SiteSell Presents: SOCIAL MEDIA with Jeff Sieh, Dustin W. Stout and Rebekah Radice
We are extremely excited to share with you our third broadcast of the SiteSell Presents series: SOCIAL MEDIA with Jeff Sieh, Dustin W. Stout and Rebekah Radice. The event took place live on Monday, July 20th and was a fun and interesting topic, both for the panel and attendees.
Besides getting a chance to hear from such recognized experts as Jeff, Dustin and Rebekah, we tackled questions like:
- Which social network(s) should businesses focus on?
- What social media management tools are recommended?
- Should businesses buy social media followers?
- How can relatively static, content-based websites leverage social media?
… and more!
Our SiteSell Presents: SOCIAL MEDIA Show Page has more information on the broadcast and our fantastic guests.
Watch the recording of SiteSell Presents: SOCIAL MEDIA –
Full Transcript of “SiteSell Presents: SOCIAL MEDIA with Jeff Sieh, Dustin W. Stout and Rebekah Radice”
Mike: Hello everyone. Welcome to the third episode of SiteSell Presents. I’m your host, Mike Allton, and today we’re talking about the wonderful world of social media. Now, when it comes to not just talking about social media, but doing social, the way social should be done, these guests are the people I look to. I’ll introduce each of them and then we’ll get into some questions for the panel. But before I do I’d like to remind all of you watching live that if you leave a comment with a question on the event page, we’ll try to get to it during the show.
With that, let’s say hello to our guests. Jeff Sieh hosts the Manly Pinterest Tips show, all about leveraging the power of Pinterest by and for those of the manly persuasion. He’s also a social media consultant, speaker, author, and visual storyteller and the owner and creative director of His Design Inc. Hello, Jeff and welcome to the show!
Jeff: Hey Mike, thanks so much for having me on. I’m honored to be here, having you host, that’s just awesome because we’ve done shows before but having you, I can just sit back while you drive, it’s great.
Mike: Yeah, my pleasure. You’re right I’ve been fortunate enough to be on your show several times so thank you for coming here.
Mike: Next we have Dustin W. Stout who’s a designer and social media consultant; currently he’s the chief marketing officer for Weal Media and the lead designer and marketing director for Warfare Plugins, the company that created the Social Warfare plugin for WordPress. Hello Dustin, and welcome to the show.
Dustin: Helllllllloooo, good morning.
Rebekah: Wow that was quite the hello.
Dustin: I’ve had my coffee this morning, that’s for sure.
Rebekah: That’s right.
Mike: We all need to be caffeinated, fantastic.
Dustin: Always, all the time.
Mike: Finally we have Rebekah Radice. She’s been involved in marketing for over 17 years and blogging for more than ten. Her blog RebekahRadice.com was voted a “2015 Top Ten Social Media Blog” by one of the best resources online Social Media Examiner. Hello Rebekah and welcome to the show.
Rebekah: Well good morning. I don’t think I can beat that hello from Dustin but yeah. Maybe I need a little bit more coffee.
Dustin: I’ll send some your way; you’re right down the street so…
Rebekah: Exactly. But hello and thank you for having me here so I get to hang out with you guys.
02:18 – Rebekah, Dustin and Jeff Elaborate On Their Backgrounds
Mike: Yeah, thanks for coming. Thank you so much. So, with that let’s get to it. Now first I think it would be great if you each took a moment to share with us a bit more about yourselves, specifically how did you get started in social media as a professional?
Jeff: And go!
Dustin: Ladies first.
Jeff: Yeah, exactly.
Rebekah: I will start us off. Um, so for me it was kind of testing the waters on my own. I was in the real estate and mortgage industry for many, many years, owned my own company and marketing was really my area of expertise. And social media, which of course came after, well we didn’t necessarily call it blogging when we all first got started. It was more like journaling. But when I got started, it was because I loved to write. I saw it as a way for me to kind of connect with people through my blog and so I started that, just playing around and having fun, and then started with social media. It was Twitter and Facebook, Facebook first. And really fell in love with Twitter and saw a huge opportunity just for my business and then really started to see the opportunity from a training perspective. So much of what I’ve done for years is training business professionals on how to use marketing, and at the time it was traditional marketing, to really build their personal brand, and so social media was a natural extension of that, as was blogging. And helping them really see what putting their expertise out there online could do for them, and so it became a whole training platform for me on helping others see how they could begin with blogging, really build their foundation, and then amplify their message through social media. And of course the bug bit me! And I decided that this was the direction that the industry was really heading as a whole with marketing, and of course we’ve trended into now what we all call inbound marketing and just a complete integrated strategy, and so I think for me the genesis really began with my own personal marketing but for me training and educating and teaching people is really where my heart is at, and so as I said I quickly saw that as an opportunity for others to leverage and it’s just kind of snowballed from there.
Mike: That’s fantastic. Dustin you want to go next?
Dustin: Sure. So a lot like Rebekah, I kind of stumbled into this whole thing too. I actually moved out to California. I was born and raised in a small town in Pennsylvania, a town you’ve never heard of called Sharon. And I was destined to come out to California to be an actor, to be in the film industry, went to school for it, graduated, got right out into the, was fortunate to find an agent right away and get out and do some auditions. What I found out was in Hollywood, celebrities act and actors end up waiting tables. So I didn’t like waiting tables so I had to find a real job to support myself and I’ve always been a social person. And as an actor, you kind of have to be. You have to be social and like people because it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. And as an actor as well, we really love telling stories. That’s what we’re about. We’re actors and filmmakers and producers, they just love telling stories. And those two elements, I think, primed me for a career in social media because right around when I was getting out there and not wanting to wait tables, was when Facebook really took off and then Twitter started to kind of come into its own and I got really interested in it and I had a knack for the technological so I caught on pretty quick and it started as an experiment like Rebekah, sort of my own personal brand and through building my own personal brand people started contacting me saying hey, did you design your own website? Yeah I did. So they would go naturally, could you do it for me? And I thought sure, I guess I can. I’ll never forget my first client, that’s exactly what he said to me, he came to me and said hey, did you design your own blog? I said yeah. He goes, cool well you understand this whole Twitter thing right? Yeah, yeah I get it pretty much. And he goes, well, what would you have to charge me to that for me? And I thought there’s an interesting idea. I could probably do that. What does someone like me charge for something like that and so that kind of started the rabbit hole of social media consulting and web design and you know from there I just kept growing. Like I said I love people. I love learning and here I am today, gosh, four years later after starting my first professional blog, Chief Marketing Officer for a full service digital marketing firm. And it’s been a crazy, wild ride and I keep learning every single day about how to stories better and how to help others do the same.
Rebekah: That’s awesome. You’ve got such a great story and I cannot believe how long I’ve known you that I just found out what, a few months ago, that acting was your background. I just think that’s so cool because it is. It’s such a perfect tie in.
Dustin: Yeah, well this personality isn’t by accident. It’s intentional strategic training.
Rebekah: There go you.
Dustin: And maybe a little bit of talent too, I don’t know.
Rebekah: Eh, maybe a little bit, yeah.
Mike: Great, great, Jeff, can we hear from you?
Jeff: Yeah well, I’m going to borrow a line from Cynthia Sanchez and I’ve been on the internet since it was black and white. So I started a company about 13 years ago called His Design, a local digital marketing agency and just really, I was back, remember when flash websites were the thing? Yeah, I built those. So I did that and then I finally started, I better start doing what I’m telling my clients to do and get on the social media bandwagon and so I started doing that, got involved with Google+, when Google Hangouts started coming out I thought those were cool and I watched a lot of those and one day I was driving back from a road trip and I heard Cynthia Sanchez from Oh So Pinteresting, a podcaster on the Social Media Examiner podcast and this Pinterest thing interested me because it drove traffic so I started playing with it and it really did start driving a lot of traffic to my blog and so somebody said, hey you’ve ought to do a show because I wrote a blogpost called the Manly Pinterest Tips and it was about sharing a secret board with my daughter and it really did well so they said hey, do a show about that. And so I got four others guys who had a lot bigger following than I did, Mike was one of them, we had Stephan Hovnanian and Wade Harman, and Les Dossey started with us too, and we did this show, probably about seven or ten episodes, and it took off!
Jeff: And then other shows followed and then the beginning of this year I launched the Manly Pinterest Tips show and podcast with just myself. It has done really well and it has just opened up a lot of opportunities with consulting and business and so I’ve kind of pivoted my business to the social media thing. I grew out a beard because a good beard takes about a year to grow and I thought I’d give it a try for a year and so it’s been over a year.
Dustin: Nothing says manly, like a really good beard.
Jeff: That’s right, I’ll send you one. When I trim it I’ll send you one.
Dustin: Just send me a beard?
Jeff: Yeah just send it so you can be manly, put a little something on for your shows and stuff. So that’s my story.
Mike: Thanks yeah, and I remember that first tip. I still use that today. I’ve got a board for my oldest daughter and I need to create one soon for my youngest, just a few months old, nine months, so yeah. Those tips work.
Jeff: It was a fun time, yeah.
10:56 – What Social Network Should I Be On For My Business?
Mike: You know so, one of the questions that I always get from business owners, one of their very first questions is what social network should I be on for my business? And I know you guys hear that a lot too so how do you like to answer that when someone asks you that question?
Jeff: And go!
Rebekah: We’re all trying to hard not to step on each other, right?
Dustin: I’ll be that guy. So, and it’s selflessly so you all don’t have to be that guy or girl. Well one of the things that I like to tell clients is don’t worry about, first and foremost, don’t worry about being everywhere, because if you try to be everywhere, you’re going to be nothing to no one. You’re going to spread yourself so thin and you’re going to be a mile wide and an inch deep. You’re not going to build any true relationships so the first thing I say is we’re going to go one network at a time and figure out where your audience is. We’re going to start with some social listening. We’re going to get a tool like Mention.net, or Brand24, and we’re going to start looking at where your brand is getting the most mentions and the most activity. And we’re going to start doing some audience research. Where are your competitors? Where are your competitors spending the most time? Where is the most engagement around your topic? And so we’ll go through a number of very strategic sessions narrowing down where that audience is and then we’re going to go to where that audience is most active and start there. Once we start there and really start to cultivate a community, then we’ll maybe look at the second place network. But for me and my clients, it’s always been about we’ll find the one place that the most activity is happening and we’ll start there. It doesn’t matter if the network has 2 billion users or if the network has 70 million users, what matters is where is the target audience most active at currently? Then we can move on from there.
Rebekah: Yeah, I think that’s fantastic advice. It just makes zero sense to spread yourself out all over the place as you said Dustin. A) if you’re just getting started and you spread yourself out too thin, it’s just a recipe for disaster in my opinion. You’re not going to be able to keep up with it. It’s going to feel overwhelming, burdensome, and pretty quickly you’re going to give up. And I think just understand where your target marketing is spending their time is critical. My company, we do something called the digital advantage where we do a very deep dive, full report, into where your competition is spending their time. What opportunities are out there in the market? And then how can you leverage those opportunities for your company and, back to what Dustin said, I think so much of that is really understanding each social network by the role it plays in supporting your business and then where are you going to get the biggest bang for your buck, basically. Where are you going to be able to spend the majority of your time and capture as much audience attention and participation as possible. And then I think a huge piece that’s often overlooked is the strategy aspect, so understanding if you want to be on Facebook, well, how does Facebook help you reach your overall goals? How is it driving you towards those marketing goals every single day? And so outlining what are those steps that you’re going to take? What is it that you’re trying to actually achieve to get there because that’s, of course, something else we probably all see which is people come to us and they say, ah Facebook just doesn’t work. Google+ doesn’t work.
Rebekah: Well when you really take a look at what they’ve been doing, it’s more than likely those things that we call one-off tactics where they’re throwing some content out there, maybe they’re running some ads, they’re throwing money at a social network rather than really understanding the strategy behind it. So a lot of times for me it’s slowing people down long enough to really understand what they’re trying to achieve.
Jeff: Yeah and I would agree both with what Rebekah and Dustin said, one of my stories is I can do my own taxes, I have before, I hate every stinking minute of it and I screw it up all the time, and so I think a lot of the times, it’s almost to the point now with social media accounts and running social media, if you don’t like doing it, it’s so important that you’re going to have to hire somebody else to do it. And the thing is if you have somebody and your audience is on Pinterest, or your audience is on Facebook like Dustin said, and you hate doing it, it’s not going to happen. So you’ve got to either find a way to get somebody inside of your company and bring them up who enjoys doing it to do it or hire somebody to do it for you. I mean, it’s that important, but don’t try to do something that you hate. If you don’t fit on Twitter, then don’t try to force yourself to do it, because it’s not going to be successful in the long run.
Rebekah: Well, and it’s not sustainable. It’s just not something that you’re going to enjoy doing every single day. I couldn’t agree more. As entrepreneurs, you have to give those things away to allow yourself to focus on money making opportunities, because I think we get too much in the weeds of our own business, instead of focusing on what’s the highest and best use of our time. And social media may not be it. It may not be your thing, and it may not be what you enjoy doing.
Jeff: Exactly, and I, go ahead Dustin.
Dustin: To me, sustainability is the key word, and that’s why we start always with our clients with one network. And you know, with the larger clients, you know the enterprise type clients, they have departments and sometimes they have subsidiaries and maybe they can sustain multiple networks, but the keyword is always sustainability. Are we going to be able to maintain our strategy because we’re going to put a strategy in place. We’re going to do that first, but can we maintain that strategy and sustain it for an extended period of time? For us, if you can’t do something for at least three minutes, three minutes, three months as opposed to three minutes, if you can’t sustain it for three months to test whether or not it’s actually working, then you’re never going to get any real results or any real intelligence out of your efforts because intelligence is more valuable than whether or not you succeeded. It’s the intelligence of what you gained over that experience. So sustainability is key.
18:03 – How Do You Find Your Target Audience?
Mike: Yeah, that’s a great point. Susanna Perkins asks, how do you find out where your target audience is hanging out? Dustin you mentioned a couple things. Maybe you want to elaborate and the rest of you can jump in with your own suggestions or tips of how you can actually find what social networks or which individuals are hanging out on a particular social network that might be a good fit for your business.
Dustin: Yeah, there are a ton of social listening tools. Two of my favorites that we use constantly are Mention, so if you visit Mention.net, it is a, sorry my son wants me to come downstairs. Maybe I should bring him up. He knows about this stuff too. I teach him all the time. Mention.net is a great company that has some free social listening tools you can check out. I’ve spoken with a lot of their team, really great people. They’re product is fantastic and as a design snob, I love using their web interface because it’s just beautifully designed and it’s intuitive. Another one the same thing, I could say the same thing for Brand24.net. They have some other free tiers. Also you can do social listening so basically what you’re doing is, you’re setting up what they call either campaigns or you set up keywords, so to speak, that are around your brand, either related to or your actual brand name. One little trick that I do for my personal brand and also for Weal Media is I’ll make the keyword our domain name so I will use Dustn.tv as the keyword and that way I can see whenever a link is shared to my site, and it could be any link to any article, it’ll catch that Dustn.tv and I’ll see which network is getting the most traction for my content or where it’s being shared most. And there’s other tools where you can find that too but that’s one way to say, okay, here’s where the most activity and the most lift that our brand is getting on social and let’s focus there.
Dustin: Those are just two social listening tools and there are a bunch of them. There’s also you can go to research companies. There are a lot of third party market research companies that will do that reporting for you or have done studies about demographics and so forth and any good marketing company has access to those types of reports or subscribes to those sorts of services, and can tell you and will probably already know, like, here is the breakdown of the demographics of Pinterest and Facebook, so we already have a general idea of what direction we want to start, but that’s another story.
Rebekah: Yeah, Mention is a great one, and I think what you just said, Dustin, is so important which is paying attention to your analytics. Pay attention to what’s being shared. If you’re using something like what Dustin is talking about, a tracking URL, where you can actually see who’s sharing content or what content is getting the most interaction from Google+, from Facebook, from Twitter. So get really specific in how you’re sharing your content and then dive into your Google Analytics. That is Wow. It’s going to be eye-opening for you. So many people come to us and say, I think I’m getting the majority of my traffic from Twitter and when we take a look, that’s not the case at all. So it really helps to understand, first of all, which social network is supporting your company. Where are people finding you? And where are they actively having conversation around your content? Sharing your content? But yeah, there’s tons of different ways to listen, tons of third party tools, one of my favorites is Sprout Social. I use it daily where you can set up alerts, you can set up keywords, you can set up just so many different ways where you can listen in and see what people are talking about. Maybe what you’re competition is talking about, how they’re interacting on different social networks, how they’re interacting with their audience and then take that and figure out okay what does that mean for my business. If they’ve got a pretty substantial following over here on Google+, is that something that I’m going to be able to build within my own business? Well, it just really helps you to start to formulate a plan, but also understanding how other people are using specific social networks within your industry, can be very, very helpful. So I think it’s about doing your due diligence too. We talk a lot about spying on your competition which always sounds a little 007’ish, but it’s brilliant. It’s so smart to see what’s being done well, what’s not, and then where are those opportunities for you to really insert yourself into that conversation?
Dustin: Now, if I could add one thing and emphasize one thing that you said that is so important, you said about perception, so a brand had a perception about where they were getting the most traffic, but it turns out that they actually weren’t, so one of the things that I help to co-create is a little plugin called Social Warfare. And it’s just a set of social sharing buttons with some goodies on the back end, but one of the things it does is it allows you to see how many shares you’re getting on each network. And so what a lot of people will do is they’ll look at how many shares am I getting on each network and that’s where the one that’s doing the best is the most beneficial, where that’s not actually true in most cases. So if we could dive a little deeper down there, if you’re not using Google Analytics to it’s full potential, you are sorely missing out on some really great intelligence. One of the things we also built into Social Warfare was the ability to track more than just the number of shares. So we’ve built in some analytic capabilities so you can actually track the shares of your content through Google Analytics that happen through the plugin, and you dive in and you can build reports that are I think are some of the key metrics for my sites and for my clients. Not just how much traffic you’re getting from each network, but what’s the quality of traffic? Some of the things you should be looking at are time on site, so if you’re getting a thousand visitors from reddit each month but the average time on site is 15 seconds, that traffic isn’t worth much. But if you’re getting 100 visit a month from Facebook and the average time on site is 2 and a half minutes, you want to spend a lot more time on Facebook cultivating that audience.
Dustin: So, it’s really about having a full spectrum look, not just a surface level, where am I getting the most shares or where am I getting the most traffic even. It’s really what are those engagement metrics; and I love that you said that Rebekah about it’s not just about where you think you’re getting the most traffic, it’s actually deeper than that.
Rebekah: Well, and you bring up just another whole conversation, which I love that you’ve gone that route, of vanity metrics within social media. And likes and shares are great, they may feel good. They give us that happy emotion of “woo, people like me.” But if they’re not converting, if they’re not turning into a lead and a sale, then what is the point? And I think this goes back to really understanding what your strategy is, what are you looking to get out of social media? Because I find way too many people get into social media with zero plan, with zero expectation, or anticipation, of what social media is supposed or is going to do for them. So I think what you’re talking about Dustin is really transitioning from that mindset of, “wow I’m just going to pay for ads” or “I’m going to look at just driving engagement,” getting those share numbers up as high as possible instead of focusing on what is the end goal you’re really trying to achieve? Are you a local business and you’re trying to get people into your shop? Are you an e-commerce website and you’re trying to get people to click on buy? You just need to understand what your goal is with social media and how it’s going to support getting you there a whole lot faster. And I think we can talk a little bit about that, and I’d love for you guys to talk about too, the credibility aspect and how social media really helps you take that from those likes and shares and those vanity metrics, and create that know, like, and trust factors so you can start to move them through that marketing funnel and actually get them through that whole buying stage a whole lot faster.
Jeff: I wanted to mention something, kind of a real world example, maybe you can learn from my mistakes because I make a lot of them. One of the things that I did is, I played for Instagram for a while but it was mostly personal stuff, well, I finally starting tracking the link, and if you don’t put a bit.ly link in there or something it goes to Direct Traffic and you can’t get it on your Google Analytics. It goes back to Rebekah’s point about how important those analytics are. Well I did that and I noticed all of a sudden I’m getting all this traffic from Instagram. And the thing is, it’s like what Dustin said, they were spending a lot more time than a lot of the other networks on my site. Because if you’ve been on Instagram you know, that to get there and to click over to my site, it’s kind of a hassle. It really is. It’s not easy to do. But those people who did it were very qualified to want to see my content. And so that made me switch and so I’m trying to post more stuff to Instagram because to Dustin’s point, it’s more qualified traffic for me. And so it’s so important to check those analytics and a lot, I noticed in the comments, a lot of people were asking almost like where do I start? How do I even know what network to get on and just like Rebekah said, it’s those analytics. That’s your first stopping point if you don’t know how to use Google Analytics, there’s a lot of good tutorials online. You can find out but you need to see where people at the very beginning are coming to your site from and that’s where you start.
28:47 – Should Businesses Buy Social Media Followers?
Mike: Yeah, the other great point that Rebekah made that I love, is looking at your competition. I call this the CVS approach, right, because it doesn’t work for everybody. But at CVS, you look at where Walgreen’s has a building and you set up your building across the street. So the same thing can work with some of our businesses. We can look at what our competition is doing. Maybe they’re not doing a good job, maybe they are, but we can take a look and we can see where their strengths are and see if there’s an opportunity there for us. And along those lines, one of the next questions I always get from clients is with regard to followers. They always want lots of new followers and some for good reasons and some not. But they want them now and this morning when I even wrote at length about what it means to buy followers and why that might or might not be a good idea. So what do you think? Should businesses buy social media followers?
Jeff: Never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.
Rebekah: How do you really feel?
Dustin: Maybe just a little bit pissed about this subject.
Mike: It’s not that simple Dustin.
Rebekah: No, it’s really not.
Mike: You can run a Facebook ad campaign that targeted people and you put your Facebook page in front of them.
Dustin: Yeah, that’s true. There’s two things when it comes to buying your following that has to be addressed. There’s a difference between going on Fiverr and paying someone to add a thousand followers to your page, and doing a legitimate advertising campaign that is targeted towards finding people who are relevant to you, and getting them to engage with your site. One method, you don’t know who you’re getting, you’re just doing it for the numbers. The other one you’re actually strategically looking for people that will be engaging with your brain. So two separate things I think, two different approaches, one is strictly for the numbers; one is tied to business goals and objectives.
Rebekah: Yeah, I run a Twitter chat called the Influencer Chat with Ann Tran and we just tackled this topic a few weeks ago, and as you can imagine, it was a pretty hot topic. As there is, there is a lot of confusion – I’m clapping at you – it clarified, because there is a huge difference between paying somebody five bucks to give you a thousand fake followers, people that will never engaged with you, and actually spending some money on ads to build legitimate followers that are targeted, that are specific to your industry, to your niche, to as you said, your goals and objectives. So you do really have to think it through. You have to think through, who are those people that you’re wanting to connect with? Again, where are they spending their time? And then how can you best position your content so that your organically and naturally attracting those people to you? You’re creating those conversations that they’re going to be interested in being a part of and if you do start to get to that point where you’re going to spend some money, being very, very strategic in how you’re spending that because I don’t know about you guys, but when I first started running Twitter ads for example, woo, you can spend money like that.
Dustin: Oh yeah.
Rebekah: If you don’t know what you’re doing so you just have to be really, really crystal clear on where you’re going to spend your money and how you’re going to monitor that.
Jeff: Well, one of the things, people who give their argument well, I want to buy my followers, my thing is okay, let’s say you have a small list, under 100 people, you can take that list that you already have, upload it to Facebook, then you can market to those people. But the cool thing then is you can actually create a lookalike audience based on that audience you already have which gives you huge results. Why even mess with fake followers who mean nothing to you or your business, when even if you have a super small list, you can spend probably about the same amount of money and really get targeted people, just on Facebook for example.
Rebekah: Well, and to play, to play both sides, devil’s advocate, of course the answer to that is perception, especially as a business that wants the upper hand.
Dustin: What’s that mean, Rebekah?
Rebekah: Yeah, they’re hopping on there saying let’s go to Mike’s point about CVS and Walgreen’s. If Walgreen’s was just hopping on social media, CVS has a million followers, well if they’re just building organically and only have a thousand followers, what’s the perception? So I think that’s where we have to overcome that mentality.
Dustin: Yeah and I think it’s a young mentality. It’s a beginner-level mentality, because most people understand the idea of social proof and no matter what you think about the idea, social proof is a real psychological concept proven to influence people to think a certain way. Social proof says that the more followers you have, the more likely you are to be authoritative or that people like you so you are likable. But what turns that social proof from a positive proof to negative or even depressing proof, is when you have a million followers and zero engagement. Nobody is actually interacting. Nobody is actually commenting. Nobody is actually buying. What is worse than a website that has 100,000 page views a month and zero sales? Nothing. Nothing is worse. So again, it’s about a deeper level of engagement, a deeper level of, not just the surface level numbers. It’s what do those numbers actually translate to for a business or for your overall goals?
Dustin: Hey, if your goals are completely ego, there are a lot of bloggers out there that are just in it because they want to be loved, they want to make people smile, they want that validation, and I’m not saying that’s bad at all. Sure, if you’re sustaining yourself, you’re making a living doing something else and all you want to do, you’re just out there because you love to write and you want people to love your writing, great. Good for you, keep going. Do it. But for a business who is using content marketing, blogging, and social media for results, you can’t just look at those surface level numbers and the vanity metrics and the number of followers, you have to translate that to actual business goals.
Rebekah: Well and let’s be honest. Most people are not a non-profit.
Dustin: Right, that’s true.
Rebekah: They’ve built a website and a blog to do exactly what you’re talking about, to drive leads and sales. And yeah, I think we all fell into that when we first got started with blogging which is it’s that, it makes you feel good. People like me and that is terrific but again, you’ve got to take that big step back and understand what are you trying to achieve, how is your blog and all of that traffic that could be coming from social media, going to help you actually get there and if you’re not targeted in who those followers are, if you’re not allowing people to self-select, to make that decision on their own; Jeff, you made such a great point about Instagram that people are taking that time and it shows. They’re spending time on your site. They’re watching your videos. Your bounce rate is probably incredibly low compared to maybe other social networks. So there’s I think a lot of good that come from really understanding, not only the social network and where you should spend your time, but who are the people that you should be involving yourself with, who are the people that you want to be conversing with, that are really, they’re craving, they’re dying for your service and all you need to do it put out there in a way that helps them really identify with who you are and what you do, what you’re all about.
37:35 – How Extensively Do You Share New Blogs to Social Media?
Mike: Yeah, absolutely. You know our last show was all about Blogging. And if you missed it, it was incredible, but we talked about how important it was to share you latest blog post to social media, and so let’s dig into that a little bit more with the three of you. How extensively do you share your new blog content to social media? And aren’t repeat shares, well, repetitive?
Rebekah: You want me to start?
Dustin: Go for it, Rebekah.
Rebekah: This is a huge part of my marketing strategy. My blog has the backbone of my business. And the social media support has really helped me grow my blog exponentially over the last several years. You can look back on my blog and just three years ago my shares where half what they are today. And I owe all of that to several different things. First of all the relationship I’ve created with people like yourself, like-minded business professionals, where we support each other. And then also, it’s understanding those social networks and how I’m going to leverage my content across each one of those social networks. So I have a very specific plan in how every single blog post, all of my evergreen content, goes out across all of those social networks. Visual marketing is a huge piece of that for me. Which has definitely transpired over the last couple of years. I think really contributed to the big increase, not to just tmy shares, but my traffic as well. So for me it’s just been really, really targeted in the social networks I’m using. Understanding what’s working where, because not all content is going to work the same, be received the same, and then making sure that you’re seen over and over and over again. You know Mike, you said it, and I know you were just pushing our buttons, but repetition is the key. It’s all about consistency and getting your content out there. A lot of people will say to me, “I wrote a blog post, should I just tweet it once?” And, you know what, a huge opportunity you’re missing if you’re just tweeting that content once and getting it out there in front of just that select group that might be looking at your feed at that point. So you, it’s a very integrated method of social media
Rebekah: when you’re supporting a blog, especially for a business. Obviously.
Jeff: I would add too, and I’m a big fan of repurposing, and so I try to, like Rebekah was saying, squeeze every last juice and wring it. I share multiple times to multiple content. If I create, my show, for example, ok I create my show and it goes to YouTube, it’s great, I have views on Youtube, well then I make it into a podcast which the only real difference between that and my show is just audio, and then I put a bumper at the beginning and the end of it. But I’m repurposing content. And then I can split up that content into shorter bits and share on Instagram. Especially for small businesses who are always limited on time is to try to think creatively on how you can repurpose that content and squeeze every last bit of juice out of it. Mike, one of his things that he taught me that I use all the time now, as soon as I get my blog post done or the show is done, is I create a tweet about it. I use Social Warfare’s plugin on my site and I prepopulate that. But I also take that same tweet and I put it into SocialOomph which Mike taught me about. That constantly goes out and is constantly retweeting my content. I have a schedule that’s working for me and that’s just part of my process. Every new post goes into SocialOomph to be shared out later, and my queue just keeps growing. And I’ve never had anybody complain about it. They don’t say, “Jeff, you’re tweeting too much, “ or “We’ve seen this before.” I’ve never, ever, ever seen that. Most people ask where can I find more stuff and that’s a good problem to have I guess. Squeeze every… do it until somebody complains is my philosophy.
Rebekah: Yeah, but have you ever had anybody complain? My guess is no.
Jeff: No, never, never ever.
Rebekah: The bottom line is you produce phenomenal content in the first place, which, I think, is the key. It’s not just about pushing out more content, which I know we all agree on. So it starts there, and you are just brilliantly repurposing that content and then weaving it into every single thing you do.
Dustin: Yeah. Now here’s a little experiment. For anybody who asks that question. Specifically, if it’s related to Twitter. What I always encourage them to do is visit analytics.twitter.com and go to your Tweets tab. Analyt.twt will show you exactly how many impressions every tweet of yours has gotten. So, for transparency sake, I’ll take my own example. I have 10.2 thousand followers on Twitter. Whoopee, right? My last tweet, which was this, this actual show, I tweeted out a link to this show, had 111 impressions. 10,000 followers, 111 impressions. Now if that was a blog post, don’t you think I’d want to repeat that tweet eventually to get a little more than 111 out of a possible 10,000 impressions? I think so. I think that data is pretty compelling to anyone because we know Twitter, in particular, is very fast paced. If your tweet is not seen within the first 20 minutes it will never been seen, ever, by those people who didn’t see it. So, and every network is different, again, I think Rebekah and Jeff both talked about that. Every network has it’s own language. Every network has it’s own culture. So the same exact thing is not going to work the same exact way on Facebook and Twitter and Google+. For Facebook you may want to space out the repetition a little more. For Twitter, 2 or 3 times a day, spread out across the entire day, not really a bad thing. I’ve never had anybody complain. So absolutely, you should repeat things but understand the culture of every network. At Weal Media we’ve broken down every network according to their volume of activity. So we have High Volume networks like Twitter, like Pinterest, you tend to share a lot more on those networks. Whereas the Lower Volume networks like Facebook or say, LinkedIn,is one of the lower volume networks, where you don’t update as frequently because that culture is a Not As Frequent culture. So you have to be intelligent about how you approach each network because, again, each audience wants to see different things and they’re expecting certain things. So repetition, yes, but intelligently based on the audience being served.
44:40 – How Can Non-Blogging Businesses Leverage Social Media?
Mike: I think that’s great. So at SiteSell, our customers are all entrepreneurs and predominantly infopreneurs, creating great, informational sites on topics that they’re passionate about. For those that are focused on building, what we could call evergreen pages of content, and not so much blogging,
Mike: what other tips do you have for how they can leverage social media to draw attention to their content and businesses?
Jeff: So you’re talking about, they’re not blog posts? What kind of media are they creating on their site?
Mike: Yeah, so it could be a page and this could be anybody, not necessarily SiteSell but anybody who’s creating a page or multiple pages about a specific topic, like it might be a page all about how to grow cactuses.
Jeff: Well, that’s my favorite topic.
Rebekah: How to grow beard.
Jeff: And I will be able to plug this and I know Rebekah has and I have learned tons from her and copied her strategy a lot on Pinterest just because it’s such a long-term driver. A lot of times when I go to a client and it seems to me that this happens a lot is, short term traffic we do a lot of stuff with buying Facebook ads and that gives them traffic quickly but long-term is the Pinterest strategy. And if you’re doing one on how to grow cactuses, cacti, then I would make a great image of that cactus or whatever, and put a nice call to action on that and try to drive them back there. And then as you continue to populate more stuff on that Pinterest page, you just get more traffic back so that’s one way to do it, and I’m sure these other experts will have some other strategies for pointing people to cactus but that’s what I would think of straight away.
Rebekah: Well yeah, and obviously we’re both huge supporters of Pinterest. Pinterest and Twitter have really been my biggest traffic drivers. And not just traffic drivers but converting traffic. From Pinterest and Twitter, people spend a whole lot more time on my website. They are very less likely to immediately bounce away, so they’re reading multiple different articles and conversion seems to be much easier because I believe we have established a relationship, there’s more that long-term strategy, like you talked about Jeff, where you’re really getting to know people so they know you, they know your content, they know the quality of your content, so they’re very comfortable with what that looks like by the time they come over there. So I think making that conversion is a whole lot easier between those two networks. Now certainly that’s what I have found and I know you’ve found something very similar Jeff, and it’s not going to be the same for everybody, so I think this goes back to understanding where your time is best spent. As well, where is your community, your audience hanging out, where are they spending their time, and how can you best leverage that social network because, Dustin has said it, I think multiple times, and I don’t know that you can say it enough, which is don’t get started until you know where you should be absolutely be focusing the majority of your efforts. Otherwise, it’s just, it’s in vain.
Dustin: Yeah, knowing who you’re serving and where and how to serve them is very, very important.
Rebekah: Very important, such a great point.
Dustin: And ditto to what they said.
Rebekah: It’s a shame none of us agree on anything. Maybe we should plan it out or something.
Dustin: I know. We need some more conflict.
Rebekah: Yes we do.
48:46 – What Is Your #1 Favorite Social Media Management Tool
Mike: Well here, I’m going to ask a question where we might get four different answers. And all I want is just a quick answer, what is your number one favorite social media management tool? Go.
Dustin: Oh, see I saw that question in there.
Jeff: Oh, I’m going to do it so nobody else takes mine, I would say the most bang for your buck would probably be Buffer, because it’s almost like the Swiss Army Knife of social sharing stuff. If I would stuck on a desert island, I would take Buffer.
Rebekah: Huh, stuck on a desert island, that’s interesting. I do agree it’s a phenomenal tool.
Dustin: Well that makes sense right, because Buffer allows you to share to multiple social networks so if you’re looking for help, Buffer would be the one to get you the most reach.
Jeff: That’s it. That’s my thinking.
Rebekah: Well if you’re looking for content, if you’re looking to curate content, simplify your life, if you’re looking to really boost engagement and create content that is targeted to your market, then Post Planner is absolutely the way you want to go.
Rebekah: I will preface this with I am the brand ambassador for Post Planner but I have been an avid user for Post Planner for years, long before that. I’m a firm believer in its ability to, like I said simplify everything you’re doing, why get out there and frantically try to search for content when there are tools like Post Planner that are doing the heavy lifting for you. They’ve already found the content. They’ve already proven that it’s gone viral. And all you have to do is schedule all that out, pull in maybe you’re Evergreen content and ensure that that’s consistently going out there. So the fun in this now is Dustin, let’s see, so, Jeff shared a tool that will help us consistently share our content. I shared one for finding content. So, what do you have?
Dustin: I’m going to throw a curveball, is that okay?
Dustin: I’m going to throw a curveball on this. I would definitely agree with both of you. But the types of tools that you’ve mentioned are personal use tools. So those are tools that you would use to distribute content. I’m going to throw a curveball and say that the best tool I think that you could use for others to distribute your content… so there’s one side of you distributing, but for others to get your reach out to extend your reach… I’m going to selfishly and selflessly plug our little plugin, Ssocial Wwarfare. There’s no better way to get your content shared the way that you want it to be shared if you’re a WordPress blog owner or WordPress website owner.
Rebekah: I would 100% agree. I use the plugin and I make no money by supporting you. So I just want to make sure everybody knows that.
Mike: Well played, well played.
Dustin: Good, I don’t have to write you a cheque now because of that endorsement.
Rebekah: No, no, no cheque.
Dustin: No seriously, we built the product because it’s something that we needed as content creators. We needed a way to allow social sharing to happen beautifully, to perform well, and we wanted to get our content shared in an optimised way that we know that it will not only benefit us but benefit the people who are sharing it as well.
Mike: And of course I’m going to say Hootsuite. You can see my owly over my shoulder there because I want to be able to monitor everything that you’re all doing and everything that your friends are doing and listen to all the material, so yeah, you’ve got to have Hootsuite in the mix there.
52:34 – Where Can We Find Jeff, Rebekah & Dustin?
Mike: So before we wrap things up, I definitely want each of you to share what you’re working on now and where everybody can find you. We’ll start with Jeff.
Jeff: Yeah, you can find me; I’m working on doing a talk in two weeks at Podcast Movement in Forthwith, Texas. So it’s going to be fun. There’s a lot of people there so looking forward to speaking on, I’m actually speaking on, how to boost your podcast with like Pinterest, Instagram, and other visual social media networks. And you can always find me at ManlyPinterestTips.com where we’re adding testosterone one pin at a time.
Rebekah: I love it. Am I up next?
Rebekah: All right, you can find me at RebekahRadice.com. You can connect with me on any social network @RebekahRadice. I am at Post Planner on PostPlanner.com, on their blog as well. And then I am co-host of Influencer Chat which is a Twitter chat as I mentioned earlier where we’re talking about all things social media that would help you build an influential presence across social media, and that is every Tuesday night, so tomorrow night starting at 5 pm Pacific Time and 8 pm Eastern Time.
Dustin: And you can find me always doing a lot of different things. In fact, I wanted to make a funny observation. I think all three of us are speaking at the Social Media Success Summit? Is that right?
Rebekah: Yes, that’s right. Yeah, I forgot to mention that.
Dustin: So you can find the three of us talking there but you can find me at dustn.tv. That’s my personal blog. Dustn.tv, no “I” in Dustn because it’s not about I. And I’m still working on that. But that’s the easiest place to find me everywhere. That’s my central hub for all things.
Mike: Great, well that’s been a fantastic show. That’s it for our show today everyone. I am so thankful for my guests Jeff, Dustin, Rebekah, you guys have been so generous with your time and your social insights. And I’d like to thank all of you in the audience for listening in. I hope you’ve learned as much as I have. Now, please join us next Monday at 12 Eastern when I’ll be joined by my good friends David Amerland, Martin Shervington, and Mark Traphagen to talk about SEARCH as we wrap up our SiteSell Presents series. See you then.
Rebekah: Buh bye.