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Adweek’s Expert Insights for Engaging Audiences

Posted Under: Social Pros Podcast
Hosted By

Anna Hrach

Convince & Convert

Daniel Lemin

Convince & Convert

Erika Lovegreen

ICUC Social
About Social Pros Podcast:

Social Pros is one of the most popular marketing podcasts in the world, and was recently named the best podcast at the Content Marketing Awards. Listen for real insight on the real people doing real work in social media. You get the inside stories and behind-the-scenes secrets about how companies like Ford, Dell, IBM, ESPN, and dozens more staff, operate, and measure their social media programs.

iTunes Reviews:

It wasn't enough that Jay Baer wrote a book, has an amazing blog and does amazing work -- he now had to add podcasting to his arsenal. Break a leg!

@NathanRKing

I started following Jay on Twitter about a year ago and have really appreciated the great content he has put out. This podcast goes above and beyond though, and really gets to the meat of what is going on in the social and digital media space. Keep up the good work @jaybaer!

@phaskell

This show is so good that I can't stop listening to it. Learn how to use social media and ecommerce to grow your business.

@jacpol74

Thank you so much for providing this not only interesting show, but also fun!

@BrieGF

Jess Zafarris, Director of Audience Engagement at Adweek, joins the Social Pros podcast to chat about one of the most important aspects of social media – audience engagement.

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:

News That Gets People Talking

Jess Zafarris, Director of Audience Engagement at Adweek and author of the book Once Upon a Word, knows how to get people talking online. As head of audience engagement, it’s her job to ensure that social content sparks conversation while also telling an accurate story of the latest news.
Jess explains what it’s like to engage with people with different levels of expertise due to Adweek’s highly varied audience. We’re also taken behind the scenes of how the Adweek weekly Twitter chats came to be, how its TikTok strategy is going, and what it takes to create engaging pieces of content.
We hear how Jess balances the creator vs. reporter side of her role and blends informative content with fun, creative content to get the most engagement. Jess also gives some examples of brands she thinks are killing it in the world of audience engagement and shares some of her favorite campaigns she’s seen brands take on.

In This Episode:

  • 3:30 – What it’s like managing social media for a publication
  • 4:47 – How Adweek creates content for such a broad audience
  • 6:35 – Jess explains how they manage their content calendar
  • 8:46 – How Jess’ role fits into a journalistic environment
  • 13:01 – Jess explains Adweek’s TikTok strategy
  • 16:33 – How long it takes to create content
  • 19:11 – How social media has changed over the course of the pandemic
  • 22:32 – Jess says who she thinks is nailing audience engagement on social media
  • 27:17 – How effective cross-promotion programs can be across different brands and subjects
  • 30:44 – Crafting a balance between creative content and statistics-driven content
  • 32:58 – Why Jess thinks “metaverse” should be in the dictionary
  • 34:39 – How brands are preparing for the metaverse
  • 36:18 – Jess tells us about her book and side projects in etymology
  • 38:26 – Jess’ top tip for anyone looking to become a social pro

Quotes From This Episode:

“My job is largely to take what our reporters have written and make sure that I'm translating that to social media in the truest and most appropriate way possible while getting as many eyes on it as I can.” Click To Tweet
“I try to focus on things that are highly visual and highly exciting on TikTok.” @JessZafarris
“If you’re a creative social media professional, I imagine you want inspiration first. But you also want to know about the numbers.” @JessZafarris

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Episode Transcript

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transcript was exported on Jan 06, 2022 – view latest version here.

Jay

Baer:

Welcome

everybody to this social pros podcast. We’re actually recording this episode live as a webinar. Why would we do such a thing? Well Im Jay Baer. From convince and convert. And this is the 500th episode celebration of the social podcast joined as always by my extraordinary co-hosts he’s from Salesforce. He lives in Austin. He hails from Tennessee, the legendary Adam Brown, Adam. Welcome Jay.

Adam

Brown:

Thank

you. Happy 500, sir.

Jay

Baer:

Happy

500 to you as well. I don’t know how many of those are are in your category. Couple hundred and 52 50. We didn’t do the math on that. Did we?

Adam

Brown:

Well,

if I look at the ebook, the becoming a social pro ebook, I look at this, I joined in July of 2015.

Jay

Baer:

Yep.

So that’s that’s we had celebrated the 100 social pros 350, maybe I think is you?

Adam

Brown:

Yeah,

yeah, yeah. Cause we celebrated 100 episodes in 2014.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah.

So about 350, the 500 episodes have Adam’s implement tour on them.

Adam

Brown:

Uh

just getting started, Jay, just getting start, just getting started.

Jay

Baer:

350

more. Anna Hrach from convince and convert joins us. Anna is a dynamo from the great city of Phoenix, Arizona, a massively crucial member of the, to convert strategy team. Anna, how are you?

Anna

Hrach:

So

great to be here today and celebrating, I mean, what a monumental occasion and so sorry to anybody who may be looking for birthday cake candles, we did buy them out buying all 500 for the social Pros cake.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah.

The 500 candles that you can’t blow out. Right. Where they just, they relight every time. Yeah. I’m exhausted.

Adam

Brown:

And

I had you inform the fire marshal. Yes. Good we’re company did they’re on stand by.

Jay

Baer:

A

couple of, couple of quick notes. One Adam mentioned it. We have a nifty, a very interesting info-packed companion ebook that we put together to celebrate the 500 episodes, which looks at lots of milestones from the show, all kinds of interesting quotes from people who’ve been on the, on the program. Multiple times trends our favorite guests, our favorite episodes. We want you to download that. It won’t cost you a thing go to Bitly slash social pros, 500 bit.ly/socialpros500. Grab yourself a copy of that. You will be glad that you did also a couple other quick notes. Our actual 500th episode was a couple of weeks ago.

Jay

Baer:

I

think AJ Vains episode was 500 mathematically. I should also say that if you’re listening to the show in your regular podcast app, whatever it may be Spotify apple podcast, et cetera, you may say, well, Jay, it says here that this is episode like 4 78 or whatever the number is at some point many, many years ago, social pro’s audience, the internet eight, like 22 Audi 22 shows when we, when we shifted hosts. So somehow we, we lost some of the very early shows, but trust me when I tell you we actually have 500, even if your player does not tell you it’s 500, trust me, we’ve got the database to prove it. But you know, what’s funny having been doing this since January of 2012. Okay. That’s a long time. When I started this, my, my daughter was like, let’s see 11, and she’s 23 now, or something like that.

Jay

Baer:

It's

been a long haul. It doesn’t feel like 500 episodes. To me. It doesn’t feel like that long. I think it’s because it’s every week. Right? And it’s not as if like a TV show where you do, you know, 10 or 20 episodes in a year, and then you do nothing for four or five weeks. You go shoot movies or whatever. Then you come back, you know, we’ve been doing this more or less every week for 10 years and you just sort of get into the, the bit of it. And so you look back, you’re like, darn, that’s a lot of shows, but it doesn’t feel like 500 episodes at least at least to me. And I never thought when we started this show, Eric Boggs was the one who invented social pros. He was my original co-host when he was the founder and CEO of Argo, social, never thought we would do 10 , much less, 50, much less 500 and, and counting.

Jay

Baer:

But,

but here we are. And so thankful for each and every one of you who listen to the show now who have listened to the show in the past, and obviously our sponsors, most notably Adam’s team at Salesforce who have been the title sponsor of the show for a long, long time. Now we’ve had other sponsors and we usually do off and on in the program, but, but Salesforce has been with us almost the whole time. And, and we really appreciate their support. Adam, what, what do you what are your reflections now on, on five and a half years or whatever it is for you? I, I tell you

Adam

Brown:

It's,

it’s so many different levels. The first is just a most kind of macro level, this idea that podcasts, you know, and the whole concept of podcasts is, is continuing to thrive here. Jay, when, when you became,

Jay

Baer:

Yeah,

we were doing it before. It was cool. Almost quite literally. Yeah.

Adam

Brown:

and, and, and now they’re ubiquitous. I think we all listened to it and we saw going through a why we know many of our listeners listen to us during a commute during the past couple years, many people have not been on a commute but yet our, our listenership and, and our, and our, and our fans continue. And we, we are so appreciative of all of them. I think from a social pros standpoint, it’s been amazing to see the evolution of what social pros did then, and today, and how this is becoming even more of a specialty and a subspecialty. And one of the things we, we hearken back to Jay maybe five years ago was when were we going to see the first social pros truly become leaders of marketing communications, customer service. And we’re seeing that, I mean, we’re seeing Sabrina Callahan at Sam’s club. We’re seeing all these other amazing experts that we’ve had on the show several

Jay

Baer:

Times,

Adrian Parker, who was a CMO of, of Bacardi and Petro until recently. And you know, started off as he, as he said, famously on our air, started off sending tweets for radio shack and ended up being the CMO of Petro.

Adam

Brown:

It,

it it’s amazing. And it, it, it speaks to the, their skills and their impressive insights and, and, and, and foresight, but also to the importance of social as part of marketing communications, customer service, and, and really business at a hall as a whole

Jay

Baer:

Brian

Piper who joins us live here on the broadcast, says, thanks for all the knowledge and tips over the past episodes. Thank you, Brian for tuning in, in, for those of you who are joining us live, feel free to ask questions late comments on us in the, in the chat and will address as many as, as we can. Anna. One of the things that the team put together for this, and again, you can find this in the companion ebook, which is at Bitly slash social pros. 500 is a comparison of social pros to, to other shows most notably television shows. So this kind of freaks me out social pros, 500 plus episodes the same number of episodes as law and order SVU. Now, we, we rarely talk about sex crimes here on, on social pros or, or have like the special, you know, da dun dun music. Yes. Thank you, Adam. That was well done. But, but you think about a show as ubiquitous is, is law and order. Also the Simpson apparently 712 episodes in counting. So they’re, they just are in front of us a little bit. And Saturday night live, which is in season 47, I think is what we’re in now 880 plus episodes, we’re at 500. So, so maybe we’ll catch them someday. And when you look at those numbers, how does, how does that make you feel?

Anna

Hrach:

I

mean, it’s crazy, especially considering that all of those shows are on season formats and they take long breaks months, long breaks. And this has been a weekly consistent show. I think it averages 50 shows. Yeah. 50 year we’ve figured out. Yeah. It’s, it’s crazy. So to go consistently 500 episodes is huge and definitely not doing seasons like those other ones, for sure.

Jay

Baer:

Right.

Well, and one of the reasons why we’ve been able to keep this party rolling is, is our great guess. Right? So the original premise of the show was we talk about social, the, and especially in those days through the, through the prism of kind of thought leaders and industry experts and talking heads and authors and speakers like what I do, but we weren’t really telling the stories of people who are actually doing social media, which is why the, the tagline for the show has always been real people doing real work in, in social media. And, and that’s why across 500 episodes. And in 10 years, the, the quality of our guests and the stories that they tell have been absolutely first rate across the board. There are very few episodes. Let me, like, maybe on one hand I could count the episodes. There’s like, you know what, I’m not sure that really hit the mark in terms of value to the audience. And we’ve had a, a relatively small number of repeat guests. We did the research on this and it’s 35 Ann, is that right? 35 guests who have been on the show more than once. Yes. 35

Anna

Hrach:

And
Jay

Baer:

Five

out of 500. And some, some have been on some the, is it on SNL’s the, the five timers club? They get the special rogue. We don’t have a jacket. Yeah. Paul,

Jay

Baer:

We

should

Jay

Baer:

Make

timers. Yes. Who Anna, who’s our, who’s our most often guest

Anna

Hrach:

That

would be Mike Sellner. So five times five timer club. So Paul registered that for SNL and now Mike joined it for social pros.

Jay

Baer:

Mike

famously runs social media examiner, and the social media marketing world conference also runs a fantastic social media podcast of his own, which started just a month or so after social pros. So he’s getting ready to celebrate his 500th episode milestone as well. And I’m sure I’ll be doing on live show and stuff. Also, we have, I, I’m looking at the ebook now. You can get it at Bitly slash social pros, 500. We have four people who have made four appearances on the show. Our, our friend, Brian Fanzo Scott Stratton author and friend of the show Rohit Vava, who we had on, on in January for several years in a row, because he always put out his, the trends annual trends book which he stopped doing that now. But web on the show again anyway, can, he’s so smart.

Jay

Baer:

And

Jen Herman, who’s been on this show four times I think at four times the last two years, because she is the, the queen of all things Instagram and, and as Instagram has become such a huge part of, of what our audience does in social. It makes sense to have more Instagram content on the show. And that’s, what’s so funny, right? When we started this, this podcast, it was Twitter and like a little bit of Facebook, right. And, and as we’ve gone along, it’s like, oh, now we gotta talk about Instagram and then Snapchat and TikTok and YouTube and, and everything else, right. As, as new platforms come online, we’ve gotta make sure to tell some of those stories as well, and influencer marketing and employee social enablement and all the other forms of, I mean, heck when we started this show, there was almost no paid social. Yep. Like at all right. And, and to see where we’re at now is, is pretty staggering. I mean, to go from,

Adam

Brown:

You

know, the us talking about the, the character limitations on Twitter because of its SMS DNA I think Jen is a perfect emblematic representation of the evolution of the show, the fact that she has been on and, and how we’ve gone from one or two social media platforms to the importance of Instagram as a platform, the importance of visual content in social media, as you said, Jay, the importance of paid coming in and the ebbing and flowing of privacy and security and the ebbing and flowing of where does social live, where social’s homeroom inside of an organization, all of those things have had such a profound impact and that’s, what’s kept this thing going because not only have, I think we had a great show with, with, with great hosts and guests, but the content itself has evolved so dramatically over the past 10 years.

Jay

Baer:

Well,

and, and so many things have, have changed. Brian asks in the chat two questions. What would you say are the biggest surprises in the past 10 years? And what do you think social will look like in 10 years from now? I, I can’t handle that second question, cuz it’s gonna be, I dunno, NFTs and telepathy or, or sentient puppies. I don’t know, 10 years is too long. I can’t think in that time as I’m too old to do that, but we do have great content for you, Brian to answer your first question, which is what has changed in social media since social pros began. And what we did was we actually went to the list of people who have been on the show more than of time, 35 of them, according to Anna. And we asked some of them, Hey, what do you think has changed in the 10 years or so since social pros debuted and we have some some excellent, excellent answers for you what’s changed.

Jay

Baer:

And

social media, since social pros began mark Shafer has been on the program. Many times said this us taking the social out of social media back in the early days, companies were trying to understand how all this worked. There was a real human effort trying to engage with these new conversations that were happening online. Then we got into the era of scaling and mass automation, robo responses into a large extent that is still where we are at today. He does have hope. He sees companies beginning to recognize the value of real human connection and engagement. And I think that’s going to continue in the future. Adam, what do you think of that?

Adam

Brown:

I,

I, I can agree completely with mark and think this is it’s so insightful. And I think this happens with any type of technology. I mean, we saw Jay, this is, this is a topic that you’re an expert it on from a customer service standpoint, not just social customer care, but regular customer care and that ebb and flow of going back to trying to, rather than put people into phone trees and automated responses, going back to to hu real human interaction. Certainly the pandemic has had an impact on that. I think I’m seeing that too. And I think one of the things we we’ll we’ll talk about here on this show is the type of content and going from very approachable content to then highly produced content. And now we’re, we’re back in the space of, of trying to be more authentic, more genuine words. We’ve used so many times over the past decade. And I think Mark’s quote here is, is, is, is respective of that.

Jay

Baer:

It

feels like there’s this pendulum between authenticity and automation that swings back and forth based on sort of the flavor of the day. Anna, tell us what Carmen Collins set Carmen famously ran the social branding account and sort of HR recruiting social media for Cisco for many years now off to other pastors. But she’s been on the show many times. She’s fantastic at employer branding, what did she have to say?

Anna

Hrach:

Carmen

has this great quote. She said the move from authentic content to empathetic content. We’ve talked about authenticity since the beginning of social media time to quote the imortal words of Anita Montoya. We keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. That’s because authenticity just means that we’re real, but data is real. Facts are real. The real still allows us to continue to put the focus on us as brands. We give real information, but is it what our fans and followers want to receive? Empathy allows us to walk beside our cus our consumers to understand what they see, think and feel in the context of what they’ve experienced, not what we’ve experienced. That’s the key. That’s a pretty, pretty powerful quote. Jay, I wanna ask you how you feel about that.

Jay

Baer:

Number

one, I appreciate any quote that includes a princess bride reference. There’s, that’s definitely yes, a strong, a strong poll right there. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s interesting. I see this every day with clients, this, this idea that what we put out there as a brand is what we think the audience wants or what we feel we have to deliver in social, because we’ve got partners that demand it or business circumstances that insist upon it, but it’s not really what the consumers want. Right. And, and they’re is this still today, 10 years later, this tremendous misalignment between what brands choose to publish and, and what consumers choose to consume. And the evidence of that is very simple. It’s called the algorithm, right? The, you know, we all, we all love and hate the algorithm, but the algorithm is based on giving real people what they actually want. And, and consequently, if your organic social media doesn’t succeed, it’s not really Facebook’s fault, right? It’s probably that you’re not really giving your audience what they want. You’re giving them what you think they want. And those two things may not be the same. And I think Carmen nails it here.

Adam

Brown:

Yeah.

Marketing by Def is manipulative. Like that’s, it is. You’re trying to elicit a call to action, get off that sofa and head to the mall, get off that sofa and head on to Amazon and purchase something. But on the other end of the spectrum is the, is the conversation that, that, that really is the lifeblood of, of, of social media. And we as social pros, we have to find that right spot somewhere in the middle that can do and accomplish both.

Jay

Baer:

Adam,

you mentioned social customer care a moment ago. I have you read this quote from Dan GEZ, who led social care at discover was also had a digital at Arnolds for time in several other positions. He’s now doing mostly the, the writing and speaking thing. What did Dan say in response to this question about what’s changed the most in the last 10 years, this

Adam

Brown:

Is

such a great quote from Dan social media has emerged from the channel of last resort in customer service to a viable channel of first resort. And the early as customers largely took to social media when other customer service channels failed them, not surprisingly, this put them in a rather combative mood is they hope that a little public embarrassment might give them what they wanted today. Customers have found social media and especially private messaging to be a fast, easy and convenient channel with which to conduct business many, start their customer service journey. There. This is a credit to the companies that invested in providing great service and a seamless experience in social, rather than just hoping that the complaints would go away in overall a very positive development.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah,

it’s amazing to think about when social care was optional, right? That, that maybe you would, or maybe you wouldn’t provide customer service in social media channels as a brand. And, and to see how endemic that’s become in the operations of companies large and small is I think truly one of the great changes in, in, in social in, in the past year, 10 years, I should say,

Adam

Brown:

Jay,

I can think of when I was just getting started in social media and at, at Coca-Cola and at Dell, and we measured really the efficacy of social customer care by cost avoidance. Well, it was a heck of a lot cheaper for us to interact with a customer and social media than talk to them on the phone or talk to them in email. And that remained kind of the way that we would kinda show ROI for so long, but it really hit me this year with our Salesforce state of marketing report, which I know we, we talk about a lot in the advertising and it said, what’s the number one thing that marketers are using right now to measure the efficacy of marketing overall. And it was CSAT it’s the, that promoter score it’s things like that. It’s things that really are essentially social media. So it’s amazing to see that evolution over this past decade as well.

Jay

Baer:

We

talk a lot on the show about the changes in the format of, of most social media and a friend, Jen Herman, who we mentioned earlier nails this in, in her response to the question of what’s changed the most in the last decade. She says how people consume content through social media compared to 10 years ago has changed content as a whole used to really be text, photo or video. And actually it used to be text not, not even photo or video. Like when I started in this business, social media was largely a writing contest, right? Can you write a really snappy sentence or two? That was the game. Jen goes on to say, and while that’s still true today, we have so many incredible variations within those three types of content. Content used to be much longer forum, blog posts, article longer videos, longer captions.

Jay

Baer:

There's

still some of that for sure. Today ultra short content like stories, TikTok videos gifts, memes have completely altered. How we as a society, communicate attention spans are shorter. You have less time to capture someone’s attention and it’s forced to brevity into the marketing and communication landscaping that the truth she says on one hand, this is a net negative because it decreases our attention and probably increases distractions. But ultimately she says, she thinks it’s a net positive in that it forces creativity and challenges, marketers to do more with less and provides more opportunity for content consumption, allowing consumers to pick what they want quickly and easily. Anna, do you agree with that, that that short form content is, is a net positive because it forces marketers to be more creative?

Anna

Hrach:

I

think it does in, you know, I always love talking to Jen. And as we mentioned before, four time guests of social approach, she has the best advice I do see short form. I think it forces you to be more succinct. It forces you to say things quicker and get to the point faster. And it’s also what people want as we’re seeing is Jen already pointed out the rise in short form content is you can’t ignore it. So I’m a fan of it. I think it forces us to be more creative, more concise. It just get to the point,

Jay

Baer:

Adam,

one of our multiple time guests on the show is mentor dial a super smart trend center, futurist author, truly an expert and a thought leader. Tell us what, what he has to say about social media changes,

Adam

Brown:

As

you said, Minter is so smart. One of the things I, I miss specifically about south by Southwest I being here in Austin is mid, would be a south by Southwest every year and we’d go and, and have a drink. And we haven’t had that ability for the past couple of years, so excited to see him again. But mentor really is quite prophetic in, in what he sees says here, the major social media players, Facebook, Instagram Twitter, LinkedIn, WeChat seen a way snap, Twitch, et cetera, et cetera, are all now publicly traded or owned by publicly traded companies. The result is that there’s far greater pressure on results, IE monetization leading to some retreats of idealism and others taking less healthy shortcuts to drive profitability, the play. And IPACS on the business model of media free speech and democracy are dynamic and hugely important.

Adam

Brown:

How

this plays out has yet to be decided. Companies, brands that want to use social media, obviously know it’s now pay to play. However, the big question going forward include to what extent consumers will diminish, migrate, or abandon their current platforms and whether companies will bring their ethical backbone to the game. Wow. If you had to distill down kind of where we are with social media right now, this, this is it. It is that a monetization. It is that privacy. It is the old adage that if a social media product is free, then you are the product and how consumers are feeling about that. And the brands that wanna reach those consumers are feeling about it. This is, this is really profound and, and this could be a whole subcategory of, of podcasts in its own, right?

Jay

Baer:

Yeah.

We went from social media, being the idealized paradise of consumers, being able to interact with one another seamlessly and with brands for the first time, we, we forget that before social media, the idea that you could interact with a representative of Snickers or whatever was unheard of, like it’s just not possible. I, I, I am of a generation where you would, you would send a letter to the Snickers customer service department and you would get a letter back six weeks later with a coupon and apology. So the, the ability to have those kind of exchanges were truly unprecedented. But once social media became more about the, the media and less about the social, more about business, and again, they are public companies, then the value exchange gets a little skewed. And this is if you think about to answer Brian’s question from a few minutes ago where we’re gonna be 10 years from now this is an area where there’s gonna be huge change, right?

Jay

Baer:

That

something’s gotta give where we’re at right now with, with a very small number of public companies, having extraordinary power over the whole world. That’s either gonna coalesce into fewer people in charge or the whole thing is gonna get blown up and, and and started over. We’ll we’ll see about that. And, and as Brian just mentioned in the a big part of that is, is going to be sort of web 3.0 and, and crypto and the creator economy and NFTs, and, and will the next iteration of social media be, be truly decentralized if you assume that this version of social media is the first step towards decentralization will, will web three and whatever comes after to today’s social media be truly decentralized. On one hand, I think maybe on the other hand, I think when you have trillions of dollars at stake things tend to centralize eventually, it’s just kind how it, how it works out in business. Hey and that please tell us what our friend Lauren Teague to convert said,

Anna

Hrach:

I

would love to. So Lauren teague actually started off as a guest on social pros when she was with PGA tour and her quote is beautiful. The skillset of the social media professional has drastically changed across the last decade as technology has become increasingly powerful in the early days, social media was based around words. So we hired writers who could create meaning in 140 characters as the channels evolved, the dominant content types, move to photography, graphic design, web video, mobile video, audio production stories. And now video shorts 10 years ago, social pros were generalists with ver within a very niche role who are now creating strategies as directors and VPs hiring social pros today requires finding specialists with enough strategic knowledge to understand how audiences respond and engage online. The role continues to evolve astoundingly Jane Adam, I would say first Lauren is always spot on as usual, but social pros have come a long, long way in terms of being viewed internally within their roles within organization, as Lauren mentioned. And then also too, we’ve come such such a good long distance away from just handing it over to an intern or just adding it to somebody’s to-do list, which I’m most happy about to see again, the whole premise of this entire show come to life.

Jay

Baer:

I

mean, the amount of, of capabilities that most of our guests have now on media buying on analytics, on testing and experimentation on customer service on and building and managing their own staffs. Mm-Hmm on branding on video editing and on and on and on and on very little of that was part of the job description. When we, when we began this program what it takes to become a social pro, especially for me, medium size and large brands is usually what we talk about here in the program. It is a, a far more involved role now than it ever was in the past. Even though the job title might be the same, what it requires to succeed in that role has changed infinitely Adam, I, I know it’s, it’s a lot different now than when you were doing this role at Koch and Dell and other places

Adam

Brown:

It

has. And one of the questions I have a little bit of a rhetorical question, but I would certainly appreciate both of your thoughts on this is in the next 10 years, what are those skills that we haven’t even uncovered yet that a social practitioner, a social pro is, is going to have 10 years ago? We certainly didn’t think that social media departments would have millions. And in some cases, tens of millions of dollars of budget, we certainly didn’t see that intersection of, of customer service and, and, and marketing, or this ability to use social as that real time decisioning and analytics engine for a variety of things. What is that next skill? What, what is the next area? Is it, is it in invert, virtual worlds and, and communities? Is it, is it more based upon the paid side, is it gonna be really needing to have a PhD and, and privacy policies and things like that? Yes, I think we can all agree on that one, but I would love to hear your thoughts on where you think this is gonna go with, with what are those bullets underneath the job description of one

Jay

Baer:

Of

our listeners? I mean, I think some of it, as Brian mentioned is, is understanding community building in an era of, of NFTs and, and, and crypto, I mean, look at Gary Vander, truck’s new book, which just came out two weeks ago sold half on million copies of the book first week, which is hasn’t happened in, in that category in years and years and years and years. And it was all different by NFTs, right? If you bought 12 copies, you got a limited edition NFT and, and built this whole community around the book launch and, and that kind of, sort of making the triangle between brand and consumer and, and, and community and rewards I think has huge implications for, for everybody. And then the other thing I would nod to would be social pros are gonna have to have a tremendous facility with, with AI and machine learning and all the things that can be done with that. Many of the roles that, that our teams do today are gonna be done by robots. So you better know how to command those groups.

Anna

Hrach:

You

know, I, I wish I had something as articulate as Jay in terms of the future and where the roles are going. I love, I love everything you just said, Jay. The one thing I will just add onto that is, is I think, think if I have learned anything over the course of 500 episodes is that social pros are adaptable and resourceful and no matter what gets thrown their way, our way it’s, it’s just gonna be improved upon and evolved. And, and I think the community embraces everything that’s new and that comes their way. So no worries for

Jay

Baer:

The

future. We need to do it another research report sometime on the background of social pros, we did the social pros Allstar ebook which is before Adam, even during the show it was 2014 or 2013. One of the things we did is we, we talked to all the guests we’d had on the program. I think it was the first hundred guests. And we said, Hey, what was your degree? I’m assuming you had a degree. And it was fascinating at that time. It was like 60 to 70% or something of the guests on the program had degrees in journalism. And I don’t think that would be true now, but again, remember it was a writing contest at that time. Right? And so I suspect that that may not be true. Now we’ll have to redo that research.

Jay

Baer:

It

would be interesting to see what that with that yields, as you know, if you listen to the program, we ask each and every guest now, 500 plus episodes at the end, what one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro and, and Adam, this is, this was a lot of fun to go through 500 answers to, to find the ones that, that really continued to make tons of sense and a really spot on today. So we, we went through the, the annals, the archives, the database and pulled out the best advice over the last 10 years

Adam

Brown:

And

going through the ebook, which I hope everybody will download. You will see, you would expect that social posts, they’re all gonna give the same general advice. And we saw a few that were similar, but the diversity of thought and advice and opinions on how to be a social pro was so impressive. And it was reinforced as I went through the ebook over the past

Jay

Baer:

Week.

Well, I mean, that’s why we still ask the question, right? Yeah. If we got the same answer every time we wouldn’t have asked the question 500 times in a row, it continues to continues to yield goals. Like literally we started asking that question on the first episode, you could, you could dial up episode one. And at the end I ask Toby Jackson, who was our first guest, you know, what one tip would you give somebody looking to become a social pro? And he has such a good answer, like, but let’s just ask everybody that. And, and here we are Anna, what did U say when he was on the show? This was a year or two ago.

Anna

Hrach:

Yeah.

U has this great quote, which I love it’s really about being in the moment which I can appreciate, cuz I have a hard time doing that, but U said, don’t be so busy planning for tomorrow that you forget about today. Social media trends die out as they began, no matter how good your content is. It’s only as relevant as today. Planning is important, but don’t get so lost in planning and scheduling tools that you missed out on opportunities to engage with your audience today. I mean,

Jay

Baer:

So

good. It really is a struggle. There is at edible range for those of you listening to the show and it’s such good advice because it’s, it’s tricky because you’ve got to, you’ve gotta have things handled in advance, especially for B2C companies who typically have longer planning, horizons, and, and then you also wanna leave time and mind share and capacity to capitalize on an opportunity, right? Whether it’s a brand calling out other brands or some sort of hashtag or trend or gift for me this, this, this day to day balance between what’s planned and what’s unplanned, I think is one of the things that makes the difference between good social media teams and great social media teams. Yeah.

Anna

Hrach:

And

even just considering all of those sparks of amazement that have happened with real time in the moment, you know, tweets and messages and reactions like it it’s. Yeah. Great advice,

Jay

Baer:

Adam,

what have our friend Taana holy field say she’s been on the show to TA I believe as I recall once when she was at Hulu once when she’s with the Indiana Pacers what did she say here? Well, it’s,

Adam

Brown:

It's

a perfect segue from, I think ER’s thoughts and the, the pain of that of being in real time is the challenge that, that, that Tatiana kind of speaks to here. And this is a challenge that we’ve spoken about, of people who are in our industry, dealing with that balance. Tatiana says you must be prepared for the lifestyle that comes with being a social pro. This is a commitment and mentally you have to be prepared, prepared for that. You have to be prepared for that real time, always on call. Yeah. You have to be prepared that you’re gonna hear a lot more about criticism and not necessarily constructive criticism and vitriol than you probably are from the positive. And you’re gonna be hearing from the most senior people in the organization because they’re watching their Twitter handles. They’re seeing the one or two, you know, disparaging posts and then wanting to bring that to your attention. Tatiana really spoke about this. And this is something that I think we really identified over the past decade of how can social professionals up level their skills, but also balance work and life balance balance. The mental pressures that being a social pro requires.

Jay

Baer:

I

mean, the visibility of the work, the unrelenting nature of the schedule is really different than how a lot of our colleagues operate, especially in big brands. Like the CFO is not on call right. Nobody is like yelling at the CFO because of a tweet, right? And, and yet you have some of these executives and big brands who, who don’t really understand just how different the hour to hour world is for social professionals. And, and we hear that on the show, Adam, we, we hear some of our guests frustration a about that, that like nobody in this company understands what I do. And what I do is so different day to day than what they do. And I think this will continue to be a challenge because as we mentioned a moment ago, it’s not as if less and less stuff it’s is getting put on the plate of the social media professional.

Jay

Baer:

It's

more and more. And, and I do see that, that in some organizations Sam’s club, for example, we did the five episode Sam’s club feature this year. They’re starting to break it out and say, okay, look, let’s have individual people take pieces of this role so they can specialize in paid or community management or analytics or branding. And then have somebody like our friend Sabrina Callahan run all of the social media team. But there’s still a lot of misunderstanding at the executive level around what the true day to day role of the social media pro is. And that’s a challenge.

Adam

Brown:

I

think one of the things we’re gonna see over the next 10 years is a recognition of at, in the fact that you’ll see the social pro and the social position be an executive level position in the organization. I will still claim that the social pro at a company probably has more visibility and more impact than any other non-executive position at most companies. And I think that’s going to change

Jay

Baer:

Touches,

touches the most departments that’s for sure. Jenny Lee Fowler, who runs a social media strategy for the Massachusetts Institute of technology, also known as MI joined the show. She’s super great at, at higher ed social. She said, sweat the details. What’s her advice, sweat the details, make sure your profile picture, isn’t cut off, make sure your banner images are seasonal and look great and represent your campus. Read posts over and over typos matter. Make sure your buttoned up. You’re not a social media user anymore. You’re a social media professional. And I think that’s what makes the difference. I love that perspective because so many people try to come into this industry say, well, I’m, I’m really good at TikTok. And therefore I should run your social media strategy, Anna. And it’s not necessarily the same skillset.

Anna

Hrach:

No,

it’s, it’s really not. And also Jay, you made the comment before about, you know, the difference between good social media teams and great social media teams. And I think this is the same way when it’s all of these little details are noticed and they’re cleaned up and things just look good. And the house is in order before we have guests come in, it really does make a difference. It really it’s a reflection of your brand and it should stand up to it.

Jay

Baer:

Adam,

what did Kelly O’Brien who at the time she was on the show was the head of social media for crispy cream, tough job. Somebody’s gotta do it. there’s a, there’s a brand that nobody likes crispy cream. Kelly’s great. What did she say when we asked her what tips she has for social media professionals?

Adam

Brown:

Kelly

is great. And she talks about the, one of the things I’m passionate about the right brain in the frame of social Kelly says, study it social media as an art, study it as a science. And when you marry the two together, you’ll get the result that you need and desire. And that does speak to the need to be a storyteller and a data scientist. You know, I call it mad men to mathematician. You’ve gotta be the Don Draper and be clever, be you’ve OS gotta have that data backing to understand what is really gonna have the best and most profound impact on the company or organization that you work for.

Jay

Baer:

So

we’ve done 500 something episodes. We have recruited most of those guests but we haven’t had at everybody on this show that we’d ever wanna have. So Anna, if you could have anybody as a guest on social pros, who would it be?

Anna

Hrach:

You

know what, I would really love to have Dave JSON who runs the Washington post TikTok account. He’s the face of it. He’s the guy that you see every single time, pretty much one of their tos comes up in your in your feed. And I just think they’ve done such a brilliant job. They were really one of the first brands who really understood the format and understood how to reach people. And especially as a brand, they weren’t coming in like as a brand in advertising and, and just, I feel like they were really one of the first brands to get TikTok and really use it really effectively. And it’s entertaining. It’s really fun. So I’d love to just hear their process and how they go through it and come up with the ideas. And yeah, I would love to. So Dave, if you’re listening,

Jay

Baer:

Let's

work on that. Yeah. We’ll reach out to Dave. It’s kinda like what Jen was talking about in her quote, right? That, that, you know, here’s an organization, the Washington post kind of known for a thing, right? Like, which is writing a newspaper and then said, well, why don’t we just do this on TikTok? Some people want to consume content in that format and in that place, it’s a great example of, of being flexible and saying, Hey, let’s not force people to drink out of this cup. Let’s just make a cup that they’d like to drink out of over here. Adam, how about you? Who would you like to have on the show?

Adam

Brown:

I've

got two one’s known one’s unknown. The known is, is Ted Turner. And here’s why Ted took a very nascent idea of cable. Television. Went out, bought a little UHF station in Atlanta, Georgia w TBS turned it into a super station, created CNN the 24 hour news cycle and had this impact on a medium that nobody else can really, I think, shake a, shake a tree at. I would love to hear his thoughts on what he thinks about digital and, and social media. The second is an unknown, but it’s someone that’s important to me. It’s a gentleman by the name of Joe settle. Meer, Joe is 88 now, but he was an advertising powerhouse. If you remember the old where’s the beef ad from Wendy’s very appropriate for, you know, a topic we oftentimes talk about here on social pros. Joe was the person behind that ad. He was behind the fast talker commercial at FedEx, but what he did with advertising was he told many stories and he also brought in people that were quirky, who didn’t look all glam and had them tell little stories in 29 and a half seconds. As I said, Joe is 88. Now I would love to hear what he thinks about social with that marketing lens and that marketing genius that he has.

Jay

Baer:

I

love it. Those are both great answers. Let’s work on that. I think we can make, make that happen. That’s our assignment for right for 2022? My answer. What about you, Jay? Well, I guess, I mean the easy answer would be mark Zuckerberg, right? Because this one individual who, who controls so much of of what we contend with here on the social proposed podcast and in social media at large. But I’m not sure that would be such an interesting show. He seems kind of circumspect and weird. So my real answer is especially because it’s about people doing real work and social media is, is probably Kylie Jenner. Kylie Jenner is the third most followed person on Instagram period, like on the planet. Last time I checked and she’s the number one most followed woman on social media or on Insta, at least in the whole world.

Jay

Baer:

Right.

Which is something to say, right. Her ability to create momentum for her personal brand is, is almost unprecedented, is extraordinary. And, and I think it’d be interesting to, to gear out there’s so many things going on in her life, her personal life and her business life and all the companies that she started, like, how does she figure out what to post, when to post, what format to post? And then most importantly, what not to post she’s really balanced that personal and professional kind of content calendar in a way that’s really just and I think that’s fascinating. And so that would be my, my answer, Kylie Jenner. I gotta

Anna

Hrach:

Say,

Jay, your answer completely surprised me, but your rationale I’m a hundred percent behind it now mm-hmm, , I would love to be a fly on the ball for that conversation or on that episode. It’s you’re right. It is a business and they treat it business, but it doesn’t come off that way. So I’m fascinated by it too.

Jay

Baer:

And,

and I think selfishly as somebody who who has some very insignificant amount of notoriety in the space, I struggle with that. Like knowing what of my personal life should I publish? What shouldn’t I, when should I, when should I not? I’m still not very good at it. After recording 500 podcast episode, you, you think I have a handle on it? Kylie, Jenn are much better at it than me. So I would I’d wanna take some personal notes as well.

Adam

Brown:

You're

right, Jay. It is a sixth sense though. And I think something I would wanna pull all 500 or so of our guest or, or a few years since we’ve had some D duplicates. Is, is that a, is that learned, can you learn that sixth sense or is it something that you inherently have?

Jay

Baer:

Yeah,

I don’t know. Maybe both or, or either is, is true. I think for me it’s challenging because I’m first and foremost, a writer, like I started as a writer and then became a, a podcaster and a video person and a social media person, all that. So I sort of think of things through that prism still, and I can’t not do it that way. It doesn’t come as naturally to me as I want it to do. And so that’s, you know, yeah, that’s what we should, we should ask whether it’s nature or nurture at a brown, the next research project, this research project a social pros 500 guide. I absolutely wanted you to download it. It’s called becoming a social pro insights from 500 episodes and counting go to Bitly slash social pros, 500 B I T dot Y slash social pros 5 0, 0 grab yourself a copy of it.

Jay

Baer:

You

will a enjoy it. We had a great time putting it together and a good time putting this show together as well. Again, it’s still staggering. It’s mind blowing 500 episodes. It doesn’t even make any sense until I look at all of ’em in a database. I’m like, oh yeah, I remember that one. Oh yeah. I remember that one from eight years ago. It’s, it’s kind of funny when you when you, when you look back and say, yeah, I actually remember that conversation. It’s it’s wild Adam wanna say thanks so much for your extraordinary contributions to the show. We literally wouldn’t be here without you, you are the man. Thank you.

Adam

Brown:

Thank

you, Jay. And thank you for giving me the opportunity to, to do this. I don’t think I ever thought, you know 300 and some change episodes later, I would, I would still be here, but it’s been an honor and a privilege to work with with both of you work with the entire convent and convert team and get to know virtually and in real life our, our hundred of amazing thoughtful guests.

Jay

Baer:

Yeah,

that is, that is the best part of the show is interacting with with the guests cuz they are so, so smart. And, and that’s why their show’s always been about them. Not about me, not about Adam, not about Anna it’s about the guests and, and always will be to that end friends. If you’re listening to this episode we’re always interested in recommendations. So send us a note. If you’re like, Hey, here’s somebody would be good to have on the show. Happy to to talk about that, Anna, thank you so much. You are absolutely tremendous on the show. You ask such good questions and, and questions that I never think of and that Adam never thinks of. It’s it’s an absolute delight having you on the microphone.

Anna

Hrach:

Thank

you you for having me here, both of you, it is genuinely such a delight to get on the mic every, you know, every episode with these amazing guests and, and to be on it with you too as well. But Jay sincerely thank you for having this original vision and, and 500 episodes ago, just being interested in people because it really is about the social pros and that’s what makes this show amazing is real social pros doing real work. So thank you for getting on the mic to begin with.

Jay

Baer:

Absolutely.

Thank you. Big, thanks to our friends at Salesforce and all our sponsors and our course, the team commits a convert who producer the show and our friends at content 10 X who do all the post-production and the social media graphics for the show. They’re indispensable to the success of the program as well. And of course, to all of you for your great support of the program now 500 plus episodes we love each and every one of you feel free to reach out anytime Jay, at commit the convert.com. Give us a recommendation for a guest on the program. That would be F I can tell your friends if you haven’t we’d appreciate that. So on behalf of Anna and Adam I’m Jay bear, thanks so much for being here. 500 episodes and counting. Don’t forget Lee slash social pros, 500 for the ebook. And we’ll see you next time. I believe the next episode will be our first of 2022. So a new year, a new guest, another batch of episodes for you. Thanks everybody for being here and we appreciate your support.

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EP 504 – Edited (Completed 01/06/22)

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