John Jantsch: Social media, gosh. Are we still talking about that? Well, yes, of course we are. But it’s not this extension of your marketing, it is a part of your strategic approach. It works at all phases of the funnel of the journey. It just has to be done with your marketing strategy and your overall business objectives in mind. Any channel you choose to spend your time in needs to have that as your real goal.
In this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast we speak with Rebekah Radice. She is the author of “Social Media Mastery: A Comprehensive Guide to Strategic Growth”. Got that word strategy in there, check it out.
John Jantsch: Hello, welcome to another episode if the Duct Tape Marketing podcast, this is John Jantsch, and my guest today is Rebekah Radice. She is a marketer and founder of RadiantLA, a training and development company helping business professionals use online marketing strategically, and she’s also the author of a book we’re gonna talk about today, “Social Media Mastery: A Comprehensive Guide to Strategic Growth”.
So Rebekah, thanks for joining us.
Rebekah Radice: Oh, thank you, my pleasure.
John Jantsch: So there are 2374 books on social media, I counted.
Rebekah Radice: Is that all?
John Jantsch: So, at this date, what does Social Media Mastery add, really, to the conversation?
Rebekah Radice: I think that’s a great question. With so much out there, what is left to be said about social media? And to me there are several things people are still missing within social media. Part of it is the human aspect, so personalization, something I talk a lot about. Really injecting your own personal brand, so how to build your personal brand through social media, but use that to really support and promote all that you’re doing within your own business. And it also brings everything together, so connecting the dots for those that have had a lot going on. Maybe they’re over on Facebook, they’re over on Instagram, they have email marketing happening, but none of it is cohesive, and they haven’t really figured out how to pull everything together.
So that’s what this is really all about, is taking them through the process of not only “How do you launch it? How do you get this up and running?”, but then how do you optimize it across every single channel, get it out of those silos that we talk so much about within marketing. And then how do you continue to manage it in a way that doesn’t become overwhelming.
It’s for two different groups of people. Either those people that are just getting started, or those people who have already invested. They’re already heavily invested into social media, but not seeing the traction. They’re frustrated, they haven’t seen the results that they’re looking for, and so this is really that roadmap on how to put every single piece into place, and allow them to all cohesively work together.
John Jantsch: So in the early days of the web people built websites, but it was like that was this kind of disconnected thing over here, on the side. They had their marketing and they had their sales, and they had a website because people were getting online, and the almost treated it like a separate extension. Today, the website’s the hub, probably of most peoples marketing. How would you say social media fits in to that? Because I think in the early days of social media a lot of people did the same thing. It’s like “oh, I think we need to have a Twitter strategy.” No, your Twitter strategy needs to work with your marketing strategy., right?
Rebekah Radice: Right.
John Jantsch: So how have you seen that move? Or maybe a better question is, what’s the role of social media in the big picture of marketing now?
Rebekah Radice: Well based off of what you just said, that your website, your blog, is really your hub, and I totally agree with that. Everything begins and ends with that online presence that you own, and so in that, social media really becomes your extension. It’s your spokes, it’s those pieces that are leading everybody back over to your content. So social media is where you’re having that conversation, where you’re building those relationships, where you’re allowing people to really get to know who you are, what you do, what you’re all about, and what those problems are that you solve. And then you’re bringing that awareness, or driving that attention back over to your website, to your blog, where all of that content is happening.
So where they can start to really better, even more from a deeper conversation level, understand your thought process, your methodology, how you do things within your business. So I completely agree with you that back in the day we thought everything lived independently, and today we know far better than that. That you have to work everything in unison, or in tandem, where social media is helping you build your email lists, social media is helping you move people into a particular asset. Or sell a book like we’re talking about here today.
So it’s just really helping people understand who you are, connect with where they’re most comfortable, but then allowing them to move over to that hub where you truly own that conversation.
John Jantsch: So where does it fit really in the journey? A lot of people look at social media as an awareness tool. It’s like, more people will learn about my business maybe for the first time on Twitter for example. But I also see a lot of people effectively using it to build relationships and even convert sales, but they have distinctly different approaches in those different stages of the funnel don’t they?
Rebekah Radice: Oh most definitely, and I think maybe even just a few years ago, the idea behind social media was awareness. It was that channel where people were first connecting with you, they were first learning about your company if they were doing research, it was their first stop. And today I see social media is really touching every aspect of the journey. So everything from awareness to that ability to nurture them into a deeper understanding, and then into the activation mode. The difference obviously is in where they’re at in their knowledge about you and your business, and then it’s all in the content that you’re sharing, so really how are you guiding them through the awareness phase where they’re just getting to know you, they want to learn a little bit more about you, into that nurture stage where you’re sharing that content that helps them self-select into your product, or helps them make that decision about maybe whether they’re going to get to know you, or follow you, or take action with your company, and to activation where they are making that final decision.
So it really does touch every aspect, and I think where the confusion comes in is then, how do you go about creating content that moves people through each of those stages? I see two sides of that coin where either there’s those that are so passive in their approach that people don’t actually know how to hire them, or how to work with them, or what exactly they can do to help, to that person that over-promotes and is just pushing, pushing, pushing all promotional content out.
What I talk about a lot within this book is, how do you find that perfect mix? How do you find that balance that allows people to get to know you, but also to take action?
John Jantsch: I think most business owners today … there was this kind of craze to have lots of followers on Twitter, or any of the platforms. That seemed to be the goal. I think a lot of business owners now say “well that’s not making me any money.”
So if I was a business owner and I came to you and I said “Develop me a strategy that’s going to allow me to use social media to get clients.” Obviously lots of variables, what kind of business, all that kind of stuff, but what do you generally tell people who are looking for that definable ROI from social media?
Rebekah Radice: For me it really does begin and end with a couple of things, content being one of them, and a crystal clear understanding of who your audience is. What I find is more times than not, a company has jumped into social media thinking “Oh, I’ve got to be over here” or “I’ve got to be over here” and “Facebook is the way to go” or “Twitter is where we need to be sharing all of our blog content”, but they haven’t really figured out who they’re speaking with before they actually jump on, so there’s really no wonder why, when we take a look at their content and the engagement or lack thereof that they’re receiving, that they haven’t found their rhythm or their momentum.
So, really taking the time to go through a process of understanding who is that perfect customer, and how do you get incredibly specific around what their needs are, or what their challenges are, and of course what problems you’re solving. And then how do you translate that into the content that’s going to connect with them? And then finally it’s understanding those channels that support you. That’s another big area of opportunity where I see so many have created this presence across 20 different networks that aren’t serving them. All they’re done is create pandemonium within their business, They’ve created an overwhelm; too much that they’re trying to manage.
So it’s understanding where is your time best spent? Where are you going to get that biggest bang for your time and your buck? I think a lot of people are surprised by that too, when you do take a look at where your audience is spending your time, and all of a sudden you realize “Whoa. I’ve been putting a whole lot of time and effort into Instagram, when my audience is all sitting having a conversation over on Facebook.”
It’s being very honest with yourself too, about not only how you’re going about showing up on social media, but then putting a plan in place so that you can consistently show up there and really cultivate those relationships.
John Jantsch: What do you say to that business owner, and I hear this every day. Their time is very fractured. I work with a lot of small business owners, and their time is their most precious resource, and I hear them all the time saying “You know what? I just hate social media. I hate spending time, I hate thinking about it, I think Facebook’s stupid.” Obviously that is not necessarily the reason to sit it out, but how do you help somebody get through that?
Rebekah Radice: Yeah, I hear that myself too, and it’s completely understandable isn’t it? When you think about, as a small business owner, you started your business because you love what you do, and it probably had nothing to do, unless of course you’re in marketing, with marketing your business or social media. But for that person, it’s really helping them understand the benefits. What can it do? What are those tangible results that we can actually put into place together? And how is it going to help you expand in the direction that you’re looking to go. So many business owners, they have their goals, they have their ideas, of what they want to achieve within their business. What they haven’t done is figured out how social media is gonna support them in that journey, in that quest.
So for me it’s really showing them what that looks like, what an action plan looks like over time. So maybe it’s “Step one, we do this. Step two we do that. Step three, once we’ve got that traction, here’s where we head.” Helping them really visualize what success looks like, and then how we’re going to get there. I find that most business owners just have a very difficult time seeing it within their mind. They’ve pushed back so hard on social media, and more than likely it’s because they don’t feel that they have that time.
But in my opinion, when you say “I don’t have time”, it’s simply that you’re saying “I haven’t made this a priority.” So my goal is to always help them understand why this needs to be a priority. Doesn’t necessarily mean they need to be in it every single day, but why it needs to be a priority from that high level leadership point of view where they’re infusing their personality, the company, into everything that becomes their online presence.
John Jantsch: Yeah, nobody has time to work on their taxes until April, right?
Rebekah Radice: That’s right. And then all of a sudden it’s rush, rush, rush.
John Jantsch: A lot of business, even though we talk about the online part being the hub, and that’s how people find us and maybe grow to trust us, but the bottom line is a lot of business is still done person to person, handshake, in person across the desk. So how do you use social media to, in effect, kind of drive those kind of offline conversations?
Rebekah Radice: There’s several different ways. I think video is fast becoming a huge opportunity to connect with people in a way that we just haven’t been able to otherwise. Whether it’s creating short videos, whether it’s live-streaming video. It could be something, just a quick response. There’s a whole movement happening over on Twitter called “Video Reply Tuesday” and it’s just a way to do exactly that, where instead of just shooting back a quick text reply, you actually take two seconds to put together a video. And of course, everybody doesn’t have the time to do that, but for businesses that are moving quickly, you are out, you are running your business, sometimes a video is even easier.
Utilizing that to show that real, more authentic side of you, kind of in the moment, what’s happening within your business right now is a great connector, a terrific way to let people inside, and see what really goes on behind the scenes. Another way is just in simply getting out there and being very strategic in the conversations that you’re having. Whether it’s on Facebook, or it’s on Instagram, or over on Twitter, opening yourself up to allowing those conversations to organically and naturally happen. With those people you are looking to connect with.
And then it’s just simply taking that maybe into a direct message and saying “Hey, I’d love to get to know you a little bit more” or extend that conversation, or whatever the case might be, and moving that into an email conversation where you can connect on a local level. So always looking for those opportunities, where you’re reaching out to people. And I think the most important thing to remember is be proactive. Be proactive in searching for those opportunities. Be proactive in searching for those people you’re looking to make local or offline connections with.
I think this goes back to what I was saying about taking a passive approach. Success doesn’t just fall into your lap, and it definitely doesn’t do it with social media. Social media doesn’t magically make opportunities appear. You really have to be focused in who that audience is, who that person is that you’re looking to connect with, and then stay in front of them every single day.
John Jantsch: And I think a lot of people neglect to use it even just as a research tool. It doesn’t just have to be a connection. I know any time you’re going out and you’re going to call on somebody, or you’re going to meet somebody new at a networking event, you can know an awful lot about that person before you ever show up. I’m still floored when I get sales calls from people, or emails from people, and they basically start by saying they want to learn about my business. I’m like, if you don’t know everything about my business, you haven’t spent five minutes online.
Rebekah Radice: Right.
John Jantsch: I think that’s a use that often doesn’t get talked about enough.
Rebekah Radice: I would completely agree. There are so many different ways. Everything from all the different research we can do on Facebook, to using Twitter advanced search. You’re exactly right, you can pretty much find out anything you want to. There’s so many tools out there at our disposal, and most of them are still free, that allow you to … One of them of course, the biggest one, being Google, where you can just simply start to look up somebodys name. Looking up their company, looking up their awards, their interviews. Looking up their reviews is a huge one.
So yeah, doing your homework, I think that’s a wow factor still, John. I don’t know how you feel about it, but if somebody were to come to you and say “John, I know everything about you.” They list off all of the awards you’ve ever won, your books, everything about you, you are far more likely to take the time to respond to them, than that person you just mentioned, that obviously hasn’t even taken two minutes to Google your name.
John Jantsch: And it’s more than just the statistics. I think you can learn a lot about … again, I’m speaking as a sales person here. You can learn a lot about how to approach somebody, what their challenges are, who else they know. It’s not even stuff that you’re necessarily going to share. It’s just going to prepare you better, because we leave all these traces around about how to sell to us. And that to me I think is just a goldmine.
Rebekah Radice: Oh yeah, I couldn’t agree more. There are clues in everything that we share and everything we talk about, and the people we respond to. It’s in our tone, in our tone of voice and our messaging. It just makes it very easy when you start to look at it from that perspective of “How do I approach this person? How do I reach out? What’s important to them?”
So really understanding at that core level what makes them tick, what about what you have to sell, or offer, or what about your outreach, is going to speak to them, and taking the time to do your research. Obviously it’s been around for ever and ever, but one of the best but most underutilized tools, I think still today, is Linkedin.
John Jantsch: Sure.
Rebekah Radice: And not enough people are taking the time to A) utilize that space. So, putting your bio, putting your information up there, being active on Linkedin, but also using it as a research tool.
John Jantsch: I’d like to get your take on this because a lot of business owners still look at some of these tools out there that allow them to auto-post and schedule posts and to regurgitate posts and … you know, they look at that and think “this is perfect. I write it one time and it does all the work for me and just sprays it everywhere.”
That sounds pretty good right? So what’s your take on … obviously that runs very counter to this idea of personalization. What’s your take on the automation of social media?
Rebekah Radice: There is no substitute to you being real and live and involved in a conversation. That being said, I am a firm believer in automation in moderation. Meaning, allow automation to come in and support you in some if those teeny tiny little details that need to happen, but don’t necessarily need you in the mix every single day. Automation should free you up from feeling as if you need to sit on social media all day to accomplish posting content. Instead, do allow it to help you share maybe a few different critical pieces of content, and free up your time, so you can come in and do that research. Go in and maybe create lists of those people that you want to actively engage with. So every single day you are acting on purpose within social media. You have 20 people that you’ve determined are those sales opportunities, and you want to come in and you want to have conversations with them, or you want to respond to the content that they’re sharing.
Automation in that sense can really help you out. It can also help from the research point of view like we’ve talked about, where you can learn more about that person before you ever really start to engage. So use it, but use it wisely. Don’t think of it as a set it and forget it situation. That’s where people really get themselves into trouble.
John Jantsch: Yeah, and I think this all really leads to having a strategy, having objectives, why you’re spending your time on social media. I think that’s where people really get lost, is they just see it as another thing they have to do, as opposed to a strategic component of reaching their overall objectives, and I think that’s gotta be true of anything we spend our time in a business on.
Rebekah Radice: Absolutely.
John Jantsch: So Rebekah, tell us where we can find more about you and your work, as well as pick up a copy of Social Media Mastery.
Rebekah Radice: Well you can find me on my website, which is rebekahradice.com, and of course my parents did not make it easy on me, it’s spelled a little bit different, so it’s R-E-B-E-K-A-H, but if you spell it wrong, you will still find me, and you can find me anywhere on social media @rebekahradice
And then my book is available now on Amazon.
John Jantsch: Nice. Well thanks so much for joining us. I’m booked to go back to social media marketing world, I suspect you might be as well.
Rebekah Radice: Yes indeed, can’t wait to see you there.
John Jantsch: So we’ll see you in … what’s that, February of 2018. Gosh.
Rebekah Radice: Yeah, coming fast.
John Jantsch: Thanks Rebekah.
Rebekah Radice: Thank you.
John Jantsch: Hey thanks for listening to this episode of the Duct Tape Marketing podcast. Wonder if you could do me a favor. Could you leave an honest review on iTunes? Your ratings and reviews really help and I promise I read each and every one. Thanks.