It might be time to adjust how you’re approaching your social media strategy — especially if your approach is focused solely on top-of-the-funnel activities like building awareness.
However you’re currently approaching social media, this week’s guest has some insight that will help you get more out of the time and money you’re investing in social media marketing and advertising.
In this 45-minute episode, Jason Keath, the CEO of Social Fresh, stops by to discuss the insights he and his team gleaned from the massive report they recently published: The Future of Social.
Among the topics discussed:
And much, much more.
We talk about Facebook too, of course, because it remains the dominant social media platform. But Jason is quick to caution anyone overlooking the less popular social media channels and content types — because people are having success with them. It’s all about finding the right fit between your goals, your target audience, your content, and the social media platform you’re using.
Listen to The Digital Entrepreneur below ...
Voiceover: You’re listening to The Digital Entrepreneur, the show for folks who want to discover smarter ways to create and sell profitable digital goods and services. This podcast is a production of Digital Commerce Institute, the place to be for digital entrepreneurs.
DCI features an in-depth, ongoing instructional academy, plus a live education and networking summit where entrepreneurs from across the globe meet in person. For more information, go to Rainmaker.FM/DigitalCommerce.
Jerod Morris: Welcome to another episode of The Digital Entrepreneur. I am your host, Jerod Morris, the VP of marketing for Rainmaker Digital, and this is episode No. 16 of The Digital Entrepreneur. It’s a special episode because we have a special guest.
Jason Keath, the CEO of Social Fresh, is here to discuss the report that Social Fresh recently released called The Future of Social. You can get that report at SocialFresh.com/Future. We dive into a lot of the insights that Jason and his team came up with, with that report, a lot of interesting data.
The timing of this conversation, for me, is especially interesting because I am actually in the midst right now of putting together a course inside of Digital Commerce Academy called Savvy Social Advertising. The big idea with that course is to teach you, the digital entrepreneur, the 20 percent that you need to know about social media marketing, social media advertising, to derive 80 percent of the benefits.
You are out there developing your digital product, offering your digital service, and you don’t necessarily have the time, the inclination, nor the need to become a full-fledged expert on social media. You have a lot of different things that you’re doing, and that’s not the goal of this course. Again, it’s to teach you that 20 percent that you need to get 80 percent of the results.
What’s interesting about this conversation in this episode with Jason–and why I’m excited to bring it to you–is that he talks a lot about a different way to think about social media. If you’re thinking about social media simply as a way to build awareness and put people into the top of your funnel, you’re not really thinking about social media in the way that it can have the maximum benefits.
Thinking about social media from a customer-loyalty perspective, from a lead-nurturing perspective, from an education perspective, from a customer-service perspective–all of those elements social media does really well–sometimes we overlook them simply trying to build that awareness or even trying to jump right from awareness to a sale.
There are a lot of steps that can and should happen in between there, and you’ll learn about that in this conversation today. You’ll also learn much more about it and learn some really important step-by-step tactics for how to make it work for you and to save you money so that you can make more money and have a better return on your investment in social. That will all come in the course.
As I said, the timing of the conversation is interesting because I’m developing the course, but it’s also interesting from this perspective. We are currently in the midst of our price raise promotion for Digital Commerce Academy. Currently, we’re still offering our post-pilot introductory price of $395 per year for membership at Digital Commerce Academy.
The thing is, since we offered that price the first time, the value of Digital Commerce Academy has skyrocketed. Now there aren’t two full-fledged courses in there. There are four. In addition to Brian’s course on building an online training business and Chris and Tony’s course on marketing funnels, we now have Chris Lema’s course on building WordPress products the smarter way. You have my course on Savvy Social Advertising, plus the entire library of Case Study webinars we’ve done, the entire library of Cutting Edge webinars we’ve done, plus the regular coaching Q&As, which happen every other week, and all of the upcoming ongoing education, in addition to the community.
The time was right to raise the price, and we are. On Friday, May 27th, the price is going up to $595 a year. It’s still a great value, but obviously, it’s a better value at $395. You still have the opportunity to get that. This episode comes out on Thursday, May 26th, so you’ve got about 24 to 48 hours from when this comes out to when the price is going to go up.
Go to Rainmaker.FM/DCA, you can still get that post-pilot introductory price of $395 before the price goes up. Rainmaker.FM/DCA. Again, you’ll have access to my course on social advertising. Especially if today’s episode peaks your interest, then that is a course that you’ll want to get in there and start to dig into. I’m having a lot of fun putting it together, and I really am looking forward to you getting in there, checking it out, giving me your feedback, and learning from it.
Without further ado, let’s get to my discussion with Jason Keath, a really interesting discussion. You will get a lot out of this. Definitely stay around till the end because we get into video at the end. Video is one of the fastest growing content types that is really, really big in social media, and you’re going to want to hear Jason’s tips on how you can make video work for you. We talk about all of that and much, much more here on this episode of The Digital Entrepreneur.
All right, so we are joined on this episode of The Digital Entrepreneur by Jason Keath, the CEO of Social Fresh. Jason, how are you? Welcome to the show.
Jason Keath: Doing great. Excited to be on the show. Thanks for having me.
Jerod Morris: Yeah, yeah. We’re excited to have you here, and we’re excited to talk about your report. You guys just released this report, The Future of Social, and it has some really interesting insights that I want to get into.
I guess the first question is just an overview question about the report, because the report itself is based on surveys. You guys did over 500 surveys that you conducted of digital marketers whose responsibilities include social media marketing.
I’m just wondering, to put this in the proper context for our listeners, how big on average were the companies that these marketers worked for, and will the numbers in the report, and that we’re going to talk about, will those be applicable for digital entrepreneurs who may be solopreneurs or who have smaller teams?
Jason Keath: Yeah, yeah. Social Fresh, in general, at our conferences, on our website, on our podcast, everything, we focus on what we call the ‘professional digital marketer,’ or the ‘professional social marketer.’ That’s everybody from solo entrepreneur running their own company, doing their own marketing, doing their own everything, all the way up to the largest companies in the world who attend our conferences. Everybody really gets value out of what we do because we focus on that person and the fundamentals to that responsibility.
The report was no different. We had two research partners, Firebrand Group, an agency out of New York, and Simply Measured, a pretty large social media software company who helped with the report. We also targeted people through some LinkedIn cold emails that we did, so we could get some job titles that we were targeting.
It’s a really well-rounded report. It’s got everybody from very small businesses to very large businesses and everything in-between. It’s really representative of the average of what’s going on in social media marketing.
Jerod Morris: Okay, and for folks who want to see the report, you can go to SocialFresh.com/Future and check it out. We’re going to dive in to some here on this episode. Obviously, we can’t get into everything. Definitely recommend that people go there–again, SocialFresh.com/Future–and check out the report.
Jerod Morris: It’s interesting. One of the first observations this made in the report shows what seems to be a disconnect between what people think they’re using social for, what their goals are, and maybe what social is best for them. What I mean by that is, 76 percent of the people surveyed listed ‘awareness’ as one of their top social media goals, yet there were a number of experts that you guys quoted in the report who suggested that this might be a bit of a myopic focus.
What should people–or in our case digital entrepreneurs who are selling maybe an online course, a SaaS application, or premium WordPress product–what should folks be focusing on when it comes to maximizing the time and money that they’re investing in social media?
Jason Keath: Great question. Ten points for the word ‘myopic,’ if everybody’s keeping score at home. Great outline of that. Yeah, that’s right. Social media is great for scale. It’s set up for scale, and it’s set up for all these awareness metrics. You can measure reach really easily. You’ve got a list of followers that’s public. You’ve got ‘likes,’ comments, and Retweets–all these numbers that are thrown at us as vanity metrics.
Even if you’re smart enough to know you should be going after maybe customer loyalty, sales, or leads instead of focusing on awareness, your boss may not be as savvy, necessarily, and may want to really get those awareness numbers higher–those vanity metrics, those followers, et cetera.
Social media in general is still trying to overcome that kind of setup. I don’t know if we’ll ever really get past it, but on the base level, social media is best at people talking to each other. It’s really great at customer loyalty, customer service, really good at building community, really good at taking a smaller audience and making them go from like to love, taking your customers and making them really great word-of-mouth opportunities for you. Or taking your average customer and making them, giving them a longer customer life cycle, giving them upsells, giving them just a better feeling about the trust of your business.
The real low-hanging fruit in social media is that customer loyalty, is that word of mouth, and then building from there. I usually tell people to focus on three audiences in social media, and this is reflected in the report. All the expert advice we got from a lot of folks in the industry is to focus first on your customers in social media, then focus on your qualified leads. If you’re B2B, that could be actually, if you have a qualified lead program or if you’re a consumer business, it could be just focusing on the target audience that’s best for your product.
Then focus on your fans would be the third audience. Your fans can be people that have great word of mouth of your company00even if they’re not necessarily a customer or going to become a customer. They can be partners, et cetera. Those smaller audiences are much, much bigger reward for the business typically.
Jerod Morris: That’s interesting because a lot of people, when they think about social media, they think about filling up the top part of your funnel, but you’re saying think about social media as a way to interact with people across all the different levels of engagement that you have.
Jason Keath: Yeah, and there’s so much opportunity for social. We asked people to name their top two social media goals, and awareness was just by far the most popular mentioned. Awareness, you can do great awareness building using social, using advertising products that exist on social networks, using video.
There’s a lot of great tools in social networks and social media that can help you with building the top of the funnel. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s harder. It’s going to cost a little more money. It’s typically more difficult, and it’s going to cost a little bit more time.
Now, if you are good at talking to your customers, you’re good at talking to your qualified leads, and you’re good at talking to your biggest fans on social, then, yeah, build that top of the funnel. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the average social media team is very small, and the average marketer has a lot on their plate.
Typically, you’re missing the lower-hanging fruit if that’s your number one focus. If you haven’t built the bottom of your funnel to be really good–and your customer loyalty, and customer service to be really good–that’s a better opportunity for the average business.
Jerod Morris: Yeah, and there’s a great quote in the report from Jay Baer, who says, “Embrace the organic social functions more like an email newsletter, and think strategically about how you can use social to make people who like you, make them love you,” which I thought was great and what you just mentioned.
Jason Keath: Yeah, Jay’s great. His new book is about customer service, so that was a great fit for his expertise with the report.
Jerod Morris: Do you think that part of the issue comes back to the fact that people don’t really understand what their goal is? Or that, if they do have a stated goal, it’s the wrong one? They don’t understand what KPIs they should be looking for. I know there was another stat in there.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it was around 25 percent of people didn’t even know what the return on the investment was from the time and the money that they’re investing in social. It suggests that they don’t even know what they should be tracking. Is that a big issue that folks are having who may be struggling with what they’re doing in social media?
Jason Keath: It’s a great question. ROI, we asked folks, 63 percent said they got a positive ROI from social media, which I think is pretty high. If you’re able to say, “These activities I’m doing on Facebook, on Twitter, et cetera are directly correlating to a return on investment for my business,” that’s typically not the easiest process to implement for your business–having the measurement system in place, having the right goals in place, and tracking people along that process, along that funnel.
I thought that was a pretty good sign for the industry, but you’re right. We did have...