rollercoaster-831513_1920Do you ever feel like you are on a social media roller coaster? There are so many new platforms and the ones you already use are changing every day. People get overwhelmed with the choices and the changes. Many just give up, because they feel like they are wasting their time when not seeing the desired results.

Educate Yourself To Stay Up To Date

I was hired to give a presentation to a Chamber of Commerce in Peru, Illinois. The title of the presentation was Social Media for Business, but it was kind of a misnomer, at least in what I presented. This was a three-hour presentation, and of course, everybody wanted to know how I use social media to make money. The answer to that is very simple, use social media correctly.

14095796_10208315217972037_6155889536821524738_nThe first two hours were actually spent on what I call the principles of social media, which is having to know the basic principles of know, like and trust. More importantly, you have to understand why people are on social media, what they expect, and what you can provide to them. The principles are really about creating your own original content that gives people what they want, that entertains them, and that gives them information that is new and of value.

What people really want to know is how to post my ads and make money. That’s really super simple. All you have to do is go to Facebook, Google or Linkedin and pay for it. If you want to do it in a more organic way where you’re not paying for all these ads, then you have to do your original content and be consistent about it. One of the things that I like to teach up front is, first and foremost, understand the why behind the how. The next thing is to create a system that’s repeatable, so that you can do it over and over.

During the last hour of the presentation, I spent some time talking about Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus. These are all of the different things that people are using and what I consider to be the top five. Then of course there were a lot of questions about some of the newer social media like Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Live, etc. I want to kind of explore that. I want to look at ways to utilize these and tell you why you should explore them. First and foremost, you’ve got to understand who your audience is, where they’re at, and what kind of information they’re looking for.

Exploring Snapchat

facebook-1602262_960_720In Snapchat, for example, you go on and you can either post a picture to direct at someone specifically or you can do these little, short 10-second videos. There is something called a Snapchat Story, where you can go in and actually sequence a handful of these little videos together. I’ve seen people do some incredibly creative things with them. Joel Comm, who is a master at video marketing, has done some really, really great Snapchat stories, where he’s taken complete songs and turned them into online marketing.

Many brands are jumping on Snapchat and they’re using Story to build these mini-videos. The thing you don’t want to do is barrage people with information. You don’t want to make the story so long that it doesn’t make sense. What that means is you’ve got to plan out what it is that you’re trying to achieve and what you expect from your audience. What do you want them to do?

I watched a Snapchat from Joel today and he had a coupon for something called Dot Live. The coupon allowed you to get your domain Dot Live for twenty percent off. I haven’t gone into that, I haven’t looked at the pricing or anything, but he was actually selling something with a story. There are other people like John Lee Dumas, who I’ve interviewed and I’ve watched some of his Story. He’s also using it as a marketing tool to try to sell to his audience. The key is that you have to build the audience first, before they’re going to buy anything.

The question becomes why do I want to use Snapchat when whatever I put up only lasts twenty-four hours? Because that’s the way the platform works and that’s the way that people expect it. The people who are using Snapchat really love it. They don’t mind that things only last twenty-four hours. They figure if I don’t get to it now, I’m never going to get to it. That’s the way you have to think about it.

This Message Will Self-Destruct

reel-to-reel-401190_960_720I don’t know how old you are, but back in the ’60s, Mission Impossible was a weekly TV show. At the beginning of every episode, they would play a tape (a little reel-to-reel) and they would say, “This message is going to self-destruct in ten seconds,” and all of a sudden the tape would burn up. That’s essentially what happens in Snapchat, but it takes twenty-four hours. You have to learn how to communicate within that bandwidth of what people are used to inside of each one of those new social media tools. Each one of these video tools has its own audience on its own platform.

You’ve got Facebook Live. You’ve got Periscope. You now have Story inside of Instagram, and then you have Snapchat. The question becomes is your audience on there and are they using it in a way that you could get your messages out to help you promote your business? Those are the key things. First and foremost, what messages are you trying to get out there? What is the original content that you’re trying to provide that’s going to educate, inform, or entertain?

Where Is Your Audience?

Concept of confused way of a businessman

The second thing is which one of these platforms is your audience actually using? In a couple of different interviews on podcasts, I have heard that kids love Snapchat, but they think Instagram is trying to copy Snapchat with its stories. Instagram is for pictures and Snapchat is for stories. Facebook Live is getting inundated with people taking live videos, which is very interruptive. It all of a sudden comes up and says, “Hey, this person is live on Facebook right now.” The more people use it, the more people are going to start to ignore it. The bottom line is is you have to have a solid audience that you want to communicate to. One of the best ways to do that if you’re going to use Facebook Live is put it on your business page or in your group, but don’t put it in your general newsfeed. Talk to the audience that you’ve already built.

Let’s go back to that concept one more time. You have to have your tribe, you have to have your audience, and you have to know what information they want. If they’re on Snapchat, treat them like Snapchat, act like people act on Snapchat. If they’re on Instagram, use the tools that are there in the way that people want you to use them. If it’s Facebook and you’re doing live video there, then you have to wonder if you are over-communicating or doing the right things.

Understand The Why Before The How

business man hand shows 3d word internet concept
business man hand shows 3d word internet concept

This is the thing that overwhelms people, especially in the group of mostly women that I was speaking to in Peru. They have a hard enough time understanding what to do in Facebook, but then adding Live video, doing Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google Plus and all of these other things overwhelms them. Step back for a second. Number one, who is your audience? Number two, where are they? Number three, what information can you possibly provide them that would be of value to them? Number four, are you getting feedback? Are you getting engagement? Are you talking with your audience and saying where are you, what kind of information do you want, and how can I serve you better?

We all try to guess. We all try to figure out that the latest and greatest thing is going to make the biggest difference, but the bottom line is talk to your audience, ask them what they want, what they need, and where they want it. Then provide it, but also measure the results. Understand the response that you’re getting. It’s not just the hearts, the likes, or the shares, it’s all of those things.

Final Thoughts

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC - SEPTEMBER 9, 2014: Large group of tourists at Prague central square looking up to Old Town Hall tower.

The bottom line with all of this new technology is first and foremost talk to your people. Know what they want, where they want it, and how they want to get it from you. Secondly, just go in and play. Even if your audience is not on there, just go explore a little bit and see how it works. See what you can do within it. Spend five minutes on a Saturday or a Sunday to explore and see what other people are doing and just learn. I’ve learned that the only constant in this new digital world is change. The bottom line is embrace it, have fun with it, go learn something. Just play around with the new technologies and see if it works for you.

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments and maybe some other topics you would like me to cover!

To learn more about this and other topics on Internet Marketing, visit our podcast website at