You pointed out something that people often overlook, that social media is all opt-in. Everyone who follows you on social has chosen to be there. When someone follows our Meet Edgar account, they want to buy or have already bought social media software. It does not say free pizza. It says Meet Edgar social media automation tool for small businesses, and we get nervous about like, “I don’t want to bombard them. I don’t want to overwhelm them. I don’t want to be too spammy. I don’t want to promote myself.” The only reason they are there is to engage with your business. You showed them what the page was about. Give them lots of content about your business. That’s what they want.
What were some of the things that your most successful clients are doing inside of Edgar and with their social media? What do you feel like is making the difference right now?
It sounds simple and some people are a little nervous about it, but you probably should be posting more than you are. It’s what we often see. People get nervous about posting too much. It’s something that you can always experiment with, you can always dial back. It’s just the nature of how fast social moves that if you’re posting more, you’re giving people more opportunities, or doing things like posting in other time zones. If you have customers in Asia, you are on the opposite time zone from them. Maybe they see very little or nothing of what you post, especially on a platform like Twitter, which is chronological. It’s a simple thing to do for people to usually post a little more than they do.
People need to also remember to not be afraid to be promotional. I don’t know if it’s the people that we attract at Edgar. There are the business owners that go crazy with the all caps, all promotion all the time that are doing it too much. Our customers tend to be the “I don’t want to bother anybody” type of people. It’s okay to tell people what you sell. You’re going to do a lot of linking to your free content and to other people’s blog posts and free content. That’s going to be the majority of your social media updates. Like the boutique you mentioned, take a picture of your merchandise, tell people that you’re having a sale on Friday, tell people that you’re having an event, link directly to your opt-ins. If you have a business model where you’re giving people a white paper or whatever in exchange for an email address, link to that directly on social media regularly.
This is something that people often never send out on social. It’s hard without a tool like Edgar to make sure you’re doing it every week, every month, whatever. We have a free eBook about blogging that people love that’s popular. We see an increased rate to customer conversion when people look at the book. To me, it’s on our blog, we have an annoying slide up, everybody knows about it. No, most people do not know about it. Most people have not read it. You need to tell people directly, “We wrote this awesome book. It’s useful. Maybe you would like to read it.” These are easy things you can do to get more leverage out of social media.
You make good points there. We tend to hold back because the perception is that on social, at least with the organic posts, it’s one thing if I’m going and buying ads. With the organic posts, you have that perception that we’re at a cocktail party. You don’t want to be the guy at the cocktail party who cornered you about Amway and stuffed his card in your pocket. You want to be a little cooler than that. While there is that vibe on social, when I get on Facebook, I have yet to be offended by an ad. In fact, some of that stuff I actually find interesting and I click on it. I go and it’s useful.
You have to remember that you’re promoting a business. We’re talking today about social media as a marketing channel. The reason that it gets a little lost is because people are also using social for fun. Facebook is a huge channel to promote my business and it’s where I see the latest picture of my nephew. I do both of those things on Facebook. Sometimes people are feeling a little weird, they’re like “I’m straight up promoting my business.” That’s why it’s important to create separate entities for your businesses. It is true that a lot of people make the mistake of promoting their business on their Facebook personal profile, which doesn’t make any sense from a marketing perspective. Those people don’t want to hear about your business. They’re not your customer.
I got a message from a family member the other day asking me to write a review of her horse business. I’m like, “I love you. I have never interacted with your horse business. I don’t live where you live. I don’t know anyone who does. I am not a good prospect to promote for you. You want people who actually liked the page, who are interested in your horse business.” You do have to draw that line. Use your personal profile for the fun stuff, for the sharing, for the connecting with people. For your business accounts, the reason that they exist is to market your business. Marketing means more than just shouting at people and stuffing your business card in their pocket. You’re also providing value providing content. At the end of the day, the reason that you’re spending time on social is for your customers and for your business.
Have you seen any big trends in terms of the platforms? I know they’re always changing. Facebook has had a big lead, particularly in terms of advertising. In the different forms of posts that you can put up there, what do you feel like is changing right now? Where should people be focusing?
All the platforms love video and images right now, especially video. The way to think of it as an entrepreneur is the platform always have things that they want you to do. You have to measure that against the best use of your time. Right now, Facebook and Instagram want you to create live content. They want you to create stories on Instagram that expire in 24 hours, which does not make sense for 99.9% of small business owners. That is a lot of content for no lasting impact after it’s gone.
Probably small reach in that time.
Very small reach. Sometimes people get swept away and like, “Instagram will rank you better, Facebook will rank you better if you’re doing videos or live videos.” I’ve been playing around with Facebook live. Sometimes I’ll just hop on for five minutes and say, “We have a new blog post, here’s what it’s about.” It’s interesting to see, does that help our engagement with other posts when I do that? It can help because Facebook is rewarding you for what it wants you to do, but you have to be mindful that this is a marketing strategy for your business. It doesn’t matter if Facebook wants you to do all live video. If that’s going to take you eight hours a day, I don’t think you’re going to get that reward for your business. Look at the trends of what’s ranking well.
The cool thing is so many people don’t utilize their own analytics. You can go in all the platforms and they give you detailed data about what posts are doing well and who’s looking at them. You don’t have to go crazy analyzing it. Once a month, look through your top performing post. If it’s videos, maybe you put that in your rotation more with Edgar. You can post a video straight from Edgar. Maybe you’re just creating three videos that you’ll have then to keep cycling through. You want to pay attention to trends to a degree, but I always warn small business owners like, “You do not have the bandwidth to totally jump on every trend out there.”
I agree completely. We tell our clients to pick one or two. If it’s three, that’s probably too many, whether social media or any other way of generating interest in the business. Until you’ve mastered those and got those working, which always takes a little bit of time, it’s going to be hard if you try to do ten at once. Good luck at getting any actual results. Sooner or later, the employees want to get paid. Something has to happen to facilitate that.
I totally agree that it’s much better to focus on one channel and figure out how to do it, get a good strategy there, or have the time to be able to engage enough there that people know you there and know you’re going to be there. That’s much better than being a little bit everywhere.
We’ve mentioned this little boutique here in Florida and they only post on Instagram. They do have a Facebook page, but it’s a ghost town. They haven’t updated it probably in three years. I’ve noticed when they post on Instagram, if they’re having a sale on a Saturday or something, that place is packed. It works. Their focus, because they are able to go deep, it’s making an impact and that’s the one thing that is critical. What’s been interesting in using Edgar and as we’ve used it, we have a real focus on LinkedIn, but it’s allowed us to be present elsewhere without doing any more work. Even though that’s not our focus, we can still be over here and so it doesn’t look like a ghost town when somebody shows up, if that’s their preferred platform even though our active focus is somewhere else.
It’s a nice way to have a little stream of passive traffic. For me, the one that I don’t pay attention to is LinkedIn. If I didn’t have Edgar, I wouldn’t be on there, but because I do have Edgar, I might as well turn Edgar on to post my stuff to LinkedIn. It’s fascinating. You go look and I’m getting traffic, people comment, people share the articles that I post with literally no work at all. It’s something where you truly can press a button. If you’re not focusing your strategy there, it’s not going to be millions of visitors overnight, but it’s going to be something that you didn’t have before, a steady stream of traffic to your site.
Most businesses don’t need millions of visitors. Mostly everybody sees these big hype stories but for the vast majority of businesses that’s selling any service, unless it’s maybe retail, usually if they’re getting an additional 10, 20, 30 customers a month, that can be all they could ever handle. You don’t have to look at these crazy numbers that are out there. It doesn’t take all that much.
I love your boutique example because it also points out the bar is so low for many businesses. They’re probably the only locally owned boutique in town that’s doing anything on Instagram. I follow a rug company here in Austin. I bought this beautiful Oriental rug from them and I noticed they had Instagram. I’m like, “I like pictures of pretty rugs.” Now there’s no way I’m going to buy it from someone else because I see all the cool rugs and I like them. I’ve formed an affinity for their company for following them on Instagram. Most local businesses and even service businesses, how many CPAs are doing any blogging or anything with the internet at all just doing this bare minimum? You don’t have to have millions of people liking your page. You don’t have to blog four times a week. If you can pull it off once a month, if you’re consistent with it, and you have a presence on LinkedIn and nothing else, you will be doing better than most of your competitors.
The Congress in the US is debating a new tax bill. What a perfect time if you’re a CPA to do a five-minute live stream, “Here’s what changed today. Here’s who it’s going to impact.” Little things like that can have a big impact. I know your time is valuable so I don’t want to steal any more of it, but where can people go? What’s the best place for them to begin finding out a little bit more about Edgar and finding out a little bit and getting educated on the strategies they should be using?
Go to MeetEdgar.com. We have a great blog. The whole angle of our blog is breaking down what’s happening on social, all the changes, all the trends, so that it applies to the small business owner. You read this stuff about Facebook changing their algorithm, like you said, you have to do live video and you start panicking. That’s what we specialize in our blog. Read through all the news, read through all the boring help documentation that Facebook has published and say, “If you are a small business owner or a solo business owner, does this actually affect you? How can you make the most of it?” A lot of listeners would find that valuable. We’re @Meet Edgaron all the social platforms and you can find me on Twitter @LKR.
Laura, thanks so much for investing some time with me. This has been a lot of fun. I appreciate everything that you’ve shared.