The social media platforms are changing constantly. Can we develop an approach that lets us stay current … without driving ourselves to distraction?
These days we often hear that “the only constant is change” — and that’s doubly true for social media. But the nature of the human mind doesn’t change nearly as quickly. We’ve found that the key to staying on top of social media without driving yourself crazy is to look for the underlying patterns.
Today’s question for you: Would you like an episode on how to construct great “lead magnets” (sometimes called opt-in bonuses or ethical bribes)? Let me know in the comments below!
In this 25-minute episode, I talk about:
- What you must manage if you want to “try all the platforms” (and why you don’t necessarily need to)
- Reaching a younger audience on platforms like Snapchat (… or LinkedIn?)
- Twitter’s new Customer Feedback tool (in beta now)
- Social media world building and “building paths” through the networks
- Instagram, entitlement, and social media strategy
The Show Notes
- Our Digital Commerce Institute session on Snapchat for Digital Marketers (members-only content)
- My Copyblogger article: Is Social Media Making Us Dumb? about managing distractions and other topics
- Digiday’s article with details on the Snapchat ad updates
- Adweek with more on Snapchat, including demographics
- Entrepreneur.com article on Twitter’s upcoming Customer Feedback tool (still in beta)
- RainmakerFM’s LinkedIn podcast (The Missing Link)
- Ian Lurie’s SlideShare on Storytelling vs. world-building
- Kathleen Shannon’s article on Instagram Notifications, with lots of wisdom about how to think about social media
- Twitter’s sweet video on their 10 Year Anniversary
- Ask me a question or follow me on Twitter @soniasimone!
Sonia Simone: So glad to see you again, and welcome back to CopybloggerFM, the content marketing podcast.
CopybloggerFM is about emerging content marketing trends, interesting disasters, and enduring best practices, along with the occasional rant. My name is Sonia Simone, I’m the chief content officer for Rainmaker Digital, and I hang out with the folks doing the real work over on the Copyblogger blog.
So, today I want to talk about some news on the various social media platforms — but as you might have observed, when we talk about news on Copyblogger, we try to look for what’s constant about this. Otherwise you will make yourself bananas trying to keep up with the latest hack, the latest trick.
It’s often said in this new century, and of course especially in the online universe, that the only constant is change.
But the nature of the human mind doesn’t change a lot. It changes somewhat, in response to distractions and devices — even reading rewired the human brain when it became widely adopted. But the impulses and general patterns tend to stay consistent.
Do me a favor, swing over to Copyblogger.fm and let me know if you use Snapchat!
I do not use Snapchat. A) because I am old, but more specifically B) because I’ve been online for 30 years now and I don’t chase platforms any more. It’s not that they’re not valuable, it’s just that my time is valuable and my attention is highly breakable, so I pick a few spots to hang out in.
Some people — GaryVee is known for it, so is Chris Brogan — make a point of trying the new stuff a few times and seeing what might be of value, and I think that’s excellent if you have good habits around your social media time. This is where things like a Self Control app can come in handy — put boundaries around it. Schedule the goof-off time (see my Internet Making Us Stupid post).
Social media can spark ideas, it can get you into valuable conversations, it can expand your network, but it isn’t work. It doesn’t produce the thing you need to produce, unless you’re something like a social media manager. So make sure you’re enforcing some balance.
So: Snapchat. At the end of March, they added personalized ads to the platform, meaning you can use the user data to deliver targeted messages. This is what makes social media advertising work so well — you can get a relevant message to a person, instead of just putting up what are essentially billboards.
Digiday did a good job of getting into the details.
AdWeek tells us that Snapchat is the “fastest growing social network in the history of social networks,” and as I think we know, the user base skews young. 63 percent of its users are between 13 and 34, which has to be one of the least useful statistics ever for a marketer. It reminds me a weather forecast we had last year for snow, between “a trace and two feet.”
The key to Snapchat, and I think just about anyone listening to this is going to say, “Duh,” is that you can’t just run your “social media B-roll” on Snapchat and expect anyone to pay attention to you. You really have to think about the immediacy of that platform, the intimacy, the fact that the user is almost certainly on a mobile device. You have to understand what the “room” looks like, in a metaphoric sense.
This is the bit that changes across the platforms. Every social platform gives a different context. And the same user will respond to very different approaches in different ways across the platforms. Don’t use your Facebook strategy for LinkedIn or for Periscope. Some platforms have a natural affinity, like Twitter and Vine, but you really have to know the context of the platform before you can use it well.
Over at Digital Commerce Institute, which is our premium resource for digital business owners, we spent an hour talking with Ryan Hanley about Snapchat for digital marketers. Ryan has been around for a long time in internet years, he’s been talking about content since 2009, and he also hosts the Content Warfare podcast.
I’ll give you a link in the show notes, or just boogie over to DigitalCommerce.com and look in the Cutting Edge webinar series. It’s an interesting session that includes the basics on getting started, but also talks about how to approach it intelligently if you want to play around with it.
If you don’t know Digital Commerce Institute, it’s a premium resource, which means you pay for it, and it’s a spot to get more truly focused, targeted education on digital business than you’re going to glean from podcasts or blog posts. It’s very much focused on the needs of the digital business owner.
Twitter just turned 10, they did a nice little video on it, although ironically it’s a bit long for fractured attention spans. I’ll give you a link in the show notes.
More “newsy” is that they’re going to be rolling out a new tool for Customer Feedback, that will give some more refined functionality to the usual “this company sucks I hate you” conversations that often take place.
It’s being tested with a big brands now, as it’s still in beta, but if you want more details, you have a link in the show notes.
Good quote from that article, which is on Entrepreneur.com (see show notes for link):
According to Twitter, four out of five people make customer service reports through the company’s service; so, whether brands prefer to interact with people through social media or not is irrelevant. They must reply in a timely manner or risk alienating those customers.
Sean Jackson, who’s our CFO here at Copyblogger and also a passionate dude about LinkedIn, pointed me to this:
Comscore reports that LinkedIn has seen significant growth in usage with millennials. In other words, millennials have acquired their first job, gotten sick of it, and are now looking for another one.
This is why I roll my eyes at statements like “Generation Z doesn’t use email.” GenerationZ don’t have jobs beyond “Do you want fries with that.” Those young people, including teenagers, who *are* going things like building websites for people use email. So you have to use some sense.
You can catch Rainmaker.FM’s LinkedIn podcast, The Missing Link, here. There are tons and tons of useful and entertaining episodes there featuring Sean’s passion and his deep nerdery on all things LinkedIn.
Storytelling vs. world building
Speaking of LinkedIn, I came across a SlideShare this week and found it interesting.
So of course, “story time” or “storytelling” isn’t over, that’s just a little bit of clickbaity headline stuff. But Ian Lurie, who created the slideshare, did a good job of describing something that isn’t new, really, but it continues to be more important:
The path your potential customer takes isn’t so simple any more. It’s not “do a Google search, find your page, buy something.”
All of these platforms are potential places along a very windy path to get to your business or service. When you’re thinking about how to use the social platforms to find more customers or build your audience, you need to remember that different people come to you using very different stepping stones.
Unless you have a Coca-Cola level budget, trying to address this by building a presence in All the Platforms will exhaust and bankrupt you. It’s just not an option.
But you can do things like think about your Calls to Action on each piece of content, whether it’s on your own site or someone else’s, so that people who want to know more can learn more. Lurie calls it “building the paths,” which is a good way to look at it.
It’s also a great idea to build something really inviting to your target audience on your own site. People won’t follow any path to you unless there’s something there that they want.
Do check out the SlideShare, it’s well done.
Instagram, entitlement, and social media strategy
My final thing today isn’t a piece of news but a smart reaction to a piece of news, because I think it’s a great example of how we want to think about and react to the constant environment of change on the social platforms.
Turn Off Notifications, Kathleen Shannon at beingboss.club, talking about all of the frantic rquests we saw a week or two ago to “turn on notifications” on Instagram, because they’ll be changing their algorithm to prioritize how things are shown on the platform.
This is an almost word-for-word replay to changes that happened on Facebook over the last couple of years, where as the platform owners try to shift the algorithm to display the most relevant content, users scramble so they can still get seen — and in particular, users who are using the platform to market.
I’m wrapping up with this one because I think it does a good job articulating some of the key themes of how we approach social as marketers, and not just as regular citizens.
We forget that these platforms we aren’t paying for don’t owe us anything. Even when we do pay, for example when we buy advertising, the platforms are so huge that they’re really not going to spend any time at all finding out how to make this work for you. Maybe that’s unfair when we’re talking about the paid side, but it’s reality.
The most important thing to avoid with social media marketing is the attitude that you are entitled to anything at all on that platform. If you put in thousands of hours and even thousands of dollars to build a profile on a platform and then they change the rules and all your work is wasted — that’s your fault. The earlier in the game you understand this, the less painful your life will be with social.
… sure, I use Instagram, Periscope, Facebook, a podcast, a blog, digital products, and webinars to share my point-of-view, but my business model isn’t entirely dependent on one single method of delivery.
-Kathleen Shannon, beingboss.club
Saving your asks
Here’s another quote that I think gets to something important:
You only get to ask your audience for so much. So if I’m going to ask my audience to do something it’s going to be something that I really really want—whether that’s listening to my podcast, subscribing to my newsletter, buying my product, or hiring me. I’m not going to waste my asks on getting my selfies liked.
The post is very good, and it wouldn’t be right for me to summarize the whole thing. It’s a fast read and a smart one, go check it out.
So that’s it for today, a bit of a mix of news and ranting. One “ask” from me — it really helps the show when you give it a review or a star rating on iTunes, so if you’re an iTunes listener and you feel moved to show us some love there, that really helps us. And a big thank you to everyone who has already left us reviews and ratings, it’s so appreciated.
See you next week!