Why Michael Stelzner Says Less Is Now More in Social Media

Why Michael Stelzner Says Less Is Now More in Social Media

Michael Stelzner, CEO and Founder of Social Media Examiner, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss improving your social media based on meaningful data.

In This Episode:

Michael Stelzner

Social Media Examiner

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Full Episode Details

Meaningful Data versus Surface Metrics

Marketing has always been a game of numbers, but in today’s world, there are more metrics and sources of data than ever before. The struggle now is parsing this deluge to find the truly meaningful data.

It can be easy to feel successful with surface-level metrics, causing you to waste your efforts on content that may be completely missing the mark despite the at-a-glance success. This is exactly why Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner has shifted SME’s efforts from Facebook to YouTube for their longer video content. Despite having great “success” based on their view counts, a deeper look at the meaningful data let him know that very few people were actually consuming the whole of the content.

It’s this honest approach and these hard decisions that can take your business to the next level of success. It’s not worth it to sit back and rest on perceived successes. Take another look, and be sure you are making your decisions based on the most meaningful data!

In This Episode

  • Why 2018 has been a hard year for social media marketing.
  • How to find more meaningful data.
  • Why Facebook is not the place for successful video content.
  • Why an “untrackable network effect” is so valuable.
  • How Messenger may replace email for subscriptions.
  • Why interaction is what counts in social, but many businesses aren’t doing it.
  • Why you should have a “kill list” of things to stop doing.
  • Where social may be heading.

Quotes From This Episode

The metric that matters is whether people actually watch, not the drive-by experience. Click To Tweet

“We’re coming up with very short, snackable, square content because that’s what people consume on Facebook.” — @Mike_Stelzner

“It becomes problematic to have a strategy that hinges very heavily on your tribe creating content for you if that content is restricted from being seen by their tribes.” — @Mike_Stelzner

Resources

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Influencer Marketing Mistakes Great Brands Don't Make

Influencer marketing is all the rage, but it’s also VERY EASY to botch the job. Based on our many B2B and B2C influencer campaigns, this tight eBook will save you from sadness.

Episode Transcript

Jay Baer: Welcome everybody to another episode of Social Pros, the podcast for real people doing real work in social media. I am as always Jay Baer from Convince & Convert, joined by my special Texas friend, the executive strategist from Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Mr. Adam Brown. Adam Brown: It's great to have a show Jay where we have statesmen, states people like Mike Stelzner on the show. Anybody who's in social media knows Social Media Examiner, they know or have attended Social Media Marketing World. The man has been doing this and has been a pioneer and leader in our industry since 2009. It was great to hear his insights, and very timely insights. Literally, what's happened here in 2018 in our space and how he's looking at it maybe a little bit differently. Jay Baer: Yeah, what I love about Mike is despite the fact that he has a role as one of the sort of main tent pole content creators in the social media space, he's no cheerleader. This is an episode that's going to put a little wet blanket on some people's thoughts and plans for what they're doing in social. We pull no punches and give no quarter on this episode of Social Pros. You know, the tagline for the show has always been the show for real people doing real work in social media. And this episode, that is as true as it's ever been. Tune in for an unbelievable Social Pros in the next 15 minutes or so. You'll love it. Hey friends, Francis Jay Baer and welcome to the Social Pros podcast. Want to just take a moment to acknowledge this week's sponsors, our good friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, they have a fantastic ebook that I'd love for you to download. It's called The Complete Guide to Social Media for B2B Marketers. All kinds of useful info for folks trying to do social in B2B. Take a look, it's really, really good. Grab it at bitly/socialb2b guide, that's bit.ly/socialb2bguide. That's all one word and all lower case. Also, this week, the show is brought to you by our pals at ICUC. We all feel like we need a more data driven approach to developing social strategy, we talk about it here on the show all the time. But even if you've got some data to build your strategy upon, you probably need a little more to feel more confident and more informed. So, ICUC can help you make data driven decisions to apply to your 2019 marketing strategy and beyond. They can help you develop really interesting reports using social media strategic insights that give you deep understanding of your audience, your market, your competitors, to empower you and your brand to develop a better marketing strategy to target, reach and engage and retain your customers. Go to icuc.social/plan2019. That's icuc.social/plan2019. Really interesting offering from our friends at ICUC. Without further ado, let's get on to this week's Social Pros Podcast. Here we are once again on Social Pros with one of our very, very few repeat guests on this show. This is we believe his third time, I have to check the official database to confirm that but it's at least three, the one, the only, the man, the myth, the legend Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing World. Welcome back to the show. Mike Stelzner: Thank you, Jay. It's a great pleasure to be here. Jay Baer: We are delighted to have you back here. There's so many things we can talk about with you, which is why it's so fun to have you here. But I just yesterday, just yesterday, you wrote on Facebook like a big black post. And it said it's a difficult time to be a marketer because the things that used to work don't work anymore. I maybe paraphrasing slightly. What did you mean by that because I felt like a little said? Mike Stelzner: Well, I actually said I'm not going to lie. It's a hard time to be a marketer because the things that used to work don't work anymore. Jay Baer: But you're going to lie on this show, just not on Facebook. Mike Stelzner: Or I said I'm not going to lie is what I said. Let's be honest, I'm speaking from the context of social media marketing. 2018 has probably been the hardest year in the history of social media for social media marketing. One of the obvious things is the Facebook apocalypse that happened back in February where Facebook pretty much said we don't care about your posts, we care about human interaction and essentially said, everyone exit left who is a publisher or who has any content to share and content died a slow and miserable death. There's that. And then of course, there is the exit of perhaps the biggest acquisitions that they've made in history of the company, the WhatsApp founder, the Instagram founders, and also the Oculus Rift, all within a very short period of time. Jay Baer: Makes you wonder, doesn't it? Mike Stelzner: It make you wonder, doesn't it? And then of course you add in there all the public sentiment against Facebook, Google Plus shut down this year. Of course, we knew that was dead a long time ago. But Facebook advertising is getting more expensive. It's far more competitive. Email deliverability is not what it used to be because of algorithms that are designed to stop those messages from coming through. So the reality is that us who are marketers have been around for a while and I've been doing this since 1996 so I'm one of the gray hairs, this is a very, very opportunistic time but also very, very challenging time because the things that used to work do not work anymore and the things that even used to work like a few months ago don't work as well anymore. And of course, that's what I was saying. Is that it's frustrating to be a marketer right now because everything that we knew is no longer true. Jay Baer: Let's talk about that specifically. One of the things that you announced recently as well was that you are moving your series of video programs that you produce at a Social Media Examiner from Facebook to YouTube, and there's been much kerfuffling about that in the industry. People are shocked because you've always been so successful and effective at Facebook. And so for you to say we're pulling up stakes and packing up the tent and going to Wally world and going to run this sucker on YouTube, I think threw people for a loop a little bit. So let's talk, if you will, about why you made that decision and what you hope to gain on YouTube that you no longer had on Facebook. Mike Stelzner: Let me clarify what we did. We canceled outright two shows, which were 40 minute shows that we were doing every week for a long time. One of them was a tool show and the other one was ask me anything kind of thing where we would bring on an expert. And the third show that we decided to remove off of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest and exclusively put on YouTube. What it really comes down to is I'd just gotten back from a conference that was all focused on video. What had been grinded into my head is that what matters most is retention, especially if you're doing an episodic show like we are called The Journey. We want people to get through the content in order to be able to get to know the characters and understand what's going on. The reality is that there's only two platforms on the planet that provide retention metrics, Facebook and YouTube. LinkedIn doesn't provide you any metrics other than views. Twitter provides you that I'm aware of no other metrics. And Pinterest doesn't provide you any metrics at all. So, Facebook has decided to basically show our videos as we're going through the stream. And I use the analogy that being on Facebook is like driving down the highway and watching a show that's on a billboard as you're going by. Because when was the last time anyone who's listening right now spent more than five minutes watching any show of any kind on Facebook. It's not how people use Facebook. And the reality is, if you look at any retention graph of any video, and that includes after a live video turns into a regular video, you will see a cliff that is steeper than El Capitan. It goes literally to zero in almost the first couple of seconds. And then they're gone. So what we're doing, Jay and Adam is we're putting our faith in false metrics. We're saying that we're doing this because of the views, we're doing this because people are there. And I'm here to say no, the metric that matters is whether people actually watch, not the drive by experience. We're not in this just to create branding. If that was the case, we would put a graphic up there. That's why I did it. Jay Baer: Are you using this, Mike, as an opportunity, as you move these shows from Facebook to YouTube to retool the actual creative content itself? Are you making any adjustments to the content because of all these things that we're talking about on the transitions? Mike Stelzner: Yes. So this is a wonderful idea. Wonderful concept I want to explore. So many people believe that, well, if it was engaging, people would watch it, right? So I just want to address this for a second. So this exact same content that I publish on YouTube and Facebook, on YouTube, I have like 60% of the people getting through the entire content. On Facebook, I have literally one to three percent of the people that click to play, and of that, at best case, 22% gets to the one minute mark. So on 5000 people watching the video, 30 we'll get to the one minute mark. So I'm not retooling the content because the same people are watching on YouTube. But what I am doing is, now that we've canceled all these shows Adam is we are zooming in on a new kind of content. So there is a place for video on YouTube and it's short video. It's 120 seconds or less. So what we did end up doing was we just after we made this announcement last week, the day afterwards, we created a 60 second trailer for our show. And that retention graph was crazy good. But nobody was clicking over to YouTube. Then what we did was we created a 60 second tool tip show, and that retention graph was off the charts and we're getting like 17,000 views on that thing. So, what we're doing is we're coming up with very short, very snackable square content because that's what we know people consume on Facebook. Jay Baer: So this sounds like it's the opposite of, at least from doing this from the late 90s, I've always talked about the fish where the fish are. We look where our audience is and we're gonna put the content there. But it sounds like in this case, for the video content that you're talking about, it's not where the fish are because yes, they may be there, they may be on Facebook but they are not predisposed to watch this type of content. Ergo, I'm going to put the content on YouTube but then what do you do on Facebook? Mike Stelzner: I dug a canal and I told the fish to go down the canal. I mean, literary, okay? So, what I ended up doing, just so you guys understand, first of all, I created the video, I'm very strategic. Jay knows this about me, there's always more than meets the eye with me. So what I did was I made the announcement and people went nuts over it. Then what I did is I did a half an hour discussion on my talk show. And then of course, I did a podcast on it. And then I emailed 500,000 people, and then I ended up, we have a half a million fans on Facebook. So I just used every owned media channel that we have, including our blog to let everyone know this decision that I was making and embedded in that valuable content was in by the way, if you want to watch this, go over here and watch it. So only about 1000 people so far have filtered over. But I'm training them how to use this new platform because they don't use YouTube. I'm telling them to not just subscribe but click on the bell so that they'll get notifications because we know they don't live on it. So I'm teaching the fish to route in a different way because I don't want like, I have 533,000 people. I just want 1000 of them to watch this video to the end. If I can get 1000 of them to watch this video on the end regardless of the platform, then I will be happy. But I know that the best platform for watching video is not Facebook. That's why I'm routing them over to YouTube. Jay Baer: You have, as you mentioned, a very large tribe, certainly from SME and also from the conference. How important is it for those people to be creating content that benefits you? How important is user generated content or UGC to the present or future success of your operation? Because that's the argument, that if Facebook and to some degree Twitter, and frankly, I think eventually LinkedIn say, look, we're going to under-prioritize brand content in the algorithm, we're going to over-prioritize content from real people, then if you can turn those real people into advocates, then maybe you got something. Mike Stelzner: Well, if you asked me a year ago, I would say this is very important. But today, I would say it's not because we're fighting against algorithms, Jay. So the old me would say, enable people to share your content because that's the key to everything, right? So that's where the social share is embedded in our blog, which gets over a million people a month. And all that stuff was very, very important. But the reality is that that content is being prohibited from being seen by the communities on the social networks across every single social network. So, it does become problematic to have a strategy that hinges very heavily on your tribe creating content for you if that content is restricted from being seen by their tribes. Do you understand what I'm saying? Jay Baer: Absolutely. Mike Stelzner: So it's no longer- Jay Baer: A share doesn't equal a view. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, exactly. And it doesn't even equal anything depending on who's talking about it. So instead, what we're trying to do is we're trying to get our tribe to start thinking about bigger issues and not necessarily talking about us but we're the spawn of the idea. So what I've done this because I've gotten my tribe to think twice about whether they want to do any long form video content on Facebook. I don't care if they don't mention my name at all. But I know that if they end up changing, I will be the one that they will credit it to. And that will have an untrackable network effect, which is one to one. Private messaging, small communications in groups, look what Stelzner's doing, look what Social Media Examiner is doing, I'm going to pay attention to these guys. So I look at it a little differently than most do. Jay Baer: Because of that, the nature of social share is not necessarily then getting downstream attention in the way that they used to. Have you seen on your very popular blog fewer visits from social? Like are your social referrals down- Mike Stelzner: Absolutely. Jay Baer: Mine are too. And we've been trying to crack that code as well. I don't know that it's crackable. Mike Stelzner: It's not unless you're willing to spend a lot of money. Jay Baer: And it's hard to do that, right? It's actually easier for me to do a thing before you because at least we have a consulting back end that we can theoretically monetize it with. You've got ticket sales from the conference and obviously, you're selling ads on your site the same way we're selling ads on our site. But to be buying ads and social media to get somebody to your site that you then monetize with ads, that actually doesn't pencil out. Mike Stelzner: We stopped posting links to our site almost a year ago on Facebook. We'll put one out there every once in a while if we know it's a winner but we know won't go very far. Instead, we're in the business of creating content on the platforms where our tribes are and knowing full well that that content will not necessarily result in traffic to our website, but it will at least allow us to be top of mind and conversations in the minds of others. Jay Baer: That being the case then, you obviously still put a lot of time and effort into your blog. It's an amazing resource. Have you changed the content strategy there? Are you saying, hey, we have to write about different things or in different ways? Mike Stelzner: Well, first of all, we're constantly, we're very research based, as you know, so we always write about whatever the hottest, latest, greatest thing is when it comes to our industry. But we track everything across every conceivable medium you can imagine. Like I'll get a podcast guest on a new thing like bots, and we'll see whether or not it resonates with the audience. And then we might do some more articles with bots and then this with bots and that with bots. The reality is that search is still the big source of traffic to our website. Email is still a rather large source. I just killed 150,000 emails off my list literally this week in order to increase deliverability. Jay Baer: Because they weren't opening? Mike Stelzner: They were not opening, yeah, so I killed them, 150,000. Jay Baer: On top of Salesforce guy. Mike Stelzner: Yeah. We're down to 340,000 from almost 500,000. And we were at 675 last year at this time. Because it sends signals, everything is signals. But we are getting into bots. So getting into bots, once we roll out our new brand new website design which should be in the next 30 days, we're going to integrate, instead of email acquisition as the first choice to get on our newsletter, it's going to start with a bot. So it'll start with a messenger acquisition and then the moment that happens, we will collect the email address. And the hope is to actually allow people highly customized deliverability of content through messenger based on their interests. Jay Baer: We actually do that for Social Pros for this show. Mike Stelzner: That doesn't work for you? Jay Baer: You know, it's interesting. I think it's like anything else that's still relatively new that people who want content in that format love it. That's at this point still a minority of people. Like if you go to socialpros.you'll get a motto that says do you want to be notified when new episodes launch via messenger etc, etc? And we may be able to do it a little bit better than we are. We have thousands of people who subscribe. Mike Stelzner: We get at best case 800 new email subscribers every day. So, we know people want what we have to offer but we think we could get a lot more if we offered it through messenger. Jay Baer: Yeah, because it's a subscription. It doesn't have to be an email subscription, it's just- Mike Stelzner: I want to be notified when there's articles on Facebook ads for example. Jay Baer: Yeah, somebody could knock on your front door and say, hey, there's a new article, we don't care. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, exactly. And what's good about that is it's very within Facebook's Terms of Service because it's not marketing at all, it's pure editorial content. So that's our current strategy, the next level strategy. And we'll see if it works, if it doesn't, we won't do it any longer. But that's my attempt. I believe strongly that as a delivery vehicle, messenger is going to be the next potential replacement for email because the reality is deliverability rates are high, you know, you've had guests on your show talk about that. Adam Brown: I agree with with I think where messenger is going and the power of it. I think I know the answer this question but I'm going to go ahead, Mike, and ask it to you. How do we ensure that we don't do the same thing with messenger and make the same mistakes that we've made with email and also other push notifications that we over-push, over-notify, a la kind of push spam the same types of things? I think you've answered it in a way by getting very prescriptive, very focused. Jay, you talked about it too, not sending everything out to these people, but very precise things that are of interest to them and them alone. Mike, is that the way to go? Are there any other kind of pitfalls that we need to be careful of as we go through this evolution with new push and chat bot and messenger? Mike Stelzner: Well, on my social media marketing podcast, I've probably done eight different interviews with different people on bots. So this is mostly just what I've gathered from these interviews with them. The notifications through messenger can come in many different ways. They can come with the sound like a text message, they can come without a sound. They can also come as just a little number notification in the messenger app. They can just come without even a number notification but just like an inbox kind of a situation. So I think it's a question of, it's a question of being careful about sending the message in a way that doesn't anger people because it is a very personable thing. But in the end, you got to provide value. And everybody right now out there who's talking about bots is talking about using them for sales and marketing. And I've actually restricted my sales and marketing team from using it. It's purely going to be editorial. So my hope is that if it's truly utilitarian in value, then maybe people will use it. But we're going to build the structure in such a way that we could eventually layer marketing level stuff on top of it down the road. Adam Brown: I mean, that's the way I at least I look at it personally. I know that's the marketer's fallacy for me to assume that people are just like me. But if I've got 10 minutes or so to focus on this type of content, show me one place where I can go and kind of pick and choose from that curated, tailored type of content. One question kind of around this, Mike, and I want to hand it back to Jay. I think you sit in such an interesting position with Social Media Examiner and Social Media Marketing World of seeing all these new ideas. And in a way, your conferences, your blog, are ground zero for a lot of new ideas in and around how social media practitioners are doing their craft. What does that incubation look like when you see a new idea coming up? Is it coming up from an individual? Do people watch one brand and go, oh my gosh, I need to do that, dunk in the dark with Oreo cookie. Yeah, I need to kind of do that and they go off and do those types of things. Where do ideas kind of come from and from where you sit, where do they evolve? Mike Stelzner: We only cover really the major social platforms, you know, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, dot, dot, dot. So, the way we discover stuff that's new is the social platforms pretty much tell us or disclose it or there's news releases. And then our news team kicks in and they try to get their mind around what it means. We bring on external experts like Jay and others the world to commentate on what they believe this could mean. We let them essentially tell us what it means in the same way if you were to watch CNN or Fox News. You know what I mean? We let them tell us what's important. And then what we do is we see how our tribe reacts to it. And then, of course, there's a certain sense from my perspective, I can tell when something big is coming down the pipeline. And at that point, I would commission my editorial team, just get a writer on this and write an article. Or I might decide to get a guest on my podcast to talk about it. So those are all the ways that we do it. The more we start talking about it, the more we work it out, and we try to figure where it is in the hype cycle. Like artificial intelligence right now and augmented reality are very much on the hype cycle and have really no easy relevance today to marketers. There are a far other things like bots, which are really here and ready to roll and that's when we try to focus on the stuff that is practical applications for today. Jay Baer: Yeah, things that are in the field today as opposed to what's going to happen down the road. I think is one of the differences in terms of what you guys write about versus what we write about. We try and take a little farther look out because it's sort of the corporate audience that we appeal to. Mike Stelzner: You're working on strategy, right? And we're really- Jay Baer: Yeah, we don't do tactics, like we just don't. It's not our thing. You're too good at it. No point me doing it. You've been doing this a really long time now. When did you start SME? Mike Stelzner: 2009. Jay Baer: 2009. So yeah, almost 10 years. Congratulations. Mike Stelzner: Just had our nine year anniversary, thank you. Jay Baer: Congratulations. If you had to start today, so many things have changed, like when you started is not long after I started and it was like have a blog is the thing to do and we did. And then have a podcast and we did, and have a video show and we did. If you had to start today, you were like, all right, none of this exists, what would you do? Okay, I'm going to go start a media company that chronicles social media. What would you actually make? Mike Stelzner: I would first of all, ask myself, what is my strength? Am I more of someone who can talk, someone who's good on video or someone who's a writer. But I would still go back to the core of content. I would probably fall back to doing video interviews. This is where I started, Jay, in the beginning. I brought a camera crew with me and blog world and I just started interviewing people. I met you at that marketing process event where you were in a lab coat. Jay Baer: It's amazing how many people remember the lab coat. That's like a signature ... Mike Stelzner: That was 2009 by the way. Jay Baer: I know. I actually had the, I had the swine flu as it turns out during that event. I didn't know at the time. Mike Stelzner: Oh, yeah. Oh, you didn't know, that's all good. So I turned out okay. So today, I would still do a podcast believe or not, because even though the medium is growing very, very slowly, it's the one place where I can capture the listening audience the longest. Jay Baer: You talk about one minute videos on Facebook. We are doing a 45 minute conversation. Mike Stelzner: Exactly. Because people are listening to us while they're mowing their lawn, while they're on a boat, on a horse, I mean, whatever. You know what I mean? Jay Baer: On a horse. If you're on a horse right now listening to this conversation. I would love for you to email me jay@jaybaer.com. I'm just going to do a quick poll here because Mike feels like there's a lot [crosstalk 00:24:06]. Okay. Adam Brown: I want to see a selfie. Mike Stelzner: I had a Canadian [inaudible 00:24:13] do a selfie on a horse. I had someone on a cruise ship. I mean, it's crazy. You just never know. Jay Baer: On one of those scooters. I'm sure you guys have them in San Diego now. All the motorized scooters now. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, we got them. Jay Baer: I'm sure you guys have in Austin too. And it's like, it's a little crazy. Mike Stelzner: So that's what I would do. I would do some sort of interview. I would tap the knowledge of others, which is what I've always done and I feel like it's highly scalable, it's a win, win, win for everyone. Jay Baer: What's funny about that though is you're always a person who says well let me bring in the external expert, let me interview somebody else, let me create a conference where other people get to talk. But now, you're the expert, right? You're always listed as one of the top influencers in social media and you've built this incredibly successful organization. And I know that's not why you started out doing this. You've never been one to sort of say, hey, look at me and it's all about me and I'm the one in the limelight. But now you are, whether you like it or not. How does that change the way you think about social media and what your sort of role or responsibility is in this community? Because now, you're not the guy behind the scenes. You are that guy. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, I mean, I kind of had to do it unfortunately because I know that people do business with people they know like, and trust and I'm a strong advocate for brands allowing someone at the executive level to come out from behind the office curtain and get to know the audience. I'm still deferring to experts. Like I have my opinions, which I occasionally voice. But the reality is that I'm not a consultant. I don't do this for a living as far as other than marketing my own conference. So people can look at me as an expert and I appreciate that. But the reality is, I'm just a guy trying to help this industry figure it out. I think that's what resonates with people is that I'm not trying to be something more than what I really am. Adam Brown: Whether you like it or not, you are an expert on this. I think you have this key and ability to kind of look beyond just the first horizon and the first mountain top to see kind of what's coming. And in a way, you almost have to do that. I can imagine that planning Social Media Marketing World is a lot like painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Once you get done on one end and close one, you got start planning the other, which means, in internet years, you've got to start thinking about who we're going to have keynote next year, not even knowing where the platforms or channels are going. Just like you opened up this show with what happened with Facebook and what's happening over there with Instagram and the Oculus and the WhatsApp leaders. We would never have predicted that even a month and a half ago. How do you keep your finger on the pulse? You're surrounded by some of the smartest people, you're surrounded by bringing in these experts and journalists and creative people. But, what do you read? What do you use every morning to keep you up to speed other than of course, Social Media Examiner? Mike Stelzner: Well, I'm a big fan of the Google app on my iOS because it knows what I search for and it shows me news that I think is relevant. I also love the Apple news app, which if anybody has updated their Max, it's not built into the computer, it pops up news alerts, which is kind of cool. There's just too much going on. So I do heavily rely on, I listen to podcasts, 20 of them a week including you guys' podcast. So I'll pick up little patterns that I hear across all these little things. Like I picked up plenty from the interviews that you guys have done with plenty of your guests in the past and they just kind of sit somewhere in the recesses of my mind. I know what the challenges of our industry is because we have a professional organization and we have a private group called the Social Media Marketing Society and people talk about their challenges. So I kind of have a sense of what marketers are struggling with. And then when I see kind of stuff come up or people talk about things, I get them on my show and talk it out. It's just kind of a crazy, I don't even know how to describe it, thing. But it's kind of how my brain is wired. I just kind of always I'm looking far enough into the future but not too far. I'm never looking more than about maybe six months out believe it or not. I don't even make decisions on keynotes- Jay Baer: Given what you cover, I mean, it's tricky. Mike Stelzner: Jay knows this, I don't even make keynote decisions until 60 days out. In particular I recruit- Adam Brown: For that purpose, yeah. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, because it's just too crazy. I didn't even know what I was going to be keynoting on until February 11th when Mark Zuckerberg changed that all. Jay Baer: Got to rewrite it. Because you've got access to all these practitioners who are in the private group, who are leaving comments on the blog, who are interacting with you in social but perhaps less so now than in the past. Is it ever frustrating for you where you're looking at conversations of people in your tribe, you're like this is just wrong, like person is saying something that is factually incorrect or potentially leading other members of the group sort of down an alley. Mike Stelzner: It drives me nuts. Jay Baer: What do you do? Do you have a responsibility to say, hey, you're wrong? Mike Stelzner: They don't tend to say things that are wrong. When they're on my show or they're teaching in front of my tribe, that's not usually where I see it happening. I see it happening when they make proclamations on social. In the same way- Jay Baer: Everything is dead. You see that about every day. Mike Stelzner: Just like people, let's be honest, if you have all your eggs in the Facebook basket, you're not going to like what I said last week about me abandoning Facebook video and that long form Facebook video is essentially done. I've been getting a lot of heat from that from people who have a vested interest in Facebook. Jay Baer: How do you think the guys wrote books about Google Plus feel? Mike Stelzner: Yeah, exactly. I tried to tell them look, you know what, I'm very analytical. I would challenge you to look at the data. And this is a decision that I made for myself, not for you, and it's not for everyone. But I do create a little ripple sometimes when I make these statements but I've got access to a lot of information that most people don't and I've got access to people that have access to people inside of all these social platforms and they tell me things off the record that I cannot comment on publicly. So I know things. And the reality is that most people don't look at data. They look at the wrong metrics and they make proclamations without a lot of insights at all. And oftentimes, they turn out to be pretty dead wrong. And when I'm wrong, I change. Because I was all in on Facebook video, you know this, Jay. Jay Baer: You were all in. Mike Stelzner: And now I'm not. So you know, my belief is when the facts change, we got to change and I think that's the correct and responsible thing to do. Adam Brown: And Mike, is that one mistake that we continue to kind of make as social media practitioners that we don't use the data that? The data is all there on what's working and what's not, and how we remark it, and I kind of find us falling into the same type of trap every maybe a year and a half to two years. How do we prevent that? And I'm curious, when you talk to your members, what struggles are they having? Are the struggles that they don't have access to the data or they can't understand the data or they're just not wired to kind of see how all this comes together? Mike Stelzner: I've got a decent size marketing team and it even happens inside of my company. The reality is that you have marketers who are creative people and then you have marketers that are analytical people. Adam Brown: Right brain, left brain. Mike Stelzner: Many people are the ones that are out there creating all this content and from their perspective, it seems to be working because it's got a lot of thumbs up or likes or shares or comments. But what they don't really understand is the deeper why behind it or whether or not it's actually serving a purpose for the business. So, that's where the analytical side of the house, you know, which is me in this case, has to come in and say, whoa, let's step back for a second. Maybe we ought to stop doing this, this and this so that we can reallocate resources to doing new things that we've never done before. So I think that's the challenge is that it depends on the mindset of the person who's managing social media. Adam Brown: Is the solution getting those right brain and the left brain folks to kind of work together? Last week we had Robert Glazer, CEO of Acceleration Partners on the show talking about affiliate marketing. One of the things I love about affiliate marketing is that you immediately know whether it's working or not. I mean, it's not based upon likes or engages or how many seconds. It's based on how many people clicked and bought something. How do we wrestle with measurement in 2018 where we can't even trust the data that we're getting from some of the channels. Mike Stelzner: This is the biggest challenge. I've been measuring this since 2009. I've come out, I feel like it's nine or 10 years in a row with my social media marketing industry report. And measuring and proving it works has been the number one challenge marketers have faced and they still have not resolved it. And I'm here to say, look, engagement matters, okay? I am not going to stand here and say that having meaningful conversations with people on social is not useful. But I'm also going to say it does not scale either, right? So you have to be careful, right? Like Zuckerberg told us flat out that's what matters most on Facebook. So if you are having meaningful conversations with people, then that's smart and that's wise. But the reality is that most marketers are not having any conversations with anyone anymore on Social. They're broadcasting. The social networks have been telling us over and over again, stop broadcasting, start interacting. Problem is, interaction doesn't scale. I don't know. Jay, what do you think about this? Jay Baer: I agree. I feel like at some level, everybody knows what actually works but they still don't do it because what actually works takes a whole bunch of time and money and bodies and people. Look back when we all started, right? Twitter was a different place. Twitter was all about engagement and now it's not. I'm as guilty of it as anybody if not more so. I'm not in there answering questions and mixing up with people on Twitter, not nearly like we used to. And some of it's just time but, you know, it just is. And so, I think you're you're exactly right. I also feel like that's why in some cases, smaller businesses have an advantage over bigger brands now because it's easier for them to engage at the scale that they need to engage in. You look at brands that we have on this show a lot, big companies. They'll get 100,000 social mentions in a month. Man, it is tough to interact at that scale, right? But if you're a brand that's getting 500 a month, well, yeah, okay, maybe you can make that happen. And so, I'm not sure what the answer is. I know what I think big brands will try using technology from people like Salesforce and Oracle and Adobe and IBM. They're going to try to do engagement at scale with AI, with machine learning, with bots, right? You're going to have your Twitter bot which is not going to necessarily be used for Russian election- Mike Stelzner: No, that gets challenging now because California passed a law that said [inaudible 00:34:40] bot. So guess what, everyone in America will have to disclose it's a bot and that's just going to, marketers- Jay Baer: Hashtag bot baby. Mike Stelzner: Small is the new big is what I've been preaching. I think we need to get back to the basics. You know what I mean? And I think it comes down to human to human. It's not going to be easy but that's okay because this is what got us here. You know what I mean? one person at a time. Jay Baer: Yeah, until you got to pay all your bills. That's the challenge. Mike Stelzner: But you know what, I mean, let's be honest. I would rather have 1000 fanatical fans than half a million who don't read any of my stuff. Jay Baer: It's true. Mike Stelzner: That's kind of where I'm at, you know what I mean? And reality is, you can change the world and accomplish amazing business results if you get back to basics. Jay Baer: That's why we never changed the show, or at least we haven't so far. It's like, this show is a popular show by any measure, but is not a giant show because it's so focused. It's focused on a particular type of listener, particular type of topic. I think that's good for the show and good for the listeners. Mike Stelzner: That's right. Don't get too caught up in the numbers because they're deceiving. Jay Baer: Yeah, it is. Adam Brown: If we can agree that this challenge of us broadcasting on social media, rather narrow casting or one on one genuine engagements is the biggest mistake that almost all of us are making in the social media space, what's the second biggest mistake that we are all making here? From where you sit, talking to hundreds if not thousands of the smartest social media practitioners- Jay Baer: Let's keep doing this the whole show. What's the 17th. Mike Stelzner: The second biggest mistake is that people are not coming up with a stopping list, Adam. And I'm telling you right now, everyone is listening right now needs to get out a pen and paper and come up with a stopping list because if you don't stop doing certain things, you will never be able to do all the amazing things you hear on Jay and Adam's show. Jay Baer: You just end up being mediocre at everything. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, exactly. Jay Baer: That's what I really admire about you. You are, I don't want to say singularly, but more than anybody I know, you are unafraid to kill your own good ideas. And I've really taken a lot of inspiration from that in my career. That's one of the things I really, really watch you do, and I think it's such a good habit to get into. It's like, don't fall in love with your ideas, fall in love with the results. And if the idea no longer produces the results, well then, you owe it to yourself and to your own team and to your family to be like, this doesn't work anymore so let's stop doing it. Because otherwise you're just wasting time and you only have so much of it. Mike Stelzner: And just imagine all those amazing ideas that will never be born because you do not give them the opportunity, you do not give them the room to grow because you are so convinced you have to continue doing because that's what you've always done. Jay Baer: What's the hardest one you killed, My Kids Adventures? Mike Stelzner: That was a tough one, probably one of the biggest ones because that was a very, very, very big adventure. But man, I kill stuff every year, Jay. You know I killed all of our summits. Do you remember we used to have the Social Media Success Summit? I mean, gosh, I look back at all the things that I've stopped and then I look at all the things I'm doing now that I could just never do if I didn't stop those things. I see all those prior things as like stepping stones to where I am right now. Jay Baer: I'm just curious, how do you measure against that? Do you say, is it just instinctive or intuitive or do you actually track time against it or say we can do this many big initiatives and this many small initiatives. When you're saying come up with a kill list, is it actually, all right, there's 10 things in this box and you can't go to 11. Like, how do you actually put? Mike Stelzner: Well, actually, the way I the way I do it is I just say to myself, why are we doing this and if anybody says it's because it's how it's always been done- Jay Baer: Then you have your answer. Mike Stelzner: I immediately kill it, okay. I don't even care, I just get rid of it. And it's more for the birthing of new ideas. It's not like I have an idea that's waiting to be birthed. It's more just giving mind space for the new idea. Jay Baer: Give it real estate to occur. Sure. Mike Stelzner: Exactly. So, and I don't measure it other than I just know it works, it's been working for me for decades, you know. Jay Baer: I already have the headline for this episode, why less is more in social media, starring Mike Stelzner. Mike Stelzner: I like that. Adam Brown: I like that too. Jay Baer: I'm only good at one thing which is writing headlines and book titles. That's really all I'm ... Everything else is- Mike Stelzner: You're a little better than just- Jay Baer: Everything else is just window dressing. [crosstalk 00:38:44]. When are you writing a new book? Mike Stelzner: I've got two under my belt and I've got plenty of book ideas, but right now, I've got too many other- Jay Baer: You've got to kill more projects first, apparently. Mike Stelzner: I got too many other adventures that I'm thinking about starting that are just not, that are more important than a book and I can't quite get to the place to even start those things. So the book is, next book is nowhere on the horizon. Adam Brown: Do you think if we were sitting here in five years doing episode, what would this be, Jay, it would be in the 900s at that point, right? Jay Baer: Five years would be another 250. 600s. Adam Brown: Okay, 600s. Are social media practitioners going to still be its own discipline? So much of what we've been doing, if you look at the history and you, I mean, nine years of doing this, we've gone from generalist, kind of having social media chops and now actually having people who do social media each and every day as the main part of their job. Are we transitioning to that becoming even more of a discipline, even more focused, even more kind of org chart little lines off the main social media department or are we going to go back to all communicators, content creators, marketing communications experts just having a really good social chops? Mike Stelzner: Here's the thing, when I started Social Media Examiner, I honestly thought social media was going to be a three year deal. And I thought I was just going to, it was going to be an experiment. So clearly, I was off. And if I make another prediction, I'm going to be way off. But here's what I will tell you, in five years, there will be two major social platforms that we've never heard of. One of them will probably be owned by Microsoft and the other one will probably be owned by Amazon or some other multi billion dollar company. We're in a massive disruption right now. This is the prime time, 2018/2018. Even someone listening to this podcast might be the founder of that thing. But I believe that social will never go away. I think the way it works will change because it has changed so much in the last nine years. I don't think we can envision what's coming. I honestly don't. But I think that AI and bots will end up, and privacy, and everything else, will lead to a new era of social. And there'll be a brand new birthing of true communities and interactions that are at levels we just cannot fathom. And I just don't know what that's going to be but I don't think it'll ever go away because when was the last time humans stop being social? I don't think they ever did. We might call it something else but that's my take on it. Adam Brown: And when you mentioned that Amazon might be one of the owners of this whatever it happens to be, that's a mind blower and we could probably go down that tunnel for another 30 minutes, but is it because you see it being more transactional, that it's going to be social interaction or just because Amazon with AWS and everything else that Amazon is doing, it's less about actually the drone coming and dropping off your Colgate and your toothpaste. Mike Stelzner: It's actually neither of those Adam. It's actually because they're the only ones that could probably pull it off because of the funding that would be required. I am a strong believer that it's going to take a multi billion dollar company to come out with the next Facebook but it will probably happen through an acquisition. But it's just not going to be easy. And therefore, that's why I say, I'm sure in a ballroom somewhere or in a private office somewhere, executives at Microsoft and Amazon and maybe Apple are all having these dialogues and trying to say, okay, this is our chance. When are we going to launch this thing? I mean, gosh, I listen to Business Wars. I don't know if you guys ever listen to that show, it's fascinating. Jay Baer: Yeah, great show. Adam Brown: It's a good show. Mike Stelzner: They talk about how the video game industry was disrupted by Microsoft when they came out with Xbox. So Microsoft has got to be sitting here on the sidelines saying, we're ready, let's do this. We own LinkedIn, we own Skype, we have all this technology, we're prime and ready to be able to launch something new. So I don't know. My prediction is in the next 18 months, we'll see something big from one of these two players. Jay Baer: Unrelated front, do you feel like in that period of time that Twitter will remain an independent company or do you think they're finally going to get bought? Mike Stelzner: Nobody seems to ever want to buy Twitter, do they? Jay Baer: Including Adam's company. Had the chance. Mike Stelzner: Honestly, I think that someone will probably say we could just recreate this darn thing in the same way Instagram chose, when Snapchat said no, to go ahead and crush them. So I don't think that their IP is so unique that they couldn't be outdone. So no, I don't think they will be bought. Adam Brown: One quick follow up to that specifically on Twitter. I mean, the analogy that everybody uses right now is that Twitter is going to become the 1-800 number, that it's just going to be the ubiquitous place you go for customer service. Is there any validity to that and can Twitter survive just doing that one thing? Mike Stelzner: Well, they posted positive earnings recently. Adam Brown: Lost 10 million users but positive on the earnings. Mike Stelzner: On what matters most. So, the question is, I'm not sure. I think it depends on the next generation, if these young kids who are 15 to 21 years old decide not to use Twitter, then it's going to be something different. They're going to be the generation that's going to determine whether or not Twitter becomes the place where- Jay Baer: I used to think that that was true Adam, I even talked about in Hug Your Haters. But increasingly, I feel like live chat/messenger/WhatsApp can take over that customer service role and may in fact. I mean, I look at companies like Intercom and Podium and folks like that, I'm really bullish on that idea. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, so, I mean, the moral of story is it doesn't, I think we're going to get to a point where nobody is going to care what the medium is as long as they can go to the website. Because in the past, we would have to go to the social platform to do it, right? Wouldn't it be awesome if we businesses had that technology on our website. That's where Intercom comes in and all these others so we don't have to rely on the platform. Jay Baer: That's one of the things I like about Agorapulse is that, you have that sort of integrated social inbox and I can get a lot of stuff in one place as opposed to having to go to all these sites which is just like mind numbing and annoying. Mike Stelzner: Okay, so do you guys actually watch video on any social platform other than YouTube for more than five minutes? Adam Brown: Yup. Jay Baer: Five minutes. Five minutes. Mike Stelzner: You do. Where do you watch it, Adam? Adam Brown: Here's the most interesting thing about me. I am an avid YouTube viewer. I'm probably watching somewhere between an hour and 90 minutes of YouTube video a day but I'm not watching it on my computer, I'm not watching it on my mobile device, I'm watching on the YouTube app on Apple TV or my Samsung TV, etc. I don't know whether I am the anomaly or if this is kind of that big screen experience that the YouTube content creators and advertisers and Google love and embrace. Mike Stelzner: You just hit on a trend. The living room is the last frontier. This is why I've said for a long time, if Apple could figure out a way to come out with a TV, because they've already got these beautiful monitors, and they can make social part of that, there could be an amazing experience there. And of course they have the Apple TV device but they've just never gotten into the business of televisions. I can imagine going into an apple store and buying my TV that allows me to watch anything and do all these crazy things. Apple has made a pretty big $17 billion investment if I'm not mistaken in original content. So, maybe that's where we're going. But I don't think people watch long form video on a little device as much as they prefer to watch it on an iPad, a laptop or a television. Jay Baer: I think that's very true [inaudible 00:45:59] for younger people, certainly my kids, they'll watch long videos on their phone. Mike Stelzner: Well, my kids prefer to choose the iPad or the laptop over the phone. Jay Baer: If you had the choice, for sure. I'm saying it's not like a deal breaker like it would be for us. But your original question, do we watch video longer than five minutes anywhere else, like I watch a lot of video on Facebook. But you're right, it's not it's not long form typically. So I guess the answer is probably no. Mike Stelzner: And I think this is a good opportunity for you to- Jay Baer: Live, live video would be different, right? I feel like live, longer form video on Facebook, I think that the key is it has to be live. Mike Stelzner: Yeah. So I mean, the moral of the story here is that there's incredible opportunity with video. We have a lot of investments going on in original content. You've got the Disney app coming out that's going up against Netflix with original Marvel and Star Wars and all that kind of stuff. So I think we're going to see, this is going to be the great era of high production quality content. The real question is going to be who's the winner and where are they going to watch it? Is it going to be Amazon, is it going to be something else? I got a feeling that people are going to go for the super high production content or the cheesy little things that we tend to do as social media marketers. Adam Brown: And is it going to be channel agnostic? I mean, I don't care where this content is coming in, but show me the show and show it on the best screen, the largest screen or the most intimate screen I have at this particular moment. Mike Stelzner: It's going to be channel exclusive, Adam, that's where we're going. You know what I mean. It's not going to be about distributing, it's going to be about like exclusive to Amazon or exclusive to Apple or exclusive- Jay Baer: Already is. And actually, you talk about this quality issue. That's what Jay Acunzo has been talking about a lot on the show and elsewhere, this idea that look, if you want to succeed as a content creator, it's no longer about just having a topic, like it has to be good, like genuinely good. Like if you ask Adam if he has a question, he has to actually have a question. It's that kind of differentiator that's going to separate things. Adam Brown: Like how you brought that around their Jay. Jay Baer: You like that? Yeah, I'm a professional host. Adam Brown: Yeah. Mike Stelzner: Well, thank you for letting me ask you guys a question. I'll throw it back to you. Jay Baer: We should do that every week. We'll just have you come on the show and then ask us questions. Mike Stelzner: You ever need a guest [crosstalk 00:48:09] Jay Baer: Yeah, like a Joan Rivers kind of thing. That's awesome. Sometimes Adam can't make or I can't make it. That'd be fun. We should do this. That'd be good times. We're going to ask you the question that we ask everybody, including you on multiple occasions in the past, you know how this goes. And you get to answer different ones or the same, your choice. What one tip would you give today to somebody looking to become a social pro? Mike Stelzner: I would say that you really want to try to get some sort of a content play going for the company that you're in because I feel like this is the great differentiator. When we have everyone inside of businesses that knows how to use social platforms, it's those that know how to create content of any form that will be the stand out in a busy, busy industry. Jay Baer: Yeah, it's interesting. We see this so much on the strategy side, I'm sure Adam does too in his strategy work that, this is going to get a little too granular, but two or three years ago, we had a distinctly different client deliverable for a social media strategy versus a content marketing strategy. Like it was a different format. Like what we included was different. How we thought about it with different. And now, when we're doing strategy plans, a company may hire us ostensibly for a social strategy or a content strategy. But what we deliver is generally almost exactly the same regardless because it's a difference without a distinction now in large measure. Mike Stelzner: I would agree. Glad we're on the same page. Jay Baer: Absolutely. Last question for the one the only Mr. Michael Stelzner, proprietor, founder of Social Media Examiner and head of the boffo Social Media Marketing World Conference. What are the dates this year? I should know this but ... Mike Stelzner: March 20th, 21st and 22nd in San Diego. Jay Baer: Always in San Diego. An absolute must attend ladies and gentlemen. You need to be there. I will be there. Adam Brown will probably be there. Michael will be there obviously. Adam Brown: Obviously. Mike Stelzner: I hope so. Jay Baer: If you could do a video call with any living person probably not on Facebook now, but if you could do a video call with any living person, who would it be and why? Mike Stelzner: I honestly have really been struggling with this one and it didn't come to me until we started the show today. I'm going to have to say Mark Zuckerberg. The reason I'm going to have to say Mark is despite all the bad press that Facebook is getting, I still respect what he has built. I hope that nobody kicks him off the board of Facebook because what that guy has built is one of the most amazing things in the history of the world. So, I would love to just get a chance to talk to him and unravel how his brain works and how he thinks about things because I do think he is one of the leading entrepreneurs of our generation, right up there with people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Jay Baer: Completely agree. I think when the smoke all clears, maybe even more so ... Mike Stelzner: Yeah, I think so. Jay Baer: Fast forward down the road a little bit, his impact may outstrip the impact of Jobs or Gates eventually. I also would be interested to ask, like, okay, we understand that you're essentially making these moves to benefit customers but it really hurts businesses, and obviously they go into that eyes wide open. I just always find that to be an interesting decision, especially with a public company. Mike Stelzner: Absolutely. Jay Baer: Adam, anything else? Adam Brown: What a great show. Michael, thank you for your insights. I agree, we haven't heard from Mr. Zuckerberg in terms of the last question probably for a year or two. And I think right now is a very interesting time that I would like to hear his answers and how he's approaching and how he's approaching and looking at Facebook very much differently I think than maybe 12 months ago, or maybe it's the same exact strategy that he's had all along. But I think him answering that one question would be very informative. Jay Baer: Let's get him as a keynote at Social Media Marketing World. Mike Stelzner: Yeah, I think there's a slim chance that will ever happen. But hey, somebody listening from Facebook and you want to- Jay Baer: Meet your accusers. Mike Stelzner: Yeah. If somebody's listening from Facebook and you want to bring him, we would definitely give him the stage. Jay Baer: Yeah. Give him a good slot, that's for sure. Mr. Stelzner, thank you so much. It's always great to talk to you. We are the richer for it. Congratulations on all the continued success. I can't wait to see you again my friend. And ladies and gentlemen, this has been Social Pros. All the different episodes we have ever done, socialpros.com. We are going to start doing this show in video just FYI. So be looking for that soon. We'll keep you up to date on that. On behalf of Adam Brown< on behalf of Mike Stelzner, I'm Jay Baer from Convince & Convert. Thanks so much for listening and we will talk to you next week.  
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