14Mar

Ep#32: Creating a Customer Community

Customers as Community – what does it mean, how will it benefit you and how you do it

In this episode I chat to John Baxter, communities and collaboration expert, about the concept of treating your customers as a community and some of the methods of building and fostering that community.

We cover

  • What do you mean by ‘customers as community’
  • What are the benefits of thinking of your customers as more of a community
  • What are some of the tools, platforms and strategies we can use to create these communities
  • Collaborate to Innovate events

Links

Video

[media url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MldvM_Gb-uE” width=”560″ height=”315″] [spoiler title=”Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: Welcome back to the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. I’m your host, Nick Morris and this week, we’re talking with John Baxter about Customers as Community.

Good day John, welcome to the show.

John: Hi Nick.

Nick: John’s joining us from Interstate today. He’s actually from Adelaide but he’s in Melbourne today, is it John?

John: Yep, in Melbourne.

Nick: Great. The topic we’re talking about, as I said, is Customers as Community, sort of a new way at looking at your customers but I’ll get John to explain a bit about that in a minute.

First of all John, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and a bit about what you do.

John: These days, I’m setting up the business, real ones about realizing the potential in changing the way that we work, which is, mostly, I’ve realized about tapping into potential networks. So, networks at the community level, supporting community groups, networks around organizations, say around business and customer networks and that sort of thing and between businesses [Audio distorted 00:01:29], so things like giving back and collaboration, cross hours and [Inaudible 00:01:30].

Nick: How about you tell us a little bit about this topic, Customers as Community. What do we mean by this, so what do you mean by this?

John: Well, I sat down this afternoon and think about it, and you’d have read Tribes by Seth Godin?

Nick: I haven’t actually read it but I’m pretty familiar with the concepts.

John: Well, Tribes are more or less, the same thing as community and in some context people use the word tribe slightly differently, and often a tribe is much larger and much less connected than a community but most of the things that Seth Godin was talking about in his book about engaging customers and leadership and that sort of thing, is pretty much is the same as with community.

Community, you might look at a more closely knitted group and tribes can be very, sort of desperate and people acting as individuals, community tends to be more inter personal interaction but then I know Seth Godin also talks about those sorts of things in Tribes and bringing customs together, and tribes and followers together so a lot of those ideas are pretty familiar to a lot of people.

Nick: Yeah absolutely. And I guess these days with technology and social media and all those sorts of things it’s become much easier I guess, to create these communities and to think about your customers in that way. Did these ideas sort of exist before the internet for instance?

John: I don’t know, to be honest. I know it certainly would have been, it wouldn’t necessarily be that productive to think about communities, that custom is because of the relative difficulty of engaging with them and being aware of their inter personal connections, I guess. It’s no use having a community of customers if you can’t see a type of connection and [Inaudible 00:03:34] and being a community if all you can do is put up billboards or something like that and broadcast that to them, then it’s just not that productive and I think that fostering communities means [Audio distorted 00:03:48] community. So it might be a relatively new concept, it’s relatively new to me. [Audio Distorted 00:03:55].

Nick: Cool. And what are some of the benefits of creating communities and thinking of your customers as communities?

John: It comes down to the way that target brings its net, organizations, companies, whatever it might be, it’s a vehicle for getting something done and if you look at your organization, you look at your company and you take the mission of that organization, fostering your customers as community enables you to involve them in the pursuit of that mission, of that purpose, enables them to step into participating in that, whether it’s through sharing information or contributing to your product development or whatever it might be. And also has benefits like customer attention, improve customer loyalty and things like that, that thrive on a customer level, and customers to keep in good customers. But also enable you to tap into them as a resource for doing things. So whether you’re running a social enterprise and your business is about raising awareness, then it is your customer community and help spread word about it.

Nick: Yeah. I think that makes a lot sense, especially trying to leverage your community for raising awareness as you just said and also the research or the product development idea that you can draw on the feedback from your community or your community of customers to get their sort of thoughts if you’re thinking of going in this direction or that direction or what do you actually want. That perhaps can be a difficult thing to determine. I was talking with Trevor Glen about sort of Lean Methodologists last week. We were talking about its important to do that customer research and make sure that what you’re delivering or trying to deliver is actually matching up with what your target market wants. I guess if you have this community well set up, that makes that process much easier.

John: Yeah. And especially if what you’re engaging the community is something that has a co-creation element to it, then it’s important that you understand their context and that they might be involved in the creation. So something like, Nike is a really good example of a company that is really supporting its community and its products. I mean, I’m not a Nike customer myself but I hear about them and the work they’re doing with their apps and their bit-git things and all that sort of stuff. And all those things just would not be possible whatsoever without the cooperation with their customers. So, it is not just about understanding how you can feed that information back into your development of products also being a [Audio Distorted 00:06:58].

Nick: Great. So let’s move on with what are some of the tools that people can use to create these communities and the platforms?

John: The sort of number 1 tools are being able to reach out and communicate in whatever form that might be, then number 2 is the social media platforms of any variety that’s where you’re customers are talking to one another because that’s what drives the community element, obviously being able to engage them and get customers engaged in your brand, in your mission, in your vision. And then number 2 enabling them to talk to one another.

I did a workshop with a friend earlier this week and as he put it, using social media intelligently, a big element of that is understanding the conversations that your customers want to have to one another, with one another and providing them the platform and the means to have those conversations. And that’s really what fostering community is all about, so it’s conversations, drive relationships to bring people close together around the mission and the next step is your brand in the business.

Nick: That’s an interesting part about the customers talking amongst themselves without you necessarily being there. Is this something you want to try and guide to make sure it’s to do with your products, or do you want to see what are the conversations that they might want to talk about first and sort of let that happen and help that or do you really want to try and make it more related to your business and your product or is there a way of doing that?

John: There’s really no need or purpose to restrain conversations to being about your business but you do want to, I guess keep the conversation in line with your vision I guess, and your purpose and potentially, depending on the form also can be in line with your values. So I mean, customers having conversation about your business, online say on Facebook, if they’re discussing your brand, associating with what you do with that mission, that purpose and that spread then that’s very productive. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a forum, you probably want to be more aware of customers that are acting inappropriately, whereas on Facebook, it’s only acting appropriately, mentioning your brand really doesn’t make that much of a difference to you, whereas on a forum, you have sort of have a responsibility for that conversation in a way that you’re doing otherwise but in general, anything that’s the sort of conversation that people want to have with one another around your community, around your brand, that’s brings people together and targets that community, is a good conversation pattern.

Nick: Yeah, that makes sense. You mentioned forums just a second there. From my experience, forums are really difficult. If we’re talking about forums that are hosted on a website, like a discussion forum, that can be really difficult to kick off. Is it a good idea for businesses to look at these forum ideas first or should they maybe release it to social media to sort of test it out first then maybe to a forum later?

John: Definitely don’t jump into trying to create platforms and bring people to platforms unless there’s a solid reason for it. It comes back to creating platforms and supporting your customers to have the conversations that they want to have and if your customers don’t want to go to a new forum, if they’re not that interested that they want to have conversations on a new platform without the customers, then really that’s no benefit to anyone in trying to start something up.

If on the other hand, you’ve got, I don’t know [Inaudible 00:10:55], they might not have forums but they seem to have a really strong customer and community base, they’d be the sort of institutions that would be another value added, supporting your customers to talk to one another about their habits and their achievements and that sort of thing. That’s the sort of conversations that customers in community are going to be interested in not travelling to another platform.

Outside of that, you wouldn’t want to start something until you have caught strong conversations going through other platforms like Facebook and that sort of thing, which in all other ways, you take note of what forums used to do sort of like ten years ago and anyway, and a pretty good enabling rich conversations without the need to support people somewhere else.

Nick: Yeah, I think that makes sense. You don’t want to force people to a new platform which may in fact lead to them not embracing the community aspect when you can engage with them on an existing platform like Facebook, when they’re already used to using that platform.

One thing I would sort of add, as perhaps a cautionary thing or something that people should think about is that you want to perhaps build in some kind of, another way of contacting people in case your Facebook page gets shut down or something like that, like a mailing list or some other way that you can connect with them so that you don’t lose all your hard work if something happens. Because Facebook, as big and sort of strong as it is, there’s a possibility that they could shut down a page or they could fall out of favor in the future, so you want to have some safety nets built in.

John: Yep. And then I have figured out, you’re probably a small fish as far as Facebook is concerned so they do something to you and you don’t like it, there’s probably not that much you’ll be able to do about it.

Another thing, as far as forums and independent platforms and that sort of thing, another thing that has come up is, if you’re hosting a platform for other people’s conversation, in general, you’re responsible for those conversations. So, that means you need to actively manage that in a way that [Inaudible 00:13:14] places like Facebook, you really don’t. If people start getting rebellious and that sort of thing on your website, you really need to crack down. It’s a resourcing issue in a way that conversations elsewhere are not.

Nick: Yeah, that’s another good point as well about the platform. What about offline interactions, perhaps events. Does this also fit into the model of communities for customers?

John: Definitely, sure. While the challenges would be having the density, maybe even a place to support face-to-face interaction and also whether or not that’s getting too far away from your core business. So you really want to be involved in it. You can do little things to support people, coming together, whether it’s a meeting you have on an online platform, supporting people to connect online and just making it easier to find people locally and that sort of thing but then at the same time, you have organizations like Yoke, which do a really good job of putting on events which try connecting millions and it’s a big part of the raising it, people really dig it and Yoke is [Inaudible 00:14:31] contains it, because they’ve fostered that community out of that [Inaudible 00:14:37] community with marketing things like face to face events.

Nick: That’s interesting. Events is something, I’m really interested in and I haven’t really sort of cracked it so I came to ask someone like yourself about what your thoughts are for someone like and me who’s in the marketing space, having events with small business owners and stuff like that, that’s really my target market so there’s a direct reason for that, whereas for another business that I have purchased which is B to C or even another B to B business, it may not necessarily be beneficial to run events. So I guess the key is making sure there’s actually a reason for doing it and not sort of just doing it.

John: If you can run an event that enables your customers to have the conversations that they want to have and do what they want to do, then that’s sort of what it comes back to.

Nick: Great. You mentioned that once you sort of get this community going or even to get it going, it can take quite a lot of work, and investment of time and investment of money to sort of promote it, especially the time thing is something that a lot of small business owners are going to be struggling with. Are there any good, best practices or tools or ways that you can minimize the work required to try and get something going and to maintain it?

John: I guess the main thing is just to be aware of community building and the people and conversations outside your business as part of your regular social media, communication strategy and that doesn’t necessarily require any more of it than just being conscious about it.

The second bit would be not to push it, but if you can tap into energies that your customers have, the interests that they have and pull on that and support them rather than trying to push it and get people to engage online, or engage face to face for that matter. If you’re pushing people to engage, then that requires a lot more resources and I guess the full method of identifying where there’s energy and doing that later on.

A change of techniques and specifics, because it’s so broad and a number of platforms have different methods of engagement, it’s hard to make any overall statements on that. The philosophy for efficiently using your time to get rewards and to generate good community engagement is to pull on the energy.

Nick: Do you have any tips for how businesses can discover where these existing interactions are happening and how people do want to interact? Is it just by sort of looking using these tools out there like social mention tools which you can see where people are mentioning your brand or related topics? Is that sort of the way to go or is there anything else?

John: I’m not really very familiar with social media tools that much, as sort of the concepts and that sort of thing, but if you do have a presence online, the first place to start would be the immediate conversations around that. So, who’s talking on the Facebook page, who’s commenting on the blog, all that sort of thing, the biggest majority of discussions around your brand in terms of tools to identify what’s outside of that, that’s [Inaudible 00:18:17].

Nick: No that’s fine. There are lots of people in the social media space, I guess, who can talk about those sorts of issues. I’m going to move away from the topic a little bit, and talk about Collaborate To Innovate, which is an event that you helped to organize. How long has it been going for now?

John: Wayne Darby and Vanessa Picker started it up. I think maybe about 12 months now, when we first met in Adelaide. Yes probably about 12 months, and they since moved on doing other things and so it’s now being 2 months of this year, since it started back this year that I’ve been meeting up and it’s going pretty strong.

Nick: Yeah, I’ve been along to just those 2 months so, I have nothing to compare it to but it seems to be going well from my perspective as well. Can you just tell us a little bit about what it is, exactly?

John: It’s a meet-up group, a regular monthly meet-up, people will meet face to face and a space where people want to take action. We’d provide speakers and a little bit of an excuse for people to come along and basically it’s a community-building sort of thingp providing people the opportunity to come along and have conversations they want to have and meet like-minded people.

Nick: Great, and given that you’ve only sort of leading it for 2 months as you say but are there any techniques or community-building ideas that you’ve applied to this group that someone else, we could learn from? What are some of the ideas for growing into group, is there anything specific you’ve been doing?

John: I suppose I’ve applied, I was involved with Lehman’s in this last year, sort of regularly having conversations about it and how it looks for a little while. Most of the concepts and that sort of thing meant to me [Inaudible 00:20:27]. One of the obvious sort of barriers that we’ve looked at in the last 3 or 4 months, particularly in the change over. Lehman was forming a team to support the return rate moving forward, which is getting into more of the details of this sort of community building, community cultivation practice.

I tried a few like this, but it’s about providing people, nurturing their steps, closer into the center of the community, providing open invitations for people to come along have discussions about future and to come along and join the team and have conversations about our week as it should be. [Inaudible 00:21:09] instead of being me and one or two other people actually to run it. We now have a team of about 5 or 6, fair enough and we are able to contribute, able to bring up ideas and connections and really a big core that supports the community as it reaches out and provide strong culture and make sure we have a good community of decent people and that’s the sort of thing.

Once you get into, know the details of thriving communities, having a structure that these people sort of, inner runs I guess and can simply [Inaudible 00:21:50] people that are more engaged who support the community. So, on the forum online, you’ll have the champions and get your posting of the day and then people would [File Distorted 00:22:01]. So we’ve just sort of made an effort to give people the opportunity to step into the middle of the support group.

Nick: Interesting. How often, that’s monthly usually or do you have some other sort of social events during the month as well, don’t you?

John: [Audio Breaks 00:22:20] And the more the way we’re looking at the moment is main marketing events and then the social greets for next week, so, if people want to catch up or if they can’t make the main monthly event, that’s just sort of their second reach [Inaudible 00:22:33] having a view and we’re also involved in a conference, I’m helping organize a couple other partners and community groups. It starts next month and that’s sort of the half [Inaudible 00:22:47].

Nick: Great. And if anyone’s interested in getting the dates and things for that, you can head to our website, webmarketingadelaide.com.au/events. I’ve got a calendar up there with all sorts of business-related events happening in Adelaide and I’ll make sure I’ll put up Collaborate to Innovate on the calendar there, but you can also go direct to the meet up group which is where you [Inaudible 00:23:16] the events from Adelaide.

John: Yeah the URL for that is meetup.com/C2IADL. Nice and easy.

Nick: Too easy, I’ll also put a link in our show notes on the website so people can click right through.

Just before we finish up, you wrote a book, A Book in a Week, I think it was late last year? Can you tell us a little bit about that project? First of all, what was the book about?

John: Well, the topic of the book was Openness. That’s something I sort of thought of pounced on in a few days before the book [Inaudible 00:23:58] wrote it. It wasn’t sounding out right because necessarily, a thought need to be written, sort of a bit of a back story on how to plan to write a book by the end of this year, by the end of 2013 and I went to Start Up Weekend at the end of last year, Start Up Week Adelaide and one of the teams sat down and wrote a book in about a day and a half. So, seeing there we had a year and a half timeline to write a book, while other people are writing a book in a day and a half and I thought, well it’s a bit silly if my first takes me a year and a half, I should punch out something a bit quicker.

So, I decided, well I will just set aside a week and before the week starts, I’ll work out what I’m going write about and you know, start a book. So I’m thinking about sort of some of my experience in networks, and collaboration and that sort of thing and what haven’t been covered. I found that the concept of openness and how that applies to working in general and connections and collaboration and that sort of thing. I really focused on that as a topic, this is what I can see and this is what it means to you and some tips about doing that. So, that came about that kind of topic and 7 days later, we have a book.

Nick: Great. Did you find yourself able to just knock it out? What were any challenges you faced?

John: Beyond the main challenge was having 7 days of relatively unstructured time that I was trying to feel – it’s very hard to sit at 8 o’clock in the morning and go, okay I’ll have two hours today, I’m going to write a whole lot of book, but not having milestones and not having a sense of exactly where that should be and [Inaudible 00:25:37], I spent a little bit of time actually procrastinating and just mulling around, writing, un-writing, rewriting, not doing all that much. Realistically, what I wrote could have been done in that 4 days, maybe 3 if I was really productive. So, that sort of an indication of how the went. It was 45 what pages in A4 which should be 60 or 70 in a book size, so it wasn’t too bad, but still a week’s work because I hadn’t planned it that well, and partly I think because I was working alone and didn’t have somebody else to telling me I should have written more by lunch time and that sort of thing. I could have gotten a lot more done, so that was the biggest challenge for me.

Nick: Interesting. I think just even going back to the Lean Methodologies Idea which I just talked about with Trevor Glen seems like a very lean way to test the idea of writing a book from the process perspective.

John: To be honest, the book is not that good. I mean, it’s somewhat interesting and I brought some interesting things up, but the good book will be Version 2 and the book that is really worth reading, will probably be a version 3. Version 1 is just a minimum viable product and so, along those lines. If I wasn’t embarrassed with it, it wouldn’t have taken too long. I’m a little bit embarrassed with it so I think it probably took me a lot of time.

Nick: Perfect. Perhaps I’ll hold off for Version 3 then before I …

John: Version 2 will be okay, worth looking into.

Nick: Fantastic, I will do that. I think we’ll finish off the interview there. Thanks very much for coming on the show and having this chat. It’s been interesting and I always like to delve into interesting people’s minds and you’re definitely one of those people.

If people want to find out more about what you’re doing and perhaps connect with you, what’s the best way to do that?

John: Checking out jsbaxter.com. That’s S for Slade, which is my middle name and there’s links from that page to other various things that are going on.

Nick: Fantastic. I’ll put those links again in the show notes for anyone who wants to go check you out there and thanks again for coming on the show.

John: Thank you Nick.

Nick: That brings us to the end of another podcast. For more information about this episode and all our others, head to our website www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au.

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15Feb

Ep#28: How to do Regular Social Posting

How and why to post to your social profiles every day

how to do regular social postingYou should be posting on your Facebook page pretty much every day but that’s easier said than done. In this episode I discuss how to get more regular with your social posting with Nicole Jones from Market Me Marketing.

Covered in this episode;

  • Why is regular social posting important?
  • The different types of posts you can make
  • Routines and strategies to stick to your post schedule
  • Facebook’s sponsored post options
  • How to use your Facebook presence to drive leads and sales

Links & Mentions;

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Intro: You’re listening to the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. We give you the tips and strategies to help you utilize the web to get more traffic leads and sales for your business. Now, here’s your host Nick Morris.

Nick: My guest this week is Nicole Jones from Market Me Marketing. Welcome to the show Nicole.

Nicole: Thanks Nick.

Nick: The topic we’ll be talking about this week is social media posts and how to get more frequent posts, something I’ve been realizing lately with talking to Uni call and also talking to other people on social media marketing spaces, that it’s very important it seems to be getting regular posts, going on your social media and that can really make the difference by trying to do that with the Podcast, Facebook page, particularly, I find it’s actually quite difficult to do. You can sort of, maybe get a few days in a row to get some posts going but then it slips off your mind and you don’t get back to it until the next week or whatever. So, is that what this show is gonna be all about? Before we get started, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself Nicole and about your business?

Nicole: Yeah, oh no worries. So, I’ve been running Market Me now for almost 3 years and I guess I started the business at a little bit of passion to want to help other business owners, learn how to market themselves the smart way without spending hundreds of dollars on you know the more traditional forms of marketing. And I, yes so, I was doing welcome pages and things like that and then I started to move on to the management and teaching people how to actually use social media as well. So, it’s been a huge journey, I’m pretty much been full time from day one, which has been fantastic and yeah, we’ve got almost 6,000 fans or followers on the Market Me Page and really excited about the future.

Nick: Great. It’s also not just me that’s having trouble with the management side of things so…?

Nicole: No.

Nick: That’s good to know. Let’s jump right in with my first question here is, what are some of the improvements that people can see on their social media profiles when they start posting more regularly?

Nicole: Okay, so the key is to post regularly Nick, because, I guess, the more you post, the more chance you have of people actually seeing your post. So, if you just post once a week, chances are that some of your fans or your followers maybe not even be online on that day. So, you might not even get the opportunity to interact or connect with them that week in particular. The other thing is that Facebook actually has a system which is called algorithm and they sort of it, you know, different things determine what gets shown in people’s news feed. So, just because you are a fan of Market Me, doesn’t actually mean you’ll see all of my posts. It could be other posts that businesses are posting.

They could be other business could be posting images, they could have paid to get their posts promoted. So, you know, you really are competing with a lot of couple of pages, a lot about other things on Facebook, and the more that you post, the more that people are gonna see your post, the more likes that you’re gonna get on your, you know the photos or the images or the status updates that you do post, and when people actually like something or comment, a friend goes and see that. So, they see that activity on your page, so, the more change you’ve got, and I guess, the more are clicking through and seeing what your friends are commenting and liking, the more chance you are of actually growing your page.

So, I’d actually seen it you know, some of the pages we manage, we only post once a day. Some of the pages we manage we post 2 or 3 times a day and I’ve noticed there is a huge difference between you know the interaction I guess and what actually happens on that page. So, posting regularly is very important and it also means that you can post more, you can post different things so if you just post once a week you might just been posting the current special or something like that. If you are posting every day, a couple times a day obviously you can be starting to add value and things like that by posting articles or Podcast and different things like that. So, it definitely gives you a greater opportunity to communicate with people as you start posting more.

Nick: Yeah, that makes perfect sense. Moving on from there, what are some of the sorts of things people can post? I mean you just mentioned articles and Podcast of course will be posted on the this page. What other things sort of, typical examples of post type.

Nicole: So, let me use Market Me as an example and Market Me offers obviously marketing services for businesses and a lot of that is our social media. So, we offer management assistance. We help people set their pages up, all of that kind of thing, so, really, when I’m posting, really, it’s important for me that the posting information that is related to marketing or business, and you know my tag lines to my business is growing business the smart way and the things that I post on there, I try to actually pull from the internet to the things that are actually gonna help boost business and do things the smart way.

So, I would post things like helpful business articles, could be entrepreneurial type things, it could be business type articles, it could simply be something about a new feature being added to Facebook or it could be, you know, something changing on Facebook. We try and keep people informed with all of that kind of information, and when I post that information I’m actually showing my fans that I kind of know what I’m about, you know, that I’m up with the latest information, that I do have the ability to actually be able to pull the important information from all the rubbish from on internet.

I also post business tips, and I do my personal interaction kind of post, like most of my fans know that I love coffee and so, over and over again I’d post who wanted coffee, just off sort of, you know, just to let people’s guard down to get a bit of fun. Because you know, why should business be all about you know serious stuff and making money and all that kind of thing. The other things I posted are motivational images, you know, images that have inspirational scenes or pictures so that people can actually feel inspired in their business to you know, keep persisting through the hard times or you know, to start thinking outside the box a little bit more and you know, we’d just post a variety of things across the week, so that we’re not always posting articles, we’re not always posting podcast, we’re not always posting links.

I think it is really important to actually have a good variety of things and you know, I guess, when I actually stand back at the end of my wake and I look at what I’ve posted, I can genuinely see that I have posted a variety of things but it’s also shown who I am as a business person. It also reflected what my company and what my business stands for and when it comes to sales kind of post, I would only recommend about 10% a month so that’s not even every week you know, that’s maybe one or two posts a month. Potentially, I mean a lot of businesses do post something salesy every week, but they are also posting all of the other things through that week as well. So, the idea is actually in, you know it is all in sort of a good format but we say don’t post all the time, you know. If you are following a page and you can post sales content all the time, so you want to buy this, buy that, sign up to this, sign up to that, you kind of get sick of it after a while. So, make sure that you do balance out everything you post on your page. And what I’ve said to people is it’s a good idea to actually open your eyes and see what other people are doing, not to copy them but to actually just see how people do run their pages especially the successful ones.

They have tens of thousands of fans, so, good variety and the things are really good. Always be professional but you need to be relational as well and so you know, have a little bit of fun. Try something, every now and then, we might put a picture up on my Facebook out, like there’s a picture going around at the moment that says Facebook will be shot for the 29th and 30th and 31st or something of February and it’s just kind of funny. You get people laughing you know, gets their guards down, get some thinking you know, this marketing thing is actually, it can be fun, we can have a bit of fun with this.

Nick: Yeah fantastic. That all make some, quite a lot of sense. Do you have any guidelines on, should you post lots of images or ways to get interaction? ‘ve heard the images are quite important on Facebook and they tend to get a lot of…?

Nicole: I quite often had this discussion with clients who say I hate all of those inspirational images, don’t post them but the bottom line is this Nick, is that people love images and when you’re flocking through your news, I’m guessing that it’s probably the images that struck you. It’s the images that grab your attention, everything else is just text. If you’re not really interested in reading text, you don’t read it but images are what stop people the most. So, if you can put images in people’s news feeds, you’re going to get a lot of likes, you know.

We had one on a particular page that I’m running at the moment, where, we’re actually, out of 150 fans, we had 25 likes on the one image, and that is actually quite good percentages when it comes through to you know having to actually stand up against so many pages and people’s news page. But you know, the more the images or the more that post gets locked and the more that things get commented on, the better chance you have of it actually showing up in people’s news page. It’s kind of like you know the business is, I guess that big. If they’ve got so many people, you know competing for that one spot of being able to being seen, of course they’re gonna show the pages that’s got the most interaction, aren’t they? They’re gonna show the pages that are giving the best contents, so I would recommend probably 35% of your post should be images and if you’ve got something you know, like quite often, I’ll post a link to a business article and I always go to that page and I save the image from that article to my computer and I upload that image with that article, so, that if people see that image, you know they’ll go, I wonder what this is about and they’ll actually read the blog and talk about the article, the more chance I have of actually getting a chance for someone to actually check it and comment on it.

So, images are huge and you know, you can get creative, you can create your own images that people can share, you might want to put your own motivational quotes, your own thoughts or your own business tips on an image. And put your website at the bottom and you know that becomes shareable content as well. The more that they get shared the more chance you have of gaining more fans and actually getting put out there more, so, images is huge.

Be very careful though you know, there are some obviously that you know, people can take the wrong way, some that could, to some people can be derogatory, and all you know politically incorrect, so, you just have to be very, very careful with what you post. But definitely, motivational images, inspirational things, all of that kind of thing, anything related to your business, anything related to your industry and then again, it’s good to throw in something that gets people laughing because they really do seriously love all those funny things that are floating around, so definitely images are huge.

Nick: Great. Moving on with the sort of the systems of actually getting these posts out. Do you have some strategies or some systems to getting the routine going, so you can actually get these posts done?

Nicole: Yeah, so it really depends on other business and how they go about it. The key thing here is that marketing always cost you something. It either cost you time to sit down and work it out for yourself and go through and actually set things up and post on your page and interact with people, or it cost you money to have someone like myself actually manage a page and do that for you, but you know I recommend businesses to spend an hour on a Monday.

Sit down and work out their marketing strategy for the week, you know. Is it gonna be part of Facebook, is part of it gonna be a press release, is part of it gonna be some fliers that might put together you know. What is their marketing strategy gonna be for the week? And that will flow from their overall marketing strategy that hopefully most businesses have this days. The one I recommend, is you know on a Monday, sit down, work it out, what is your focus going to be for the week? What are the things that you need to promote this week? What is the product on your website or the service that you really want to promote the most and sit down, and you can even, you can even go as writing at your post for the week and then on Facebook, they’ve brought in a way, you can actually schedule the post. So, if you decide you actually wanna be on Facebook everyday of this week, but I do want to really post every day, you’ve got the options to actually schedule those posts.

So, you could go in on a Monday, spend an hour just working out what are these you are going to post, find the images, find the articles, have your podcast ready and then, when you’re actually ready, go to your page on the left hand side at the bottom of the post, when you actually start typing in to your status update, there is a little clock there, and it gives you the option that you can schedule your post in. If you follow those prompts, it’s very, very simple. It takes you through, you know the day or the month, the day, the time even you know, the certain minutes and you can schedule all of your posts. So, quite often, if I got a busy week coming up, I will do that, I will schedule your post on some pages because we just, you know, you want to make sure that you do keep that interaction happening. Your whole life is busy, you know.

I work out from home around 3 kids as well, so I don’t always – I can’t always plan my week out, it does always work out the way I want them to go, but you know, scheduling is a fantastic tool. It just means you have to go in and actually just know check up on the commenting and reply to anyone who sent you a message or anything like that. The other thing you can do is actually schedule things through the different tools like Hoops Sweet, that is actually quite a big one that most businesses will use these days. I tend to try not to schedule too much because some people say that schedule posts get less weight than the post that you actually just manually go and post, and I think looking at some of the pages that I manage, I don’t actually see that happening anymore.

I think more and more scheduling is becoming something that we are looking into because it’s a time management tool. The other thing you can do is, if you want get really organized, is plan a whole month in advance. What are your posts gonna be? Sit down and work out for each day and you know, I often sit down with clients and I say okay, there’s a number of things that we actually want to make sure we cover in the month. We want to have some personal interaction for one. Two, we want to tell people about our business. So, you’re a bed and breakfast and you are pet friendly. That’s something people need to know. It’s something that separates you from your competitor. So, you know the different things about your business that people might want to know. You want to tell people about your service, so once a week you might feature a particular service. It might be that you go out and you mow people’s lawns or that you come to them and take their awning away, do it and bring it back all done. You know, people don’t always click through and view your website, and unfortunately, when someone comes to your page, they can’t always exactly work out what are the things you offer just by reading your About section.

It’s important to actually put it out that this is what we actually do. So, we’ve got you know, personal interaction, we’ve got certain things about your business, then we’ve got you know the services that you offer. There’s just a variety of things, so you might work out the different things that you want to post through the month, write those down and just start turning out your months and you’ll find that you’ll be able to look over that month and say, “Well, I covered everything. I’ve informed them about what’s coming up next month.” I’ve built trust, I’ve added value, I’ve given them some tips in there somewhere as well and it’s a good way for businesses to know that they’re just in control of their social media posts.

A number of scheduling tools, a number of different things you can do. It’s about time, you know. If you if you don’t want to schedule, you want to just go in and do it at random times, just make sure that you separately have 10 minutes a day, where you can actually go in and do that. It might be the first thing you do in the morning, it doesn’t mean that your post has to go at 9 o’clock in the morning, but it means that you go in, you prepare your page, you set the post up, you schedule it to go off at 2 o’clock or 7 o’clock or something like but you know, it’s just time. It really is just about setting aside time to do it and we know if we don’t market our businesses, chances are we’re not out there you know, in front of our competition.

Nick: Listen, that last point, is there a particular time of day best to schedule post or to post posts?

Nicole: Yes, I think the best time, I mean this varies, people have different theory Nick but personally, I think the best time is between 7 and 8 in the morning. People do just jump on and flick through and the thing is, when they first get up, they’re having their coffee, sitting down and just wasting time on Facebook. I’ve done it and so, between 7 and 8 in the morning but then after 7 at nights. Definitely, if you’ve got something important that you want people to see, I would post it at night and that’s because, people aren’t at work. They’re at home, they might be just flicking through Facebook or they could be on their computer. So, definitely between 7 and 8 in the morning, you could even go between 6 and 8 because some people are up nice and early, but then definitely night time. We post throughout the day on pages as well because there are people who are online through the day but yes, generally speaking, I would recommend if you’ve got something really important to tell people, that I would be posting that at night time.

Nick: Cool. What about the paid options specifically with Facebook. There seems to be a lot of them coming out recently and lots of different ones. It’s a bit confusing as to how you’re meant to use them. What are your recommendations on the paid options on Facebook?

Nicole: Yes, so the paid options are complicated a little bit because, look I’ve heard different people say I took the paid options and I didn’t get the results Facebook promised me and unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about that. You can kick and scream. you can send emails but it’s just a huge fight that I don’t need to say are totally in control of what happens on Facebook, but you know, you’ve got the opportunity to do a post or post a picture or an article or do a sales post and actually promote that. And so, Facebook will give you the option to promote on the right hand side bottom of that status update box and you can go through and you can select $5 that might be to promote it to 1,000 people or $10 monthly to promote it to 2000.

It just depends on your page numbers, the quote that they give you. You then go through, you promote, you pay, it get’s charged to your credit card and you’ll see in your news feed from time to time that there are posts that will be sponsored or promoted. They’ll have a little sponsored or promoted, the wording would be underneath the post and you’ll know that’s a paid post and those paid posts just happens to appear on your news feed. So, I think they are worth giving a try. I would not promote and pay to have every post promoted, but for example, if I’ve event got an event coming up, which I do, then I would tend to actually pay to promote that post. And look at that, it actually promotes it on people’s pages, all my friends, all the people who follow market me.

If I say I want to promote it to 5000 people, then 5000 people will see, generally will see that post. So, there’s more interaction obviously, they’re gonna have more people interacting and seeing that, more people liking it, so you know their friends are gonna see it more. So, that just gives you a greater chance to connect with the fans on your page. Sometimes when I do a post, only 300 or so people will see my post of nearly 6000 fans. So, it is worth something, it is worth thinking about, especially if you’ve got something important that people need to know and it just keeps that post out in the open, in people’s news feeds for a bit longer. So, normally, when you do a post, it would start to flick down as other post as newer post start coming towards the top and the newer post obviously seem less, less and less, but if you promoted posts, it does actually stay towards the top of people’s news feeds, which is really good.

The other thing you’ve got, I guess is your Facebook ads, and different industries, you know, they work better for, sometimes, I’ve seen it not work at all and some pages and other pages will have fantastic results. So it is just a trial and error kind of thing. If it works, it’s fantastic because you want to be marketing where the people are and there’s no doubt that people are around Facebook quite regularly for quite a long period of time, but you know you just have to test different things, don’t put an ad on and run it for a month to test it. Run it for a couple of days, if you’re not actually getting the click through and the likes, maybe you need to change the wording of the ads.

You might need to have a strong code to action or something along those lines but I guess Nick, when you bring it into context of people spending thousands dollars on Google Adwords and Google advertising, when they don’t really know what they’re doing, a little bit of money spent on Facebook to promote things, that is actually quite a good use of your resource. So, definitely get educated about what’s available, give it a try. It is all about trial and error when it comes to Facebook because we don’t quite often know how things are gonna go. But you know, don’t let the fact that its gonna be a small cost and a small investment, stop you from actually giving those things a try.

Nick: Great great. Something, it kind of sounds like the Facebook ads are a way of getting more fans and the promoted post are sort of promoting to your existing fans. Is that right or…?

Nicole: Yeah, yes, you will find and Facebook is still rolling all of this out too, so, I think there have been times when I’ve actually seen pages in my news feed that I’m not a fan of yet. So, it’s kind of like Facebook is giving me different pages that I might like to try and actually promote those pages and when you set up a Facebook ad, you have the option to actually do that, to have the page promoted to people who are aren’t already fans. So, you know, you might have like suggested pages in your news feed and something like that. Typically they will be the pages that have paid to have their page promoted or their post promoted, kind of thing. I think Facebook will start rolling out more paid options and it will put a little bit of strain on the pages that don’t take up those options because obviously, if someone’s paid for something to be promoted, then you don’t want to see that above the post that haven’t been promoted. So, as time goes on, there’s gonna be more and more options available but definitely it’s about brand of winners, growing numbers on your page, not for the sake of numbers. I’m not about having pages just put 10,000 fans on it from America.

When you have a local business here in Adelaide, it’s not about the numbers but, the statistics are that one out of every 10 fan, is actually going to be a customer they actually cost the material. So, the more that you have interacting on your page, the more that you post, the more that you promote, the better chance you have of growing those numbers and finding those people who are actually gonna be your customer. And quite often I’ve come across pages that my friends have been interacting with, it’s been a little flicker that comes up, the flicker on the right hand side that keeps flicking through everything that’s happening.

My friend will like a page about comment. I’ll go through, have a look and check it out and quite often I’ve been able to find great pages that way too. So, if those pages haven’t been posting and interacting with people, then obviously I wouldn’t have found them, so, they wouldn’t have had my like. So, soon, so yeah, it is definitely something that its worth looking into but it’s gonna get stronger, I think as time goes on. Facebook is such a huge site and I would hate to be the one in charge of running that site. It’s absolutely massive, so yeah, sometimes things happen, some businesses aren’t happy with but in the long run it’s a free marketing tool that businesses should definitely be using.

Nick: Great and so once people sort of have a handle on maybe that growing their page and they are getting some interactions and stuffs, do you have some recommendations or advice about how they can start to turn some of this social interaction into sales and lead? You’ve mentioned making some commercial posts amongst your other posts, is there any way in particular you sort of do you reckon towards a landing page or to an email list or…? What is a good way to do it?

Nicole: Yes, quite a number of ways. I guess the basics are posting about something that you offer. So, if you offer a service on your, you know you might post a link to the services pages on your website or if you offer, you’re a product based business and you’ve got a website and it’s got products that you want to promote, that you want to sell or get rid of or move along, you might actually do a featured product, spotlight kind of post once a week or a couple of times a week, twice a week max and which actually show people the kinds of products that you actually offer and the big thing is images. For example, there is a jewelry company that I absolutely love, I found the in Sydney and when I was traveling last year I think and I jumped on their page and I liked them and they just post pictures, photo albums full of beautiful jewelry, and every time I see it, I always have to go through and click through them and check through all the photos.

If they didn’t actually do that and they didn’t post photos that were kind of, I guess getting my appetite wet for purchasing jewelry and it probably wouldn’t be in my mind, you know what I mean? Or if I’m getting prepared to go and actually go and attend a wedding, of which I am, in a couple of months time. I’m on the look out for jewelry to wear and so whenever their pictures come up, I’m like, yeah, that’s totally perfect from what I’m after. So, you know, if you’ve got a product based business, set up some photo album and have your products pictured in there and with all those pictures, you can actually go through them and put on a link through where they can purchase it on the website. So, that’s a couple of ways you can do it.

The other thing obviously is your promoted post, your sponsored posts, which is what we’ve just done and some businesses also choose to run files on Facebook, and I wouldn’t recommend doing this too often but they do work well if you do one or two a year. So, you might load up a photo album, a sale album that has all of your current stock in there, the pictures, the prices that you want to sell it for, what the retail price is and then you might actually run an online sale for 2 hours on a Friday night.

I know I did this with the previous business that I had a hobby, craft kind of the home decorating business online and we generated about $800 on one Friday night, just from having an online sale. People didn’t have to leave their homes to attend my sale, they didn’t have to go to my website. We did it all straight from Facebook and it’s a great way to get that interaction happening because all your fans are coming to your page at 8 o’clock on Friday night to check out what is it you’ve got on sale. People are commenting, people are liking, all of that kind of thing and that is helping with your interaction and stuff as well.

Nick: If you don’t have a product based business, perhaps a service business or something that’s not visual, is the best practise is trying to be creative and get an image element from that or are there other ways?

Nicole: For example you are a carpet cleaning business and you’ve got a client here I’ve a client here under carpet cleaning business, we put on a lot of pictures, a lot of before and after pictures. If you’re a builder, you obviously be wanting to put images up of the projects that you’re working on and the finished pictures of the finished homes and buildings that you actually build. I guess the sale kind of thing doesn’t have to work for every kind of business and it doesn’t but what you could do with the service type business is actually run a special for the week. On this particular service, we will add a bonus, add in something or you’ll get something free, or we might offer you 3 hours worth of our time at a reduced rate or something else. Do you know what I mean?

It’s in the way that you sort of package things up, if you’re a carpet cleaning business, you might say I would do 4 rooms for the price of three for this week only. You have to book this week only and it’s not something that you want to do all the time but when you’re planning it, your marketing year it’s very important for you to plan and certain times that you will really push sales and sometimes we do need to actually run specials to actually get people in. The other thing that you just mentioned before is things like opt-in pages and sales pages and things like that. One of the big things in 2013 is people building a mailing list. You know if anything ever happens to Facebook or social media or if someone’s page got shut down for some reason, they would have lost all those contacts, that they’ve spent all of this time creating and building and bringing it together.

If you can get people to opt-in to your mailing list by giving them something for free, might be an ebook, could be a free paten, could be a free tip sheet on how to decorate your home and depending on your business for me, for marketing. I could give people a free ebook on 20 things to make sure you have right on your website, to make sure that you really optimize new visitors and sales and things like that.

Mailing lists are key because if someone decides that they are sick of
Facebook, they wouldn’t be on Facebook anymore, they’ve had enough, you know, they just need a break for a month, they’re not gonna see your post, they’re not gonna know what’s going on in your business, but if you’re been creative and managed to have them join your mailing list, not so we can stand them, I think we all know the rules by now. We all know what doesn’t work, but you can get people on your mailing list and you can email them once a month with the low down of what’s happening with your business, what your current special is, what they might have missed on Facebook.

If you wrote an article on your blog or something like that or you ran a podcast or you spoke on a podcast or you’re featured in a local paper or something like that, you can still tell people about what the highlights were of your months in an email. And so, it’s just another way to connect with people that’s not on social media. So, I would recommend that you set up a tab on Facebook and try your hardest to actually get your fans and your contacts from your Facebook wall, from your page on to your mailing list. And you know, I don’t, I think social media is around for a quite a bit longer yet but there’s chances that Facebook will not always be the next best thing, that it will not always be the key platform for you to be on right now.

So, we need to make the absolute most of our time and while Facebook is working, while it is actually something that people are spending time on. But yeah, there’s a number of different ways that you can promote your business and drum up business and create sales, and you know, it takes time Nick because sometimes you need to be posting for a good couple of months or even a year before someone will even trust you or trust what you do. Sometimes people follow me for a long time and I quite regularly get emails from people saying, Nick, I’ve been following you for 12 months, I think I need your assistance and over that time I’ve built trust and added value and I’ve helped them.

I’ve given them tips, I’ve given them motivation and inspiration. I’ve given them articles that’s gonna help them grow their business and help them think outside the box and to the point where they’re now ready to actually take that and create a sale for Market Me. So, it’s a bit of a process, you know. Facebook is not a sales platform, it’s more about the connection and the interaction that we can have with our clients, with their customers and it’s a good way to find new people who might be interested in what we offer as well.

Nick: Great, great. Yes, so great tips to finish up on. Just before we end this interview, you’ve got a series of workshops coming up called Business Outside The Box. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Nicole: Yes sure. So, I guess we wanted to have the opportunity to share some of the knowledge that we have with people in Adelaide and a lot of people say nothing ever happens in Adelaide, all of the big events go to the other capital cities, they dont come here and we just really wanted to provide an event where we could actually share business outside the box strategy with people. You’d be surprised at what people don’t know Nick. They think they understand marketing, they think they understand advertising, but there’s just so much more, you know.

Social media is huge, the different things that, online marketing, the different opportunities available to people are actually huge. So, I’ll actually come together with Nicole Laiden from Black Coffee Communication. She does a lot of offline marketing to people like press releases and a lot of the wordy kind of writing stuff for websites and things like that and so you know she, her and I get together and we got a workshop coming up called Business Outside The Box and it’s in mid March and it’s basically a 3 hour workshop, where the other Nicole deals with the offline marketing tools and resources available and then I go to dealing with the online marketing tools and resources available.

It’s absolutely huge. We have time for networking, we have time for meeting business owners and chat, we have time for questions, but really we’ve had some fantastic feedback. We ran a workshop very similar to this but pretty much the same thing in Victor Harbor, late last year and we had 12 people at the workshop and they all walked out of the room having learnt you know just so much and also feeling inspired to know that marketing is something that they can actually do themselves. They don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to other people, so, we talked about business outside the box strategy.

We really would just encourage people to maybe think about things that they haven’t tried before and also to feel confident to know that they can actually do that. So, it’s a fantastic event, it’s being held at Tiffany’s in the Park, which is on the edge of the city, so, it’s very, very local and accessible for everybody and the spot’s just starting to book out. So, if anyone is interested in attending that event, check out the Market Me page on Facebook, which is Facebook.com/nmmarketing and I’ve got a post that’s pinned to the top of the wall there and it will stay there until the event is finished.

We’re very excited about that and we love, one of our passions, both of us is just imparting and impacting people’s lives and changing their business, giving them fresh, clean, fun, inspirational ideas to actually just get them moving from just the functioning, existing in business kind of mentality to actually really taking them their marketing to the next level and seeing their bottom line grow. So, it’s gonna be a great event, we are very excited.

Nick: That sounds really good, sounds really interesting. Some of my listeners go along and check that out, and that Facebook page, is that the best place to go and find out more about you and your business?

Nicole: Yeah, and I’ve got a website as well marketmemarketing.com and most of the information’s there too, what Market Me is about, the services we offer, the events that we have coming up. There’s definitely a lot to be seen, you know, a lot to be learned, I guess about a business by checking out their Facebook page too. So, definitely head over and connect with me on Facebook. I’d love to meet you and hear from you.

Nick: Great. I’ll have links on the show notes for this episode. Anyone want to go check those out as well. Thanks very much for coming on the show Nicole. It’s been some really great tips in there. Hopefully, I’ll be out to kick start my page a bit more now and get those posts happening regularly, using the tips from this. Thanks very much for coming on the show.

Nicole: No worries, thanks Nick.

Nick: That brings us to the end of another podcast. For more information about this episode and all others head to our website. www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au

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20Dec

Ep#22: Copywriting, PPC, Video & Social Media Marketing Tips from Adelaide Experts

Provide value, measure everything, keep it simple, edit, edit, edit

This week I’ve got a collection of excepts from interviews I did on the Internet Marketing Adelaide blog in the past. I’ve decided to move my Adelaide internet marketing blogging stuff over to this website so this episode is sort of a celebration of some of the great content that’s over on the (now old) blog.

The topics are;

  • Video Marketing where I asked James Whitrow; what are five things business owners can do to leverage online video?
  • Social Media Marketing where I asked Tom Williamson; what are your Social Media posting best practices?
  • Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) where I asked Andrew Webber about Quality Scores and Chris Schwarz about the Search vs the Display networks
  • Copywriting where I asked Anna Butler and Karen Zaskolny; what are five things business owners can do to improve their web copy?

The excerpts were taken from the following interviews;

Also mentioned;

Internet Marketing Adelaide logo

29Nov

Ep#19: Introduction to Link Earning and the New SEO

The Death of Link Building and the Rebirth of Link Earning – Rand Fishkin

In this week’s episode we continue along our Content Marketing theme and drill down on the SEO aspect, specifically how the search engine optimisation practice of ‘link building’ is transitioning into ‘link earning. My guest this week is Woj Kwasi from Kwasi Studios. Woj had the great suggestion of getting out of the office and recording this interview out at Morialta Falls in the Giant’s Cave which was a stunning location (see pics below).

Some of the points covered in this episode;

  • How do you know what kind of content people are likely to link to?
  • Once you’ve created a piece of content, how do you actually get the links?
  • What does the future of ‘link building’ and other authority signals look like?
  • What are some steps business owners can take right away to start earning links?

Links / mentions;

Bonus points: Listen out for the following;

  • Kookaburra
  • Koala
  • Hikers

Recording the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast at Morialta Falls

 

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Nick: Welcome back to Episode 19 of the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. As always you can find out more about all of the shows we have done in the past on our website www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au.

This week’s show is going to be in the same vein as all of our previous episodes. So we were talking about content marketing in the past and this episode also deals with content marketing, but more specifically as it relates to SEO, and the ideas around creating links. Now, if you’ve listened to our previous episodes related to SEO, you’d know that creating links or link building is important, as this is a signal or a key signal that Google uses to actually determine which are the best websites, which are the websites that should rank high in the search engines that look at the number and the quality of incoming links.

This week’s episode was recorded in Morialta Falls, in the Adelaide Foot Hills, in the Giant’s Cave, a suggestion by my guest for the week. I have to say, it certainly beats being in the office or being in a coffee shop. Brilliant view of the valley and a nice sound of wild life in the background, so you can hear those.

My guest this week is Woj Kwasi from Kwasi Studios and as I said, the topic relates around link earning. Now, Rand Fishkin from SEO Moz describes the death of link building and the re-birth of link earning. So, he’s talking about the transition from the old way of doing things. When you think of building links, you think of going out and getting links to the new way of doing things, where you create content that’s good and that earns links on its own. So, the real idea is creating that good content links.

Woj Kwasi, my guest, he’s had over 14 years in the RT industry and after bouncing back and forth between Adelaide and Sydney, decided to launch his business, Kwasi Studios in July 2011. Now, he tells me that the first year was pretty difficult, he was working 12 hour days, 8 days a week, although there was a silver lining because he was working from home and he didn’t have to wear pants but after getting married earlier this year, he set himself the goal of doubling his business over the following 12 months, but ended up doing it in 1 month. He’s since opened an office in Modbury, hired 3 employees dubbed the K-Team and he was featured recently in the advertisers’ business section.

So, before I launch into the interview, I just want to say congratulations to Woj on his recent success with growing his business, getting married and opening his office. So, it’s really good to hear with Adelaide business being successful. We’re going to sort of launch into the interview where Woj is going to be telling us how business owners should know what type of content is going to start earning them links, so how do they get into that. Let’s go to the interview now.

Woj: There’s a number of different ways to sort of ascertain that. You can run some experiments, look at the industry trends. Sometimes you can use your gut, instincts I guess, based on past experiences but I think it really depends on your audience and really depends on what you’re targeting. So, really if the content‘s right, it should sort of earn the links naturally, providing useful resources, just providing sort of, you have to get imaginative with the content as well.

People tend to get stuck in this loop where web pages need to be text and a photo, and maybe a video but you can actually be quite creative these days and provide something quite small, even something that is a process in your own business. You can make that into a tool. It makes your life easier, then why not share that to the rest of the world. They will link to it, they will use it, they’ll be happy for it, they’ll talk to their people about it, and sort of be shared. So, there’s lots of different ways of producing content. I’m pretty sure that’s not what you’re asking.

Nick: No, I was just, how do people sort of know what good content to create? I think you hit a note pretty well, something that business owners often miss out or they don’t really see because they’re so familiar with how their business works. They feel like it’s boring, it’s not particularly interesting, their processes, but they might not realize that from an outside perspective how that particular process for doing something like creating a tool that does something useful or maybe some video or some stuff from within the company that can be interesting content which can be relatively easy to create and also difficult for competitors to copy because it’s sort of your process.

Woj: Exactly and also, don’t talk about yourself, don’t self-promote. If you are going to talk about yourself, do it in a transparent way. Talk about things that are happening in your business rather than, don’t chest beat and I think you get a lot of success out of that.

Nick: So, the focus being providing value as opposed to advertising. really.

Woj: Yeah exactly because people are getting more savvy. People don’t have that custom preference anymore, like they used to. People aren’t loyal to brands. Things get commoditized over time, so it’s really important to stand out and be memorable at that first point of contact. So, I think you can produce stuff from within your company that can sort of reflect that.

Nick: Yep. Absolutely. You mentioned creativity and again, I’ll put some links in the show notes. You’ve got quite a few creative things on your website with your robot-sort-of logo and your characters and stuff you’ve done within your posts.

Woj: We’re trying to practice what we preach. We’re doing things for our clients, but we’re doing things for ourselves as well. We’re being transparent. It’s a little bit strange, but it’s actually quite worthwhile and it’s interesting because I have some clients that are quite dubious about being transparent, because there is a lot of fear about online world. You have some clients are quite paranoid about identity theft and that sort of thing but you don’t have to be transparent in that kind of way, I mean you can be transparent by just taking photos of your backyard pretty much, figuratively speaking.

Nick: Yeah, it’s sort of almost being real, being a person or letting people know that there are people in your business. It’s often talked about as the corporate face or the corporate wall that is sort of faceless company that people can’t really relate to and that is what you don’t want to be. You want to be sort of real and you want to be sort of friendly and being that, having that transparency is a way for people to sort of feel you out and form a relationship with you almost and feel much better and easier about becoming a customer of you.

So, once people sort of have this content idea, they’ve thought about some stuff in their business or they’ve come up with a great article, a great resource or a great tool, they’ve created it, they’ve got it on their website, how do they get it out there? How do they try to get links, how do they get people to see it?

Woj: So, I guess that’s an important part of the content strategy. So, if we talk about content strategy for a bit, it’s important to get that right, because you really need to plan. You can’t sort of expect a bit of content to work well on itself, it’s like firing fireworks, if people’s watching it at the time, then they will see it but if they’re not looking, they’ll miss it. So, it’s like Twitter, I think there’s like an hour gap for a tweet or something like that. I think there was a study or an article on SEO was from Tweet Deck, not Tweet Deck, Follow gram they did something recently.

You don’t really have much of a chance or if you haven’t planned, so there’s a lot of different distribution channels, you know, social media. Newsletters, newsletters are a really good one because they’re quite direct and it’s sent to an already established audience, but I think building an audience is probably the key. So, doing things like guest posting, but not guest posting in a gung-ho kind of way, putting yourself in front of an audience that’s already established.

Nick: So, guest posting, just a little bit of stop there, that’s where you write a blog post on someone else’s blog, and this could be like an industry blog or industry magazine, an online magazine or some of other related industry which we share similar sort of custom.

Woj: Yeah, exactly. It’s a bit hard because there’s not too many really good Australian ones out there or there are but they’re really hard to get onto but if you search hard enough, there’s ways to sort of get in there. You just have to be creative about things and you have to think outside the box. Nothing is easy.

Nick: If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, so…

Woj: Yeah exactly. There’s no kind of, this is how you get people to link to your stuff, because it depends on your audience but if you create that content strategy, plan things and then maybe even target some different personas, work out with frequent, maybe forums, maybe there’s some niche kind of sites, blogs, maybe influences as well. Get involved with some influences, let them do the work for you.

Nick: So, I think what you’re saying here, it seems like you’re saying, as opposed to creating the content and trying to promote it, more focus on building an audience first, maybe figuring out what kind of content they might like, then creating it and then sort of telling them about it.

Woj: Exactly.

Nick: And you mentioned influences there again, which is, sort of people within the market place who have a lot of influence.

Woj: Exactly, people that already have an established audience. If they’ve already got an established audience, then you already have a leverage of them. I think Tom Crutchlow did a talk, his final talk on SCM was sort of talking about that sort of thing. I can’t remember the guy, he mentioned but he used an example of this guy. He had a big audience following of people and they leverage, they got a guest post in front of all these people and it was very targeted and it was quite successful.

Nick: And so, for the average small business owner, should the audience be like local or should they be like friends within Adelaide or can they look wider to Australia, even if they’re sort of …

Woj: I guess it depends on the context of the article, but yeah, they can. It has to be relevant to the audience. If you’re a local pizza shop, you wouldn’t put an article up on menu log or something and target, talk about the best pizza in Bondi or something like that. You would want to make it local.

Nick: Yep, so you want to be targeting the local audience and probably something else to sort of, the thing about it is not necessarily the largeness of your business, the numbers, it’s really more of the quality. So, if you can have a small audience which is highly targeted, then that’s completely going to be better than the large audience that aren’t really sort of your customer.

Woj: So, it’s the whole kind of referral thing. If you’ve got clients, let them be your advocates and let them be your voice, because they’re already engaged so, let them kind of do some of the work for you in a way but it is hard to sort of initially establish that because it involves planning and finding the right kinds of target, but once you get it …

Nick: Alright. We’ve touched on this question a little bit, but it’s basically with the popularity of social media, it seems like people these days, don’t sort of link so much. They’re more tweeting and sharing on Facebook and sharing on Google Plus. Is this a problem for people wanting to build links?

Woj: Nah, it’s great. I think Google uses social metrics as part of the algorithm as well. I mean it’s a good way to, I mean people are a bit up in the air, some people say yes and some people say no, but I mean, it makes sense. If someone tweets something, then Google can crawl that tweet or even using Google Plus. It knows that it’s being shared and the way they’ve set up Google Plus, where everything is verified and, it’s reasonably hard to set up a fake Google Plus profile. So, I don’t think, I think social adds to link building, you should be out of, like once it comes to putting in front of our audience, then you could tweet the link and it could go quite viral but if you put up a guest post on, let’s go back to the pizza shop example, on pizzaloversgreat.com and there’s no one like reading that article, who’s going to tweet it? Who’s going to, and Google will see that signal and go, this isn’t great.

Nick: Exactly. So, really, people should be thinking about social signals certainly on the positive light as well as links.

Woj: They go hand in hand, because both are great deliverers of inbound traffic.

Nick: Absolutely. So, finishing off this episode, lets finish off with, what are some steps that my listeners can take, to sort of start getting into this link earning thing?

Woj: I guess it depends. If they’re business owners, then they need to start thinking about things differently. If you are already engaged in an SEO agency, stop quantifying your monthly spend by the amount of links acquired, start thinking about planning and aligning all your resources, whether it be your internal staff, external agencies or to a content strategy.

Everyone needs to be on the same page, you need to come up with a core idea and then basically work out a little bit of the work flow, who’s in charge, a core strategy statement that will enable people to be on the same page and also, start thinking about not just SEO but other channels, other free channels. We’re working on a guide at the moment called Inbound Marketing Town, which should be a little map. It will have little, we’ll try to explain I guess the different methods of inbound marketing as little town landmarks, so hopefully that should help.

Nick: Great, yeah. When is that expected to come out?

Woj: We’re working on the graphics at the moment, so, hopefully in the next week or so.

Nick: Great, this episode should be out after that, so I’ll try and put a link in the show notes for that and people can go check it out and just to go back summarizing some of the points we mentioned during the interview. So, audience is something that people should really be thinking about and thinking about early. Trying to pull that audience early and so identify some influences within the market place, and from there we flow into a strategy, mentioned strategy several times, so make sure you have a strategy in mind before you sort of go in there and start just creating content willy nilly.

Woj: Exactly and just make great stuff, be imaginative. Try to get creative, and if you can’t get creative, outsource.

Nick: Outsource, to a friend or person.

Woj: Yeah.

Nick: Great. Well I think that brings us to the end of this episode. We’re going to come back with Woj next episode and talk about some specific examples of link earning. So, certainly tune in for that episode to get your head around this topic a little bit further, but thanks very much for joining us this week and if anyone wants to find out more about you, that’s kwasistudios.com. How’s that spelled?

Woj: K w as i studios.com and you can follow me on Twitter at wojkwasi w o j k w a s i.

Nick: Fantastic.

Woj: Thanks Nick.

Nick: I hope you found that interview useful. You can tune in next week for the second part of my interview with Woj. We’re going to be talking a bit about some examples of link earning campaigns, some pieces of content with links to sort of give you a little bit more of an idea of how the system works and sorts of content that can earn links.

As always, if you want to find any more information about this show, get links and any of the stuff we’ve talked about, links to Woj’s website and his details, head to our website, that’s www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au and there’s show notes for each episode. So, you can go to our index on the menu bar on the top, there’s an index link or you can just go back through the episodes one by one. You can actually listen to the episodes right in the webpage there or you can hit the links off to iTunes or to download the Podcast onto your computer and listen to them later.

As I said, tune in next week for next week’s episode and until then , have a good one.

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22Nov

Ep#18: How to Get Started with Content Marketing

How to get started on your content marketing strategy

This week is part 2 of my interview with Steve Davis from Baker Marketing about content marketing for small businesses. In part 1 we had an introductory discussion about content marketing and in this episode we move onto some tips for getting started on your content marketing activities and strategy.

Covered in this episode;

  1. What are some ways to brainstorm and generate some unique content ideas?
  2. How often should we be creating content?
  3. How do we get people to come and consume our content?
  4. Do you recommend any tools or services to help get content out to a wider audience?
  5. How do we encourage our content consumers to become our customers?

Links / mentions;

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: Welcome back to Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. This week, we’re talking about Content Marketing again. We have Part 2 of my chat with Steve Davis from Baker Marketing. In Part 1, we addressed the Introduction to Content Marketing. In this episode, we’re going to delve into how to get started with your content marketing strategy. Let’s hear the interview now.

I’m back here talking with Steve Davis from Baker Marketing about Content Marketing For Small Businesses. In Part 1, we covered a bit of the Introduction to Content Marketing, what it’s all about, and in Part 2 we’re going to be looking into how to do it and what businesses can sort of start getting into it.

Welcome back to the show Steve.

Steve: Thanks Nick.

Nick: Let’s start off with what are some typical pieces of content or content marketing that many sort of, small business owners might have seen around the place that they may be doing, just to sort of get an idea of what some things are out there.

Steve: Ifyou’ve known me for more than 10 seconds, you would know that I’m going to start with the blog. I believe blog articles, are almost like the DNA. They’re the foundation building blocks for content marketing for just about every business type and the reason being, is this sort of content is very, very versatile. First of all, once we’ve sat down and worked out, as we talked about in Part 1, Thinking Through a Marketing Strategy, what are the challenges faced in the business, how do we try and draw more people into or world, what sort of people are we after.

Once we’ve got that sorted out, then we can start thinking about the questions that are going to be floating around in those people’s minds on their journey towards your product or service and blog articles are a great way to lay the bait out there, if you like, and we’re talking online particularly here, Google, the search engines, seem to have a love affair with blog content. Typically, blog articles are short and to the point and they’re focused on a particular topic and they’re updated regularly, all the things that search engines like.

So when I go looking for something which might be how to choose a good sunscreen for my 4 year old, it’s beholden, I think, on anyone, in the cosmetics game or is making those sort of pharmaceutical products, like the sunscreen for instance, have anticipated some of those questions and has got a blog post with a title as specific as that or close to it, as they’re anticipating all the different questions that Moms and Dads might be plugging in, and indeed Childcare Managers etc. might be plugging in to do a little research before they make decisions on what sunscreen for example that they’re going to be buying. So, blog content is great there. It’s easy to produce once you’ve got some training in just what the basic elements are.

The search engines love it and also I think, that if a schedule is going to be stuck to of producing it regularly, it’s to me, the most potent bit of professional development anyone could ask for because someone in that business or a small team is going to be giving themselves permission, and also exercising discipline to sit down once a week, or once a fortnight, whatever it might be, to write something that actually brings the world of their prospect together to their world, in a way that helps Google, the great matchmaker in the sky, bring them together. I don’t know that you can actually buy that sort of professional development. It almost has to be done in-house, from meditating on the marketing plan and meditating deeply on the ideal person you’re trying to court through your marketing. That was a long answer.

Nick: No that’s good. That’s good stuff. I’m glad to hear that you’re an evangelist for blogs because I’m also in that camp as well. I love the blog medium and the good news for business owners of course is that it’s so easy to get into blogging with systems like WordPress out there which is for free. You probably may need some help to set it up the first time but after that it’s fairly easy, fairly intuitive to get in there and just start using it.

Steve: One other thing on top of that, and yes, my heart just skipped a beat when you mentioned WordPress. I have a strong love affair for that. In fact my default position if anyone is looking to build a website these days is if it’s in WordPress, unless you’ve got a really good reason otherwise, I think she’s seeing some figures of the top million websites on the planet and 68% of them are in WordPress. I would have, that is a staggering figure.

It broadens out to about 1 in 5 when you take the whole internet, but in the top million websites, that is a big chunk. Anyway, I digressed – there was something you mentioned there I was going to react to, about WordPress being, oh yes, the other thing about blog articles in they’re easy to share because most WordPress and other blogging software and content management system software does make it easy, if I like an article, to flick it on to someone I know, through my Facebook friends, through my Twitter friends.

And in fact, I heard an article, sorry I read an article, must be about 3 or 4 weeks ago now, with one of the top marketers with Coca-Cola who was saying that the absolute key to success in marketing online these days is to make everything you do shareable and to me, I read 2 things from that. Shareable is I’ve got to like it. It’s got to be interesting in the first place otherwise, it’s not going to be shareable and secondly in some way, in some sort of format that can be flicked on through my network.

You might recall in our first interview, we talked about advertising versus content marketing. The thing about shareable content, is if I share it, my friends are going to be more open to your piece of content that I’m sharing than if you’re paying money to advertise it at them, because it’s coming through a trusted source to them someone like them, well fairly much like them and so there’s a lot more trust when a friend passes something on than an advertiser because advertisers obviously are going to give you the Walt Disney version of their business, but if I like something, then my personal integrity is on the line with my friends if I bother them in passing it on.

Nick: Definitely, definitely, and just a note on WordPress. We mentioned Word Press a couple of times, and my listeners will remember we had an episode about WordPress a few weeks ago. So, if you want a bit more information about WordPress, you can go and check that out.

Now that sort of people know that blogs are a good place to start, how are, what are the type of ways that the business owners can brainstorm ideas for this content element in writing?

Steve: There are so many different ways to do this. If you’ve got a website that’s been going for a while, one of the most obvious things is to look at your analytics. I imagine Google analytics or whatever and have a look deep into the search terms that brought people to your website because apart from just your business name, which is likely to be there towards the top, you’re going to find questions and phrases people have been typing into and to me, that is the signal that this is the sort of content that people are looking for. So that’s one place to start.

There’s another search engine and I’m hoping the name will come back to me in a moment – even though I work in this field all the time, I’m not a great, I’m not given to all the latest hip names on everything, and they go in one area or the other but I’ll follow up for the show notes. There’s a search engine that allows you to say, throw in some URLs, some web addresses, let’s say 10 or so of your closest competitors, and it actually goes through them one by one and it looks for where and how often each page of piece of content of their website has been shared in social media or social networks. To me, that’s fascinating, because you’re going to get a good sense instantly in your sector of what sort of articles are resonating with people out there. You’ll say, wow this has gone crazy on Twitter or there’s a lot of activity, we can produce something like that. So, that gives you an idea on what the market’s after.

Another thing that I find – are you going to me ask me something there?

Nick: I was just going to say that I’ve heard of that search engine also and we’ll definitely have a link in the show notes once we figure out which one it is.

Steve: It will come to me midway through, another coffee and it will be right.

The other thing that I like using, another Google tool actually is, to sit down with the Google Key Word tool at googlekeywordtool.com and punch in some of the key words related to a business and generate a list of all the related terms that Google think are related to your field because, in there, if you sat down with that, and you went word or phrase by phrase and drafted titles for blog posts for example, using these terms, such as, what could be an example, making coffee. Let’s say the coffee realm, so if I looked in for making coffee, then I’m sure Google will bring up how to make coffee, how to make coffee at home, how to make coffee in the office etc.

To me, this is a great insight because you know there’s traffic related to these terms and you can mold them into your world by turning them into article titles because if we know what sort of things our audience is interested in looking for, what we’re after, are idea starters, to try and get ideas out of our head. And one of the ways is that list of articles, about a hundred or so words that Google will give you. If you sat down – I often do this with clients with a bottle of wine involved, takes about an hour and stop each of those words one by one, does this apply to our business or not? Yes or no. If it does, how can we turn it into a title?

We’d make a big list of potential article titles, with maybe a bullet point underneath of what we’d write about in that article and once we’ve done that brainstorming and we’ve got say 52 article titles on that list, that’s a years’ worth of potential articles waiting to be written. To me, I know this because I’ve seen it happen with the thousands of clients I’ve worked with, it breaks the back of the task, because when it comes to blog day with might be Tuesday or Wednesday or Saturday or whatever, even in the busiest, most stressful week, if you’ve got that starter title, you can still churn something out that’s useful and helpful but in the middle of a stressful week, if I just said, write a blog quick Nick, hurry up, our brains tend to freeze, because they like having their focus. So, there are the starting points of the kernel of content.

Nick: Great points. I’ll just mention a few tips that I’ve heard mentioned in the stuff that I use as well with content generation ideas. One, you mentioned Google analytics ad one tip I’ve heard sort of described is where you look at particularly questions that we’ve sort of talked about a little bit but also other terms where someone’s come to your website but then they’ve left really quickly.

If you look at that and see that this is actually relevant to you, if it’s not relevant then you can sort of ignore it, but if it is relevant, they’ve come in and then they’ve left, you know you’re at least ranking somewhere there, assuming such query but you know they weren’t really satisfied with what you had. So, that’s sort of a good, ID for a piece of content where it might be pretty to rank well and go because you already ranked somewhat well for that term and that may be a place to start when you just don’t know where to start.

And one other was a search engine or a tool called ubersuggest, where it actually takes, taps into Google’s auto suggest feature, so, when you’re in Google, when typing in your query, it often come up with a little drop-down with suggestions of what your query might be. This tool, it would suggest, taps into that and gives you a list of suggestions based on a starting query and I’ll have those links again in the show notes for some extra information.

Now, within there, you said, you mentioned 52 pieces of content and you’d have enough for a year. So does that mean that people should be aiming for like a weekly schedule for putting out content or …

Steve: Look, it’s hard to prescribe generally without sitting down with someone, but I think it’s a good rule of thumb, just the way, from my understanding the way the human brain works. You can get a bit of a habit and a ritual going if you’re sticking to something weekly. It also feeds the search engines nicely, so when those spiders come visiting your website, they see there’s a good regular trickle of new content and also, once week within a nice, an original piece of content, builds up a great library for you before too long that becomes quite handy in a way, I often refer to it as the doctor’s bag.

Because I’ve got little children 4 and 2, and every now and then you’ve got to call the locum at 2 in the morning and what always staggered me is, inside the doctors’ bag, there’s always something that fixes the problem. I don’t know how it works or how they do it, for all I know it’s a placebo, but your blog becomes a doctors bag before too long, and you’re shopping on the weekend or you bump into someone at the café, and they are like, Oh you’re that marketing guy, whatever, you get involved in conversation. Yeah, I’ve been meaning to ask you about XY Zero, you will suggest for example, oh yeah. It’s not conducive to a big conversation, but they’re interested in more.

You say, look, I’ve written an article, I reckon was a few months ago on that, can I send you the link? And at that point they can give you their business card, if they don’t have one, you can jot down their email address, jot down what you’re going to send them, and you’ve got this lovely, warm connection with them that’s just about to happen, where they’ll click the link, read the article and at that point in time, they’re reading that on your website because hopefully, that’s where you’re blogging. If they like what they see there, they know how to contact you. I think it’s a win win and so, I rarely go a week without prescribing from my doctor’s bag at least three times. In fact, it’s never been less than that. It’s amazing, once you’ve got a body of work, how often you’re doling out these prescriptions of things to read.

Nick: Right, so, if you are sort of really enthusiastic and want to get on top of it more than once a week then you think that’s – is there any limit as to how many, I mean obviously, is once a day too much or…?

Steve: You know, I think it’s all going to depend, sector by sector. There are going to be some sectors, particularly those if retailers and fashion or where there’s a lot of fast moving things and trends going on that I know, certain market segments are hungry for lots of content. They don’t want to miss anything and that would be fine, however, there are going to be some, where that would just be overkill.

Mind you, I don’t want to make the mistake that some people make that, Oh I’m going to blog and I’m going to be bamboozling everyone, well not necessarily. People can still choose, and one thing I’m careful to say to people is, you’re not writing a serial novel necessarily that someone’s going to be chiming in for week in week out or day in and day out. Often, each article you write is a discreet piece of content, a distinct piece that’s going to float out there in the big Google sea, to attract a certain user with a certain question. It’s case by case, I think on that front.

If you can do it and sustain it, that’s great generally but because of the small business where people are stretched for time, I think weekly is fine, it’s the right balance for most people and through the week of course, you’ve got less intensive things you can share, such as sharing interesting little photographs or snaps or videos, etc. that you can quickly generate and turn around on your smart phone that feed into your social streams, without the brain drain than perhaps, putting a whole blog piece together demands.

Nick: Great. Well there’s some good tips to start with the content creation side of things. I’d like to delve now into the content marketing, or the marketing side of the content marketing thing. So, how should people go about getting this content out, to their audience or their potential customers?

Steve: Firstly, if you’re using WordPress, WordPress is your platform, you’ve done about 70% of the work. Just the way that Google just tends to love how the architecture of the WordPress site is, they can understand and share things.

However it’s not quite enough for the whole job. I think listening to your market, to determine where they gather, to determine what sort of things they’re searching on, what social networks are attracting more of them, that’s important. The most mandatory thing I think, is sharing your content through a Google Plus page. Primarily because Google has made some public statements, people within Google that they are giving added advantage to content shared through Google Plus. So, I’d be sharing links to my content back through there.

That’s a no-brainer but then, thinking strategically about what might interest people around a Facebook page or group or through a Twitter account with some of the content that you’ve shared. So, it’s one thing to write an article, another thing is to invite the hook in different ways to get it out to people. But at the same time, I think that – by the way, a tool I use for it is Hootsuite, huge fan of Hootsuite, the fact that I can disseminate my content across a number of platforms all at once. It’s hard to talk in general terms but I love using Hootsuite as an eavesdropping tool, for listening in on conversations that are using terms that to me, signal someone who is somewhere along my pathway.

Back on the coffee thing, just briefly, both Patrick, from Patrick Baker and I have a little coffee brand called Baristador which we use as a, we do al lot of experimentation with it and one of its key points, the difference, it’s top level espresso coffee but you choose your caffeine strength. So, it’s a niche health market that is there. So, I’ve got a listening search set up inside Hootsuite for the term decaf and coffee together, listening to key markets around Australia, and it’s amazing, you pick up some people who just say decaf coffee and it’s a whole lot of expletives they hate it.

They’re not my market, but when people are saying, I’m really looking to try good decaf coffee, that is where you’ve got the chance to fling them a piece of content from your doctors bag if you like. You say oh, here’s an article that helps, or is it possible to have more espresso in the day without feeling too horrible and cramped in your stomach. Well I’ve written a blog post on the Baristador site around that topic, so they’ve asked publicly. I said look, here’s an article than may help you with that thing. So you can actually then start using this body of content that answers questions that people are asking in the real world.

Nick: Great, great, great topic. Let’s sort of look at again, past the marketing, into sort of the conversion world. How should we or how should business owners be encouraging these people who are consuming their content to actually become customers?

Steve: I think a lot of that’s going to come down to where that person is along in the purchase decision process. The beauty of content marketing, is, if you’ve considered the typical marketing sales funnel, we put a big wide end and it goes into a narrow end. The narrow end, the point at which the sale actually happens but way out in the broad pit, we don’t know that we need that product or service yet.

A lot of the content you’ll find out there isn’t going to go necessarily go straight to the conversion but what it does do is to bring order out of the chaos for someone. Like for example, I’m dabbling in an android device at the moment. I’ve been an IOS man for a long time and so I’ve been looking at content marketing articles written by people whom I have a sense of trust about to give me some guidance on what are the better ones to choose. So, they’re not necessarily into direct sale just yet, I am narrowing my field.

Now it just so happens, if some of those are vendors, then, they’re on my shortlist so that when I have made my decision, they may not get the sale, but they are on the shortlist and one of the outcomes of most marketing pursuits, is to get you on to the shortlist of a consumer. We all make shortlists, sometimes we’re not aware of it because it’s an inconsequential decision. You’re walking down the street to buy ice cream, or coffee. It’s a short list, there’s 2 cafés, you just make a quick decision and off you go. More elaborate ones like getting another piece of electronic device in my house, past my wife, needs to have a lot more thought that goes into it so I can justify that and so, I am going to rely on that content and I will owe something to the people who have helped bring clarity on the way.

I think that movement towards a conversion can happen without being obnoxious about it. I think gently making reference to your Top 5 picks of android devices for example, which might then go to a different page, where there they all are, not only with your ratings but with the ability to order one now or buy one now. To me, that’s a soft sell, that’s a nice way to graduate the movement.

Another situation might be one where perhaps in the health field, where you can’t really prescribe publicly, but you can say look, these are the things to be concerned about in this field, let’s correct the sunscreen for children that we talked about in podcast 1. For making the final decision, maybe even think about your child’s skin type and allergies, please make an appointment to talk to one of our doctors or nurses who can help you with those final decisions. I think gently letting people know what the next step is, what we call the call to action, is a rightful thing to have in this content, but the way you do it should come after some good content.

It doesn’t hurt though, when they’re reading content to have direct calls to action in the side column where there might be special offers, waiting for people to pursue it because if there’s one thing we know about humans, they hate being sold to, but they love buying. If your content marketing is helping me on this journey, an enjoyable journey of making a choice, no there it is, beckoning for me to make the sale on the corner, then I’m in control and I can click that through and feel like I’ve owned the whole process. I don’t feel like I’ve been hood-winked into it.

Nick: Great, great tips and I suspect that this question will be a fairly varied answer but is there some sort of a guideline you can give us to how long business owners should expect to wait, or how long will it take before they start seeing results from content marketing strategy.

Steve: Your preamble is correct. The answer is it depends. It depends on the size, the expense, the complexity of the purchase decision. How many choices there are on the market? I’ve had situations where it’s turned around very quickly, within weeks people are generating sales, but others where it’s taken a lot longer when they’re talking about people buying a $5,000 or $6,000 charter for example, going back to my fishing company. That may not be the most expensive thing they’re ever going to buy but they’re also going to talk to friends and then get dates organized. So you have to be realistic, about what’s going on in the world of the customer to make that final purchase decision.

So, I wish I could just dole out one, I can’t. It does depend on a case by case basis but also, even within the one enterprise, product by product or service by service. There’s going to be some products or services in your portfolio that are much easier to move towards a transaction and buy. There are going to be others that take longer, so even with the one company, there’s going to be differences across the spectrum.

Nick: Yep, yep. So is there any tips or statistics or ways that you can give for people to sort of know they’re on the right track. If it could take a long time perhaps, start seeing the results of from this content marketing stuff they’re doing. How can they make sure they’re staying on track and that they’re doing the right things?

Steve: So, again, this is an it depends question, because what you’re asking for their benchmarks if you like, or milestones to know that you’re heading towards the right destination, and you’re making progress. Some people just look at sheer numbers of are you maintaining the number of blog posts, are you getting a certain number of likes or a certain degree of traffic, or is your bounce on your website starting to shrink and not be too high? At Baker Marketing, aside from that, we’ve got an age old little formula we use, that whenever someone’s – apart from finding some benchmarks that works on a case by case basis, at the back of our minds and at the back of our talk, it is always just one thing.

If someone is saying, we just don’t think what we’re doing is working, the formula is frequency x reach x quality. So, often, people say it’s not working, and you look back through let’s say the blog articles or the videos they’ve been making, and they bore you to death. They are irrelevant, or they’re stodgy or they’re hard sell and they just not, people are not going to rate them, so quality would die there. There may be a writing great quality, but what’s the reach? How many of your target market are actually getting to see them?

It may be well to have it there in your website, but where have you drip feathered into a forum or shared it to an answer, a question someone’s asking in LinkedIn answers or on Twitter etc. That’s one thing and frequency, how often have you been producing and or sharing this content? What we have found, in the 12, 14 years we’ve been practicing, is that 1 of those factors or 2 is often the smoking gun if you’re not generating sales at the other end, which is what that formula leads to and that’s a handy little rule of thumb to bear in mind. That will determine where there needs more effort to be placed.

Nick: Absolutely, that makes sense. I think we’ll wrap it up there. Thanks very much Steve for all your insights on content marketing. It’s been a really great chat on this episode, on the last episode as well. If business owners want to get the ball rolling on content marketing, what would be sort of your one tip for how they should get started?

Steve: Well, if they happen to be anywhere around South Australia, I would get them to take advantage of our little chat with Patrick himself. He makes himself available for an hour chat free of charge. That is not a sales spiel, it’s actually a solid little chat out of which often comes a good sense of strategic direction, even within that first hour, and to me, everything I talk about has to, needs to, must come from that setting of the compass, which is the marketing strategy, the base of any of the operations. If they do that, to me, that’s making most sense of it. If they’re not going to do that, then taking stock themselves of what are the big challenges faced in the company? Where do they, what have they set themselves to go and what sort of content is going to be most helpful for the type of market they’ve identified.

So, I wish there was something to say, just go ahead and start writing a blog, but if we don’t know which direction we’re heading, we’re going to have a lovely journey, and we’ll look at some scenery, but we may never get to the stage we actually care about.

Nick: And before I let you go, I just wanted to touch on some of the workshops and things. I know I’ve just been seeing the name, Baker Marketing, popping up everywhere. If someone’s ever going to get this same interview with you because you taught different occasions where you go and do workshops everywhere. Can you tell us a little bit about these events and how business owners can sort of get involved?

Steve: First thing, get involved. I would just give out office a call or have a look on our website, but nothing quite beats just making direct contact, bakermarketingservices.com because the people in the office there have the big master plan of wherever we’re heading and where I’m going. Strangely enough, I’m often the last person to ask. I just look at my calendar and off we go.

The sort of things we’re doing, we’ve been lucky enough to win a number of the attenders for the National Broad Band Network, to roll out some marketing for small business and small organization programs in South Australia and Northern Territory and so, they take people through the basics of thinking through IT requirements, Marketing requirements etc., Business systems in the oncoming culture of having access to the NBM to get them right. So, that’s one form of workshop.

Other are business enterprise centers and other organizations get us in, what have I done recently? Strategic blogging, I’ve done particular workshops for that also, executive board strategy presentations, just for board members to get ahead around the concepts. We do practical ones on using some of the social media tools. One of the most popular ones that comes up all the time as we shoot out into the regions, is starting with the basis on blogging and then moving through how to get that information now.

As a matter of fact, at the time that we’re recording this, I’m heading off to the Coonawarra, for women in business regional development running to intensive days of a social media master class, doing the keynote talk in the evening, having some one on one meetings with people. So, we basically run a lot of workshops on all the aspects of marketing and we just get approached non-stop to do that and that means I am on the road a lot of the time doing it.

What I love about it, is you get that instant feedback form people, you can see arms crossed when they’re defensive, when they first hear that I’m going to be challenging some of their thoughts and making them do a bit more extra work, to go a bit harder for their business and that’s the battle, to help them relax, help them see they’ve got no choice, but there are some smart ways to manage their time to make it sustainable.

I don’t know how well that answered your question but, many ways, shapes and forms, these workshops take and turning up so many, you no doubt at some point, there’s programs running through the hills between Onkapringa region and through Darwin at the moment along with one offs here and there.

Nick: Great, great and I’ll put some links in the show notes as well to where you can find out some more information about that.

Thanks very much Steve, for coming on the program. It’s been really fantastic having you. Where can people find out more about Baker Marketing, at the website? Is it the best place?

Steve: I think it’s the place. I’ll give you 2 things, 1 is the website which is bakermarketingservices.com and I encourage you to pop on there but also on Twitter, it is probably as good as anywhere, baker_marketing is our Twitter handle.

One thing I forgot to mention is the first Sunday of every month, in the evening, I’m on 5AA with a regular radio program talking about things happening on the web and also profiling websites that I find interesting around South Australia and beyond. So, I encourage people to listen out for that and I’m happy to connect on Twitter, at stevedavis, all one word.

Nick: Great, fantastic. Well thanks again for coming on the show and enjoy the rest of your trip up to Coonawarra.

Steve: Pleasure Nick. I’ll have a drink for you.

Nick: Cheers!

I hope you enjoyed that second episode with Steve Davis. If you didn’t hear the first episode, then you should go back to episode number 17 and check that out as well. If you want any more information about any of the stuff we discussed in this episode, head to the show notes on the website, that’s www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au. It’s got links to Steve’s website, Baker Marketing website, the social profiles that we discussed, various links to different tools and things we learned during the episode. So go there, check out those links. If you’ve got any feedback or if you’ve got any ideas for future shows, hit the feedback link in the menu at the top and send your feedback through. I’ll see you next week. Bye.

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27Sep

Ep#10: Social Media, Pinterest & Facebook Apps for Small Businesses

Social media marketing, taking advantage of Pinterest and using Facebook Apps to help market your small business, an interview with Scott Linklater from Just Social

Wow, we made it to double figures! In episode 10 I have a great interview with Scott Linklater from Just Social. I talk to Scott about social media marketing for small businesses and drill down on topics such how to use Pinterest and Facebook Apps. Towards the end of the episode Scott takes us through some of Just Social’s new Facebook Apps that they’ve just launched.

Covered in this episode;

  • What is a Facebook app?
  • What is it about social media that makes it a good marketing channel for small businesses?
  • What areas of social media marketing do business owners struggle with the most?
  • How can business owners overcome some of those problems and get the most out of social media?
  • Pinterest has been growing a lot lately. What is it and what can business owners do to take advantage of Pinterest?

Links;

I wasn’t able to line up a featured photo this week. If you are a photographer or you know a photographer who has photos from around Adelaide and SA, I’d love to feature some of your/their work. If you’re interested, get in contact with me via the Feedback page.

If you want each new episode delivered straight to your inbox each week, you can sign up to our mailing list on the right.

See you next week!

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: We’re very lucky this week to have a special guest on the show, Scott Linklater is going to be talking about social media marketing.

Are you there Scott?

Scott: I am indeed.

Nick: Welcome to the show.

Scott: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Nick: No worries and let’s get started by you telling us a little bit about what you do and your business.

Scott: Sure. My background originally was in corporate sales, for round about 15 years and from there, I did something, I took a complete 180 degree turn and I actually started a business, Aboriginal Art Gallery with my mom and we opened that in 2001. I’ve worked out of Adelaide doing all the online side of it, she was in Western Australia and she did the gallery side of it.

A long story short, we built that business up over a period of time through 2001 onwards into one of the biggest aboriginal art galleries in the world and a couple of years ago, I started looking at social media for the gallery and what I found was that there was not a lot of, there were not so many companies out there that was really concentrating on small to medium sized businesses and all the agencies and social media companies were targeting the top end of town and small businesses were really being left out in the dark. I found that there was a real gap in the marketplace and at the same time, I was also looking at diversifying our business, so I started looking at social media more and I identified this gap in the market and right about a year and half ago.

I started a new company called Just Social. We began learning about social media and working with businesses, mainly small to medium sized businesses and teaching them and helping them and providing them with the tools that would enable them to compete with big businesses without spending an absolute fortune because what I found with our business was we were a successful business, yet I couldn’t justify or I could not afford what the prices that they were asking for a lotof the services. So that’s really what happened and around about a year ago, we started developing our own Facebook applications and over the last year, we’ve had a couple of Facebook applications in development. Right now, we’re about to launch them and we also provide just every day services for small businesses, teaching them and helping them with social media.

Nick: Great. We’ll go into the apps that you’re developing towards the end of the interview but just quickly, can you just explain what a Facebook app is?

Scott: Well okay. A Facebook app is basically, it’s like a Facebook page, it’s designed to provide any business or organization with, it enables them to have a unique display, to uniquely display their business on Facebook and yet they may have any number of different features that enable it to attract more people to it. So, for instance, it might be something like a competition app, and would be specifically designed to enable Facebook users who become fans of that business to win a prize or it may be an app that enables them to have a custom page.

So if you’ve got a business, Facebook page pretty much look all the same, you want to differentiate yourself and stand out from the millions of other businesses on there. There are Facebook applications out there that enable you to basically have a mini website within Facebook with all your custom photos and graphics and look and feel of your business and branding that would enable to you stand out from the crowd. You might have an app that enables people to register and join your newsletter, things like that.

Nick: Cool. Well, let’s move on. Let’s start by taking a sort of a 10,000 ft. view of social media marketing. What do you see as, what makes it a good channel for small businesses?

Scott: I think the big one is, most small businesses, they often provide in-depth and personalized services to their clients. That’s what sets them apart. They might not be the cheapest but the service and the little extras that they offer makes them very attractive to a certain segment of the marketplace. Now, social media is all about word of mouth and personal recommendations and reviews and small businesses have a huge opportunity to capitalize on this, as most people will rave to all their friends about service that goes above and beyond and they will happily tell you, hey I know a guy that can do that, I know someone that can do this who you might personally call and they are very open to talking about that.

People in general, with maybe the exception of say, women and fashion, they wouldn’t be as quick to come forward and say right about how they saved 20% on a new hammer drill from one of these large hardware store chains. What they’re more likely to do is to mention very briefly that they saved 20% and then they’ll tell everyone how it took them 20 minutes to get any help and the pimply-faced kid didn’t even know what a hammer drill was and the whole bit but if you take the opposite scenario, when someone goes to their local hardware store and gets personalized service and looked after by an experienced hardware expert who’s been doing it for 20 years, that customer will be a huge advocate for that business and will tell everybody at every opportunity, hey go and see my guy, he’ll sort you out, and price won’t even come into it at all.

Now, the big multi-national companies, they simply can’t do that, and move the volumes that they do for the prices that they’re doing the math. They’re basically taking heat on the fact that their service is never going to be that good. Small businesses, through social media have a massive opportunity to capitalize on this and you know, might be landing a couple of decent punches after ten rounds by being beaten up by the big businesses because, really gives small businesses a chance to claw back because this is what they’re really, really good at.

The biggest issue though is, big businesses is doing social media much more proliferately than small business is as of now. So, the advantage hasn’t been utilized, if you look at the industry overall but within it there are thousands of examples of small businesses doing exactly this individually, we just need to get more of them doing it and doing it effectively and I really see it as a way that they can fight back against the multi-nationals that seem to be taking over everywhere and because what social media is all about is what small businesses are good at. So, it’s a real opportunity for them to claw back some of that, which has been lost in the last decade or 2, through these multi-nationals eating up all the small business out there.

Nick: Right, yeah. That’s really sixth sense. I’ve never heard it described quite like that and that actually makes a lot of sense. In your experience, what areas of social media marketing do these small businesses really struggle with?

Scott: Well there’s a few different ones but the 3 big ones for me, probably number 1, small businesses, they have this mind-set that social media is free. Number 2, they are not consistent enough with their social media marketing efforts and 3, they don’t take it anywhere near as seriously as they should. The bottom line is, social media is like any other marketing area in business, it has a cost. Now, even if there’s sort of direct dollar cost, there’s a time cost and even if you get a whole lot of free activity through social media and it turns out to be very successful, there’s going to be a cost, because you or someone has to service that and that would take time and time is money.

So, the thing is social media, lots of it can be free and lots of the benefits can be free initially but the modern set of local business is that its free and they don’t want to pay for anything, they don’t want to invest any money into it and that’s really the wrong way to look at it. The other thing is, and probably the biggest is consistency. What we have found time and time and time again is that those businesses that are consistent, even on a very small scale will be much more successful than businesses that just do a little bit here and then leave it for a while and then a little bit over there. If it’s not done consistently every single day, what we find is that its drops right away and if becomes ineffective.

The third one just really leads in from the second one, people are not treating it anywhere near as seriously as they should. What we find is a lot of local businesses, they’ll create a Facebook fan page and they’ll open a Twitter account and they put up a cover photo and they tell a few clients about it and they leave it, and it just sits there. They go, oh it really didn’t do much for us but if you took that attitude towards any other part of your business, you’d get exactly the same result, you’d get nothing. And I just don’t think businesses see it necessarily as a main stream marketing opportunity, but if they were able to treat it more seriously, do it consistently and then realize that they need to invest a little bit, then yeah but those would be the 3 ones I think small businesses struggle with the most.

Nick: Great, and do you have some tips for how businesses can overcome those particular problems?

Scott: Yeah. Look, I think the first thing they need to do is they need to allocate a percentage of their marketing budget to social media and to make that commitment for a decent period of time to see if it’s going to work for their business. I reckon minimum of a year to 18 months and what they then need to do is devote some time to learning a little b it about social media.

Look, I understand most small business owners have no time whatsoever. If they don’t have the time to maybe invest some time in learning about it themselves that’s fine. What they need to do, is they need to get one of their employees to do that, to fill that role, and they also need to give that employee adequate time and resources to do it properly or the other option is to outsource it and hire a social media consultant or manager or agency, whatever you want to call it and get them to do it for you and have you concentrate on your core business, what you know and have them concentrate on helping your social media to ramp that up.

I think that’s what people really need to do. The big thing is businesses need to make a decision, either one way or another to either do social media properly or don’t worry about doing it at all because one of the things I certainly know is, if it’s done half-assed, it’s going to cost you more in time, money and frustration than you’ll ever get back and it can actually hurt your business image. So, if you don’t want to do it properly, then honestly, I think businesses should not do it at all and when I say do it properly, and give it a decent go, that doesn’t mean spending $10,000 a year and 30 hours a week. It might be $1,000 a year and 2 hours a week, obviously depending on the size of your business but whatever it is, they need to commit to doing that and doing it consistently, say for a year to 18 months to get results.

Nick: Yeah, I think the note about consistency is something that I see as well that people, often business owners when they first get started, they’re really into it and they might update it regularly and then they sort of quickly drowse off after they lose that initial enthusiasm that they had at the beginning.

Scott: Yeah. And then, so you might know of a business offline and you go and look to find them online and say for instance you come across their Facebook page and you go there and you notice exactly that, that last year for a few months the page was updated quite regularly and now it hasn’t been updated for 6 months and there’s 3 posts from customers on there saying, asking questions that have gone unanswered. And now suddenly the good reputation that company had with you has gone sour over like immediately and suddenly, you’re questioning this company and it’s unlikely you’re going to do business with them.

So in that case, it would have been better that they found nothing at all, and then maybe thought, oh okay they don’t have Facebook page, I’ll go to their website or I’ll give them a phone call or whatever it is. So that’s how it can actually hurt a business because that’s happened to me many times and it’s actually turned me off the business because I felt well, if they can’t answer a few questions from their customers, what’s going to happen to me if I become a client of theirs?

Nick: Yeah definitely. Let’s take a bit of a turn in the interview and talk specifically about Pinterest. Now, this is a new sort of social network that’s been going a lot lately. Can you just tell us briefly what Pinterest is and then a little bit about how business owners can use Pinterest?

Scott: Sure, it’s a really interesting company because it’s the fastest social media company from zero to 10 million users ever. It’s grown faster than Facebook did, and what’s really interesting about that was it did that while they were, basically invitation only. So the only way a user could get on was to send the company an email and ask to be added as a user or if an existing user sent them an invitation. It’s incredible that they were able to grow it at that pace, when they had something that usually would slow down the growth of the company dramatically. So, it was just amazing to us to see how quickly they grew.

Basically, Pinterest is a pin board style social photo sharing website, a little bit like an online pin board or an online scrap book. You know years ago, girls would get magazines and they would cut out wedding dresses out of all these super magazines, put them in a scrap book and have 30 or 40 wedding dresses that they liked or take the guy equivalent would be they would have a stack of 50 magazines about cars or motorbikes and if they wanted to show one of their friends, they would end up flipping through 30 magazines. The girls are a little bit more organized but basically, it’s the online version of that. So, stuff that you’re interested in, putting that all together on one page, one personal page that is your page or you know, things that you’re interested in, events, hobbies, stuff like that. What can happen is, users can browse other people’s pin boards for inspiration and then when they see pictures that they like, they can, what’s called re-pin that image to their own collection or their own group of photos. So, users organize their personal page in just say different themed forms of things that they’re interested in.

Say for instance, you might have 6 boards, the first one Places I Want to Visit, you might have one called Cool Gadgets, you might have another one called Funny Quotes. You might have another one Everything Fashion, Cars I’d Like to Own, Stuff I Want, this is an example, then you browse through Pinterest and all the pictures and when you see things you like, you add them to the board so they’re organized by topic.

Now, how small businesses can utilize this to increase their client base or their revenue is, okay let’s take an example. Say you’re a local electronics store, you could upload a picture of the world’s biggest plasma TV and users who follow you might see that picture and they pin it to one of their boards called Gadgets, and then other users who follow them, not people who follow you, but users who follow your users, they’ll also see it and they might re-pin it to their boards and so on and so on, so, there’s this viral effect.

Now, the cool thing is no matter how many times it gets re-pinned, you are always acknowledged as the person who uploaded the picture originally and what happens is if someone clicks on the image, when it’s on anyone’s board, it’s redirected to anywhere that the person that uploaded the picture wants, your website. So somewhat, 10 people removed from you might find a picture, click on it, and then they might end up at your website, just like everything, it’s all a numbers game. So, what it does is that it drives traffic back to your website and the more interesting and the more value that the image holds to people interested in that, the more people that will end up seeing the image and the more people that will end up clicking through to your website.

Pinterest, it’s one of those things, it can work for nearly any type of business, it’s just you need to get your thinking cap on and get a little bit innovative because at first, a lot of people are like, argh, I don’t think this is right for our business. Take an example, say your local butcher, how can Pinterest help my business? Well, you could upload a picture of an amazing gourmet barbeque that just makes your mouth water at the thought of cooking that up and putting on for you and your friends. You could upload a recipe for the best lamb chops you’ll ever eat and people absolutely will pin that to their boards and their friends will re-pin it and every time someone clicks on that image, it goes through to your little website about your business.

Now, if those are people in your local area and a lot of the people on your first and second levels will be, well, that’s potentially more business for you. You could put up like an info-graphic, which is basically just a big image using lots of little images within it and stats and graphs and so forth. One particular subject you could make an info-graphic on how to keep your barbeque clean without spending an hour scrubbing it after every barbeque. Hundreds of people would find that information interesting or you could maybe put something up a little bit quirky, a little bit funny, like a scene from the Simpsons where they’re talking you don’t win friends with salads, anything like that. You just got to really think outside the box and you’ll find that there are so many things you can do. Travel agents upload images of exotic locations that people want to visit. Real Estate agents could upload pictures of houses like we have more than $20 M, or they could do a board of the worst backyards you’ve ever seen and what will happen is, this will take off virally and it will spread your brand name around to a lot more people. The more people that are exposed to your business, no matter where you are, the more business you’ll end up getting.

Nick: Great. Should people be creating their own images or taking their own photographs or does it matter if it’s someone else’s image that they can use or …

Scott: Look, absolutely, obviously you can create your own images. So, it’s an interesting topic because it’s a really gray area at the moment with Pinterest. As far as using other people’s images, now, you shouldn’t just go to Google Image search, grab someone’s image and pin it up, upload it as if it is your own image, that’s definitely a breach of copyright but images that are already out there on the internet, if you re-pin them, you’re not taking the credit for creating the image or if the image is free or if you bought the image then you’ve got no problem. But it is certainly an area at the moment, there is this gray area that people aren’t too sure about, will probably get sorted within the next year or 2, but at the moment, I don’t think there’s any problem re-pinning images because it will give credit, or it should give credit to the person or company that originally produced the image and there’s certainly no problem doing that at this stage.

You’ll hear about it if there is because it will be a big thing but hopefully the copyright people or these large companies are usually very particular of their copyright. Hopefully, they don’t get too silly on this because what you got to understand is that, its actually good business to have these things spread around. You know, if someone pins a picture of a hotel in the Maldives with these beautiful villas that go out over these glass water, it’s only helping the Maldives, it’s only helping their business, it’s only promoting that company no matter who pins it. But yeah sure, it’s a gray area at the moment, but all I can say is, be mindful of copyright, but at the same stage, as long as you give credit, you’re okay to re-pin other people’s photos.

Nick: Great, and it’s interesting because I’m noticing sort of a trend within the other social networks, particularly Facebook, you’re seeing a lot of people posting images on Facebook and on other social networks as well, so perhaps it create a trend towards more images with all media. Would you agree with that?

Scott: 100% and that’s the reason why Facebook just spent a billion dollars on buying a company called Instagram that had 68 employees and has never made one cent of money, is because images are becoming more and more popular. On our Facebook fan page that we have, that we own and that we look after for clients, some with 30,000 or more people, we noticed that images, if we post an update that contains an image, it works anywhere from 3 to 20 times more effectively than if we posted a link or we posted a video and certainly a lot more than if we didn’t post anything. Images are where it’s all at, like I would certainly encourage anybody that’s doing any kind of social media to always include images because people are very visual and your engagement rates are a heck of a lot higher.

Nick: Great. Well let’s take a swing back towards Facebook now and we’re talking about the Facebook apps that you’ve got coming out soon. They’re still coming aren’t they?

Scott: Absolutely. It’s actually a big day today. Later tonight, we will be putting our newest app on one of my own pages for its first testing, so that will be its first beta test and hopefully, within the next 2-3 weeks, it’ll go into full beta release, which means it will be open to people in the public to be able to use but we’ve developed a couple of Facebook apps over the last year. One is a Facebook fan page builder, it makes custom pages, so basically makes, means anyone whether you’ve got any web design experience or not, you don’t need to know any HTML coding, you can create a custom mini website within Facebook for your business and that’s a great app but it’s not that exciting because a lot of them are already out there but our other app, which is called fans2page.

That’s the one that we’re mostly excited about. It’s a brand new concept that we’re releasing. It’s never been done before by any company in the world and we’re really hoping that it’s going to make a big splash. Basically to explain it, I’ll explain it like this. What we found was, when people become a fan of a fan page on Facebook, when they like that page, when someone become a fan, after they go to that page initially, 96% of people will never actually go back to that Facebook fan page, even if they’re really engaged with that page. What ends up happening is they just end up conversing with the page and asking questions and reading information in their news feed, the same place where they look at stuff their friends send them but, they don’t actually ever click back and go back to the fan page.

Now, this was a little bit disheartening to me when I found this out because we’ve got this other application that build these custom pages and it makes it a little bit hard to be excited about it if 94% of people are never going to see the pages that it created. So, what we thought was, how can we get fans to go back to these companies and businesses fan pages? Because the thing is it’s really hard to promote as a business to people on Facebook on their newsfeed. You know the pictures are very small, there’s way too many distractions, they’ve got people saying, hi let’s do this, they’ve got people going, you know check this photo out, check this out and people are on Facebook really to socialize and not there to be marketed to, and they don’t like being marketed to.

So, when companies send out status updates to their fans, saying hey we’ve got this offer, that offer, whatever, fans will ignore it or get annoyed by it or just completely don’t even see it, become blind to it and we thought, well that makes it really difficult for small businesses to promote to their fans. What can we do? How can we get them to get the fans to go back to their fan page, see their custom fan page and give their business a genuine opportunity to say to their fans, hey, this is what I do and this is what we’ve got to offer you. So, what we came up with was, basically it’s like a never ending competition, and what the fans2page app does it this, is you’ve got a fan page and you put the fans page app on it, and say you’ve got 500 fans, every day, it randomly goes through your list of fans and it selects one person to be a winner that day and it puts their photo up on a page that’s attached to your fan page.

Now, what you do is you offer a prize. The example we’re using in our video that’s about to be released, is a shop that sells ties, like knit ties, silk ties, men’s ties, bow ties that kind of thing. So say for instance you put up a prize to your fans and you say, I’ll be giving away this beautiful silk tie to anybody that visits, everyday there’s going to be a potential new winner and what happens is that to win the prize, the fan has to visit the page within 24 hours. So, they click and they go through to the fan page and they’ll see a box and it will show a picture of one of the fans. Now, if that’s them, then they win the prize but if they don’t go to that page within 24 hours, a message is sent out saying, oh bad luck, unfortunately so and so did not get to the page and they’ve missed out on their prize.

Now, what we’ve found is that people love stuff for free and they love prizes and because it’s so easy to find out whether or not you’re the winner, it takes literally 20 seconds to do so, what we found is that most people will click through just to check because they don’t want to risk the chance that they’re not going to miss the prize. So, they click through and they go, I’m just going to have a quick look see if I’m the winner for the day and if they’re not the winner, it’ll show someone else’s picture and say sorry you’re not the winner but what it will also show is right above that picture will be a large paged graphic with anything that business wants. It could be their latest sale, it could be information on clearance sale coming up, whatever it happens to be.

So, say for instance, someone goes to see whether they’ve won the silk tie and then above it is a large graphic like you see on a website or in a magazine saying Tomorrow Only, 70% Off All Scarves and Ties, and that person goes, you know what I really need a new scarf, Winter’s coming up, 70% off is fantastic. I’m going to jump on this and grab it. That person clicks a link, goes through to your website, and buys the scarf. Now, that person would never have known about the sale or would never have bought in that case but because they were they were there and because they were there checking something else and they saw it. Number one, they won’t feel like they’ve been sold to, they think that they’ve just come across this sale and found it, and so it’s a great way for businesses to promote in a way that gives them half a chance that they might sell something to all of their fans nearly every day and at the same time, it won’t annoy their fans, it won’t make them angry or upset, it won’t interrupt them and it will be done in a very friendly manner. So, the better the prize that a business puts up, the more people that would end up clicking through to check whether they’re the winner, and the better the offer when that is presented when they check to see if they’re a winner, the more people that will buy. So, it gives businesses complete control over how much they want to sell. If they offer up some decent prizes, they will get a lot of people going through and click through to their pages.

If they have products and services that are good quality and are great value for money, a good percentage of those people, if that’s what they’re looking for at that time, will buy their products and we’re just really excited about how it’s going to enable businesses to take their Facebook presence and monetize it because there’s a lot of people out there that have got a good Facebook page and lots of fans and they don’t know how to take that and make money and this is just going to make it very, very simple for them to do so.

If someone wins the prize, the next day, it selects another person randomly and away it goes again, if someone doesn’t, it still selects someone new after 24 hours but it notifies everybody that basically, that this person unfortunately missed out on their prize. So it reinforces to the fans, hey, check, because it could be you and it works very much along the same lines of – I don’t know if you’ve seen the Today Show, the breakfast show. They do something called Wake Up with Today, and basically, all the people who are fans or are registered with Today are on a list, and every morning they ring a person and if that person answers the phone, I wake up with Today, they win $10,000 and if they don’t, they miss out. So, what you have is, you have this situation where these people are glued to the show to make sure, to see if potentially they could be a winner.

It’s the same principle, it works really on the fear of loss. People don’t like missing out on prizes and we think that it’s going to have a massive effect on Facebook return on investment.

Nick: Great, that sounds like a really exciting development with your business and certainly a creative way of solving that problem that you mentioned about how people how people don’t really come back to the fan pages.

Well I think that brings us to the end of our interview today. Thanks very much for coming on the show and telling us all these great tips and sharing the news about your new apps with us.

Scott: Thank you very much for having me. I think this program is an awesome idea and I think you’re doing a fantastic job and yeah, I think that it’s really good that anybody out there who’s prepared to concentrate on local businesses and small businesses are doing a really good service because, small businesses, we make up the majority of all business done around the world and there’s a lot of power in small business and they are a powerful group if we include them together. I just think it’s a really good idea and congratulations on a great show.

Nick: Great, and thanks very much and where can people go to find out more about you and your business?

Scott: There’s a couple of places. Justsocial.com is our main website, it’s j u s t s o c i a l, justsocial.com and our new app has got its own website at fans2page.com so that’s fans then the number 2 page dotcom. So, either one of those websites, and from there, all our social media links are on there for Facebook, and Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube channels etc., etc.

Nick: Great and now my listeners can find those links. We’ll put them on our website as well. Thanks again for coming on the show and have a great rest of the day.

Scott: Thanks Nick, really appreciate it. Cheers!

Nick: Cheers!

[/spoiler]
20Sep

Ep#9: Google+ in the Search Results

What is Google+, why you should use it, how it effects the search results in an interview with Tony McCreath

Episode 9 features the second part of a four part series where I speak to Tony McCreath from Web Site Advantage about various search engine related topics. In part 1 (Episode 7) we talked about Panda and Penguin, two of Google’s recent algorithm updates and in this episode we talk about Google+ and how it effects the search results.

In this episode;

  • What is Google+ (G+)?
  • Why should business owners care about G+?
  • How does G+ compare with facebook and twitter?
  • How does G+ manifest in/effect the organic search results?
  • What can people do to take advantage of this?
  • What is Google+ Local? How is it effecting local search?

Links;

This week’s featured photo is 30 second exposure of the main street of Gawler taken by Allen Shubin. Enjoy!

Gawler Allen Shubin

 

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: Welcome to Episode 9 of the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. I hope everyone’s had a great week since Episode 8 last week. This week, we’ve got the second part of a 4 part series where I talked with Tony McCreath from Website Advantage. Tony is an SEO expert from Adelaide and in Part 1, we talked about the Panda and Penguin updates, which are 2 of Google’s recent algorithm updates.

This week we’re talking about Google Plus, which is Google’s social network. I just read actually today on [inaudible 00:00:50] that they’ve reached 400 million users with a 100 million active users. So it’s actually becoming quite a large social network out there, certainly something you should pay attention to.

So this episode, we’ll get into the bits and pieces on how to get onto Google Plus and why it’s a great idea for your business.

Once again, Tony’s website is www.websiteadvantage.com.au. If you want to go check out some more stuff about him and he’s got some great articles and tools up there on the website, where you can learn about search engine optimization and the stuff that he does. So let’s go the interview now.

Welcome back to Web Marketing Adelaide. I’m your host, Nick Morris and I’m here again with Tony McCreath. Tony, welcome back to the show.

Tony: Thanks very much.

Nick: Great, good to be back. Google Plus in the search results is the topic for this week’s talk. So, let’s just get straight into it and what is Google Plus?

Tony: Google Plus is Google’s attempt at social networking like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. It’s kind of match of them feature wise but it’s big benefit, but it’s actually part of your Google account system, so if you ever logged into anything to do with Google, you will be on Google Plus. So, it’s more than social, it also becomes part of your search.

Nick: Right, and they’re unifying all of their existing properties like YouTube and Blogger and the various properties, all into Google Plus.

Tony: So for example, if you’ve got a YouTube account, you’ve got a Google Plus account. You are all integrated, so things you do on YouTube becomes part of your social network with Google in the big eco-system they have.

Nick: Right [Inaudible 00:02:50] been to really get a hold on reviews really easily and really quickly today on social network?

Tony: Yeah and in fact, it’s more than YouTube. Things like web developers have all got accounts and need to do things and they are automatically pulled into the Google Plus. For a while, they actually forced you to have a Google Plus account, and now they’ve backed off a bit. And they even actually like to remove it, but this is Google’s aim. They’re going to get you on it whatever direction you come from.

Nick: Right, and why should business owners be concerned about Google Plus?

Tony: It’s early days for the businesses, like any business, you might as well promote it in any form that you can, so there’s no harm in putting yourself on there and it’s going to grow. Google is the biggest thing and Google Plus is part of Google, so there are more and more people coming on it.

On a side line thing, it’s such, if you’ve got a reason to be, medium large business to actually do your business with your employees on it. There’s a thing called Google Apps and so you can run your email account, you can have meetings all via the Google Plus system. So, there’s a kind of internal management thing, or even working with your clients, it can be a good system for that.

Nick: And one of their most popular features of Google Plus Hangout of course, which …

Tony: Yeah, which also it being a bit more active and that can be a great way to do, I’ve mentioned earlier, training sessions, meeting with your employees if you’re international. Google is actually themselves making, they’re quite active on the Hangout, so you can actually chat with Googler’s, people who actually do the algorithms and work on Google Plus and next Friday, which depending on the date when this comes out, probably last Friday, I’m actually going on one and asking a few questions directly to Googler’s. So, it’s a great opportunity to interact with people.

Nick: Yep. Just a, if anyone doesn’t know, the Google Plus Hangout is a video chat platform and you can have a group chat with up to 9 people…

Tony: All on one video show. You can all chat, you can share screens and a recent feature is it can actually be recorded live so people can actually watch you live doing it, and then afterwards, they can watch you on YouTube. So, it’s a great way to actually get something public out there. So it’s a great tool for business.

Nick: Yeah, more on the business side at the moment. In fact, the whole Google Plus seems to be more for businesses, working with businesses, seems to work better. It’s not really from social because why leave Facebook with your friends? Right, yeah. So, I think I found the same. I think I found that it’s a good way of following different topics you might be interested in. I know, I’m interested in skepticism for instance, there’s a product community there and there’s quite a big photography community on Google Plus, as well I’ve noticed.

Tony: I don’t know about skepticism. Yeah, a good thing about Google Plus is what they call circle, and segregate your interests. I actually have different circles, one I call Essential, one I call Okay and one I call Really Bad and basically I monitor the essential people, the Okay one’s I’ll scan through, and the Really Bad ones, sorry mate.

Nick: I hope I’m not in that one. Alright, well with business owners using Google Plus, would it be a similar sort of strategy to say Facebook and Twitter or are there differences?

Tony: It can be, you have a business page and you can talk on it. The dynamics are slightly different and there are a lot of things you can do on Google Plus that you can’t on … In fact, Facebook is starting to steal Google Plus features now. Yeah, events, so it’s obviously got some good features there that Facebook think it’s good. So, it can be a good one for setting up your business and doing things like that.

Nick: And how does Google Plus affect or manifest in the search results?

Tony: Well, this is something very unique that Google has, because they basically own the biggest search engine in the world, so they can actually integrate their social network with the search network. In the past they’ve tried it with Facebook and Twitter but disagreements means, they have a very low profile in Google search results now, whereas with the Google Plus, when you’re searching, Google knows who you are. They know your Google Plus accounts, they know who your friends are, they know what you interact with. So, Google can actually alter your search results based on what your friends like.

So, for example, you often see, because we’re friends, or circles with each other, you often see a result in Google that has my little mug shot in it, saying I plus on this and not only do you see that it was endorsed by me, it also gets pushed up higher in the search result. So, that’s a key way it’s actually starting to influence how your results are being presented to you.

Another related one is the Authorship marker. Now, you need a Google Plus account, to become an author and once you’ve done that, you can get your mug shot in the search results. It’s part of the rich snippets system. So, that’s another way that your Google Plus influences how your own system website looks in search results. There’s a lot of power there.

Nick: Yep, and just the authorship marker, that’s where you can get your photo appear next to your website in the search results, and that can encourage people to click through a bit more, sort of stands out a bit more . Is that the idea?

Tony: Yeah, it makes you stand out and depending on how good your photo is, make sure you look better not worse. I’ve seen a few articles on people saying it actually had a negative effect.

Nick: So, if you’re good looking, or if you have a good looking staff member in your business …

Tony: And technically it has to be a mug shot, it has to be a head shot, but it does make you stand out. This integration is going to get more, for example, it shows how popular you are on Google Plus as well as your picture. People have the chance to click into your profile and then find out what else you do, so it becomes a new avenue rather than just than just going to your website, because people will find your Google Plus page and learn more about you. So, it’s quite an influential one.

Nick: Great, and what are some tips you can give to business owners who are just wanting to get started with Google Plus. What can they start to do?

Tony: They’re probably already on in, they don’t realize it. If you have a Gmail account, or YouTube, all these things, create an account and go through and create your personal profile. Now, a lot of people may not want their personal profile to represent them in the business, so what you want to do then is create a Google page for your business and the good thing about that is, apart from you managing it, your personal profile is completely anonymous. There’s no official link to it for other people.

Yes, you should create a business page and have that represent your business, pictures, videos. Another good move is you can link your business page with your website. Get you website developer to put the link in and what this means is Google will know that that website is officially your business website and your social plus one and all that is linked. So, if someone says they like your business page on Google, that also gets credited to your website and vice versa, if they plus one your website and it also helps Google understand and verify who you really are.

So, that’s a good move to do, set up that association, as I think the term they use is a publisher. So, the Google Plus page can be the publisher of your website.

Nick: Yeah, that kind of trends nicely into Google Plus Local. Previously, we’ve had Google Local, the Place pages, and now it’s sort of changed into Google Plus as well. Can you just explain that?

Tony: Before it was called Google Places. It was also called Google for business or something but probably, what people are more familiar with is Google Places, and this is when you get search results that include a map and the little red markers. These are people who’ve registered their business with Google under their Google Places system. So, you can actually go in there and claim or register your business and fill in all the details.

Now, with Google Plus, they have got Google Local, which is moving this Places thing into Google local, and it all is in part of a social network. At this time, your Google business page is separate to your Places page but you can actually request them to be merged. So, at the moment, Google Places is what is dominant on search results, your business page doesn’t do much.

Places lets people do reviews and see your details, whereas your business page lets people interact in a chat. Recently, I actually requested mine get merged. I wouldn’t recommend it yet because it’s a very new feature and a couple of days ago, I got an email and mine are merged as if they’re one entity. So, my business page on Google is my Places page and vice versa. So, it has reviews and interaction, very new features and I’m going to see how it pans out.

But that’s the direction, it’s all going to become this Google Local. Your business page will be your one stop place to define your business to Google and it will start showing in search results.

Nick: Great, well thanks for all those tips on Google Plus Tony and I guess we’ll talk to you again in a few weeks. Thanks for coming on the show.

Tony: Cheers.

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09Aug

Ep#3: Staying Productive on Social Media

Staying productive on social media, how many platforms should you be on, managing expectations and more in the second half of my interview with Rubina Carlson about Social Media Marketing.

Episode 3 features the second half of my interview with Rubina Carlson on Social Media Marketing. If you haven’t heard it yet, I suggest you check out the first half of the interview in episode 1.

Discussed in this episode;

  • How to be productive on social media
  • You commitment level to social media
  • How many platforms should you be on
  • Investment, commitment and expectations
  • Engagement levels
  • Facebook page stats and insights
  • Using social media for market research
  • Social media at events
  • Which platforms should you be on
  • Facebook pages
  • Integration with other web marketing channels
  • Setting goals and objectives
  • Options for managing your social media marketing

Links;

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: Welcome to Episode 3 of the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. Today , we’ve got the 2nd half of my interview with Rubina Carlson on Social Media Marketing. For the first half, if you haven’t heard it, check out Episode 1. There’s a link in the show notes. Our website by the way is www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au and you can find links to the various things we talk about in the shows and notes about what’s included in each episode by going there. Also there’s a new form put up for feedback. So, if you have any feedback on the show, what you liked, what you didn’t like, a list of topics you want to hear about, then head over there and put some feedback into that form for me.

Just before we get into that interview, I just wanted to talk about something I did this morning, which was a Flying Solo business meet-up. Flying Solo is a forum for small business owners. It’s Australian based, it’s all people from all over Australia. You can go on there and talk about all the different topics, about lots of different threads on Unit Marketing or starting a business or you know specifically say, search engine optimization or various different topics. These people are asking questions about tax this time of year and whatnot.

So, it’s a really great place to get tips and stuff and ask questions and also lend your expertise, sort of build your reputation and usually in a form you can include a little signature at the bottom, and that sort of appears after each post you make. So, you make a really sort of informative post and someone finds that useful, then they can click through the signature to your website and they might become a customer. Anyway, the Adelaide has a fairly active community on Flying Solo.

Now for, going on 6 months or more, we’ve been having monthly meet-ups, usually probably in the first week or 2 of the month and you can find out about them by going to the Flying Solo forms at flyingsolo.com.au. Again, I’ll have links in the show notes and finding the South Australia sub-form. You can find that there in the forms and you can actually subscribe to that form to get new threads, notifications of new threads and you can see when the new event is organized. And I’ll probably put a note in the podcast as well in case you missed out on that. So, that’s a really good thing.

We usually get sort of 10 or so people coming along. Today, it was a bit less, only 4 people, but still it was a great conversation and it’s good to catch up with people, especially if you’re a solo business owner and you perhaps don’t get to socialize as much with people like you would if you were working in a bigger business, so it’s good for that as well. I just thought I’d mention that. I’m also going to another networking top event next week, I believe it’s next Thursday. Thursday the 17th I think it is or 16th. I’ll have a link in the show notes. It’s the Silicon Beach Drinks. So it’s more of a techie kind of meet-up with people who are also working or interested in the Tech Space but yeah, if that’s something that you’re interested in then, come along. I think it’s in the city about 5:30, so it should be a good event.

Now we’re just going to rejoin the interview with Rubina. We’re talking about how to stay productive when using social media for your business.

Can you give us some tips for how to sort of remain efficient when they use social media marketing, that they don’t sort of get sucked into it.

Rubina: Sucked into the, yeah. It can be very subdued. I think you’ve got to, if you’ve set some times, you know, 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there, 15 minutes kind of throughout your day is probably a better way of – it depends. If we’re looking at small business which, I think is kind of the bend we’re looking at, at the moment. For small business, you’re pretty time poor as it is. So, you’re probably most likely to be checking any social media sites when you’re in between meetings or you’re on the way somewhere.

So, that’s where your smartphones are really, really helpful, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, it doesn’t matter, it really, that’s where you can really sort of make the most of it in that timeframe when you’re waiting for someone or something like that. That’s kind of when you can check things, see if anyone’s mentioned you, and again, it also depends on your level of commitment to social media platforms. Have you decided to invest in video for example and join the whole hub and being very creative, taking a creative approach? Or have you decided just to kind of be there, kind of share when you get mentioned by somebody but that’s about it you know.

You’re interacting so interactive, or you’ve decided to be informative and you probably wouldn’t need to check it very often at all. So, I think it really depends on what your commitment levels is to the platforms, but an easy way to kind of – so, you are taking an interactive approach for example and you’re sharing other people’s, and so you’re just doing Twitter, because that’s what you have time for and I think you’re better off doing one platform and committing to it and then eventually adding on each one as you go ahead, rather than doing lots not very well.

I think you’re better off trying to master, instead of being the Jack of all Trades. I think you’re probably better off just having those pages like, so you can refer to it, that kind of thing. You finally got say, half an hour a day or an hour a day, then invest it just in one platform and to split that time up during the day. Take 10 minutes to say post something in the morning, then you maybe check it again at lunch time, then maybe check it again after work and sometimes in the evening when things are …

Nick: Just on the point about claiming on all the different pages but then only seeing the full effects on one or is it an issue that your customers see it on your Facebook [Inaudible 00:06:36] Would that look bad in their eyes?

Rubina: I think it depends on the client because some of them do. They tend to take those fans or number of likes very seriously. I think that there’s, and the thing is there’s a couple of things that need to be addressed. Expectations need to be addressed first off. If you can only invest say, half an hour a week, then you’re not going to grow very quickly and you’re probably going to be sitting a 0, at 10, at 20 because your friends of course, your nearest and dearest will support you, no matter what. But you probably will be sitting there for quite a while if you don’t invest the time into the page, say just upload a couple of photo albums, at least make it look like the beginning of something and with timeline, there’s a great opportunity there to map the history of organizations.

I think it’s just about expectation management, that’s what the key thing is here. If the client is investing not much, and we’re talking about you know, they basically just want you to set up the page, well then they can’t expect it to grow from 0 to 1,000 in week if they haven’t provided anyone any incentives for anyone to connect with them and that’s providing valuable or unique or interesting content but whereas, say for example, you have a client who is investing in social media and investing in their Facebook page and they invest in all these videos and they still have zero likes, which I’d be very surprised at, then obviously they have a right to be kind of you know annoyed, disappointed, angry, bitter.

It’s the case of where you thought, it depends on the investment level. I think as a consultant, you need to manage the client’s expectations accordingly. So if their budget is low, then you know the expectations can’t be very high. You’ve got to say then, look, you’ve got to invest the time in and if you guys haven’t got the resources in-house to do it, then you know you need someone, someone to mentor somebody or that kind of thing. You don’t need to, but it needs to be addressed. Like it can’t be a case of, “I want the world and I don’t want to pay anything for it.” It doesn’t happen like that, so, it takes investment, whether it’s investing in someone to do it, run it for them within the organization or externally or whatever it might be, they still need to make that investment and that commitment to the platform that they have so chosen or rather the consultant has advised would be best for their brand or business.

Nick: Right. And is it also worth learning perhaps that it’s not so much the number of fans you have a …

Rub: No. I’ve seen sites where you’ve got you know, hundreds thousands of fans and it’s usually the celebrities and things like that but the engagement levels vary. Some of them are people from perhaps the Cast. I don’t know if there are any Sci Fi fans listening today, but I’m a sci-fi tragic but that Facebook page has hundreds of thousands of people who love it but the engagement I would imagine, is quite low, because the series has been cancelled for years. It’s been 10 years or something. It’s something crazy since this series was on TV and it got cancelled half way through it’s first season. So, you know, there are questions about why it’s called a classic. Point remains, is that even though there are so many fans, they simply love it. They’re not engaged with the page specifically, because there isn’t much new content coming from the page itself but you just kind of stumble across it and occasionally write, I wish this was still on tv. I love it, whereas you know, so you can have pages that have really high number of fans, but very low engagement. Ideally, what you’re looking for is a high proportion of engagement. So, you’re probably better off with say 50 out of 75 people who are engaged with your brand rather than having 10 people out of 750 people who like your brand, engage in your brand. What you’re aiming for is a high percentage of people with interaction with your brand.

The other thing too though to look at, if you’re looking at Facebook specifically, because now, the site’s been revamped and you actually, you know, to me, to interact with the page, you actually have to like the page to do it. You used to, you know, have first they used to have it so that you I have to like the page and then I can comment on the page. Now, I can just comment nearly however I like on brand pages. I don’t have to like the brand to make a comment, unless of course, they’ve set their, they’ve locked up their settings so no one can post on the wall.

So, that’s really interesting but looking at some of the stats, I’m finding more and more is that people who have seen this or the potential rate, which is something that we also talk about it that people who actually have engaged with it, don’t necessarily like the page. So we’re seeing, like you know, interactions from beyond the community of people and that basically comes from when you are in current, or rather you are, specifically on Facebook, people who like this, your community as it were, start commenting on your page, then networks and then seeing 2, then their networks comments and so on and so on and so on.

So, what you’re actually seeing is that even though say, you’ve reached, say you’ve got 600 fans but you reached a thousand and then you’ve got say 30 people or something, who interact on that specific post, you might find of those 30 people, only 10 of them actually like your page and that’s the great thing about social is that you can measure it, and drill down to say where all your traffic is coming from and what kind of people like us in there. The demographic, basically gender or age and country and language, where these people are coming from across your page and also you know, which post for more I guess , more liked or more engaging, because it gives you all of the stats behind that as well.

So, it’s a great way for people to try and get feedback from what might work and you know, as far as marketing campaigns go, if you are a small business. If you have some ideas on how you might want to run an ad for example, but you’re not sure on wording and things like that. Test it out on your Facebook page I should say or send it out on Twitter and see what kind of responses you get, you know. Do people think that it’s a …

Nick: Do you mean ask for their…

Rubina: No, no, just kind of putting it out there. You can either you know, you can do it as both. I think it depends on how you feel but you can ask the questions like, Look we’re thinking about changing, what do you guys think about these following logos or something like that, and you might put 1, 2 or 3 up and see what the response is or maybe have a new slogan that you want to try or you know, you might have a question, something like what inspires you? If you’re a fitness center or something like that, you might have a question of something along lines of, what inspires you to get to the gym? That might in turn, then spark up some more marketing campaign ideas and that sort of thing.

So the other thing to social media, because it is the sort of two-way conversation of nature and it doesn’t matter what platform you’re looking at, it’s all conversation and people discussing, you know, you could be discussing a video on YouTube in the comment section or it might be just chatting amongst a community of wine lovers or something on Twitter or something like that. LinkedIn, there’s plenty of discussions and groups and that sort of thing. There’s plenty of opportunity for engagement on these levels of conversation and so the idea for businesses and particularly small businesses, is trying to get into that conversation and making themselves relevant to those consumers, potential consumers.

Nick: Just on the point you mentioned before about people who don’t like your page is actually engaging with you. Is that still good for you?

Rubina: Oh, I would say so, absolutely. Because…

Nick: So, you ultimately want to get in there as well or I it good just to have…

Rubina: Well I think ultimately, yes it would be nice if they did like your page but if you think of it in terms of like [Inaudible 00:15:57] that I know. She has this thing where she talks about what’s called the ripple effect and basically that’s what we’re talking about here where I say, you put a post up, I then engage with it. My friends then see that happening on Facebook, they then might become engaged with it. So on and so on and so on. So, it’s good if you have people who are interacting with your page, I think it’s a good thing. If they like your page, I think that’s a bonus, but if you’re getting touch with people who don’t like your page, then that can only be good for your business. It means that it’s extending out beyond your existing community and you’re kind of the brand is moving out…

Nick: Right, so there’s a bit of branding and some of those people might come through and end up liking you.

Rubina: Well that too, exactly and from there maybe it’s enough. Maybe that engagement with that particular post or having a look at how you say, handled a customer service complaint or something like that is enough for them to say, you know what I am going to just go and I want one of these things. It might be a product or it might something they’ll file for later and someone says, does anyone know what you can do and provide this concept, whether its accounting, or might be hospitality, or even though with restaurants or something like that, you know.

Your experiences online are part of your, I don’t know how you say it, but that kind of inter-weave with your real life experiences and all that sort of thing. And so you know, if you’re having a real life conversation with somebody about you know, your social media stuff and your online media activity don’t exist in a bubble you know. I turn off the computer, I turn off my phone and then you come out and then you don’t get influenced by it. You are sometimes influenced by all that stuff like why you’ve engaged with and who you’ve engaged with and that sort of thing.

So, when it comes to having conversation across the coffee table or something like that, then someone might ask you, do you know where I can get a tattoo done? Yeah I saw this tattoo artist on, say for example it might be tattoos. That might be something. Does anyone know where I can get a good tattoo? My tattoo, I was just [Inaudible 00:18:10] I don’t know where to go now. Well, actually I saw someone on Twitter who was doing some amazing work in there. Keep on tweeting photos of their art, of people obviously, permanent art obviously, but you know all of a sudden, you’re like, you should get in touch with this person. So, it’s part of that fluid conversation that kind of happens online and off.

Nick: Right. And this is kind of what we were saying before. It’s one of the aspects that’s difficult to measure, I suppose there’s been some studies or it’s been enough increase in business that you can sort of say with some certainty, it works.

Rubina: Well, I think it does work because, especially if you’re say an entrepreneur or if you’ve got something you just opened, something new or if you’re launching a new product, new menu, new something. I think that there is opportunity to create a lot of buzz on Twitter and on Facebook and any of these other social media sites and there are specific sites out there for specific industries and things like that as well.

So you know, you do have plenty of opportunities there to make the most of it. Mainstream media is still an option, your traditional PR like press releases and things like that and traditional marketing, traditional advertising, billboards, all that sort of stuff. That’s all still an option to you but you may find the cost of doing something like that may be prohibitive to your budget and so that’s where social can kind of try, you can try and bridge the gap if it was social. And if you can come up with a catchy tag line or if you have a product or something of interest to people, or if you’re running a, you might have a launch party or something like that. There’s plenty of opportunities in there to share photos, share what happened and people’s experiences and all that sort of thing. Increasingly, we’re seeing a lot of Twitter buzz about, around conferences and things like that. It might be something as simple as Tedex Adelaide or it might be something like Mocking Ideas Conference, which is coming up the end of August here in Adelaide and we are looking at all these types of conferences and events, hash tags, during the Adelaide fringe, that hash tag was almost dead last year as an active participant.

There was pretty much myself and a few others and that was pretty much it. This year the artists were all tweeting but heaps of people were just saying, I watch the show a lot. I didn’t like it or please help my friend out, he’s doing a show, go down to the Lunger or whatever it may be. So there were all sorts of people, it’s a really vibrant hash tag and a really great way of actually seeing the festival of what people were doing and where they were going and all that sort of thing.

Same with the Adelaide festival, I’m seeing it more and more now with all the different festivals that were run in Adelaide throughout the year and the [Inaudible 00:21:07] Festival, [Inaudible 00:21:08] Fringe Festival and so on.

Nick: Is this sort of a testament or a reason because Twitter is getting more and more popular?

Rubina: I’d say that, I don’t know, I don’t think popularity is it. I think it’s more just sort of letting people know. I think it’s an education process here. I think that last year was the first year that there was like an official hash tag for the Adelaide Fringe Festival as far as I know and so I started kind of contributing to it and there were few others there as well, there weren’t that many. Not as vibrant, I would say but I think that they had – I was looking at, during the Fringe, during my march, the page kept refreshing at a very quick rate. You go away for 5 minutes, come back 20 new tweets you know, which is pretty, it’s not nothing.

That’s a fairly rapid thing, especially when it’s during the day and that’s when everyone’s out the garden or when everyone’s out, so whatever partying the night away. So, I think that having the buy-in from the artist and having it in from Fringe management and also from the media outlets and also from them pushing it as part of their marketing collaterals for Adelaide Fringe, it really does kind of lend a credibility to that web communicating with the Fringe and all that sort of things. So, then you get a lot of encouragement given to everybody else to kind of don’t stop.

Everything else is really important when it comes to any of these kinds of conferences or events or festivals or anything where you are encouraging people to share their experiences, whether it’s through using a hash tag or posting images to your Facebook wall, or whatever it might be. They key thing is to communicate that it’s okay for them to do that. I think for so many years, please turn your phone off and all that kind of thing, whereas now you’re hearing people say, well please turn your phone to silent and feel free to tweet as things are happening here. So that’s kind of powerful. I think it’s best. Well that’s it, I think it’s more the education process as opposed to the popularity and blasts to Twitter and things like that. I think it’s more of the people are becoming, it’s part of the social, culture, you know, that it is acceptable for me to look at my phone while someone is talking and tweeting what they’re saying because I thought it was, that particular quote was worth sharing. It was that pointed, insightful, and you know the savvy kind, I guess, presenters when it comes to conferences and that sort of thing. I think they put the handle up there because that way you know for sure what the handle is.

Sometimes you’re not 100% sure, it might be this, it might be that. So, whether they have their own handle up or not it sometimes difficult to figure out and but if they’ve made it obvious out there as well that they’re going to engage and I’ve a lot of them engage afterwards, this is after Marketing Week last year. And it was, you could tell who was really engaged in the space and that sort of thing. We’re hoping to keep that going during the next inception of Marketing Week, which is the Marketing Ideas Conference, so, that would be good.

Nick: Yep. Perhaps we could just touch on some of the different tools and how to use them. Just to get started on that, how should people choose which tool, whether it is Facebook or Twitter or YouTube instead of going to…

Rubina: I think that there are a few things that they need to keep in mind. It’s they need to keep in mind how much time they’ve got to allocate to the platform, first and foremost and as a result, look at how many they can engage on. Have a look at where they’re [Inaudible 00:25:01]. If you’re finding that a lot of your target demographics are on Facebook, Facebook and Twitter always posts, release their every year stats about their respective demographics, overall users, so we have 100% men or whatever it might be or that kind of thing.

So, you now have a look at their stats and see what’s not working and what you can do and also have a look at the kind of things that you want to share. If you are going to be doing a majority of text, kind of base stuff, then maybe Twitter would be just fine. Like, it’s only 140 characters but 140 characters still count but if you’re doing just text based stuff or it will be just updates, okay, we’re open now and maybe an occasional [Inaudible 00:25:58] then Twitter is really a more appropriate platform for you. It also depends on what kind of collateral like, as in [Inaudible 00:26:05] nearby and will you be using a smart phone most of the time or are you going to be scheduling updates using something like [Inaudible 00:26:16] or posting in your Facebook page scheduler.

Will you be using those particular products or tools to get your message out and if so, then you probably need to be in front of desktop or a laptop to actually do it. Will you be using an iPad or a Motorola zoom or any of these? I think those are considerations you’ve got to, and then also how it might work in this. Most of the time, it is someone’s existing job that they get social media just kind of falls on top of, it’s just kind of like that kind of thing. So, I think it also depends on your industries. There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to looking at which one to take…

Nick: When they’re sort of first getting into it people should look at …

Rubina: The other thing too is that, look at your competitor first, see what they’re doing and can you do it better? Or do you think you can do it differently? I think it’s another way of having a look at where you might be able to score some points.

Nick: Score some points, yeah, just looking more closely now at Facebook, just to go through perhaps some of the basic aspects of the Facebook page. I’m just thinking that people have a Facebook page or should I have a profile put in and then …

Rubina: Absolutely. Well Facebook Terms and Conditions say that you cannot have a profile page for a business, so I can’t be a person. Luckily a business can’t be a person, because they’re not, so you absolutely must open a Facebook page. There are plenty of categories that come all the way from Community through to Industry to Consulting to whatever, projects not for profits so on and so on.

There are plenty of categories there, so choose the category that’s right for you, that’s a good way of going about it, with that sort of thing. So, once you’ve started your page, these days, if you are starting a new page, there would be a timeline for the management, which means that you need a nice graphic to go to the top, a good profile picture that represents your business or your brand or perhaps it might even be the face of your business or your brand and putting that as your profile picture. And then of course you then have all the different areas, well, essentially it’s still the Facebook wall.

It’s just laid out in more of the newspaper dual type thing and so, you then can scroll through and add links. It’s really important to fill out your About Section. Put in your current address, put in what you’re about, put in your contact phone number, opening hours, who can apply, payment methods and so on and so on. So, that’s quite important too. So you’ve got that section there. You also have a set of buttons that appear at the top. I guess you could call them, they’re kind of like they’re windows more so than buttons but it tells you that you can change what goes there but you can put in there number of, it’ll come up with number of likes for your page.

You could have upcoming events, you could have photos, you could have edgy videos about YouTube channels, things like that. You can also run competitions, of course, running in with Promotion Guidelines set by Facebook, so you need the Party app to go in to do that. You can also upload videos straight to Facebook as well, you don’t have to put it on a YouTube channel or anything like that, you can go straight to Facebook and also you’ve got other apps that you can add on.

Nick: What are some of the functionality you can get from these other apps?

Rubina: Like for example you can embed your Twitter feed if you have one. You can embed your YouTube channel of you have one and with your YouTube channel you can choose to either embed your own videos or your favorite videos. So, you don’t have your own content yet, but maybe your radio station and maybe really like, or a program or maybe just a program on a radio station, our favorites are the top 10 for this week, so it might be. I don’t know who’s even in the Top Ten, so I’m just going to say people like Missy Higgins and Alexie [Inaudible 00:30:51] and I don’t even know anybody actually in the Top Ten, Beyonce or something like that. I don’t know.

You might pick or might say 10 or whatever it might be. So, you can use, you can do both there. You also can, there are tons and tons of Facebook apps to go. You can even put shops into Facebook, you can put like sign up forms, if you’re looking to increase your e-newsletter and subscriber, which is something we haven’t touched on this time around but e-newsletters is another opportunity for integration for social media or blogs and all that something happening there as well. So, I think that the social media is one aspect of your web marketing or digital marketing strategy and so, you can’t ignore like your e-newsletters, you know, blogs, your actual website, is it functional? Is it easy to use? Is it – going back to basics here. Is it readable by everybody you know? Does it matter if you’re using Safari or Internet Explorer or whatever you know.

So, there are other aspects and of course, you’ve got the search engine optimization, search engine marketing, all that as well and then copy and all that sort of stuff. There are a lot of different graphic design of course, there are a lot of different aspects that come in together to give you a successful digital marketing or web marketing strategy and social media is just one component of that. If it’s the component that you choose to focus on, that’s great, but just bear in mind that you do have other areas there. It’s all, again, it’s very, very dependent on the industry and also the client and …

Nick: Yeah. For me, just tell us something. So there’s lots of different ways that social media can integrate with other marketing channels.

Rubina: Yes, absolutely.

Nick: Sort of a very integrated approach to marketing.

Rubina: Yeah, well that’s it, absolutely. I mean, I take that approach to my clients and I ask them about what other activities that they’re doing. Have they considered using any other sort of activities? Why they want to get into social? If the answer is, because everybody else is, well, that’s not good enough. You need a, there needs to be a real objective in mind and we want to increase the number of hits to our website or we want to see an increase in sales using this particular thing. Or we want to see a higher recognition, like a higher level of recognition of our brand. Or, we want more visitors in our shop or we want more people coming to eat at out restaurant or whatever it might be. There needs to be some real tangible objectives there. We want to increase our membership if it’s a membership program or something like that.

Nick: And should people have an idea of the stuff that they want to do before they start a social media or is it okay to just get in there and try it out and work at it as you go along?

Rubina: I think it’s, I think it depends on your particular brand. If you’re for example, Coca-Cola and you kind of came in without a plan, I don’t think that’s a good idea at all because it is, Coca-Cola is one of the biggest brands on the planet. It’s massive. If, on the other hand, you are kind of more of a sole-trader or a partnership or you’ve got a small team of around 5 or 6, you can kind of fuss about and you know take it easy. Figure it out as you go but you do need to have some goals set in mind. You do need to have objectives that might be business objectives or marketing objectives or sales objectives that you ultimately want to achieve as a result, otherwise, you’re kind of just in the space without any real …

Nick: Right. Most probably you’re less efficient than …

Rubina: Yeah, because you’re not really, you’re not sure how to target or you’re not sure who to target or if you’re say you’re a hip new bar or something like that, that’s just opened up and you want to have a queue outside, around the corner sort of thing, how do you do that? Well you need to I guess look at, that’s what you want, so then we look at, okay, which platforms are going to give you that, which kind of areas are going to work best for you? Is it best off, just kind of doing a social media blitz or are you better off doing a bit of PR or trying to get a [Inaudible 00:35:37] around you know, what’s the kind of things that’s going to make it happen for you. It’s something that you’ve got to just kind of work through.

Without these goals, without objectives, then you’re kind of just in the space, and you’re in the space and then you kind of [Inaudible 00:35:52]. So, the bottom type thing, because you’re not sure why you’re there or what you’re doing. There are plenty of resources out there. There are plenty of consultants in Adelaide as well particularly but there’s also plenty of – so, you know, there’s also lots of blogs out there and advice for newbies and that sort of things. So, things that you should do before you go, to think about…

Nick: Yep. There’s lot that we could probably talk about in the social media marketing space but I think we’ll finish off that section with just, you can give us some ideas of what the different options would be for your business. For instance like, running campaigns themselves or outsourcing.

Rubina: So yeah, you do have a few options. You can of course run it all in-house, which, I think and I do well that’s best. I’ve gone through a number of clients where I’ve was routed to some of it, and other times I have mentored and trained their staff to do it. The instances where I’ve mentored and trained their staff, their staff had been able to come back with the right answer. Right is not really the way of saying it, but the better answer, the real answer, the answer that I, you can ask me anything about social media and I’d be able to give you the answer.

In the case of say bartending or something like that, if someone asks me, I really like Manhattans, what’s a great twist on, the modern twist on this classic drink, I’ve got no idea. I don’t know which bourbon I should recommend. I don’t know which bourbon that’s particularly good. I don’t know any of these, so, the little details that comes from the staff without hesitation because that’s what they do behind the bar all day in a bar situation. Someone comes in and says, I like this but I want something new, what can you do? They will just make it and they know what the answer is and the answer is more authentic than the answer I would have given if I went on Google for something different.

It’s much better, you know, and I think that in time, since we are all going to be savvy enough to know the difference between someone who knows about the brand, who knows a lot about the product, knows what’s happening with the product and that sort of thing, as opposed to, outsourcing can be, it’s good, I think, for some businesses because of the time and the resources it has but they still want to commit then they can absolutely outsource it. I think the important thing though, is that when you do outsource it, is that the person who it’s being outsourced to or the friends it’s being outsourced to has access to relevant and updated product information and all that sort of stuff, so that they can do it convincingly.

I think that’s really important. If you haven’t, if there isn’t a contact or a go to person in the actual organization who they can just bring out and talk to you and say, look we have this dream come true, what should the response be because we haven’t covered it already in previous guidelines or policy or anything like that. Which you know, occasionally it does happen you get one side but having that contact within the organization helps you actually, kind of push things through, or something, it makes things a lot easier.

So, I think outsourcing is a good idea if you haven’t got the resources else and it also depends on what industry you are in as well, especially if you need someone to do some technical writing and things like, then your outsourcing is not a bad idea at all, for blogging that sort of this. But when it comes to that immediate responses, that’s something that’s perhaps more personal, so might be hospitality of tourisms, something like that. If you’re not familiar with the product, then the answer you give might be less that authentic, you know. I’m not sure you know. Some people might know, some people might not but ideally what you want to be authentic when you’re on social media. You want to be real and that’s something that’s really, really important I think, to be transparent, to be who you are.

Nick: Thanks for joining me for another episode of Web Marketing Adelaide. If you want to find out any more about Rubina or anything else we’ve discussed in this episode, head to our website www.webmarketingadelaide.com.au. See you next week!

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25Jul

Ep#1: Social Media Marketing

For our first episode this week we have a great interview with Rubina Carlson, a social media marketing (SMM) expert from Adelaide.

The interview was so long and detailed (over an hour) that I decided to split it into two parts, the second part will be featured in episode 3.

Discussed in this episode;

  • What makes social media a good marketing channel
  • Which industries SMM is good for
  • Blogging
  • How to provide value
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Building a community
  • Like buttons vs Plugins

Mentioned;

This is only our first episode so I would love to hear your feedback about things you liked and didn’t like and how we can make the podcast better.

[spoiler title=”Click Here for Transcription” open=”0″ style=”1″]

Nick: Welcome to Episode 1 of the Web Marketing Adelaide Podcast. I’m your host, Nick Morris and today, we’re talking about social media marketing. We’ve got a great interview with Rubina Carlson. We’ve recorded this interview at Jam The Bistro, a funky little coffee shop on Wright Street in the City but unfortunately there’s quite a bit of background noise, which makes the interview hard to hear at times, so I apologize for that.

It was a really good interview and it went for over an hour so I decided to split it up into 2 parts. The second half will be released in Episode 3 in a couple of weeks. So, here’s the interview.

Welcome back to Web Marketing Adelaide. Today we’re talking with Rubina Carlson, social media marketing expert in Adelaide.

Rubina: Hi Nick, how are you doing?

Nick: We’re going to be covering some stuff about social media marketing for small businesses and then talk a little bit about a Social Media Marketing Tafe Course, [Inaudible 00:01:21] and then we’ll finish off with talking about MICON Mob Project. So let’s just get started by perhaps you telling us a little bit about yourself and the kind of stuff that you do.

Rubina: Yep. Well I actually have a background in community radio and that’s where I kind of started. I then moved into writing online for Buzz Cuts, which is a program run by Express Media and writing reviews, all and all that sorts of things for shows, and french shows and all that kind of stuff and that I something I carried through until now. And then I kind of moved from there with a couple of other online publications, video channels, somewhat flipped through PDF type books and all that sort of stuff and then, kind of moved in to the social media space which is where I currently am. And yes, it’s been a gradual kind of process for me and now I’ve lots of clients and that sort of thing in my consultancy. And also I’ve been teaching a Social Media short course at Tafe for business, with a business class, as well as being heavily involved in the [Inaudible 00:02:37] committee and also the, I guess, social media sphere of Adelaide has got me on the course.

Nick: Well that’s where I met you, through the Net Square Project.

Rubina: The Net Square Project. Yep.

Nick: I was thinking of starting with some questions about some social media marketing directed at small businesses, sort of, business relationship. So, what is it about social media that makes it a good marketing idea for small businesses?

Rubina: I think that it’s relatively, you’ve got the barriers to entry of selling mode, having said that it can be a good thing and a bad thing at the same time. Seeing that the barriers are pretty low to get in let’s say there’s not much about cost involved to initially get yourself going, to set up a page is free, your Facebook page or Four Square page or Twitter accounts and all that sort of stuff and Google Plus too, as you mentioned. That part of it is relatively easy to do, the harder part comes when you’re actually trying to build a community.

But that’s not say though that there aren’t different levels, or different ways you can approach social media as a small business. For example you might be pretty time pulled and as a result you might decide, well I just want people to be able to reference me, for example if I am, if they’re talking about me on social media. So, that means just claiming your Facebook pages or places page or your Four Square page and then just kind of making sure that all your contact details are up to date.

If you’re a restaurant, put your current menu up, and that kind of thing and your engagement levels are going to be very low for sure but at least, if people come across you or they’re sitting in your restaurant or they’re wanting to share information about your brand, at least they’re able to do that and reference you and share that with their networks. The onus, of course is then with your consumer to recognize your brand first off, and also to recognize that you’re actually on a particular network so that they know they can reference you when referring to you.

So, I guess it’s an entry level point but I think most small businesses can jump in. If you’re really wanting to push it as a marketing channel, you definitely need to invest the time, and I think that that’s one thing about social that probably turns off a lot of small businesses is that it can be quite time intensive and the results, the return on investment over time can be difficult to kind of track it’s full financial outcome to sales and that kind of thing, and, so I think you know, initially I think it’s right if they jump on then just turn their pages and go for an informative approach.

But then of course if they’re wanting to see some more attraction from it, they’re going to have to invest the time and become a part of the community, whether it’s within Adelaide or within moms groups or within not-for-profit sector or maybe it’s something to do with the politics or something like that or new outlets or whatever that might be. So it’s an interesting way to go, absolutely.

Nick: Alright. So, is this something that every kind of business can benefit from? Or are there certain businesses or the …

Rubina: I think it really depends, I think it comes with a few factors. I think it depends what industry you’re in. While teaching is a social media short course, it tends to come into contact with a number of different industries, and for some of them, social really isn’t the answer and they’ve come to the courses and I feel pretty rotten about it. So, I then look at the situation and say, look, you have the social, I guess looking at the broader defined terms in sort of any site where you can interact with other people and brands and whatnot, would be okay for them. Maybe Facebook, perhaps set blame perhaps not, or Twitter perhaps not, but perhaps the idea of blogging, which is kind of tied into social, because without blogging, you really don’t have much content to share apart from here’s a photo of me, or here’s a photo of this happening or a photo this.

So we kind of then look at blogging and blogging strategies and how they might be able to help their current customer base and then perhaps their potential customers base and that might be writing a blog that’s tech support focused or it might be a blog about, you know, what to do when something goes wrong or whatever, or it might just be a blog of the daily activities in the office or weekly activities in the office depending on the timeframe or to the best he’s doing it.

Social can have a place, I think, in many different industries and particularly ones where we’re already quite social, which you’re looking at hospitality, you’re looking at leisure, and tourism, all those kinds of areas. It’s a very easy fit for social to work in, social media, I should say but perhaps some of the other industries where perhaps where there are business to business service or perhaps they’re a, they could be in manufacturing or they might be something else entirely. It is a little bit more of a challenge to see how social can work in, how social media can work in.

And then of course you’ve got the education sector and all that kind of things, and that’s a different layer again. I think that there is room for it in most industries but some industries are probably better off just practicing on their websites and make sure that all their information is up to date and yeah, looking at their existing communication channels with their current customers have they go and get new customers.

If they’re, for example, advertising in a, say they’re HRM or something like that, like the recruitment firm, they might be advertising in Leader, which is the leading human resources magazine instead of going heavily on the social to promote their particular recruitment company. They might decide, we’ll just advertise online with the same publication or something like that, [Inaudible 00:09:02] do existing things. So, there are other things to consider in your sort of overall digital marketing, strategy but then if you’re looking at a HR, then you’re probably looking at people who are very heavily using LinkedIn to recruit to actually find these people for these jobs. There’s a lot of different ways you can social that aren’t limited to marketing but this is a marketing Podcast, so I’ll bring it back around.

Nick: Yeah, definitely. Cool. I’ve always had this idea with Social Media Marketing that you should try and find a way of offering unique value when you’re going into a strategy. Is that something you would agree with or…?

Rubina: I think so. I think that you need to provide something of value, whether it’s unique or not, unique is better obviously because you might get some traction in other areas or other kit networks that you put it into because you’re doing something different to everybody else but the important thing to remember is that, because going back to the view of the barrier to entering social media makes it low, and any man’s job can jump on and do something. Oh, I’m a hobby photographer, I can just jump on this and I’m a professional photographer before you know, I do wedding stuff and design but there’s a lot of content out there. So, to be sure that your content or any of your marketing is going to stand apart, you’ve got to make sure that you’re at least writing something of value to the consumer, or the targeted consumers and not your current ones.

Nick: What would be some examples of that kind of value to different businesses?

Rubina: I’m thinking, just trying to think now. Say for example, take the wine industry actually, that’s a good example. The social media sites that’s currently in, the Australian Wineries have saturated social media sites. There are heaps, pretty much every winery you can think of has a social media page, either a Facebook account or a Twitter account or a YouTube channel, whatever and the way that they, because there are so many, the ones that seem to get more engagement on the sites are the ones who are providing better content, which means they take it like a nice, a good high-depth video down in their cellars and this is what we have found, uncovered from when we were renovating or something like that. Or they’re the ones providing photos of, we did a vertical tasting today of say their top wine for example, which might retail for a $100 a bottle for each vintage when it comes out and they might do a vertical testing for the last 10 years and talk about it and that sort of thing.

The wineries that are providing that kind of content seem to get more engagement and more traction in social media, whether those have been converted to a sale or converted to people visiting seller door or selecting that wine when out dining in a restaurant and so on. I’m not 100% sure, it’s hard to measure that one but you definitely see higher engagement and social media is more so about friending, it’s about loyalty, it’s about conversation, it’s about getting feedback. It’s about all those types of things and social media is not a direct sales mechanism. You can’t really say okay I want, here’s this [Inaudible 00:12:35].

I’m sure everybody’s seen those spamming through Facebook at the moment. They’re like 100, I’ll get it for a 100 bucks or whatever that might be and I’m not sure I know anyone who’s taken up that offer yet but using Facebook as a tool out there, it’s not welcome to a whole lot of users, because in essence, as a brand you’re treading on their turf and you need to be able to be more respectful about it and engage them in a way that they’ll want to come and talk to you. Show us your, the sellers, show us the vineyards or do profiles on the wine maker and this is the lovely, or Lisa Sedoro or whatever it might be but that’s how you kind out, I would say that providing content valuable content is just about providing quality and it might be the production value of your video, there’s particularly artistic or particularly good or it might just be that you’re actually putting out interesting content, or content of interest to your targets, target markets and demographics and whatnot.

Nick: With that sort of stuff you mentioned just now, sounds like there’s a bit of an investment that’s kind of required, like I think is that, is that the idea of setting yourself apart from … [cross-talk 00:14:01]

Rubina: Yeah, absolutely. Exactly right. That would be a way that I’d say it, especially if you’re looking at doing video and things like that and video can be a costly exercise. So, there aren’t that many people who take it on, so if you are really trying to make an impact then video is a great way of doing it and it’s just a really, really engaging way of showing people what’s happening. Photo’s good, but video is better. It’s moving picture, there’s sound, there’s plenty of opportunity there to be engaged. Of course, your video should be, to be engaging of course, it has to contain something of interest or something different, and not too long, either. Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter on the internet, so certainly not longer than, my recommendation will be not much longer than 5 minutes and if you’re going for longer than 5, it has to be done like, not comprises quality, it has to be compelling.

Nick: I’m thinking of the [Inaudible 00:15:05] 2012, which was half an hour [Inaudible 00:15:13]. It was very compelling.

Rubina: So, if you’ve compelling content, by all means go on and on and on. That’s the other thing too, you need to consider what channel you want to put it on. Do you want to put, do you want a YouTube channel? Do you want [Inaudible 00:15:24] channel and there’s another pros and cons to have there, right there or both. If you can’t make up your mind, both is fine but I think that given different types of viewers, YouTube is where everybody is. Like it’s, they’re still getting [Inaudible 00:15:44] so yeah, it’s pretty, as far as I know but then it appears to be more on the creative side and artistic sort of endeavors and that sort of thing, things would be popping up on [Inaudible 00:16:03] more and more rather than YouTube. So, as a result I think if you’re really trying to set this up, then [Inaudible 00:16:15] is a pretty good tool and if you’ve got good, strong social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, where you’ve already invested the time and built the relationships with your consumers, then pushing people to [Inaudible 00:16:24] is not going to be difficult.

If you don’t have those things however, then maybe you need to consider just being somewhere big like YouTube so that you can, you’re searchable and try a little [Inaudible 00:16:37] somewhere along the line, I’m sure.

Nick: I’ve been hearing this idea a little bit more recently as well, of not spending, not so much building stuff on Facebook, trying to sort of direct it, roll back to a venue that you own, such as your website. Is that something that you usually recommend?

Rubina: I would say so. I think that, at the end of the day, you don’t own any of your content that you throw up on Facebook or anything can get shared on Facebook, Twitter or that kind of thing, like it’s all out quite publicly and all that sort of thing and with Twitter and with Facebook of course, there is a bit there and you know. It’s still really important to have your own base, your own website and whether you’ve got hosting, it doesn’t matter if it’s [Inaudible 00:17:33] but your website. I think though that it depends what your website is too.

If your website is just to say this is who we are, this is what we do, contact us that type of thing, then I think that driving some traffic to it is good because obviously you’re getting exposure but if you’re finding that you’re getting huge engagement on Twitter for example, say you’re an accounting firm or something, its text time right now. So you’re getting hundreds of questions on Twitter, that’s going to be a lot more valuable to you than, say in trying to make sure that all those 100 people who are asking you questions go to your website. If you help them, they’ll be like, oh that was helpful and then they’ll probably follow up with a phone call and say, can you please do my taxes or something like that. [Inaudible 00:18:20].

Nick: It would probably be a quicker response time on Twitter as well.

It is, it can be, very much so, but it just depends. If your site on the other hand though is not informative and rather is like a point of sales, a sales point where you’ve got a shop and you’re selling scarves or something that are handmade in Dubai or or something like that, then obviously you want people to go to your site, because that’s your shop front, so you’ll be wanting to drive traffic back to the site, so, the people buy in to those gifts and all that sort of thing.

So, in that case, it’s really important to make sure that the hits on the website are increasing and people spend time and that people then commit to the images. So, I think it really just depends on what kind of site do you have, whether how much you should be pushing it. If you, I think a great way around it is that if you have a blog component on your website, which I think a lot of companies are starting to do now, is that you are pushing people back to the site whenever you’ve written a blog or someone in the company has written a blog, whether it’s a post about what happened today in the office or this is the top ten things you needs, when lodging a tax return, it’s an accounting firm or something or make it easy for yourself, give it to us and we’ll do it if you bring us these ten things or whatever.

So I think there’s a lot of room for pushing traffic back towards the site and engagement back towards the website that you want obviously by sort of incorporating blogs and things like that. And the other thing of course is to be using sharing buttons on your websites which seems like a fairly obvious one, but it’s worth mentioning and putting a lot of those like buttons, tweet buttons, plus one for Google, and then you’ve also got like read it, you’ve got delicious, you’ve got stumbled on, you’ve got – I can’t think of all the rest now but there are tons and tons of websites where you share. The big ones we always think of in general as well and there are plenty of ways to share. So, allowing others to share your content as they find it is a great way of trying to get traffic back to your site as well and using social media, in which case you’d then be kind of capitalizing on the social media networks to somebody else rather than just what you’ve got as well.

I think that’s something important to consider too, is that you don’t necessarily have to build your own massive network on social media sites. Facebook is a little bit more difficult and you really do need to invest into having a community around your brand but on Twitter or something like that, there are plenty of established communities already. So, you are able to enter and exit conversations with the nature of the platform and that sort of thing. So, it can be something to consider, taking your branch to a community that exists and seeing if it works or not.

Nick: Yep. I’m just going to mention that point you just made about the sharing buttons on a website. It’s something that I see a little bit with clients and other people is that I think they misunderstand or get confused between like buttons for the page, and like buttons like buttons on someone’s Facebook page or website and actually liking on the page itself. Can you just explain the difference?

Rubina: Yeah. So you’ve got a couple of options when it comes to this. Of course, you’ve got the Facebook plug-in boxes and Twitter plug-in boxes as well and this is where you’ve got the feed and all that sort of thing coming down, or it might have you and 250 people like this and then they’ll have photos of the people who do like it. So, that’s a like, to like the Facebook page. So, there’s a link there that you can click and if you’re signed in to Facebook from another tab or if you were previously, you’d be able to like it and it would just go straight through. Twitter is very much the same, we’ve got a follow button there.

When it comes to actually having a blog article for example and you’ve got those sharing buttons at the bottom, what you’re doing is you’re actually sharing that particular link to your own personal Facebook networks rather than liking the page. The Facebook page, the official Facebook page for the company, say company X, you’re not liking that company X, X’s Facebook page. What you’re actually doing is you’re liking that link or you’re tweeting that link and sharing the link and that content with your social media, personal social media networks. So, it might be your Facebook friends, or it might be your Twitter followers or it might be your LinkedIn connections. So, depending on which platform you go with of course.

Nick: Yeah, and those two things are completely separate?

Rubina: They are completely separate and I could see they do look similar, but they are very much very, very similar.

Nick: And do you recommend that people on their own websites would have both?

Rubina: Yes, I would say so. I think that the best idea is to, if you can put in your headers or in your footers, headers ideally because when we flip the page we want things above the fold so that you’ve got your Facebook and Twitter icons there so that people can access that page whenever. So it doesn’t matter if I’ve arrived in the Home Page and moved to the Content Page and then I’ve gone to the Blog Section. It doesn’t matter where I am on the site, if I want to go find the Facebook page, I just click on there or send to open a new tab or whatever that might be. So, that way, you’ll always have it easy for people to access, instead of trying to find it under the contact us page rather than clicking away and then of course, the sharing buttons. I have seen it go a little bit crazy on some sites, where they put it on every single page. I think that you’re better off with your sharing buttons being selective where you put them and maybe putting them just where you’ve got the blog section perhaps, because it’s going to be most up to date, recent sort of stuff anyway.

Nick: Or perhaps not, so your contact page bring no [Inaudible 00:24:44].

Rubina: No, well there’s nothing really to like about it. It’s not really, I mean shareability I think is a fault word people make up now but why would you want to share contact details to somebody else? I’d rather share for example, I’m sure there are on Web Marketing Adelaide website, there’s a contact section and there’s also the podcast section, so I’d want to share what’s on the podcast. The contact details will better be good if someone needs to contact you but I don’t know why you want to share your contact details [cross-talk 00:25:19] Exactly but the content is where you get the kind of recognition.

Nick: Well now let’s move on to the next section which is Social Media Marketing Tafe course, which you teach. You’ve got one coming up?

Rubina: Yeah, at the end of July, we’ve got one coming up. That’ll be good for all and we limit the class to about 20 participants at most. It’s a two day intensive, we have 9 sessions. It’s pretty [Inaudible 00:25:53]. Anyone can come in to the course, if you know things about social media and apps and web marketing then yes, you’re more than absolutely more than welcome. If you’re someone who doesn’t even know what the Facebook is or you still call it The Facebook or whatever it might be, we can accommodate that too.

The course essentially runs through from zero to hero is probably an over statement, but we definitely start beginning to define what social media is. We look at different platforms, and why some platforms might be more suited to a business than others. We also run through social media case studies and looking at other businesses that are successful or not so successful and why that might be the case or not. So, we have a quick walk through about that kind of stuff. We look at metrics and measurement, we look at kind of insights that you can get from Facebook and Twitter and that sort of thing.

We also look at using third-party apps to manage your social media presence if you are looking at larger brands, [Inaudible 00:27:06] sweep or might be radiant 6, or anything that comes out of sales force and it’s usually pretty good and so, you’ve got all those other areas that we look at and we also look at strategy. You can say it’s a pretty long two days. We have a quick look at strategy and it’s more, nothing much about completing a strategy but at least providing the map I guess of how they might control it with the social media strategy, especially pertaining to which particular platforms, what kind of things they can do and certain budget and all that sort of things, at least give them a little bit of direction.

We kind of round off with policy and look at appropriate and acceptable online behavior, no bullying that sort of thing, how do you manage when people are arming on your brand, if they’re controlling your brand or if they have a complaint, how do you deal with that? And what can you do? You know, we look at how you would write guidelines and that sort of thing. Policy, we also look at policy for people who are working within the business but not in the marketing department perhaps, if you’ve got a larger organization and what kind of social media policy you need to put in place, whether it’s a case of people need to, we would prefer that you do identify yourself as working for X company or we don’t want you to identify yourself as working for X company. That kind of thing make it clear to people what is acceptable and what is not, also outlining social media use at work.

I think that the government, State Government actually of South Australia, they release some through, I think it’s department families and health and communities and whatnot. They released a video which we actually run through because I think it’s a great example of what your social media policy should cover, which is a copyright, defamation and lots of stuff as well as a social media use. But the way they likened it, these days where more and more were taking our home to work, like our lives at home to work, and we’re taking home work at home with us, it’s becoming an increasing sort of trend. So, they likened using social media at work to using a telephone, in moderation. If something happens and you need to make a phone call, then you do so, whatever it might be, you do so. So, social media is kind of the same, sort of have that similar sort of idea there. I’m not sure if that’s all good to say that the departments can conjecture on the issue certainly on Twitter, as I was discussing yesterday.

But yeah, there is all sorts of, we look at policy and all that sorts of things and the different sizes of it that sort of thing as well. Yeah, it’s definitely a marketing bend , with this short course, however, we had a recruiter came in and did it, she’s with one of the HR firms here in Adelaide and we looked at other ways that social media will be useful to her a well, because obviously marketing would be good, but also as far as recruitment goes, LinkedIn is an amazing resource for anyone working in the resources over at so yes we looked at that as well. We tend to look at the options and all the uses of social media potentially and what it has for the business beyond marketing as well.

Nick: So you sort of tailored it to some degree for …

Rubina: Absolutely, the first thing that we do, when everyone arrives, is sign in, of course and we go around the room because they come from everywhere. We’ve had people even from manufacturing, from the supermarkets industry. We’ve had people come through from Education Centers, libraries. We’ve had people come through from butchers and things like that, like cattle companies and things like that. We’ve had people come through from electronics, engineering firms, all sorts, really. It’s something you don’t even think of and some of them were quite challenging for me because a lot of them don’t have any competitors who are currently in the space of social, so those were some interesting times. I look forward to those kind of challenges.

Nick: Challenges, yep. So you’ve got one coming up at the end of this month and if people miss that, how often do you …

Rubina: We generally tend to hold these social media sessions, short courses every couple of months or so. So far, I think this is the 6th course that we’re running. So, it tends to be every 10 months or so, but if demand is increasing for it then obviously we’ll run them more often.

Nick: Well I’ll put a link and the details up in the show notes on our website. And people will find information through that. Just moving on to our last discussion topic, the MICON Mob Project.

Rubina: Yeah, so this is something that I’ve been pushing as a member of the marketing committee this year. Last year, at marketing week, there were a few avid tweeters and this is kind of a similar story that’s seen from other festivals and lots of things in that we were tweeting the event but there wasn’t an official presence on Twitter. There was just mainly a couple of us who were there every day because we were always there in a blogging capacity last year, as the official blogger for marketing week. So, I tweeted when I wasn’t concentrating on understanding the bigger thing. It’s amazing if you have some way to blog, and some way to tweet, you’re listening for different things. Obviously when you’re blogging you’re listening for the whole overall, whereas with a tweet you’re listening for the grab that you can actually put in a 140 characters or less.

So, we kind of did that media training last year and the blogging was very successful. So we’re looking this year at increasing the pool. We’re inviting, we have 20 positions for students currently studying marketing, advertising or design, communications, media, journalism, film, any of those areas, or recent graduates in that area of course, to come along to the Marketing Ideas Conference with MICON which will be held in the last week of August , 28th of August at the Adelaide Festival Center this year. So we’re inviting them to join us, those 20 slots in exchange for a seat in selected sessions at MICON. They will be expected to tweet, to blog, or they might even take an Instagram photo, Facebook to share their experience across the different social media outlets.

We’d love to see some podcasts too, but this is our first year, so we’ll try it and see how it goes. I think podcast would be a [Inaudible 00:34:35] and if we can move towards video, that would be even better. So, that’s something that we’re looking towards. The applications are currently [Inaudible 00:34:44] for the marketing ideas conference mope, the macron mope and there are 20 positions, maximum of 20 places that we’ll be offering this year, and we’ll kind see how it pans out. It’s a very short application process, you basically need to tell us your name, that’s so cool, what you’re studying or what you just studied, where you’re studying or where you just studied and reference of course, a referee just to verify you’re a real person and not a bot and all that kind of thing, just to check you out and also what kind of social micro media it is you’re currently involved in and there’s a short 100 word answer that we would like to hear from these prospective applicants, is which of the speakers in the MICON lineup are they looking forward most to see and why is that?

So it’s a fairly short application process, because I realized that most students don’t have time for it as is at the moment, so we’re really looking forward to seeing those projects and we’ve got the support from the universities as well so it’s really good.

Nick: Sounds interesting. Again, I’ll have some links up for that up in the show notes. That’s all I had to ask you today. Is there anything else you wanted to add or…?

Rubina: No I think we’ve covered a fair bit tonight.

Nick: Yeah, well thanks very much and for lending your time generously and if anyone wants to find out anything more about you and sort of your service and what you do, where can they find you?

Rubina: The best place is Twitter. That’s where I respond quickly. I’m @rubinacarlson and I’m sure Nick will have the links in the notes. I’m also on LinkedIn.

Nick: Great. Well thanks for coming on the show.

Rubina: No worries. Thank you.

Nick: I hope you enjoyed that interview with Rubina. As I said that second half will be coming out in Episode 3 in a couple of weeks, and that pretty much brings us to the end of episode 1 of the Podcast. You can find all the links we mentioned in the interview there to Rubina’sTafe Course and to the MICON mob project in the show notes of this episode and they are at our website at webmarketingadelaide.com.au. You can leave a comment underneath the episode and I’d love to hear your feedback on the topic. So, the quality of the audio, yes I know the background noise is a bit annoying, but hopefully we’ll improve that in the future episodes, in the future interviews.

There’s also a topic index on the website there. You can see that by looking in the menu on the top and if you have any ideas or questions for topics you’d like us to discuss in the show, then it would be great if you could suggest them in the comments underneath on that page there. See you next time.

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