Why Your People Are the Secret to B2B Social Media Wins

Why Your People Are the Secret to B2B Social Media Wins

Michael Brito, Executive Vice President of Zeno Group, joins the Social Pros Podcast to discuss B2B social media and social listening.

In This Episode:

Please Support Our Sponsors:

Huge thanks to our amazing sponsors for helping us make this happen. Please support them; we couldn't do it without their help! This week:

Full Episode Details

Employee Advocacy in B2B Social

Employee advocacy can be a powerful way to reach your customers and build trust. This is just as true in B2B social as it is in B2C.

The danger arises in believing that simply advising your employees to post ads and promo material will be effective. This can have the exact opposite effect on your customers, causing them to tune out your business’s impersonal attempts to sell to them.

Instead, Michael Brito of the Zeno Group proposes that you train and empower your employees to become storytellers. If your employees are passionate, allowing them to share their unique stories creates a personal connection with your customers, whether you work in B2C or B2B social.

In This Episode

  • Why social data is just as valuable for B2B as it is for B2C.
  • Where to start with B2B social listening.
  • How influencer marketing works in B2B social.
  • Why businesses should be empowering employees to be storytellers.
  • How to build trust with customers.

Quotes From This Episode

“The way that I look at listening and data is really building an audience first.” — @Britopian

“If you’re in tech, spend time writing stories on your blog or newsroom site or thought leadership platform. Then use paid media to drive traffic to it.” — @Britopian

Look beyond social. How it impacts other pieces of the marketing funnel, advocacy, and influence is more effective. Click To Tweet


See you next week!

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: Hey everybody, this is Jay Baer, founder of Convince and Convert, and this is a SocialPros. I am joined, as always by my special Texas friend, he is sitting in the great City of Austin, Texas, alive, musical capital world. He is the Executive Strategist of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, our dear friends and sponsors, he is the one, the only, the Mr. Adam Brown. Adam Brown: What an introduction Jay, I appreciate that, and what an introduction and for what a great show. I'm a big fan of Michael Brito who's on the show this week. His work that he's done, it's integrated W20, we at Sales Force- Jay Baer: Intel. Adam Brown: And of course Intel have used Michael's talents to help us with our sales force branding, and he's just remarkable. Jay Baer: Super smart guy, has been in social as long as almost anybody. Adam Brown: Social OG just like us. Jay Baer: Social OG. Adam Brown: With young and fresh ideas. Jay Baer: Takes a real analytical approach to the business as well. If you're in B2B so you're a B2B company, you absolutely must listen to every single minute of this episode because you are going to learn a lot about how social really works for B2B these days, you're gonna like it. Coming up next friends, it's Michael Brito, Executive Vice President of the Zeno Group on this week's SocialPros podcast. Hey everybody, welcome to the show sponsors this week of SocialPros include our friends at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, who have a fantastic and free guide for B2B marketers called, The Complete Guide to Social Media for B2B marketers shows you how to use Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest and even Snap Chat for B2B. Download it for nothing right now at bit.ly/socialb2bguide, that's bitly slash social b, the number two, b, guide. Get it right now. Also wanna let you know about my brand new book. I could not be more excited, it's called, Talk Triggers, The Complete Guide to Creating Customers with Word of Mouth. It's all about how to build a word of mouth strategy tied into your social media that turns your customers into volunteer marketers. I read it with my good friend Daniel Lemon, I think it's the best thing I've ever done. Got to Amazon right now and search talk triggers, or go to talktriggers.com to see a bunch of special offers just for you, that's talktriggers.com. Michael Brito, EVP at Zeno Group and author of three books, including Participation Marketing, Your Brand The Next Media Company, and Smart Business, Social Business is here on SocialPros. Michael, what is up? Michael Brito: How's it going man, it's been a long time. Last time I remember we were in Chicago dressed up as doctors. Jay Baer: Man that was such a good time. Adam Brown: What? Jay Baer: It was Marketing Profs B2B forum, in 2011? Michael Brito: I think so. Adam Brown: Lab coats involved? Jay Baer: Yeah lab coats, we were wearing lab coats. I forget exactly what we were supposed to do, but we were like marketing doctors or something. It was some weird [inaudible 00:03:00] idea that we succumbed to because she's a charmer. So tell us a little bit about how you are working in analytics right now. I think one of the topics that you are so well versed in is so critically important is how business to business organizations can use some of the same kind of social data that B2C companies. A lot of times they think like, oh that doesn't really work for us 'cause we're B2B. But that's not really true is it? Michael Brito: Yeah, that's a very good question. You know I failed algebra twice in high school, and I've always been afraid of math. I struggled with my eighth grade daughter when she was taking home algebra tests and quizzes. One thing I've learned over the years is that, you don't have to be a data scientist to extract data and make a decision from it. So I'm actually taking a data science class right now in [inaudible 00:03:48], by the way. But the things about analytics, and your conversation with Chuck Heman a couple weeks ago really kind of sparked by thought process. Because Chuck, he's an analyst, he was born and raised in Data and I'm a marketer, communicator, and I was born and raised on the opposite side. But I think it's important that marketers today understand not just how to look at data, but where to pull the best data from. Is it social data, is it web analytics, is it conversion performance data, is it primary research which is still important. So from my standpoint, and in my career, I think marketers in general really to think about long term, that opportunity of learning data. Because it really sets them apart from everyone else. Jay Baer: What you said there about learning which types of data sources to go to is such an incredibly important point. One that I find marketers are increasingly bedeviled by because we get more and more data sources than ever. Some are sponsors of the show, there are tools that we’re around every day, and I find people say well yeah I can go here or I can go here, I can log in here, I can log in here, but which one of these actually matters. How do you sort for that? Do you think this is the insight I'm looking to accomplish and then walk backwards, or do you sort of dip your toe into this array of different tools and reports and kind of see what sticks? Michael Brito: That's a really great question, I start from the beginning, I start with the audience. So, you remember years ago with radiant six, came on board 2008, 2009, social listening was within. I think today it still is important to monitor topics and monitor brands etc. from a crisis standpoint. The way that I look at listening and data is really building an audience first. So for B2B it's actually quite easy because CIO, CTO, CSOs, engineers, developers, data scientists, all self-identify online as doing what they do. So it's really easy to collect these profiles and then drop them into a database and monitor what they're saying. So rather than building very complex bully inquiries for crimson hexagon or others, it's looking at an audience first and understanding their behaviors. What are they reading, what are they sharing, what topics are important to them today, and even before we think about marketing Jay, it's about understanding the vernacular of the audience and then adjusting your messaging and your content so that it replicates, or it is in alignment with that particular audience. Then you can pull in the web data, the Facebook performance data, all the other data points. But I think the audience data is first, because that'll help drive your story. Adam Brown: And Michael I couldn't agree more. I love the way that you approach this with kind of stacking the insights and how you can use them. You can use them not only to inform your social decisions, but you can use social data now to inform everything else you're doing now from a marketing standpoint, as well as an operations' standpoint. I think this topic is near and dear to my heart at Salesforce because we kind of believe the source of truth, if you will, like that customer record. Is there any way we can associate this CRM record that we have on this customer with what he or she is saying on Twitter, On Facebook, on a forum, on Instagram. I'm curious kind of two questions for you sir, one in and around where is that source of truth as a marketer, and secondly, as a marketing executive, you're now kind of citing there like as you said with all this data for all different parts of the organization How are they kind of reconciling or wrestling with that, and are your clients, Zeno Group expecting different things than outcomes from you because of this abundance of data. Just because you have off today, doesn't mean you can solve the world’s problems. Michael Brito: Yeah, how long is this podcast, we might need an extra hour. The whole- Jay Baer: Part two next week with Michael Brito. Michael Brito: So Jay I've seen a couple pieces of content come from you about GDPR and some of the challenges there. I'm gonna pause on that conversation really quick and talk about the array of data that you have. One of the things that I think we oftentimes we forget as marketers is that, with social data, with web data with all the data that we have with all these platforms. It only really tells us the what. Now what I do and our agency does is, we understand or we form a hypothesis based on the what. Then we use primary research to unaddressed the why. For example If we know a group of CTOs read Forbes more than they read Business Insider, we can only make some assumptions. But if we were to ask a group of CTOs or do some primary research as to why, well maybe they trust Business Insider moreso than Forbes. Maybe Forbes has too many contributors, maybe their credibility has climbed over the last couple of years. I think a combination of that, social data, and primary research, it could get expensive certainly, but that is really where you get the insight, and even then, a lot of marketers I know, unless you're working within a brand, corporate coms and PR teams don't really rely on primary research much anymore. They just wanna know media. Adam Brown: It's expensive, yeah. Michael Brito: It's super expensive, and they just wanna know, how many hits did we get. I hate that word, hits. How many hits did we get on Forbes, did we get placement in New York times. So that's what's really top of my [inaudible 00:09:25] so as an agency, and we're an integrated communications agency, and by the way Adam, I don't know if you knew this, but we actually worked with Salesforce, did you know that? Adam Brown: Thank you, yes. Michael Brito: Okay, for the product and corporate PR ... anyhow but the point is is, there's so much data, and today organizations and Jay, you wrote about this in your first book as did I. The whole idea of enterprise social business, enterprise collaboration. There's still today silos, PR still doesn't talk to Marketing, still doesn't talk to IT, still doesn't talk to product groups. So because of that, the data is displaced, and we're not working with every business in the organization, just one or two, so it's really difficult to help manage that data literacy if you will. Jay Baer: One of the things that's so important for B2B now, is this notion of influence on marketing. That maybe somebody else, a human being, can carry some of that messaging weight on behalf of the brands, or at least Salesforce uses a lot of influencers as do a lot of other organizations, we’re involved in a lot of programs like that at Convince and Convert. You talk about the 19 90 approach Michael to influencer marketing, and can you talk a little bit about some of the differences between B2B influencers and B2C programs, and what B2B folks ought to be keeping in mind. 'Cause it's not the same right, it's not the same as like, let's go find me a Kardashian right. Doesn't really work for Salesforce right? Michael Brito: Right. Jay Baer: Maybe it does, maybe that's what you guys are doing. Probably a Dream Force right, who is the headliner talent this year. Adam Brown: As we record this, it's next week and it's Metallica. Michael Brito: That's right. Jay Baer: That's pretty badass, that is pretty badass. Adam Brown: It's gonna be a great show. Jay Baer: So are you gonna get one of the Metallica guys on SocialPros next week, is that possible right. You're gonna get somebody from Metallica on the show next week? Adam Brown: I'll have my recorder with me just in case. Jay Baer: You are the Executive Strategist at Salesforce Marketing Cloud. You put an executive on there, let's find somebody from Metallica. Adam Brown: Jay they're times at which I'm off the record. Jay Baer: Okay, great. Adam Brown: Perhaps it'll be during a Metallica concert. Jay Baer: Okay, well that's probably a good thing. All right Michael, I apologize, I hijacked my own question about B2B versus B2C [inaudible 00:11:38] in marketing. Michael Brito: Yeah, let me just go on a quick tangent on that just for 30 seconds. The consumer influencer marketing gets so much attention, you know their Adweek adage for everyone's talking about it, and the B2B side gets no love whatsoever. It's easy, it's very easy to launch a consumer influencer campaign. You can partner with an instabrand or clever. You have 30k, you partner with them, they find your influencers, you put your creative group together, then they're gonna blog and tweet and Instagram story everything. It requires little to no effort to be honest. It really does. You wanna vet the influencers, make sure that they're the right ones. Maybe it's not Ken, maybe it's Chloe instead or one of the other, brother maybe, I don't know. Jay Baer: I would have to see pictures in order to discern [crosstalk 00:12:20] Adam Brown: I don't know which one's which. Jay Baer: Kim I know, we only know Kim. After that, then you get into the generous, like my daughter is- Michael Brito: The youngest one. Jay Baer: Yeah, I have a hard time keeping track of them. Michael Brito: Yeah, I mean they're always YouTube videos happening my house. I have a 16 year old and a 14 year old. So influencers doing makeup and fashion and things like that. So I'm very familiar with this base. I've also launched a couple consumer campaigns as well. On the B2B side it's a little bit different, you can not go and hire like a Ray Wang to write a blog post or you. You cannot go to somebody from Gartner, or somebody in the media or just an influential person as yourself, more maybe I can hire a you Jay maybe, I'm not sure, but[crosstalk 00:12:59] Jay Baer: Are you saying that I'll sell out in a way that Ray won't. Wait a second, what is going on on this show. Michael Brito: I'm joking man. My point is like, it takes a [crosstalk 00:13:07] Jay Baer: I totally will though, I just wanna make sure if anybody's like- Michael Brito: I know you will, I know you will. Jay Baer: Just let me know. Michael Brito: As I was saying, so B2B influencer marketing requires a lot of research and planning. So let me pause there and move to the 1 990. So the 1 990 isn't something I came up with, in fact we relied heavily upon it when I was back at W20. In fact that's how I first heard about it, so I'd wanna give them the credit. But they didn't even think of it either. It was thought about in the mid '90s, and the idea is that one person or one percent of a population group at the time was responsible for publishing content, then nine percent was responsible for sharing it, and then everybody else consumed it. Now that was content publishing, with influencers it's different. When you look at a market, let's say CRM market is one market I know pretty well. I know Ray's one of the influencers, Paul Greenberg is very influential in CRM, one percent of the CRM market is driving the conversation. What they say is quoted, when they record something it's shared, when they are recorded in an article, they are driving and moving the market. The nine percent package that information up, provide their context, their point of view, their perspective on it, and then share it with everybody else, then the 90% consume it. So let me talk really quickly about the 90%. They rely heavily upon search, they rely heavily upon word of mouth. So if you're in IT, these are your buyers over here. There's influential buyers, and there's the influencers, but the buyers who may just be consuming content are gonna determine whether or not the one and nine percent are actively telling your story in the way you really want them to. One other point, with influencers and back in the day was journalists. The one percent was purely the media, journalists, analysts. Today, it's still the medial, still journalists, but you have so many others, we know personally, that I know personally, who are just have a point of view about a topic whose very influential in their own right, and they are essentially moving the needle as well, and they're not a traditional journalist. And the thing is, is when we talked about audience listening earlier, you know Jay it's not just data scientists, it could be the top data scientist influencers who you're listening to. Because a great example is digital transformation right. The term digital transformation is a term that every technology company wants to be associated with. Back five, six years ago, you could bid on digital transformation in Google for like five cents a click. You try to do it today, it's like 12 dollars a click. It's because an influencer, and we can probably figure it out, but an influencer started the movement, started the conversation, the topic of digital transformation. As did content marketing, as did SEO, as did social media. All those buzz words and terms and topics started with the one percent. Now we're all using it. So when you're a technology company and understanding who that one percent is, and sometimes just listening to them, understanding what their vernacular and language of the one percent is and start adopting it. Now all of a sudden, two or three years later, you're owning the search results in Google. Jay Baer: But it takes a long time though, like I think that's the point right. This isn't a campaign right, is this isn't a pay by Wednesday, let's have some results right. By definition, so this idea of B2B influencer marketer and growing influence through real people. You've gotta take a long term view on this don't you? Michael Brito: 100%. I mean Google's crazy right, all the different updates and algorithm changes that they're ... it's hard to determine how they value links now, and maybe H 10 0, etc. So it does take a long time, and what I like to often look at is, I was doing an analysis for a client, and I was looking at Microsoft for an example. Microsoft ranks extremely well for digital transformation. They're the number one technology brand who ranks more so than the others. But if you look back, back to 2012, 2013, they were using that language. They were looking at these influencers back then. I'm just making assumptions here because they're not a client. But they were looking at influencers and building web pages, building forum posts that I came across back from 2012, 2013. Now when you look at the volume of search in digital transformation, I mean they're up there, outside of the paid results, they are up there and, they're driving mind share. When the media writes about digital transformation, Microsoft is the brand that they associate it with the most. Jay Baer: You've mentioned two things that I wanna double click on 'cause they're fascinating. One is SEO, SEM and how about SVAL, we'll come back to that. The second is, lets, for purposes of this argument, kind of continue what you're discussing. We're talking about the what. Let's talk about digital transformation as being a topic, and it is an important topic to detect B2B. We've talked about the who, you've talked about how we identify influencers and things like that. What I'm curious about is the where, where are you spiking and placing these messages? Where are people reading these messages that's different than it was two, three, four years ago. Typically, when we think social and B2B we think, oh that means Linkedin. But that's not the case anymore, is it? Michael Brito: The episode with Chuck Heman, I think Jay you had asked about- Jay Baer: I'm sorry 319 by the way for active listeners. Michael Brito: Episode 319, I saw that in the notes here. But you were talking about the primary source social data being on Twitter. I think that's great, because you have a benchmark. Twitter conversation, Twitter consumption is a benchmark that, if you pull the insides out and apply it to Linkedin, they're just as powerful. So it's this population of data that you can index against a general population, or you can index against two groups against each other and make decisions. Then tell those messages on Linkedin or extract some insights that then get translated into an audience segment on Facebook. That actually works extremely well.  It's just that the source of data comes from one place, Twitter and Instagram in some places. Placement, so you're right, social media we have these platforms that are closed. Linkedin is closed now, you can't even measure shares and whatnot as of last February. But, I argue that from a tech standpoint, B2B, that owned media, brand storytelling, brand journalism, whatever you wanna call it, is really the next ... it's a buzz word as well that's been talked about for years. But, we're telling clients that they need to double down on that. Because for a couple reasons, number one, they can own the narrative. So you're pulling all the data and then you're creating content on your website and that shelf life of the content lives forever. So if Twitter goes away one and Facebook dies or what have you, you still have your own media, and we know that B2B buyers and IT decision makers Google everything. So it would behoove you to, if you're in tech, spend time writing stories on your blog or newsroom site or thought leadership platform. That to me is where you need to double down. [crosstalk 00:20:10] Then use paid media to drive traffic to it, pay social attention. Adam Brown: So have you seen a pivot of the work that you're doing at your agency really more about that content strategy and really focusing on creating curing that great content that a brand can put on their own type of properties, then use social media and use SEO SEM to drive people to that. Michael Brito: That's something that I'm pitching to a lot of my clients, and many of them are receptive to it. It's a different way of thinking because they wanna go out and have conversations with the public, 'cause that's what PR does. With our digital clients and our more marketing focus clients, they get it, but they have mass amounts of budgets to spend several hundred thousand dollars a month or a year on Linkedin ads and Demand Gen and things like that. That is all still important, I'm not saying that you use one at the expense of another. I'm saying if you look at owned content. I was reading, when I did that research for Microsoft, when I just typed in digital transformation, I was seeing content that was published in 2012. To me it's still evergreen, it's still relevant today, and it builds off the mind share of your particular audience. So yes, to your point of using search, using SEO, all these really smart kind of content distribution or platforms that would bring back people to your ecosystem is really important. There's a variety of different tactics that you can do that. Jay Baer: Do you think because of this sort of long tail, longer term approach that employee advocacy is more important than ever, or do you feel like there's gonna come a time where it just doesn't really work? Michael Brito: You know that's a great question. So the last book that I wrote is on that, and I'm actually working on number four by the way Jay, you're the first person I've told. Jay Baer: Oh, congratulations that's great, what's it about, that's great? Michael Brito: It's more of a brand book. So how to build relevance in an attention deficit economy. So how do you break through the mind share. I haven't thought of the words yet or what have you, but that's my thought. Jay Baer: That's great. Michael Brito: Anyhow, the problem with employee advocacy today is, may companies are just using employees as robots, it's retweeting this, retweeting that, liking, commenting that. I think that's okay, that's important if you have employees who are passionate about the company, or who love the CEO in many cases or who just love what they do in their jobs. I think the opportunity which requires more work, which is why not a lot of companies are doing it, is empowering employees to be storytellers. There's a big difference between an employee storyteller and an employee ambassador. An employee storyteller will write a piece of good content either on a Linkedin blog or a medium or the company blog, that's the storyteller. The ambassador or the advocate is gonna share it. It's the 1 990 model actually, it also applies to employee advocacy. So I think there's a lot of technology platforms out there, I won't mention any by name right, 'cause I'm not sure who's sponsoring the show or not. But a lot of technology platforms are building in mechanisms for ease of use sharing. They're not focusing on empowering internal advocacy to write, to tell a story, to have a perspective on it. That is the value, and that is where the shelf life comes in.  That content that lives on a media post or Linkedin post- Jay Baer: Such a good point. Michael Brito: Gonna live forever. Adam Brown: Michael, I'm curious of your perspective, I can remember being at Dell, I guess almost ten years ago and we had an employee advocacy program and I remember in the first six months we had certified like 18,000 of our employees to be social media spokespeople for the brand. Half of me said, oh wow, 18,000 people can represent our brand, the other half of me said, oh crap, 18,000 people could represent our brand. I'm curious, here in 2018, are you finding that marketers and communicators are more accepting and more embracing of employee advocacy, or are they still a little concerned about the risk and the liability of those types of programs? Michael Brito: I would say 70, 30. 70 are open to it, they're starting to invest in the software stack, the other 30% are still ... they wanna hold onto that message right. They kind of operate and have this command and control mindset, where we need to own the brand. An employee who is working at a retail location or offsite, or maybe he's just an engineer, may not say the key messages that we want them to say. So it's about 70, 30. I think that we're slowly moving to more openness. But the problem is that, going back to the ambassador versus the storyteller is, they're just doing the bare minimum. A lot of these companies are just investing in software, putting together policies and procedures and putting out content for their employees to share. To me that's gotten old really fast. So it's good to have them as a distribution outlet, but the stories cannot be marketing, the stories can't be a press release obviously, but it can't be a campaign. The content has to be human and the only way you do that is by empowering and training internal spokespeople, if you will, to have that voice and have that empowerment to write. That's the way I see it and I'm starting to see a couple companies who have been doing a really good job with it and doing it more. So it's good to see that, still a long way to go. Adam Brown: On the opposite side, looking at it from the customers' perspective, is it still as effective as it's always been, or is the consumer or customer's spidey sense realizing they're hearing from an employee and that these types of programs that are happening make them a little bit more skeptical? Michael Brito: Consumers are always skeptical. IT decision makers are the most skeptical buyers in the world. They hate marketers, they hate salespeople. You try to cold call them, they're gonna cuss you out. But what they love to do is to talk technology. So when I'm working closely and when my clients have enough budget to do so, it's really hand holding them to say, look, maybe you don't even write, maybe you're just participating in a conversation about technology. Maybe you're on GetHub or you're on Stack Overflow or Reddit somewhere, and you're conversing and there're things that are way over my head because I have no idea how to code in python or what have you. So to me, and going back to the trust barometer Jay, I know you've mentioned that many times on your podcast and you've written about it many times as well. The trust barometer, I think trust and people and have always been that way. Because I relate to you Jay, I'm glad that I'm looking at you right now, and you too Adam. We are friends, I communicate with you, I feel like I'm connected to you. That's exactly how IT decision makers do. When they're having those discussions, there's a connection built. That is where the opportunity is, and you're right, it's not about sharing a campaign from Linkedin, that is not a ton of value there. The value, if from a consumers' perspective, is the trust building. How do you scale that. It's very difficult to scale one conversation. I remember when you were at Dell and I was at Intel. I remember we used to have calls with like Richard Benhammer and Bruce Erik Anderson and those guys, who were good friends of mine. We used to talk about best practices, how do we do this the right way before technology was even there. It was all about one on one relationships, very difficult to scale that though. Adam Brown: Last question around employee advocacy and around the authenticity and genuineness, I think Michael that you're a big fan of, and of course we speak about a lot here. I think the next big thing we're seeing kind of in this world of social media and artificial intelligence is bots. This idea that you're gonna be interacting or communicating with somebody who isn't real, but has gotten very close to passing that Turing Test. What's gonna happen with employee advocacy when that starts to happen? Are we gonna see more reliance on bots to kind of do those types and levels of engagement, or is this gonna be like spam and email, where it's gonna completely turn off our audience, and we will have kind of screwed the past decade or so that we've built up in terms of authenticity? Michael Brito: You know I hate that term AI, I really do. It's so overused now, every one of my clients, even if they're not using AI in their software, they're trying to talk about it, it's just hilarious. But anyway, I think that they're already doing that. Whether or not they're using AI to be smarter about it, there is a lot of automation happening in employee advocacy. I honestly don't see a ton of value in it, but what you're gonna have is you're gonna have entrepreneurs who are, and developers who are gonna build these platforms and sell it. Here's the problem, they're gonna sell it into my clients, my clients are gonna come to me and say, how do we deploy this. I'm gonna say, well you probably shouldn't have invested in this in the first place, or maybe you shouldn't have gotten that high tier of package you got. Because you cannot automate, you can automate demand gen, lead gen, ads and things like that. That's good to automate, 'cause from a performance standpoint you get better results. You cannot automate engagement, you cannot automate, especially in B2B. Maybe consumer, again B2B and healthcare specifically, there has to be humanity there. Until AI, and even if AI ever got there, I would feel kind of weird if I'm managing a program, and I'm using AI to communicate with a patient group about cancer in a forum, to me that just seems not real. That just seems kind of icky to me, you'd wanna get somebody to have a real conversation. So that's my perspective on it, I think the hard part with technology providers today is a lot of times they like to go around the agency. That puts a great deal of pressure on us, because when the client says, hey, we just got a subscription to this, or we just got this, now let's go make it work, when it may not be the right thing to do. Jay Baer: You mentioned forum posts at one point when you were talking about Microsoft and digital transformation, I would love for you to comment a little bit about how important those types of communities and that type of content, which we don't usually think of as content right. We don't think of a forum post as content in the same way that a blog post is or a video where as post on media or something else. But it can be so critical because the people who are your super fans, like the customers who really care, are the ones who are trolling forums all the time. So can you talk a little bit about that and be more strategic about forums and discussion born participation? Michael Brito: I love forums, I don't participate in forums. I don't have an account anywhere, but when I'm trying to figure out how to hard reset my iPhone, I'll Google it, and I'll get to the Apple forums and figure it out. It's a great data source. So if you think about indexing a forum like Reddit or indexing a forum like the Apple forums or you name the company and they have a forum. By indexing the content on that forum, and sucking it in and digging through the topics that are top of mind for customers, imagine the amount of data or the assets that you can create for the call center, or the assets you can create from a content standpoint. These are things that you can address that are top of mind for your customers, because they're asking questions about it. I mean you actually wrote about that in Utility I believe. There's a lot of parallel there. So participation in that, but here's the funny thing, the Apple forums, those aren't employees. Those are customers who have created profiles. Jay Baer: Yes, yes. Michael Brito: So, these are people who have an affinity towards the brand who spend all damn day answering questions and not getting paid for it. So there's a strategy there actually, right with empowering your customer advocates. There's also a strategy for the more technical forums like, for example SAP community network, the SCN, I wrote about it in my first book. I used to have a lot of friends who used to work at SAP. You go and you create an account there and you log in, and you have customers, SAP employees and influencers all meshed up talking about technology, its phenomenal, phenomenal. That is more or less about data per se, but more about the advocacy that you're creating with your stakeholders. Jay Baer: Michael Brito, Executive Vice President, Zeno Group, it is so great to have you on the show. It's amazing kind of how this whole world has changed as the three of us, and hopefully many of our listeners have gone and evolved through it. You mentioned, we go way back, you were at Intel, and one of the founders and fathers of Intel's social media kind of protocol and standards, which I think was almost a bible that so many of the large Fortune 50 companies use. You've done so many other things, W20 is in our group. I would love for you to talk a little bit about how you got here, and those steps along the way where you began to dodge in and out of social media and digital and just general market communications. Michael Brito: Well I'm a recovering direct marketer, so I started my career working at eight by eight, in kind of lead gen, demand gen display advertising and search. So that was where I started my career before social media began. So I understand the power of data and the importance of data. When social media came, I started taking more of the community based perspective. It's less about paid use, it's less about target audiences, it's about conversations. Today I'm a mix of both. I'm talking to CMO, he's gonna wanna know performance and business results and revenue. If I'm talking to the CCO, Chief Communications Officer, he's gonna wanna talk about engagement and reach and conversation. So having that intertwined and based on with my experience has really helped me get to where I am today. Working internal for technology companies really helped me build credibility throughout my career at that agency, because when I talk to clients, I understand their challenges. I understand the fact that IT and privacy won't let them launch a website because of the standards or what have you. So I can really relate to clients that way. But working at an agency from my perspective and I would probably never go back to in-house unless of course the 49er's were to call me and say hey we need a head at digital, I would say, peace. Jay Baer: Mic drops. Michael Brito: Anyhow, great game last night by the way. Phenomenal, really great game. The Browns finally win one. Anyway you can edit that one out. My point is, is that I've learned throughout my career that even now, with social media still a thing, it's just one channel, there's so many other things that many marketers forget. There's the stories and the actual content. There's the data, there's the public relations, the media, reaching out to the media, there's what you're putting on your own content, on your own sites, there's the sponsorships to the events. All these things are meant to surround sound your audiences with consistent and repetitive stories. That's how you get them to believe. So my experience, going back to your question, with all these different things has allowed me to talk to a client, and say look, social media is great, digital is great, but we need to be integrated, so let's talk about all these other mechanisms and how we can tell your story most effectively. Jay Baer: I also wanted to ask you for an old school hip hop recommendation for our audience here on SocialPros. You are known as an old school hip hop fan and genius, so I'd like you to throw out, just for the kids out there who may be, they know LL Cool J or they know the basics, but drop a name or two on the listeners out there and have them dial it up on the Spotify. Michael Brito: All right, I'm gonna bring one back, this is from probably late 70s, MC Shan had a song called Left Me Lonely, it was kind of a love story. He was a rapper from the Bronx, great song, MC Shan, S-H-A-N. Of course you can never go wrong with Houdini, Friends, I still know the lyrics, today I could rap it right now if you'd like. That's all east coast stuff and that's where hip hop started. Then more frequent or more current you have the NWA's of the world. I would highly recommend you look it up on Spotify, top R&B tracks of the 90s and top hip hop tracks of the 90s. There's several different playlists, and they have all of those tracks from back when I was break dancing and doing all that stuff. Jay Baer: I love it, I knew you were gonna kill it. We'll make sure to link that up in the show notes at SocialPros.com. Speaking of which folks, you can get all 300 and however many episodes of the show we've done at SocialPros.com. All the recordings, all the transcripts, all the extra goodies like hip hop recommendations from Michael Brito, EVP of Zeno Group. That's how we do the show, it's that kind of stuff. We're gonna ask you the two questions we've asked everybody in the long illustrious history of SocialPros, first one my friend, what one tip would you give somebody who's looking to become a social pro? Michael Brito: Look beyond social, I know it's kind of power intuitive right. Social media is not going solve all your problems. Now if you're an expert on social, you're gonna stand out from other people. If you're a student trying to get into an internship or you're trying to move up in your career, having a social background is super important. How social impacts other pieces of the marketing funnel, how it impacts advocacy and influence, that to me is more effective because you just become a more well-rounded marketer, and you can speak the language of what's hot today and Instagram and Snap Chat and stories and what not. But understanding the integration points I think is really the tip that I would give, and how that impacts business value. Jay Baer: I love it, last question for you Michael Brito, Executive Vice President, Zeno Group. If you could do a video call, with any living person, who would it be? Michael Brito: Well this- [crosstalk 00:37:46] Jay Baer: I'm hoping that it's Flavor Flav, but I'm thinking that it's not gonna be, but that was what I was hoping for. Michael Brito: You know Public Enemy wasn't one of my favorites, I never really like their lyrics. Although I did like the Ghetto Boys, they're from Dallas, Scarface was a great rapper. Now it's debatable whether or not this person is alive, I don't know if anybody's ever seen his corpse, but Tupac Shakur, the guy is a genius. He was the most intelligent person, rapper and even probably more intelligent than many of our politicians today in terms of- [crosstalk 00:38:17] Jay Baer: That's a low bar to clear, but okay. Michael Brito: That is yeah, understanding culture and society and impact. I think he was more than a rapper. I would wanna talk to him about his philosophy on life, on his parents and his mom, on the impact that he's had with other influential rappers and what not. So, again, they say he's dead, I refuse to believe that, because I've heard and read on certain, I don't know if it's fake news or not. But that he's been spotted in different areas, but that's somebody I would love to talk to. Jay Baer: We'll allow it. That's our show, we'll go for it. We'll allow it, I like it, that's a great answer. Michael thank you so much for being here, it's so good to catch up with you. Excited about the new book too, will you please come back on when you get that ready and we'll talk about it? Michael Brito: I will. Thank you both, it was great to see you Jay. Jay Baer: That was a blast. Adam, thank you as always, who's on the show next week Adam? We gotta figure this out, I know we got all kinds of ... you gotta go to Dream Force, you gotta meet Metallica. Oh you know who's on the show next week- Adam Brown: And not bring them back so. Jay Baer: And not bring them back, no, you know who's on the show next week Jay [inaudible 00:39:16]. Adam Brown: That'll be a good show. Jay Baer: Yeah, Jay [inaudible 00:39:20] terrific. His new book, Break the Wheel is coming out right then too. So that'll be a really, a barn burner. We've got Paula Wern from Holiday World on the show coming up, we've got Neen James, a terrific author as well, Owen Hemseth, Robert Glazer, Mike Stelsner from social media. We've got like seven or eight huge shows coming up in the next- [crosstalk 00:39:41] Adam Brown: Big, big shows. Jay Baer: In the next six weeks, yeah, it's gonna be a blast. So, tune in for that, as I mentioned go to SocialPros.com for all the stuff. Thanks so much for being here Adam, I love each and every one of you until next week, I am Jay Baer from Convince and Convert, he is Mr. Adam Brown, soon to be at Dream Force. He's the executive strategist of Salesforce Marketing Cloud and noted Metallica fan, this has been SocialPros.  
Show Full Transcript