Pete and Dom discuss their tips for using Social Media platforms (like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to promote yourself and your business, including tips on what not to do and why.
The main points covered in this show are:
- A definition of Social Media
- Go where the hungry crowd is
- The Marketing Symphony
- Social Media for you vs your brand
- Use and Mis-use of social media buttons
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Smart Social Media
Dom Goucher: Hello, everybody, and welcome to this week’s episode of PreneurCast with me, Dom Goucher, and him, Pete Williams.
Pete Williams: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Episode 110, which is very, very exciting.
Dom: Indeed, we hit the 100th mark quite a few weeks ago, now. We’re also up to weekly episodes again, which is excellent. I’m really pleased that we’re managing to maintain that, both the content with me and Pete, and also the interviews and conversations with authors and other interesting people.
Pete: It’s been great, particularly over the last, let’s say, six or seven weeks, looking at the stats. We’ve had a huge jump in listeners, which is fantastic. So, long-term listeners and our new listeners, welcome to the show. Thank you for playing along and enjoying in leaving comments and feedback. It’s been great.
Dom: Indeed, welcome one and all, new and old. Before we jump into this week’s topic, which is all about our social media practices, how we deal with that great behemoth and scary thing that is social media, just a quick update on the week. Pete, what have we been up to?
Pete: Lots going on this week. The latest thing that I have been enjoying is Ryan Holiday’s new book – a friend to the show, past guest, referrer of many guests, and just a downright awesome dude. He’s got a new book out called Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising.
This is a follow-up to Trust Me, I’m Lying, which is one of my favorite books of last year and this is done through Penguin. It’s what’s being termed the Penguin Special. It’s a short book, only about 56 pages. Penguin has been doing these smaller, sharper, pointier books, which is very exciting.
Dom: Is that a physical book or a digital book, or what is that?
Pete: Right now, it’s only available on Kindle. It’s also available in a few digital platforms. And then, if it sells well, they’ll then turn it to a print book, which I think is a very smart play for a lot of publishers these days to go that route of doing a digital book. And if it seems to catch on, then go and do to the audio version and the physical book version. I think it’s a much smarter way from a publishing perspective. Available as of right now on Amazon.com and wherever good digital books are sold.
Dom: Indeed, just because it’s in Kindle format doesn’t mean you can’t read it on whatever. The Kindle platforms are available for pretty much any physical device there is.
Pete: This is the stuff I found out recently, having lunch with Ed and another friend of the show, that more Kindle books are read on the iPad than on Kindle devices themselves.
Dom: Oh, wow.
Pete: Now, the stat is backed up by a latte over lunch, so I don’t know the real source of this. But I’m pretty sure that this is an absolute fact, and I think that’s amazing. So, if you do have an iPad Mini or something like that, make sure you download the Kindle app because it’s a great way to read Kindle books. A lot of people don’t even know that’s possible, which I found very surprising. That’s how I read all of my Kindle books is just on the iPad.
Dom: Yup, me, too. I love the fact that, whatever it is, whichever iPad, or whatever I’ve got, or a Kindle device, or even my desktop, it works out. It remembers where I am and I can pick each one up and carry on. It’s a great digital eBook reader. You don’t have to just download the Kindle books to it.
Pete: Well, Read.Amazon.com is a website – obviously is part of Amazon’s network, that you can go to and read Kindle books that you own just through your web browser. It’s fantastic.
Dom: Indeed. And just to not digress too far into technology and miss the point of the book, Ryan, who was the author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, which we found a truly awesome book and a revelation about using modern technologies and modern platforms to market. He’s a bit of a different thinker, so I would imagine that the Growth Hacker Marketing, even though it’s a short book, is a pretty interesting read, right?
Pete: Yeah. Basically, he breaks down some of the bigger brands from the last few years; tech online brands that have done some amazing stuff without traditional advertising budgets – Evernote, Facebook, Airbnb, obviously Gmail. Those tools that have grown to be multibillion-dollar brands in some instances, how did they get to that position without doing traditional advertising and marketing?
Now, this is the type of stuff that we term and talk about here on the show quite a bit, ‘Preneur-style marketing.’ It’s kind of being tagged as ‘growth hacker marketing,’ and I personally think that name is not right. I don’t like the name ‘growth hacker marketing,’ personally.
I just think that it’s smart business. But obviously, it needs to have a little hook to be a topic of conversation around the water cooler. So it’s a really interesting book about how you break down how these brands did it, what they did to structure their product. Dropbox is a good example.
They grew their business by getting other people to use Dropbox. My user Dropbox is only enhanced when you use Dropbox. That’s how we share the recordings of the show and a whole bunch of stuff we work on together. So people argue that that was a bit of a ‘growth hacker’ move by Dropbox to grow their brand, grow their business without traditional marketing by getting people to share Dropbox.
But to me, that’s just part of the business, part of the product itself. They still had to do some form of marketing, and I think it’s a bit of a gray area. So I’m going to get try to get Ryan on the show in the near future so we can talk about this and have a nice little heated debate around what is growth hacking and what is just smart business, and what is productive development versus marketing, advertising.
It is a lot of gray area. Silicon Valley, they love their buzzwords, and I think this is one of them. To a certain extent, I think the principles that he talks about, absolutely hold true and should be applied by everybody. But to label them as ‘growth hacker marketing,’ I think, is a little bit misleading. That’s my own personal opinion.
Dom: I think any of these terms get hijacked whatever you do.
Dom: But absolutely, getting Ryan on again to talk about this would be super cool. So, with your newfound star status, I’m sure you can reach out.
Pete: Easy. Well, speaking of Facebook and Twitter and all these social media platforms for growth hacking, that is the topic of conversation we’re going to be chatting about today.
Dom: That’s right. The last couple of weeks, we’ve finished off our list of questions from our live Q&A session, which was what we did during our 100th show. And folks, if you haven’t listened to the 100th show, we got a lot of great feedback on it because we got people to either send in their questions or – part of a live webinar – ask burning questions about their business or about our business.
But we had so many questions that we had to do another show to answer the rest of them. But there was one that we thought, and it was from Maria, and Maria asked about how we go about doing our social media. Now, we did talk about it a little bit on that kind of wrap-up Q&A show.
But we thought it would be definitely worthwhile just really focusing a show on it because it is one of those topics. In whatever line of business you’re in, you’re either probably being told by people that you should be doing social media, or you’re already doing it.
But you maybe, like somebody who asked another Q&A question, maybe you’re not sure if you’re doing it ‘right.’ So maybe if we talk about how we do it and why we do it, that way, hopefully, that’s going to help you guys out. That’s really what we’re going to be talking about this week. Okay.
Pete: Love it, sounds good.
Dom: The first thing, Pete – I’d like to say this because this is the thing. I’d like a clear definition for anybody that may have not suffered the onslaught in the last few years. I’d like to just clarify the definition of what social media is and what some examples of the kind of tools and platforms and things that social media come under the heading.
Pete: Sounds great. Yeah, absolutely.
Dom: For me, I’ll go with the technical definition. For me, the technical definition of social media, or social media platform, is any platform where you and other people can post information and also find other information from other people. But the big thing of the definition of the word social, it comes from the idea that you can indicate whether or not that you like that information, whether you found that information valuable.
And that you can share that information either with other people on that platform or across other platforms. An example of that would be YouTube. YouTube is a classic, to me, social media platform. It’s not what a lot of people would – for a first port of call for social media, most people would say Twitter or Facebook.
But YouTube is a very clear example because what it is, is it’s a platform for you to share content. You can upload videos. It’s a platform for you to find content. You can search for and find other stuff. You can follow people on YouTube. You can subscribe to a channel.
And, if you watch a video below the video, you have all kinds of buttons to do all kinds of things. Like you can take a thumbs-up, say you like it. You can leave a comment. You can also share it or embed it, or do all manner of things. So that, to me, is really the epitome of the real definition of social media. What do you think, Pete?
Pete: Yeah, I completely agree. Social media – again, to me, it’s a bit of a buzzword like growth hacker in that there is a lot of grayness around it. A lot of people think it gets refined to Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter. They are probably the four big ones people think of when people start talking about social media, but it does go a lot broader than that.
You can always push a blog and a forum almost under social media in the true sense of the definition in terms that you can leave comments. You can interact. You can do a whole bunch of stuff on forums and things like that, but we won’t probably take our conversation in that direction today. But that’s to tell you the truth, that’s what it really should be.
Dom: Yeah, I know what you’re saying. You can really get picky about it, but the point is that we do what we do on the platforms that we use, and that’s what we’re going to talk about. But I just thought it was just worthwhile just giving anybody an idea of where the term social media comes from and why they call it social media before we dive into it.
Pete: I think this is something really important, too. This is my perspective around a lot of things, and I’m sure long-term listeners have probably, hopefully had this ground into them by now, is that just because social media is a buzzword and we’re still talking about social media, doesn’t mean you have to use it.
In our B2B businesses, in the telco and the e-comm stuff that we do in the B2B space, we don’t do social media. We do YouTube because it allows us, as a platform, to host the videos that we have on our product pages. So we use YouTube not as a social media platform, we use it as a video-hosting platform.
This is the thing, too. Just because YouTube can be a social media tool doesn’t mean you have to use it that way. So we use it to host our videos, but we don’t have an active Twitter account. We don’t have an active Facebook account. We don’t do Pinterest for our B2B businesses because that type of marketing is not there.
No one wanting a phone system is really going to be looking on Twitter. It’s not that platform for that conversation, for that type of market, that audience. Yes, there is a lot of arguments around using social media in your business to help with SEO, and that’s probably a slightly different conversation about – not gaining these platforms, but using these platforms in a way to help your search engine ranking.
So you’re using it as a tool to try something else. But if you’re using social media for the sake of social media, make sure your audience is there, and get an idea of why they’re there to ensure that you communicate to them in the right way. That’s probably a really big thing.
Dom: Yeah, that speaks to something you said before which is go where the hungry crowd is. There’s no point in just doing it for the sake of doing it right?
Pete: Yeah, and I think this is a big problem, is a lot of people feel that they have to have a Twitter account, and they have to have a Facebook page. So they go there and create these things, and then they lose sight of the objective of why they are using these tools, and that’s a big issue for a lot of people.
Dom: I think it’s a real source of the actual confusion out there, because if you are doing it because someone said you should do it, then you don’t have your own strategy, right?
Pete: I think it comes back to the episode we had early on in our series. It was probably one of the first 10 or 15 episodes, I think from memory, was this whole thing around Marketing Symphony and applying that to the tools you use. That is worth touching on really quickly here to just give people the context of the different ways they can use these tools. Because I think the Marketing Symphony is something that is something very, very important for people to understand and really use as a filter for using things like social media.
Dom: Okay, I think it’s definitely worth – as I said, I think that there is this issue with people doing things for the sake of doing them and, therefore, they don’t have a strategy. And yes, certainly, it’s something that we talk about all the way through in a lot of our shows are these frameworks that you can use to evaluate whatever it is you’re doing. Whether you’re making a product, or choosing to move into a new platform, or building a business, or whatever it is. So I think it’s a great thing to do.
Pete: Really quickly, the Marketing Symphony is market research, traffic, conversion, product. They are the four key things you need to go through to start a business, to develop a business. That everything falls into one of those four categories as you’re running and marketing a business.
We won’t go crazy in-depth in this. Obviously, there is a whole episode on that earlier, and you’ll be able to get the show notes at PreneurMarketing.com once we publish this episode to find an episode and listen to that past one. But if you look at market research, social media can be used very, very well as a market research tool.
You can go to Twitter. You can search for keywords. You can put in hashtags and find out what the market, what the audience, what the conversation is around your particular brand, your particular area of interest, the problems you solve. You can do a lot of market research on these platforms.
You can go to YouTube and find out what people are talking about. It’s a great tool for doing market research. They’re also great tools for getting traffic back to your main website, back to your offer, whatever it might be, your sales page, your request-a-quote page, a funnel.
You can advertise. You can do posts on things like Facebook. You can do graphics on Pinterest. You can tweet, obviously, quite regularly to drive traffic back to a particular place on the web. It’s a great tool. Conversion? These tools are not really conversion tools, they’re conversation tools.
You can’t necessarily easily convert someone like you can with a sales letter. So social media isn’t really isn’t a conversion tool. To try and use it as that will not work. Historically, I think, even if you go back to the Marketing Symphony episode, I spoke about it not being a product tool, that you can’t really use Facebook as a product.
Yes, you can do private groups that could be one way that you can facilitate a mastermind group which you charge for if you’re in the information space. You could do a private closed Facebook group, and that could be your product as a way to sort use the platform to deliver a product.
Pinterest? Probably not really a product tool. You can’t really do anything on Pinterest, but you could also use customer support, HostGator. A lot of platforms use Twitter as a customer support tool, and it’s a great way to tie in social media with your product.
It’s a great, easy way to communicate with your prospects and your clients and answer questions that way. So that’s another way you can use it. There’s some high-level broad ways to use social media in line with that Marketing Symphony, which I think is a really important framework a lot of people understand and look at.
Dom: Absolutely. But at the end of the day, I think the thing that you said up front is the most important one, which is that you need to look at it from a point of view it of, where is the value to you? Is it a platform that your customers or potential customers use or are using because? If it’s not, it’s just diluting your focus.
Pete: That’s the thing. I’ll put my hand up and say I don’t use Facebook that well. I’ve done some Facebook ads which worked really, really well, but this is where I think people get confused. Advertising on Facebook is not social media to me, it’s advertising to an audience.
So putting ads on the right-hand side of Facebook, or even putting ads inside someone’s news stream, that is Advertising 101. It’s not social media. Having a Facebook page if you were to interact with and do posts on, that’s social media marketing, and that’s something that, if you go to our Facebook page, you’ll know that we don’t do that well because it’s a distraction.
We have our name and our brand there just to ensure no one does anything with that. But we aren’t proactive with it because it’s not a focus. It’s not great, measurable tool, in my opinion.
Dom: Yeah, and another example that you said earlier was, for example, YouTube. YouTube has this facility, but I certainly use YouTube, and you use YouTube as, first of all, an online video-hosting platform. And it’s absolutely great for that. The fact that it has all these extra social media capabilities isn’t particularly relevant to our strategies right now.
It’s going to be relevant with my new magazine that I’m pushing forward because that magazine is all about online video, so I’d better be doing what I’m saying other people should do and be obvious about it with that one business arm. But in general, it’s predominantly, for us, a hosting platform.
And secondarily, it just happens to be pretty good for giving you search-engine results. So it generates traffic in a lot of cases, or potentially could generate traffic, in a lot of cases through the search engines. But we’re not really, and we’ll come back to this when we talk about how we use these things. But we’re not really using that platform, again, in its full social media context.
We advertise on it because it’s an excellent advertising platform. We do have videos on it that we use for hosting, and we do take the benefit from the search engine. But do we put a lot of effort into the conversational side and the sharing and the liking and stuff like that? No. And, again, that’s to do with the audience for the businesses that we’re looking at and the dilution of that effort.
Pete: Exactly. So should we move away from the strategy and give people some tactical stuff in terms of, if you are working through this and have found this strategy through your particular business, some information tips and some actual tactics?
If you’re going to do a Twitter account, a question we had recently was should I do it in my own name, or should I do it in my business name? How do I tactically implement this stuff? Should we go down that angle for a little bit, do you think?
Dom: Yeah. Just to be clear, folks, you may or may not already have realized this, but anybody that goes out there looking for me, there’s not an awful lot to find because I’m a behind-the-scenes guy. Me and social media don’t get on. From that effort point of view, I don’t have anything that I need to get that return from by putting all that effort into social media.
So my use of social media is the genuine kind of one-on-one, more social with friends and family, and inside of a private Facebook kind of thing. Whereas, Pete, you have a lot of experience of using this for business. Now, I consult on using it for business, so I’m going to come in from that angle and hopefully add a little bit of value where I can.
But I think a lot of the we-do-this stuff, Pete, is going to come from you because you’ve got that real-world experience. The one thing I will say is watch out, folks, because, with this new magazine, with this new project that I’m working on, that’s all going to change.
I now have a platform and a business that I need to use – my target market is on all of these places, and I’m going to be implementing, literally, what we are talking about today. That’s all going to come out, and you’re going to see it happen. So it’s probably well worth following along with that, once I get that off the ground, and you can see it happen live.
Pete: Awesome, so let’s go through some stuff. Let’s dive into some stuff. Now, let me answer the question that was raised in terms of should you be doing it as your own brand, or should you be doing it as a business. Should I be tweeting as myself, or as a business?
I think it comes down to who do you want to be the presence? If you are trying to be a business bigger than you, it comes back to the same stuff I spoke about in my first book, How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality, in that the name of your business, Pete Williams & Son, or whatever it might be, in my name, it’s very dangerous if you’re trying to grow the business beyond you.
If all you want to do is have and be self-employed and have that type on mentality, that’s fine. Name the business after you. Name the Twitter account after you. Name the social media stuff after you, because it’s about you and your brand. That’s great for the ego, but not necessarily great for the bank balance and the lifestyle you’re trying to achieve.
And what I mean by that is that to grow a business beyond you, you have to get out of the business, and, if you’re stuck being the face of the business, it’s very, very hard to get out of that business. So, if you are trying to build something to be bigger than you, definitely use a social media platforms as the business.
For example, a good friend of ours, Jen Sheahan, she has a couple of Facebook and Twitter accounts. She has FB Ad Labs, which is her Facebook advertising business. She does that as a service, a fantastic service. So she has the Twitter account around that business.
When she talks about business-related stuff, she does it through that account, so that way, as the business grows, she can have other staff and other team members managing that social media platform for her business. She also has her personal account because she wants to be social and personal on that platform, as well, and that is completely irrelevant to her business stuff.
She might talk about entrepreneurial things, that’s who she is as a person. But as her business and as her brand, two very different and distinct Twitter accounts, and I think it’s a much smarter way to go about it.
Dom: Well, Jen was the first person that I spoke to that really clarified that division on business brand versus personal brand, and the example she gave wasn’t exactly in the use of her Facebook profiles. She, as always, advises your Facebook profile, your account, the thing you log into and log in as, she says that should be you and your family and your close friends.
I believe the thing she said to me was, if you wouldn’t invite them around to house, don’t have them as a friend on Facebook. And then she has this Facebook page which is her business persona, the Jen Sheahan business person, the public face of Jen Sheahan, and that’s how she communicates as that personal person.
She’s quite open about things on that page about what she’s doing in her life, where she’s traveling and things like that. But then, all these other brands that she has – you said FB Ads Lab, which is one of her brands for her consulting and services on for the help she gives people with the Facebook, advertising and things like that; that has its own page, and that’s completely separate to Jen.
And that goes back to your point of she’s built this business that – it’s associated with her, but it’s not her. So, if she so chose, like, in the book Built to Sell, she wanted to put it in a box and sell that as a growing concern, there is no difficulty in separating it from her and her persona.
Pete: Exactly, but even if you don’t want to sell it and you just want to hire staff to run it for you. A lot of really great brands you’ll see that, where you go to their Twitter page, they have four or five names in the background graphic with a little asterisk – EV, for example, for a person’s initials.
So, when they tweet on behalf of the business, they put *EV in the tweet so you know there is a person behind that, still, but it’s still the brand, which I think is really important having that differentiation.
Dom: Yeah, absolutely. When we talked about those recently, there’s lots of people out there on the different platforms. If it’s important, and if you feel that your audience needs to know that there is a human there, there’s an individual, then that’s a great way to do it, to just indicate with someone’s initials or something.
That’s the person that’s posted into the brand account, but a lot of brands don’t. A lot of brands just have posts coming out on these different platforms in their brand account, like a central Twitter account. You said HostGator has one.
Pete: My personal preference is from your advice perspective, though, is to personalize inside that so HostGator should have the HostGator account, but I really do personally believe that you should at least put a name or initial against every tweet just because that does personalize that business a lot more. That’s the implementation advice I would give. Do it as a brand, but have real-world people identifying themselves as the social media poster, for want of a better term.
Dom: Yeah, one of the local businesses here that I help out is a local dive school. The guys over at (I’ll just give a shout-out because I like them, they’re my friends), a gang called Rivemar, and what Rivemar do is they have a Facebook page, which is a central account for Rivemar that’s all the news.
But each of their diving instructors is such a character, such an individual, they’re really well-known. They’re personalities in their own industry, as it were. All the clients that come to the dive school, they get on with them so well that people want to follow along with them individually.
So they have Facebook pages that are like Andy@Rivemar, so that they’re connected to the business. They’ve taken that personalization and a personal association with the business to that level. It’s a Facebook page that indicates that they are a person at the company, which is another way to do it.
Pete: Very, very cool. The next thing I think that I know a lot of people ask about and we talk about it a bit, we spoke about it inside the Profit Hacks program that we were doing late last year, is the whole automation and systemization of your social media in terms of when you tweet or post anything to your Facebook account, or when you add a photo, it then goes to Instagram, and have all this network of automation.
I want to get your take on that, Dom, because my take has shifted a little bit recently and I’ll explain why in a moment. What’s your thoughts on the automation and systemization of using places like IFTT.com or places like that to have all that stuff happening in an automated fashion?
Dom: Do you mean from an incoming or outgoing point of view?
Pete: Well, from that kind of perspective, let me give you the example. What we had set up recently was, anytime I would do a new blog post over at PreneurMarketing.com, it would automatically go and send a tweet, and it would automatically go and post on Facebook.
Those are two very low-level automation type things we had in place so I didn’t have to go to social media and do the post. It would happen automatically, and that was working exceptionally well, and I think it still can work exceptionally if you can be smart about it.
But what we did recently is do a whole bunch of changes to PreneurMarketing.com, new theme, new scheme, new setup, a whole new website; basically, merged the old website where podcast that used to live into PreneurMarketing.com, so we’ve got one core place for all that stuff.
But what happened is, as part of that merging of the sites, we had to backdate a whole bunch of 110 or so episodes of PreneurCast onto PreneurMarketing.com. So even though we were backdating that post for six, 12 months ago, that didn’t automatically publish out to my Twitter feed.
So I basically spammed, in a weird way, our Twitter followers, our Facebook pages because of that automation, and that was a bit whoa, hang on, here’s the downside of systemization ,which was interesting.
Dom: Yeah, that was something that I think, if you would have thought it through, you possibly could have avoided that by switching that linking off. But, yeah, the thing is, again, it’s where are your audience and what is the importance of the platform to you?
If your primary audience is focused on Facebook, then the last thing you want to do is automate any kind of posting, or even potentially outsource any kind of posting, to that platform because people will smell a rat. I was reading some Twitter stuff the other day, and somebody commented on Twitter.
They said, if you’re having somebody post for you on your Twitter account, please be honest about it, so that I know I’m not talking to you. That’s a straight-out comment on Twitter – is a relatively well-known person commenting in general. I think it’s a fair point.
People want to believe that it’s you and your content. If that’s the primary platform, whatever it is, then you want to be doing it directly. If you want to have a presence on these platforms for whatever reason, then that’s a different matter. You can automate it to a point.
The strategy, really – it’s very difficult to say any one given strategy, to automate, to not automate, so it’s better to say give some evaluation terms, in my mind, and that evaluation is where are your audience? Are they focused in one place? In which case, that becomes the place that you put stuff. And also, what’s to benefit you in being on these other platforms?
For example, if you’re looking for search-engine ranking, search-engine traffic, then, this week, and possibly today’s particular advice, might be to focus your high-value content on your blog, and to direct people to your blog, and to get people to pay attention and spend time on your blog or your website if you’re generating enough content.
To be honest with you, I don’t think that advice is ever going to change. So, what you don’t necessarily be doing is auto-posting little messages saying I just posted something on Twitter, or I just liked a video on YouTube. That kind of stuff can get really annoying on other platforms.
Pete: The example I would give in terms of someone who does that relatively well in terms of presence on a social media platform, but doesn’t use the social media platform, is Seth Godin and Twitter. Now, Seth’s got his blog where he writes quite regularly, and he has a Twitter account, or at least he used to, I’m sure it’s still active, called @ThisIsSethsBlog.
That was the Twitter account, and all it does is update when Seth writes a new blog post. So he’s not trying to say to anyone, this is me, I’m going to interact with you on social media or anything like that. Literally, it’s a social media platform account that people can follow if that’s where they choose to get the updates when Seth posts something.
It’s purely just a feed of information saying, yup, Seth’s done a new blog post. So if you’re a Twitter person, and that’s where you want to be as an audience member, you can subscribe to that Twitter feed and be updated when Seth writes new blog posts.
So you go back to Seth’s blog to consume that content, and I think that is a very smart way of having a presence on these platforms so your audience can “follow you,” on that platform that they choose, but the context and the frame has been set correctly.
You’re not trying to bamboozle anybody and say I’ll be replying to your messages and DM-ing people. This is purely a distribution platform to allow those who want to follow along on Twitter to do so. And if you want to do that on Facebook, that’s where I think the automation stuff can work really, really well. If you set the context saying, hey, guys, this is just a distribution of information feed.
It’s not a conversation tool. I think that can cause issues if you don’t set that context correctly and set those expectations for your audience. But I think that’s a smart way of doing it, doing that stuff as a tool as a way to have a presence somewhere while not having to be overly active in that place.
Dom: There’s no surprise that Seth Godin, who’s an incredibly sharp and smart guy is doing something sharp and smart. But that is an excellent, excellent example and I think that wraps up a lot of the points that we’re trying to make, which you’re pretty good at doing.
Because there’s another bunch of people that do that, and a lot of people – our friend Dan Raine who runs Immediate Edge, which is a great site about all things internet marketing, search engines, and stuff like that. He’s a great student of this as well, and has got some clever ways of doing things.
Their website (even though it’s a membership site, so it’s a closed site and you have to log on to find out if they’ve updated it), they solved that problem by having a Twitter account called @EdgeNews. They do exactly what you said about Seth. It’s like this account is just to tell you when we post something in our membership area, and it’s a fabulous use of that technology.
They make it clear, they frame it properly, as you said. This is an automated thing. Don’t chat to us on this. It’s a notification platform, and that is a good understanding, again, understanding your audience. Their audience is on Twitter. Their audience has the technology or the techniques to keep an eye on Twitter.
Therefore, it’s a very easy way to notify their audience in a non-interruptive way that they’ve got some content for them to go and look at, and it keeps people going back to their site. Now, you could just as easily do that with an open website that you put a new blog post on if you’re regularly updating.
Because that idea of getting people to go and pay attention to something that you just posted is quite a challenge. It’s a form of traffic generation. It might be just reminding the audience, but it’s a form of traffic generation. It’s quite important. It’s a good way of understanding a platform and how you can use it and how your audience uses it, so that’s cool.
That bridges me across to something that we talk about a lot certainly inside of Preneur Platinum when we do our Spotlights, particularly the website reviews. Because there’s the other side of the coin of traffic from social media, which is where people are misusing, in my humble opinion, social media badges on their website.
You’ll see this because a lot of people use WordPress (which we’ve talked about a few times, which is an excellent way to get your website up and running), and they use a theme (which you liked my full analogy of a theme being like the Barbie doll clothes).
You can just swap the look of the website out. But a lot of these themes you’ll see people have put social media buttons on them, and they’re in the top right-hand corner, which is primary real estate. And because they’re there, you fill out your details, and so you’ve got a little icon that says Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and all these things.
So this is basically your website that is potentially your prime real estate. You want people to come to it and read your articles. And there is a big, glaring thing in the top right-hand corner saying please leave my site, please go away from my site, please go somewhere else
Pete: Click on this link and go to Facebook.
Dom: Yeah, click on this link and go to Facebook, where there’s a less-concentrated version of what I’m doing, and you won’t read my website anymore. To me, we said this before, it’s a really backwards way of getting a benefit from social media. Unless your primary audience and your primary communication channel is one of these other platforms, you really don’t want to be sending people to them and away from where all your content is.
There’s nothing wrong with having little buttons for people – people are digging around, and do that word I hate that designers use, which is discovery. People are discovering things, and they discover the buttons down at the bottom of your website.
They discover you have a Facebook page, and they really want to follow you on Facebook, then good for them. But unless those platforms are your primary platforms, you don’t really want to have them front and center, or top right, big bright colors, big arrows pointing at them saying “Follow us on” because it’s not really what it’s about.
What those platforms are about, as the example of Seth, @ThisIsSethsBlog, or @EdgeNews and all these other Twitter accounts, it’s about capturing people where they’re visiting, where they’re paying attention, and drawing their attention to your main platform.
Pete: This is something that happened just recently with the new design and development of PreneurMarketing.com is that the first roll-out of the site had the very top first part of the website was the PreneurMarketing logo, then links to the RSS, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.
That was at the very top of the website. I very quickly made that change because people were coming to the site, obviously, to listen to the show, to get the show notes, or reading a blog post. They come to the site, and the very first thing they see is to go off and play on Facebook and YouTube and get distracted.
That’s not the ad time we want. People would consume the content, get some great value, and then go, you know what, I want to connect with Pete and the team. So we’ve moved the bar. It’s still on the site, but it’s below the bar and below the posts. Once they’ve consumed and engaged with us, then they have the choice to see, “Hey, we’re on some social media platforms, and you can follow us.”
Because if they go to Twitter and get distracted before they can click Follow, at least they’ve had some interaction with us and will come back again because of good content, because of good quality, whatever it might be.
It’s that second-tier type scenario. Putting those things on a thank-you page is a great way to say, “You’ve already taken the action we want, now let’s stick together, as well. Let’s go out for coffee again in the morning,” type of scenario.
Dom: Great, that’s a really good example of where it is a good idea to use those buttons, and, to flip my example on its head, what I’ve seen recently, and I won’t name and shame them, but it’s somebody that we have on the show, and I went to their website today because I’m always interested in what they have to say, and there was something that was missing.
I was reading their website, and I very often will share what they write. They are one of the people that I read regularly, and I like to share what they write because what they write makes sense, and on their blog, they have valuable content. Try as I might, dig around as I might, I couldn’t find a button that quickly and easily let me share a link to their blog post onto Twitter.
That is actually, to me, what should be the right use of these platforms. Say, somebody comes to your blog. If they’re a Twitter user and they have a big Twitter following, you want them to be able to easily and quickly link to your blog post out to their Twitter account or their Facebook page, and promote your post ,and get you more traffic. Whenever anybody ever says, “Get into social media,” that’s the Holy Grail, isn’t it?
Dom: If these people are using WordPress – I know I talk a lot about WordPress, but it’s just because it’s easy to use. There are hundreds and hundreds of free plug-ins. A plug-in is a thing that you can download and install or get someone to install it on your website to add functionality. That’s one of the great things about WordPress.
You can download a plug-in, and you literally install it, which is easier than it sounds. It sounds pretty easy, and instantly, every post on your blog can have a set of nice, pretty buttons that say “Share me on,” and pick your website. Share me on Facebook. Share me on Twitter. Share me on here, there, and everywhere.
That, to me, is the correct use of social media buttons. So we’re not down on social media buttons. We don’t think that they’re stupid and silly, but ones that take people away from your site just to another place that you possibly have automatically reposted content, which would really be a bad experience for them if you are doing that in the wrong way.
That’s not a good idea, but having them on your content if you do write content, if you’re a blogger, and you write blog posts for your industry or marketplace, your news or whatever, then having them so that people can easily share the content is a good use.
Pete: This is something we were still working on with PreneurMarketing.com. People go there right now, depending on when they listen to the show, we don’t have the full social share stuff on the site because it’s in development. So I’m going to put my hand up and say we don’t have that fully right now and it’s being worked on with a really cool plug-in that we’re developing, which is going to be pretty sweet.
But we do have at least some breakouts. So you’ll see takeaways from certain podcast episodes, quotables, bits and pieces of it, and we’ve got things where we break that out and have a ‘click to tweet’ button so we can easily tweet a snippet of a show or a particular blog post, and that’s worked really, really well for us already.
Dom: Yeah, that’s a pretty cool feature. When I saw that, the design and then the implementation of that was pretty cool. I’m not seeing that in many places before. But, yeah, PreneurMarketing.com is a work in progress. We’ve got to be clear on that. So, depending on when you’re listening to this, you might go hang on a minute.
Pete: They’re saying one thing and doing another, and that’s part of the development process.
Dom: What’s the important thing here is that what we love to do on the show, what’s important to us to do on the show is to do what we say we do before we tell you to do it. So, if we are working our way through something, you might see that we’ve taken something off the site or added something on the site that we haven’t talked about yet, and that’s because we’re trying something out.
We’re trying it out so that when we’ve got the data back, because Pete loves his data, when we’ve got our data back, we can tell you what we’re doing. We moved to PreneurMarketing.com away from PreneurMedia.tv because we made a decision, and we told you this is why we made the decision.
When we initially started early on, that site’s been running as long as the podcast has been running, eighteen months. The data told us it’s not giving us the return that we want and we need to do something about it. At that point, we let you guys know, the same with all the stuff.
Pete, have we got any more? We’re close to time on this one, and I think we’ve covered quite a few of the big, big issues. Have we got any more quick tips that we can give people for getting the most from social media? I think we’ve covered things that we find most useful.
Pete: I think, at the end of the day, it comes down to just engaging and being yourself, but I would love people to continue this conversation with us on these social media platforms. So, if you’ve got questions ,and this is a perfect example and a perfect use of these platforms, is head over to Twitter. I’m at @preneur, Dom’s @dgoucher.
Let us know what other questions you have, and we’ll continue this conversation in another episode of the podcast. So head over to the blog at PreneurMarketing.com, go to the show notes, put some extra questions in, other issues or controversial things you’ve read, or things you’re confused about, or send us @ messages on Twitter. We’ll collect all those and answer some of these in a future episode of the show.
Dom: Absolutely. That, for us, is why, really we’re on these platforms. It’s interactive for us, and so absolutely reach out to us on Twitter and the new blog over at PreneurMarketing.com. One thing I will say about that is, as we are wrapping up, one of the things that hadn’t made it across in the move is one of the things that we were getting the best feedback on, which was our little SpeakPipe, the audio-message capability.
We’ve really been enjoying including listeners’ comments and feedback into the show, and we really want to keep doing that. Folks, at the moment, SpeakPipe is not integrated into PreneurMarketing.com. But if you do go there, you can still leave comments under the blog post.
We love definitely to hear your feedback on this episode and all the other ones. And, if there’s something we missed, or if there’s something Pete says that is confusing you, or that you want us to focus on a bit more, we’ll happily do some more content on this.
Real soon, we’ll have that SpeakPipe up, and, when we do, do drop us an audio note. By all means, ask a question, or just let us know what you think of the show because we would love to feature you live on the show, put that audio track on there.
Pete: Absolutely, so let’s put a bow on it. Let’s wrap this one up. I think we have a great drinking game in place for today’s episode, if you want to go back and listen again and have a shot every time I mention PreneurMarketing.com. It could be a very good drinking game for this episode because we have mentioned it a lot.
But one final thing that I will mention about that is something that we published last week, which a lot of email response and stuff, which has been great, a little eBook, completely free. No opt-in. Just go and download it, called Never Break More Than One Law at a Time.
It’s a whole bunch of collections of the best pieces of advice that anyone has ever given the people of Reddit. It’s a really cool 69-page eBook. Completely downloadable, it’s PDF. Just click and download it. You can read it on the site, as well. It’s got a whole bunch of really profound little pieces of advice that I really found interesting and had the team put together into this visually engaging eBook. So go over there and check it out.
Dom: Folks, it is – there’s some seriously good advice and some quite funny advice, snippets, and quotes in there. Totally free, so definitely pop over to PreneurMarketing.com and grab that. Also, while you’re there, don’t forget there is the regular competition that we run at PreneurMarketing.com/Win, which is anything that we’ve got from recent authors and other people that have been guests on the show.
So, whenever you’re listening to this, always pop across to PreneurMarketing.com/Win to check out what you can win with a very simple competition to enter. As always, thanks, everyone, for listening. Hopefully, as usual, we hope to have added value and give you great tips and hints in the show.
Do drop us a comment over on, I’ll say it one more time, PreneurMarketing.com, and also, please, if you are subscribed to us on iTunes, jump across to iTunes and drop us a comment on there, as well. So, Pete, I’ll leave it to you to, as you say, put a bow on it, and, folks, we’ll see you all next week.
Pete: Sounds great. Everyone, thanks again for listening, and talk to you next week with an interview with another great guest, so stick around for that one. It’s going to be very exciting.
Growth Hacker Marketing – Ryan Holiday
You can try out a lot of the books we recommend in audio format with Audible:
http://audibletrial.com/preneurcast – Free trial with a free audio book download for PreneurCast listeners
Dropbox – Awesome File Sharing platform
http://makingonlinevideo.com – Dom’s new Digital Magazine
We are now regularly receiving copies of books (and other goodies) from the authors we feature to give away to PreneurCast listeners.
To enter our current competition, just visit: http://www.preneurmarketing.com/win.
Keep checking back for the latest competition and prizes!