November 10

Episode 81 : How to Win With the Social Media Marketing Trends

Nothing in the world of marketing seems to change faster than social media marketing. We’ll explore what to expect in 2022.

Paul: Hello, I’m Paul. Welcome to this episode of Marketing Guides for Small Business Podcast. Today I’m joined by our panel Ken, Ian and Jen.

There’s been a lot of changes in social media over the last year and some are subtle. It may have gone unnoticed. Some are obvious, but either way, they’re important. So, let’s get started. Ken, I’m gonna start with you. Instagram Reels. What is that? Some people know, some people don’t. What is it and how can it be used as part of a social media marketing strategy?

Ken: Instagram Reels started out where it was a really short video. It’s now you can do 15 up to 62nd increments and you can set that, You can record and edit your video or you can upload video and use from your camera roll. The thing that a lot of people may not realize is that Instagram still is a mobile app.

The creative abilities have always been pretty hamstrung and limiting when you’re trying to do something from a desktop. Even though there may be a whole lot better desktop editing tools that are out there that can do a lot of  things, and Instagram has a ton of ’em as well. Fundamentally, it’s still something that you can do on your phone.

You can add audio, you can have alignment. So, if you wanted to do like a reel and pause it and go change an outfit or add a friend or something like. It has alignment tools so that you can do that so that it looks seamless with those transitions. You can vary the speed, so you can speed up a section of the video and have it go faster.

You can do a lot of things and these are native to the ability of how you create reels within Instagram. Your reels are gonna be shared based on, if you’ve got a private account it’s only gonna go to the people who follow you. For most businesses, you probably want to have it public. If your account’s public, it’s gonna be discoverable and findable by a wider audience.

And so, you can do some things there. When it comes to how usable reels is for businesses. Here’s where it gets really hard because a lot of businesses have a really hard time creating video content period. If you’re an older person, you may be a lot less comfortable using some of the features that are available on the phone.

I speak from experience on that. I’ve grown up with technology. I use technology every day all the time. Still, it may not be something that’s just native to you. But, fundamentally the value that you get outta Instagram ultimately, comes from, you gotta have somebody who’s that spokesperson for the business and they’ve gotta be really comfortable doing it and they have to do it.

You’ve gotta have stuff that makes sense to turn into video content. So if you are in a niche that’s not interesting or visually appealing at all, like crime scene cleanup. While there may be some fascination where people might wanna watch a couple of those videos initially, it’s probably not the go-to thing that you’re gonna get a lot of audience from, and where you see reels just killing it is health, beauty, wellness, food, real lifestyle kinds of things.

So, if your business isn’t really wired for lifestyle things, then reels is certainly worth considering because of the power of reels and the importance it gets in the algorithm. But, it may not be a natural thing. So you’ve gotta think about does it make a good sense for your business? If it does, it should be entertaining.

It should be authentic. It should have educational content, and it should show off your products. So if you’re a realtor, you can use reels to show off a cool new property that you have available. That you’re representing either buying or selling agents. I know one of us here has sports nutrition products, so something like that reels could be really great for, but if you’re a plumber maybe not, but it depends also, are you comfortable getting on camera and making it interesting.

The other thing is Instagram definitely favors reels, but you have to do reels in the right way to be able to be picked up by the algorithm. So having real humans is really important. It should be entertaining, fun, educational, inspirational. You want to use the creative tools. Those actually send signals to Instagram that you’re using those tools and it’s gonna pick up your video as a result.

Your video needs to be vertical. You want to use music that comes from the Instagram music library or original music that you’re sharing. So using music in your reels is important. If you upload blurry videos or you’re shooting blurry videos, you’re gonna get limited in your reach because Instagram doesn’t wanna deliver something that’s not visually popping and catching somebody’s attention. 

Ian: One of the things you said there was, depending on the industry that you’re in, reels might be more challenging than not. We actually have an electrician who’s a client, and one of the things that they do is if they’re on site and they see a particular problem. The owner will do a reel of that, an Instagram reel. And those are awesome because people can see, Oh wow, this is what happens when you have a power bar on something and you have too many plugs in and something catches on fire, right?

So, he shares stuff like that all the time. It’s actually very impactful. So it’s things that might not seem totally intuitive, that are still informative. They might not be entertaining, but they’re informative, can be pretty powerful as well. 

Ken: And that’s the key. If it’s informational, you know it’s gonna be picked up by the algorithm. It’s gonna come across as genuine and sincere. So it’s gonna be delivered in front of a wider audience, which means it’s a lot more discoverable. The challenge is a lot of electricians are gonna be challenged, honestly. By doing a reel, and they can’t outsource a lot of that to marketing agencies like us because we are not there with them to capture that moment while we could create these things for ’em. But we’re not there. We’re not in those situations. So it’s a real struggle. We’ve got a client right now that could definitely benefit in a massive way from reels, but we’re limited in our ability to help because we are not there to capture the raw video, because they don’t wanna do it in a live manner.

Paul: That is a good point. And, I won’t go into it now, but marketing is a two way street. A marketing agency does need help and input from the client. Jen, seems like 2021 was the year of short form media. But, we just talked about Instagram Reels but there’s been this shift on social media platforms towards longer form content.

Like Ken said, reels went to 60 seconds. TikTok used to be 60 seconds, now it’s up to three minutes. So how do you see this affecting social media marketing or marketing in general? 

Jen: The first thing, marketing in general, it’s probably that old ad age where the only constant is change, and that seems to be going faster and faster with the social media channels as opposed to, say, email marketing or other aspects of marketing.

Social media is just changing so fast. To be honest, if we speak to our audience of small business owners, it can be exhausting trying to keep up with all this, right? You just get into a routine of what you need to produce for content and whatnot. So on social media and, Oh my goodness, we have a, we have another channel or another format, or it’s gotta be longer, it’s gotta be shorter.

So, that is something that can be a little bit frustrating. And on that, my opinion and my advice would be always prepared for this change that is constant. It’s only gonna get faster and more. And us as an agency, we have to support our clients with this. And a lot of the way that we support them is having processes and procedures and whatnot is so we can get stuff out on time and the right way and whatnot.

And any kind of change disrupts us too. We’re all in the same boat when there’s a big change like this. Here’s the thing. So if it’s going to a little bit longer form content, it’s very interesting because there’s constantly this sort of back and forth between nobody has an attention span anymore, and then you see that some long form articles or long form podcasts are getting a lot of consistent attention.

Couple things. It depends on the topic and it depends if that I guess that channel or that brand has developed the audience in order to get those kind of eyeballs or ears on them. What the longer form can do for a small business is actually, can really be very helpful because it might be very easy to be flamboyant or attention seeking or crazy for a few seconds. But what can you do for three minutes that’s gonna hold the attention of your audience? And I think this is a place where the small business can really shine because that’s where you can start to explain certain aspects of product or service.

You can show it. If you’re in a more service business you can show off your personality or some of your knowledge. You can have the viewer somewhat get to know you. And I think that’s a real difference. It can really absolutely help small business. The thing is, I would say when there’s a change like this, you can roll your eyes at it, really start to understand it and see how it can help your business.

Because some changes you might wanna set out, you don’t have to jump onto every everything, but other changes that’s available on social media can really absolutely fit into helping your business capitalize on that change. So, it is a change and I think it’s a really good thing. That’s a really great way to show off your difference.

And I would say go for it. Go for it. 

Ken: Paul you remember when we were talking with Mari Smith, She told us that Facebook algorithm actually is biased toward longer form Facebook video. Classically, I think we’ve all been trained, social media we’ve got three to five seconds to catch somebody’s attention. But, to get it into the algorithm in the first place, the video content that’s performing the best right now on Facebook, according to Mari is like three to five minutes.

Paul: If you’re an electrician, you could start an electrical fire and show people how to deal with it. That’d get their attention. 

Ian: Absolutely. 

Jen: Yeah. All kidding aside, it really could. There’s certain things that you can demonstrate. 

Paul: I was only half joking. 

Ken: Yeah. How to videos are huge. 

Paul: Ian, there’s this trend in social media where people want experiences in these smaller niche communities.

Despite my love affair with Facebook, you see them pushing their groups. Hard. So is there an opportunity for businesses to capitalize on this with things like Facebook groups and TikTok? 

Ian: Absolutely. It goes back to control the medium as much as you can. Not that you ever own a Facebook group, but if you can create a Facebook group and gather people to you like, like-minded people that consume your information, that are interested in whatever the topic is, might be marketing guides for small business.

But if you can capture those people, get them to follow you, make sure there’s rules around that, right? Every group has rules that are for the positive so that it’s a positive environment, but you make it an authentic area where people can ask each other questions, they can support each other. It’s user-generated content.

UGC. That’s a big term these days in the marketing world is that if you can get like-minded users to share content, it means you as the business owner, don’t need to produce all the content. So groups are fantastic. There’s groups on Facebook, there’s groups on LinkedIn. You can set these groups up.

You can join an existing group and get involved. Usually, that’s what I would recommend to a business. If they’re thinking about, Hey, can we start a group and start gathering people? For sure you can, but I would suggest first, get involved in groups, understand how they work, understand why people like them, become a consumer or a consumer’s not the right word. Become an authentic member of a group and they can be very positive, even just as a member. You can generate lots of very interesting relationships. Remember, it’s social media, so you’re supposed to be social, you’re supposed to be growing relationships. TikTok, I’m not a super expert on TikTok, and part of the reason is for our particular clientele, it hasn’t become a major channel for them as far as reaching their audience.

And so, with any channel, I would say choose the channel where your audience is. Stack your chips in there because that’s where you should be putting your effort. You can’t spread yourself too thin. 

Ken: Yeah. Don’t forget about Reddit or forums are still alive and well in certain industries. A forum gets a lot of real value, so those are still social groups, even though they may not have all of the bells and whistles and features of w hat we typically tend to think about social media you can’t discount those out. It’s really the power of the community in building the tribe. 

Ian: That really reminded me something of Ken. Alignable is not a, it is a growing and it is a big network, but compared to a Facebook or a LinkedIn, it’s a much smaller social network, but it’s really focused on local businesses.

And, just recently I’m not super active on there. I used to be, and then I pulled back cuz I, again, I didn’t wanna spread myself too thin, but one of the things I’ve noticed is that they’ve really gone big into groups. And so I’m in a small business group and one of the most engaging things I’ve seen on there recently is somebody just posed a question, the group owner posed the question.

Who do you need to hire right now? And this was just to everybody in that group. And there was thousands of people all across the world, and it was very fascinating to see from a marketing perspective. Some people were, Oh, I need a social media manager immediately. Somebody else was, I need a bookkeeper, or I just need someone to take on my sales.

So, if you’re involved in that group, there’s some pretty low hanging fruit there to engage with that person. It’s not a high sales kind of environment, but if you can create a relationship and say, I’m here to answer your questions, you might build a relationship and gain the business from that person. So, I just thought that was a really relevant recent example that I saw.

Ken: Cool. 

Paul: Yeah, Reddit and Quora can definitely be good sources of information. 

Ian: You can get lost in Quora. 

Paul: Definitely. 

Ken: Even Nextdoor. If you serve neighborhoods, whether you’re a restaurant or realtor or home services type contractor, Nextdoor is another place that you want to think about spending some time.

Paul: So Ken, I don’t know that this one is new necessarily, but it seems like a lot of businesses and even a lot of marketers are not really taking advantage of video content and we live in an age where you can’t ignore that. At least in my opinion. How important is it gonna be in the coming year to get a video strategy in place? And how would one go about that? 

Ken: In my mind, every business needs to have a video strategy. I don’t care what the business is, you need to have a video strategy. It’s that powerful. It’s that important. Video is uniquely content that can be repurposed and reused in so many ways. Whether you’re trying to put a personal face on your business, whether you’re trying to achieve search engine optimization, you need to demonstrate products or services or show off great things that you have.

Nothing beats video. Nothing beats humans. Because as humans, and now more than ever, we wanna see and interact with other humans. And if we can’t do that in person, we want to do that through video content, whether it’s on YouTube, whether it’s on social media, whether it’s on websites. I can’t stress how important video is.

Obviously if you’re a lifestyle business video, it can be a natural execution of just the way you do your business each and every day. So if you’re a yoga or pilates instructor, that’s very visual. Make sure that you capture that visual element. Dance studios, things like that. If you’re a restaurant showing what’s going on in the restaurant behind the scenes, preparing the food, or people enjoying the food.

Ian talked about user-generated content, which I know is an upcoming topic that we’re gonna be covering here in the next couple of weeks, is massive. And if that can be video content, that’s huge. Video testimonials from customers where people get to see your customers, real life customers talking about the transformation that your product or service had in their lives. What’s better than? 

If you don’t have a video marketing strategy, get one. Start with video testimonials. Think about behind the scenes highlighting your employees or delivery team if you work with contractors. Think about HGTV. HGTV has all these renovation shows and they have somebody who’s kinda leading that renovation talking about it, but they pull in their team of contractors on a regular basis, and those contractors contribute a lot of the video content for those shows.

Think about it the same way for your business. If you’re a realtor, pull in video content from your electricians, from your plumbers, that are helping you solve problems to get houses sold for your clients. Frequently asked questions, if you have nowhere else to start. Start with frequently asked questions, building ’em out by a theme.

This is what we’re doing Paul, building out video content based on answering frequently asked questions. I’m a huge fan on focusing on the problems that you solve. That is the driver for most businesses from a marketing perspective. So start with your frequently asked questions. You should ask questions.

Develop those in a series that turns into repurposable content like crazy, and it will drive your content strategy for months. 

Jen: I can’t agree more. And, if I can jump in there with the frequently asked questions. Make them the ones that you hear that make you crazy I can’t believe I’m answering this question again.

Keep them simple. Don’t create these very sophisticated questions to show off how brilliant you are. Answer the questions that you hear all the time, and because those are the questions that your customers have. Maybe they drive you crazy, but your customers need to know the answers to them. Provide the answers. Build some trust and then you can move along. But there’s nothing worse than going on a FAQ page and going, these are crazy. 

And I have to tell you, because I used to work many years ago, I worked at a software company and we had to create these FAQs, and they would be trust that just trying to show off the brilliance instead of how do you actually pull down this menu? So, make the FAQs very helpful for your customer. 

Ken: Just to dovetail off that, it also has a real operational benefit. Paul, I think you mentioned it. And, I actually gave this recommendation to a client, years and years ago, record a video to show people how to program their thermostat.

That’s a losing service call for an HVAC contractor. They do not make the money to go deliver that, and they may alienate a client or a customer because it’s, I had to pay you this amount for you to just come in here and do this? If you could solve that problem by recording a video, it’s gonna give you SEOable content. It creates good will, it saves potential clients money, and it keeps you from losing money because you sent a technician out to do something that you probably, if you’re lucky, you’re barely covering costs. You’re probably not even doing that, and it’s keeping them from delivering something that could make your business a whole lot more money.

So think about those things as well. 

Ian: And FAQs. We’re all big fans of FAQs here, you can tell. The thing not to lose sight of, why they’re so good? Is because if people are asking you those questions, other people are asking those questions. And looking for them online. So, why shouldn’t your voice and your expertise be the one that delivers it?

Ken: Yeah. And it could help you get in the knowledge panel too. 

Paul: Yeah, those are great points because FAQs, it’s such a great driver of content because if people are asking these questions, they have a problem and they may not know that you have the solution. So that’s where you start.

Jen. YouTube is the second largest search channel on the planet. And YouTube Shorts, they got really popular over the past year. But is that really the right type of video content for a business? What I’ve read is that longer form videos on YouTube actually perform better. And, is that because people searching on YouTube have different motivations than someone on a different platform such as Facebook?

Jen: Yes. Yes. There’s a lot of questions in there, Paul. The answer is yes. So for shorts, my previous answer to the previous question was, how longer form can help you show more of your personality, a little bit of your difference and whatnot.

So, that’s not to say that longer form is better, shorter form is not, or vice versa. And they can be both be used just fine. You don’t want to cram in something that does need a 10 minute video into a ten second video. That doesn’t do your business any good. I guess you could talk really fast. Put it on that speedy setting. 

Ken: Those of us who are afflicted with southern accent. 

Jen: It could be. Now it goes it’s the kind of thing that it goes back to, what it is that you’re selling or what’s your difference, what it is that you’re doing for your business.

I would bet there is at least 10 things that could be explained or shown or started with very short video for sure. So, don’t discount it just because it’s short. You would have to have a look at what your business sells in order to see is it possible to capitalize on it? Is it possible to make it make sense for us?

Like, I said before, just because different forms of content are out there doesn’t mean you have to use every single one. YouTube and Facebook typically. There are differences for sure. Some people just look at YouTube and you get into one video and then the next one comes up and the next one comes up that are suggested and it just works for you for sure.

Typically, generally, if someone is searching for a how-to video on YouTube, they’re looking to get their question answered. See a diagram of it. How do I do this on Excel? How do I do this with electricity? How do I do this in the kitchen with pastry on baking, they want a demonstration, and as a step by step, how do I get myself out of this mess that I’m in?

Typically on Facebook, it’s a little more impassive, right? You’re scrolling through as the video pops up. That may appeal to you. I haven’t seen the stats that show that more people go to Facebook to get answers versus YouTube to find out how to do something in a visual way. 

Ken: Ask yourself though, how do you behave? Do you go to Facebook to find out how to screw in a light bulb of a particular kind. 

Paul: Yeah. I do know that on YouTube that the how to videos are the most searched for videos on YouTube. 

Ken: The whole idea of this short versus long form video content is really fascinating. I saw within the last couple of days, and I don’t know the source, it seemed like it was a pretty trusted source, or I wouldn’t have paid attention to it, but I saw that TikTok had more time spent on that site in 2021 than Facebook. Short video catches a lot of attention cuz we know TikTok doesn’t allow anything longer than three minutes. It may not be ready for prime time from marketing perspective for a broad swath of businesses, but I but guarantee you Facebook is paying attention to what TikTok is doing and now it’s creating Facebook Reels to compete with other platforms that are starting to pop up and rear their head.

Paul: Ian, speaking of YouTube, this is more kind of an SEO question to YouTube SEO. I’ve read it the way videos will be found on YouTube, their algorithm is changing, so can you talk about things like tags and titles and keywords, how that works on YouTube?

Ian: Love to. Yeah. And just to bridge from the previous conversation to this one, where do you look for information?

You have to remember, YouTube is owned by Google. Anything you search for on Google, which is where everybody searches for how-tos, whether it’s printable or word format or video. It’s gonna come up as a video also. If I need to replace a screen on my iPhone one or something way back in the day, you’re gonna find a how-to video.

How do those videos get found? How do they pop up? It’s actually through the YouTube algorithm that’s connected to the Google algorithm. So, you have to be pretty shrewd. Obviously the number of followers you have, the number of people engaging with your videos, that plays a huge part as to getting found, right?

But, there are very technical things you can do. In fact, we do this for our clients who have active YouTube accounts, where we actually go through an SEO optimization process for those YouTube videos and it covers everything from how do you create an engaging thumbnail for the video? First of all, what’s the title?

Cuz you wanna make sure the keywords that people are using are in your title. Then you wanna make sure the keywords people are using are in your description. You want to include a breakdown of the video, almost like chapters. There’s a way to do that within the description. You want to choose tags, which are saying, Hey, this video relates to these tags that are commonly used in YouTube.

Even used hashtags in there as well. There’s all these SEO elements that you need to think through in order to get found better on YouTube. Treat it as if it’s Google in a way. Do a Google search to see how do I optimize a YouTube video, and that will help you at least get down that path a ways and help your videos show up better and ask your mom to watch them too. And then she’ll share them with all her friends and get an audience going.

Ken: Don’t you want to do a YouTube search on how to optimize YouTube videos? 

Ian: You could do that as well. 

Paul: Yeah. Search on YouTube, how to do something on YouTube. 

Ian: So it creates this endless cycle that you can’t get out of. It’s like a black hole.  

Paul: Let’s go back to Instagram for a minute. It seems like over the past year, it’s like they’ve released feature after feature. It’s like feature overwhelm. Are most of these any use to most businesses or should they just ignore most of ’em and focus on what they really need and just be consistent?

Ken: Most businesses probably don’t need to stay up to date with everything that’s being changed on Instagram. Instagram still, it is probably the channel I think has the most potential for a business that they’re probably not spending enough time on. I don’t wanna discount Pinterest either. We haven’t really talked about Pinterest, but Pinterest got some real features that you shouldn’t ignore if you’ve got a visual element to your business.

But, to get back to Instagram, most of the features probably not. A lot of the features that they’ve released have to do with can, oh, you’ve got these new stickers, or you’ve got this or that, but there are definitely some things that are happening. So you can now add links to your Instagram Stories.That’s valuable because that means that you’re able to move people off of Instagram onto your website.

I’m always in favor of that because conversion is usually gonna happen on your website, not on a social media property. So, anytime you can use social to get people onto your website, I think that’s a good thing. I mentioned this earlier where Instagram is a mobile app still by and large. But, they finally have given businesses and users the ability to upload photos and videos via desktop.

So that’s an important feature I think for businesses. Map search is coming, so it’s been released in parts of the world, especially Australia and New Zealand right now. I’m not sure how widely available that is, but that’s gonna be huge because if you’re a lifestyle business or you’re the kind of business. And by lifestyle it’s pretty broad. It’s not only health and wellness and beauty and nutrition, things like that. It’s home remodeling. If you’re selling products, you now have a visual element. And Instagram is gonna be massive for shopping, absolutely massive for shopping. And we talked a little bit last week, if your business isn’t doing something to sell online, it needs to be asap.

That’s another thing that you need to address in 2022, is how do you take what you do with your business today and turn that into something that you can use to sell online through your website. Instagram’s gonna be massive for that. When you’re able to do searches on Instagram, inside of Instagram, natively in the app to help you find a business that’s just gonna be huge for so many different types of businesses.

So, be on the lookout for that. Messaging across Facebook and Instagram. Now, between apps, you can now discover people from one platform, message ’em on the other platform. So that’s something that’s happened, that’s got business value for it. Instagram Reels like we talked about before. They just help so much with visibility for your business.

Keep in mind that Facebook is creating reels as a native feature of Facebook, and it’s different than Instagram  Reels. It’s called Facebook Reels. But that’s coming and I guarantee there’s a reason Facebook’s doing that, and that’s because this stuff works. It catches eyeballs. It gets attention. It drives people’s behavior.

Paul: Couple things you mentioned in there, you can not be online even if you don’t sell products online. If you’re a service business, like we talked about in the past, having a self booking calendar, that’s just the world we live in. 

Ken: Even if people don’t make that purchase, self booking is that step toward a purchase.

So, selling online doesn’t necessarily mean that people have to give you money, but it’s the behavior and the intention that they’re starting to express. So if you can capture that, even if you don’t sell and where there’s a financial transaction that happens, you still have to be doing that. 

Paul: We should probably talk about Pinterest in a future podcast. But, for certain businesses, I think it has enormous business value. For certain types of businesses. 

Jen, do you think overall customer connection, I think this is a trend we’re seeing. Do you think that’s gonna be more important than it has been in the past, and how can a small business accomplish that or g o about creating that customer connection? Cuz a lot of businesses, they think of it as a transactional kind of thing, and when the transaction is done, that’s it. But it’s, that’s it’s not the end of it. 

Jen: No, absolutely. I think it’s more important than ever. The customer service are making your customers feel like they matter and that they’re either welcomed at your place or their business is really valued. It has always been super important. I think, now, more than ever with what’s going on and everything, the chance to really show that a customer or a client really matters, and by doing that consistently is so very important. But, I wanna share a story with you. It was very interesting.

So just this week, Ian and I were, pitching a little bit. It’s maybe a little too early to tell, but in a potential client meeting, we were finding out some information in order to get a proposal together. And this client, hopefully you’ll be a client. But, this potential client they were coming off three years of working with a huge marketing company.

And, this is not to bash that large marketing company. They had done great work, there was great content and whatnot, but the contract was coming to an end. Okay, no problem. And so, one of the things we ask is, okay, so we’re significantly smaller than this big, huge company. Why is it that you’re wanting to go with a smaller company?

And, they literally said, Sometimes we’d submit requests for work and it would get lost in the system. Sometimes they wouldn’t know really who we were in order to come back and fulfill our requests. We just felt we didn’t really always matter to this big company and we got a business to run. Our requests matter. Our work matters. We wanna feel like we matter and we’re important, and when we send an email or pick up the phone for some questions or to get some work done that you remember who we are and help us. That was said right away without us probing for, Oh, what do you really need from a smaller business?

It was nothing to say about the work being done was not impressive at all. It was that feeling that the client was given each time they were interacting with that larger company in order to get their paid work done for them. If every transaction, and it is a transaction. If every email, if every call, if every Zoom call, even if you’re delivering something by a package box, is there a note you could put in there?

Is there just some way, some small, consistent way in your workflow that you can show that client that you appreciate their business and they really do matter? I think it’s just so important now more than ever for sure. 

Ken: That’s a great point. We’ve had an interesting year in a lot of ways it’s been great. In a lot of ways it’s been a challenge and a struggle. And, if you don’t communicate with people on a regular basis, even if you’re doing a great job. Which I know we were, we lost a couple of clients this year, and I think it’s because there was a void in  communication that we just weren’t sharing with them that we felt that they were important enough.

So you can’t take that stuff for granted. It’s just so important. 

Jen: It’s important, and it’s one of those tough things about business because it can be time consuming. It can, it doesn’t necessarily fit into a process all the time, that extra bit to make sure clients feel valued for sure.

And, doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. So, one example that we were doing just this week, and it came outta me thinking, Oh, okay. So we have we have a bunch of different clients. Some are on small programs, some are on twenty four seven, the bat phone programs. So we have a range of services for clients. And from some of the questions coming into our email about some of the things either they wanted or they were asking, and I was, I think they need a little bit more attention than the scope of our current program gives them.

Maybe we need to say, What have you got planned for the next year and how can a marketing team help you? Of course, if they want more, we’re gonna have to put together a bigger program. But, just to lend an ear sometimes having this extra meeting is outta scope out of the program that we offer for them.

But, the reason for doing it is if they feel that us as a marketing team for them, are interested in what are your plans for the New Years? What are you thinking about marketing for that? How can we help you more? Here’s some ideas how we can help you more. And if that expands the program, obviously great, we’re making more money.

But also, if that helps the client feel like, Hey, this vendor or this marketing partner is really interested in how we’re doing, and we get the chance to air some of the grievances. Get some questions answered that come up again and again. I think that kinda little value add is worth it.

Ken: I’ve seen this not only from physics, which I have an undergraduate degree in, but also in communication where I’ve done some political consulting, working with political clients, and one thing that is certain, a void is going to be filled. So, if you’re not communicating, that void is gonna be filled, and it’s usually not what you’re gonna want it to be.

So, don’t let that happen. Whether it’s, you have no Google reviews. That’s a void. People are gonna make an assumption. Nobody cares enough to review this business. They may not know that you’ve been prohibited from having businesses or people write a review about your business. But if you’re not communicating, somebody’s gonna come along and they’re gonna tell a story that’s gonna compel somebody to say, That’s interesting. I’m gonna go do this. I’m gonna change what I’ve been doing. I’m gonna go do this. When there’s a void, you’re running risk. I don’t think you always wanna take those risks. You usually don’t. 

Ian: I love that analogy, Ken. That’s a reason why you should be proactive with your marketing. We’re talking about it in a relationship type environment, but also from a marketing side.

If you are a dentist in an area and your competitor is sending out postcards or ads, whatever it is, they’re getting the visibility, they’re being top of mind, and for whatever reason, there’s a gap in your armor with a particular patient or client, and that just happens to come across their desk. Or their mailbox at the right time. You’ve left yourself open. Whereas if you had been proactive as a business, you might have been able to bolster that relationship and create more goodwill or put some more deposits in your love bank with that patient or client so that they weren’t ready to jump ship. 

Ken: Void Marketing. Maybe That’s our new book.

Ian: Void Marketing. Black Hole Marketing. 

Paul: Love bank. Is that like the love shack? 

So Twitter’s really been pushing their Twitter Spaces lately. Talk about that. What is it and is it something businesses should be using or is it just another distraction, which is part of what we’ve been talking about.

Ian: First of all, you have to say it like this, Twitter Spaces. Twitter Spaces, really was developed as a response to the massive influence of Clubhouse in 2020. Clubhouse just swept the world, especially the business world, but anytime you wanted to connect with influencers in a smaller environment where you had the opportunity to interact with them. That was the place to be for a while. It’s still very popular, but not nearly as trending as it was. And so Twitter, just like we were talking about how Facebook’s responded to other channels. So Twitter responded to that and they created their own type of environment where you can have verbal conversations, live sharing, right in their spaces.

It’s called a Twitter Space. You can create one as a business, you can join them, you can send invitations to people to be a part of your space. Really, it’s to create a more intimate environment, and I’ll qualify that in a second, but you could invite like-minded people on a weekly basis, on a daily basis to talk about particular topics.

You can also have some levels of permission as far as, are people just listening to me or who’s able to speak, right? So it gives you a little bit of control. So that’s not necessarily a bad thing cuz these things can go off the rails pretty quickly, depending who’s invited or who comes. But just to give you an idea of the most popular Twitter Spaces right now, they’re K-pop spaces.

Korean pop music. Those are the spaces because the K-pop groups, they’ve created Twitter Spaces and their fans flock to them because they want to interact with their favorite musicians and stars. And, that’s just an example of how it’s popularly coming along. But, there are a lot of people using spaces now.

In answer to your final part of your question, which was is it just another distraction? It can be, again, this goes back to my previous comment, that you have to know where your audience is. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Use the tools that are gonna get you in front of your audience as best as possible, so that you can interact and grow relationships with them. So, if Twitter Spaces accomplishes that, first of all, do you have a Twitter following? Are you interconnected with people on Twitter? Otherwise you have to build a following in order to get found and for your message to get out and to attract people to your space. That’s a key thing to think about. But then,  is that where you wanna be spending your time? Is that the best use of your time and energy? 

Paul: That’s a good point. It’s something we talked about in the past is, you need to be on the platform where your customers are. 

Ken: It’s really fascinating to me to see Twitter creating something like this because there was a time when Twitter didn’t need anything like this.

It naturally happened. I’ll never forget, I went to Twitter conference in Los Angeles in 2008, and actually, it was a blast. And my one regret is while it was a fantastic event and there were really cool people there, like the guy from Tears for Fear was there, but Peewee Herman actually joined Twitter while he was there, and I missed that. So that’s my one regret. 

People would live tweet. What was happening at the conference, people joined conversations and watched what was happening because they could follow a hashtag and they could see all the conversations that were happening, and it was the tool that transformed the way, I think, we think about marketing today and building a communication channel where you could get directly to the audience as you we’re trying to reach.

So, now that they’ve been able to come back and build something again within their platform. There used to be tools and third party applications that would give you capabilities to do something very much like this. If you wanted to have a live conversation, use Twitter for phone calls. There was an app that would allow you to do that. So, it’s cool that it’s come back to this. I’m really intrigued by this. 

Paul: I think that’s probably a good place to wrap it up. We went a little long. If you like this podcast, share it with other businesses that can benefit from it. And, have a great week and we’ll talk to you next time. 


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