Lauren Siler: Welcome to Consider This. I’m Lauren Siler.
Holly Fong: And I’m Holly Fong.
Lauren Siler: Today I am excited about the topic at hand, because it’s something that we get asked about a lot, but we actually haven’t gone on the record about very often, and that is where does social media fit into my digital marketing strategy, in particular in the context of a content marketing strategy?
There are entire businesses and consultancies who do a lot of thinking and publishing around this, so Newfangled tends to focus on designing digital market strategies that’s intended to drive traffic back to the website, through really smart thought leadership. But the question of social does come up. So today what Holly and I are going to do is just break down some of the basics for you. If you’re investing in a content marketing strategy, then it’s important to be promoting that content using channels outside of just your website and outside of just email, and social comes into play there.
So, we’re going to talk about how you might begin to determine which social platforms are going to be best for you to invest your time in, and then we’ll talk a little bit about each of the ones that we would recommend if you’re just getting started with this. And then, as usual, we’ll move into a bit of a Q and A, just answering some of the most common questions that we receive around this.
Holly Fong: Sounds good. Yeah. It’s funny, because we are B2B, so to be clear every piece of advice we’re giving right now is going to be B2B specifically, and it’s going to be for typically smaller firms that are trying to reach their prospective audiences on these different social networks. Just to set a little more framework around what we’re going to be discussing. Some of these tips or pieces of advice wouldn’t necessarily apply to, maybe, a B2C marketer.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. That’s a good point. I think the first question that we get often is just, “Where do I start? There are so many social platforms out there, and how do I begin to prioritize where to spend my effort?” I think the question of prioritization is an important one, because one of the things that you should keep in mind at the outside is that it’s better to have a stronger presence across fewer social channels than to have a weak presence across all of them.
Holly Fong: Yeah. Agreed. I think a lot of firms make the mistake of trying to be on all of the channels, instead of, like you were saying, just doing a great job on a few of the channels. You know, that’s not going to help anything. It’s probably going to hurt the brand, if anything, if someone goes to any of those specific channels and looks up your brand and sees, they’re like, “Oh, you haven’t posted in five years,” or, you know, “You have half a post there,” or, “You wrote that in not the best tone or not the best way.” Something like that. So, it can really hurt you if you don’t have the resources to back up the channels that you really want to be present on.
Lauren Siler: Right, yeah. Yeah. So, I mean, when we think about, from a marketing standpoint for the B2B space, there are a few channels that come up pretty frequently, and we’re going to talk about three of them in just a moment, but one thing that I would encourage you to think about, when you are deciding where to invest your time across different social channels, is what is the point of your presence in each of the spaces?
So, when you think about promoting yourself on different social channels, are you trying to expand the network for your thought leadership? Are you trying to generate opportunity through your social channels? Are you trying to foster community? Are you trying to build up your brand culture publicly for recruitment efforts? What’s the point of your existence inside of social media? Because that’s going to drive some of the decisions you make.
Now, the ones that we’re going to talk about today, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, are all platforms that we would recommend if you are looking to expand the scope of your audience that has been exposed to your thought leadership. That’s really where we’re coming from. There are going to be ancillary benefits on some of these other platforms, but if the point of your social strategy is to take your thought leadership and then promote it in new ways outside of your website and outside of email, then we’re going to recommend that you look first to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Holly Fong: Yeah. Exactly. I think we should start with LinkedIn, because that’s typically what most people think of when they think of B2B social networks. So I’m curious, what are your initial thoughts when it comes to how a firm should be representing itself on LinkedIn?
Lauren Siler: I think if you’re taking the time to invest in a content marketing strategy, so you’re developing thought leadership on your website regularly, regularly meaning multiple times per month, I think it’s really important to take that content and make sure that it is also shared on LinkedIn, for a couple of reasons. One, it takes no extra time, because, I think we’ve talked about this before, but you can verbatim pick up the post from your website and then publish it on LinkedIn. So there’s no reason not to at least do that.
I think it’s also a great place to cultivate more of a discussion around the thought leadership and to provide some additional context to the subject matter at hand. People aren’t really using comments anymore on the website site.
Holly Fong: Yeah, I know a lot of people disable the comments on the website side, as well.
Lauren Siler: Yeah, and because it’s sometimes, depending on the volume of traffic you get, the influx of that traffic is varied across all kinds of different people from all kinds of different contexts, and so the comments themselves tend to be irrelevant or unhelpful. I mean, I understand why people disable comments on their website.
Holly Fong: Oh, totally. Yeah. There’s definitely nothing wrong with that.
Lauren Siler: Yeah.
Holly Fong: But you’re right that a space like LinkedIn definitely allows the ability to foster that conversation in a more targeted fashion.
Lauren Siler: I think so, because people, when they’re spending time on LinkedIn, they’re in that B2B mindset most of the time. They’re looking for like-minded professionals inside of their network, inside of their circle, who can educate them on things that they care about, from a professional setting, specifically.
When we talk about some of these other platforms, it’s not as if those platforms can’t accomplish the same goal, because our lives are so varied and we meander inside a personal and professional on those other networks for sure, but LinkedIn, you’re not going to LinkedIn and posting life updates. Right? If you’re spending time on LinkedIn-
Holly Fong: If you’re doing that it’s a little strange.
Lauren Siler: I mean, Holly does. Holly announces everything on LinkedIn.
Holly Fong: Pictures of the last party I was at, all sorts of things.
Lauren Siler: Awesome photos of your dog in the snow.
Holly Fong: Whatever.
Lauren Siler: But yeah, so when you think about the mindset that people are in on these different social channels, that’s a little bit more difficult to determine on something like Facebook, but with LinkedIn it’s a little bit easier. Those people are going to be more focused on education inside their space, they’re probably going to be more open and receptive to thought leadership articles, and so just for that fact alone, I think it makes sense to publish pretty much everything you’re writing. Make sure that it also ends up on LinkedIn.
Holly Fong: Yeah. And there’s a few places you can publish that. So, you know, for your company page itself, that’s probably where you want to put a post on the company page saying, “Hey, we just published this, you could check out this article,” and link back to the site. And then, on people’s individual LinkedIn accounts, they can also publish their content to the LinkedIn pulse as well.
Lauren Siler: And I think that’s going to be the best place to foster discussion around the subject at hand, because it’s coming from an individual profile, right?
Holly Fong: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, exactly. It’s interesting, because I think individual profiles are always probably going to be more likely to get engagement then a company’s profile, but it’s still worth posting things and staying active on those company profiles.
Lauren Siler: How much time do you recommend businesses spend on optimizing the company profile specifically, versus optimizing, perhaps, a particular thought leader’s profile?
Holly Fong: I would say, you know, one to two hours a week, maybe. Even that can seem like a lot, but most of that is just coordinating when posts are going to be posted to those particular sites. You probably want to adjust the voice of what you’re posting dependent on the site that you’re posting it to. Just slightly. You know, nothing that’s going to take hours of your time. But just think about the audience, think about the platform, think about what’s going to resonate on those platforms.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. I would agree with that. And just so we’re clear about the location of different posts, you could take the same article that you wrote, that was published to your website, you could write a brief promotion of it and publish that to the company page and that could either push people back to your website, or it could push it to the full-length published post on a thought leader’s page, where there’s going to be more opportunity for there to be discussion around that post.
Holly Fong: Correct. Yes. And you know, the other thing about posting to the company page itself is that’s where it’s going to show up in something like a timeline. That being said, things that are more interacted with are going to be more likely to show up higher on those pages, so you probably want to think about where you’re spending that time when it comes to whether you want to post to individual’s pages or the company’s page. I think both is a great idea, but just keep in mind that when you’re posting to that individual’s page, especially if that’s a prevalent thought leader in the space and they have a lot of the right followers, that’s probably going to drive more traffic, more interest, than, you know, the company page itself.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. That’s a good thing to keep in mind across most social channels. The things that get the most engagement and the most influx of activity are likely to be elevated in whatever the feed is.
Holly Fong: Correct. Yeah. And that has a lot to do with just the algorithm changes of the social networks.
Lauren Siler: Right. Anything else on LinkedIn that’s important for us to mention?
Holly Fong: You know, a question I get asked a lot is around, “Should people be spending money to promote their content on LinkedIn?” And I don’t think it’s a bad idea. I think you definitely have to think about a budget that you want to spend, and also the content that you’re trying to promote across the platform. I tend to steer away from blog content because there’s no way of capturing those individuals, so when I think about LinkedIn, what I think LinkedIn’s biggest benefit is, is being able to generate leads that fall into a certain target audience. Right? There’s really no other site that’s quite as good at that, because LinkedIn is specifically for people putting in their professional updates, right?
Lauren Siler: Exactly.
Holly Fong: So, you know what title they are, you know what industry they are in, you know what company they work for. And LinkedIn’s one of the only networks that you can use to be able to target by people’s title and people’s industry. Even the size of their company. And now, you can even target by the company that they’re at. So you could say, “I want to target people with this title, and I selected these 100 companies that I want to promote my message across.”
So, I think it’s a great way of getting in new leads that are generated by promoting gated content to them. Trying to drive them back to your site. Trying to get them to fill out a form on your site. Like I said, the reason that I think it’s great is just because you are really able to target who you’re showing that content to. Whereas, you know, AdWords, you can’t do that.
Lauren Siler: Yeah.
Holly Fong: You know, Facebook you can do that but I don’t think it’s near as accurate, because people are less likely to update their job information.
Lauren Siler: Update their page. Yeah. The specificity of the filter set inside of LinkedIn is really difficult to beat inside of a professional setting specifically, so I totally agree with you there. I think being thoughtful about the content that is actually being promoted inside of that paid ad, is also important to your point, but you want something that’s going to be measurable and that you can take definitive results from.
So, it’s a nice way to test your messaging strategy, which is something we talk about in another episode with regard to testing when it comes to your content plan, but if you are making certain assumptions about your specific persona set and then you test a piece of messaging against it and you know it’s a very narrow margin of error there, because the only people who saw that ad fell into that persona set so you can measure the way they engage, with that particular gated piece of content, to determine whether or not it was effective at actually nurturing them in the way that you thought.
Then, that can cycle through and help you be more informed about the assumptions you’re making about that particular persona in the first place, which can feed that messaging strategy moving forward. So, with all this cycle, I think that the specific nature of the targeting inside of LinkedIn allows you to accomplish.
Holly Fong: Definitely. And while you’re talking about measuring, one thing that I would throw out is that if you’re spending any money on paid ads across any network other than Google AdWords because it separates it out a little differently, you probably want to build a custom URL, so that you can directly measure how many people are getting to the site from those ads and how many of those people are converting using Google Goals and things like that. So if you’re going to spend money, definitely make sure that you’re investing the time to measure those results correctly.
Lauren Siler: Okay. Let’s move onto Facebook, because I know that’s a popular one for consideration as well. Holly’s laughing at me, because I guess we did a little bit of experimenting with paid social across different platform, what was it, like six months-
Holly Fong: Yeah, it was six months ago, I think it was, or maybe even seven or eight.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. A while now. And Facebook was going to be a part of it, and I had serious misgivings about this because I was just really skeptical of it from a business standpoint. I felt like if you are a B2B organization, you really should be investing most of your time in LinkedIn and Twitter, because my own personal experience, that’s what had been most successful and I felt like Facebook was a place that people go to engage but consumers go to engage with brands, or people go for life updates and that kind of thing, but it’s not really a place for the B2B world to have any business in. But, that turned out not to be true.
Holly Fong: No. Yeah. And the reason it wasn’t true has to do with-
Lauren Siler: Holly rigging the results.
Holly Fong: Yeah, I just pretended the numbers were a lot higher. Speaking of the numbers, I’ll mention how much higher they were. So the Facebook ads actually drove twice as many webinar registrations as the LinkedIn ad, and six times as many as the Google AdWords that we ran for the same webinar. A big reason for that had to do with the fact that we uploaded our existing list to Facebook and basically targeted to those people, so those people already knew of Newfangled, and that obviously helped.
Lauren Siler: And most likely had gotten other webinar promotions for that particular one-
Holly Fong: Exactly.
Lauren Siler: … because we were actively emailing the list at that time, too, so it was a reinforced message rather than breaking through a brand new one to somebody who’d never heard of us.
Holly Fong: Yeah, and I would agree with everything you said about maybe Facebook not having a place when it comes to trying to get brand awareness for a B to B business across Facebook, isn’t necessarily great, but I think continuing to nurture your audience across platforms that they might be on, Facebook included, isn’t a bad idea. Probably the biggest pro of Facebook’s advertising is that it is really cheap. Really, really cheap. So you’re going to reach way more people for less money pretty easily, which is great.
Lauren Siler: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I was surprised that it used the least amount of our budget and ended up being one of the more effective channels. So, that was helpful. I mean, beyond the paid side of Facebook, I think one of the things to keep in mind when you are participating on that platform, is if you’re looking to share your thought leadership there, a couple of things. Make sure you don’t allow your page to grow dormant. It never looks good when somebody goes to a business’s Facebook page and they clearly were invested in it for a few months and it’s crickets for a year.
Holly Fong: Yeah.
Lauren Siler: That doesn’t look great. I would also say that the way that the Facebook algorithm works, similar to LinkedIn, similar to any other network that you’re going to be working on, is the stuff that’s more engaged with is more likely to be funneled into other people’s feeds. So don’t just post something and then let it go. Encourage your employees to engage with it, encourage your network to like it and to talk about it, because the more activity any particular post gets, the more likely it is to be elevated in those results.
Holly Fong: Yeah. It’s also worth noting that we did this, like I said, seven or eight months ago, maybe, and things have changed some. So I think Facebook is still a valuable platform for now, but there’s also a lot of changes with who’s on Facebook, which has probably played into the hands of B2B businesses to this extent, because the age group of individuals who are on it are a lot older. But, you know, there’s been some-
Lauren Siler: And grow, and that’s continuing in that direction. So, Facebook’s rapidly losing the millennial audience and gaining more of the boomer fringe/squarely in the boomer.
Holly Fong: Yeah, exactly. But it’s losing a large portion of it’s audience. So it will be interesting to see how Facebook maybe changes course over the next months to year, here, because they’ve lost a large portion of their audience, and it’s not looking great for them until they maybe change things around. It might be that they go more towards the business side of things, because they have a different audience set now, but it’s not looking great for Facebook recently.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. We’ve got a couple of things to keep in mind. So on the paid side, probably worth trying, right? Because it’s pretty low barrier to entry, because it’s not very expensive. It’s cool that you can upload your email list and target people who are already familiar with your brand, and so that helps boost engagement across multiple channels, because these are people who are probably receiving emails from you, probably been to your website before.
Holly Fong: Yeah, and you can even do just retargeting ads. So not only are they on your list, but you could do an ad so that any time someone comes to your website and then goes to Facebook, they might see an ad for your site there.
Lauren Siler: Right. Right. On the non-paid side, I think a couple of additional pieces of advice. One, when you publish, make sure that you encourage your employees and your network of industry peers to engage with that piece of content, but two, make sure that you’re not only just singing your own praises. You’re not just publishing relevant stuff from your website. It’s great to do that, because anything you’re writing you may as well post it on your social channels and try and drive traffic back to your site, but if somebody lands on your Facebook page and it’s literally just an endless scroll of your most intelligent thoughts, as wonderful as that is, that’s not likely to be as engaging for people who are looking for a greater variety of education on a particular subject.
Holly Fong: Yeah, it’s interesting because LinkedIn I think you can keep more strictly focused on the content and your thought leadership that you’ve written, and maybe hiring and things like that. Facebook is a kind of different mix where it’s almost like you could put in some culture posts. You can wish happy birthday on something like Facebook, and do all of that, and tag people that work at that company. Maybe you wouldn’t necessarily do that on LinkedIn.
Lauren Siler: Right.
Holly Fong: But it’s got a different blend of what you probably want to be posting to it.
Lauren Siler: Yeah, because there’s some truth to my original perception of Facebook which is people are in a different mindset when they are on that platform. When you’re on LinkedIn, you know you’re getting professional and professional only. Facebook is a blend, to your point. So I think that makes sense. When I work with a lot of firms initially trying to figure out their outbound email strategy, a lot of them that come to us have built up some sort of following around curating smart thinking in their industry, so they maybe haven’t found a way to invest in a content marketing strategy that allows them to develop their own thought leadership regularly enough to send out emails that just contain their thought leadership. So, what they do is they curate what they think are the most interesting articles for that particular week or month and they send that out to their list, to say, “Hey, if you care about this stuff, go check out these articles.”
I tend to wean my clients off of that strategy because I want them to be promoting their own thought leadership, and by that point we will have worked to figure out a way for them to consistently develop their own content. But for something like Facebook, when you’re trying to break through the homogeneity of just your content on the Facebook page, I think putting on that curation hat makes a lot of sense. Go out and look at what are smart people in your industry saying about this particular subject matter, and if you’re interested in curating a conversation about those things, use your Facebook page to be publishing those types of articles, and then engage with them in the comment section there.
Holly Fong: Yeah. I would also say Facebook is good for engaging people with different types of content than maybe something like LinkedIn, where you might be looking at more article-based white papers, things like that, and then on Facebook you might think about promoting something like a podcast or promoting a video or promoting a webinar, as I mentioned we had done before. So those types of content also might be more heavily engaged with. Again, it could be a partner of yours that is doing a webinar, that you’re trying to help drive registrations to, and maybe you’re cross-promoting that way. But definitely the type of content is also relevant to think about when you’re thinking about what platforms you want to post it to.
Lauren Siler: Do you think that by and large, across any social channel, that you would prioritize gated over ungated, or do you think a mix is best?
Holly Fong: A mix is probably fine for just the traffic that you’re going to get organically, and what you’re just posting. When it comes to paid, I’ve said this to clients before, I just wouldn’t spend money on a channel like LinkedIn especially, even Facebook, really, to promote anything that isn’t gated.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. I agree.
Holly Fong: You know, I don’t think those are the spaces to really get … Especially for the types of firms we work with, to build awareness or anything like that. I don’t think that’s sticky enough. You know? They might see, “Okay, they posted one article and that’s fine.”
Lauren Siler: Right.
Holly Fong: But you really need to get their information and continue to get in their inbox and continue to market to them to really matter.
Lauren Siler: I completely agree. So, organic social posting, anything’s fair game. If you are looking to invest in a paid strategy, then try and keep it to something that’s going to require a conversion, so you’re actually getting something out of that media spend.
Holly Fong: Exactly.
Lauren Siler: Okay. Great. Well, we should take a little break. When we come back we’ll talk about Twitter, and then also address some of the common questions around this that we hear a lot.
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Lauren Siler: Okay, so the final social network that we want to just spend a little bit of time on today was Twitter. We get asked less frequently about Twitter, honestly. I think most of the questions that I hear come from Facebook and LinkedIn on my side. What about you?
Holly Fong: Same. I actually don’t think I’ve ever gotten a question about Twitter.
Lauren Siler: So why in the world are we covering it? Why are we talking about this?
Holly Fong: We’re just here to tell you it’s not important. No. Okay.
Lauren Siler: I think the reason that I would recommend that you consider Twitter from a B2B standpoint is that people do tend to go to that network for information. Oftentimes it’s news-related, but again, I start thinking about the mentality that people are in when they are on these different channels, and I think when people go to Twitter, they’re not looking just for lifestyle, cultural type information. They’re going to Facebook or going to Instagram for those types of experiences. Twitter has become an information hub. When you go to Twitter specifically, most people, the things that they are linking to are articles or reports or whatever. You know, they’re more in-depth information that people are actually publishing on that platform.
Holly Fong: I would also say it’s definitely a platform that encourages conversation.
Lauren Siler: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Holly Fong: So, you know, thought leadership and articles, definitely, but also people’s thoughts and conversation around that thought leadership and article that’s been posted, is encouraged on a channel like Twitter. If you’re using Twitter just to say, “We did this and then we did that and then we did that,” you know, no one’s really going to find that that interesting.
Lauren Siler: One thing that I’ve noticed, to that point, about the way that companies use Twitter, oftentimes I observe firms who have the company Twitter feed … Newfangled does this, right? We have @Newfangled_Web, that’s our Twitter handle, and we publish our thought leadership under that profile, but then we have individuals inside of our firm who are more prolific on the platform. And when they publish our thought leadership, that’s when it actually gets engaged with and I’ve noticed that’s not just a pattern with Newfangled, that’s a pattern across many B2B organizations. I think it’s the-
Holly Fong: Person to person interaction.
Lauren Siler: Yeah.
Holly Fong: I mean, it’s the same as if you send an email-
Lauren Siler: From a generic alias.
Holly Fong: Exactly.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. Yeah. The same deal, right? So, am I going to engage with the faceless entity of Newfangled, or am I going to respond to a Question Chris Butler post? So, I think that that’s an important thing to consider when you’re trying to figure out how to get the most engagement with the stuff that you’re posting inside of your-
Holly Fong: Definitely. And probably an easy way to do that is have individuals at the company, especially the thought leaders, be sure to post to their Twitter. But you can also retweet the company’s post as well, and that can be an easy way to maybe garner more of that engagement.
Lauren Siler: I also think it speaks to the strategy of allowing individual personalities and voices to shine through the lens of the professional umbrella. What I mean is, inside of your messaging strategy, your firm might have a certain viewpoint on a particular subject, but then you have individuals inside of your firm whose personalities are different, and the way that they talk about particular viewpoint is going to vary based on who they are, what their experience has been, and I think that’s okay. In fact, when I’m working with content teams, I encourage them not to adopt the same tone, exactly, because it actually waters down the content, makes it less interesting.
So, your Twitter strategy is something similar, where the main organization can publish a piece of content or publish an opinion about something, but encourage the individuals who have an interest in this platform inside your organization to take up that conversation and take up that particular subject matter inside of their own voice. Because it’s more likely that they’re going to be the ones that get engaged with by the community other than the business professional.
Holly Fong: Definitely. Yeah. And especially if they’re using their own voice to promote that content. To your point, it’s definitely going to be more engaged with than if someone sees that, “Okay, well, they’re just saying exactly what their company says.”
Lauren Siler: Right, exactly.
Holly Fong: “It doesn’t sound like them.”
Lauren Siler: Yeah.
Holly Fong: And it’s not going to garner that engagement.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. The only other little tip that I’d offer up with Twitter that might be useful, is in addition to just when you’re using it as another megaphone for your thought leadership, you can create lists inside of Twitter of like-minded people, right? You can find people inside of your industry or you could even target people who are at a particular company. You can curate these things manually. It’s not that difficult to do. You can build up these different lists, and then use that to track the conversations that are happening and find the right opportunity for your organization to insert themselves in that conversation, to build up a following.
Holly Fong: Yeah, and there’s so many tools out there that have, like you were saying, Twitter prospecting tools where you can find out who’s talking about what or who’s at what event. Again, you know, it’s just a great space for starting that conversation or finding people in the same space as you are. at the same conference as you are, to maybe have an offline conversation with, but you could start it online on Twitter.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. Exactly. I mean, we’ve done that for sure. We’ve definitely built up relationships that way, with individuals who we met through that digital platform. So it does happen.
Holly Fong: Yeah. Definitely.
Lauren Siler: Okay. I think that’s it for the Twitter world. We should move into some questions.
Holly Fong: Yeah. Let’s start with questions. So, one question we got through our email, and I’d be interested to hear your perspective on this, Lauren, is, “Is it worth posting my content to Outbrain?” So, do you want to start by just explaining what Outbrain is and then your opinion on that?
Lauren Siler: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Sure. So, Outbrain is an organization. It’s a tool that basically you send your content to them and then they’ve got all these relationships with major publishers, like CNN and Politico, and they publish your article on those particular websites. The whole concept behind Outbrain is that they believe that with the digital age we’ve lost the variety that maybe one used to value in a printed magazine. So, the experience of opening a magazine, reading whatever article was on that page and then turning the page and not knowing what the next article was going to be about. Holly is not into this idea. Her face.
Holly Fong: Not my favorite.
Lauren Siler: But I mean, I kind of understand that concept, right? You would, in the past, for a physical magazine, you’d work to pull together a collection of interesting things that … I mean the magazine itself was targeted to a certain market, of course, but the different items that were contained inside of that magazine were a little bit more varied. With the internet, I mean, we can go and find specifically the things that just we care about. So Outbrain’s trying to bring back the era of just throwing up different items in the air and seeing if anybody’s into them. So they don’t do a ton of targeting, from what we can tell, it’s like you send off your content and you pay them money to publish that content on a massive publisher’s website. Like CNN. So, when you think about do you want to make that investment, for most of the firms that we work with I would say, it’s not a good idea. Even if you succeed in increasing traffic to your site, which is probably going to be likely, I mean, if you’re published on that-
Holly Fong: Spend money, you can find a way to drive traffic to your site.
Lauren Siler: Right. Yeah.
Holly Fong: Doesn’t mean it’s good traffic.
Lauren Siler: Well, that’s the point. I think that’s something that is easy to forget. So yeah, you might have an influx of brand new traffic to the site, but it’s not necessarily going to increase engagement rates on the site, conversion rates on the site, because these people that are coming in are not necessarily going to be relevant to what you do. They may never be the kind of person who would ever hire you for your services. So you don’t want traffic for traffic’s sake.
Holly Fong: Exactly. Yeah. Everything that you’re describing about Outbrain, and maybe I just need to learn more about it, I don’t like, to be honest. I think the reason-
Lauren Siler: Let the record show.
Holly Fong: … that the web is so sticky is because people are using the web to find things that relate to them specifically. You know? It’s not the same as a magazine, where you’re getting on a plane and you have X number of hours to kill and you’re just seeing what that magazine has to offer. Usually, you’re going onto the internet with a specific, especially if you’re going to Google or something like that, you’re going to find something specific that is going to be able to help you, and I don’t know that just saying, “Whatever you see next is a surprise,” is a really great way of keeping people on those platforms.
Lauren Siler: I just think it’s hard from a B2B standpoint. I can definitely get on board with, okay, so many different … Think about the market that CNN has. It’s so vast. So, if I’m on a particular page on CNN and I see some interesting article that’s related to an interest of mine that’s not a business thing, right?
Holly Fong: Yeah, it makes sense for the mass consumer.
Lauren Siler: Right. Then, I can get on board with that. But the type of firms that we’re working with, who market in this way, they have to be laser-focused on their positioning in order for digital marketing to work, and I just feel like Outbrain completely flies in the face of that strategy.
Holly Fong: Yeah. I would agree with that, because there’s so many people on those sites, and you don’t know how many of those people, if any, really fall into your target demographic.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. Exactly. The final question that we are going to cover off on today kind of brings us full circle to where we started, really, at the beginning of this podcast. But the question is, “How many social networks is too much social networks?” Do you have any thoughts on that?
Holly Fong: Yeah. I would say there’s definitely no magic number. It’s as many as you can spend the time and resources to support, and as many as you have a guided direction of what you’re spending those time and resources on. So you shouldn’t just be on all the platforms and post the same thing to all of those platforms. That’s not really going to behoove you. But if you have a Facebook and you’re using Facebook to retarget to your list, and you know, maybe engage with prospects and employees on it, and you’re promoting your content but you’re also making sure that you’re using it for when you have events and things like that, that might make sense for you.
LinkedIn generally makes sense for most companies to have, especially because of HR features and things like that that you can use for recruiting efforts, and when you have new positions available in your company. Beyond that, I would say it really just depends on what you have the time to support. I don’t think you should have an Instagram unless you’re using it for a very specific reason. We use it to maybe show some of our culture and a prospective individual who maybe wants to work at Newfangled would probably find value in that more than our prospects.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. We use it more as a recruitment tool, and that’s our very specific goal, so we understand that we’re not looking to promote the latest webinar on something like Instagram, and it’s fine if we share photos of our Friday morning brunch, because that’s something that somebody who might want to work here would be interested in. I agree with you. I would say less is more, if I had to put an opinion in one direction over another. I would start really small and then grow from there. I think a lot of the firms I meet tend to be overambitious with this. You got to prioritize just your content strategy first.
I think social is a nice to have after you’ve figured out how to regularly express your expertise through different content types on your website. So, once you’ve got that in hand, then I would agree with Holly’s prioritization, LinkedIn, because you can literally pick up what you’re publishing and just stick it on LinkedIn. It’s also a really great recruitment tool, and a lot of people these days who are looking for jobs will go check out your business on LinkedIn. So, it makes sense to start there, in my opinion, and then move into perhaps Facebook, maybe Twitter, but start with one and see how it goes. Because as the point we made at the beginning of this episode, it’s better to have fewer well-run social platforms, than to have many, poorly-optimized social platforms.
Holly Fong: Exactly. So pick as many as you have individual goals for and the resources to support.
Lauren Siler: I think we can leave it at that.
Holly Fong: Awesome.
Lauren Siler: Thanks so much. This has been a lot of fun.
Holly Fong: Yeah. Thank you for having me, again.
Lauren Siler: Yeah. Definitely. If you are enjoying what you’re hearing, make sure to find us on iTunes, subscribe to the podcast, tell your friends about it, tell your colleagues about it, give us a positive rating. Those always help others discover us.
Holly Fong: Or, a negative one, but please tell us why.
Lauren Siler: I think you’re the first person ever to ask for a negative review.
Holly Fong: I’m just saying, if you want to give us feedback that’s fine. Or you could email us.
Lauren Siler: Anything. Yeah. Yeah. Let’s go with that. And if somebody had a critique of the show, where might they email?
Holly Fong: They could email us at ConsiderThis@Newfangled.com.
Lauren Siler: Or you can tweet us, @ConsiderThisPod on Twitter, or you can find us at ConsiderThisPod on Facebook.
Holly Fong: Yeah, and those are also all the platforms which you can reach us to ask any questions, so we can answer during the show. So please be in touch.
Lauren Siler: Yes. Our next episode is going to be diving into testing. Email testing and testing your messaging strategy with your content. So if you have any specific questions about that, let us know. Thanks so much.
Holly Fong: Thanks.