If you have been on the internet for any length of time you already know that the social media room can be one of the most overwhelming but effective ways of getting your content and products out there for people to see. On this episode of the podcast Scott is talking with an expert at social media about how to use it effectively to increase traffic to your website and product listings. Laura Roeder joins us today to share about her experience with social media and to give some great tips on how to advance your business using her tool for social media management.
The importance of having content to share.
Many people try to use social media as a bullhorn to blast out promotions and offers about their products. Well that can work to a small degree it is not the way social media actually works when done right. Social media is meant to be social, that means people building relationships with people. In order to do that in a way that is adding value to those natural conversations you need to have content to share that is both promotional and helpful at the same time. On this episode Scott's guest shares some great tips about how to create that topic surrounding a product or niche that you want to promote.
How to promote physical products on social media.
Every Amazon Seller wants to get their product in front of people who love that type of product or niche. But doing so is the tricky part. You don't want to blast your product in front of people repeatedly, they will turn you off if you do. But you also don't want to be shy about telling people about your great product when the timing is right. That balance can be very difficult to attain. Scott decided to go out and find a social media expert who could help clear the air on this important subject and help you develop a game plan to promote your product the right way on social media. That's what this episode of the show is all about.
Build relationships with thought leaders in your niche if you want to gain traction.
By taking the social aspect of social media seriously, you can do a lot to promote and build your brand over time. And notice, it does take time. That's because relationships that are valuable and trusted take time to build, you can't just share your product with an influencer in your niche and expect them to share it right away. There needs to be a relationship that is foundational to that conversation. On this episode of the podcast Laura Roeder shares her insights into building those kinds of relationships with key people in your product in it so that you can build your business on the backs of those important personalities, and do it the right way.
A warning to those new to the private label arena.
If you are just getting started with private label sales on Amazon Scott has a very wise caution for you. The contents of this episode are likely not something you need to focus on right now. Your first step is to get a product onto the Amazon platform and use the tools that Amazon provides to get your sales going. That is the best way to verify whether the product you're selling is a good choice, and to start your business rolling in the right direction. Once you've done all of that, the social media tips on this episode may be relevant to what you are doing. So don't get overwhelmed thinking that you need to do everything on this episode. At this point, it may not apply to you at all.
OUTLINE OF THIS EPISODE OF THE AMAZING SELLER
- [0:04] Scott’s introduction to the podcast!
- [0:50] Introduction of today’s topic and today’s guest: Laura Roeder.
- [2:44] iTunes reviews and love to share. How you can leave your review.
- [4:54] Laura’s background in social media and online business.
- [8:19] Overcoming the challenges of connecting with Amazon customers via social media.
- [10:34] How should a seller go about building content around their products/niche?
- [13:18] Why Pinterest is a great channel to use for physical product promotion.
- [14:04] Instagram use for promoting physical products.
- [16:41] How images impact Facebook and Twitter.
- [17:06] Facebook fan pages: are they a good idea?
- [20:27] Facebook videos and live feeds… how to use them.
- [22:43] What should a brand new ecommerce seller on Amazon do regarding social media?
- [26:31] How to find thought leaders in your niche on Twitter?
- [28:21] How to manage your content and Laura’s software platform: Edgar.
- [31:25] How the categories in Edgar work.
- [33:40] How often should people be posting on social media?
- [36:10] Tips about using the various social media platforms.
- [38:07] How social media can be used to build an email list.
- [40:10] Laura’s advice about getting started: just dive in.
- [41:10] How to connect with Laura.
- [42:16] Scott’s summary of the conversation.
- [42:55] Scott’s warning to those just starting out on Amazon.
- [44:20] Choosing social platforms where your customers hang out.
- [45:30] How to get your free 10 day private label course.
TRANSCRIPT TAS 192
TAS 192 : How to Use Social Media to Sell Products with Laura Roeder
[00:00:03] SV: Hey, what’s up everyone welcome back to another episode of the Amazing Seller Podcast. This is episode number 192 and today I am really excited. No I don’t mean I’m just really excited. I’m really excited that you are here number one and welcome back and thank you so much for taking time out of your day to listen and to making this podcast really more than I ever could have imagined. Being able to interact with you guys…
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…on a regular basis whether it’s through your earbuds and you listening to me right now and us being able to maybe interact over on Periscope or maybe on Snapchat now. You guys are awesome and amazing and I just wanted again to say before we move in here, thank you so much. You guys are really, really awesome. Just want to get that out of the way.
But I’m really excited that you are here because today I had, well not today but I interviewed a social media expert and a lot of you have been asking, “Scott do we use Instagram, do we use Pinterest, what’s the best social media platforms that I should be going out there and using?” I don’t really have those answers. I do know how powerful social media can be but I also know that we want to drive them back to our own email list, we want to start building our own following and all that stuff or just get intelligence about our market. I know that there is a lot of great things that can happen with social media but I also know that it could be a time suck. There is a lot of time that goes into social media but there’s ways that you can do it so that way that you are not having to do it all and rather than me dive into this stuff I should probably have Laura who I invited on here as a guest, Laura that is.
She is a social media expert and she also created a tool that helps in this process to make it easier and I actually use the software. It’s called Edgar and I’m going to let her explain all about that but I’m also going to let her give us some tips and that’s what she did here on this interview. She was kind enough to come on, she is a busy, busy lady and she agreed to come on and share a lot of knowledge about selling products or getting people to buy products through social media and not just maybe just direct sales which she says that you can do but more than that. I really love it how she breaks it down for us and I’m really excited for you to see exactly what she would do. That’s what I did I flipped around and said, “Hey Laura what would you do if you were starting over right now and you had a physical product that you wanted to sell or a physical products or you had a brand? What would you do?”
She goes ahead and breaks it down for us and that’s what I really love about doing these interviews. It's I’m able to almost get a coaching call from an expert and then give it to you. That's really what this felt like because I was doing it as far as myself so really, really cool stuff. Now before we jump into that interview I wanted to again say thank you for all of the people that have been reaching out to me whether its email, whether it's blog comments, whether its iTunes reviews, whether it’s maybe on Periscope. Where you are I want to say thank you and I want to give a little iTunes love. I haven’t given iTunes love in a long time so I figured I’d give a little love right now and just some of the most recent ones like the titles like thank you Scott, so grateful, taking action guys, found myself taking tons of useful notes, golden nuggets, take action, listen to this podcast, great tips, great help and very motivation, these are awesome and they are just really inspiring to me.
[00:03:24] SV: It motivates me to want to continue this when I’m able to reach you and they hear how it’s making an impact on you and your life. The one I want to read real quick is from Tristan Summerfield so Tristan thank you so much for being a listener and leaving that iTunes review. She says, “Wow thank you so much Scott I’m super grateful that you offer such detailed guides and specific instructions for succeeding as an Amazon FBA seller. The podcast on launching strategies was most particularly useful and I wrote out a long list of actionable steps that I am really looking forward to implementing. All the shows I have listened to thus far have been filled with real steps, with less emphasis and generalities and non-relatable stories, highly recommend and five star.” Tristan thank you so much, thank you, thank you I really do appreciate it.
Alright guys if you guys have not left an iTunes review and you want to do so please go over there and let me know what the show is doing for you and if you are enjoying it or hey, even if you are not enjoying it let me know alright? That’s what I wanted to throw out there and give you guys a little bit of love there on iTunes world and all you Periscope followers too that are hanging out on me there I want to thank you guys as well because you guys are awesome and we see each other quite often. I’m going to stop rambling now and I’m going to let you sit back and relax or maybe go on your run whatever you are doing. I’m going to let you guys now listen to this awesome amazing interview I did with a social media expert and her name once again is Laura Roeder, so enjoy this interview.
[00:04:53] SV: Hey Laura thank you so much for coming on the TAS podcast. How are you doing?
[00:04:58] LAURA: I am doing great, how are you Scott?
[00:05:00] SV: I am doing real good and I’m excited to have you on because I haven’t really had a social media type expert on that can really talk to us about using social media not just for I guess going out there and connecting with friends and stuff like a lot of people are but really how to use it in a business. Ours is a little bit different because we are selling physical products for the most part and I know that you have a lot of history in helping people in that. Maybe you can just let people know a little bit about your background as far as the social media and how you came on the scene there and I know that now that you have Edgar which I'm actually a subscriber of and I use it every day so we could talk about that and how we use the social media. But I do really want to get behind really what we can do as far as taking our physical products and getting them out there in social media world.
[00:05:53] LAURA: Yeah so my background, I’ve been in the social media space for as long as there has been one. I started working for myself as a web designer and then when social media started to become interesting to small businesses in 2007, 2008. My clients were asking me about that a lot so that’s where I got the idea to start doing social media consulting so in 2009 I switched over to social media consulting which soon became social media training and let’s say online training programs. I did that, train small businesses about social media marketing in Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn from 2009 to … Well I guess I’m still sort of doing it.
In 2014 I launched my first software product which is Edgar which is a social media scheduling and automation tool and that’s just taken off in a huge way, we’ll talk about it, we just do something a little bit different that none of the other tools do allowing you to build a library of content that cycles through over and over again. We weren’t the only ones that thought that was a good idea so at this point we have about five thousand customers. We just launched about a year and a half ago so it’s been our fine fast ride.
[00:07:09] SV: Yeah I know I love how your journey started somewhere and now it’s turned somewhere else because you fill the void in your own business and challenges and then from there I can probably say you didn’t look and predict this like three years ago and say, “I’m going to launch a SAS product.” It happened because of the steps that you took before that. If you never did social media you wouldn’t be where you are today probably, right?
[00:07:35] LAURA: Exactly, there is that Steve Jobs quote about how you can always connect the dots in retrospect but you can’t connect the dots at the time. That’s definitely how it's happened for me, I didn’t know that I would end up running a software company but yeah we just saw the need for some social media software so we built it now here I am.
[00:07:53] SV: Yeah I know it’s crazy and I look at my story the same thing like how you start and then you trace back to the different things, the different decisions, the different risks or different challenges that you faced and how it does lead you through to where you are and who knows where you are going next. It’s fun to enjoy the ride and I tell it to everyone even people listening right now. You are starting maybe in the e-commerce space or the Amazon space but that just might be the stepping stone to get you to where you’ve got to go.
[00:08:17] LAURA: Yeah.
[00:08:17] SV: Alright, cool so just really let’s dig in. I’ve got some questions for you. One of them is, like I said we are physical product businesses and one of the challenges for us number one Amazon doesn’t give us the ability to get our customer information. We can’t go and get their email addresses, we can’t really technically it’s a little gray if we can actually put insert cards in to get our email addresses and stuff like that. There are some different work arounds and that’s why we do talk about starting on Amazon but then also building your own channel but what I want to do is, how can we use social media? What would you do for the physical product business? What would you say would be like one thing that we could at least to get started and that you think that could benefit a physical product business?
[00:09:11] LAURA: Yeah I think for any business it is important to have your own blog and your own website as a home base. Like you pointed out with Amazon it’s a great platform for selling but you can’t build a list. I know that it happens that Amazon creates their own competitor product so you lose your ranking for whatever reason. You don’t want your whole business to be reliant on this third party channel that you really have no control over. Having your own website, having your own blog where you can talk about your products and promote your products and start to build some backlinks out there because that’s the other thing.
You might have a blog post highlighting one of your products that's linking to Amazon to buy it but if you get some links to that blog post or maybe you don’t sell on Amazon anymore but those links still exist where someone can find the product on your site and then maybe you can send them somewhere else in the future to buy it or maybe still Amazon. It just gives you a piece of that real estate so I think your own website is always your home base and then you are using social media platforms to drive traffic both to your own site and directly to your product hostings.
[00:10:16] SV: Yeah. Now that makes sense that makes a lot of sense and it seems very standard and very basic but it's true. We want that home base and a lot of people say, “Isn’t blogging dead?” I don’t believe it is, I still think it’s the place where your content resides it’s a matter of how do you get people over to that content. If I’m hearing you correctly, it's like you want that home base with content so I think what you are saying also is content is probably important to start talking about your product in helping with. Maybe you can go on a little bit about that. If we are selling a physical product, what are the first stages? Building the content?
[00:10:53] LAURA: Yeah content is really, really important because content people link to and actually with physical products you sometimes have a bit of an advantage because in a services business no one is linking to your pricing page ever. You have to create content if you want backlinks. Products depending on category can be different because people often do link directly to the product especially if we are talking about Pinterest there are often links directly back to the product. If you have nice photos of your product that people would actually want to link to but whether or not you are in a category where people link to you, you want to create content so that you have great shareable content.
Looking at Pinterest as an example which I think can be a really valuable platform for e-commerce, creating blog posts and images where you are like showing different ways to use your product. Say you sell something really boring like paper clips so people aren’t pinning your paper clips to their wish list that often…
[00:11:52] SV: Wait a minute Laura do we have something that we share on the show because in the Amazon space we don’t really share our products because it gets out there where people are trying to all sell the same thing but we do have something where we always say and this would be fun like a garlic press. Let’s say I have a garlic press, I’m selling this beautiful stainless steel garlic press, what do we do to make this garlic press sexy in a sense?
[00:12:14] LAURA: Yeah so a few ideas that immediately come to mind for me. One you can go the direction of recipes like create with garlic in particular you know there is that chain restaurant the Stinking Roast that's all about garlic you could create content like garlic lovers if you like an insane amount of garlic in your food these are the recipes for you.
[00:12:33] SV: Yeah I like it.
[00:12:33] LAURA: People are pinning them being like, “Oh my god I can’t believe anyone would eat this much garlic.” You could also do like what are fifty different ways that you can use a garlic press. You can probably like press play-doh through it with your kids, you can find some craft projects, there is other food that you can mince with the garlic press so yeah. I think you can get really creative looking at what type of content can I create around my product that actually would be funny or interesting or beautiful or compelling enough for people to share?
[00:13:05] SV: Yeah I know, I think that’s really, really good. It's comical but it’s actually good because like you said you can find I think fifty ways to use the garlic that’s great the recipes obviously, garlic lovers, that’s good stuff. From what I’m hearing though you are saying Pinterest is probably a really good channel for a physical product.
[00:13:25] LAURA: Yeah and again it does depend on the category. I think a garlic press would work because it's related to cooking, obviously anything that looks nice. If you are selling clothes or jewelry or home goods or anything like that it’s just really huge on Pinterest. It’s such a cool opportunity because like I said people do link directly back to your product which to have people sharing pins that just link to buying you on Amazon is a pretty cool opportunity. In my space in the software space we don’t have an account on Pinterest for Edgar because it’s really not so compelling for software but I think for e-commerce it can be a really important part of a strategy.
[00:14:04] SV: Okay. What are your thoughts on Instagram for physical products?
[00:14:07] LAURA: Instagram is also is definitely one that is often more successful for physical products. It’s the same thing so for software we don’t instantly use Instagram I mean you can, I’ve seen people get very creative with it. Instagram in particular I would say even more heavily towards those beautiful products so you have the same spaces of fashion, home decor, stuff like that are huge on Instagram. I guess recipes people post on Instagram as well or in health and fitness or stuff like that. Instagram is tricky because what I hate about Instagram is you can’t put links in individual posts which just like kill me as a marketer. You can only put links back in your profile which is pretty hard to get to.
People are starting like I’m blinking on the name. There is a startup now where you can tag things in the image and now link back to products so people are getting more innovative with it. Instagram is tricky because you can’t schedule it like the scheduling tools that say … Instagram all they really do is like send you a reminder to pull up Instagram on your phone and post it so you can’t get that savvy marketing-wise. Instagram is a great platform and it's huge but you have to be all in with Instagram because you have to be doing it live, you have to create so much content so I would honestly not go there first for those reasons.
[00:15:32] SV: Okay good, good I’m glad that you said that. From what I’m hearing interest is probably, depending on the product of course. Like you said you are in software but we are talking physical product for the most part if we are talking of sporting good type thing if you are selling a tennis racket then you would probably have some tennis lessons or this, that or the other thing. Okay cool, now Pinterest also they have, I don’t use it personally right now for my e-commerce stuff, I want to but aren’t they running ads now too that go directly…
[00:16:01] LAURA: Yes.
[00:16:01] SV: Okay can you talk a little bit about that, do you know a lot of that?
[00:16:03] LAURA: I don’t actually, I don’t. You should have a different podcast.
[00:16:07] SV: Okay and I want to, I want to actually have a Pinterest expert come on at some point because I think it would be fascinating to figure out a strategy to deploy that’s not really overwhelming too because we could throw all the stuff out there and the people get paralyzed because there is so much to do.
[00:16:23] LAURA: Yes.
[00:16:23] SV: But you are talking more on the sense about creating the content on your blog and then writing about, maybe putting the recipes on but then having maybe a snapshot of the recipe and a beautiful image on Pinterest that links back to your blog post.
[00:16:34] LAURA: Exactly and yeah we’ve been talking about Pinterest but Facebook and Twitter are still really important tools as well and the cool thing is if you are being more image heavy, images are really important on Facebook and on Twitter. Especially on Twitter a lot of people still don’t use images and for that reason when you are looking through your tweet stream an image is going to really stand out because most tweets don’t have them. If you are already thinking about images as you create your content I think that can make your content on Twitter and Facebook even more compelling because you already have those images to share.
[00:17:06] SV: Okay so now that we are talking a little bit about Facebook. What’s your thoughts on creating a fan page? Is it still good or is it still something we should be considering or should we just be looking at add ads?
[00:17:17] LAURA: One I would never create ads without creating a page because ads are going to just slowly increase likes to your page. For whatever reason when people see an add that certain amount of them click like on the page straight from the ad so you might as well build … Even if you didn’t have an organic strategy like just build up those likes through ads because why not. I just see Facebook, I don’t see it just being focused on ads. It’s still a great place to have kind of a piece of online real estate for your company and Facebook changes so much too. It’s the other reason I really, when people are, “I’m shutting down my Facebook page” I’m like, “Grrr.”
I feel like you might regret that because they are just constantly experimenting with how are we going to determine reach, how much are we going to encourage people to do ads and I just think we never know what the mix is going to be for Facebook in the future but it’s one of the most important sites on the internet. If you just ignore it entirely I would just at least like have some sort of small presence there.
[00:18:22] SV: My thoughts on the Facebook stuff is yes right now the reach has kind of went down a lot since we started but the way I look at it is if you are building that fan page you are also building a list that you can target in your Facebook ads because you can then target those and a lot of people don’t look at that. They're like well, “I’m building this thing and it’s not really giving me the reach”, but if you want even for five bucks a day you can start showing that up to your thousand or two thousand Facebook fan page followers. What I don’t like right now currently is that you can’t, at least from the time that I am recording this, that I believe you can’t target your ads for a group.
[00:18:55] LAURA: Right.
[00:18:55] SV: That stinks because a group does have more engagement now at least for me that I’m finding even with a podcast it’s like we have a group and it's like the reach there is so much greater I think because people really raised their hands and wanted to join they requested to join. What’s your thoughts on Facebook fan paging group?
[00:19:13] LAURA: Yeah I mean groups have great engagement right now and the reason is just because Facebook is really trying to discourage marketing on groups. On it truthfully as more and more marketers embrace them we'll probably see the reach drop and that’s because people come to Facebook not to be advertised to. If Facebook was just a huge stream of ads people wouldn’t visit anymore. I think as marketers people are frustrated like, “Oh my reach has dropped, they make it so complicated.” If they didn’t do that there would be no one on Facebook at all which would be even less people. Yeah groups are a great format now and that’s why I just think you want to keep your options open like maybe at some point they would let you convert a page to a group. Who know what they are going to do? That’s why I just wouldn’t ignore the whole thing entirely.
[00:20:02] SV: Okay, okay, that's good stuff. While we're still on the Facebook group on all of that what's your thoughts on Facebook on the videos, videos now in the stream for as far as whether you're creating one putting on the fan page or if you're creating one for an ad. What's your thoughts on the new video option.
[00:20:20] Laura: Do you mean like live or just-?
[00:20:22] SV: No not live. Let me ask you this while I got you, maybe you know the answer to this, maybe you don't. What I'm not liking with the live is it's on my personal profile but if I have a fan page or if I have a group, what if I just wanted to go with them on a live feed and not my personal profile. Your personal profile at times is your friends and family. Right?
[00:20:41] Laura : Right, they just changed something about that.
[00:20:46] SV: I was thinking eventually they probably would because I don't want to broadcast all my high school friends but I want to broadcast to my podcast listeners or even my physical products business if I'm like at the forefront of that. That's kind of interesting but I would imagine eventually they would but that would be very powerful but right now I'm not using it because it's on my personal profile.
[00:21:07] Laura: I think they'll change that. They just sort of started making some change but I'm not sure exactly.
[00:21:11] SV: Let's go back to the garlic press for a second. Let's say we're doing a recipe or something and we're going to create a recipe, showing how to use it and we're going to be showing our garlic press and then from there we're going to take that and put it either on our Facebook fan page. Let's start there. What if we put it on our Facebook fan page, do you think that there's more reach because you're using a video now versus an image or just a straight up text?
[00:21:32] Laura: It can be but honestly it's not worth chasing Facebook's algorithm. Sometimes they favor videos, sometimes they favor single image, sometimes they favor galleries, sometimes they favor really long post, sometimes they favor the short times. It's constantly changing. It is smart to take a look at your page and kind of notice, “Okay, what is getting reach? What is getting text? What isn't,” and you might see the videos are doing really well. What I would caution is small business against is getting too carried away chasing it like saying like, “I'm going to spend $50,000 creating all these professional videos just because that's what Facebook is favoring today,” because it can be something different next week.
It's not part of your strategy like a video is a great part of the social strategy. If that's part of your strategy overall it's very smart to go that way and put on Facebook but I would caution people against doing that because video is hot right now. I've just seen everything come and go.
[00:22:32] SV: Yeah. That makes sense. Like you said you kind of got to go out there and mix it a little bit and not really chase the SEO game as you did in Google and all that stuff. Okay, before we jump into learning more about the software that you made, which is amazing by the way, what I want to do though is let's just play it as if you are brand new right now and you just launched a brand new e-commerce business. Okay. Let's just say we started on Amazon because it's so easy to get started and then we're also starting our own brand on kind of like off of Amazon. What's the first thing that you would do in the social media space but then obviously we say we create the blog but what would be like the first thing you'd be like okay this is what we need to do first?
[00:23:18] Laura: After I've made the blog you mean?
[00:23:19] SV: Yeah, let's just you have the blog, it's created but now okay do you create that piece of content first and then do you go and start creating the social channel so that you can direct it over. Give us just a run to like what's the, okay this is what we're doing the first month. You know what I mean? Kind of like get started.
[00:23:34] Laura: Yeah. We did this for Edgar because we launched the whole new brand on new social channels. What we did for Edgar is we actually started on one social network. In our case it's Twitter even before we launched the blog. I would say it kind of depends on the product that network it's going to be. It can be twitter, it can be Pinterest but it's great to just start in one place and what I love about Twitter is that you can actually talk to people. That's what's different about Twitter and a space like Facebook or Pinterest. It's that on Twitter you can follow much of thought leaders industry so maybe it's like chefs, cooking people, cooking magazines if you're doing the garlic press. You can follow all those people and you can actually build relationships with them.
You can let them know that there's a new gourmet garlic press company in town that they might be interested in. That's what's so cool about Twitter. We started on Twitter, we built up like a small following there just sharing. We didn't have our own content at that point, so just sharing content from the industry, you could also start to create your own images or kinds of smaller bits of content to share. Then once we had a blog that was nice because we actually had like a distribution channel for it. You know what I mean? We had even if you have like a few hundred followers. At least there's few hundred people that kind of start to spread the word on. Then we were on Twitter for a few months before moved to Facebook.
I also really liked attacking one channel at a time and starting to build a small base because then you have people to go over to the next channel. If you start Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook all at the same time it sucks when you starting your account. You're like why am I posting there's like seven people following, this is humiliating.
[00:25:21] SV: Yeah, you're right.
[00:25:22] Laura: It sucks. That's just part of it. It just sucks for the first few months. It takes time to build up the audience. If you're doing that in three places it's kind of sucking in three places where if you're just doing Twitter it kind of sucks on Twitter for the first three months but then once you launch on Facebook you have the following on Twitter where like a certain amount of those people are going to follow you to Facebook. It's not as [inaudible] as long.
[00:25:47] SV: That's good. You're saying, starting on Twitter following some thought leaders and then from there you can even just like even repost other people's stuff that just industry type tool information.
[00:25:57] Laura: Yeah. Absolutely. What are your customers interested in? Recipes, cooking news. There's no shortage of content on the internet for any industry. It doesn't need to be your own content. That is where I would start. It depends on your product and it also depends on you. If you're a huge Pinterest person and you just love Pinterest and you think it's super fun then that's going to be a good outlook for you. You're actually going to enjoy doing it.
[00:26:25] SV: Yeah, I agree. I think you should focus on one and then move on to the next when the time is right. With Twitter now for people to understand, how would they find thought leaders in their space? Is there a way that they can do that?
[00:26:39] Laura: Yeah. On Twitter there's something called lists and a lot of people have already made lists on every type of industry. Another just really easy thing to do is look at who people follow. That's a big way that we found people to follow especially a lot of influential people have like smaller lists of who they follow a few hundred people or less. I actually will just find an influencer and I'll just look at who they follow. I'll just like follow, follow down the list anyone looks kind of mildly related.
[00:27:09] SV: Okay. Then what's that going to do then is they will potentially be able to see your stuff that you post or will you add tag them kind of like.
[00:27:18] Laura: A certain amount of people do check out who follows them and follow back so you're going to get some follows that way. Then it's just more for you to have content to engage with so that when you sign on Twitter you now have this list of people that are sharing content about your industry so you can retweet them, you can talk to them. It's just also an easy way to find content to share. They're on another platform. It kind of gets you into that social mix of your industry very easily.
[00:27:46] SV: Okay. Cool. That's great. That's again for anyone listening starting I think the big thing here is starting on one platform especially if you know that you're really good at one, if you maybe are already currently then go with that one for right now. Twitter like you said is a good one and I am literally just started, not even about a year ago, started to really to start to focus a little bit more on Twitter. I've kind of fallen in love with Periscope myself for my podcast. Then just now SnapChat which I never thought I'd do and now I'm kind of, like you said, taking people from Periscope and letting them know about SnapChat. You know what I mean? It's kind of exactly what you just said and that's awesome.
Now that we have all this stuff going on let's start getting on different social media platforms, now we got to manage it. Now we have to find content and this is where Edgar comes in. Let's talk a little bit about this and why you created it.
[00:28:34] Laura: Yeah. Originally I was in training before Edgar so obviously as a social media training company we're very heavily own social media marketing. I had developed this process and it's workflow to manage our social media because it's a big complicated task as anyone knows. The process I created I had this giant spreadsheet and I divided all of our updates into different categories . Each column was a different category full of updates and then we would like cycle through them even mark them off as we went so we had to copy and paste each update into the social media scheduling tool if there's an image that was just like a disaster. There was no easy way to do that and to keep track of what we posted. There's no easy way to get the right next.
In copying and pasting I'd be like, “I'm going to choose one from this column and two from this column,” and like hope the day turns out the mix that I want. There was so much manual labor and it just seemed really … There were a few things that seemed really odd. One was always like why do I have a spreadsheet of my social media updates when I pay for a social media tool? Why can't the tool hold the updates? That just seemed so weird to me. Then being able to cycle through content was the other big one because 5%-10% of your audience at any given network sees any update that you post. To put your blood sweat and tears in creating this updates sending it once and never again it just doesn't make sense.
For a long time we've been cycling through our updates just creating a bunch of content one category and then just going through it so repeating the same content and the tools didn’t and still don’t, except for Edgar just have a really easy way to do that.
[00:30:23] SV: Yeah. I think what I really liked about the tool itself is number one like you said you can recycle it because let's face it you've had new people coming in all the time to your social media but you also have people that are in your social network like you said that don't see it. Most people don't see it. For you to put something back that you're like I don't want to bother people but really you're not because if someone else seen it even a week from or two weeks from now or even four weeks from now, they're probably not going to remember that they seen it. They have so much that they are seeing but also you're going to get a lot of people that haven't seen it before. It's like new to them or it's like, “Oh I must have missed that.”
I really liked it because when you create this content all of you're paying to have the content created, which we didn't even talk about because a lot of people are like, “How am I going to create content?” Well, you can pay people to do it for you and actually create that content or put it on your blog. When that happens it's there and you create it, you spend time or you spend money on that. Why just bury it. Right? Bring it back to the surface. I love it how you can put them in categories. Why don't you talk a little bit about the buckets that you kind of created and in the software so that way there it kind of picks, you don't have to really say I want to do blog post number fourteen. You can just say I want something in this category and I want to pull something out of that category and plug it in on that particular day. Why don't you talk a little bit about that.
[00:31:45] Laura: In Edgar all your content is divided into categories. We have some pre thought ones to help you wrap your mind around it, or you can change them to whatever you want. The categories are things like my blog post, my podcasts, other people's content, promotional content and then if you want to get more detailed you can say, “Here's my post about e-commerce, here's my blog post about advertising,” you can divide it up however you want. You create a library of content within that category. Blog posts is always just like the really easy home run like almost everyone out there would get the return on their investment if they just loaded their blog into Edgar. What we see all the time people come to us and they are like, “Oh my God, since I started using Edgar, I quadrupled my traffic from social to my blog.”
I'm like, “I know why. It's because you post links four times as much.” It's not that complicated. People don't think of it that way but yeah if double the frequency that you're posting links to social you'll get double the traffic and we just see it very consistently with our customers. Those are the categories. You fill them up with content and then you go to your schedule and you create a schedule based on a category instead of based on an individual update so you go in and you say every weekday morning I want to share a post on my blog, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons I want to share a promotion to my book. Edgar just goes through and pulls the content for you.
Instead of like a queue that runs out and you have to refill or manually scheduling, copying and pasting each update Edgar goes in finds the content for you and posts it for you.
[00:33:20] SV: That's brilliant because like you said maybe there's only five posts into a category that you've already got there because you haven't created more in that. Once it goes to the bottom of that list it just goes back and picks again or goes to the top of the queue. That way you never run out of content in there and you're not just standing still. Let me ask you this, how many times … I know it varies but is four times a day too much? Is it too little? What would you say, like someone in e-commerce they created some great content around recipes and they want to post it on Facebook or Twitter. How many times should we post in that they're pulling from their bucket and then posting in these different platforms?
[00:34:05] Laura: It's actually hard to post too frequently, believe it or not, just because of how quickly these feeds go by. If you're posting something to Twitter, let's say you're posting it like every single hour all day, most people sign on Twitter in five minute increments. The weird thing about Twitter is you're just hoping for some of the circumstance they are signing on during that same five minute window that you're sending something out because otherwise they won't see it. The frequency really depends a lot more on how much content you have. What I like to aim for, with Edgar you can think of how often things repeat. I like to have like three months worth of content that's being cycled through because then I only repeat four times a year which is nothing. We also have customers who repeat things a lot more. I've seen customers that have content that repeats every two to three weeks.
You would be surprised they get the same engagement on it every time even if it was only posted two or three weeks ago because I've looked into the account and I've seen it. They post the exact same tweet two weeks later, it gets the same re-tweets, same clicks. It's fascinating. Again, people are scared of repeating too much. I found that you really have to get like pretty obnoxious, like if you repeat the same, exact same update every hour all day that is too much. Most people can repeat a lot more heavily than they do, without anyone noticing or caring. We have this weird idea like what happens if they see something I'd already posted.
What happens is no one cares. No one cares if you posted that a few weeks ago. Why would they care? Maybe they didn't click on it before. They did this time, maybe they already clicked on it and now, “Yeah, yeah I like that article.”Maybe they share it this time because they liked it. All we see on the internet is the same content repeated over and over and that's kind of how the internet works. That's how people decide if something is good is if they see it repeated a lot. People have this weird idea for their own content like the crowds are going to revolt and that just doesn't happen.
[00:36:11] SV: Okay. What social media platforms currently is Edgar supporting?
[00:36:16] Laura: With Edgar we're on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
[00:36:19] SV: Okay. Then if we go Twitter, we got that. Now on Twitter, let me ask this real quick just randomly. Do you think it's best to have as a company, a company brand name if that's your thing or do you think it should be more of the person that's supporting the brand.
[00:36:37] Laura: Either one. If you're having the brand. A person is kind of like a thought leader that just works well in marketing. People like to connect to the person. In Edgar we've done it under the company name because that's what makes sense for our positioning. I also have my own social media accounts. You can go either way. I do think it's always really on any channel it's always a little easier to get traction if you're positioned as a person rather than a company honestly.
[00:37:03] SV: Okay. Right now Pinterest isn't really in the plans because that's really like you Pin it and you like done.
[00:37:12] Laura: Well, the thing with Pinterest is just a whole different beast. Our customers ask us a lot like, “When are we running Pinterest?” Then when we talk to people that actually do marketing on Pinterest they always use like TailWind or one of the dedicated tools because Pinterest is just like … Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn are all more or less the same like you post a text this update to the network. Pinterest, one you have like 50+ boards you have 3 boards that, you need to pull natively from a site. Repeating is just different because people often are looking through a board rather than their feed. You can repeat on Pinterest. It's just a different animal.
[00:37:53] SV: The strategy then would be to then just link over to your Pinterest whenever your page or your board or whatever if you have that in your feed if you have a link that goes over to a certain board like just updated my board or something like that. Okay cool.
[00:38:08] Laura: Exactly.
[00:38:08] SV: One last thing and I know that you got to run but one of our biggest struggles as physical product owners again is building an email list. Do you feel like using social media is still a viable option to build that email list?
[00:38:25] Laura: 100%. Yes. Social media is a traffic driver and something that I'd recommend where Edgar is creating a list building category so having a category in Edgar where you're driving people to specific like list building landing page pages whether it's signing up for your newsletter, for your report, whatever that is.
[00:38:45] SV: Recipes. We can do our garlic press recipes. Okay. Yes so basically taking someone from social and then like you say you can have like a whole category that's just kind of list building. You can filter them in and cycle them through so that's like one of your buckets, one of your categories. Okay. Cool. That's awesome we can probably talk to ours about that but to respect your time, I want to say thank you once again Laura for coming on and sharing some of your expertise. If you do know of any one that would want to come on and talk a little bit about Pinterest I'd love to reach out to someone in that field as well because I think that's a huge driver for traffic. I want people to understand though what this is, this tool which I love. It's like you hired a VA that's actually doing the work for you. Right?
[00:39:32] Laura: We actually get like guilty emails, people are like, I feel like I shouldn't say this but, I’ve fired my VA since I bought your tool.
[00:39:39] SV: You could hire a VA to manage Edgar.
[00:39:42] Laura: Yeah they won't have a whole lot to do. Loading the content is the part that takes most work but you can use our access feeds, you can use spreadsheets. Edgar really replaces the manual labor of scheduling every update.
[00:40:00] SV: I love it, I use it and it is. It is brilliant and I probably should be going in there and updating how often I do post that. I don't think I post as much as you said I probably could. I might just test and play around with that. Totally appreciate you coming on. Is there any last little bits of advice that you would give someone that is planning to start using social to drive traffic to their e-commerce business.
[00:40:20] Laura: Let me just dive in and experiment is the biggest thing. I think people like we said get very overwhelmed by social. People are often are very all or nothing which is another problem we wanted to solve. With Edgar they're like really gung ho and posting five times a day for two weeks and then they are like I can't keep that up and they get burnt out and they don't post anything. It's much better to figure out how you can do it in a way that's actually sustainable for you even if that means just one network, if that means posting less often. It's better to like do it consistently than it is to be in everywhere online.
[00:40:55] SV: I love that. It's kind of like the compound effect. Just a little bit of the time slow and steady and that's what wins the race. I appreciate it Laura, I really do and I know that the listeners are going to be able to take something away here actually apply it. If anyone wants to get in touch with you or learn more about Edgar how would they do that?
[00:41:15] Laura: Yes. You can find Edgar at MeetEdgar.com or find us @MeetEdgar on Twitter or Facebook. You can find me on twitter @LKR.
[00:41:23] SV: Okay. Cool. One last question I should have asked you this before. How did Edgar get it's name?
[00:41:28] Laura: Edgar got it's name was … It was a code name we were using internally while we were figuring out if we're going to do the project to come up with a name. We just called a person's name that we thought sounded sort of like an old man name. Then we went through a kind of a formal branding process and as a company we brainstormed a ton of names and we just didn't like any of them as much as Edgar. We were like maybe we'll just call it Edgar. It seems to work. People seem to remember it.
[00:41:59] SV: I think it's brilliant. I love it. Actually I do. That's a cool story because a lot of people don't realize where it came from. I was curious so there you go. Alright. I appreciate it Laura. Have amazing rest of your day and look forward to catching up with you sometime in the future.
[00:42:15] Laura: Thank you.
[00:42:15] SV: Okay. There you have it. There is another great interview, a great coaching call I guess you could say. We're able to learn together by me having someone like that on. I do in the future want to have people that are even more specific in an area like maybe a Pinterest expert or maybe an Instagram expert or a Twitter expert. I want someone else to come on in these fields so this way here we can really drill down and hone in on what we can do inside of our businesses. Let me just put the little time out thing. You guys can't see me doing this but I'm like, “Hey coach. Time out, we need time out right now.” We got to time this out right now because if you're brand new and you're just starting and you just listened to that a lot of that isn't going to pertain to you right now.
I don't think it should. I think that stuff there is down the line. I think that there is when you start to see that a product starts to get some momentum, you start to see that you validate it, you verified a market and it's worth you going into deeper. That's when you start thinking about these social media channels or building an email list or any of that stuff. I always tell people, if you listen to something like that and you get all overwhelmed, don't. Time out it. Right. Time out. You do not have to do that. Alright. The great thing about Amazon is being able to take a product and launch it to an audience of people that are already buying products. You can test and validate really, really quickly.
Then once we test that, yes we can start thinking … Once we get momentum of course then we can start thinking if we want to be able to build our own channel on e-commerce. That's kind of what the TAS is going to be starting to do here eventually. I'm going to be sharing with you some of the other things that I'm currently doing which I've kind of already done a little bit but I'm even going to be going further in that direction because that's where the direction is going for me as well. Why not share that. I still always even right now to launch a product to test the market is going to start on Amazon. There is no reason to not do that because the traffic is already there. Why not do that? Alright.
I just wanted to again say just time out if you're feeling like overwhelmed or we just covered a bunch of stuff that you're like you don't want to have to learn, don't worry about it. Alright. If you are at the level where you have validated and you have verified and you're like okay, I want to start taking this thing to the next level. I want to start building out some social media channels. Pick one that you feel like you're audience would be on. Pinterest is a different market place or a different platform for different products. Go over there. Start doing some investigation work over there. Maybe go to Instagram, see what that's doing, see what your audience is doing over there. Then just start listening to the conversations. Start being part of that community and from there you can start to learn how you can make your products better or your services better.
See what other people are doing. See what you can do better. All of that stuff. It's a great way to be able to tap into your market without you even being in that market yet. I would say there is a lot of different things we can use it for but again don't get overwhelmed with social media at this stage. When you do get ready to get social media I would say go after one channel to start and then dominate that channel. Just like Facebook all of that stuff. Right.
All right guys. That is going to wrap up this podcast which I think was amazing. Now, let me just remind you. If you guys are brand new and you wanted to get caught up to speed like really fast as far as like how to test and validate a product. I created a free resource for you. It's a free ten day course. You can sign up totally free by heading over to freeprivatelabelcourse.com, okay that's freeprivatelabelcourse.com and what that will be is a ten day course that will run you through, exactly what to do from start to launch of that product. Then it will also give you some things to do once you get launched. Again, I'd just love to extend that to you, if you want to come over and go through that ten day course you're more than welcome to it and I created that for people that are just starting.
[00:46:17] SV: Definitely, definitely a great resource for you to take. Then get caught up to speed relatively quickly. Alright. The last thing I just want to say is thank you once again to everybody that is listening, that is giving iTunes reviews or that is commenting on Periscope or Snapchat or Facebook, wherever you guys are connecting. I want to say thank you once again. Keep the conversation going and you can always do that over one our Facebook page as well and that's at theamazingseller.com/fb and there's a great community over there of over 26,000 TASers. Definitely go over there and join in on the conversation.
Alright guys. That's it, that's going to wrap it up. Remember I'm here for you, I believe in you and I'm rooting for you but you have to, you have to … Come on say it with me, say it loud, say it proud, “Take action.” Have awesome amazing day and I'll see you right here on the next episode.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- Meet Laura on Twitter: @LKR
- www.FreePrivateLabelCourse.com – Scott’s 10 day course
- www.TheAmazingSeller.com/FB – the TAS facebook page
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