The Only Social Media That Matters

Marcy Massura, Senior Strategist and Director of Digital and Consumer Engagement at Henson Consulting Inc., joins the Social Pros Podcast to get down and dirty on PR, social customer care, and the staying power of Twitter.

In This Episode:

Please Support Our Sponsors:

Huge thanks to our amazing sponsors for helping us make this happen. Please support them; we couldn't do it without their help! This week:

Full Episode Details

Putting It In Perspective

There’s a lot of talk in social media marketing about platforms, tactics, and strategies. The overall conversation tends to revolve around getting metrics and building engagement. It’s not too often that you take a step back and take a good, long look at the big picture and what social media is truly trying to accomplish.

At the end of the day, it’s about sales.

Social media is a great engagement tool but engagement isn’t the end of it. It’s a means to the end of closing a deal and making a sale.

And in the long-game of marketing, digital is just the next step in the evolution of our sales toolkit. Does it elevate our customer engagement strategies to a new level? Yes. But that’s not all it does… it’s ultimately a better way for us to leverage our marketing prowess for sales.

Once you approach social with that true, big-picture thinking, you can better evaluate platforms and form your strategy.

In This Episode

  • How the marketing client’s needs and interests leads to irrelevant titles
  • Why the natural evolution of marketing means that digital isn’t anything special in the long run
  • How the shifting PR landscape has moved from crisis to awareness
  • Why finding the right influencer means shifting the search effort to real people
  • How the push for Facebook Messenger as a customer service tool is taking a step back in social customer care

 

Quotes From This Episode

“The structure of digital agency has been a hot topic since the olden days of social media.” —@marcymassura

“In a fantasy land we’d have no digital titles. We would just be practicing public relations and practicing marketing, and digital is just a medium by which we do that.” —@marcymassura

“If a client says, “That’s awesome and we want to hire you because of it,” you keep that stuff.” —@marcymassura

“Digital is only in its teenage years, so when it reaches full maturity it’ll just be part of our tactics of what we do. It’s just a medium by which we practice marketing.” —@marcymassura

“Ultimately the only metric that matters is sales.” —@marcymassura

“Not all impressions are equal, and we need to stop treating them as such.” —@marcymassura

“There’s no one KPI that is this magic, magical unicorn KPI.” —@marcymassura

“The data part and the KPI’s are the science part of it, but there’s an art here that we can’t ignore.” —@marcymassura

“PR is changing, and for the most part it’s broadening and going much deeper into the communication space.” —@marcymassura

“The phrase ‘influencer’ is tricky because you can be an influencer at a celebrity level and you can be an influencer as somebody’s neighbor.” —@marcymassura

“To really identify the right influencers to convey the right message for a specific brand or mission, you have to use humans .” —@marcymassura

“From a customer service standpoint when you’re doing one-on-one customer service, you’re not increasing the visibility of that spend.” —@marcymassura

“When somebody has a complaint on Twitter it was an opportunity for awesome.” —@marcymassura

“I watch it closely, I use it personally, but I would never tell anybody take all your dollars and go all in on Snapchat.” —@marcymassura

Resources

 

See you next week!

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 & Convert, joining you on episode 268. Is that right, Mr. Adam Brown? Is that possibly true?
Adam: That could possibly be true. We need to check with the accounting firm but not the one that did the Oscars.
Jay: Yeah, who was on our show like a month ago? Yeah, that was … 262, sorry. Episode 262. I have checked with the Social Pros accountancy. Episode 262. My friend Adam Brown, who is the executive strategist from salesforce.com … Salesforce Marketing Cloud is of course the co-host of this fine podcast. Adam, I think you’re at home but you’re feeling under the weather. What’s up with you, man?
Adam: I’m a little under the weather. I don’t know if it’s all the travel I’ve been doing, but I feel a little bit like Peter Brady in The Brady Bunch episode where he’s kind of going through some sort of puberty or voice change. I’m going to do my best to plow through this, but maybe it was all the travel I’ve done. One of the great things about the travel, and maybe this is kind of the by-product of it, is I got to see you, Jay, at Social Media Marketing World last week as we record this.
Jay: F2F, baby. That’s right. We got to eyeball one another in San Diego. It’s always great to see you in person and have a margarita or seven.
Adam: Likewise, or eight. Yes. Yes.
Jay: Absolutely. You know who likes to drink margaritas and wine? Our guest on the program today. That’s not her whole bio.
Marcy: Oh my god.
Jay: But it’s a key part of it. She is the senior strategist, digital and social engagement for Henson Consulting. She is an OG in social and digital, one of the smartest, funniest women in America working today in marketing. I don’t say that casually. I really, really mean that. Marcy Massura is finally on episode 262 on Social Pros. Marcy, thanks for being here.
Marcy: Wow, that’s quite an intro. It’s good to know my cocktails precede me.
Jay: Tell us a little bit about what you do at Henson and kind of your role there.
Marcy: Sure. I do what everybody else does, right? We go around and try to make companies money by making them popular. We kind of use every tool in the book and that changes from day to day pretty much, especially in digital.
Jay: Firm is not strictly digital but it’s got a large digital presence that you oversee. You’ve got a number of people on your team or people who were kind of with you on different teams. Can you talk about how that’s structured?
Marcy: Yeah, the structure of digital agency has been … I’m not going to go so far as to say controversial, but it’s been sort of a hot topic since the, I want to say, olden days of social media. Where to put it, where does it sit, how is it structured? Most agencies sort of go between this concept of it’s a completely separate entity, to it’s a completely merged situation where somebody is embedded onto an account. I have taken the road of late that in a fantasy land we’d have no digital titles. We would really just be practicing public relations and practicing marketing, and digital is just a medium by which we do that. We have a fairly merged model, I would say. We like to have all of our PR people to be very, very stellar in digital, and then our digital experts, there is an expertise, but they’re really, really good at PR. They sit on accounts and account teams like everybody else. That make sense? Does it make sense?
Jay: It does. It really, really does.
Marcy: Cool.
Jay: Do you have people on the digital team who are devoted to specific digital tactics like community management or video editing or email, etc.?
Marcy: Yeah. The thing is is people really … It’s funny to me how, and not just agency model but clients as well, they really respond to those people who are kind of knighted with “You are our social media SEO expert. You shall be the king.” [crosstalk 00:04:12] Yes. “You are the Earl of Paid or whatever.” Right? People really seem to respond to-
Jay: The Earl of Paid. The Earl of Paid is-
Marcy: That’s a new role. Yeah. Clients respond to that. As much as we on the other side of the fence are like, “I’m going to get rid of this. This is stupid.” … If a client says, “That’s awesome and we want to hire you because of it,” you keep that stuff, so you keep those titles. Right? We look at it more as like a personal expertise and background experience. We know who’s the best at what. Whether or not their title reflects that exactly may not be the case. We know, for instance …

A good example is there’s nobody on the team that is identified as somebody who’s really an email marketer. Right? We don’t say that, but we have people on the team that I know are experts in that, and we will tap them when needed. Some of that comes from the size of the agency where I am now. I came from the mega, mega, mega big guys, where maybe you have enough specific projects to warrant just somebody sitting there just doing email marketing. Here we have to be a little bit more nimble, like most companies.

Jay: You said in an interview for Mashable in 2011 … About social media strategists you said, “Social media strategists will disappear. All strategy, whether it’s TV, print, etc. will be handled by the ad execs and executed by PR company internals. The need for independent social media strategists is only a reaction to technology moving faster than the current creatives. It’s all going to blend together in the end.” Do you think that has happened, is still happening, or is no longer going to happen?
Marcy: No, I think it’s happening and I think we are watching that happen and I think that’s part of this path of sort of wishing away digital titles. We’re still on that path. It’s taking a little longer than I thought it would in 2011. Thanks for bringing that up. Appreciate that. I’m like a failed Nostradamus. It’s happening. It’s happening. Digital is a funny, funny thing, and so to grow up with this as it was birthed and it’s coming … It’s really only in its teenage years, so when it reaches full maturity it’ll just be part of our tactics of what we do. It’s just a medium by which we practice marketing. To that end they’ll be no need to just have a digital strategist. That’s hilarious. You’ll have a brand strategist or you’ll have a marketing strategist, and they may choose to do things in digital or they may choose to do things in advertising or billboards or wherever. Yeah, I think we’re on that path still.
Adam: You wouldn’t have a department of radio in most agencies.
Marcy: There you go. Right. Exactly. I think when we all sat down and watched Mad Men and we watched … I got a big kick out of the birth of the TV department on the Mad Men arc, where they were inventing this new department and they hired this specific guy and nobody knew what he did and all of this, and everybody questioned it, what he was doing for the company. Yeah, felt really, really familiar.
Jay: Yeah, you should change that from TV to digital and you’ve got it.
Marcy: Exactly. Yeah.
Jay: You have and do work with a lot of different brands in social and digital. As it relates to social media, what are your favorite measurements? Obviously  everybody measures the basic stuff, fans and engagement. Are there KPI like “You know what? These are the things that I really believe helicopter to brand value.”
Marcy: Well, ultimately the only metric that matters is sales. Ultimately. I like to always bring that up when I discuss metrics because I think that those of us that work in this industry, it’s a little scary to say that. We often say that we don’t want our value associated with actual sales lift. Right? Because we’re afraid of getting fired. Because we want to say, “But look, we got you a bunch of awareness.” Awareness is a very abstract concept. Yes, awareness leads to conversion and drives to sales and purchase consideration, but ultimately sales should be the main thing that we assess our value.

Our clients assess us that way and we should assess ourself that way. Now this is a complicated beast because many of our clients don’t reveal those sales numbers to this side of the fence. It’s complicated, but more and more we always ask for it, and more and more our clients are more open about that when they see that we actually care about driving. I don’t know why clients are so protective over those sales numbers. First and foremost I like to get that out of the way. That’s where you should be going. In lieu of that, then we want to look at the kind of metrics that are closest to that conversion moment.

Not all impressions are equal, and we need to stop treating them as such. We like to take sort of a weighted scale on impressions, and of course we’re giving a lot more value to bitter hurdle engagements, meaning comments and shares. Right? We’re really seeing that those are closest to the purchase decision. If somebody’s willing to tell a friend “Hey, this is awesome,” then they’re willing to buy it. Or continue buying it. Yeah, I think it’s a tricky thing. There’s no one KPI that is this magic, magical unicorn KPI.

Jay: I wish it was that easy, right?
Marcy: Right. Yeah. Then I’d be selling widgets. It’s not like that. The data part and the KPI’s are the science part of it, but there’s an art here that we can’t ignore.
Jay: In fact Adam, maybe you want to drop in here. You did a whole panel on this on social media attribution at Social Media Marketing World last week and talked about some of those issues about yes, sales is the key but how do you ferret that out of the data?
Adam: Absolutely. It’s so interesting, Marcy, and I think even kind of with your background you hear different things from social professionals that either come from the advertising/marketing world, than the folks who come from the communications and PR side of the world. I’m kind of curious kind of how you kind of reconcile that. Coming kind of primarily from a public relations and communication side, I have to tell you it’s pretty refreshing to hear your thought and impression that it is all about the sale, and it is all really about that attribution. Where do you think this lives and where do you think the world of public relations is going as it relates to doing that not just for social but for traditional PR as well?
Marcy: Yeah, it’s a pivotal time for PR in the sense that once upon a time it was very, very clearly defined that PR was really earned. Everything you did in PR was earned, right? We made some calls and we got you some ink in The Wall Street Journal. Everything was a very earned sort of approach. Even influence or marketing, which I’ve been involved with since day one, that started as a completely earned tactic. Right? We’re going to reach out to some popular people, we’re going to ask them to talk about you. There was no exchange of money in the beginning. PR has shifted quite a bit, and I think a really good indicator of that is when you start to look at agencies popping up, they are referring to themselves more and more as communications agencies, marketing and PR agencies. It’s almost as if … Dare I say PR has become a dirty word, but I will say it’s no longer what it used to be completely.

It’s much, much more than that. We’re not doing press releases in the same fashion. Press releases live online, and often they’re videos. Right? Now we’ve completely even shifted the medium by which we’re doing the same old-school process. PR is changing, and for the most part it’s broadening and going much deeper into the communication space. That’s everything from internal coms into B2B and executive visibility to old-school PR, which is really handling … PR started really as a crisis tool. The industry is still deeply involved in sort of mitigating crisis and then in some ways building awareness and affinity to get ahead of crisis. That’s often the impetus for most brands, big brands, to really invest in PR, is to build up a bank of good will so if something bad goes down they have an army of advocates at their defense. Where it’s going I don’t know, but I’ll tell you that times are a-changin’, for sure.

Adam: Are you seeing public relations professionals today, and I know obviously now you’re at Henson Consulting but you’ve spent time at two of the biggest PR agencies in the world, Manning, Salvage & Lee, MSL, as well as Weber Shandwick. You articulated it perfectly. 10, 15 years ago when I was at Ketchum PR, we were still building those relationships and rapport with what we’d call traditional journalists. Are public relations professionals trying to curate the same types of relationships with influencers in social, or are they saying, “You know what? We don’t even need those guys anymore. We can go out and actually communicate our message straight to our audience.”
Marcy: Well, the phrase “influencer” is pretty tricky. Because you can be an influencer at a celebrity level and you can be an influencer as somebody’s neighbor. Right? There’s quite a wide band there. Influencers, we have to take a completely different approach. Media get paid to do their jobs. They get a check every day to write something or talk about something. When we reach out to media with a story idea or an event, we’re helping them do their job essentially. It’s a very different relationship. Whereas with influencers, they are not compensated by a publication. They’re under no obligation to fulfill any deadlines.

When you are asking of them to speak about your product or event or whatever you’re trying to promote, it’s a completely different exchange. We find that they work really well in tandem. I would never walk away from true influence in exchange for mass reach, because that’s what you get at that follower and sort of fans and follower level. Sure, there’s big numbers there, but the level of influence is very different. We have to understand that people are popular for a reason, both in life and online. Generally they’re popular because there’s an extreme amount of trust in the decisions that they make. Those influencers are of great value, and in some cases greater value than media.

 

Adam: I couldn’t agree more. It’s challenging, though, when you work with brands, and we do a lot of influencer strategy as you guys do as well. There’s still this confusion between influence and audience. They think that one begets the other, that this person has great reach, therefore they must have great influence. Influence by definition is the ability to cause a behavior. There’s a lot of people out there who have audience but can’t necessarily cause behavior or if they can, they can cause behavior only about a particular topic as is probably should be the case. Yet brands in many cases say, “Well, this person has a history of knowing a lot about cameras.

We should get them to recommend boats.” Wait a second, nobody listens to them about boats. I know that they’ve got a lot of Instagram followers, what have you, but, getting back to my actual question here … I think one of the challenges, and I say this as somebody who’s invested in companies in this space as well, is when we have all of these influence or identification tools which are primarily if not wholly based on people’s blog or Twitter profile, etc. It gets really hard to say to a client “Look, let’s base this on actual behavior” when the data that we’re using to find influencers in many cases really relies on audience.

Marcy: Well, that’s where the biggest mistake happens. There is no tool, there is no technology, there’s no website, there’s no SAAS, there’s nothing you can do to identify influencers in that way. Not completely, not truly. To really identify the right influencers to convey the right message for a specific brand or mission, you have to use humans to do that.
Adam: Talk to your customers, right, and say, “Who do you”-
Marcy: Well, sure, or you get halfway there with a tool that might be finding people in a category, pulling them up based on reach and engagement levels and other things. Then you have to have humans dive into that data and make those decisions if this person is right or wrong. Right? That’s the biggest misstep that I see by really … I was going to say small to mid-size companies but I actually see this at the top level, is huge investments in these tools, and they push a button and expect it to just spit out “Here’s a list of people that are influential, you should work with them.” That’s not what this is. There’s a reason that we call it influencer relationship management. It’s a relationship. There’s no technology that can do a relationship for you.
Jay: One of the places that influencers are identified because of its open API and really because of its length of time as a social network is of course on Twitter. It’s more difficult to use data to even find potential influencers on Facebook and other networks because of the way the data is structured on those sites. You have been part of Twitter for a long time, as have Adam and myself. How has your use of Twitter changed personally and how do you feel about Twitter now as a vehicle for the clients that you work with?
Marcy: Twitter’s a hot topic, man. Half the people want to see that sucker go down. I don’t know why. There’s some sort of Twitter anger out there where people really want to see it crash and burn. Other people are still really fighting for it. I think that it’s leveling off and will find its place in both society and also from a marketing standpoint I think we’re getting there. I think we’re starting to see that Twitter is one of still the most ideal customer service channels, and people still think of it as a primary customer service place to go. In other words, when you have a problem with a product, you’re on an airline, you’re in a restaurant, 9 out of 10 times if you’re under the age of 40 you often think of Twitter first. “I’m going to tweet them and complain about this or ask for that.”

That is an important thing to note, because Twitter actually does that very well. It’s the same as calling up, but you can respond to people publicly. That effort and those dollars going towards that customer service are then viewed by an entire community. Twitter has changed drastically. I think I still mourn the loss of TweetDeck, when we could have pretty little columns. It was a very big part of my personal communication strategy and also for my clients. It’s not bad anymore. It is a parted line. It is a single stream of consciousness and, like I said, a good way to directly connect with customers for them to reach you, rather. Less about you reaching them I think is the right way to say. We’ve had some good success with clients using it for some surprise and delight. Right?

Just conversation discovery and finding people talking about your brand, not always for bad but perhaps they’re talking about it for good and you want to reward them. It’s a pretty interesting tool for that as well. Then of course we can’t forget phenomenal technologies that allow us to sort of geo-fence tweets around events and locations. That’s pretty powerful and we can’t do that with any other platform. It’s not going anywhere, but I think what we will have to wait to see is how generations as they’re aging up take to it. Because as we know with Facebook, that didn’t quite happen. That didn’t quite happen. They use it very, very different, younger folk. We’ll see. We’ll see where it goes.

Adam: Marcy, I want to double-click a little bit down on that because I agree completely about Twitter’s power. I don’t understand, as like you do, what I call twanger, Twitter anger. Because I think it is still a very established and mature platform, especially for social customer service. I think there’s nobody close to them in that regards, and I think one of the big key parts of Twitter social customer care is that idea that you articulated that is everybody can see a brand responding to other people, and kind of you don’t have to be the person asking the question, you can still get the benefit of the answers when it’s not happening as a direct message.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, though, on something that I’m hearing from a lot of our customers, as we talk to social studio customers and prospects, around Facebook Messenger. Facebook is certainly driving hard to the basket to make Facebook Messenger the home of social customer care. What are your thoughts on that? The way it is now, certainly Messenger is entirely a direct message platform so you’re not going to see the benefit of everybody learning from your experiences, learning that brands are or are not responding. How do you feel about Facebook messenger and kind of where is it going to go?

Marcy: Well, I mean I think you answered the question there, right? There’s a big differentiator in that whether it’s Facebook Messenger or it’s in an SMS platform or WeChat or even Snapchat, right? From a customer service standpoint when you’re doing one-on-one customer service, you’re not increasing the visibility of that spend. You’re no different than having a phone bank, and one person calls in and Carol answers the phone and solves your problem and now you’ve made one person happy. Right? The other person on the end of the line. That’s what happens with Messenger, is yes, it can be used as customer service. Any communication tool. I can use email as a customer service tool.
Adam: Right.
Marcy: It doesn’t have any added benefit because nobody can see that. When I look at times of crisis or, let’s take, say, a website goes down and people are trying to sign up for something and it’s a major problem. If you are handling those conversations on Twitter, you’re broadcasting out the solve “Hey, just go over to this link.” Maybe 20, 30, 40 other people with the same problem saw it. Right? It becomes a lot more efficient. I used to say that when somebody has a complaint on Twitter it was an opportunity for awesome.

Meaning that you had an opportunity to not just solve that one person’s problem, but to do it in a public way that made people look at you and say, “Okay, that’s cool.” Right? Okay, they get it. This is a good brand. In a way Twitter allows you to really take something really bad and turn it into something that can be really a good marketing moment. Yeah, I mean I like Messenger. I’m not a fan of the story thing that everybody’s dying to put on every single platform. Nobody can deny the messenger works really, really well. It just works really well.

Adam: It does, and that’s a perfect segue, Marcy, to my next question. If Facebook was trying to tackle social customer care with Twitter with Messenger, certainly this week’s announcements as we record this, the end of March, around Facebook stories is really their bullseye target toward Snapchat. My question for you is: Do you believe all the Snapchat hype, and what do you think about Facebook trying to kind of do their own Snapchat killer with basically Snapchat stories but without the Snapchat?
Marcy: Right. I find a lot of people who are asked the question about Snapchat will say that “Oh yeah, it’s great, I believe in it” for fear of looking and sounding like a really old person. Right?
Adam: Yeah.
Marcy: I’m an old person. I try to be brave and say, “No, it’s not that I don’t get it. It’s not that oh, I’m too old to understand.” That’s just hilarious to me when that’s said to me. I get it, and I don’t see as yet the real value from a marketing standpoint. One of the reasons I really point to is that they have very, very poor metrics available. Until I can actually see the value of my broadcast and my messaging, that’s a problem from a marketing standpoint.
Adam: Yeah, no metrics, no API. Yeah.
Marcy: Right. We also have to look at Snapchat … Everybody wants to talk about it like it’s something other than what it is, but it’s really a visual SMS model. Meaning that it is one-to-one communication. Yes, you can do one-to-one to a bunch of people, but it’s a one-to-one communication with a mass button capability. In that case it becomes much trickier to get your marketing value out of it, because you’re only reaching the people that you reach and it’s very hard to go further. Right?

When Facebook added the share button that’s when everything changed from a marketing standpoint, because now people were able to very easily and publicly share out a specific message that had been brought into their feed. Yeah, so I’m going to say that, in risk of sounding like an ancient, ancient old woman, I don’t see the marketing value in it per se yet. I watch it closely, I use it personally, but I would never tell anybody take all your dollars and go all in on Snapchat. That’s for darn sure.

Adam: Well, Marcy, welcome to the old social folks home.
Marcy: We need one those.
Adam: We’re glad to have you here. I do want to ask one last question kind of around this thought before I hand it off to my excellent and very handsome colleague, Jay, and that is kind of this larger idea … There were a couple of journalists this week talking about Facebook stories who were saying, “This is the fourth key feature that Facebook is ‘borrowing’ from Snap.” I’m curious what your thoughts are on that. Does this worry you at all about kind of innovation, that kind of the world’s largest social player is copying instead of kind of innovating, or is this just kind of part of being and continuing to stay competitive in this space?
Marcy: It’s funny because I actually think … Okay, sidetrack. There’s a game that some of us play when we work in marketing and it’s called reverse engineering the brief. Right? If you’ve ever watched a commercial or you see a campaign, we almost automatically in our brain go “How did this go down? I imagine this was what they were shooting for, this is how it went down.” Right? You’re reverse engineering the brief. When these kind of innovations come out I often do the same thing. I think about why. How did this happen? Who sold it through and who wins from this edition? Right? To me, I was less surprised when it was added to Instagram. I felt that that made sense to me, that it was really a to knock the other guys out, because it had a larger base at the time when they did that.

Now that Facebook has brought it in, I think this is a strategy of dilution. In that if they remove the differentiator aspects from a competitor, then they still gain the upper hand because Facebook still has billions of people. If they just say, “Oh, that’s why you’re on Snapchat because that’s so much better? I’m going to dilute that,” there’s no longer that differentiation. Yet Facebook is left standing with still hundreds of other capabilities that Snapchat will never have. Right? Or Instagram for that matter. I think it was a strategy on their part not because … It wasn’t the “Hey, that’s neat. We want that too.” It was more of like “If you are over there for that, we’re going to eliminate that. We’re eliminating it.” But we’ll see, but I’m just annoyed because it takes up so much of the top of my screen on mobile and it just bugs the heck out of me.

Jay: Yeah, Marcy, that’s a brilliant point and I’ve heard that in this last few days, this concept that maybe Snapchat is just a feature, not an entire platform and it certainly seems that that’s what Facebook’s idea is, is to convince people: Well, why would you need a whole platform to do this one thing? That if you make it a one-trick pony then you don’t need to spend time over there. We’ll just take that pony and put it in our considerably larger stable. We’ll see whether it works. You know what does work? Sponsoring the Social Pros Podcast. Including our sponsors this week, our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud who continue to employ Adam Brown. They are wise in that way. They have-
Adam: Are they, Jay? Are they?
Jay: They are. They are. They have a free downloadable e-book called The Future of Ads, which is all about how to improve the quality and effectiveness of our paid social media advertising based on their considerably large advertising platform. You can get that at bit.ly/salesforceads. That’s bit.ly/salesforceads. Download it, you’re going to like it. Also this week the show is sponsored by our friends at Yext, Y-E-X-T, the leaders in mobile marketing and reviews.

They’ve got a new white paper as well that I want you to read. It’s called How to Win Digital and Real World Traffic with Local Reviews. Why do I want you to read it? Because I wrote it. I wrote it with my friend Daniel Lemon who’s the head of strategy here at Convince & Convert. He and I put that together, their friends at Yext. Look, if you have a business with an actual door, local reviews matter. Check it out. How to Win Digital and Real World Traffic with Local Reviews. Go to offers.yext.com/reviews. That’s offers.yext.com/reviews. Adam, back to you.

Adam: Thank you, Jay, and Marcy Massura. So great to have you on the show today. Marcy is senior strategist, director of digital and consumer engagement at Henson Consulting. Marcy, what I love about your story is not only the diversity of different agencies that you’ve worked at and with, but kind of how you got to this whole space. I mean, if I had to sum it up in a sentence it would be: from apparel design to public relations to social. How did that happen? There’s got to be a story there.
Marcy: I think a lot of us have sort of career ADD, and I always had a trouble picking one. Yeah, I mean I started off in apparel design, fashion design, and product design, and was humming along with that career and I stopped. I abruptly stopped because I had a thing called kids. I stopped and immediately started blogging, very early days of blogging. What had happened there was: for whatever reason my site got popular and brands started coming. It was the very beginning of influencer marketing. Brands started coming, and were kind of questioning: “Hey, could you just talk about this?” They’re just starting this, and myself and a couple of my other friends who were also blogging, we decided to tap into that. We started a large association in southern California where we started to group all of these bloggers together, and we turned this …

I started running it like an agency where we would get hired to do campaigns. It was really the very birth of influencer marketing. It didn’t take long before a great agency, Weber Shandwick, came to me and asked me to work with them and consult with them and then came on full-time. The conversion sort of came out of really a very personal place. I was a blogger. I was on the other side of the fence and I crossed to the dark side and joined the agency life. That’s really the magical thing about the industry that we’re in, is that you can be an expert. You can be an expert by doing, and there’s not a lot … You can’t be a brain surgeon expert by practicing brain surgery, but you can be a really a great social expert by doing. I think that that gives a lot of opportunity to a lot of people. It’s been a great ride, for sure. It’s been a wonderful, wonderful ride, and look forward to see where the industry goes.

Adam: You actually spent some time in business analysis and process operations as well.
Marcy: I did. I did. Yeah.
Adam: That probably helps you being a little bit more math-focused and process-oriented than other people who might have a background in social and digital.
Marcy: Yeah, that background … After I had my kids, while I’m blogging I become a consultant. Then I was a business analyst, a process consultant, and some other things. It comes up so much with my clients. It’s pretty astonishing how much that experience leads me to ask the right questions, to talk to them about their business, help them focus on really what’s going on with the business. I have a little bit different perspective because I kind of take it more I guess from their side, the way they see things and what matters to them. Oftentimes in meetings there’s sort of this sigh of relief from a CEO or a CFO. It’s like “Oh, finally, not just some artsy marketing person.” It’s somebody who actually understands the way the business is run. Yeah, it helps me a lot and I’ll say it helps me a lot doing budgets, which seems to be a bigger part of my life than I had intended. Yeah. Doing a lot of math these days.
Adam: Well, whether it’s math or actually kind of doing and practicing kind of what we preach, I completely agree how important it is to actually do it. I think that’s a big takeaway for our audience who’s listening. There’s one more thing, Marcy, kind of about your history and background that fascinates the heck out of me and I’m hoping you might have some tips. That is the idea that you are truly a commuter, and that’s one thing that we can do in this space that, again, as a brain surgeon you really can’t do. This idea that you live in southern California but you commute to Chicago and New York City … I truly feel your pain. When I was at Coke I was commuting weekly from Pittsburgh. Here at Salesforce I’m based in Austin, Texas, out in our headquarters in San Francisco a couple times a month. I’m curious, Marcy, if you’ve got any tips for the commuter lifestyle.
Marcy: Yeah, this is probably the second most popular question that I get asked. There’s a lot of fascination around the way my life is structured, and I consider myself really fortunate that I am able to do this. I refer to this lifestyle as being a hybrid remote. I don’t like to call myself a completely remote employee because I do spend a considerable amount of time in my offices. For the past three years I was commuting to New York every other week, so from California to New York, and currently I commute to Chicago one week a month. It works extremely well for me. I have absolutely no problems with it. I’m never sad to get on a plane. I’m actually never excited to even head home. I’m not dying to go home. It works because a couple things.

Employers who are willing to see the value in what a employee produces and brings to the table, versus just making sure that somebody’s sitting at a desk every day. It’s fairly hilarious, people who don’t embrace remote employees because they want to walk the halls and say hello to people sitting at their cubicles. You actually get a lot more out of people who are able to work a sort of a blended situation because I’m saving quite a bit of time commuting every day, believe it or not. As far as tips go, the biggest question and the hardest thing that people always ask is: How do I get my employer to let me do this, or how do I find a job that lets me do this? It’s not easy. I will say it’s not easy. There’s a lot of people who don’t embrace it.

The thing that I try to emphasize to people is do your best to mitigate the distance. I keep East Coast time when I’m in California, so that means taking calls at six o’ clock in the morning and bright-eyed and cheery. I also, when I’m on calls I never mention that I’m remote. There’s no need to mention it. I don’t really bring it up. I don’t tell my clients. They don’t need to know. That’s an important part, too, is pretending that you’re not remote. Then ultimately the best way to kind of break into the zone is to work with an employer on a consulting basis. People are a lot more open for consultants to be remote than they are for full-time employees. Then be awesome, and then say, “Hire me.” Yeah, it’s a weird … I often tell people it’s a lifestyle choice, and it’s definitely one I couldn’t do if my husband wasn’t so awesome about it because I also have a family. It’s been fun.

Jay: I love what you said: I don’t even really look forward to going home. I’m sure the family was delighted.
Marcy: They don’t even know I’m gone. Hey, man, there’s been more than one time that I’ve been sitting in New York or Chicago and I will get a text from my kid or a call from my kid saying, “Hey, can you come by the school today and bring X-Y-Z?” and I’ll be like, “So I’m in New York.” They don’t even know that I’ve gone. We make it fairly seamless. In case anybody’s wondering, to get ahead of it, no, I have no mom guilt. I’m pretty happy with the choices I made, and my kids are happy with what I do as well.
Jay: I did 200 days on the road last year so I know what you mean.
Marcy: Yeah. Yeah, I figured as much.
Jay: What is your favorite social network right now? I’m going to say not Snapchat. What is your favorite social network right now, personally?
Marcy: Personally, I’m all over Facebook. That’s probably the center of my conversations. Personally that’s what I’m all over. What do I think has the greatest sort of potential is LinkedIn. I think LinkedIn is … I’m waiting to see with the buyout and the merger with Microsoft but we’ll see, but I think LinkedIn is not leveraged properly by enough brands. Even in the consumer space I don’t think it’s leveraged properly.
Jay: Agreed. The two questions that we ask every single guest on the show … We’re on episode 262 with the fabulous Marcy Massura, who is also looking to do a lot more speaking. Terrific public speaker as you can tell. Listening to the show this week she’s really sharp and really funny, so if you’re looking for a speaker on all things marketing/digital/social media/communications you can do a lot worse than Marcy Massura, so go to marcymassura.com for more info on that. Going to ask you the two questions we ask everybody, Marcy. First one is: What one tip would you give somebody who is looking to become a social pro?
Marcy: Do it. You can’t sell what you don’t own. I say that a lot to my teams, that you have to be on these platforms, you have to do them daily. You have to really own them so that when you’re in front of clients you can speak with some authority. Don’t just read Mashable articles and think you’re an expert.
Jay: Boy, ain’t that the truth. Second and final question for you, Marcy. If you could do a Skype call with any living person, who would it be and why?
Marcy: Well, for anybody out there who follows me on social media, you will know that my answer will be Hillary Clinton. For sure.
Jay: She’s with Hill.
Marcy: Yeah, I am with Hill. I’m with her.
Jay: That would be great. We’ve had some Barack Obamas answers to that question. I don’t know that we’ve had a Hillary Clinton. Maybe we have. I have to go back and check the archives. We will refer back to the accounting firm at socialpros.com and see whether we have had that answer in the past. Do you think Chelsea Clinton’s going to run for office?
Marcy: Probably not. She knows what’s in store. Probably not. I mean, she wants to and I think that’s great. She’s certainly a bright woman, but yeah, I think when you know … She’s seen it from the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Jay: Yeah.
Adam: Yeah.
Jay: Do you think your kids will go into marketing?
Marcy: My one son is going into marketing. I actually have a son who attends Chapman University Film School, and he actually does do marketing videos now. Yeah, with Production. Yeah, he’s going to go … My other son, no. My other son will be a lawyer. He can represent me. Yeah.
Adam: There you go.
Marcy: Bail me out of jail.
Jay: Love it. Marcy, thanks so much for being on the show. It was fantastic to catch up with you. Really appreciate your wisdom and your good humor as always. Remember, folks, go to marcymassura.com to learn more about her, get her into your next event. Adam and I will be back with episode 263 next week with another barn burner. It is my good friend, soon to be yours, Mr. Mark Schaefer, author, speaker, genius marketer. We’re going to talk about that, so more great stuff coming on Social Pros. Thanks to each of you out there for listening, the many, many, many, many, many, many thousands of you who listen every week, and really appreciated meeting some listeners last week at the Social Media Marketing World Conference as well. Always great to put some faces to names. Next year, Adam, we should just have a party. We’ll just have a Social Pros listeners’ party.
Adam: I love it. I love the idea. Let’s do it.
Jay: That would be really cool. Marcy, thanks a lot.
Marcy: You bet. Thanks, guys.

Close