Why the Best Social Media Ideas Sound Terrible at First

Why the Best Social Media Ideas Sound Terrible at First

Sarah O’Grady, Head of Global Social Strategy at Lenovo, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss taking risks with content and turning employees into advocates.

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Full Episode Details

It’s All About the Quality

It’s easy to find a cheeseburger. In any state, in any town, at just about any corner, you can find a cheeseburger. Now, it may be flash-frozen fast food for 99 cents, but it’s a cheeseburger.

However, to find a cheeseburger that makes an impact, one that really captures your attention and makes you crave more, that’s a bit rarer. This may not be a perfect analogy, but one can certainly draw plenty of parallels to the current state of content marketing.

Content is everywhere, but to capture the attention of new customers, and keep the attention of customers you already have, you have to create something truly noteworthy. Much like the local five-star restaurant with a two-month reservation wait, it’s the quality that creates excitement, not the ability to create “over 99 billion” pieces of mediocre content.

In This Episode

  • How to turn employees into advocates by getting them involved in marketing campaigns.
  • Why the era of Facebook may be ending and giving way to Linkedin for content.
  • Why Twitter and Facebook are still the primary platforms for customer care.
  • Why fewer but bigger pieces of content are better than more content.

Quotes From This Episode

We all just want to be entertained, so the more you can entertain somebody, the better off you are as a brand. Click To Tweet

“We see how little runway our paid media budgets get us. Our employees are our best advocates.” — @ladyogrady

“The love affair with Facebook is coming to an end for a lot of us in marketing and consumers in general.” — @ladyogrady


See you next week!

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Social Media Operations at Sam's Club

In this 5-episode social media Deep Dive, you'll learn how the busy team at Sam's Club operates their social media strategy. Meet 5 different team members and find out how Sam's Club uses social across their entire business. All 5 episodes are available now, so get ready to binge! Listen to episode 1 of the Sam’s Club Deep Dive now.

Listen to Episode 1 of the Sam's Club Deep Dive Now

Episode Transcript

Jay Baer:Hey everybody, this is the Social Pros Podcast, I am Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, joined again by my special Texas friend. He is in the great city of Austin, by way of Tennessee. He is the Executive Strategist for SalesForce at Marketing Cloud. He is Mr. Adam Brown, my friend, how are you?
Adam Brown:Things are great, it's May in Austin, Texas, so it hasn't gotten hot yet. Great time, and we just got done with one of the funnier podcasts that we've had the opportunity to record and be 300 and what, 17? At least you have done now.
Jay Baer:Yes. A lot. Yeah, what a great show. Sara O'Grady joined us this week. She's the head of global social strategy for Lenovo, which of course, is an enormous technology company. They make a lot of stuff. Perhaps best known for laptops, but they make a lot of other products. She has a very large team. They have 260 social handles that they're managing.
But we talked a lot in this episode about her background and her brand new content and social execution, called Extreme IT, where they actually took team members from Lenovo and essentially tortured them for content marketing purposes. It's really great stuff. It's great content. Sarah's super smart and has a pretty interesting  background, too, yup?
Adam Brown:Yeah, I mean not only her experience there at Lenovo, but towards the end, we talk about some of the things that she did right during college, being on one of the most famous game shows of all time, then working as an intern for one of the most famous national radio shows of all time.
Jay Baer:Yeah, it's a really terrific episode. You're gonna like this one very, very much. Very smart woman and pretty hilarious, as well. Sarah O'Grady, head of global social strategy at Lenovo is our guest this week on the Social Pros podcast. Enjoy it.
Sarah O'Grady, head of the global social strategy at Lenovo, welcome to Social Pros.
Sarah O'Grady:Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Jay Baer:Now, I've gotta say we ask all of our guests, this is episode 316, so we've asked many people to fill out a short questionnaire before the show just to give us some insights and ideas about what they like, what they don't like, how they're doing in social. And I'm gonna go ahead, for the first time ever in the history of the show and read the audience your job description. 'Cause we ask people what is your job, here's what Sarah said.
In boring LinkedIn terms, I own the development of an operational framework to execute a world-class social media strategy that engages, drives conversations, helps us reach new audiences and target markets and ultimately makes Lenovo a culturally vibrant brand.
In reality, a day in the life of me would include spending at least two hours struggling to make my desk look pretty, reviewing insights and writing a creative brief, meeting with our social team to review content calendars for the week and hopping on a plane to film out of a dirty warehouse in Brooklyn, where we sick an attack dog on a fellow employee all in the name of explaining the voice command feature.
I'm just gonna clap that up right there.
Adam Brown:Bravo.
Jay Baer:Now after I read that, I had to do a little bit more stalking. I realized that you are a copywriter by background originally and that was exceptionally well-done, so thank you for making our jobs easier when we're doing the research on you.
So let's start, since I mentioned about the attack dog, we probably should get right into that, otherwise they're going, "What is he talking about? An attack dog". Let's talk about extreme IT, your brand new content and social initiative, which is making all kinds of waves in the industry, all kinds of people chattering about it. It's amazing. Why don't we start there and we'll work backwards.
Sarah O'Grady:Thank you. Yeah, that's a good place to start. It's a really exciting program that I've been living and breathing for at least about a year now. So to see it come to fruition and actually be able to get published, some of this content and is a really good feeling and getting the feedback that we've received on it is even better.
In a nutshell, Extreme IT, the genesis of this was how could we create disruptive content, which is always kind of our starter [inaudible 00:04:07], how could we create disruptive content and explain technical concepts that people maybe don't understand. We make a lot of assumptions that they understand, when we list out specs on products and things like that, but the reality is, general pop doesn't really understand how a lot of this stuff works.
So how do we explain these things in a way that's very different. That's captivating, that's a combination of education but also entertainment because ultimately, at the end of the day, we all just wanna be entertained so for everything we wanna learn, the more you can entertain somebody and capture their attention, the better off we are as a brand.
So that's really the genesis.
Jay Baer:And you have, I think, three as we're recording this in May, I think you have three executions of the Extreme IT idea finished and I think there's more rolling out. So one, the one I mentioned in the introduction, is actually a real attack dog, like a vicious attack dog, which you do sick on a fellow employee, who's wearing one of those dog-proof kind of handler suits. And while she's being attacked, she explains the sort of technology behind the voice command feature.
You have another one where an employee eats really hot salsa and describes some other technical feature. I love it. So how did you go about recruiting actual team members. Like, hey, which of you wants to be attacked by the dog? That seems like a tough-
Sarah O'Grady:Yeah. It's funny. When I say describe, doing this in a way that's different and decidedly us, that's really where leveraging employees comes in to play because it's easy to go out and cast somebody, cast an actor to explain these things, to memorize a script and to eat hot salsa and then get a paycheck at the end and walk away and there you have your video, but what really got us all excited was this idea of using our own employees.
We are a global tech company. We are a bunch of nerds at the end of the day, who love technology, who live, breathe, sleep, eat technology and this is just what we love and so how do we use that to our advantage? How do we let these employees be the ones who actually work on these technologies and these different divisions or business units. Let them be the actual ones to bring this to life.
And so we weren't totally sure at first what this was, what the turnout was gonna be like on a casting. We put out an internal call for internal comms email and we had this whole casting call set up, show up within this three hour window and explain one of these concepts to us in a different and an interesting way. Give us those aha moments.
And we weren't sure if we were going to get anybody, but we had a camera and a tripod set up in a conference room and sure enough, we had a line of employees down the hallway. Some of them stood in that line for two hours to actually try out to give us their 15 minute spiel on what is voice command, how does 5G work, what is 5G, how do we manage temperature control in our laptops.
It was fascinating. And we got a wide range of employees from different areas of the business and it really was just this light bulb moment for us where we said not only do we feel really confident that this is a good idea, but our employees are really excited about being part of this.
And at the time, they didn't even know what they were signing up for. I mean, we basically positioned this as we'll put you under duress. You'll potentially be doing this in an extreme scenario. We didn't really give them a whole lot more detail than that during the casting.
You know, certainly when they had to sign their general release, they got a little bit more information, but we really wanted to leave some of this as a surprise for them on set, because we wanted that natural reaction. We wanted to film this one and done and really capture that emotion and that raw energy.
Adam Brown:Finding that way to get your employees or associates involved in a program like this, I think is a challenge for a lot of brands. I mean there's the legal aspect of it and as you said, doing the casting call and all that. It sounds like Sarah, you've exceeded exponentially at that level.
Now how do you keep all of those employees involved, as well? How do you kind of transition them from being the actors and actresses in your engagement, to being your ambassadors and going out there and sharing this content on your behalf?
Sarah O'Grady:That's a really interesting segue into employee advocacy and I think that it's sort of one of these buzz word buzz terms right now that we're all captivated with because we see the algorithm shifts in social and we see how little runway our money gets us, our paid media budgets get us and our employees are our best advocates. We all know that. It's not new.
So looking at this as sort of a component of an employee advocacy program where our employees start to feel really proud of where they work. There's this badge of honor where it's not just being an engineer, but being a bad ass engineer who can explain their area of expertise under duress is really interesting and we ran the second casting a couple months ago for the next three episodes.
Again, not totally sure now that three episodes were in market, were we gonna get employees to end up showing up and wanting to participate in this? And again, we did and I think that it's a really interesting angle for employee advocacy.
It's really easy to sort of create content as we generally do and ask our employees and the variety of ways and different formats or on different venues to share that content. To help us sort of amplify that message but it's a lot more interesting for them when their co-workers are the ones who are involved in the content. Not just behind it, but in front of it. And they also have an opportunity to be a part of that. I think it just gets everybody that much more excited.
So it's really then an interesting program for us so far. We just filmed the next three, the second round of episodes last week, which I'm even more excited about. If you thought the first three were extreme, you got another thing coming. We have taken it to another level.
Adam Brown:It's like fear factor meets explainer video.
Jay Baer:If you need, I know Adam and I don't work there, but if you need podcast hosts under duress, like Adam [inaudible 00:11:19] chomped by a gator, while he describes something highly technical, you just let us know. You've come to the right place.
Adam Brown:Wolverines.
Sarah O'Grady:Absolutely.
Jay Baer:So you mentioned in your answer there. You sort of touched on it, that with Facebook algorithms changing, et cetera, you have gone on record saying that you feel like the value of Facebook to brands is slipping and that you're actually putting more time and effort into LinkedIn now. And I thought it'd be great to hear that from your perspective as a major brand, as a technology brand, and kind of compare and contrast those two.
Sarah O'Grady:Definitely. The love affair with Facebook is coming to an end for a lot of us in marketing and consumers in general, I think. This Cambridge Analytica really threw everybody for a loop and I think even beyond that, now being able to download our data from Facebook and see everything that's been stored and captured along the way is giving people a lens into just social in general and kind of the trust that we put into these platforms to do the right thing.
As a brand, it's really hard. We question the data a lot of times and it's sort of, last six months or so, sort of pushed us to look at the other platforms and see where there are strengths that we maybe haven't uncovered yet and see if there were opportunities that maybe we're missing.
Instagram is certainly an important channel. I would say don't underestimate Instagram. I know that it's owned by Facebook and so it's a little bit of pot and kettle, but it is an interesting channel and I think LinkedIn is another one where we have historically looked at LinkedIn as a recruiting platform or a scout leadership platform, but I really think that there's a lot more potential than that. I think that going back to that notion of everybody wanting to be entertained.
Whether you're an IT decision maker at a company and you are potentially purchasing servers. You're looking for a partner to purchase servers or laptops for your employees. Or you're marketing manager at another company and you're looking potentially at opportunities or other companies or you're just again, putting yourself out there and wanting to be a thought leader in your space, LinkedIn, if you look at your feeds and the type of content historically that people are pushing on that platform, it's pretty stagnant, so being a brand that's willing to take a risk in that area and put some content out there that's different and shocking and disruptive, thumb stopping, that was really interesting to us and we really, the turn for us came with this Extreme IT content, where we said we've got X amount of money to spend in paid media and the obvious solution is to go to Facebook and dump a bunch of money into Facebook, do some A/B testing and YouTube and things like that and at the end of it, we just kinda said LinkedIn is this shiny object that I think we really need to start focusing on.
It's got some dust on it, but there's something interesting there and we went with this paid campaign with native video in feed. It was a bit of a pilot with LinkedIn to do this and the sentiment was fascinating to me. We all know Facebook's become just a cesspool, right? It's really hard for a brand to glean anything valuable when it comes to [inaudible 00:15:19] on Facebook.
Twitter is in that same vein, but LinkedIn, the sentiment was overwhelmingly positive for this content and it was really an interesting learning for us, where we said there's an appetite for this type of content. There's an appetite for different approaches. Entertainment, edutainment, there's an appetite here. So let's go with it.
Adam Brown:I'm fascinated by that. The idea that you're using LinkedIn, not just to reach technical professionals, your systems engineers, your actual fleet and large enterprise-type customers, but also those folks who are probably a little more on the consumer or small, medium business site.
I'm curious A, Sarah, if that's the case, and B, if that is, do you see this as you kinda look out in your crystal ball for the next 12 to 16 months, kind of a path forward for LinkedIn and Microsoft?
Sarah O'Grady:You know, I do. And the way I look at it is we're all consumers, at the end of the day, we're all consumers. So whether you're an IT decision maker, you spend 9 to 5 thinking about servers and large-scale solutions, you still are a consumer and at home you have a laptop and you're buying a phone and a tablet for your kids and each part of us and LinkedIn has historically been looked at as this professional platform, but we all are consumers, and so there's no reason why an IT decision maker won't be interested in being served up content from, that's not just B2B focused, sales-driven content but is actually entertaining. I mean, why wouldn't they wanna be entertained?
So yeah, I think the short answer is yes. We are really intrigued with the potential there and I think that we haven't unlocked it yet. I think there's some learnings that we have from this first round of this campaign and I'm excited to kind of dig into some of the learnings there and the data there and figure out how we approach this next set and just continue kind of playing in that space.
Adam Brown:Sarah, do you think the LinkedIn approach is easier from a social governance standpoint or harder? I know you have a preponderance of social media channels. I think you told us 260 social handles globally that you and your team are responsible for. Does LinkedIn as a primary content distribution mechanism make that easier, because I suspect many of those social handles are Twitter, Facebook and fewer of them are LinkedIn pages. What's the implication for that, if any?
Sarah O'Grady:I guess in some ways that remains to be seen. I think that we don't really have a fear that it will become the same sort of space that Facebook and Twitter have become in terms of a social support platform. I don't think that that's where people are going to get help or find out when the next Android update is coming. From an [inaudible 00:18:27] services or social support perspective, I'm not terribly concerned about that. I think so many of our resources have to go into Facebook and Twitter in terms of response for support and service issues.
Community management is really important to us as a brand. We are big on banter. I think that LinkedIn provides an opportunity for that. It's gonna be interesting to see how we sort of evolve that with the audience there being a much more premium audience that is a healthy mix of that consumer and that professional, that potential customer from a sales or professional standpoint.
Adam Brown:You mentioned customer care and I can imagine, Sarah, and knowing just a little bit about this, too, since for three years I lead social at Dell. Customer care and that intersection of those types of posts and marketing posts, as well as customer service and more consideration funnel purchase-type conversations is a tricky space and I'm curious in the six or seven years since I've been doing it for a technology company, how has that changed? How are you working with customer service or have you said listen, we're responsible primarily for the publishing, but the engagement and the response is being handled by a separate team or organization.
Sarah O'Grady:Yeah, so it is actually the latter, it's you know, we have a new service team that is an arm of our customer support division and so they have staff that speak a variety of languages, that are able to pull in those inquiries, those complaints, those issues into a system and respond to them quickly, pull that into a DM quickly, but that is not, we are fairly separated from that.
My team manages the community management aspect of it, which is the forward-facing and the banter aspect and we really try to pull a lot of the customer support offline as quickly as possible, because it can be pretty disruptive when you're trying to engage [inaudible 00:20:48] at the end of the day we're really trying to create relationships and engage more consumers so we certainly want to handle those inquiries and those service complaints, but we pull that offline as quickly as possible.
Adam Brown:From your vantage point, is that social customer care taking place primarily on Twitter now, or are you seeing that even move? We mentioned LinkedIn and messaging and things like that. Are you starting to see social customer care start to take place in other places or is Twitter still that primary customer care venue?
Sarah O'Grady:Twitter and Facebook for us are really the primary places for that.
Yeah, like I said, I don't think LinkedIn, maybe that will change, if LinkedIn does evolve as a platform for brands to have a broader type, a broader sort of portfolio of content that they're sharing. That could change, but I think that because of the premium nature, because of just the nature of the professional nature of that platform, you're gonna see a lot less of that in that environment.
Jay Baer:Okay, you've talked about the element of surprise in your social content. That ability to stop the thumb, to disrupt patterns amongst your audience. Do you feel like that is now a requirement to succeed in social or is it only a requirement for technology companies or brands of your scope and scale? And I guess the reason I ask that is that if everybody is trying to be disruptive, then is nobody able to be disruptive, right? I just I don't know where that ends, right? Because circular logic but I don't disagree in a vacuum. I just wonder where we're headed.
Sarah O'Grady:I think that thumb stopping content is incredibly important and not just for the technology sector. I think that we all need to be sort of looking at our content differently by being, there are so many different ways that we can be disruptive, right? It's not like there's one sort of formula for that, so the idea that if everybody's disruptive, nobody is. I think that we have a long way to go before we get to that saturation point.
We're already at a place where content is not going anywhere, the quantity of content is just massive, I mean Instagram users are posting almost 50,000 photos a minute. YouTube videos, there's over four million YouTube videos watched every minute. Content is being consumed at incredible rates. I think the bigger issue is quality.
We talk about content and people pushing this notion of more, more, more, more, more. Needing to really have these robust content calendars where you're building out. You're spending so much money and so many resources on building so much content that it's gonna be really hard for that content to break through. If you instead really focused your energies and looked at fewer bigger [inaudible 00:24:00] or pieces and how do you create derivative content. How do you make that content work harder for you? I think then things start to get interesting. And for us, it's really important to figure out how to break through the noise and create that brand awareness.
We are the number one, we're one of the top technology companies in the world and a lot of people in some of our key markets have never heard of us. I mean, that's a very interesting problem to have, but we have to break through the clutter. We don't have the paid media budgets. We don't have the advertising budgets that some of our competitors do, so we really have to be scrappy and we have to figure out how to cut through that noise.
But I think that it's important to understand, too that the more content that's created, the less engagements content overall is going to start to have. It is that idea of over saturation and so really think about what you're producing and be smart about it. Be smart about your resources and know that because that the landscape is just growing at such an incredible rate and everybody's trying to fight for the same audiences at this point that you're not going to be able to increase numbers year over year the way we once did and I don't personally think that matters much.
I think again, it's quality over quantity and so that's really the approach that we're taking.
Jay Baer:And that reflects in how you measure effectiveness of social overall, right? So how you kinda keep performance indicators. That you're paying attention to as a leader of the group, I presume the same kind of metrics that you're promoting up to your bosses. There's something to think less about overall engagement and overall audience size and more about quality interactions and contributions of social to leads in sales, et cetera, yup?
Sarah O'Grady:Absolutely. We're really focused on stressing quality over quantity. On being able to really identify what's working and optimize that content [inaudible 00:26:14], rather than just continue to turn out new content. We have to be able to justify our cost/effect ratio and really start to show measurable results in what we're doing.
So our key guys this year have shifted from being really heavily focused on vanity metrics and now more focused on things like video views, focused on things like being able to provide retargeting metrics to our GO's and regions and overall improving our brand health, which I think is something that's really important so we'll be measuring that through that promoter score and brand list studies that we'll be doing with partners like YouTube and LinkedIn.
Adam Brown:One thing I wanted to ask you about Sarah, you mentioned in our pre-show discussion that you and the social team kinda have three homerooms if you will. Homeroom in communications, one in brand and one in digital and I'm curious how that impacts that whole KPI and ROI discussion because each of those teams typically looks at success in a slightly different way. How do you approach that and have you gotten everyone to kind of agree on what's the one or two or three things that social has to achieve and when you do that, that is considered success.
Sarah O'Grady:Yeah. You know, it's an interesting point that you raise, and it's one that we've struggled with for the last couple of years, because our content creation, our production budget, our content budget sat in a different place than our paid media budget and our KPI's were different.
My KPI's were to create top funnel content and ultimately make one of them famous, where the KPI's of the team that owned the paid media budget, they were tasked with increasing engagement numbers year over year, so they were buying really inexpensive audiences in some of our less important, less, not our key markets, basically.
So we were kind of at odds for awhile and I think going into this year, feeling a little bit more confident about that. I think there's still some work to do in terms of how we operate across these three teams to make sure that we are aligned going forward, so we don't end up in that boat where everybody's got a different sort of objective at the end of the day. But we have a really strong CX KPI, so we're moving overall as an organization from being product-centric to being customer centric organization and so how we bring that to life in social, something that's super important for all of our business units and for the different teams that social sits on, so that's sort of the KPI that I think gets people's attention and everybody can kind of own and feel good about, so that's sort of a good starting point for ensuring that we're all on the same page and that we are ultimately working toward the same common goals.
Jay Baer:I love the fact of the transformation that sounds like you've had to go to a lot of meetings to sort that out.
Sarah O'Grady:A lot of meetings, a lot of decks, a lot of pitches, yeah.
Jay Baer:This is all interesting that you're the head of global social strategy at Lenovo and everybody thinks that's fantastic and you've been a terrific guest, but what's really important here is the fact that you were on Wheel of Fortune, because what you don't know, Sarah O'Grady is that I was named most likely to be a game show host in high school. It's a true story. The only thing that I would do, I love my job, I would do this job for free. I'm glad I don't have to, but I would. The only job that I would do in this world, other than my job, is if I could host The Price is Right. Now if anything ever happens to Drew Carey. If Drew Carey's ever like, I'm done, I'm sick of it. I am on that audition. I'm first in line for that, but Wheel of Fortune is a close second for me. And you, you, Sarah O'Grady, who moonlights as the head of global strategy for Lenovo were actually a Wheel of Fortune contestant. That is a true story.
Sarah O'Grady:That is a true story.
Jay Baer:And was that a lifelong dream or you just like woke up and said hey, I don't have anything to do today, let's go make this happen.
Sarah O'Grady:No. It wasn't actually. When I was in college, they came to my university and they did like a casting and a friend of mine was really interested in auditioning and I tagged along and decided I would do the audition, as well, since I waited in line long enough and I was selected for it. And flew out that way to Culver City and at the time, my dad flew out with me and it was a pretty surreal experience. I will say the wheel is incredibly heavy and we had to go through some wheel spinning training, which was, it's like crossfit, it's pre-crossfit, yeah, it was a pretty fun experience. But you know, I would've made it out to the final round. I messed up on the Ozark mountains. I'll tell you, I'll never forget Ozark mountains ever again, but that was [crosstalk 00:31:34].
Jay Baer:Did you misspell Ozark or mountains, 'cause that's an important distinction.
Sarah O'Grady:Well, I just didn't know that the clue, so.
Jay Baer:Didn't know it.
Sarah O'Grady:No, I did not know it.
Jay Baer:Did your friend get to go on the show, as well? Or she took-
Sarah O'Grady:No.
Jay Baer:And you stole her spot?
Sarah O'Grady:I stole her spot, yeah.
Jay Baer:What a bitch. I'm sure that was a relationship killer.
Adam Brown:Are we still friends?
Jay Baer:Yeah.
Sarah O'Grady:Yeah, I think, yeah. She didn't hold it against me.
Jay Baer:That's what she said to your face.
Sarah O'Grady:Yeah, exactly. Exactly.
Jay Baer:Your interesting background doesn't stop there, though. Right, Adam?
Adam Brown:That's right and if this show ended, Sarah O'Grady with your Wheel of Fortune experience, we would've had a trifecta show but during that same similar college time or post-college time, you interned for one of the most famous or infamous radio shows in all the land, you interned with Howard Stern?
Sarah O'Grady:I did. That I did.
Adam Brown:Now, how do you get a job like that?
Sarah O'Grady:Well, I knew that I wanted to get a media internship. I wasn't quite sure if I wanted to pursue a career in print or in radio. I had a lot of feelers out there and I knew that I wanted to go to New York. I wanted to do an internship in New York and so I basically combed every possible journalism and media internship opportunity and Howard Stern was one of them and I applied for it and wrote a compelling enough letter and managed to score a spot and I ended up spending a summer as Robin Quivers' news intern where I trekked to 57th street at 5:30 in the morning, back in the days of terrestrial radio when the show started at 6:00 a.m. on the radio and yeah, it was an incredible experience. I really, I learned a lot. I learned that I did not want to go into radio. But yeah, it was wild. It was a wild ride.
Jay Baer:That is amazing. I'm sure we could do a whole show just on Howard and Robin observations, but we'll save that for a follow-up extravaganza.
Sarah O'Grady:Absolutely.
Jay Baer:You also mentioned that you have award-winning guacamole and as a guacamole devotee, I want to know your secret tip. What is your big guacamole ingredient advice?
Sarah O'Grady:Well, if I tell you that, I might have to kill you, so.
Jay Baer:You could give me a hint.
Sarah O'Grady:Or at least put you through Extreme IT.
Jay Baer:Oh, wow. Okay, that's it.
Sarah O'Grady:Well, so what it came down to was I love guacamole and I lived in New York for 13 years and as anybody who's been to New York or lived in New York knows, cocktails are starting at $15 these days and a bowl of guacamole is probably $18 to $20. It's pretty insane, but every time we went out for Mexican, I said I can do this. This is crazy. This is crazy that it's like one avocado they're putting in this thing and it's so good, but we're spending so much money. I can make this at home. I can figure this out and I took a few months and through trial and error, my husband was my taster and through trial and error, I landed it. He finally said you've got it, you've figured out the recipe, the formula for the best guacamole.
Jay Baer:Put a man on the moon.
Sarah O'Grady:That's right. That's right. So I don't know if I can ever turn that into a business. I don't know if that would work, but-
Jay Baer:Well, I think you already have. The same commitment to optimization, iterative process, that sounds an awful lot like social media algorithms to me, but with avocados. It's the same process.
Sarah O'Grady:That's a good point.
Jay Baer:See? That's why I'm here. That's why we're doing the show.
Adam Brown:And in both situations-
Sarah O'Grady:That's why they pay you the big bucks.
Adam Brown:Unfulfilled. We didn't get an answer to that secret.
Jay Baer:No, we didn't, yeah, but we'll take that off air. Sarah O'Grady is the head of global social strategy at Lenovo. She's been our guest here on episode 316 of Social Pros. Just a quick reminder that you can get every single episode in the whole history of the show. Transcripts, recordings, links to special information and stuff at socialpros.com.
Sarah, I'm gonna ask you the two questions that we've asked every single one of our guests since the very beginning. Are you ready?
Sarah O'Grady:Sure.
Jay Baer:Question number one. What one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro?
Sarah O'Grady:What one tip? I would say take risks. Take risks. If you have an idea. Don't ever start a sentence with this is probably a terrible idea. I think the best ideas sound awful at first. They sound awful in your head. If you look at some of the most successful ad campaigns or social campaigns. If you break that down and you sort of rewind back to the pitch meeting, you imagine pitching half of this stuff to the client. I mean, it's just crazy. Budweiser. Look back to that Budweiser what's up spot. Do you remember that? With like the guys on the phone. Could you imagine going into Budweiser and you've got 10 million dollars, yeah. 10 million dollars on the table and saying okay, so here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna have a guy, he's gonna pick up a phone and he's gonna call another guy and he's just gonna what's up. Like it just sounds crazy, it sounds ludicrous. You know, it doesn't sound like anything, but.
Jay Baer:You're like [inaudible 00:37:16] to the spot. No, that's it.
Sarah O'Grady:No, that's it. That's it. Yeah, that's it.
And similar with Extreme IT. We're gonna take employees and we're going to torment them in the name of explaining technology. Well, that doesn't sound, they're not gonna let you do that. That's not right. You know, it just sounds crazy so I would say just take risks and bring those ridiculous ideas to the table 'cause they're often the ones that really shine and rise to the top.
Jay Baer:That's fantastic and certainly the road to disruption starts with an unusual idea in most cases. Last question for Sarah O'Grady head of global social strategy at Lenovo is if you could do a Skype or Zoom call with any living person, who would it be and why? Perhaps Howard Stern.
Adam Brown:You know him?
Jay Baer:Pat Sajak or Vanna White or Robin.
Sarah O'Grady:Yeah. Probably not, if I had one chance here. I'm gonna go with a really random answer and I'm gonna say Queen Elizabeth.
Jay Baer:Wow. That is a new one. We didn't, never had in the entire history of, we've had a lot of Oprahs and a lot of President Obamas and a lot of-
Sarah O'Grady:Yeah, that's-
Adam Brown:And a lot of Brits on the show.
Sarah O'Grady:That's expected. But have you seen the Crown? Have you watched this?
Adam Brown:Yes, I love it.
Sarah O'Grady:So I mean, just that woman has a lot of secrets. She's got a lot of, she's lived a lot of life and I would love to just chat her up.
Jay Baer:And I love that show-
Sarah O'Grady:I wanna know what's in her handbag.
Jay Baer:Yes, what is in the handbag?
Probably a Blackberry. One of those old ones. I love that show, too, The Crown, how they're doing two seasons and then recasting the whole show and then doing two more seasons and recasting the whole show because as the characters age, obviously, they need different actors to play each role so just a really interesting way of making television, as well.
Sarah O'Grady:Absolutely. Really well done.
Adam Brown:Way of keeping your cost down, too.
Jay Baer:That's a good point, Adam. Nobody gets too big for their britches here. You get two years and then you're kicked out.
Adam Brown:Adam, I need to talk to you right after the uh-
Jay Baer:Yeah. That's how Social Pros works, too. Every two years we switch out co-hosts, too. Just works out that way. Sarah, thank you so much for being on the program. It was fantastic to talk to you. Congratulations on all the success at Lenovo. We'll make sure to link up the Extreme IT content. Ladies and gentlemen, just go to YouTube or go to Lenovo social channels and you'll find it. It is hilarious. And kudos to you and the whole team and your co-workers for being so light-hearted about being attacked by dogs and eating salsa, et cetera, while doing highly technical descriptions. It's pretty great.
Sarah O'Grady:Awesome. Thank you so much. The next round as a little teaser, involves cockroaches so stay tuned.
Jay Baer:Oh, can't wait. I can't wait. Cockroaches, guacamole, Howard Stern, Wheel of Fortune. It's the greatest episode. Greatest episode ever. It's really good.
Sarah O'Grady:Thanks, guys.
Jay Baer:Thanks so much.
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