How Influencer Marketing Powers B2B Social Media

How Influencer Marketing Powers B2B Social Media

Neal Schaffer, CEO & Principal Social Media Strategy Consultant at Maximize Your Social, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss B2B social media.

In This Episode:

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Full Episode Details

The Next Step

It’s been said time and time again, but the world of social media is constantly evolving. Professionals know that you can never be too attached to any one platform or method because once you become comfortable, you’re behind.

What doesn’t change is the fact that people want to connect. Customers want to find out about your business and your products, but not through generic ad copy or flashing banners. People want to connect with your business through people. This is just as true in B2B social media as it is in B2C.

If your business sells directly to other businesses, influencer marketing is the most important thing to focus on, according to Neal Schaffer. By investing in relationships with influencers, you can engage with your audience through people they trust and share your products in a personal and meaningful way.

In This Episode

  • How the concepts behind social marketing remain consistent despite the ever-changing social platforms and technology.
  • Why social is based in the marketing department.
  • Why influencer marketing is the next step in B2B social media.
  • How Neal developed the social selling curriculum at Rutgers University.
  • Why AI is powerful but belongs in the background.
  • Why more influencer marketing is the biggest need in B2B social media in 2018.

Quotes From This Episode

“For B2B, it’s not a campaign. It’s about building a community of people that might be interested in your project.” — @NealSchaffer

“When you are personally invested in the programs and personally invested in relationships, that makes such a big difference.” — @NealSchaffer

If you haven't been experimenting in influence marketing, take some of your budget and put it there. Click To Tweet


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Episode Transcript

Jay Baer:Hey friends this is Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. I am joined on the episode by my special Texas friend Adam Brown from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Adam had to jump onto an aircraft so he's not here for the introduction of the show. Which we actually record after our guests leaves but man what a fascinating conversation this week with Neal Schaffer. Neal's been in social media strategy almost since the beginning of the media. Been doing it a long time. A really smart guy, really wise. What I really like about this episode, really two things, one, Neal's emphasis on B2B influencer marketing and how that really goes hand in glove with social media effectiveness. He's got a lot of interesting points to talk about there. Also, Neal really believes that social strategy is just a collection of social media experiments. We talk a little bit about social media experience and what you can use to improve your own social media program. Enjoy this episode. I think you will. It's Neal Schaffer from PDCA Social.
Hey friends, this is Jay Baer from Convince and Convert. And thanks for listening to Social Pros. Our sponsors this week include, ICUC. Did you know that every one star increase in your Yelp rating can lead to a five or nine percent increase in revenue. Embracing and engaging with online reviews with Google, Yelp, Amazon and more will directly impact your business. Get your free copy of the new e-book that I created in partnership with ICUC Social, it's called "The Customer's Always Right: The Powers of Ratings and Reviews". You can get it at no cost. Go to That's, all lowercase.
And of course this show is brought to you by this week our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Social is more important than ever for B2B marketers yet some have a hard time using it effectively. A new complete guide from our friends at Salesforce will help. It's called "The Complete Guide To Social Media For B2B Marketers". It reveals the best types of content to use, how to measure your social more effectively. It is super fantastic. Grab it at That's, all lowercase. And now heres this week's Social Pros podcast.
This week on Social Pros is Neal Schaffer, president of PDCA Social. Social media strategy genius. OG social practitioner and a very nice man, Neal welcome to Social Pros.
Neal Schaffer:Thank you very much Jay. It's an honor to be here.
Jay Baer:Awesome to have you here. I can't believe we haven't had this conversation more recently. One of the things I think is fascinating about what you're doing right now, and we'll get into this, but you're involved in a lot of different things in the social media world. That one of things I think is fascinating is you're doing some executive social media coaching. Right? So working with business executives to kind of teach them the ways of social media.tell me a little bit about that and also what I'd love to know is, what do executives ask you about social media that surprises you?
Neal Schaffer:So I work with a lot of executives through programs that I teach at. I teach at Rutgers University Business School. You've probably heard of the other Schaffer Mark Schaffer who also teaches there. So I teach as part of the social media marketing, digital marketing and even created a social selling curriculum for them which is the first executive education program that has social selling. Also, I work executives at the Irish Management Institute in Dublin. I fly to Ireland once a year. And I think for the most part the executives that I work with, if they're in marketing they're just not as well versed. They realize they need to get a lot better versed a lot quicker so they're just really trying to better navigate the landscape and be able to make strategic decisions that are being recommended to them by people below them that obviously are more involved in the space.
I also will often get executives outside of marketing that understand they need to better get social for their own department. So I'd say there's two different types. I don't really get surprised at any question because I know that there's a whole, and you do as well Jay, there's just a whole range of different people out there.
And sorry about that. I keep getting phone calls from my wife who doesn't know I'm on a podcast right now. That'd be hard to explain but anyway. What the hell is a podcast?
But anyway, so yeah, I don't really get surprised and I think that, and I always say this, whenever I work with more experienced professionals in the business world, even if they have a lack of experience in social, once they understand the concepts and the principles and how it's applied, they get it really really quickly. They don't question the auto why as much as others who have been deeply embedded in the field and may have been ousted by their superiors for so long that I've been unable to answer, they usually get it pretty quickly. And I think that just goes to show, I always say it's new tools old rules with business. Business obviously does change with every generation. And with technologies there's changes in communication and information flow, what have you. But obviously business is still business so those people get that and I think they're able to leverage the principles pretty quickly.
Jay Baer:Yeah, well said. Do you tend to focus more on the strategic side of it? So here's the resource allocation and ROI of social and sort of social business, baking social into different parts of the enterprise or do executives sometimes get kinda wrapped around the axable? Tell me about this live video thing. Do the many, many, many, many, many, many, many, always changing tactics of social tend to obfuscate or confuse executives? Perhaps they're not doing this all day like myself and you and Adam Brown.
Neal Schaffer:So when I work with executives there's ... Or when I teach social media in general, there's obviously two different ways of teaching it. There's the platforms which is the actual technology. Right? The linked ends of Facebook's or the content mediums, podcasting, live streaming, what have you. They made up the concepts and the concepts inevitably are way more power. The concepts like employee advocacy and influence of marketing, that concept marketing, and I prefer to stick with the concepts. Once we get through the concepts I see how the platforms are being utilized but they're at the mercy of the concepts. And without the concepts and the strategy they really don't have much meaning. So, I also try to say hey, we'll get to that very very specific platform in question later but once we get through all the concepts you'll understand the power and why we use those platforms in those ways?
Adam:And Neal that has to be a challenge. I know in speaking to a lot of professors and faculty and educators that's creating curriculum is something that takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and typically they want to build something that's slightly evergreen so that they can teach the same curriculum for a couple of years. You really can't do that in social because every week something is happening, something is changing, something is transforming, how do you keep your content fresh and does that kind of challenge you in a way or does it actually help force you into kind of forcing function to make your messaging and your curriculum and your training that much better?
Neal Schaffer:Adam, that's so funny. So many people say that to me and whether it is teaching or speaking at different conferences, what have you, I will tell you that there are slides that I still show from 2010 that are still as applicable today as they are then. So not all of it obviously. I think the changes that happen are in the platforms themselves but their concepts are the same. There's always new case studies. There's always obviously new trends, slight differences from month to month, year to year, so there's always ... I prefer to actually revise my presentations when I speak, when I teach, literally the night before because I know there's always different changes going on. Or at least week before, and it drives these conference organizers crazy because they want your presentation a month, two months in advance. Well it's like hey, there might be changes. So I've always thrived on change and I have always thought of speaking as an art form and teaching as an art form and that content that I create, those modules become the art.
So I always try to make it as evergreen as possible so that a year from now if someone was to look at the video or the slide that they're not gonna shoot me down. And I've always sort of had that philosophy which I guess has helped me. But I do think that when you look at the concepts instead of the platforms and I remember like eight years ago, someone speaking about Four Square and then after the presentation someone said well, why do I need to be one Four Square? And the guy said well you have to be there, everyone's there. So I try to avoid presentations that got that are gonna be really out there.
Adam:How's your Pokemon Go strategy working out for you right now?
Jay Baer:There you go.
Neal Schaffer:Yeah, so and that lack of business value. I think if you have business value and it ties into the language of Excel that it's gonna be evergreen to a certain extent and then you'll always have sort of the re-pivoting, refreshing that goes on a regular basis. But I think I've a good formula down and that's what I've been told as well from my students and people that see me speak. So that's my approach.
Adam:It sounds like you do and it sounds like it works. I agree and I think Jay would that you teach the art, the art is a foundation in the science, that stuff that changes every 15 minutes is kind of an icing on the cake. You did mention one thing Neal that fascinates me and you said it's a new class and new curriculum and that's on social selling but I think all of us are very excited about that, we're certainly excited about that at Salesforce, as you could expect by our name, we've seen the evolution social force. Social customer care, we've seen it form a marketing and a messaging and a branding standpoint. The social selling is kind of the next big horah. I'd love for you to talk a little bit about how you came up with that curriculum and how it's being received by executives and people who probably understandably know that operation side of their business.
Neal Schaffer:Yeah, so my background, professional background, before social media is actually more in the sales biz dev space and the marketing PR space. And I think that's what's given me a unique perspectives on social media marketing and what have you. It also means that when I started out there wasn't much money to be made in social selling, we didn't even have a term for it then. And I wrote this book called "Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing" way back in 2011 and I think I was a little bit ahead of my time back then.
Meanwhile social media marketing was obviously booming and that's where me career went and where my business went. So for me the social selling was really getting back to my roots. And it was really a conversation with Rutgers Business School, you know we wanna create new curriculum, what do you think is needed? And I said, social selling was definitely one that I threw out there of a few topics and when they went back to their client base that's one that reinstated with them as well. So obviously social selling is going to be primarily for B2B companies. It can be for B2C, like financial derives companies or what have you, but it's primarily B2B companies.
And I think that this digital transformation that we are still undergoing and marketing is undergoing it, PR is undergoing it, well sales is undergoing it as well and I think it's taken sales a bit longer of a time to undergo that digital transformation for various reasons but obviously it continues to evolve. It usually begins with those up top understanding it and dictating they want to get their employees trained. And unfortunately that doesn't happen as often or as quick as we'd like. I think obviously companies like Salesforce and your clients especially, Silicon Valley, high tech leaders, B2B leaders, they were really early in adopting social selling. But the interesting thing about social selling is we also see, with employee advocacy, this other push that your sales people become or should become your biggest advocates. Right?
Neal Schaffer:And I think that that also has helped accelerate social selling programs. From the marketing side saying hey, we're doing all this content marketing, if the number one way in which content is consumed is in social we have a whole army of people that could be sharing this and help generating more visibility for our content and helping them with their sales as well.
So it's really a win win once everybody gets on the same page and understands it. So it's funny, a lot of the social selling training I do it's either through sales organizations or through HR internal training organizations, but some is actually from marketing organizations saying hey, we need to get our sales team on the same page here. So it's slowly evolving. I think there's till a lot of room for improvement and for transformation, which really excites me but we're getting there. So as always, whenever I do any presentation, any teaching, any speaking, I do a reset and say hey, if I was the attendee what would I wanna learn from this? What actionable insight am I gonna get that's gonna help me do my job better? And that's really where I started. So I started with a blank slate and I went out and I asked people, hey, who do you look up to in the social selling space? Who are the authors? Who are the bloggers? What are the main topics for my own social selling presentations that I've done, and really built a curriculum with five instructors including myself, covering a wide variety of topics that I think are essential for any leader but even for those practitioners or sales managers that wanna become sort of the change catalyst within the organization.
So yeah, really excited about the program. It was just released actually in March of this year. So we're still in our first year but so far so good.
Adam:I am very excited. I wanna learn more about that offline because social selling is near and dear to me heart. Neal, I'm gonna ask you a question I've asked a couple of our guests but I think you're in a position to have an interesting insight. One of the things that Jay and I often talk about on the show is kind of the homeroom for social, where does social live in an organization? And typically that's the marketing or the communications org. Here you are talking to social executives and they may report of to the chief sales officer, chief operating officer somewhere like that, in those instances we are seeing kind of that "Homeroom for social” changing, because marketing and communications are typically a costs center in an organization, sales is typically the profit center, curious when you are speaking to these executives how they are kind of wrestling with this and are they accepting that, at the end of the day, the social technologies live over with the CMO or the chief communications officer or are they saying, no, no, no, this is my homeroom?
Neal Schaffer:Well I still think it is marketing communications, don't get me wrong, but I also think, similar to the story of the motor that in the 19th century had this one big motor that controlled all these different appliances that now every appliance has a motor inside, it's the same thing with social. I mean every department ends up using it throughout the enterprise. It's like the fax machine, like the cellphone. It obviously is a lot more interactive and is a lot more compelling for various reasons in terms of how it can amplify word of mouth marketing, what have you, but that's realty. So every department is gonna be leveraging social in different ways. But obviously when we think about the budget that goes into social it's primarily gonna come from marketing communications. The tools. Obviously the paid social budgets working with influencers, what have you. So that doesn't any. But as I always say, whenever I work with businesses and social strategies every department that should have a say or that's gonna be impacted by this should have a seat at the table when we have our discussions and build out a strategy. It's really no different.
Yeah, at the end of the day marketing still gonna have the budget. And it's really interesting and Jay maybe you've seen this as well, I talk to more and more people, it's like well I'm in charge of organic social, paid socials ran by another department.
Jay Baer:Sure.
Neal Schaffer:It's almost like the budgets are being controlled actually where the money's being spent and if that's the case then it's obviously gonna be marketing.
Jay Baer:Yeah, the same thing happened with Search and other digital disciplines before that. Once you start treating it as an ad then people who know more about ads tend to get involved. How would you describe the state of social today Neal? If I was said what's your take on it all right now, what would you say?
Neal Schaffer:My take on social in terms of business use of social, in terms of ...
Jay Baer:Yeah, just kinda where we're at. You've been doing this a long time as has Adam. It's kind of the beginning and so what would you say is the state of social now? How would you kinda describe the present day?
Neal Schaffer:I would say it's definitely maturing. I still think that there's opportunities. I think obviously we've seen a decline in organic social reach for businesses across every platform and while some platforms still perform a little bit better, it becomes like the telephone book over time, if you wanna get a really nice full page display ad you gotta pay for it. And at the end of the day it really does become play to pay. Paid social becomes more competitive as more and more businesses compete for a limited news feed. So I've been talking a lot about, I know you have as well Jay, obviously we have the content side of the piece but it's also about leveraging the people out there who do get preference in the news fees and these are people, right? It's people power so it's a combination of employees, it's partners and it's influencers and I think that's where it is still very underdeveloped and I think if you look at the trends and the way that the out rhythms are, they're gonna continue to favor people over brands as we go forward.
So I think that's really the opportunity. And obviously social selling ties into that influencer marketing, employee advocacy and that's why I talk a lot about that. Content marketing yes, but obviously more and more user generated content from these people. So I think that companies are still slow to recognize that these take long term relationships, long term investments, long term training, and we're sort of in the middle of this companies trying to get to grips with this new realty and trying to move forward on it. There's still a lot of small businesses out there who are way behind. I won't even talk about them, but for the majority of businesses they get it, they're doing it, there's probably greater opportunities for auto why that they're gonna seek in the near future and I think it's all gonna come down to the people.
Jay Baer:If you were the social media czar, we've put you in charge of the whole thing and you had two wishes, what would you rub the lamp and make true?
Neal Schaffer:Well first of all I'd wanna have my tools and my reporting set in place. I always said marketing should be like a mixing board, like a sound board at a recording studio. So I wanna know when I up the lever on any given thing, any part of the marketing mix, what effect it's gonna have on the ROY. So I'm very much, PDCA Social, my company, comes from Professor Edwards demi "Plan Due Check Action", right, it's all an experiment. So I wanna be testing all of these different things. So I never throw away any particular part of marketing mix but I'd wanna make sure that every part of it I there and it's all being reported on and we have the systems in place and the processes in place. So, that would be my wish. It's really more of infrastructure wish. But it's also part infrastructure part experimental. There's a lot of things that we need to be doing. If we don't have the relationships, we need to start developing. If don't have the programs, we need to start creating them and really move them forward.
Jay Baer:I love it. Neal, I know one of the things you told us before the show that frustrates you right now around social is poorly executed automation. And automation and AI are the big things right now. And I think especially as it relates to social selling, a subject that you're an expert on, as you see the conversations begin to kind of go from marketing, which is more storytelling to sales which is perhaps more transactional, it's hard to resist the temptation to automate that because they're call to action, they're transactional types of messaging. How do we step back and how do we step away from that and make sure that we're not over automating these things and we're keeping the genuine authentic messaging that hopefully our marketing and communication brethren are all about?
Neal Schaffer:Yeah, that's a great question. In fact, I just, two days ago, finally published an e-book on how AI is revolutionizing influencer marketing. Very very new topic. At Marketel World a few months ago Marketel talks about how they are starting to leverage AI as well. On the other hand I was on a webinar with a social selling tubal writer, maybe a year ago, that were already talking about AI and social selling. So I think what people misunderstand is the compelling use case for AI, the way Marketo's using it and the that the influencer marketer platform called Open Influence in the market is using it, is it's really in the analysis, it's really in the insight. It's really being able to automate and discover things that would just take humans a long time to be able to process the data and discover. So it's really ... AI is sort of in the back, right? It's not front. And I go back to Seth Godden who says the only jobs that are gonna remain for humans are the human facing jobs that require artists. Right?
And sales, and not every sale, and I'd rather report that self service e-commence platforms are gonna take out 50% of B2B sales hurting people's jobs, I don't know, but when there is a high ticket item on the mind and it requires people to be able to communicate with various people throughout the organization, it requires the touch of a person to be able to navigate those waters and to be able to make that sale. That's just a realty. I don't think that's going away. I would add obviously in terms of communications, try to keep it as personalized as possible and I know that Chat Box, and they are getting better at personalization, but like I said I really do think it comes down to the ticket price item, the complexity of the sale. And then your own organization.
If you can't handle, if you don't have enough sales people to handle incoming calls and you have to use a chat box or some form of AI or machine learning to process those before you can hire someone as a stop gap solution, then I get it. I sort of question whether it's a long term solution. Now as the technology gets better, that'll change, and I think maybe at the initial, when you call center, being able to initially navigate to the right person using AI technology I think is a great way. So I think we wanna use AI to make our work more efficient and to be able to do things that we just do not have the human power to do. But a sale requires this human artistry and even if it's an inside sale, you still have someone writing an email or on the phone and I've seen cases in which the automation obviously is not there yet. And if you're trying to make sale you don't wanna take that risk.
So if you wanna invest in technology, start with social selling or just jump into AI would be my ... You have to have ...When I see ... Marketers make the same mistake with tools, they don't have the process in place but they see the tool and they think the tool replaces the process but without having the process they never use the tool properly and they screw everything up, right? And AI is the exact same thing. Get the process in place and see if there might be a way the use, I don't know, right? And this is all gonna evolve as time goes by. But right now I think it's in the background, it's in the data analysis where the biggest value is
Jay Baer:I love that. I wanna ask you a little bit more about your book "The Business of Influence". Do you feel like today there is too much influence or marketing or not enough influence or marketing?
Neal Schaffer:I think there is not enough. I think we hear too much on just consumer facing brands. But it goes back to that same concept that if we wanna get heard, if we wanna get heard organically or in social media where we know everyone spends the most time, you got organic social, you got paid social, or you can somehow leverage other people and that's where the influencer marketing piece comes in, is the ability to leverage other people.
Jay Baer:And that's true for two reasons right? One, we trust one another more than we trust messages from businesses and algorithmically that is also so, right? That algorithmically we're gonna see messages from known people more often, we're gonna see messages ... At least in terms of how the algorithms are deployed today.
Neal Schaffer:Correct. And number three, we don't trust ads as much as we trust recommendations from others. So we have a few different trends that continue to move in that direction. So I think that most companies are severely under invested in influence and marketing. And I think especially when we look at B2B companies and the potential for B2B influencer marketing you see a gap in the potential there. So the whole take, and the reason I'm writing the book is, I always write books where I think there's a need in the market so when I wrote "Maximize Your Social and Social Strategy" I thought the need was there in 2013.
In 2018, the biggest need by far is working with influencers. And a lot of marketers I think have been miseducate and misunderstand the field. Just a few days ago a few marketing authors and influencers were having a Twitter conversation and oh, why would you wanna work with someone that's just in it for the money? Or, it seems so unauthentic and we're beyond that. Influencer marketing for a lot of consumer facing brands is main stream right now, right? So the question is how do you root out fraudulent influencers? How do you find real influencers? How do you connect with communities? How do you give them artistic freedom, what have you? But for B2B it's really about creating programs. It's really about creating long term relationships that aren't one night stands, for lack of a better word.
Jay Baer:It's about campaign, yeah.
Neal Schaffer:Yeah, it's not a campaign. It's about building community and the fact is you have, of the community people that might be interested in your project, you already have your fan base, right? You might be able to target a little bit beyond that with paid ads but there's always this huge subset that will require you partnering with other people in order to gain access to or gain influence with. And that's where the influence is built.
In digital media influencers are the media, or they're part of the media and when you think of it that way you understand why all these companies, a lot of B2B companies are creating titles that say influencer relations, right?
Jay Baer:Yes.
Neal Schaffer:It all makes sense.
Adam:Well that's how we've been doing this show for eight years, right? Because we wanna make sure people know about Salesforce Marketing Cloud and out other sponsors. It all works together.
Neal Schaffer:Absolutely. So yeah, so that's why I'm writing the book and I'm really hoping that it triggers an explosion in every company saying, I don't know how much they invest in it but, it should become a mainstream part of your marketing mix. So we talked about paid, organic influencers should be right up there. And it should be measured like anything else. But I think we're get to that day in the very very near future. Consumer facing brands, start-ups that rely on Instagram marketing got there a lot quicker. Certain industry in consumer facing brands like fashion and what have you have gotten there quicker as well. But I think we're all gonna get there to some extent.
Adam:You may be the most prominent social strategist on the scene who has a degree in Asian studies. I don't have actual math on that but I'm willing to put ii out there as a supposition. You still do a lot of work in Japan, talk about the differences you see in social strategy in Asia versus the strategies that you deploy here in the U.S..
Neal Schaffer:Well Asia is hard to sum up in one word so.
Adam:Obviously that's like saying tell me about social media Mars, so I understand. There's more than one country there and more than one ... But we only have limited time on the podcast so I'm gonna have you do some of it.
Neal Schaffer:Sure. So I speak fluent Japanese and Chinese and this is before social media and whenever you look at these lists of, these random lists of top influencers, what have you, it's like I'm the only gut that speaks Japanese so I gotta take advantage of that fact. Social I continue to invest in the Japanese market, go out there proactively, I do have clients out there, I do speak there. So I can speak to Japan specifically. I think that B2B, social and digital in general is 10 to 15 years behind the United States so this tremendous opportunity there.
Jay Baer:That's a lot of years.
Neal Schaffer:Yeah. It is. B2C is still behind. I think they're approach to social is very much a digital approach, a paid social approach to social. But what was really interesting, I participated in an event lust last week in Tokyo and they came up with this new term that I'm actually writing a blog post on as we speak called Cardeana Demarketing, and it's something that I never really heard of but the thought is that at the end of the day marketers really are ideally are connectors of company and people in the company and resources and products and services to the general community and they have to be the connector to those two ends and therefore the community marketing approach involved some aspect of employee advocacy, some aspect of influencer marketing, some aspect of community management, it was actually really refreshing and I thought it was really really Japanese in the approach.
It is obviously different. The social networks LinkedIn never caught up there so Facebook is used as the LinkedIn. People get very serious on Facebook. We've seen Facebook get old here in the U.S. and get more serious as well but it's taken extremely seriously there. Twitter, I think one out of every eight tweets comes from Japan so it's really popular there as well. And then you have this platform called Line which is like We Chat. Which has 20 times more people on it than Facebook or Twitter.
So it is the Facebook messenger, the What's App, which also is trying to develop more social networking, social media marketing capabilities. So that's sort of the landscape. And what's really interesting, that media consumption in Japan is really really high, people read a lot of books, magazines, read a lot on the internet, do a lot of research so there's great opportunities for content marketing for branded media as well there. I see it as a land of opportunity. With the Tokyo Olympics coming up more and more companies are investing there. So, yeah, it's a great place. And finance your company is not developing ... I know Salesforce is obviously very active there but if you wanna get a piece of the Japanese market a lot of Japanese companies look at companies in the U.S., even in the social tools space and they'll say huh, that's a great idea, we'll develop it here because these four companies will never come to Japan. And I've seen a lot of companies develop, a lot of start-ups lit up a lot of technologies just because there American counterparts never showed up. So definitely go out there and I'd be more than happy to talk with anybody listening to this is they want more advice in the Japanese market.
Jay Baer:That's very kind of you. Speaking of which, that's a good segway, how do people get a hold of you at PDCA?
Neal Schaffer:Well I am Neal Schaffer on every platform so that is really the best way. Even on Snap Chat at N-E-I-L-S-C-H-A-F-F-E-R and is really the best place to find me. My PDCA Social, my job has traditionally been more on the consulting side but it was a Japanese client that wanted me to launch an agency to help them with their North American online marketing. So that's why I launched PDCA Social. So the landing page is there and it's only in Japanese so you can go to, you're not gonna understand-
Jay Baer:Go to to see a Japanese version but probably you should got to, S-C-H-A-F-F-E-R. We'll link it up at, all the show notes and of course it's a good time to remind you ladies and gentlemen that all 340 episodes are available, full transcripts, full audio, full everything at Now Neal,  one of the things I noticed in your bio and we haven't talked about this in the past, is that you are the team manager of a youth soccer organization.
Neal Schaffer:I am the team manager of my son's high school hockey team in my extensive free time.
Jay Baer:So I ask you what lessons have you learned managing a soccer team that you could apply the social media?
Neal Schaffer:You have to be passionate about what you do and if you're not passionate about your job and you're not always trying to do your best and you're not trying to make time, it's never gonna happen. So being a manager of the soccer team actually provides me the discipline that I try to apply to my job. Because if you work in social media you probably have ADHD or you're probably all over the place, right? So discipline's important. But I think the other thing is that, and I guess you can apply this to working if you work with agencies or you have employees or if you work with influencers is really when ... My son I know outs a lot more into his effort because he knows I'm there and he knows I'm the manager. So when you are personally invested in the programs and personally invested in relationships, that makes such a big difference. And that goes back to that talk we had about AI, right? And how it doesn't seem people invested ...
Jay Baer:Yeah I'm not sure that's true for my son who's on the high school hockey but he puts in less effort because I'm there. I don't know maybe I have ...
Neal Schaffer:That's an age thing. My son is only 11 so.
Jay Baer:Yeah, mines almost 18, it's a little different deal. There's a bitter element to that tends to seem in. I love that you talked about social media's strategy is really just a collection of social media experiments. That philosophy is so great. If you had to recommend to listeners, and this an unfair question but it's never stopped me in the past, and I said to you Neal, recommend one experiment to our listeners in social that they probably aren't doing right now, what would you tell them?
Neal Schaffer:I would say, and I know your listeners are obviously very very savvy but if you haven't been experimenting in influence marketing take some of your budget and put it there. If you haven't been tagging and categorizing your content, that's like the number one thing. See businesses that are till randomly posted on social when, categorize it and try a new category of try to shake up that balance and see what happens in terms of impressions, in terms of engagement, what have you. There's a lot of different things you can do and that's why I'll have people say Neal, what's your number one social media strategy tip? It's like it's the application. Every business is different. It's an art.
Jay Baer:Yep.
Neal Schaffer:So it's hard to one universal thing. But content is a huge thing right? Content medium, trying a different medium or a new platform is another thing. A new type of paid ad. Obviously working with influencers or working with new influencers to compare then with your previous influencers.
Jay Baer:Yep.
Neal Schaffer:Employee advocacy program, hey, let's take some invest in our paid ads and I'd say invest it into training our employee advocates or starting a program for social selling.
Jay Baer:That's a good idea.
Neal Schaffer:Yeah. It's all about taking a little bit of money, 5%, 10% of budget from somewhere, put in somewhere else, doing it for a month measuring and going from there.
Jay Baer:Yeah, I love it. Last two questions for you Neal and thanks for on this show. If I asked you to give one tip for somebody who wants to become a social pro, somebody out there who may or may not have a B.A. in Asian studies that wants to be the next Neal Schaffer, what wold you tell them. Wat advice would you give them?
Neal Schaffer:I always say that you need to be able to experiment and build up case studies and build up a track record. And I think once you build up a track record you can take that to any business you wanna go to. The best way to build up a track record is either with your own brand and you start with your brand by blogging, creating content around what you're an expert in or the field that you want to start working in even if you're not an expert in marketing automation, learn about it, read books, read about what companies are doing. Talk about the case studies that have been published, right? Or you work with a non-profit because there are tons of non-profits that would love to have your services and you build track records with ... You become a parallel non-profit social media manager where you work with multiple non-profits, maybe five different non-profits, five days of the week, there's no lack of excuses for not doing either one of those and that's gonna give you the best experience. And you're gonna become more aware of just everything once you have responsibility and you start seeing the results through actions you measure it and you start to tweak things. It gets to be a lot of fun.
Jay Baer:It's super good advice and I bet you a number of our listeners have gone down that road. Have started on their own brand through non=profits or small businesses and then bigger businesses and now they have this track record additional they're working for larger companies. That's really really sound. Neal, last question for you. If you could do a video call with any living person who would it be and why?
Neal Schaffer:Elon Musk, the king of innovation right now. Just the way he thinks is not like an Earthling and the way he tries to solve problems is very unique and refreshing and we need innovators to ... It's funny, I was in Spain for the first time, in Barcelona in June and I went to some of these buildings that Gaudy built a 100 years ago and the technology for a lot of it hasn't changed much. In fact, I think we've sort of gone back int technical evolution in some ways. There's a lot of things about mankind that just haven't advanced much in the last 100 years. Yes, if you work in the internet of course that's all new. But there's still a lot of things that we can be doing. And I think Elon Musk is that big thinker that is trying to take us to new innovation and new advancements for human technology so without a doubt, no questions asked, Elon Musk.
Jay Baer:Probably the most often answered to that question here on this show.
Neal Schaffer:Make it happen Jay.
Jay Baer:Yeah, I should work on it. Well and more to the point even in the social media context, a great example of an executive that uses social media to communicate directly to the media, to shareholders to some degree, to employees and to customers. The same way that some people love some people hate, the same as the President uses Twitter to communicate directly to people, Mr. Musk does the same thing and you just don't see that many executives at that level just saying hey, I'm just gonna Tweet out what I think. So I think that's a pretty great example as well and we have executives say well, I'm not comfortable being on Twitter, I need to have my PR firm write my tweets for me etc cetera. Yeah, well maybe you don't.
Neal Schaffer:Yeah, he might also get his hand slapped or wrist slapped for what he said about taking ...
Jay Baer:For the most decent. Yes that may have been a misstep but yeah, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?
Neal Schaffer:Exactly.
Jay Baer:Neal, thank you so much for bring here. Neal Schaffer ladies and gentlemen, president of PDCA Social, also find him at Look for the new book, "The Business of Influence". All about the impact of influence or marketing especially in B2B, it's gonna be spectacular. And thanks for bring on the show, I appreciate it.
Neal Schaffer:Thank you Jay, appreciate it.
Jay Baer:Ladies and gentlemen that is this week's episode of Social Pros. As mentioned you can find all the show archives, the transcripts, the links, all the stuff at If you like the show make sure you tell one of your friends who works in the biz about Social Pros podcast, Adam and I would sure appreciate that. We'll be back next week with another episode of Social Pros.
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