really want you to follow my advice here. So the first thing is okay, reread maximize social. The first thing I want you to do is reread maximize your social read, look at your strategy, you might already be doing this on a monthly basis on a quarterly basis. But you better be doing at least on an annual basis. And what am I mean by this? So what I mean by this is really what is the objective, if you are trying to generate more leads, or you're trying to get more website traffic, which is often an objective, look at where your leads have been coming from over the last 12 months. And you might be surprised that this often surprises people, I was talking to an SEO expert the other day, and he sees me as sort of a social guru. And I'm like, dude, believe it or not, Google still gives me way more traffic to my properties than all the social sites combined. And if you know me, you know I'm hyper active throughout social media, on those sites that generate a lot of traffic. So maybe I should be spending more time thinking about the SEO aspects of social, of maybe trying to create more authoritative content, maybe create more content in a blog, maybe try to get more social signals or backlinks. Or maybe revise old content, instead of saying the same thing over and over again each year to try to improve my standing with Google. Right. So there's a way of using social media to help you do that. Another one is, you know, I want to rank high for certain keywords, I don't want to tell you what they are. Because, you know, some of you may be my competitors. Although I don't think of anyone as a competitor. There's so much market to get out there. And it's going to come down to relationships and your audience and your community. Right. But you know, there's certain keywords that no matter how well I do, well, I still can't get to the first page. Or maybe I'm on the first page minimum at the bottom. But at the top, I'm like, Ah, these competitors that are like really big and social. They're also paying Google for Google AdWords, no, maybe I should try a pay per click campaign, maybe I need to invest a little bit more money to in order to get a better standing with Google or to get more eyeballs and get more leads. Another way of looking at it right. A lot of companies approached social from taking budget out of paper collect taking budget out of SEO, I started the other way around, this may be unique challenge to me. But you really need to balance everything because social complements, everything replaces nothing, maybe you need to take another look at that right? Email. You know, you don't see it. If you have a WordPress blog, or WordPress website. You know, jetpack provides you some stats, but really, it's when you look at Google Analytics. It's like, wow, email drives me a lot more stats, I don't see my WordPress dashboard. Maybe I need to redo my approach to my newsletter, and try to either do it more frequently or try to add more value to each time I do it. Or maybe find more ways to acquire new email signups utilizing my social and digital properties that I have. These are just some examples of what you should be looking at. But another example is let's start looking at well, there's two two ways of looking at the actual social networks. I like to say social media when it comes down to it with the convergence of information and communication. Its content and communication. So let's look at the communication. You have channels you can go to, we know that certain networks like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, I'll put up there as well, are growing or continue to grow. Well, LinkedIn is probably grown as well. We know that some networks and there's some signs that Twitter may not be growing as fast or may even be declining. Although I don't want to add to those rumors, because I don't have the data to prove that. Or even Pinterest, which you don't hear much about, but it's still out there. Or Google Plus might not be grown as much, but whatever communities that you're involved in, okay, how much time you put into it, what are you getting out of it? And what are you posting and what's the frequency you're posting for things want you to look out. Now. On the other hand, if you read maximize your social, you should have these role models that I wanted you to emulate that you create benchmarks for, it's time to read, look at your role models and see what they are doing. Okay, for instance, I've been publishing a lot more to my Facebook business page, maximize social business, and I use Facebook Insights. I use other tools for Facebook Post Planner, big fans. Hey, Josh, hope you're listening. I don't expect the ads but anyway, I look at Facebook ads and simply mentioned as well, great tool. So what does this mean? For instance, I will look at my Facebook reports, perhaps use a variety of tools like I do I use Post Planner, which gives great reports simply measured is, is prime. But you can even do this with Facebook Insights. So with Facebook ads that you can go in and actually put in your competitors pages, and it'll show you the organic growth rate of their likes, as well as how often they've posted over the last week. So it's funny because Facebook is never a network that I prioritize, I placed more more priority over these days. And I wanted to get my publishing frequency up because I knew I could reach more people by publishing a little bit more frequently than I had been, well, I got to the point, I have my own system. And I'm going to talk about the system, which is the process a little bit. But and I was basically sourcing content from a few different sources, including my own. And it got to a point where, wow, I'm bombarding my fans with content, and there's no way that Facebook's EdgeRank, or whatever algorithm they use, is going to figure out what to you know what to show people in the newsfeed. So chances are, this might not be good. And when I looked at that weekly report, on Facebook Insights, I realized that wow, I've been publishing more on my Facebook page than even some pretty well known competitors of mine. So it's like, wow, I don't I don't need to publish that much. If they are doing that well with that audience. And that is the norm on Facebook. Let's take a step back. So I am now actually trying to focus more on the quality and less than the frequency. But now I know, I'm publishing enough, okay, this is a good cadence. And I can focus the resources elsewhere. Well, let's work on Pinterest. And with Pinterest, I feel confident that I have a system in place where I'm pinning the right things and publishing enough, I think there's more I can do with Pinterest, of publishing more content on my digital media sites that can get pinned. And maybe that's a way of advancing what I do in Pinterest. Or maybe I need to do more Facebook contests, to get the word out about what I'm doing on Facebook. Or maybe I need to do live streaming. But I'm sort of getting ahead of myself here. I'm focusing just on the social networks, not on the medium of content as a as a hint of what I'm going to be getting out. Or maybe Twitter, right, man, I look at some of my competitors. And they're tweeting literally every 15 minutes. And I finally realized why they were tweeting every 15 minutes. And I thought you know what, let me experiment I'm not going to necessarily tweet every 15 minutes. And I don't want to just, you know, completely automate and tweet out things that make no sense. But Twitter is an area where I have increased my frequency. And I have seen good results from it so far. But once again, at the end of the day, that data will speak for itself. I'll try it out for a month. And um, you know, there's some things I do on a weekly basis. But when I really tweak my frequency and the social networks, I do it on a monthly basis. You know, LinkedIn is someplace I need to get to because I know that LinkedIn Pulse is huge, and I need to be repurposing my content of blogging tomorrow. So I have my priority list. But these are just the social networks. I don't even talk about Instagram, Snapchat, right? But then we get into the mediums. Okay, with Pinterest, I sort of hinted at an infographic with Facebook, I hinted at live streaming. Okay. Fortunately an audio I have a podcast, maximize your social, go to iTunes. Well, that's funny, because you're obviously listening to this, you might be listening to this to SoundCloud or on my maximize your social blog, go to iTunes, download all 126 episodes or so writing and review. Even if you don't like it, I don't care if I get five stars or not. I just want your opinion. And I I want the feedback. And I want to try to improve upon this. Because if it doesn't offer any value to you, it has no value to me, right. So I appreciate your feedback. But continuing on that point. What about video, man, I'm a speaker, I have so much video. There's so much I can be doing that I haven't leveraged I need to do more videos. So I want to do more with audio and I want to promote my podcast more I want to do more with video. I want to do more and a lot of different things. But at the end of the day, you know I'm not like a scrum master and I'm not familiar with that field of work. But I do know that there are sprints I want to do one month Sprint's of the different mediums of different networks, different content in different frequency. And within the social networks this content. I'll be speaking at Social Media Marketing World in April on Twitter, and how to leverage the goldmine the Twitter is that's been forgotten which I love that people forget about it. That's when I swipe in. Everyone's talking about Snapchat, I Snapchats great, but I have a presence there. You can follow me Snapchat, you know, Neal Schaffer, any al sh FF er, but when people forget about social networks, that's when I swoop in, because that's when I find there's less noise, and I get more attention. And I realize that even though Snapchat may have a huge community, it's still not may not be as large as Twitter's community. So you got to put all of this in perspective, right? But with Twitter, it's about owning your hashtag. What is your keyword strategy? What are the 10 things you want to tweet about? Have you been blogging about and tweeting about those things, and you're going to find there's a gap. And I want you to bridge that gap by refocusing what you're doing. And you can use different techniques to do that. But this is really, really looking at the strategy part. Okay, number two thing I want you to do is now I want you to look at the resource part. Now, what I mean by the resource part is, and those of you who have heard me speak recently, I talked about the only way to scale can you need to scale your program, this is what my social tools Summit coming up in Boston on April 12, is about its its its role of technology and best practices. And within those best practices, it's processes, right. So we have resources, and the only way to scale our efforts if we want to do more. And if you're like me, I mean, there's things I'm doing less of, but there's also other areas, I want to do more of, we need to look at how do we scale, and there's only four ways to scale it's people process paid and tools, I talked a little bit about the paid, which is, you know, pay per click, you could also be paid social, hey, if we can just, you know, get a bigger community, maybe that'll help and that's getting more traffic from that site. If we get relevant users that we handpick, to follow and engage with us, right. Or for an event, we, you know, we promote the post, whatever it might be. And tools I'm going to talk a lot about as well. So when I think about the resources, it comes down to outside of the paid social, which you can still use the people the process and the tools. What about the people? are you leveraging your people in the right way? are you leveraging your agency in the right way? I think when you look at it, there's a few different types of resources you need for a social media program. And if you're in a large enterprise, you've obviously divided these into departments or clusters or groups, whatever you want to call, if you're a small business, maybe it's one person doing all of them. But maybe it's time to outsource some of those tasks, or look for an agency that can help video is a great, a great one here, you know, you can record a little video yourself and send it to someone, you can even go on to Fiverr, right, I haven't done five, I'm looking at experimenting with using Fiverr. And we all know it doesn't cost $5 It cost more than that. But upload a video yourself speaking from an iPhone. And all you need is an intro outro template. And maybe you know a few words flashing in here and there and a logo here and there. And you guys have a really nice video that you can put on YouTube doesn't have to be fancy, but at least you can now have video content and leverage a network that you might not have been leveraging. The same goes with SlideShare. I have one person that I outsource my SlideShare to, because I think she does an awesome job. Now I have resources. Well, I have a graphical resource. It's like, Dude, you get videos, you get graphics, I need you to start working on videos for me teaching something new. But leveraging that resource. For more, I have a virtual assistant that more and more is helping me with a lot of my social media, as well as content research tasks, you can't outsource everything. But you can have the right people do the right jobs. And I know that that person is not someone that can write my content for me, but they can do a lot of the research for me and get it set up so that it helps me focus on the 20% strategic side, and the 80% research side or backlink into my own content, I can have that person do so we want to be focusing on the strategy. And we want to be focusing on the people in order to get hurt through the noise. Yes, you need to be in the right places with the right content, the content has to be powerful, valuable, resourceful. But more and more, it's coming down to the one to one relationships that you have with people that you meet or engage with over social. And if you want to be strategically focused, that's where you need to be focused, in my honest opinion. So in order to do that, there's these other tasks that we have for a social media program, we need to streamline them. Some things I don't need anymore. Let's do it. Let's get rid of them. Other things, we can outsource. Let's outsource, take it off our plate so that we can focus on the strategy on the measurement and on the engagement and developing relationships with people, whether they're influencers, whether they're advocates, employees that are part of our employee advocacy program, whether executives we've been buying from whether they're customers partners, it's all about the people in relationships, isn't it? Right? So I want you to look at the resources in terms of the people. Next, let's talk about the process. And I'll talk about the tools as well. But I only want to talk about the tools as part of the process. Because you will for whatever role you have at whatever company. I want you to document everything you do from Monday through Friday and a given week. What are the things you do? If you can't document it? You can't improve upon it. Going back to Professor Deming, if you don't know what you're doing, if you don't have a process, you don't know what you're doing. I want you to define your process because you're already doing it. You need to define your process. Once you define your process, you can now have someone help you do that process. And you can leverage other resources and move on to something bigger and better. Now, you can also leverage tools to help you do this. For instance, here's a great one. Simply mention Dirt loves simply measured, they have reports that I subscribe to I get reports on a weekly or monthly basis, I know exactly what information and what report is going to provide me the data I need to tweak, say, my weekly content on my Facebook page, or who are the influencers I should be engaging with on Twitter, or what is the mix of content categories that should be posted my Facebook page, once you define a process, you then overlay the tools to see how they can help streamline those processes. You don't want to create processes out of tools, that's what a lot of people do, they find the tool and just figure they'll just do what the tool lets them do. And that's that's a process, it really isn't, you need to have the processes written up. Now, sometimes tools, bring up alternatives to the processes you have. And if you can do them better and let you focus on the engagement and the people and developing relationships, why not do a 30 day sprint on it. That's my recommendation. And that's where the processes and the tools come in. So if you put this all together, and if you've read maximize your social or you've looked at my blog post, I have an infographic it's like the 11 essential components of a social media strategy, you'll see that I've touched upon a lot of these. So in the process of creating processes, and learning how to better leverage your resources, including outsourced resources, and doing better benchmarking, and looking at the different the channel strategy, the content strategy, how you're measuring your success, these all come into a strategic approach. And I'd say when you start to define your processes, and you start to scale, because you have a better understanding of your processes, and what you need to streamline, and you're measuring better and you're tweaking on a more regular basis, that's when you're truly beginning to maximize your social. And that's what I am all about, to help you do that. And I'm passionate on my mission. And it's it's ladies and gentlemen. It's never any mission. The concepts are brought up, maximize your social, that was written almost three years ago, but they're still true today. I hope you enjoyed this episode of maximize your social, like I said earlier, if you haven't, I'd really appreciate your going over to iTunes. I know. I know from the stats, a lot of you're listening to it. Don't be shy. I'd really appreciate if you went over to iTunes. Give me a rating or comment and hey, you know, if you did let me know, I want to personally thank you for that. Because for me, the podcast like social media, at the very beginning, like when I started my blog, in July of 2008. It was a networking tool. It was the ability to help me reach more people, help more people and develop relationships with more people. And ladies and gentlemen, for this podcast. That is my ROI. So by you contacting me and reaching out, you're helping me reach my most important KPI. All right, everybody, wherever we are in the world, as I always say make it a great social day. Until next time, bye bye. 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 Center of Excellence at social media co e.com as well as Neil's social media conference, the social tools Summit, coming to Boston on April 12.