New Strategies for Today’s Social Media Landscape

New Strategies for Today's Social Media Landscape

Jay Baer, Founder of Convince & Convert, and Adam Brown, Executive Strategist at Salesforce, discuss how social media has changed in the past year and give predictions for the coming year.

In This Episode:

Jay Baer

Convince & Convert

Adam Brown

Salesforce

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Full Episode Details

New Strategies for Today's Social Media Landscape

It’s Time to Dive Deep

In the ever-evolving world of social media, there is one thing that is certain: it’s not going anywhere. There are more platforms available than ever before and more ways to reach your audience through each of them.

The standard strategy has been to build at least some presence on each of them, but as the pool widens, it seems that the smartest idea is to strategically choose just a couple of platforms that resonate the most with your audience and dive deep. While there are certainly users who keep up with multiple platforms, each one has a specific style and form of content in which it specializes.

By prioritizing the kind of content that serves your target audience the best, you can focus your efforts on areas in which you naturally excel rather than spreading thin across avenues that likely have minimal effect on building your brand.

In This Episode

  • How ephemeral content has developed and changed the social landscape over the past year
  • How simplifying the user interface can create a drastic shift in demographics for a social media platform
  • Why video has become one of the essential tools for social media marketing
  • How the world of social media could shift in the coming year
  • Why it’s better to go more in-depth on a couple of social channels rather than trying to build a presence on all channels

Quotes From This Episode

Expectations of the audiences differ from platform to platform, and you have to modify your execution accordingly. Click To Tweet

“We need to have social sommeliers. Just like a wine sommelier pairs the right food with the right wine, we need to make sure we’re using fewer social platforms and pick one or two that are really most important for our brand.” — @adamcb

See you next week!

If you’d like to join us for our series of live discussions on Facebook, here are the links to the scheduled videos. These will start at 3:30 ET and last for approximately an hour each day. Click the “Get Reminder” button to be notified when we go live.

Tuesday, 1/23/18 – B2B

Wednesday, 1/24/18 – B2C

Thursday, 1/25/18 – Authors

Friday, 1/26/18 – Podcast Hosts

Episode Transcript

 
Jay Baer: Welcome, everybody, to Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. I am, as always, Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, here on Episode Number 300 of Social Pros.
Adam Brown: Sweet.
Jay Baer: I am joined by my special Texas friend, my co-host, the man with the plan from Salesforce Marketing Cloud, executive strategist, Adam Brown. Mr. Brown, welcome to 300, baby.
Adam Brown: Jay, when you started this eight years ago, did you have any idea that 300 episodes later, eight years later, that still be doing it?
Jay Baer: I wasn't sure we'd have three episodes, much less 300 episodes. We started this somewhat on a lark with Eric Boggs, who is now at RevBoss, and it's really been an amazing thing.
What's crazy about this show, to me, is that it's still recognized consistently as a show that people in social media have [inaudible 00:00:53]. Just a couple minutes ago, before we went on air, somebody wrote a blog post about the social media podcast you must listen to in 2018, and, thankfully, this show was recognized on that list. I'm, like, man, we've been doing this for almost a decade. Like, Bush was in office when we started this show, and maybe even the first Bush. I don't know.
It was a long time ago, and here we are, people still recommending us, so thank you to everybody for the support over the years. Thank you to Adam for his unbelievable work as co-host of the show and, of course, Salesforce, who's been with us almost every step of the way. Lots of other co-hosts who have preceded Adam are pale imitations of him, but have sat in the chair previously and, of course, almost 300 individual guests across this period of time. What a crazy run.
Adam Brown: It is, and I am humbled by you, Jay, your success with this, and the way that you manage this, and the entire Convince & Convert Team that puts this together each and every week makes us sound smart. And humbled not only by that, the article that you just mentioned, but a couple of weeks ago, we were noted in Inc. Magazine as one of the great podcast. It's just amazing.
One of the things that I like about the show is I learn something each and every week from our guest. As you've noted, it's still a relevant show, and relevant is a moving target here because ...
Jay Baer: Yeah. No kidding. Especially in this space, right?
Adam Brown: ... how we approach is so differently. There wasn't paid social eight years ago when we started and ...
Jay Baer: There wasn't Instagram, there wasn't SnapChat. There wasn't a lot of things we talk about now.
Adam Brown: Yeah. And even last night as we record this, as we were just talking about before airtime, Facebook made the announcement basically kind of still continuing to de-emphasize organic brand page posts, and it's almost now all paid. Who would have thought over eight years that we were going from no such thing as paid social on Facebook to, now, pretty much no organic left for brand pages on Facebook.
Jay Baer: It's crazy. We don't have a guest this week. Adam and I are going to talk a little bit about what happened in 2017, what we see for 2018.
But I also want to just take a moment here off the top to let everybody know that we're going to be having a massive 300th episode celebration. We've been talking about it a little bit on the show here last couple of weeks. The details are these. This show will be out on socialpros.com and all the places where our podcast are distributed on the 19th.
The following few days, starting on the 23rd of January, we're going to have a four-day live Social Pros celebration each and every day, January 23rd, January 24th, January 25th and January 26th. We're going to bring back some of our favorite guests from the past. They're going to do a live show on Facebook, on Facebook Live, from 3:30 to approximately 4:30 PM Eastern Time. Of course, we would love for you to tune in live and ask questions of Adam and myself and our special guests. Of course, if you can't make it, they'll be recorded and you'll be able to find them on Facebook and, of course, in socialpros.com.
But we just locked down the guests for the reunion tour, if you will, Adam, so check this out. On the 23rd of January, which is a Tuesday, 3:30 PM Eastern, 23rd is a B2B Day, so we brought back six of our favorite guests from business-to-business social media. We have Erika Campbell Byrum of For Rent Magazine who is terrific. I wrote a book with her once. She is now pregnant with her first child so excited to talk to her about that. Kriti Kapoor, who is a terrific guest. She was with HP when we had her on and talked about [crosstalk 00:04:29] yeah.
Adam Brown: One of my favorite people.
Jay Baer: And now, she's at Microsoft. Yeah, she's great. She's at Microsoft now. Janice Person, who is still leading social at Monsanto and does a great job, that's a tricky spot to be in. She's going to come back on the show and talk about what's happened there.
Tim Washer, one of the funniest men in marketing has been on the daily show, has been on Stephen Colbert's show, he's been on everything, was until very, very recently, doing B2B marketing for Cisco. He's now out on his own so we'll talk about that. Mark Josephson who had just on the show recently, who is the CEO of Bitly. He was such a great guest. He's coming back on the show. And on B2B Day, LaSandra Brill, who is now doing social and all of digital globally for NVIDIA and is one of the smartest people I know, she's coming back on the show as well. That's a heck of day in one hour.
Adam Brown: I think the funny thing, too, about this, and we've talked about this several times on the show, is it's almost a guarantee after someone comes on the show that they get another job offer. As you go through that list, you talk about Kriti, you talk about LaSandra, all these people have different jobs, more significant jobs and roles, since when we've talked to them.
Jay Baer: It's like a podcast/job placement service. There should be some sort of a commission opportunity for us. It's great.
Adam Brown: But I think it goes to show, too, real fast, how this whole space is changing.
Jay Baer: Oh, yeah.
Adam Brown: It is no longer can we just be social people wearing our social media hats. We, as marketing, as communications, as customer service, as business leaders, are all growing kind of in our role. I think even the focus of our show in the past few years that I've been involved with it, we've seen that to take place.
Jay Baer: But you got to know a lot more about a lot more to do enterprise social media now. Your breadth of skills is much different than it was even five years ago, even three years ago, probably.
The B2C Show will be on the 24th, Wednesday, January 24th, 3:30. Ike Pigott, who is an amazing, amazing supersmart guy working in the utilities space, Nick Gilham, who we had on not too long ago from LensCrafters, Lee Aase from Mayo Clinic, Laurie Meacham who runs all of the social care for JetBlue, Brooks Thomas who also runs social for Southwest Airlines, so we got a little airline shootout that day, which is fun, and our friend, Kelley O'Brien, who is in charge of all social and digital for Kripsy Kreme will also be back making a return appearance on the show on that day.
Adam Brown: A very sweet show that will be, pun intended.
Jay Baer: We got airlines, we got donuts, we got glasses, and we have health care, we have health care, yeah. We really should set it up so that Kelly and Lee are on at the same time, so she can talk about donuts and he, from Mayo Clinic, can talk about the danger of donuts. It's going to be an excellent opportunity there.
Adam Brown: Yeah, peanuts and ...
Jay Baer: Yeah, peanuts, sure, and Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, right? Isn't that JetBlue's thing?
Adam Brown: Yeah, peanuts and chips. Hold the mayo.
Jay Baer: That's right.
Then, the third day, the third show is going to be on the 25th and that's all the thought leaders and authors, so check this list out. Man, this is unbelievable. Peter Shankman, Brian Solis, Jason Keith, Ann Handley, Mark Schaefer, and Shama Hyder all together on Social Pros live on Facebook on January 25th. That's a conference that people would pay ...
Adam Brown: How many New York Times best-selling authors are represented right there? Yeah. Including you, Jay.
Jay Baer: Well, let's see. One, two, three, four, if you count me, one, two, like six, something like that in one hour, so that's a ...
Adam Brown: And what about the combined sales of all those are? It's pretty significant.
Jay Baer: A lot. That's a conference that people would spend a lot of money to go to, so you don't even have to spend any money. Just tune it live to Facebook, which is cool.
I should also say, before I tell you about the last day of the big celebration, we're going take these ...
Adam Brown: Wait, there's more?
Jay Baer: Yeah. We're going take these four live shows and take the best of them, the best comments and edit them together. It'll be two episodes of this podcast. So if you can't tune in live, you just want to get the greatest hits of what happens with all these amazing people coming back to the show, it'll be here in your podcast feed as an audio once we edit it together and make it coherent, so stay tuned for that.
Last day is ...
Adam Brown: That's the best of the best of the best.
Jay Baer: The best of the best of the best, exactly.
The last day is the true reunion tour, my friend. On the 26th, Friday, January 26th, 3:30 live on Facebook, we have Eric Boggs, the original co-host of Social Media Pros and the person who actually invented the show. It was Eric's idea, it was not my idea. It was Eric's idea. He will be back on the show for the first time since he left the show five-and-a-half years ago. Our old friend Jeff Rohrs. Jeff Rohrs was a longtime co-host of the show, formerly at Salesforce, now the CMO at Yext, is coming back. Zena Weist, who was also a co-host of the show for a long time when she was in the social space, she's going to come back. Jess Ostroff who was our executive producer who runs this show and also runs several other shows in the Convince & Convert Podcasting Network. Jess is going to be on the show to talk about what it's been like to be behind the scenes this whole time.
Then, the host and co-host of our sister shows are also going to make an appearance, Randy Frisch and Ann Hrach from the Content Experience Show, formerly known as Content Pros, and Dan Gingiss and Joey Coleman from the Experience Show are also going to be tuning in and popping on the 26th. So it is going to be extraordinary. I'm really, really excited.
Adam Brown: You and me both. I'm looking forward to hearing from all those people and, again, for Jeff and Eric and everyone just talking about how this entire business has changed and what insights they have, and maybe we all put our collective thinking caps on as to where this is all going.
Jay Baer: Well, let's talk about that. Let's talk about 2017 and 2018, what you and I have experienced on this show, and also in our professional careers and a few things that we think are important.
One piece that has really been a big move in the last 12 months is SnapChat, of course, pioneered the concept of disposable content. "Stories," if you will.
Adam Brown: Ephemeral content.
Jay Baer: Ephemeral content, yes. Facebook said, "Hey, that's a good idea. We should steal that idea," and so, they did, and, of course, implemented Stories on Instagram and, over time, sort of stole SnapChat's lunch money, except for their core younger audience.
But then, Facebook went even more and said, "Let's put Stories in everything. Some Stories are good, Stories everywhere must be better." Now, of course, you have Stories on Instagram, you have Stories on Facebook, you have Stories on WhatsApp, you have stories on Microsoft Word or Excel, presumably.
You now have this threaded ephemeral content everywhere, and I think it's a little much. I like Instagram Stories quite a bit, I make them myself, I watch them all the time. But I think Facebook has maybe double-downed on this a little too much, in my estimation. What do you think? We got too many Stories these days?
Adam Brown: I agree. I think we've talked about on this show a little bit that the word "Story" does not denote it truly being a story. The technology and construct of a story doesn't really align in some cases, maybe in others, with kind of where you and I believe about storytelling.
But I do think this idea of ephemeral and perishable content is maybe and, Jay, you can reel me back in from this, kind of jump the shark a little bit. I understand the idea, the idea of this is perishable content. You need to watch it, you need to pay attention to it because it's going away, it's perishable.
But I also recognize, at least in how I consume social media, there are so often times where I want to go back and revisit content. I want to learn something. I want to time-shift something. I want to have the searchability and the findability of relevant content, especially when it is long-tail content which, in many instances, by definition, this content is.
I don't know whether or not brands are going to be able to see a longterm benefit from content that is truly perishable. Is this idea of it being ephemeral, is it this idea of it going away so quickly, come more of a marketing ploy that people, again, so used to being able to go find something at a later date, are going to start getting distanced and distracted from?
Jay Baer: It creates attention, right? I mean if X thousands of people or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people watch your story, or tune into bits and pieces of your story, that's attention that you didn't have, but does that attention yield true benefits for the brand? It's not like a TV commercial, which creates attention, and then, presumably causes demand. I'm not certain that Stories does that in the same way. I'm sure it varies or it does vary by brand, but we'll see how that shakes out.
Adam, you work with big brands all the time, per your role at Salesforce. What kind of questions are they asking you right now? What are people confused about today?
Adam Brown: Well, I think they are confused certainly about this. I know during the first part of this year when we started talking about SnapChat and if you think about the majority, if not all the content on SnapChat, is this type of ephemeral content, the elephant in the room was, okay, is SnapChat just going to go away? Is everybody going to move over to Instagram, much like we saw the move from MySpace to Facebook, in kind of the previous two generations of social media?
That has not taken place. I don't even know the statistics on kind of user growth, user subscriptions, users on SnapChat versus Instagram for Instagram Stories, or Facebook Stories, for that matter. That's one of the things that I think our customers are very interested in, in how they can monetize and how, quite frankly, SnapChat is monetizing this beyond the things that they're doing with targeting and other types of sponsorships.
Jay Baer: They announced a little study, it wasn't from SnapChat, but it was from a SnapChat third-party peripheral, that they've showed usage of some of the key features inside SnapChat is not as high as we might think, and Instagram Stories, of course, continues to skyrocket in popularity. So that's a fight that is not done being contested, but, look, I think to bet against Facebook and in their mass audience and their ability to mine user behavior and make changes accordingly, is kind of foolish.
But the thing that's really fascinated me about SnapChat is when they launched the new user interface, which is now delayed, but is supposed to be coming sometime in the first quarter, completely overhauled way of accessing features and content inside the app, as I think we all know anybody who has used SnapChat it is not terribly intuitive, and especially for people of our vintage who sort of have a way of thinking about mobile interfaces, and SnapChat has a very different look at those things.
So, we'll see, A, will it attract users outside their core of, say, 16 to 24-year-old demographic, as it becomes easier to use for older people, and/or in so doing, will it turn of some of that core demographic, right? If it becomes "easier to use", does it make it less interesting for the base? You can argue that that's what happened at Facebook, to some degree, and are hurting for users or usage. Facebook is not as popular amongst 16-to-24-year-olds because that's where their parents hang out now, and nobody wants to party where their parents party, right? It's just that nature of sort of consumer psychology.
Adam Brown: Well, I think you just mentioned kind of two of the things that have interest me and I kind of want to put our thinking caps on and think about 2018. One is that Gen Z focus, 22 and younger. I mean that is becoming more and more of a focus as that becomes a demographic that has more and more buying power as we look towards 2018 and the future.
The other kind of piece of what you just mentioned that's interesting to me is that in 2017, we really didn't see any significant merger and acquisition, if you will, in the social space. We didn't see a WhatsApp acquisition, we didn't see any of these big ones. I'm curious what your thoughts are on are we going to see something like that take place? Are we going to see any of the platforms sunset?
I think Twitter is its own thing. We can talk about Twitter here a little bit and how it continues to evolve and transition. You mentioned SnapChat really having to kind of retrofit their UI, which is so important for a platform like that. But what are your thoughts on kind of where this is going to be a year from now? Are we going to see new players? Are we going to see acquisition of existing ones?
Jay Baer: I don't think we're going to see anything like that happen in the next year. I could be wrong. We've had some new players crop up, but it's almost impossible to get a foothold now.
The existing players have such huge userbases: Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, SnapChat, obviously, Facebook, WhatsApp, WeChat, Kick, Line. All these different platforms that are already in existence, the lowest of them has 150 million users, and so, to break into that category, man, you gotta have a better mousetrap, a different mousetrap. I don't see that on the horizon in 2018. You're going to have to fundamentally reexamine what connectivity means.
I think the next platform that emerges as a contender is going to have to do something so dramatically different that it's clearly a differentiated experience. In my world, that's probably something rooted in AR, that some sort of augmented reality, plus a social media interactivity app, could challenge one of the established players because it's so fundamentally different of an experience that people want to use it.
But short of that, you got people come in and they get 2, 3, 4, or 5 million users, or a real specific app like the new trivia game, things like that, but that's not a social network, right? It's a trivia game, so I just don't see it being likely to have a new challenger spring out that becomes meaningful in the next 12 months.
In terms of the existing players, same thing. They're all big enough that it's difficult to take them out, buying any of them. [inaudible 00:18:25] buying Twitter, which I know Salesforce looked at one point, and a number of other companies. Now you're talking about serious, serious cash. That doesn't mean it's impossible, but there's got to be a reason to spend that kind of cash. Probably, to answer your question directly, it's more likely that somebody gets bought than somebody new gets invented. That's my estimation.
Adam Brown: No, I tend to agree with that. I think the way that we, as consumers, are using social is changing as well. I think whomever buys one of these social platforms, small or large, has to really think about that, just think about how we've seen social messaging, especially with Facebook messenger evolve over this year, and certainly such a part of so many of your last couple of books, social customer care evolve.
I think we'll continue to see because of the size of the Facebooks and the Twitters, we as marketers and as communicators, we're going to fish where the fish are, and the fish are already on those platforms. It's a lot easier for us to rationalize that as we see the larger players continue to open up their APIs, as we see continue them to open up their ability for us to target paid messaging because I think we can all agree organic continues to be kind of deprecated in terms of its value. By design, these publicly-traded companies need to make money from us, and they're not going to make that money from their end-users.
Jay Baer: It is amazing [inaudible 00:19:59] see that shift. So many more people putting more emphasis on Instagram as a core platform both in B2C and in B2B, Instagram Commerce, Instagram Advertising. I think LinkedIn is really in a resurgent period as well. While there's certainly some, I don't know, spam-type behaviors that go in there, sometimes you get some low-quality interactions, but I've been doing a lot more LinkedIn stuff just in the last few weeks myself. The engagement rate inside that business audience is extraordinary, the amount of content and engagement you get, genuinely good comments and conversations in that space.
It's really interesting how the social networks tend to ebb and flow in terms of where they fit into your overall strategy, which is why it's so critical to not have a strategy that is supposedly going to last three years, or even a year, right? We've been working a lot with our clients at Convince & Convert and saying, "Look, you need to have 90-day strategic thrusts as a brand because beyond that, you're just making things up. You know, 90 days is actually a long time in social, so what is your strategy for the next 90 days, and then, a new strategy, and then, a new strategy every quarter." I think that's really how we have to go in the future.
Adam Brown: Yeah, social users like dog years, you multiply by seven. It's interesting, again, how these platforms have changed. I think we all assumed when Microsoft bought LinkedIn, I assumed that there was going to become a pivot change. That Microsoft was going to look at LinkedIn and say, "Okay, you know what? I know LinkedIn has been this business platform. It has been the Facebook, if you will, for business. Let's try to kind of consumerize this a little bit more," but they haven't.
I think that is actually one of their distinctions and one of their values because they have steadfastly remained the place that people go to do business. That is one thing that you cannot take away from LinkedIn. It's going to be very exciting to see, knowing kind of what Microsoft has in their big bag of tricks, what they're going to do with that platform, as it relates to us as social marketers and communicators.
Jay Baer: It is fascinating, and I would say, though, that maybe the cake isn't fully baked there, right? Microsoft, for some of their deficiencies, and all those big companies have them, one thing they are is patient, and they do not make quick decisions and rapid sort of knee-jerk reactions. They may still have some significantly different plans for LinkedIn and how it fits into the overall Microsoft B2B ecosystem that haven't been fully unfurled yet. But for now, I think most of the changes have been really good.
Adam Brown: Are you surprised, or do you predict that LinkedIn ... If you look at the two big things, or three big things about kind of where we're ending up 2017, obviously, live-streaming, video, live video, it's the big part of everything we've talked about, from SnapChat to Instagram to Facebook Live.
Jay Baer: Well, and even more so on Facebook now because like what Zuckerberg said last night was, "Content that creates conversations will be given priority. Content, even video content, that is consumed passively, will not be given priority." The way I interpret that and, of course, it's like reading the tea leaves of the Kremlin, or like the bankers, right? They'll say, "Well, we think we're going to nudge interest rates by a quarter point." Everybody freaks out, like, what does that really mean? It's sort of trying to decipher Zuckerbergisms.
But the way I think about it is this. Live video tends to create more conversation because people have a propensity to comment during a live video in a way that you don't when you're watching a prerecorded video. So I believe live video is going to be even more important and even more prioritized on Facebook, in particular this year, because live video tends to spur the kind of conversations that they say that they want. Whereas, recorded video, you typically, more often, sort of watch it, sit back, and then, you move on to the next thing. I think that's going to be real important.
Adam Brown: I agree completely with that, and I think it's human psychology that you were watching something live or commenting about it live, we are sitting there when we make a comment on a live Facebook video or whatever it is. Watching that there's 158,000 other people watching it, or just 100 people watching it, but we're awaiting them, the other hundred people watching right then, to either like our post or to reply back to our post. So it's human psychology, and I agree.
I like that focus because I think too oftentimes, as social media managers and communicators, we're using social as a monologue. We're using it as a one-way information stream, no different than any other tactic that we've used.
But social, when done right, is a dialogue. It is that meaningful back-to-forth, that banter, that genuineness, that authenticity, and, without a doubt, I think we're going to see that in Facebook. I'm interested to see how LinkedIn continues to integrate that type of live, perishable, ephemeral video content into their platform.
Jay Baer: Yeah, LinkedIn videos have been doing really well. I've been experimenting with it lately and I had some nice success with it. Jason Miller, who is the head of content marketing at LinkedIn, posted an article, just today actually, about how to do video well on LinkedIn. It'll be interesting to see if they changed their own algorithm to give greater priority to video posts, in addition to posts that are more successful.
Of course, Facebook changes the algorithm all the time, the same way that Google changes the algorithm all the time. I suspect that LinkedIn is going to continue to have to up their algorithmic game, and we'll start to see more and more comments and articles and discussions on shows like these about LinkedIn's prioritization algorithm for content as well.
Adam Brown: Do you think this whole shift to more video content, which we can agree whether or not you're doing it with a studio and lights, or you're just holding up a mobile device in your hand, there is more production requirement involved, and because of that, does that change kind of the way and the approach that we, as social media professionals, have to use or utilize it?
Jay Baer: Yeah, absolutely, because it's no longer optional. It used to be, before there was any video, the social media managers and social media directors were primarily writers, right, they have communication, public relations, journalism backgrounds. Now, more and more people have film, television, some sort of video editing, backgrounds, or at least capability, so the skill sets required have changed a lot. Everybody can stitch together a sentence of some degree of credibility; not everybody can create a good video, even an okay video.
The paradox that I see is that this idea that video is more compelling and more natural and more visceral, okay, I'll buy that. But it's not as accessible because not everybody can or wants to make a video. My mom does not want to make a video. My mom likes social media, she [inaudible 00:27:04] social media. But if social media, Facebook, or otherwise becomes manifestally video only, it's going to leave some people behind. I don't think we're all ready for that, or that's a desirable outcome, but we'll see.
Adam Brown: I think one of the guests we've had on the show this year, Tim Mosso, who is director of social for WatchUWant, which is now called WatchBox, when we interviewed him, he was just getting started with doing some live social on video, on YouTube, on Facebook. Now they have an entire multimillion-dollar studio, multi-camera setup. They're doing four live shows a week in like 20 or 30 kind of recorded with it.
Jay Baer: All about watches, guys. This is all about watches. All about watches.
Adam Brown: Yeah, and then, how they've had to scale. Now, if you were a little Mom-and-Pop person in the watch collection space, can you compete with that? I think you can compete with it from a story standpoint, but from a production standpoint, they've raised the bar. I expect over 2018 is to see more brands and companies kind of do that and, again, it's going to segment.
Jay Baer: Yeah. You know, it's interesting. We went through this. This is such an interesting point, Adam, and I'm really glad you raised this. We went through this era, right, where the difference between haves and the have-nots, at some level, was do you have the expensive software? Do you have the social media command center? Do you have the listening post? Now, it's do you have a TV studio, right? That's what the haves have, that's what the [inaudible 00:28:39] have.
There's a blog post in that somewhere, right? That it's not so much about your listening capability, although it still is, obviously, but now, it's about your creation capabilities. It's not about making photos or writing snappy headlines. It's do you have lights and 4K cameras in your office so you can make four live shows a week about watches, or whatever your deal is?
Adam Brown: Or whatever it is. It's interesting. If you think about how social kind of became really that soapbox that let anybody with a computer and a couple of words, really, be their own broadcast network. That was true for such a long period of time. But, now, we're kind of back to the people that have the biggest mouthpieces are going to be the people that are probably more likely to be set up like a traditional journalist or traditional broadcast organization.
So, again, it's going to be very interesting to see how this manifest itself in 2018. Is one of the reasons that people went to social media was for the authenticity? As content gets more highly produced, do we lose that and do we actually see some sort of response in the opposite direction, where things that look more homespun actually have more authenticity and people resonate more with?
Jay Baer: Yeah, there's always that push-pull, right, between making it too polished that doesn't actually succeed, and then, not polished enough so it doesn't look credible. I think some of that depends on the platform as well. What tends to work in Twitter video, for example, may not work as well on Facebook.
In fact, I had a conversation recently about that with somebody who was saying that what they were doing on Periscope worked on Periscope, but it was a little bit rough. When they took it to Facebook, it didn't work as well. It was too rough. It was appropriately rough for Periscope, but it was too rough for Facebook. I thought that was an interesting comparison and I hadn't thought about that per se, but it does make a lot of sense. That the expectations of the audiences differ from platform to platform, and you have to modify your execution accordingly.
But you know it's funny that the premise of socials evens the playing field, right? That consumers now have the ability to interact with brands, have the ability to make their feelings and beliefs known to government. They could speak through to the power. All the things that you go way back to the spirit of the conversation.
20 years ago, when all of this was first being envisioned, that's true, but from a business and marketing standpoint, does it level the playing field? If it's all about video and paid now, is that level playing field, or does it benefit the type of big brands that we typically have on this show as guests? Is social becoming a circumstance where the rich get richer? I think maybe the answer is yes. If the answer is maybe yes, is that actually what we want?
Adam Brown: To respond to that, I think you have to look at a couple of the guests that we've had on most recently. If I think about it in general, some of the guests that we've had on for the past couple of months towards the end of 2017, I heard something interesting. I don't know if you heard this, too, Jay, but I know one of the question we often ask them is, "Okay, what social platforms are you using in your day-to-day business, and which ones are resonating most with you?" It was interesting that I know, just from my experience, we used to kind of shotgun. Again, it was easier when there were three or four social platforms, but we would try to have a presence on just about every one.
But some of the latest guests that we had, say, "Listen, I am doubling down on one, two, maybe three social platforms, as these are the best platforms for me and for my business and for my message and where my customers are." Perhaps we are seeing a further segmentation in how different brands use different platforms. It's almost like we need to have social sommeliers. Just like a wine sommelier pairs the right food with the right wine, perhaps we, as social marketers, have to put on another hat and say, "Listen, we need to make sure we're using fewer social platforms. We're going to go deeper, rather than wide, and pick one or two that are really most important for our brand."
Jay Baer: It's funny you talk about social sommeliers. We were having a meeting with the Convince & Convert consulting team, our strategist, and talking about how to position our services for 2018 and beyond because, as you know, we're not agency. We don't do execution work. If a brand says, "Can you make our social media," we say, "No, that's not what we do." We really do more strategic and operational advice and consulting, as you do, on behalf of Salesforce clients, and so, I want to run this by you to see what you think, just your initial reaction.
The metaphor that one of our team members came up with was that we're personal trainers for digital marketers. That we're going to help you figure how to get better, we're going to hold you accountable. We're going to show things that maybe you didn't know. Could you do it yourself? Yes, but you're going to do it better with us, than without us. I thought that was kind of an interesting way to describe.
Adam Brown: I like that. It's the "Teach a person to fish" analogy, just like you can't somebody work out for you. Again, how do I focus on the right places? I can go and run five miles, or I can go and spend 90 minutes in the gym, but without the aid and assistance ... I'm going to do better just by running five miles, or going to work out for 90 minutes. But with a personal trainer, to use your analogy, they're going to help me focus on those areas where I'm going to see the best response and the best improvement in my health or my fitness. I like that analogy a lot.
Jay Baer: I'm glad to hear it. I'm going to report back to the team that Adam Brown is approving of the new strategy.
Speaking of Adam Brown, I want to just take a quick minute here to recognize our good friend at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adam and his team, for being the sponsor of the show for many of the 300 episodes that we've done since the very beginning of Social Pros. I don't remember exactly what episode we were on when Salesforce came on as a sponsor, but it was from way back in the double digits. It was probably Episode 60, or something along those lines, or 100.
It's been a long time, so I just want to say thanks to Salesforce Marketing Cloud. I won't give you a URL to ponder at this time. I just want to say directly and from the bottom of my heart, we really do appreciate their patronage and their sponsorship. They're an amazing group of folks over there. Obviously, Adam is one of my favorites in the whole world, but everybody at Salesforce Marketing Cloud is nothing but a delight to work with and we really appreciate them riding shotgun on this thing for a long, long time. We really, literally, couldn't do it without them, so thank you to Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
Adam Brown: Well, Jay, thank you. I think it's an honor for all of us to be a part of this. If we look at how, again, social has changed over these past 300 episodes and this idea of us kind of evolving and emerging from just being social pros, which we still are, that's still kind of on a lot of our business titles and our business cards, but we have to do so much more now.
It's that intersection, it's one of our fundamental beliefs at Salesforce, that social is important, but social isn't everything. No longer can you just want to use social data to make your tweets or your posts better, but how can we use that social data to target our paid ads spends, to leverage for our DMP activities, data management platform place, email, mobile, customer service, sales, lead generation? These are all the things that, I bet, when you started doing the show 299 episodes ago, and when I started listening to the show, I don't think any of us had the foresight to think that that was what was going to happen.
Jay Baer: Go back and listen to Shows 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and you will be convinced that we didn't know that that was going to happen, right? It was a much different ... Well, let's close out this 300th episode and 2017 recap, 2018 predictions show with Adam and I.
Let me ask you a question. Describe to me what you think social is like when we get to Episode 600 in seven more years from now. What is your wow? It's a long time, man. That's a really, really time. You're talking about at the current pace, that's 2020, 2025 something like that, 2025. What do you think social means at that point?
Adam Brown: I'm going to try to explain this as simply as possible, and I am a simple man. I'm not a complex one, but the ubiquity I think of social is going to continuity. You look at where search went and really how Google founded itself, and now, the ubiquity of search and the findability of every piece of information. I think social and search will continue to merge. I'm not saying that the Google and Facebook are going to become one or anything like that, but this idea of being able to discover what people like us, which is our social network in both offline and online are enjoying, are going to continue to come together.
I think because of this higher production in content that we see, as users, when we have our screen in front of us, we're going to be clicking back and forth between produced, more production-based shows, we're going to look at social content, we're going to look at content from our friends. Again, it's not going to matter whether it came from Hollywood, it came from the guy down the street or somewhere in the middle.
I think the idea of organic and social is going to continue to kind of be deprecated, sadly. That's something that really hurts me because I believe one of the big parts of social has been to be able to do these things without a lot of paid social dollars behind it.
Finally, I think video and social are here to stay, and we're only going to see video continue because of, I think, artificial intelligence. For us at Salesforce, it's Einstein. The ability to be able to look at real-live video content and be able to pull things from it, to be able to tag what's happening in a particular scene, who's in a picture, what are they doing, what are they talking about, so that the findability of that content is there for the future.
Finally, to that point, I think the ephemeralness, or perishability of content will waver. I think as we sit here next year, we're going to see less content that is fleeting from the SnapChats, the Instagram Stories, or Facebook Stories.
Jay, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on those, as well as some of your predictions for Episode 600.
Jay Baer: Well, right now, whether it's on a browser or an app, we have to go somewhere to do social, right? You've got to go to facebook.com or open the Facebook app, or go to Instagram or go to LinkedIn, and I don't think that will be the case very much longer, actually.
I think social will be a layer built into everything else, that when we are accessing a webpage or driving our car or reading a book or watching television, if we still have television, that the social layer, what our friends think, what our friends are saying, what businesses want us to look and think will just be laid on top of that. So I don't think we'll have to go anywhere. I think Charlene Li said this once, that eventually social will become like air, always around us, instead of like water, that you have to seek out. I think that will prove to be true.
I think that video will absolutely increase in usage and popularity, and then, it will decrease. The reason I think that's true is I think that the endgame for all of this is not video, it's audio. I've said many times on this show and elsewhere that I think the future is the movie Her, is Apple's AirPods, or a similar product with a virtual assistant in your ear. That the future is not necessarily Google Glass or something that visually augments your world, but that you have Siri or Alexa or some other type of a creature with you all the time in an earbud, and that a lot of your social interactions will be delivered via voice. You'll be able to hear your friend's comment on a photo, or hear your friends make a restaurant recommendation, etc and that will be carried with you all the time in your ear canal.
I think that's ultimately where we'll go, but I think it's video first, and then, video will fade away almost in a [inaudible 00:40:56] fashion and be replaced with audio because it's just so much more portable and omnipresent.
Absolutely agree that from a business standpoint, we're going to end up paid because somebody has to underwrite all of this technology, and businesses are not going to be able to succeed as well as they have in the past with other marketing disciplines, whether it's television, radio, print, direct mail. All of those are becoming less effective, and what we're doing in digital is becoming more effective, and so, the free ride will continue to be squeezed for businesses looking to use social to connect with your current and future customers. So it's going to continue to be more and more of a paid, rather than organic, circumstance. I don't think there's any question about that. It's just a matter of time.
I also think we're going to eventually approach, and probably pretty quickly, what I would call sort of a combination social experience. I think what happens in Asia with tools like WeChat, etc, is really a glimpse into the future. It's just for them it's been reality for a while where your "social interaction" is everything. You can buy a car on WeChat. It's all the things that we use in one app, right? It's Craigslist, plus Amazon, plus PayPal, plus Facebook, plus YouTube, plus Instagram, plus your text messaging app all in one thing. I think that's ultimately where we'll get.
Now, how that happens from a mergers and acquisitions standpoint, I don't know. But if somebody said, "Hey, who would you bet on making a big move," and I said earlier I don't think it will happen in 2018, but if I was an investor, and I am, I'd sure look at Amazon to be buying somebody like Twitter and say, "This is going to be our move. We're going to take social and build it into an e-commerce environment," and that's where we'll end up.
Adam Brown: I like that idea. I'm with you on that and I think it's almost like at the operating system level, if you will. But I love Charlene Li's message of the [inaudible 00:42:56]. That it's there, and it's just embedded into everything that you're doing, and really like your audio analogy. You're right. Our eyes will focus on what is real. I don't think that virtual reality is the end-all or be-all. I think augmented reality is neat, but it's not going to be the Google Glasses. But to the person Siri, or Alexa, or somebody else whispering in your ear, Cortana, that has legs. I agree with your prediction there. That's really it.
Jay Baer: We don't talk about it very much because the adoption isn't there, it's not as sexy, but I firmly believe the most important Apple product is AirPods today, I think going into the future. Someday we'll look back and say, "Wait, we actually carried around a phone? Why did you do that? What was the point of that," right? Now that seems crazy, but that day will come that we'll say, well, you've got your watch, or you've got your ring, or you've got your hairpin or whatever is your computing device, and then, you have your earpiece and people say, "What? You carried around this giant 7-inch piece of glass? How hilarious. It's like carrying around a butter churn." Someday we'll look back and laugh.
And even iPads, right? Even Apple themselves have said that they feel like iPads and tablet computing is a [inaudible 00:44:17] a way station technology and you can see now how little comparative effort Apple is putting into laptops right now because, like, who cares? It's going to go away, right?
I actually did a mobile prediction last week with my friend, Aaron Strout, who did a 2018 mobile marketing predictions on the Marketing Land website and I said, "Hey, what we have to do this year is be truly mobile first." Meaning, you've got all of these people, including many people listening to me right now on the show, who are designing ads for social media, designing emails, etc, and we say that we're "Mobile first," but yet, we're designing that creative on a 4K 34-inch monitor? Why aren't we designing the creative on a phone? Like, that's really mobile first, and I think eventually we're going to get there, too.
Adam Brown: Consumers versus creators. The one thing you kind of wrap up, Jay, that I love about your predictions and my predictions, though, as we look towards the 600th episode of this in many moons, is that we have both agreed, without even saying it, social is not going anywhere.
Jay Baer: Oh, no. No. Social, as a separate thing, it may go somewhere, it may fade away. But the core points of social, being able to interact with one another, being able to discover things that you like, you didn't know you like, being able to interact with brands, what got us here from 300 episodes ago, is not going away, right? The core need for human beings to connect with another in a world where we don't connect with one another face-to-face as often, that's not going away. In fact, it's going to become more acute and more necessary over time.
The role of social in connecting us as human beings is going to become even more critical, every single week, every single month, every single year. What social does for us is going to become more important. It's just how that connection occurs will, of course, change over time.
Adam Brown: This has been a great show.
Jay Baer: Always fun. We should do this on every quarter. We only do this show once a year, where you and I just get together and shoot the ball. But maybe we should do it more often. It's fun.
Adam Brown: I completely agree and, again, I have to thank all of our listeners for what they've done to help our little show be so successful. Again, as you always say, Jay, we can't do it without them.
Jay Baer: Oh, we certainly can't, and we can't do it also without Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Thank you very much for being a part of the show. Of course, the whole team at Convince & Convert who put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make this show a success, so thanks very much to Jess Ostroff and everybody else at C&C for all their work. Of course, thanks to Adam for being unbelievably great and a huge, huge part of the show.
We will see you in just a few days for the big four-day-in-a-row live reunion extravaganza with 25 of our favorite guests, previous hosts. It's going to be a blast. Tune in January 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 3:30 to 4:30 Eastern Time, every day, live on Facebook. If you're unsure where to find us, just go to socialpros.com and there'll be a link there.
Adam, thanks so much.
Adam Brown: Thank you.
Jay Baer: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you, as Adam said, for being a part of the show and for supporting Social Pros for 300 episodes, which is still, like, really hard to believe. This is like when my daughter went to college. It is like that kind. I'm, like, "Wow, I really can't believe that just happened." 300 episodes. Thanks very much. Hopefully, we can keep doing it for 300 more. Adam and I will have like robot hosts or something by then, I'm sure, but we'll give it a shot.
Adam Brown: Bots.
Jay Baer: Yeah, bots. As long as you guys keep listening, we'll keep doing it. Thanks very much. On behalf of everybody at Convince & Convert, Adam and Salesforce, this has been Social Pros.
 
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