This is Episode 20 of the Social Pros Podcast : Real People Doing Real Work in Social Media. This episode features Katie Morse of Billboard. Read on for insights from Katie and our Social Media Stat of the Week (this week: 47% of B2B companies do not track brand mentions on social media).
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Huge thanks to data-driven social media management software company Argyle Social for their presenting sponsorship, as well as Infusionsoft, Janrain, and Jim Kukral at DigitalBookLaunch. We use Argyle Social for our social engagement; we use Infusionsoft for our email; Janrain is our crackerjack social integration company, and Jim is our guest host for the podcast (and a smart guy).
Social Pros Transcript For Your Reading Enjoyment, Thanks to Speechpad for the Transcription
Jay: Welcome back everybody to Social Pros, episode number 20 if I’m counting correctly. Next week we’ll be able to drink here on Social Pros. It’ll be the big 2-1. This week, sitting in for my pal Eric Boggs is my other pal, Jill Carlson, the marketing manager for our friends at Argyle Social. Jill, what is going on?
Jill: Hi, Jay. Not a whole lot. Just raining and sticky and hot here in Durham.
Jay: We were in New York last week for BlogWorld, and it was anything but sticky and hot. It’s the nicest New York weather I can ever remember having. It was lovely.
Jill: Yeah, it was chilly. I packed all the wrong clothes. Luckily I had my trusty argyle pants.
Jay: Trusty argyle pants. The nice thing about New York is everything you might need, you could go purchase if necessary.
Jill: Absolutely, absolutely.
Jay: Terrific guest on the show today, Katie Morse, who’s the social marketing manager for Billboard is going to join us in a little bit. Going to take a quick opportunity to thank our sponsors for Social Pros as we always do. Jill’s company, Argyle Social, providers of data driven social media marketing software. What I use to send all my social media communications out there across the Interwebs. Our good friends at Janrain, social sign in and advanced database driven social media stuff. Our friends at Infusionsoft, who we use for all of our email over at Convince & Convert. And our buddy Jim Kukral from digitalbooklaunch.com, who joined us on last week’s podcast which we recorded live from BlogWorld. It was the debate between Jim and Scott Stratten, all about the question of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. Interesting conversation that we had last week.
Jay’s Thought of the Week
Jay: So for my thought of the week here, as we are approaching the middle of June, David Meerman Scott had a really fantastic, short post a week or so ago. What he said was, we had to stop confusing social media with social media advertising. I thought it was a terrific point. We’re starting to see a lot more interest being paid to Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, things of that nature. That’s terrific, it’s very viable. In fact, I just gave a webinar today for Social Fresh’s Advanced Facebook Advertising virtual summit thing. Which is great, I’m glad people are psyched about it, and I’ve had a lot of success with Facebook ads myself. But it doesn’t matter whether it’s on Facebook or LinkedIn or YouTube. It’s advertising, OK? Just because it’s on a social network doesn’t mean it’s not advertising. It’s advertising. It’s still a tax on the unremarkable, in that the regular rules apply in that game.
Social media and community management and listening and social business and enabling your employees to be spokespeople and all the things we talked about here at Social Pros, and all the things we talked about in the Now Revolution, that’s not advertising. We have to be really clear about making those distinctions and those delineations. The more we start merging those things in our heads, the more that social is going to be about media and less about social. I think that’s dangerous for everybody.
Jill: Yeah. I was actually really excited to see Jason Keath’s conference on Facebook ads, because people always loop in all the advertising into the same bucket of social media marketing, and they are very different things.
Jay: Yeah, and I would say in fact, in most companies if you are of a requisite size, the people who are handling your social media advertising, Facebook ads, etc., should probably be the same people that are handling your Google ads or your display ads or things of that nature. Which may in fact be an entirely different crew than the people handling your community and responsibilities of that type.
Jill: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.
Jay: You’ve got different success metrics, and even a different syncopation, right? The thing about advertising is you can and should generate results fairly quickly. That’s the whole nature of advertising. Whereas I think in social, we tend to think it happens fast, but results accrue slowly because you’re winning hearts and minds one at a time or a few at a time, as opposed to a bunch at a time, which is the whole nature of advertising.
Jill: Yeah, absolutely.
Jay: I was glad to see that post from Meerman Scott. We’ll make sure we link it up in the show notes. I think it’s something everybody should take a look at. We’ll link up the Advanced Facebook Ads conference too. I think it starts next week, as a matter of fact.
Jill: Yeah. Your presentation on connecting Facebook and email is a fantastic presentation. I just checked it out today. And I love the Muppets.
Jay: Thanks, I’ll embed those slides. It’s up on the Slideshare account right now. OK, Jill. There’s a lot of pressure on your first appearance here on Social Pros. You have to take over for Eric at the part of the show where he delivers the social media stat of the week.
Social Media Stat of the Week: 47% of B2B Companies Do Not Track Brand Mentions on Social Media
Jill: It is a lot of pressure, but I met the wonderful Katie at BlogWorld. She has the most amazing radio voice. I’m going to try to channel her radio voice, just for a few seconds here. The stat of the week that I pulled out was actually something from eMarketer, that they pulled out from a stat metrics survey. They surveyed over 1,000 B2B and B2C companies worldwide. The thing that stuck out to me the most was that almost half of B2B companies, 47%, did not track or follow up on any brand mentions whatsoever on social media. I thought that was pretty high, but then I dug even deeper into the actual survey, I went to the actual home page of where the survey was. This is what blew me away. For those who do have some form of measurement, 56% just count the comments and followers. Just the raw data alone. I know that you’ve definitely preached it in a lot of your presentations, Jay, where you talk about just numbers on their own are not constructive whatsoever. You need to have percentages or ratios or numbers that actually mean something.
Jay: Certainly if you’re counting the number of mentions that your brand has in social media, and if you’re using that as a success metric, I’m not so sure that’s a social media metric at all. Let’s say you have a terrible customer experience on a fairly consistent basis, and consequently a lot of people chatter about you in social media. If everybody uses Twitter to say, ”Wow, I hate those guys,” do you count that as a win because they’re using social media as opposed to email to complain? I’m not so sure that that’s the best metric.
Jill: If that was the case, Bank of America would have killed it last year.
Jay: Right. You win a Webby award, it’s fantastic, for most complaints. I think the first stat is really fascinating too, that almost half of B2B companies aren’t even monitoring social. Now, I can get it if B2B companies in particular, aren’t ready to have a full blown social response. Do I think they should? Of course, but I get it. A lot of times B2B companies don’t have a sustained level of chatter, so it can be a little bit difficult to staff for responses in some of those organizations. Still, if people are taking the time to talk about you in social media, they don’t have to do that. Even if it’s negative. I say this a lot of times, but the people that you should be worried about are not the people that are complaining. It’s the people that hate you, and hate you so much they won’t even use their time to complain. The “meh” middle, that’s the dangerous crew. The people who actually are angry enough to complain, they’re not the dangerous ones. At least you have a chance to interact with them. You have a chance to turn lemons into lemonade. If you’re not active at all, if you’re not even listening, much less responding, you have no chance to turn lemons into lemonade. You have a chance to turn lemons into rotten lemons, and that’s probably not a super good plan. Jesus, it’s not like you can’t set up a free Social Mention account or something and see once in a while if anybody’s talking about you. You don’t need a full blown Radian6 installation to get started, just doing some listening.
Jill: Yeah. I do agree that there’s some really obscure B2B companies that could not be even less sexy than they already are. I’m specifically thinking of a guy I met at Social Slam in Knoxville a month ago. He came up asking about how to roll out a social media plan for, I think it was a basement de-molding company or a basement draining company. He was saying, ”Where should we be on social media?” I guess the question for those folks is, “Should you be on social media?” or, what you were talking about earlier, “Should you have Facebook ads?” Which are two totally different things.
Jay: I think for those guys it’s more of a content play. That’s what I always talk about. Content is fire and social media is gasoline, and the more unsexy your company is, the more you should lead with content and use social to promote the content instead of using social to promote the company. A guy like that can have a ton of interesting videos, in particular about hey, here’s what to look for when your basement might be molding and here’s how we remediate it and all those kinds of things. Then you use social to drive awareness of that video blog or something along those lines.
Jill: Yeah, The Sales Lion approach to pool selling, essentially. Right?
Jay: Yeah, exactly. Absolutely. If you can make a living selling in-ground swimming pools, you can make a living selling mold. Or, not selling mold, selling the ability to get rid of mold. More to the point. You’re right about social advertising. That’s the kind of thing where you can say, ”Look, let’s use Facebook ads to pick a geography that has had a ton of unseasonable rain, or localized flooding, and knock it out of the park with Facebook ads for a week.”
Jill: Right, target it as small as you can humanly do and then throw up the money and actually put it up there. You’d probably see some return.
Jay: Absolutely. I have no segue. I was going to say, “Speaking of mold remediation, let’s bring in our special guest.” I have no segue this time. Terrible. I usually have something perfect, but not this time.
Jill: That probably falls on me. I’m the newbie here in the podcast world.
Jay: You kill me. Speaking of the music business, let’s bring in our very special guest today, the fabulous and talented Ms. Katie Morse, who is the social marketing manager for Billboard. Katie, thanks for joining us.
Special Guest: Katie Morse, Billboard
Katie: You’re welcome. Thanks for having me.
Jay: What is going on in your world? Here’s the first question I have for you. We talked about metrics a moment ago. How do you define success as it relates to social in the world of Billboard? You’ve got the magazine, you’ve got the website, you’ve got all kinds of other stuff you’ve got going on. How do you know, or how does your team know, if Katie’s getting it done?
Katie: For us there isn’t just one metric. I think a lot of companies try and start by assigning the one thing they want to do. The team here really realizes we do have so many different basic properties. You’ve got the magazine, you’ve got multiple websites, we do events, we do consumer events, we do conferences. We do a little show you may or may not have heard of called the Billboard Music Awards, every year. For me, it’s really a combination of things. Consistently, we do look at growth over time. Do people seem to want to follow our account that didn’t before? We actually go and take a look at profiles, so who we’re reaching. Because we are a B2B and a B2C company it’s important to us to make sure that we’re putting the right content out on the right channels. Coming up with great content is definitely not a problem I have, but making sure that it gets out to the right people at the right time in the way they want to consume it, that’s really what we’re focused on and a lot of where my time is spent. On top of just the basic fans and followers, which I think every company out there looks at.
We look at engagement with our account. When I first started about a year ago, we would ask a question and it would be crickets. Because a lot of people were used to consuming essentially us just like an RSS feed. Now we do a lot more interactive things. We built into a lot of our different editorial products. We see people consistently paying attention to our account. When they ask us questions, we make sure they get answered and things like that. It’s a combination of, and I’m not going to go into super-specifics, but a combination of engagement related metrics that relate to our goals. Are they engaging with us, are they engaging with our content?
Then also just the user base. Who are our fans, who are our followers? They seem to be following us and sticking around. Do they pay attention to the feedback they give us? Ultimately, are we growing as an organization?
Jay: You talked about looking at profiles, because you’re both B2B and B2C. Can you elaborate on that a little bit? How do you mean that you’re scanning the profiles?
Katie: I think Twitter’s a pretty good example of this. If we have a new follower on our B2B Twitter account, which is @billboardbiz, do they self-identify in their profile that they work in the music business? Do they say that they really love this specific artist, and their team follow back or something along those lines? We definitely notice trends with who follows which account. Again, if we notice a consistent trend of people, for example after we post an article about Justin Bieber and the Billboard Music Awards and how we overcame two different hashtags being used by thousands of people, do we notice that we have a lot of Bieber fans following our business account, or do they seem to be following our consumer account? If they’re following our business account, do we need to say, “Hey, if you really want all the Justin Bieber news, make sure to also follow us over here,” because that’s where we post most of it is perhaps another account. We really try to make an effort to understand not only just at the macro level, like using a social media monitoring tool going in, but also at the micro level. Who specifically are our most ten recent followers? What do they have in common? Is there questions we can ask them? Are there people we’ve been trying to do interviews with? Oftentimes it’ll be artists following us, and we’ll reach out and say, “Hey, thanks for following us. We love your stuff.”
Jay: You’re not using a CRM system like Salesforce or Argyle’s new API? Shameless plug. To tie that into the CRM system. You’re just doing it as manual look ups for now and trying to scan for patterns?
Katie: Yeah, exactly. We’re in a pretty big scale and growth stage for us, so a lot of my role here is making sure social isn’t just “something that Katie does” and it becomes something that the organization does. I spend a lot of time talking with our journalists, a lot of time talking with our sales people, really trying to make sure that they understand my world almost as well if not better than sometimes I understand it myself. Mostly how it relates to their job, and again how it relates to the people that we work with and our partners in the space. No, we’re not using a CRM because quite frankly, just based on my initial looks, I’m not entirely sure there would be a one stop solution for us. What we have really seems to work for now, because there is a real want by people here to get personally involved in things. They don’t want to just read a report that I put out. They want to know what the information is themselves, they want to have the freedom to go dig around. Really, making it a team effort here is the best way for us to go.
Jay: Good evangelizing. Nicely done. Is it just you? You talked about ”things that Katie does,” are there other people on the social team, or are you holding up that house by yourself?
Katie: I have an intern this summer. It’s me and the intern right now.
Jay: It’s you and the intern? Damn, that’s a lot of stuff to handle. You guys have a lot of places that you are active online.
Katie: Yeah. Saying that, again, I work with some of the best content creators in the business.
Jay: Yeah, I suppose you guys are in the content business.
Katie: Exactly. For the Instagram account, which we launched just over a year ago, it’s a very, very high end account. You’re not going to get the, ”I took this photo with my iPhone and here’s what’s on a Billboard staffer’s desk” on that account. What you will get, “Hey, look at this Janelle Monae shot from our recent shoot with her” for something that relates to billboard.com. It’s actually a professional photographer who’s one of our staffers that manages the account. She also actually takes a lot of the photos herself.
Jay: She’s not taking that with an iPhone or a Droid then? She’s taking it on some other camera, then uploading it the other way?
Katie: It’s a combination. She does carry her iPhone around with her, and we do try and stay natural to the platform, which a lot of it is iPhone photography. I remember our event last year for Women in Music – it’s a luncheon with 41 of the most powerful women in the music business. Then we always honor a few stars, so we had Taylor Swift there as our woman of the year and Nicki Minaj as our rising star. There were five different Billboard people up and down the red carpet, all snapping photos on the iPhone and sending them via text message to the photo director, who would then go and essentially select the best one, and that became the Instagram shot. We do essentially hand over our raw photos, if it’s not her herself taking them, to the professional, and she manages that. When I say it’s just me, please don’t think that it’s me managing all our accounts, because that is absolutely where it’s the team.
Jay: That you were taking every photo?
Katie: It’s me guiding all the strategy. A lot of it is me tweeting, but ultimately it’s not about me. I would prefer honestly to focus on the people who create the content, so it feels natural if I’m on our editorial team and I write an article, of course I want to create the tweet about it. Of course I want to respond to the questions that come in, because I’m the expert and I just wrote that. I would prefer that to happen rather than if I’m writing it, handing it off to someone else and expecting them to do it, because I want to make sure that my voice is getting out there. That’s even just as the editor. We do have a lot of our participation in our accounts. If you guys follow us and probably notice that all of our live tweeting actually comes signed. That’s definitely one of our policies here, where if you’re expressing an opinion, if you’re live tweeting something if you’re at an event, you sign it with your name so everyone knows who’s specifically there.
Jay: I noticed that from Bonnaroo I think it was, or something recent. Speaking of Instagram, you have a Bonnaroo Instagram contest coming up, or it’s going on right now or was for the event. Jill, you ever gone to Bonnaroo? That’s out there in your neck of the woods. I can see you out there with the hippie skirt doing it up in the mud. Have you done that yet?
Jill: I have not, but I’ve had many friends even carpool out from California to it. I’m very familiar with it, but have never taken the plunge myself.
Katie, I was wondering if, you told the fantastic story of the “Beliebers” and your two hashtags. I was wondering if you could tell that story again, because it’s pretty fascinating to hear just the sheer volume of tweets that were going on at that time.
Katie: Yeah. That was one that caused a little bit of panic, I’m not going to lie, in my world.
Jill: Made your life easy, right?
Katie: Yeah. I think it’s everyone who works in social media, especially for larger events like this, I definitely know we’re not alone in having to struggle. You think about even the Superbowl, and it’s Superbowl XIVII, it’s Superbowl 2012, the Superbowl, Superbowl…
Jay: Taulbee Jackson who ran the Superbowl listening center was our very first guest on Social Pros. It was the week of the Superbowl.
Katie: I’m glad I brought it up.
Jay: They were talking about, they were managing, they weren’t all official, but they were monitoring 20 or 25 hashtags. People just make stuff up.
Katie: Yeah. We took a hiatus from the Billboard Music Awards for a few years. Last year was the first year it was brought back. I actually wasn’t here at the time, I joined shortly after. What we saw was that the hashtag that ironically enough Bieber was using this year, which is #billboardawards, was the fan created hashtag. We always referred to the Billboard Music Awards by the acronym, the BBMAs. That’s the easiest to say for us, instead of having to say ‘the Billboard Music Awards’ every single time.
Jay: Fewer characters.
Katie: Yeah, much fewer characters than #billboardawards. Everyone seems to understand what it is, but again, #billboardawards it could be an advertising award and so forth and so on. For various reasons, we chose the #BBMA hashtag which we knew going into it was the least popular of the ones last year, but it seemed to make the most sense from a number of perspectives. For those of you that have never worked behind the scenes in a major show, there’s a lot of outreach and planning that goes in. I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to email people the hashtag, the details of our official Twitter account. We send around a social media one sheet that has all of these things to any media partner, all of the artist camps, all of the PR people, all of the managers. Anyone that might be interested. The production company, the network company, the list goes on and on and on. There’s all of these things are happening and we’d been using this hashtag for months. We had about I want to say 16,000 tweets with the hashtag that we had been actively tracking using our monitoring tool. Then all of a sudden Justin Bieber tweets, and then he tweets again, and he tweets a few more times.
Each time, and I’m thrilled that he’s tweeting, don’t get me wrong, but he’s using #billboardawards instead of #BBMA. My immediate question is, wow. I definitely know of people in my position that, when faced with this, switch the hashtag. Is that going to be feasible? Is it a smart decision? What’s potentially the true scope of this? Can we just deal with having two hashtags, and maybe adapt our strategy to include both? What can we do that for, what can’t we? Things do have to go through various approval processes, especially if we’re talking about specific things that are going to be happening or specific campaigns that are running for the show. Sometimes there just isn’t enough time to get back through our legal team, other people’s legal teams, you name it. Ultimately we did decide to stick with the hashtag #BBMA. Mainly because we knew we were going to have on air integration.
Jay: Right. That’s the thing about social TV, right?
Jay: It shows on the screen, yep.
Katie: Exactly. If we hadn’t had that, I don’t know if our decision would have been different, but it definitely would have been a different conversation. For us we really just decided to embrace Bieber’s hashtag. We retweeted him. Instead of honestly retweeting him and altering the tweet, I just did what the Superbowl did and added it to our tracking system and started monitoring that. We added it to the group of hashtags. I think for us the group was 16 hashtags that seemed to have a decent volume, and then there are obviously many more outliers. We ended up sticking with our original strategy and folding that in. It was definitely an interesting few days around here, having the discussions, “What are we going to do now?”
Jay: When you work with 17 year old Canadian, that’s what’s going to happen.
Katie: He’s 18 now. He’s an adult.
Jay: Is he now? He’s actually legal now?
Katie: He is. Honestly, how many people can say, if I’m frustrated, I feel silly saying it. ‘What are you frustrated with?’ Well, Justin Bieber. I do put it in perspective, but it’s also a really good challenge to have.
Jay: You’re not the only one frustrated with Justin Bieber, Katie.
Jay: Perhaps in a different context, but other people are frustrated.
Katie: Perhaps. It’s also, if you have someone who has 23 million Twitter followers just like he does, saying how excited he is to participate in something your brand is doing.
Jay: Yeah, it’s a net positive.
Katie: There’s no real downside to that one.
Jay: Exactly. That is a net positive, for sure.
Katie: Exactly. It’s definitely been interesting to go through that experience. Again, it’s something that I feel was a learning experience both for me and for other people here, realizing just how quickly things can change in the social media world. I think a lot of people, I was like, ”OK, this has happened, this has happened, and this has happened,” and they were just flabbergasted that things had changed so rapidly and evolved so rapidly. If anything that I could be on a conference call and email and get two different answers from the two people I need to talk to at the same time. It was interesting to really give some people who don’t usually get the insight into the day to day of how social media works and how adaptable you need to be, that insight. If anything, I enjoyed it, because I got to see a little bit more into their world as well.
Jay: Yeah, it’s a great case study for you going forward now too to evangelize internally. It makes it all very, very real.
Katie: Yeah, definitely. Again, we know that this is one of the most visible ways that our brand is out there, at least in the U.S. every year. We do do a number of shows outside of the U.S. market, but this is really the time when everyone’s eyes are on Billboard in a very, very major way. I think it’s definitely been interesting to try and push the envelope here a little bit. I’m very excited about next year, and I’ll leave it at that.
Jay: Do you do any jumping into conversations, in terms of your social media monitoring? If somebody’s talking about Taylor Swift or Kanye or whatever, and you happen to have some terrific new content about that artist on the website or something like that, do you ever jump into those conversations and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got some stuff here you ought to check out?’
Katie: Honestly, no. We do do outreach. If you’re a fan of an artist, you’re probably going to use the hashtag. Like Nicki Minaj’s fans will use
#barbz. Katy Perry fans will use #katykats. The list goes on and on and on, and I do have a full list of these things.
Jay: That would be a fantastic blog post right there, the #katykats infographic. I like it.
Katie: Yeah. We do definitely try and include those hashtags. What I think everyone here is very aware of is that journalism has changed over the years, and this is not me saying anything new. I think we’re very understanding of the fact that we can’t just start jumping into conversations and saying, “Hey, I saw you talking about Taylor Swift. We just did an interview with her.” What I might do is if I see a few people chatting back and forth, I might go ahead and tweet that article out, but just have it be an original tweet. It’s not a reply. It just seems like we’re happening to talk about things that they’re interested in, but it’s not forced. It’s not like I’m asking them to click on the article and interrupting their conversation, because as consumers, we all get annoyed when brands do that to us. We’ll reach out to Facebook fanpages. We use the hashtags, we’ll reach out to fan sites. Definitely reach out to bloggers, both B2B and B2C, get their opinions, ask for their feedback, definitely share things when it’s relevant. We try to be as targeted as possible with our outreach, and that definitely does not include seeing someone tweet and interrupting, going, “You should read our article.” Because also we’re Billboard, we’re one of the largest music brands in the world. To me just intrinsically, that feels like something a startup might do. Quite frankly if I get that stuff on Twitter now, I just block and report spam immediately. I don’t want our brand to be participating in that, and I don’t think anyone else here does either.
Jay: Jill, you said your guilty music pleasure was Footloose?
Jill: That’s probably one of my guiltier, yeah. First I mentioned Kelly Clarkson, who I saw live on stage when she was still one of the top eight in American Idol at the Fox Studios in LA.
Jill: Yeah, I’ve been a fan since 2002.
Jay: You’ve got Kelly Clarkson and you’ve got Footloose. Katie, I know you’ve been in the music scene for a lot longer than you’ve just been at Billboard. What is your guilty music pleasure?
Katie: Now or overall?
Jay: Well, I think overall.
Katie: Guilty music pleasure, I have to say anything that the Beach Boys have done, will do, are doing, have ever done, is definitely my guilty music pleasure. Probably to the annoyance of people that I am around quite frequently.
Jay: Very nice, I like it. Mine would be all things bluegrass, which does not go well in my family at all. My daughter who is, to put it naturally, a smartass, at one point, I think she was six at this time. I put bluegrass on Pandora or something, and I said, “Listen closely to this song. What’s the one thing that bluegrass doesn’t have that all other music has?”
I’m expecting her to pick up on this and say, “Drums.” She says, “Class.”
That was when I knew I had a handful as a father from then on.
Katie: Jay, you have a fellow bluegrass lover here, so if you’re ever in the area we should go out and try and find some.
Jay: All right, let’s do that. Let’s make that happen. I’m going to do it.
Jill: Katie, you were mentioning the Beach Boys is your guilty pleasure, but you were talking about, at BlogWorld, the fact that you have people who are really big chart fanatics. They’re the trivia buffs you want on your team, the folks who follow it religiously. They know exactly when the Monkees released their third number one hit. You also have the Beliebers. How do you manage those expectations and segment your audiences so that you can contact both of them with the content they want when they need it?
Katie: I think it’s really balancing it. What I’m not a fan of is splitting things up, like having 17 Twitter accounts to cover 17 different topics. You do get the laser focus that consumers want, but I find that, and I do pretty much every single time I go out is I’ll just chat with people about what Twitter accounts they like, what Facebook fan pages they really enjoy. Even what really brands they really like or don’t like and why. Consistently with people that are passionate about music, it seems like yes, they really, really, really want to know about Justin Bieber, but of course they’re also going to want to know perhaps about Katy Perry or know when Madonna had her last number one hit. For us it really works. We just have to make sure that we have a consistent mix of content. We tend to break it up more by platform. For example, our “Today in Billboard History” is a series that we do that our charts team literally looks back through the calendars and picks some of what they think are the top highlights throughout our chart history. We’ll ask people questions on Twitter, but if we post about “Today in Billboard History”, it always, always goes to Tumblr first. We’ve noticed that after posting about that same stuff on Facebook or the same stuff on Twitter or the same stuff on Tumblr, the audience on Tumblr, on top of loving gifts, really seems to love that buzzy history. Then we’ll share it to Twitter sometimes if we feel that it’s a topic that our Twitter audience is interested in. For us, again, we’re constantly paying attention to not only where our audiences are, but what content they really like.
We’re definitely not afraid to only keep things in certain places, which is what I think a lot of companies being a little bit afraid to do. Because the old school marketing is you want to get everything to everywhere to everyone. It’s very mass marketing. We’re much more understanding that we cover country, we cover hip hop, we cover R&B, the list goes on and on and on. That’s not going to be applicable for every person and every time. Even talking about time zones is something we do quite a bit here. It’s certainly not applicable for every platform, because then our fans and followers are just going to feel like they’re getting spammed.
Katie: Kind of a long-winded answer, but.
Jay: No, that was great. That makes a lot of sense.
Jill: That’s fascinating.
Jay: Katie, do you have a Social Pros shout out for us?
Social Pros Shoutout
Katie: I do. I’ve got a few actually. My first shout out is a guy by the name of Matthew Knell, who’s the Director of Social at AOL. We ended up chatting quite a bit, and he was actually on the panel where Jill saw me at BlogWorld last week. He’s consistently one of the people that I’ve over the years turned to for advice. I’ve always really, really respected his knowledge. I think him and I, because AOL does cover so much, they’ve got AOL Real Estate, AOL Music, everything. This is not including their brands like Huffington Post. They have a similar struggle in terms of, he has a lot of content to share, and is trying to slice and dice the content to make sure that you’re sharing the right content at the right time with the right people, that I have up here at Billboard. Granted we’re just about music, but we cover everything with music. I definitely want to give a shout out to him, because the work he’s doing at AOL I really respect and admire. On top of that, he’s just a great person.
Jay: Lauren is actually on Social Pros. She was episode number four, and was fantastic.
Katie: Perfect. Is that when she was at Landry’s?
Katie: That’s totally what I’m shouting her out about.
Jay: Yes, when she was at Landry’s. Yep, she’s great.
Katie: Perfect. These two ladies, Lauren and Jill, Lauren works at Landry’s. Jill McFarland works at Applebee’s. I really don’t understand quite frankly, how they do their jobs some days with so many different brands, so many different locations. The licensee relationships, the franchises, that’s a whole different world of complications.
Jay: And the touch points, right? How many nachos do you have a chance of screwing up every day?
Katie: Exactly. They’re very real world in the fact that we sell a magazine, we do events. It’s not like we have to continually pay attention to Yelp reviews or things like that. When we work with Foursquare, we do work with them, but it’s not in the same way or as intensive as companies like them. I’ve been consistently impressed as to A, how on top of the new platforms they are in trying to make sense of them. B, how both are really just out there trying to listen to things. Then also how they’ve been working with their management teams. I know Applebee’s, Hoodie Allen who’s an upcoming artist, he’s actually unsigned. We’ve definitely chatted with him before over at Billboard, but he tweeted about Applebee’s, so they ended up throwing a party with Hoodie Allen, just because he tweeted about eating at Applebee’s. The fact that a big corporate brand can do that and still have fun with it and seem very natural, I really, really admire. I know just from working in many organizations and the social media position, it’s not always the easiest sell. It definitely takes a lot of finesse and a lot of patience and a lot of understanding. I look to these ladies to learn how to manage just so many different balls in the air, and they both do a phenomenal job.
Katie: Very nice. Look at that transition.
Jay: That was better than the first one.
Katie: Didn’t even know that was coming.
Jay: Katie, you were fantastic as always. Thank you very much for spending some time with us here at Social Pros. Jill, well done. Maiden voyage, nothing broken. Excellent job, we survived it, it’s all good.
Jill: Skype held up the whole time.
Jay: Skype held up the whole time. Next week I think Eric will be back with me.
Jill: He will be back, yes.
Jay: Then I’m on vacation for a couple weeks, so it’ll be Eric and Jim for a couple weeks. Then we’ll be back on our regular schedule after the American Independence Day. For Argyle Social, I am Jay Baer. Thanks also to our friends at Janrain, Infusionsoft, and Jim Kukral at digitalbooklaunch.com. Katie, Jill, thanks a lot. Everybody, we’ll see you next time. Bye-bye.