I’ve been off the scene for quite a while in terms of content creation. In this video (vlog) I lay out the reasons why I’ve been so quiet, what I’ve been up to and what I plan to do about it.
When building your audience or brand you need to be where your customers are if you want to reach them, but limiting yourself to just one network imposes unnecessary limits on your growth.
I addressed this very topic on Cranky Gamers with Steven Hodson a couple of weeks ago. We were discussing how Twitch streamers can use social media to grow their streams when the following statement was thrown out in the chatroom:
Facebook is useless to Twitch streamers except for a central page to go for a schedule. Twitch is it’s own social network.
While the advice given is targeted at Twitch streamers, it holds true for anybody trying to build an audience or brand of any kind.
Facebook has made a huge investment in their video platform and yesterday I noticed some tests to the layout of pages which would indicate that Facebook expects publishers and businesses to get onboard in a big way (which you really should be, BTW).
By making the video and photos sections of pages front and center on the desktop version, which mimics the mobile layout, users are now forced to scroll past your videos and photos before they can see your latest updates.
This effectively pushes written content to the bottom of the pile, which means that if you want to quickly engage with new users you’ll have to rely on your videos or photos to catch their attention.
Hopefully Facebook never actually rolls this layout out to users as it is frankly ugly and awkward, but it certainly belies their thinking when it comes to Facebook as a video / visual medium.
A huge mistake I’ve made is thinking that I can handle everything myself. If I don’t know it, I’ll learn it. It’s an approach that certainly gets things done but it is not in any way efficient.
In fact, it’s about as far from efficient as you can get and in many ways it can be detrimental to your business. If you’re working on the minutiae and administration of your business – the bookkeeping, the website updates, trying to mentally untangle lease agreements and legalese, then you’re not actually spending time growing and developing your business.
You’re not moving the needle.
A $200 dollar an hour might sound expensive if you need a lawyer to look over a contract, but it’s probably way less than the potential lost revenue from you spending 8 hours trying to decipher a document when you could be hustling for new business. Plus the lawyer brings years of experience that you don’t have which allows her to point out important, potentially deal-breaking things that you a may otherwise miss!
As a small business owner, there are certainly some skills that are definitely worth learning and not farming out – social media marketing – but generally, you should surround yourself with those who are already experts and use their skills and judgment to your advantage.
Even if you’re just starting out and don’t have much cash to hire consultants, freelancers or staff, you can always barter for services and skills, and a host of sites exist where you can farm out business services for as little at five bucks.
Time is your most valuable commodity you have, don’t waste it working in your business. Spend it working on your business.
Nobody knows your small business like you do. Nobody knows your customers like you do. Unless you’ve got deep pockets to hire the best talent it’s almost impossible to get a surrogate to speak on your behalf with your knowledge, passion, and insight into your small business and your customers.
Sure you can use an agency to take the grunt work out of your social media. Need an infographic done? Collect the data and farm it out. Need a video edited, your website tweaked, or a banner created for you Facebook page? Farm out the work. Need someone to help you with your strategy, editorial calendar and get you set up with the tools you need to do the job efficiently – hire someone!
Need to respond to a customer or patient who had a bad experience at your practice or small business – you need to do that yourself. You’d be pissed at being put on the long finger by some faceless agency woman, so why would you expect any different of your most valuable assets – your customers?
Want to tell your story as authentically as possible? YOU need to tell your story, engage your customers, and be on the front lines of your social media accounts so that you can listen to what your customers are telling you and seize those opportunities.
Managing social media isn’t like war. Sitting back 200 miles behind the front lines sipping chardonnay and only reading reports while the
agency troops do the interacting means that you will be unplugged from vital information about what your competitors are doing and what your customers really want. In a small business, you can’t be the social media General that only sees the big picture as reported to you – the key to social media is in the details. The key is in getting dirty, hearing first hand what your customers want and spotting the trends before they occur – an ability that only comes from being in the trenches.
Put in the work. Do your 6 hours a week (minimum) and you will see the payoff.
Video on the internet is huge! Messaging is huge too (and bots inside messaging platforms). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that messaging and native sharing within the YouTube app is only going to mean more video views for those investing in the platform.
The sharing model within the YouTube app is broken. The only options to share a YouTube video from my Nexus 6P are outside of the YouTube experience (yes Google Plus is outside of the YouTube experience) and into other platforms. That’s great for exposure on other platforms, but when you want to keep people inside your platform consuming content, it doesn’t make great sense.
If your target audience is anybody in the 16- 44 age range and your content is actually worth sharing then this is great news.
The Higton Bros may have hit an uncomfortable nail squarely on the head with this video about the reality behind the status updates of our friends and those we follow online.
Facebook can be depressing because everyone else’s lives are better than yours… But are they really?
The video hasn’t lost any of its relevance in the 6 months it has taken to come to my attention (hat-tip to Fast Company) and should serve as a stark reminder that many people who suffer from social anxiety (which I guess we all do in some form or another, except the most confident of us) are not only dealing with FOMO (fear of missing out syndrome) but with social pressure to be as interesting as everyone else.
It’s a reminder to all of us to take everything we see online from the happiest status update, to the most blistering outrage, with a healthy pinch of salt. It should also bring to the surface the necessity of reaching out to people “in the real world” and finding out what is actually going on before relying on oft ambiguous social updates.
Finally, it’s a stark reminder that if you really want to have awesome stuff to post online – you need to get off your ass and do stuff!
We missed last nights episode and we’re really, really sorry. We will be back next week, so please send us your feedback, rants, news and stories. We look forward to recording a new show and getting back on the horse next week 😀