Good morning internet fans, Ryan Perry here. Simple Biz Support. Today is May 18th, it’s Wednesday, therefore it is Social Media Wednesday. And as usual, I have Sarah Giometti, the founder of Provaro Marketing, with me. Good morning, Sarah.
Sarah Giometti: Good morning, Ryan. How are you?
RP: I’m doing great, thank you. It’s a beautiful day in Sonoma County. I wish I had shorts and a tank top on, but I don’t because it may not be 100% correct with my target audience, I guess.
SG: It might not be a good idea, with the meetings you’ve got later on in the day.
RP: That is true.
SG: It might not look good. But it is a gorgeous day, I think it’s going to be about 85, which is pretty hot for us in May.
RP: Yes, yes. Very happy. We are going to get social on this episode of Social Media Wednesday. Specifically, the reality is we have talked a lot about when is the best time to post, what type of content do you post, how do you check out when people are checking out your site. How to piggyback on your competitor, not even your competitors per se, but other thought leaders in the industry and those type of things. But we really haven’t talked about getting social on social media, and so we really wanted to kind of dive into that a little bit deeper today. And why don’t you kind of explain what it is that we’re talking about.
SG: So it’s interacting with people and/or other pages, other accounts. So you’ve got your content strategies mapped out, you’ve got your content calendar mapped out, you’re pushing content out, that’s fabulous, but that’s not the only piece of social media. And we haven’t talked about it in a while, but it’s once you do all of that, it’s using say Facebook as your page or Twitter as your business and going out and finding other people to interact with their content. Answering questions, answering or starting the conversation, maybe looking for problems where you can help. Not sell yourself, but help. Help them solve a problem that they are having. Or if you’re not finding that, if there is content out there that you read, that you really like, thank them, ask them a question about their content if you have a question about it and then get that conversation going. Not only can you possibly build a relationship with that person, you get better exposure for your business and it can help you look like an expert and a nice person, ’cause you are not out there selling yourself, you are just out there helping and sharing your expertise for free, basically.
RP: Right, perfect. And that’s one of the reasons why we started Blab up, is that we had been doing a Google Hangout session every week for like over a year. And essentially, you and I were just going back and forth and when I saw Blab, I was like, “Oh, really cool. We can still do the video, we can chat.” However, we also have the social component where people can interact, we’ve got the sidebar where people can leave messages. We have an extra two seats available, if somebody wanted to actually engage in the conversation, they are able to do that. And that was why I was really intrigued with Blab and why we are still on it today. So beyond that, what we are really talking about, I was thinking about this earlier this morning is that it used to be when social media came out, “Oh, it was really cool, you just put stuff out there and create cool things.” It was almost like when the internet came out. If you build it, they will come. If you go on Facebook, they will come. If you go on Twitter, they will come. And if you were in the beginning and actually Gary V talks about this, he’s really pushing Snapchat right now.
RP: You and I have talked about this, don’t really understand Snapchat a whole lot, don’t see the benefit from a business point of view, and it may not be relevant for us because of our target audience. But one of the things that Gary V said is that if you are a thought leader, not even a thought leader, but if you are one of the first people on a new platform, and if you like go all-in knowing that, yes, this platform may fail in six months to a year, he goes, “But if it does succeed, and it gets you millions and millions of followers, you are going to be one of those leading people that there is nobody else on the platform, the fact that you put content out there is great.” If you are getting it on Facebook, if you’re on Twitter, if you’re on Instagram, the reality is, it’s already a saturated market, so just putting content out there is not going to get you the results that you want. I think a lot of people, regardless if it’s personal or business, whatever it might be, are experiencing that now where they are like, “Wow, I’m investing all this time and possibly money and they’re not getting any return on it,” and that’s because the game has gone up a couple levels and this is really where we need to play. So what are some tips, thoughts and ideas on how you can be more sociable on social media? And let’s just talk about Facebook, since it’s the largest platform.
SG: We’ll start with Facebook, because most small business owners are on Facebook. That’s where they usually start. Because they used it personally, they are comfortable with it, they understand it, and so you can use Facebook as your page. And once you switch it to using Facebook for your page, you can go out and search out. Maybe start with people you already have business relationships with, complimentary people. So like I would interact with Ryan’s page, he would interact with mine, we would look at the graphic designers that we collaborate with, interact with their content. Start with the people who are reaching your target market, who are in complementary businesses, and interact with their content. Beyond to that, you can go and look for other people that maybe you want to build a relationship with, who are touching your target market. So again, you are not going after your competition, you are going after people who are reaching your target market that are complementary to your business and you’re not killing yourself.
RP: Yeah. And one of the other things we talked about in the past is targeting your thought leaders and engaging in their community. Because a lot of times, the thought leaders way up here and if they are running a business, Gary V as an example. He’s running a business, he works with corporate Fortune 500 businesses. My target audience is not Fortune 500. I want the entrepreneur, the professional entrepreneur that maybe has upwards to five employees, that’s where I work really well at. A lot of those entrepreneurs that are trying to get found, figure out how to do social media, they’re going to follow Gary V. So essentially, what you’re saying is by interacting in that community, I’m creating a name for myself, which is really like going to a Chamber of Commerce event and actually engaging with people and talking to them, “Oh, what’s going on? What’s your problem? Oh, here’s a thought, here’s a solution. Oh wow, that’s a great idea. By the way, who are you and what do you do?”
SG: Right. And so social media is meant to be social. So if you’re not engaging in these conversations and you’re not being helpful, then you’re kind of throwing spaghetti against the wall and hoping one sticks. You’re putting content out is only half the strategy, but you’re exactly right. Like Gary V, all of the big name thought leaders in our industry are working with bigger businesses. They put out content that’s valuable for entrepreneurs, but that’s not who are their clients. And so if you’re offering information, you’re not selling yourself. You’re just being helpful, making a name for yourself with your expertise. People will, if you have conversation with somebody, they’ll dig into you and look at more of your information. They’ll consume more of your content.
SG: And that’s the whole reason you’re putting content out there is that people consume it, see that you’re an expert in your field and hire you. And you can further that goal by interacting in conversations. And so on Facebook, just go seek it out. Seek out the thought leaders in your industry, seek out the complementary businesses and engage in them either… Yeah, they post that they have got an issue, offer a solution or ask more questions so that you can offer a solution or a suggestion. If you’re not finding that, at least ask a question about the content you read. If you had further questions or want to dig deeper into that content, you gotta put that out there and start the conversation and get it going.
RP: Right. And I think the other thing that’s really important here is that if we always just focus on business, we’re being a little bit narrow-minded. Don’t forget, social is social. People do business with people, not companies. So the fact is, if you don’t really enjoy surfing as an example, being involved and talking about those personal things, you never know that person on the other end could own a company that actually is in need of your services or know somebody. But again, it’s about building the relationship. So the reality is, unless you actually have a sales funnel and you pay money to advertise on Twitter or Facebook, as an example, and you push people into a funnel through target marketing, the social side really does take some work. And so then the big question comes, “Alright, I’m a business owner, I’m wearing multiple hats, I’m very busy,” you’re already telling me as a social media expert that I need to engage, create content. Now, I’m engaging, I’m creating content, but now you’re like, “Oh, by the way, you actually have to reach out and find these connections and build a relationship with.” That’s going to take a lot of time. So how do we deal with that from a time management point of view?
SG: You don’t need to do it all day everyday. And so it goes the same as scheduling out your content that you’re going to post. In that same time you have blocked off, you can five, 10 minutes, pick a platform, do whatever search you’re looking for and answer the question. And most of us have social media on our cellphones, ’cause we’ve got smartphones. So if you pick Facebook, make sure you have Facebook either if you’ve got the app on, which can drain batteries. And then my husband just goes to the web browser, make sure you have that on, so you’re getting the notifications, so you can interact back and forth with that. Pick one conversation to be a part of for one day. Like Ryan does his social media posting while he’s eating breakfast. So while you’re eating breakfast tomorrow morning, go find one conversation and interact with it and keep your notifications on, so you can respond throughout the day. But it’s not going to be a ton of… How long does it take you to write a sentence? Not very long.
RP: Right. And where I’m struggling right now is finding quality conversations to engage in, because there’s a lot of fluff and crap out there. And so for me, I know I’ll find it, but I have to get over that initial hump of actually engaging. I’ve got a conversation going with a guy on Twitter right now, that’s about Facebook’s new algorithm and how they’re manipulating and blah, blah, blah. I’m not going to go into details about it, but we’re just having a conversation about it and that’s it. Now, the one thing you don’t want to do is get tied up and end up checking things every half hour. Otherwise, it’s going to ruin the efficiency. So listen to your calendar, have time. I know one of the guys we were listening to over the weekend, he’s like, “Hey, you know what? If I’m waiting at the doctor’s office, when I have little breaks throughout the day, those are opportunities that are dead time that I can go ahead and do something,” but he’s not actively checking every half hour as an example to follow-up.
SG: Right. And you could also, if I was using Facebook and/or Twitter, notification pops up on my phone. So if the notification doesn’t happen for two hours, I know I don’t need to check it ’cause the app will notify me on my phone. So I don’t have to worry, so that helps the efficiency too. You don’t have to go looking for it, it will let you know when that person responds. And then when you have a minute, you could go back in and continue the conversation. So you don’t need to be obsessed about it, you don’t need to do it everywhere, you don’t need to do a whole bunch. Start with finding one conversation per day to interact with. Or if you can’t find anything, start the conversation.
RP: Yeah, and when you say start one conversation, I think that’s really important because it’s just… I always talk about incremental increases. If you can make an incremental increase in your business every day, every week, you’re going to have a positive effect by the end of the year. So instead of overwhelming yourself and going, “Okay, I need to be on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and Snapchat and all these different platforms, start one place where you really feel comfortable. Engage in one conversation and it may be that the conversation doesn’t go anywhere, but you’ve actually created content again. If you go to a thought leader page, put a response and a lot of times those responses don’t have to be positive. If you don’t necessarily agree with somebody, let them know, “Hey, I appreciate your thought. Have you thought about this though or what about this?”
SG: I’m like, “Tell them nicely.”
RP: Yes, tell them nicely. But the reality is negative tends to get more response than, “Oh, that was a great post.” “Well, thank you very much.” That was a great post, however, you may have missed something here today about x, y and z.”
SG: Yeah, or I like the words, “Have you thought about this?” Because A] They might not have thought about that or B] They might have left it out on their article on purpose and that can also start the conversation. So you want to, by asking questions, you’re kind of psychologically inviting them to really want to respond because they want to answer a question. But if you just put a statement out there, there’s no openness for continuing the conversation. So that’s another thing too. If you need to start a conversation, do it with questions so that you’re enticing them to respond. Our natural human nature is we want to answer your questions and solve problems.
RP: Right. Alright. Perfect! That is it. Time-wise, any closing thoughts or consideration for getting social on social media?
SG: I would say don’t stress over it. You can do it in five to 10 minutes at the start of the day. Pick one platform and one conversation to start, so you get used to it and see that it doesn’t take a ton of your time.
RP: Alright, perfect. With that, that is the end of today’s show. Thank you very much for joining us. We will be back here. Same place, same computer, same time next week. Thank you very much, Sarah. As always, I appreciate your time and I will see you next week also.
SG: Thanks Ryan. It’s always a pleasure.
RP: Alright. Take care everybody.