A Facebook Live Triumph for B2B

Matt Wolpin, Senior Manager and Head of Social Media for Juniper Networks, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss how educating internal stakeholders on social can lead to triple digit leaps in engagement and click-through rates.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

It’s Alive!

It’s common knowledge among the B2B marketing community that Facebook is not the platform for reaching your customers. LinkedIn trends more B2B and sites like Facebook and Instagram are more B2C.

However, the times they are a’changing and Matt is reaping the rewards of being at the front of that change.

He’s found that as the social landscape shifts, more and more B2B customers are hanging out on Facebook and potential talent is on Instagram.

That’s right. B2B recruiting is moving to Instagram and potential B2B customers are found on Facebook.

But getting his company’s ship pointed in the right direction didn’t happen overnight. It took internal education of major and minor stakeholders, an audit, and consistent reminders of the payoff.

And what is that payoff? 500% increase in link clicks and over 200% increase in engagements in one fiscal year.

It’s safe to say that the internal work of changing the B2B social guard is worth it.

In This Episode

  • Why ensuring quality internal content means proving your point with an audit
  • How focusing on the end user instead of product sales leads to a robust social community of advocates
  • Why developing a robust social strategy means spending time on internal education
  • How simple three-word posts with the right angle can lead to 1,000+ engagements

Quotes From This Episode

“Q1 this year versus Q1 of last year, we had a 500% increase in link clicks and 200%-300% increase in engagements.” —@mwolpin

Everything is really paying off by focusing on the end user. Click To Tweet

Facebook Live has really woken up a lot of people, not just the marketing team, but our executive team as well.” —@mwolpin

“We’re using Facebook more as a community growth or community celebration environment. We’re not going after it to try and get leads.” —@mwolpin

We've had to educate our internal stakeholders on the issues of attention span. Click To Tweet

“We treat LinkedIn more as the CEO email where we try to inform, or more so educate, people on really big topics for our products.” —@mwolpin

“Instagram has become a strong platform for us to show off the culture and highlight the different people that really make Juniper a great place to work.” —@mwolpin

“It is a Bizarro world right now across a lot of social platforms.” —@mwolpin

Resources

See you next week!

Episode Transcript

Jay: Welcome everybody to Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. I am, as always, Jay Baer from Convince and Convert, joined as usual by my special, special Texas friend. He is the executive strategist for Sales Force Marketing Cloud. He is presently in Austin, Texas, as he typically is. He is your friend, Mr. Adam Brown.
Adam: That's right, Jay. If it weren't for air conditioning, Central Texas would not exist. Thankfully, there is air conditioning and there is Internet access. In those situations, Austin is wonderful. How are you?
Jay: I don't know if that's exactly true, though because Central Texas definitely existed in the pre-air conditioning days. It's just that people were hardier then.
Adam: Well, I don't think Austin was the eleventh largest city at that point.
Jay: No, no.
Adam: It wouldn't have been with no air conditioning. You're right. Are people hardier? Or is it hotter? Or is it both?
Jay: It's probably both. We need to get somebody from the National Meteorological Center on Social Pros and we'll ask that question. Our guest today on the show is the senior manager and head of social media from Juniper Networks. He does not have all this hot weather issue. He's got a different set of issues. He is Matt Wolpin, coming to us live from the Pacific Northwest. Matt, welcome to the show.
Matt: Hi, guys. Happy to be here. Yes, the Pacific Northwest does not have to deal with the hotter weather, so we are quite happy up here.
Jay: I always have heard ... Tell me if this is true. I haven't spent a lot of time in Seattle and that area, but I've heard that people who live there tend to purposely tell other people that it rains more than it actually does to keep people from moving to Seattle. Is that true?
Matt: I would tend to agree with that. I mean, this is our first year up here and the winter along the entire West Coast was one of the wettest in decades. When we would visit here, it'd be raining a little bit. It's like, "Oh, this isn't that bad." We moved up here expecting this type of winter, which was, according to our neighbors, one of the worst in decades, and we're like, "Oh, this isn't bad." Come next winter, we're expecting a lot more or a lot less of rain, so I would agree that locals tend to try and scare people away because it is quite beautiful.
Jay: The worst in decades? You're thinking, "Oh, my god. I picked the wrong time to move."
Matt: Yeah. No, it was quite enjoyable though.
Jay: Tell us a little bit about Juniper Networks and all the things that you do. It's a big company with a lot of tentacles, as they say. Give us a little description of how it all works.
Matt: Yeah. Juniper Networks is a 20-year-old company, and we make networking equipment for cloud providers, telecommunications companies, like Verizon, AT&T and international telecommunication companies. We have a lot of, as you said, tentacles in the different areas of the network, a lot of security activity, a lot of routing and switching for data centers and cloud providers, like I said. It's a really interesting dynamic within the networking space that we're moving toward. There's a strong shift from kind of our heritage of creating hardware and using custom silicon chips to help the networks run quicker and better to moving to software, where we're trying to lower costs, or customers are trying to lower costs. So, not only is Juniper but a lot of our competitors are trying to make this transition from being sole hardware providers to software providers. Juniper's right in the middle of that transition and pushing a number of envelopes to try and beat competitors that are both larger and smaller than us to get in front of the customers and help them with that transition as well.
Jay: What is social media's role in that? How does the company think about social? As a lead-gen vehicle? As an advocacy opportunity for existing customers? Something in between all those things?
Matt: When I joined back in November of 2015, it was treated more of a lead-gen vehicle. You would put out a lot of content around white papers or webinars. The big issue that we saw with that, it was we already have these people following us, why are we hitting them multiple times with a form-fill? We weren't really thinking of them from a customer standpoint. We were thinking about them as future opportunities. So my team and our wonderful agency that supports us, we conducted an audit that showed that our community doesn't like this marketing content. It's either low quality or just not relevant or, again, the form-fills and the gates that we would put up between the social post to the content itself were a deterrent. While we were making suggestions to the teams, like, "Stop giving us this content. It doesn't work, and do this, this, and this," they would kind of just do the, "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay," and then a week later, they deliver the same content. This audit gave us the proof points that we were looking for to go to them and say, "Hey, again, this doesn't work. Here's proof showing why." Just as we were finishing up this audit, our CMO, Mike Marcellin, was looking at some of our data and was asked a very blunt question. Why is our community growing at a steady pace, but engagements and link clicks ... Actually, link clicks were staying the same, but engagements were going down. So, our community was not placing the right value on the content and sharing it with their respective communities. We said, "Well, we've been saying X, Y, and Z. This content doesn't work, and by the way, we have this audit coming out. It clearly showed the marketing content that was kind of the bread and butter of what we were sharing before was not resonating with our social communities." That's when we made the shift to advocacy and we really refined the individual strategies across our social platforms and placed a big emphasis in particular on Facebook for recognizing our community and celebrating them. That has been the really big turnaround that we've seen from that. Q1 this year versus Q1 of last year, we had a 500% increase in link clicks and I want to say 200% or 300% increase in engagements. Community growth month over month, or average community growth, is more than doubled as well. Everything is really paying off by focusing on the end user. As part of this audit, we developed a mission statement, where we said, "Hey, we want to be more of the cubemate for our community." When you think about the IT community, you guys have worked in large companies, how often do you think about your IT brethren in there that support you from a desktop or email or other pieces? You really don't think about them until something goes wrong. We wanted to recognize them more. We wanted to help give them information, do their jobs better, especially around our products. But if they're having a bad day we also want to give them a moment of levity, where we share a networking joke or celebrate a recent project that they completed with a user-generated image. That has all paid huge dividends, in particular the last six months.
Jay: I love it. That is fantastic. How do you structure ... It's a lot of stuff to do with all the advocacy and keeping everybody motivated. How do you structure your social team?
Matt: We're a very small team, especially compared to our next competitor. I have one person on my team that's a direct report. He's in charge of not only our live streaming strategy, because that's a huge passion of his and he's really good at it, but he's also in charge of employee advocacy. Our, I don't know the PC way of saying this but, our employee demographic is more on the veteran side. They've been in the industry for a while, so they want to be active and social, they just don't know how to be active. That's his role, is to train them. We're onboarding a new platform very soon to give them more of a daily dose of social media and help educate them. Like, "Yes, this content is approved so feel free to share it." They learn along the way of, "Okay, that's free to share so I can probably do something like this, this and this," and tailor it more towards their individual roles. Beyond him, I have two indirect reports. One in EMEA, one in APAC. They're more in charge of aligning the different countries over there that have or are trying to start social media, localized social media programs for the UK, France, Germany, Japan, China, et cetera. They have split roles, so I have to take what time I can get from them, but they're doing a great job in getting that aligned so we start to appear as more of a global entity on social channels. Then I have a great agency behind me. They've been with the company for longer than I have. I think they're going on their fourth or fifth year, so they really know our community inside and out. They know a lot of the internal teams that we can go to for content or ask questions. It's a lean and mean team for sure.
Jay: I know you do a lot of internal education about social for team members inside Juniper Networks. Is that across all divisions? Is it particularly around social selling? Or is it, anybody can be blessed to use social on behalf of the company? How does that work? Is that a series of webinars or workshops inside the company? What does the internal education structure look like?
Matt: You hit all of them. The simple answer is yes. We have inside sales, they've built a program. They've teamed up with LinkedIn for part of it and a number of other people have helped evolve it over time. Kevin, on my team, he's built a series of webinars and as we get this new platform in place he's going to expand those webinars and in-person trainings to cover off on the platform and show more about what people can do, how they can create content. The two respective people in the EMEA and APAC regions, they've taken Kevin's trainings and brought them over there, localized them. For example APAC, they've brought in Weemo and WeChat information. It's been a collective team effort. We use all the vehicles at our disposal. We have, like every other company, an intranet and so we put a lot of resources up there. We're currently working with our legal team to provide more structure and guidelines in our social media policy, to really enable, as you said, all employees to be active on social media, because we do want those voices out there. We do want them advocating, at least from a recruitment standpoint, why they should come to work for Juniper. We do look at all the options and we try to use every option as much as possible.
Jay: You mentioned your Facebook Live experiences. You guys are killing it on Facebook Live, primarily with these interactive Q&As, where you get people from the company to answer tech questions, other questions. It's like a living FAQ, almost ask-me-anything kind of thing. One I just saw the other day, 150,000 views on something that is, no offense intended, pretty specific. These are topics that are of interest if you are in the networking business, but your average customer, even your average B2B person, even your average technology person isn't necessarily dialed in. To rep 150,000 views around that is remarkable. How did that come about? How do you promote those Facebook Live experiences?
Matt: Yeah, again, in all reality maybe you should be talking to Kevin on this podcast in the near future. This was his child. He came to the company, he has this great passion for content and he had done similar things at other companies. As soon as I saw his resume and saw some of his background, I had to have him on our team. He was on the East Coast, we moved him out here. He came here, he said, "I want to do more video, that's where everything is going." I'm like, "Yeah, I know that but just can't do it." He's like, "I will take care of it." We first rolled it out in October at our customer summit. We're like, "We just want to test this." We did a three hour Facebook Live session of our keynotes at this. It performed well. It was definitely worth doing. We had a lot of fun with it, so we started building up this strategy. We knew, through that audit we built our personas and we know our community's very technical. That's what they react to in all the content that we audited. So, we started doing, "Hey, let's give them some behind the scenes or direct access to experts and executives." The first few were fantastic. We're getting to a pretty good clip here now, where we can do ... One month, we've averaged one per week. We're getting back to one every other week. We've had some that have averaged, or hit, 350,000 to 375,000 views. It's really woken up a lot of people in our, just not marketing team, but our executive team as well. Saying, "We spent all this money on YouTube videos, could we do Facebook Live." We've had to start pushing people away now, like, "No, this isn't a fit for our community." But we've seen a wide range of success, we hit one million views across all of our videos, I want to say a month, a month and a half ago. Compared to YouTube, going back to October, our Facebook Live videos have surpassed all the videos during that time combined. We have seen some phenomenal success there. It is because that Q&A format, where you can go in and ask questions, we try and pay strong attention to answering questions that may come after we start, after the actual live broadcast and once we start boosting it a little bit. In terms of promotion, we try to start promotion a week out in advance. We've been toying with, "Do we create an event on our page for this? Or do we just do social posts?" We're still waiting for access to be able to schedule the broadcast so we can provide links in advance and people can sign up to know when it goes live. We do a lot, a wide range of things. This week in fact we rolled out a new template that's going to become more of a standardized template, to not just highlight the person that's talking but the topic, because for the most part the topic is what's driving people into our community.
Jay: Yeah, definitely. I'm sure you've been doing this a long time, and I'm sure you've heard this expression, and I want you to comment on it because you are proving that the opposite can be true. You have heard, no doubt, that Facebook's not a good place for B2B social.
Matt: Yeah, and at one point I believed that. Maybe it's not-
Jay: And now, you are demonstrating that the opposite is true, which I think is pretty great.
Matt: I think it's all a matter of the lens that you put on it. We're using Facebook more as a community growth or community celebration environment. We're not going after it to try and get leads, and that's taken a lot of education internally as well. What we do, what my team is responsible for, is more of trying to create awareness, trying to keep people engaged. We're up against the Goliath of a competitor, so the more that we can stay top-of-mind, whether it's sharing content or just making them laugh, I think the better we are in the long run. Then if you want to do lead-gen through social, you use the paid side of things and you get very targeted, and you make sure that we limit the gates in front of them so we get them quickly into where we want them to be.
Adam: Matt, with this phenomenal success that you're having with Facebook Live, the statistics that you shared of all the 200% and 300% year over year increases you've had in engagement since you've removed the gates and the firewalls from a lot of content, really spectacular. I'm curious, with the removal of some of those, like, "Fill out this form to get this white paper," "Fill out this form so you can get this content," how are you measuring and reviewing the ROI on things? Are you looking at this more from a branding and awareness standpoint? Are you able to correlate these huge increases in traffic to interest, to sales leads, to consideration funnels and alike?
Matt: Yeah. That's where we're shifting our attention right now. For the most part on the social side our measurement analytic capabilities are juvenile or in the process of maturing. We just kicked off a big internal metric work stream, where you're trying to get more into that information. For the most part, we just look at the web traffic that we're driving to key sites. Our attribution model's shifting right now to where we could understand more of the social impact on the journey. The Holy Grail metric that I'd love to get to is that I can go and start saying that, "Hey, social media touched X million in pipeline," or, "X million in revenue," because that would dramatically shift the discussion going forward with, not just other marketing teams, but the executives as we try and seek more budget for certain things. Right now, it's more like we focus on two primary KPIs. One is the web traffic and showing that we're getting people to the pages and getting people to a site, where we can retarget them with other stuff in the future. The second one is the engagements, which is, are people liking our content, are they sharing it with their communities, et cetera? I guess you can even go into, a tertiary metric would be something around, how are people talking about this? How are they directly reaching out to us? That's something we're actively doing. We're testing out chat bots just to automate some of the responses right now, so we're starting to measure that stuff as well.
Adam: One of the things that Jay articulated a few minutes ago was the IT decision maker and this idea that the way the IT decision maker gets information about you guys, about Juniper Networks and your competitors, is changing and evolving. As I look at the evolution of Juniper, from going from the phone circuit-based switched to packet switchers, to then the evolution to really built a network for mobile networks, and now as you articulated move from hardware to software. Have you see the way that you're reaching out to these decision makers evolve as well? What's resonating with them? Are white papers and things like that still resonating with IT decision makers? Or is it these little snack-able pieces of information like you mentioned on Facebook Live?
Matt: It's mostly the latter. We've had to educate our internal stakeholders on the issues of attention span and so forth. You've seen the devs likely from Twitter and others, where they bring in the goldfish example. We've had to show them that through social media. Okay, yes you have a white paper, but don't think of it as one single piece of content, cut it up or draft a blog that's more shorter form that then you link to the white paper. So at a minimum they learn something from the blog, and if they're still interested then they go to the white paper. It's things like that that we've had to do a lot of education around and say, "Please do this, this and this." Webinars are still popular among many of our teams internally. We say we will not promote them directly across our corporate channels, but that they have to draft a blog so we can point people to the blog and if they want to go and attend a 20 minutes webinar they can. Those type of assets still may hold a place for email marketing or other traditional marketing techniques, but for social, where it's so quick and so fast that you have this short attention span that you need to feed with short content. If you put this long piece of content in front of them they're just going to walk away. That's been the big piece and then, yeah, bringing in these short form videos. Whether it's a Facebook Live or short how-to pieces, that's been a big change for us.
Adam: Man, I love that concept of requiring your marketing and communications folks to create a blog post for them to link a white paper, other piece of collateral information to that you can then tweet about or post about on a multitude of different social media properties that you use. To that point, I have a question around a particular social media property, and one that's very close to you physically now because of the acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft, and that is LinkedIn. I know back in the days when I was leading social over at Dell, LinkedIn was so important for us because it was the place that we found the target environment of IT decision makers. I'm curious, especially with the question that Jay asked around Facebook only being a consumer platform and you finding amazing success using Facebook for Juniper, where's LinkedIn fit in all this? How do you think Microsoft's acquisition of LinkedIn is really going to change how you and other companies use it?
Matt: Yeah. LinkedIn's one of those platforms that you have a hate/love relationship, or at least I do. In that it is, across the big three it's our largest community in terms of size, but it's not the most active. We're actually starting to see a little bit more value out of it in terms of driving people from that to Juniper's websites or blogs or whatnot. The hate side of it is that it's such a walled garden. We can't get much data in there or we can't pull the data into third party platforms. I hope, and if anyone from Microsoft is listening, is that I hope they would open up their APIs a little bit more so we can get more insights out of the social side of it, not so much the recruiting side, because I think they do that fairly well. We treat LinkedIn more as the CEO email, where we try to inform, or more so educate people on really big topics for our products. The recent security ransomware attacks, that's been an easy thought like, "Hey, let's go there and share our point of view on it, what we know about it." We've seen great success there. Our CEO, Rami Rahim, was just named one of the top CEOs on Glassdoor, I think ahead ... I know ahead of our other competitors, but I think also ahead of Jeff over at LinkedIn. We see a lot of success there, so it's both an educational site for the IT community, but also we want to start recruiting more people and showing, like every other company likely does, when we have big wins like a top CEO or we have a culture award or diversity efforts. That's where LinkedIn plays a bigger role for us. In terms of reaching to the IT community, it's probably third on the list in terms of the amount of content we share there and the results we see, but still place a lot of value on it.
Adam: As senior manager of social media at Juniper and, as you said, using LinkedIn for recruiting, how do you and your team work with your colleagues in HR? Are they creating all that content? Or are you creating some of the content, even more recruited oriented content, that's being used on LinkedIn for those purposes?
Matt: It's a joint effort with the Glassdoor one, they're heavily involved on the Glassdoor side. They worked with us and we were able to get that out fairly quick. We actually tag team LinkedIn with Instagram in terms of recruitment pieces. LinkedIn's great for showing certain information but we really want to show more of the internal culture, especially as we go after a lot of the younger or the new college grads, that LinkedIn's not a first thought for them. They have Instagram, they have Snapchat. We don't use Snapchat at our company, we just don't have the resources or we don't know how we would really tell a good story there. So we focus on Instagram to show culture and show what drives people, show the diversity like, we have people from India, we have people from different communities in the US and in the different teams and everything like that. Instagram's actually become a strong platform for us to show off the culture and highlight the different people that really make Juniper a great place to work.
Adam: It is truly Bizarro world Matt, as we sit here, you're saying that Facebook is become a really powerful platform for your B2B activities, and yet Instagram is, from an HR standpoint, a powerful recruiting tool. I think that tells two stories. One story of how the social platforms are changing and evolving, and secondly, I think the whole aspect and art of recruitment has changed. It's so much more about storytelling, about culture and the benefits of working in an organization, and maybe less about what your salary? What's your title? What's your job description? I think it's a really interesting story that you tell. I'm glad you're sharing it with us.
Matt: Part of that is also because as more and more countries ... or social platforms penetrate other countries, similar to, I think there was an article this week that India has topped the US on Facebook in terms of the number of people on there. That's actually exactly what our community is. India is the number one country in terms of number of followers that we have, US is number two. But then you look at countries like Japan, and as we're learning more and more there, that they don't like LinkedIn for business purposes for some reason. They depend more on Facebook. I think that whole mindset is really starting to shift and more and more people are waking up to, A, no longer is one platform good for one piece, or Facebook is weak for B2B. It's actually better for B2B because there's more and more countries on it, or it's the first platform for many countries where they have [inaudible 00:28:12] It is. You're right, it is a Bizarro world right now across a lot of social platforms.
Adam: It really is.
Jay: You've also said Matt that simple posts today often work better than complicated posts. Can you talk about that a little bit and explain what you mean?
Matt: Yeah. When we first started on this strategy shift to advocacy, one of the first what I would call big wins that we had was a very simplistic post of our technical books that just said, "Weekend reading essentials." A three word post accompanied by an image. It had hundreds of engagements but within it there was a unaided conversation comparing us, or someone asking, "What's the difference between Juniper and Cisco," who's our biggest competitor. There was a 15 to 20 comment thread in there, where people from our community were saying, "Juniper is better for X, Y and Z reasons," but they were very honest and realistic, said, "You know what, Cisco's better here but we still prefer Juniper because of this, this and this." That's where simplistic comes in. The user generated posts of the cabling or new equipment that people share, that has anywhere from 700 to more than 1,000 engagements and 20 plus comments underneath it, which is fairly good for us. But that's all organic, no boosting whatsoever behind it. That stuff is why we've partially been so successful on Facebook.
Jay: I love that idea, we'll make sure to link that up at socialpros.com. Go to socialpros.com, find Matt's episode, and we'll make sure to grab that really effective, yet simple, Facebook post and embed it in the show notes so you can see exactly what we're talking about. I want to take a moment here before we ask some more questions to Matt Wolpin of Juniper Networks to acknowledge our sponsors this week on the big Social Pros Podcast. As always, the show is brought to you by our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. That's where Adam happens to be employed. A new ebook from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, really interesting stuff, called, More Than Marketing: exploring the five roles of the new marketer. It's a write down of the five new essential marketing skills that we all should possess. There's interviews in there, stories and even interactive features, to help you get started understanding how marketing is changing and how your skills need to morph and evolve, immediately actionable steps to master your new talents as well. Really interesting ebook and very valuable to all marketers, social or not. Grab it for free at candc.ly/newmarketer, that's candc.ly/newmarketer. Also, I told you about it last week for the first time, I've got a brand new ebook written by me, yours truly, and the Convince and Convert team, called, The Three Types Of Social Media Metrics And Why They'll Get You Promoted. All about which social media metrics matter, how to calculate and find them. The social media metrics that don't matter and how not to get wrapped around the axle about those. The three different types of reports that you should be generating in your organization on a regular basis. I think you'll really like it. I put a ton of work into it. I would be psyched if you downloaded it for free at candc.ly/3socialmetrics, that's candc.ly, slash the number three, socialmetrics. Adam, back to you.
Adam: Jay, thank you. Matt, so great to have you on the Social Pros Podcast. You've told us so much about what you're doing as senior manager and head of social media at Juniper Networks, from managing your team, to your agencies, to probably, and what you've told us, a lot of education upstream, making sure that executives understand the value of social, the ROI of social and how it fits into driving sales, driving awareness and at the end, driving shareholder value. I'm curious, at what point in your career, Matt, did you realize, "I think I can actually make an entire career of this social media stuff?"
Matt: That's a really interesting question. I have a PR background. I went to school and got a degree in journalism and public relations, went into the agency and went back and forth between agency and in-house. I think I really started to get exposed to social media right when Twitter had been launched. Shortly after that, I really went into an agency where more and more companies, we were working for a wide range of startups to established companies, and they were asking more and more questions about social media. I would research it and built it into the PR plans, but we had some people that were more interested or dedicated to social media at the agency. So I worked it in where I could and then I joined a startup and was in charge of the marketing, communications and corporate marketing stuff, and did everything from events to PR and AR, et cetera. Social media was in that realm, and that's when I really first got exposed to it and had fun with it. That company was acquired and I was put into a product PR role. It was fun for a while but I got tired of being a press release mechanism and that was it. You kind of had to be fairly regimented in what you said. It was talking a lot about speeds and feeds. Around that time, the company went through some changes and a new role had opened up. I just received a new manager and we talked and said, "Hey, what do you think about me taking over the strategy role for social media, building that up, revamping the team?" The boss never hesitated. That's when I really dove in head-first. I, from the get-go, had fun. We can be creative, we can go and create graphics. There was also this responsibility there, or two responsibilities. One was, you had to get content out every single day. There was no ifs, ands or buts, you had to get that out, so there was something that always keep me engaged day to day, and, "Okay, what are we going to talk about today? What are we going to do tomorrow? What do we do next week or the next month?" That was one part, but you also had this feedback mechanism from the community that was daily too. So you didn't have to wait to see how your press release resonated or how your media briefings went. You would put something out, "Okay, this community liked this, let's do more of that and let's dive into that a little bit deeper." So you could say, "You know what, let's go tell this story. You know what, they didn't like it, let's try and adjust it a little bit, or let's pivot to do this." And, "Okay, that's more successful." The creativity was also what got me into PR when I was back in college, because I joined as a finance manager. That creative aspect constantly keeps me motivated to try and do more on social media or to stay with social media.
Adam: You mentioned two really interesting things there. One, the idea of positive and negative reinforcement, kind of immediate reinforcement, in social. Something in traditional long form PR, or pretty much any communications for that matter, you're not going to get. Secondly, that kind of cadence of, again, got to make the donuts. You've always got to get new content out there and you're always working on the next big story, which truly is a part of traditional public relations, but maybe not. I know one of the things Matt that you mentioned to Jay and me before the show was around metrics and analytics, which like the positive and negative reinforcement you get from end users, is really one of the main ways that we measure success of our social media programs. There's been a lot monkey business so to speak around social platforms and how they're measuring their efficacy. It seems like almost every quarter one of the big social media properties says, "Well, we're not quite measuring this the way we expected." Why do you think it's so difficult for the social media platforms to get it right in terms of analytics and metrics? We certainly didn't see this in traditional communications with audited numbers and circulation figures. It also doesn't seem, at least to me, to be a priority for these social media properties, even those that are highly focused on paid activities, to get it right. How are you reconciling that internally with your team? Have you had to reconcile any of those types of things with your senior leadership?
Matt: Yeah. Why? I don't know why they, I don't want to say, "can't get it right," but why there are certain issues. I think it's more about the pace at which they have to develop new products. The ongoing battles between Facebook and Snapchat or Instagram and Snapchat, that they have to quickly try and outmaneuver the other. I think that could be one reason. There's no, I don't want to say, "oversight organization," that can help bring some efficacy to the metrics, but it also could be the API issues. We talked about this with LinkedIn, that when we bring it to another platform, the platform may not be connected properly. So we have to use multiple platforms, just for metrics, and then on the social side we have obviously the native platforms and the analytic tools that are in admin panels, but then you have your social publishing tools that have their analytics, but then your web team may have Adobe Analytics, et cetera. There's no central, I want to say guidelines, or tools, or something like that, that everyone uses. We've had a number of issues where the web team will report certain analytics from, whether it's Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics or whatnot, and we'll report ours and they won't be aligned, because certain things are tagged differently or links don't track well. That, I think that's a big issue. Yeah, something's going to give soon. I think it's more, as I said, the pace at which the companies are trying to introduce new products within platforms. Social media is finally ... They made a lot of strides recently but it's still fairly young compared to the other marketing platforms out there, whether that's email or web banners, where there's more technical stuff. Then of course the intangible metrics around social, what does a retweet mean? What does a share mean? What's the value of those? You can't really put a value on them right now.
Jay: Yeah, the more it gets easier, the more it gets harder sometimes. There's no question about that. Matt, thank you so much for being on the show. I want to close it up today by asking the two questions we've asked every single guest across this six, or six and a half, years we've been doing this show. The first one is, what one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro?
Matt: I think it's more on the personal side. It's something where I think in today's world, and I don't want to bring politics in this, but the political landscape and the changes that happened in the last year, you really have to keep a stronger eye on your mental health. I personally had to take time away from social media in the last few months, on the personal side. It's my job so I have to pay attention during work but I've really made a stronger effort to cut the cord and put the phone away more and recharge and relax a little bit more. I think that's a growing issue that we're seeing more and more people deal with because of the vicious side of social media that can be out there, depending on the company. Consumer companies have way more of this, way more of an issue of this, I would assume. I think that's the big tip, it's, stay on top of your mental health.
Jay: That's a really nice piece of advice. We don't hear that very often on the show. Thank you for sharing that. I don't disagree.
Adam: Yeah.
Jay: Especially since my background is originally in politics. I know exactly what you mean.
Matt: You know more than I do then.
Jay: Unfortunately that's probably true. Last question for you Matt Wolpin from Juniper Networks is, if you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be?
Matt: This would change every month. I think… I recently just finished the Defiant Ones on HBO, which talks to Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre about their respective paths.
Adam: Great show.
Matt: It was a fantastic series. I would probably want to talk to either of them and know more about their creative process. How do they spot what's coming next? How do they identify the talent the way they did? How do they get the most out of that talent? You could pick either of those guys and I'd love to learn about their process and their mindset going, that stuff, because it was really interesting to hear their perspective on a lot of things.
Jay: We're going to with Dr. Dre because that's easier to spell. That's going to be your answer. That would be a great idea, let's get them on the show, that would be fun. Adam, I'm going to put you on that.
Adam: I'm all over it.
Jay: Excellent. Matt, thank you very much for being on Social Pros. Congratulations on all the terrific work you're doing at Juniper. We'll make sure to link up some of those cool posts and the videos and stuff like that in the show notes, which of course you can find, as always, at socialpros.com. Make sure, if you haven't had a chance, we would sure love a review from you on iTunes or wherever it is that you get podcasts. If you have any questions you can of course always shoot me a note at jay@jaybaer.com. Love to hear from our listeners. Don't forget to listen to our sister show, Content Pros. You can find them wherever podcasts are sold and given away, also of course at contentpros.com. On behalf of Adam Brown from salesforce.com, I am Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert, and this my friends has been Social
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