While in Toronto speaking, Neal interviews @ValTorontoGal from Charming Media and @MegButton from Star Content Studios for advice that a Public Relations as well as Content Marketing Agency can offer your business.
[01:15] Introduction of Podcast Guests
[02:48] How Social Media Can Help Companies
[04:25] Meg and Val's Worst Experiences
[08:27] Tips that Help Meg and Val Achieve Greatness in Social Media
[10:37] The Value of Working with Content and PR Agencies
- I generally like to say, well, for us, because you're doing such a big traditional media awareness campaign, it's very good to support it with any type of social media support, especially if you're working with, you know, online publications, bloggers, they're gonna be mentioning your brand online, they're going to be talking to online.
- It is a natural complement. And it's almost a shame to be focusing all your attention in one area and not on that area as well.
- And the biggest thing that I would tell them is, you know, it's it's very easy to get excited and overwhelmed and all those good things, but it's always about your audience. And to me, that's where it always has to start, whether you're talking about social media or any type of media, it you know, it's it's overwhelming, but it's also exciting.
- So to me, that's, that's the biggest thing that I'm seeing is that they're everyone's looking for a quick, short route to get to kind of the holy grail of having an engaging brand. And you don't realize that there's a lot of work that goes into it.
- I think it's, it's really it's people are very used to seeing like, a direct and really fast ROI. And that's social media can happen. It can be really fast and explode.
- I think it helps to really find good brand ambassadors to help you push out your content. It's one thing if you're, you know, tweeting about what you like from your brand and Facebooking about it. But if you have good genuine brand ambassadors, I think that's a great way to really enhance everything that you're doing.
- But often the proof really just sets the record straight. And I find that sometimes if you're not getting a lot of traction, go to the statistics look and find proof for what you're saying and validate your points. And that really was very successful for a last campaign that we did with one of our clients.
Welcome to maximize your social, practical and actionable advice on how your business can truly maximize your social media presence. Now, the host of maximize your social author of the recently published book of the same name, and founder of maximize social business. Neal Schaffer. Greetings, everybody this is Neal Schaffer, and welcome to a another new episode of the maximize your social podcast. Few weeks there were I apologize, I wasn't able to get a podcast out to you, as a lot of you that know me know that I like to keep it real. And just as in your lives in my life, sometimes things get a little busy. And I'm unable to stick to my podcast schedule. But when I am inspired, and when I get the time, I always try to invest the time into adding value instead of just, you know, churning out content because you have to. So that's sort of my theme for 2014. And I don't know when you'll be hearing this, but I'm recording this at the end of December of 2013 is really a Go big or go home approach if you're gonna make content, make account instead of just trying to churn out things on a regular basis. So that's actually not what the theme of today's podcast is about. Since the last time I recorded from Toronto, Canada, I've actually traveled both to spend a week in Japan on business. And I had the opportunity to actually visit the headquarters of both Facebook and LinkedIn just a few days ago. And today, and I wish I had recorded well, you'll probably be able to hear some podcasts from Facebook and LinkedIn over the next few weeks Hint Hint, little preview. But today, I want to talk about some experiences I had in Japan. And in Japan, I had a chance to meet with the social media directors have two. One is a very famous fortune 500 consumer brand. And other one is actually one of the companies that is quoted in maximize your social. And I think at this point, now, it really depends on what level your social media program or your social media literacy is at. But my feeling as we end 2013 is, look, everybody is doing social media, right? I don't think and yes, there are still beginners, but for the most part, the companies I meet are already engaged, they already have somewhat of a plan. I don't know if I'd call it a full on social media strategy, as I'd like to see, as I obviously flesh out and maximize your social, but everybody's doing it. And everybody has a Facebook page and what have you. And it's interesting, the two different types of companies I see. Now I wrote about this in the final chapter maximize your social is you, you know, social media for the here and now or become the innovator. So one of the companies that I met, which actually is Lawson, the convenience store, which I quoted in the back of my book, it's absolutely one of the most innovative companies when it comes to social media that I've seen, when there's a new social network launch, they want to be there. And I think in terms of the United States where I am, I think General Electric is the only other similar type of brand that I can think of, although I'm sure there are others that are just trying to innovate in every single platform available. And it's funny, because this is a company where the CEO himself says, you know, we need to be where our customers are, we need to be innovative, and we need to be ahead of them. And this is why they have this very innovative and aggressive approach to being whatever platform their customer might be on. On the contrast, I met with this famous consumer brand. And when I asked them what their biggest challenge with social media isn't, and by the way, Lawson is already thinking sort of beyond the social part into how to integrate social with things like SoLoMo, what have you. And I hope that's going to be a future podcast and our blog post because I thought it was really indicative of where the industry is going. And especially if you're in retail, but the consumer brand, the biggest challenge they had, what do you think it was? Biggest challenge is not the type of challenge that I hear from a lot of companies in the States when I talk to them, although I know it exists. And that is the challenge of selling social media internally, you have these companies that are pretty famous companies that have robust social media presences. Yet, they are not fully understood internally, they are running on limited budgets, the people that are in charge, the programs would like to do a lot more. And they want to get a lot better understanding internally so that they can get more resources and do more. Right. And probably a lot of you listening to this are in the same boat. And this is you know, I'd say this is the biggest challenge you could have right? Because you as no matter what you represent in your company, you can read books, you can listen to podcasts, you can experiment, and I always say social media isn't rocket science was made for people by people. And therefore when businesses learn to engage alongside other people as people and offer value, I think you will be able to find a lot of different ways to become more effective and achieve whatever objective you have, and there's a lot more tools out there that helped us do that as well. But convincing people internally is the challenge, because it really requires people to change their mindset. And when we think of people internally, these are people, often in companies, they are older people that have very firm mindsets, they were perhaps successful at a part of their career before social media even existed. And it's just like the launch of websites 20 years ago, and it's something new that has happened, they just may not be familiar with. The other thing, though, when compared with the advent of the Internet 20 years ago, is that they probably were never injured by the internet. But they could have been harmed by social media, because maybe one of their children used it in a way that they shouldn't have, or something happened. And, and you just have to pick up the newspaper to read stories about that left and right here. So there's a lot of reasons why executives are fearful of social, they may be fearful of losing control, or perceived control, though they obviously never had 100% control over their brand. But that's a topic for another podcast. And the other thing is just this lack of education of just not knowing right, and not understanding the full value. So when I wrote maximize your social X, he wrote it with the intent of both, whether you're an executive, or you're a social media marketer, or what have you, you'll be able to really, you know, improve your social media literacy, and be able to see why you should be investing more and not left in social media. But I wanted to share with you my advice for the social media director at this consumer brand, as to how to convince people internally and knowing the challenge, it really does come down to education is number one. And education can be done in a lot of ways. It's obviously sharing books, webinars, what have you have, you know, trying to get your executives to better understand what is happening in the world of social and how it's affecting business. And there are reports like white papers like IBM, about social business, and others that have really, really good data. I once saw Brian Solis speak and he said something which I often repeat as well, which is that, you know, CEOs speak in the language of Excel and PowerPoint. So you really need to whittle social media down to data and case studies, what have you. And that is really the most conventional format. So anytime there's a chance to educate and educate with data with white papers with outside authoritative third party resources. That is obviously one of the best things you should be doing. The other thing you need to be doing is, within your social media program, you obviously whether you're asked for it or not, you should be writing reports, right? You should be writing internal reports on a regular basis. Many departments have monthly reports, weekly reports, try to spell out what exactly you did over the last week or month. And what were the results of doing that? If you have a ecommerce or a website components, what you do you know, whether you're a consumer brand, or a b2b brand, there are ways of obviously pointing out hey, this is how much website traffic we're currently getting from social, we saw some spikes from this content, we saw some new leads from that content, we got this one new customer that actually started out as a conversation from Twitter, what have you, it's really trying to paint a very, very holistic picture as to how your social media program really affected. Ideally, your bottom line as clearly as you can point that out. And even if it's only anecdotal, and in b2b, it may become more anecdotal, but I guess it could be the same in consumer brands. But you know, even illustrating those anecdotes is helpful in helping to paint a complete picture of the effects that your social media programs are having. Don't go on the internet searching for a social media report template, just as a social media strategy, and calculating social media ROI will be unique to your company and your company situation. So we'll send you a report. But I believe, you know, when you can bring social media down into a reportable format, just like people from HR or finance or other departments would write reports, I think it's going to help your credibility and really get help you thinking about what your objectives are, and how much or how little you achieve them over the past week or month and what your plans are for the next week or month or for the next few weeks, a few months in order to help you become better. I think another aspect of your social media program that you can try to convince your executives on is the competition and one of the chapters and maximize your social where I talk about metrics. I say that, you know, there are three different types of metrics primary, secondary, and comparative. And this is where the comparative metrics come through. Now, you may be in an industry, where you're the pioneer in social and that's great. If you're not the pioneer in social from a comparative perspective, it's even better especially if these competitors are doing better than you in the market. You can paint a picture that shows Hey, this is what our competition is doing. This is what we're doing we're playing catch up, or we think we're being very effective, but looking at whatever, you know, public numbers that we can get from what our competitors are doing, there's still a lot more we can be doing. So this paints a picture of number one, you know, hey, you may not know it, but the social media that you may not want to invest in our competitors are already way ahead of us, we need to invest more resources. And number two, yes, we have a plan in place. And we are trying to improve our presence in social media visa vie our competitors. So it's always great. If a competitor comes out with a well, it's not good, actually. But if a competitor comes out with a, you know, annual earnings statement, and they happen to say, hey, we feel that social media played a role in earnings growth, and your earnings are decreasing. And this is another, you know, bit of data, that always helps, you know, convince executives that, hey, maybe we need to be looking a little bit more seriously and invest a little bit more in a social media program. So I've given you a few tips there, the education is really the no brainer, the creation of these reports, the you know, comparative metrics and comparative analysis that you can provide. And maybe you can include that as part of your reports, and maybe a separate report, I guess, the fourth thing that I would add, would be, and this comes into the whole idea of the evolution of social business, as well as employee advocacy, but really, you know, open up your social media program to your entire company, build allies internally, ask your HR people, Hey, are using social, how are you using? And how can we work together? Ask your you know, if marketing and PR to different departments, you know, ask your PRP, but ask your salespeople, ask, you know, people from every department in your company, customer service, everybody is probably either using it, or wants to use it better, or wants to use it more. And I think once you can bring these people into your social media, which now becomes a true social business program, you begin to build up internal allies. And as you all work together and achieve more, because you're working together, you obviously are going to yield more influence internally, and then it becomes this natural evolution instead of trying to sell social. Well, everybody internally is doing social, let's try to put a coordinated program, a coordinated social business strategy. And I won't go as far as saying creating a center of excellence, because I think that's a little overboard for for many companies, unless you're very, very far into it. But you know, the question of do we need to invest in social media or not is becomes an afterthought, it really does become this infrastructure, where I see, you know, most companies over the next five to 10 years moving, that social was like a websites and infrastructure, something that you do, obviously, you want to be as effective as possible. And I believe that maximize your social provides you the framework to do that. But it's less about convincing executives and more about how do we really use this more effectively, internally and externally. Well, that is my talk for today. I hope you found some value from it. any topics you'd like covered on the maximize your social podcast, please feel free to reach out to me. It is the holiday season. So wherever you are in the world, I wish you the happiest of holidays. And looking forward to talking to you again soon. Bye. Bye, everybody. Thanks for listening to maximize your social. We appreciate your iTunes subscriptions, ratings and comments. If you would like to appear on this show or recommend content, please contact Neal Schaffer at Neal at maximize your social.com Thanks for listening and have a great day.