Social Media for Everyone! It’s Not as Hard as Everyone Thinks – 230

It might come naturally to everyone under the age of 16, but somehow, the idea of using social media can strike fear into the heart of hardened, professional entrepreneurs across the globe. 

In this episode of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim Jordan welcomes a social media expert who’s here to demystify the entire process. Clay McDaniel is currently CEO at Ripl, Inc., a marketing software company with apps used by millions of small businesses.

Clay’s company, Ripl bills itself as a social media marketing secret weapon for every small business. That’s why he’s the perfect guy to help entrepreneurs understand that while social media might seem like something that you just don’t have time for, if you want to establish lasting connections, it’s the best game in town. 

With COVID still creating challenges for businesses of all sizes, Clay says that the importance of social media has only accelerated. 

He’s going to tell you how to get started, the best way to budget your time, and which platforms to focus your attention on. 

It’s 2021 now, and social media is how small businesses and entrepreneurs connect with their customers. 

What are you waiting for? 

In episode 230 of the AM/PM Podcast, Tim and Clay discuss:

  • 01:45 – What is Ripl?
  • 04:00 – Customers Value the Direct Connection of Social Media
  • 07:00 – COVID Has Accelerated the Need for Social Media
  • 09:30 – Building a Connection is Crucial 
  • 10:05 – Budgeting Your Time
  • 15:05 – Instagram is Still King of the Hill 
  • 19:00 – Following the Day, Week, and Month Rules 
  • 21:50 – Where to Start with Social Media  
  • 23:40 – Optimizing Your Organic Feed   
  • 26:20 – Connecting with a Person, Not a Product
  • 28:30 – The Importance of a Consistent Cadence
  • 34:10 – Social Media is a Constant Learning Process  
  • 35:50 – Looking into a Crystal Ball for 2021 
  • 39:25 – How to Find Out More About Ripl   

Enjoy this episode? Be sure to check out our previous episodes for even more content to propel you to Amazon FBA Seller success! And don’t forget to “Like” our Facebook page and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you listen to our podcast.

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  • Freedom Ticket: Taught by Amazon thought leader Kevin King, get A-Z Amazon strategies and techniques for establishing and solidifying your business.
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Tim Jordan: Social media can be absolutely terrifying, which platform, what type of content, where do we post it to? Do we pay for it? How do we get organic growth? And a lot of times we get overwhelmed and just don’t use social media in general. Our guest today is a social media expert who’s going to demystify social media for entrepreneurs and talk about some of the biggest reasons that people are scared to use it. And actually how to take actionable steps to start implementing it in your business. Stay tuned. It’s going to be a good episode.

Tim Jordan: Hi, I’m Tim Jordan, and in every corner of the world, entrepreneurship is growing. So join me as I explore the stories of successes and failures. Listen in as I chat with the risk takers, the adventurous and the entrepreneurial veterans. We all have a dream of living a life, fulfilling our passions, and we want a business that doesn’t make us punch a time clock, but instead runs around the clock in the AM and the PM. So get motivated, get inspired. You’re listening to the AM/PM Podcast.

Tim Jordan: Hey everybody. Welcome to another episode of the AM/PM Podcast. Today, we are talking about social media and we have an expert in the field, Clay McDaniel from the company called Ripl. How are you doing today, Clay?

Clay McDaniel: Great. Thank you for having me on. It’s pleasure to start my day with you.

Tim Jordan: We’re definitely not just pitching Ripl and giving a sales pitch here, folks, but I want Clay real briefly to explain what Ripl is. And once he explains what Ripl does and the kind of the audience and the community they have and the users they have, it will give a lot more context to the validity of the information, the advice, and all of the content that he’s bringing today. So give us like the quick elevator pitch. What is Ripl? How many users do you have approximately, what do you guys do?

Clay McDaniel: So Ripl is software that we built for your mobile phone or for your laptop and desktop, purpose-built for entrepreneurs and small business people to really put the power in their own hands, to build post and track great social media content for their business. And it’s an all-in-one piece of software for less than the cost, and launch month. You get the ability to create professional-looking, consistent, branded videos, post them to all your social accounts and then see how they do in terms of engagement and likes and comments. So, we built it because we wanted entrepreneurs to have the ability to do it themselves and kind of get over that hump of maybe concern, fear about being able to do their social media marketing and look great for their business online to do it all themselves.

Tim Jordan: One thing is cool about Ripl is there’s all sorts of tools and there’s all sorts of apps and stuff that help with all of this stuff that you guys have been interaction between like the human element, the content creation, but you also have the analytics and the data and all that stuff. So you guys get to see from like this bird’s eye view, some really cool things that are happening, not just in human interactions and content creation, but also in the data. So one thing that I know you want to talk about today, and we’ll kind of start this as the topic of conversation, is humans or we users are scared to death, oftentimes of social media. I know it’s something you’ve said in the past. Can you explain what that means? Why we, as people, are scared to death of putting ourselves out there and interacting on a personal level with the world through social?

Clay McDaniel: Yeah, sure. I mean, we’ve got more than 70,000 small business people that are using our software every week. And we hear from them, we interview them, we do research and surveys with them and it’s probably the number one thing that I hear is that, honestly like for all the confidence and the passion that entrepreneurs have for their business and their business idea, they’re just often really kind of fearful of social media marketing because frankly it’s such a fast moving and a fast changing environment and Facebook operates and works differently than Twitter. That’s so different than YouTube and LinkedIn has got its own special kind of features and functionality and purpose and use. So, then one of the things we aim to do is just try to help people understand that you’re actually in a better position if you kind of have that authentic voice and you just engaged directly with your customers on your social media accounts, instead of handing over the keys to that, to a niece or nephew or an aunt or an agency or anybody else, it’s just the benefit of being able to have that direct engagement, that direct conversation with your customers and your prospective customers just far outweighs, anything that you may be harboring as kind of a concern about whether or not you’re an expert, so to speak and, and social content. That’s just not the bar anymore. And, and what we’ve seen is that customers and prospective customers, they really value that direct connection.

Tim Jordan: So when we’re talking about fear, we’re not talking about the fear of putting our face on a YouTube video or a Facebook video and talking. We’re not talking about stage fright. What we’re talking about is the fear, correct me if I’m wrong, the fear of actually utilizing social media and trying to proactively use social media as part of your brand building, just because it’s so freaking overwhelming, is that right?

Clay McDaniel: Yeah. I mean, and what we hear from, from small business customers that we work with is to two things. One is the fear of I’m not going to do it right. And what we try to reassure and often sort of remind, entrepreneurs all over the world that have every type and flavor and focus with their business. It’s just, there is no right. There isn’t some standardized sort of best practice or playbook or standard of what it means to be great at social media marketing, generally speaking like that really varies the frequency, the nature of what you’re building posting. And so what we often try to help customers understand what I tend to share and sort of remind people is that if it feels right for you, if it’s authentic to kind of your passion, your voice and your approach to how you want to represent your business or your offering online, then that’s what you should do. And customers much more these days reward honesty and authenticity, and a sort of real presence and how you show up with your business online. More so than like some standard that people may have thought 10 or 15 years ago, it was kind of the best. And the other thing that we hear in terms of fear is just, Oh, I’m not going to see a return, r a result or a benefit from this. And so, I’m scared, but if I spend a lot of time on it, it’s just not going to help me out. And frankly, like that is just false that as I think, a fear coming from a place 10, 15 years ago, where somebody in these online advertising networks wanted you to believe that unless you spent money on it, it wasn’t going to work.

Clay McDaniel: And the world’s really changed. I mean, we’re in an era now where most customers go pull, get information from themselves. And one of the first places they’re going to do that is they’re going to Instagram, they’re going to your Facebook page, they’re going to your Twitter handle. And that’s where they’re looking for updated and recent and current information about your business and what you’ve got on offer and in the COVID-19 era, even what your hours of operation are and how they can interact with you. So it really behooves, I think entrepreneurs right now to say whether that fear might be irrational or rational is probably rooted in a point of view about what the internet and digital marketing can do for you. That’s maybe 10 years old and in the present era, and especially with all the impacts and disruption and change of COVID-19, it’s just absolutely critical for every small business person, regardless of what type of business they’re running to have a consistent and a great social media presence. And they can do it themselves now.

Tim Jordan: So let me tell you about two fears or two, maybe insecurities that sometimes hold me up on social media. The first one is I don’t know what to promote and what I mean by that is, especially small startup business entrepreneurs, we’re trying to promote our product brand or our business brand. We’re also trying to promote our personal brand or like, how do we do that? Because if you look at companies like Amazon, of course Jeff Bezos is really, really integrated in there. But if we look at companies now, like Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola has a brand, but we don’t know who their personal brand is, who cares. But then we look at digital marketing, Gary V. It’s all about Gary V. Right? So if we have a small brand of products that we’re selling online, should we invest more time on social media promoting our products brand? Or promoting ourselves as that brand? You know what I mean? Like, is it us, or is it the product? And then after this, remind me to come to the second one.

Clay McDaniel: Okay. Will do. Yeah. I mean, I think it depends on what you have on offer. If your business really is focused on selling goods, a single or a line, or kind of a range of a particular type of products, then you should really put the majority of focus in terms of your imagery and your short video creation that you’re creating and publishing on that. Where the added piece comes is that on a fairly frequent basis, you either want to make sure that you’re kind of showing up as the entrepreneur, and as the business leader, and owner for your customers. And so if you’re going to promote kind of that personal presence and, and your role as the founder and the leader of the business, do it in the context of the service that you provide to your customers that’s complimentary to, or that wraps around the product as sometimes, draw the connection or the bazaar from three, 4,000 years ago, we started with marketplaces where you walk through and you chose the products on offer, but you did it repeatedly. You built a relationship with a particular vendor because of the fact that that vendor, that owner of that particular fruits or nuts business or stand was there to provide assurance that if the fruit wasn’t right, or something went wrong after you brought the product home, you knew who that vendor was, and you knew that he or she had a reputation for accountability. And so what I recommend to people is make sure the majority of your social media content is really about what you have for sale, what’s on offer, but make sure that two, three, four times a month, you’re putting examples up through those social channels and how you’ve provided a great accountability and a great service experience for your customers. And if you do that, it doesn’t need to be quite as frequent or quite as often, but it’s really going to help kind of put a face and a personality to the business. And that gives customers who may be purchasing from you thousands or tens of thousands of miles away on this side of the world, but just a higher level of confidence that they’re going to get that accountability and service that’s going to be wrapped around whatever it is they’re actually paying you for.

Tim Jordan: I actually love this. Sometimes I make notes. And for those of you that are watching the videos, sometimes you see me doing it, but I love this example of that fruit stand of that bazaar. Like we think sometimes that it’s all about just our product and we just have to be flashy and get in front of people’s eyes, but it is about building a rapport. And what’s interesting is, and I’ve heard other digital marketers say like, you have to be seen 21 times before people take your brand seriously before they think about buying it. So you don’t always get like a direct purchase or direct sale after this work. And sometimes I know, like some people fear social media, because they’ve tried it, they started it. They didn’t see an immediate return on investment and they think, well, it’s not worth doing, which I know is a problem. So that’s really good advice. So the second fear I’ll tell you that I have is knowing where to heck to invest my time in the social media, because like I use monday.com for organization for different businesses, right. And when I pull up, I could pull up right now and show you social media content calendars for different things. It’s ridiculous how much stuff, and I have VAs, and folks here in the US that are running this form. And it’s crazy how much goes into it. And every time we add a platform, it’s going to initiate 62 actions every two weeks. Like it’s crazy. So, of course we know about Facebook, but you’ve got Facebook pages, Facebook groups. We’ve got Instagram, or are we just using Instagram posts. We also adding Instagram stories gets on a thing and then new social media comes up right now. We’ve got clubhouse, everybody’s screaming about clubhouse. I think that’s interesting. And even TikTok, the type of content that goes on TikTok is very different than what goes on Facebook. Is it powerful? We don’t know, in some places, it is. And I would even say for me, I’ve been scared to start utilizing Tik Tok. Because I don’t know how long it’s going to last. You remember a few months ago, TikTok is owned by Chinese company. And there’s all those fears about Chinese spyware and infiltrating our cell phones and all that good stuff. So, they’re talking about it being purchased by Microsoft and collaboration with Walmart and that never happened. So like every day when I thinking TikTok, I’m thinking, well, crap, I can invest all my time building a huge TikTok following from my brands. But what if it just disappears in two months? You never know. So, all that to just explain to the listeners, and of course Clay, you understand what I’m saying like, I have a fear of knowing where to invest my time because the landscape of social media is changing so drastically, so quickly. So, how would you respond to that? And what advice would you give me?

Clay McDaniel: Yeah, well, I think a few things to consider around this. So it is absolutely true. Like, we live in an amazing, like open marketplace of ideas and platforms and tools. And what’s important to remember is that it’s most important to make sure that you show up and you have a presence for your business and your products on offer in the places where your customers are most likely to want to hear from you and are looking for that information from you. So I would argue actually there’s a pretty small number of entrepreneurs, or online sellers, digital businesses, businesses with online presence that are principally playing to a teenage customer audience. Now, there are some, I could think of a few examples. For example, if you were marketing online beauty products, let’s say, and you’re marketing those to teens and twenties, kind of a target customer audience. Well, then you need to know that Tik Tok and Snapchat and Instagram are the top two or three social platforms where those kinds of customers are spending their most time, spending the most kind of effort looking for and wanting to engage and hear from a custom beauty or wellness brand. And so that’s where you’re going to need to focus. But the reality is the vast majority of online sellers, the vast majority of entrepreneurs and small business people, even nonprofits have kind of a core customer audience. That’s either wider in age and geo and demo background, or that just use a little bit older. And when that’s the case, you should feel comfortable knowing that there still are some enormous like gaps in terms of the amount of time and effort that those kind of mid and older age audiences, customer audiences spend on the kind of top two, three, four of the classic social platforms that you’ve already heard of.

Clay McDaniel: And so, honestly right now for online sellers who have products or goods on offer Instagram still reign supreme as the social platform where for the last few years, and at present, you need to kind of invest the most time and effort and do your best work in terms of your micro videos and your posts that you’re making for it. And so, that combined with a solid presence on either Facebook or YouTube, depending on kind of where you want to emphasize your focus with your content is probably what you ought to prioritize and do well and do first. And then if you’ve got some of those kind of like smaller customer audiences that you think would be better served by having a presence and having frequent content on some of those other more specialized social media platforms that serve you the younger or audiences in other parts of the world, then tackle that next. So I usually tell people like to keep it simple, just kind of follow the two and two rule, just focused on doing two social media platforms, really well for your business and post at least two times a day. And if you can just kind of keep that rhythm, it’s more so I think the consistency, and the frequency, and the rhythm of having that presence, that’s going to actually do the most important thing for you, which is to make sure that your posts show up in other people’s feeds because one thing you or your listeners may not know is that for most social media accounts, it’s less than 10% of the time that when you post something, it ends up actually getting programmed by the social platforms, algorithms into the feeds of other followers. And so in order to kind of have the best possibility of having that, like frequency and showing up and putting your best foot forward, especially on Instagram, on Twitter, on Facebook, you need to kind of follow that cadence of focusing on two platforms and at least two posts a day, and you can do that for an hour or less a week. A lot of our customers, what we see is they will actually use the scheduling tool and they’ll queue up six, eight, 10 posts kind of in a week, or a 10 day time horizon and just build them, schedule them and get them ready to go out. And then they can feel more confident like they’re covering off on what that obligation is. And they’re not feeling like they’re getting behind the curve. So, apologies for my dog.

Tim Jordan: Listen dude, we’re in COVID, we’ve got kids at school at home, we got dogs barking in the background. Like that’s just part of it. Love it.

Clay McDaniel: So yeah, and I think the other thing I guess that just offer on this one is that it’s not expected that a busy entrepreneur who’s doing it all themselves is to be a social media pro and it’s going to have this incredible presence on 10 different places. We help make it a little easier for you with Ripl because we connect directly to all five, six at the top social platforms. So, we kind of take that extra effort out of it for you in the sense that you can just build one video or one post, and then you can connect and post it to your Instagram feed,, and your Facebook page and your Twitter channel, or your LinkedIn feed. And you can do that all at once. You don’t have to go back and do it multiple times with different tools. So, there’s software out there like ours that just gives you that time back and makes it a little bit easier for you to keep up with several social platforms that you want to stay current on.

Tim Jordan: Gotcha. So keeping in, in this theme of like tips and tricks that you would give to get started, get over this fear and not be overwhelmed. I love the one about just focusing on a couple. You can’t do them all well initially, so focus on one or two and do a little research, find out which ones may be most applicable to you. So, what other advice or tips and tricks would you continue to add to this list to help people get over this overwhelming fear and anxiety of where do they even get started?

Clay McDaniel: Yeah, sure. Well, I kind of also would recommend that most small business owners, most entrepreneurs follow this kind of day, week, month rule in terms of the frequency of what they create posts. And so, daily, you should be posting about news or updates. So it may be that your hours are changing. Maybe you have a new menu. If you’re a restaurant, if you’ve got new products that are coming into your inventory or on offer, or maybe a sale. At least once a day, you need to provide that kind of timely update. It could be a quick post, you could put it together in just 60 seconds and shared out. But daily posts at least around news and updates and just information about, what you’ve got on offer weekly. At least once per week, you should be celebrating a staff member or a customer, or just showing an example of where you’ve had a great interaction with a particular customer. So, what that does is it kind of puts your face as the owner and the founder entrepreneur out there. It gives you that kind of weekly rhythm of making sure that for those that are following your feeds, that they’re seeing that kind of great experience and that interaction that you have, that it’s personal and it’s direct with your customers. And then at least once a month, you should run a promotion or a sale. And use social media as your kind of exclusive or your main channel for how to get that out and get that offer out there. One of the great ways to do that, it’s just having an exclusive offer code, or a unique link, or QR code. And if you use social media in that way, and you build that rhythm up where over time your followers come to expect that they’re going to see exclusive deals that are on offer only through the social media feeds you’re posting, then at least once a month, you’re kind of generating that sense of like expectation. And it’s bringing like meaningful traffic back into your website or to your online stores. So that would be my first piece of advice is just follow that simple little playbook. Don’t worry about having to be spontaneous and think every single day about what I’m going to do. Just sit down, kind of work out that with, okay, I’m going to post these things daily, these things weekly, these things monthly, and just follow that rhythm for three months, six months and see how it goes for you. The other big piece of advice, I guess,

Tim Jordan: Can I pause you for a second? Let me ask you a question and you’re just pushing so many questions I had that I’m curious about, but you were talking about the platforms for selling or for building a brand, the two big ways in which I see people using social media right now as e-commerce sellers is promoting the brand, brand awareness. A lot of times they’ll include themselves the entrepreneur, but also selling a product like there’s two very different things specifically regarding selling a product. Social media platforms are starting to integrate a little more capability function to actually sell a product. We see Instagram doing that right now, the click purchase. If all I’m doing is focusing on – my main focus on social media is to actually convert sales, product sales directly, which social media platforms do you think are the most relevant or the most interesting starting out in 2021 to actually sell, facilitate a sale of a product?

Clay McDaniel: Yeah, I mean, I would recommend Facebook and Instagram as the top of the pile for this. I mean, not only with Facebook through your business page and/or your updates that you push out through your feeds, can you provide a link directly to your store, or to your online selling profile, but now with Instagram shops and with Facebook shop, you can even load inventory and utilize their platform itself for direct selling. So they’ve actually built a direct e-commerce offering with the ability to directly fulfill and shop deliver a sale through them, through themselves. With Instagram, when you’re trying to send that link off to your website, your proprietary URL, or to an online selling store, that’s your preferred one, maybe that’s Amazon marketplace store or Etsy or eBay, wherever it may be. You’re going to have to do the extra step of maintaining updated links in your bio. And that’s just simply because Instagram does not allow you to put a hot clickable link into the caption. And so what most sophisticated sellers are doing is they’ve got really frequent updates on Instagram that are showing in a really positive light, their particular product or what their goods are that are on offer. And then they’re updating each time they do that with each new post, the link in the bio, because the bio, for instance, your Instagram profiles, where you are allowed to have a one hot link off to a third party site or to your own selling store. So for online sellers, I mean, that honestly is where the majority of the focus and the traffic and of the two, if you’ve really got to make the greatest level of focus and effort investment, I’d say Instagram for the selling purpose. And then Facebook through both the page and groups provides a really great way to have kind of like a real feel for community and customer conversation, and even fulfill customer’s questions or support.

Tim Jordan: And really, right now you’re talking about organic. You’re not even talking about paid ads, right?

Clay McDaniel: Yeah. And, but really they build on each other. I mean, I think that’s thing that is important for most entrepreneurs to understand is that whether or not you’re planning on running ads, you got to have great short form videos and good looking attractive, consistent professional looking, organic posts. Most people, and most of our customers that we see get the best success, both on their organic feeds and with their ads in terms of engagement rate and clicks, and just likelihood of being programmed by the algorithms into feeds by using five to 15 second video. And honestly like 10, five, 15 years ago, you would have had to use a whole squadron of like editors and graphic designers and video editors to be able to make those and make them look great. And with a tool like Ripl, I mean, it’s right there in your hands, throw it on your phone, use your own photos, your own video snippets. If you want to take them. And with software like Ripl, it just combines. It automatically generates a high definition, professional looking consistent MP4, and then publish a way and you’ve got those videos. So we recommend, usually what you do is start with a consistent and great organic feed and then pick the posts as you’re posting them over time that are coming through your organic feed. And then you can jump into the ad manager tool that Facebook and Instagram provide. And if you want to spend a little money to do some geo-targeted or some interest based targeting and kind of boost the visibility and the awareness on those posts, then that’s an efficient way to spend money right. Whereas if you’re starting on the ad side, you’re going to be doing a lot of experimentation. And the beauty of the organic feed is you can see right there over time as you build and release posts, and watch the engagement rate. And watch the awareness and the views, you can see what works and what works best. And then you can amplify that using a little bit of some ads.

Tim Jordan: Great. I feel like I might have to go back and watch the replay of this, just to download and absorb everything you just said. That was so much great stuff. All right. So the second piece of advice that you’re going to get to helping people overcome their fear of utilizing social media to build brand awareness and profitability.

Clay McDaniel: Yeah. I mean, I think what most kind of founders or entrepreneurs under appreciate is the fact that it’s actually their own origin story. It’s their own expertise and passion for being independent, being their own business owner and business leader. That’s what actually is memorable and what usually resonates. And so, what you’ve got is a situation where I think most business leaders, most business entrepreneurs kind of feel like they want to let their product or let their store or their goods kind of speak for themselves and stand out. But it’s been proven that more than 50% of the memorability of a particular business is actually associated with what that customer remembers or knows or believes about the entrepreneur, about the founder behind it. And if you think about restaurants that you patronize, when you get to know the chef, that gives you a stronger compulsion to want to try more of the menu and come back and patronize that business. Because now you’re supporting an individual you’re supporting their livelihood. The same is true of online sellers, or custom jewelry makers or whatever it may be. That’s your passion and your business. If you can put a little bit of that personal flare and show up, tell your story, that’s what allows your customer and your perspective customers to kind of want to have their heartstrings tucked a little bit and to just be a little bit more sort of memorable. So, I would just recommend that make sure your goods and your services, what you have on offer for sale shows up in the best light. The best way to do that is use your own pictures, use your own videos, and use that low cost tool. That’s able to combine those and put that together with a little bit of animation or a little bit of some video and some flair, and show up in a way that really is more impressive, more professional and consistent than just what you do if you kind of snap a picture and don’t do it a editing or tweaking to it all. And so that’s important, but it’s also important as I said that at least once a week, maybe a couple of times when the opportunities present themselves, go ahead and feature yourself, feature a team member, feature yourself with a customer and showing customer love. And it’s hard in this era with COVID-19 to maybe have quite as many of those photos where you’re hugging the shoulders of a customer, or you’re showing yourself back in behind the counter, in the kitchen, if you’re a restaurant tour or in the stock, sit with your goods with your inventory, if you’re an online seller or retailer or a maker. But find those opportunities, it’s all the more critical now than it ever was to make sure that there’s a personality and a human face to your business.

Tim Jordan: Agreed. Completely. All right. Another tip.

Clay McDaniel: I think we talked a little bit about frequency, the idea of having a consistent, a cadence to what you build and what you post. We’ve talked a little bit about how important it is to use short form videos, because those short animated videos are just what get a little bit of a kind of thumb on the scale. A little bit of extra love from the social media platform algorithms in terms of visibility, and frankly, like they’re just more exciting and memorable, and they stand out in a feed that is kind of dominated usually by static images. I think one of the things we haven’t really talked about thus far is how important it is to make sure that you’ve got consistency between your website, your email presence and your social media. And those are kind of the three points of the triangle from my standpoint, with being successful with your digital marketing. And so in this day and age, we’ve been talking a lot about how you’ve got the tools and you’ve got the power in your own hands to do a great job with consistency and with professional, and sort of engaging content on social media. But you can do this yourself now with email and with your website as well. So, if you’re an independent business owner and you haven’t been happy with your website presence, or maybe you haven’t been able to update it yourself and like keep it consistent, keep it up to date, keep it current, especially around things like your hours and what may have been changing with your COVID-19 protocols. Then this is an excellent time for you to move that website off of somebody else that built it previously for you or some other hosting platform, go ahead and sign up for Wix or Squarespace or GoDaddy and move that website over and put it in your own hands, the ability to make updates and change pages on it, and feel proud of it.

Clay McDaniel: And then with email, between constant contact and Mail Chimp and a few of the other tools that are out there, similarly, you can be in control of this yourself. And so I think what most entrepreneurs don’t realize is, for an hour a week, a couple hours a month, you can have a social media and email and website presence where they’re all reinforcing and complimenting each other. And I would say like the example I’d cite is my 16 year old daughter. She’s starting a business right now to have a kind of online and digital book club and read to kids all over the country. The first three things she did when she started that business set up her Instagram account, set up a MailChimp account and grabbed a website on GoDaddy. Well, doing that, took her a couple hours. She’s able to use brand and fonts and color settings where there’s a consistency between all three and boy that 75, 80% of what’s required to make sure you’ve got a great digital marketing program. So, do it yourself, do it on these platforms that are low cost. And that have been purpose-built for the small business person. And if you’re not taking that approach today, it’s an excellent time to kind of refresh a little bit and take it in a new direction for yourself.

Tim Jordan: Love it. So, we’re going to run out of time pretty soon. I know this is going quickly, but one of the – you’ve got these thousands of social media content creators, and brand builders and users, you see all this stuff, what are some of the biggest, well, let me back up for a second. We’ve talked specifically about fear, like how to overcome some of the fear and fear is brought on by the potential for failure. You’re right, like people are afraid of dogs, not because they hate furry dogs, but because they’re afraid they’re going to get bit. So, to alleviate some of this fear, of course it helps to minimize risks. So that being said, what would you say is the biggest mistake that people make when they start trying to utilize social media? Like that causes some of that fear. What’s the biggest screw up that people are committing and maybe by you sharing this, we can help avoid that.

Clay McDaniel: Yeah. I mean, the thing that we recommend, and the thing that I see is kind of the biggest mistake, particularly for those that are using social media for brand awareness for promotional and marketing purposes is, the idea of kind of like blasting for debt. Just basically treating it as a place like a billboard. And that’s not what it is. It’s not a place that you just throw a post out and then kind of ignore it. And so to make sure that you don’t make mistake, it’s important that you’re kind of monitoring and you’re reviewing and paying attention to what’s happening on your branded social accounts daily, in addition to having a regular frequent cadence of what you’re creating and posting to them. So it’s going to do two things for you when you take that approach. The first is you’re going to make sure that you have a timely response. Anytime you’ve got a customer or prospective customer that’s posting questions there. And these platforms were built for us as individuals. They weren’t necessarily built originally for promotional or marketing or commerce purposes. And because of that, they were built with this ability to be real-time and frequent with two way interaction. And so, if you know that your customers sometimes are going to be looking to your social media accounts specifically to have an engagement with you to pose a question, or to follow up with something about something they bought, you need to make sure that you’re checking up on and you’re responding rapidly to those folks, because that’s one of the best possible ways that you can think about sort of social media as it’s an opportunity for a customer relationship management, experience and platform even more so than, than promotional purposes.

Clay McDaniel: The second way I think you can get over this fear of making the mistake that you’re just kind of posting out, but not actually using it as a two way or an exchange channel, is by kind of remembering that the best way to get engagement, the best way to show up and be proud of what you’re posting there is to kind of watch how it’s doing. And we’re learning animals like every day, we’re practicing everything we do, whether it be how we interact with our family members, learning a new skill, finding a new way to kind of help our business be successful and grow. And so, if you treat social media as a place where you have the opportunity to directly observe and learn what’s working and why, and what’s not, then it’s a really fun place to kind of spend a few minutes each day and learn and grow as an entrepreneur. So that would be kind of my advice is just to say, it’s one of, if not the best place where every single day, you can kind of observe what others are doing. You can see what competitors or other businesses that are in your market space are doing. And if you admire something, if you see that they’re getting a little bit more success and love out of their short video posts than the static posts, or you just see something that even is a personal post from somewhere. And you’re like, boy, that would be a great way that I can show off my business, the best way to learn that is to have that kind of frequent monitoring and review and interaction with your own accounts and feeds and see what’s going on there and really pay attention and engage.

Tim Jordan: That’s a lot. That’s a lot too. I’m going to have to go back and watch the replay of that. If you had a crystal ball, right, because you guys live, breathe, eat, sleep like it’s social media. If you had a crystal ball, what is the January 2021, what is the new upcoming thing that people should be looking at with a great deal of consideration? Because you’re completely biased speculation is that this is going to be a big deal. What platform would that be?

Clay McDaniel: Well, I think it’s the messenger apps. In the United States, we see small businesses in particular professional services, businesses and personal services, businesses, relying mostly on SMS, on texting when they want to do like one-to-one or one-to-few communications. And honestly in the whole rest of the world in Latin, South America and Western Europe, Central Europe, it’s WhatsApp and We Chat, and Facebook messenger. And so what I predict, what I see happening already in other parts of the world, and what I predict is going to start to make its way into the US and Canada as well, is that independent businesses are going to make increased usage of those messenger apps for direct customer communications, and even promotions, and sales, and offers. And the simple reason is just that it is one-to-many, it’s branded and trusted, and it’s permission-based. You have to opt in and follow a branded messenger account to essentially give your own kind of attention permission or your time permission for them to communicate with you. And so, it’s kind of like sits in this space in a sense between email and full bore wide open social media accounts. And so I think what we’re keeping a keen eye on observing and seeing is kind of the growth of these messenger apps for small business communications and CRM, and even marketing and promotional purposes in lots of other parts of the world. And that we’re likely to see that come to these shores here in the next year or two.

Tim Jordan: Love that. A lot of people talk about messengers in chat bots. Chat bots, these kind of scammy, automated things. They’re not all scammy, but most of them are. So you’re talking about not chat bots, you’re talking about specific messenger apps and--

Clay McDaniel: Branded account branded Facebook, your account in a way that’s builds from, but it’s complimentary to those wide open social media feeds. Yeah.

Tim Jordan: And what’s interesting is like in the Western world, we lead a lot of things, but we don’t lead digital trends. When I started traveling to China a lot, I realized, man, China, China’s got us whipped and everything digitally. And even four or five years ago, I always using, or I was seeing branded digital apps being used like We Chat, when people were interacting with stores and buying stuff and I was shocked and then we started seeing other places and then we started seeing it in WhatsApp and then Facebook. Facebook bought WhatsApp and they’re not dumb. I know they’re building something crazy. So if you guys aren’t looking at the messenger apps, the global ones are being used, WhatsApp being the big one, you start paying attention to that.

Clay McDaniel: And especially if you’re selling in Europe or in the South or Latin America, you need to have a messaging. And honestly, WhatsApp is the dominant one for CRM and marketing promotional purposes in those parts of the world today. So, it’s a piece of the puzzle, I wouldn’t say in the US it’s nearly as important as a great Instagram presence, a solid website that you’re proud of. But boy, it’s really gaining momentum in other parts of the world.

Tim Jordan: Awesome. I would not have put that on my list, but I’m glad you said that because it needs to be on my list. You’re absolutely right. So thank you for coming on. I know that any of you that are interested in kind of outsourcing and not outsourcing, but simplifying your social media stuff, check out Ripl. If you’re not watching the video, you can’t see the logo on his jacket there. It’s spelled RIPL, make sure to check that out and Clay, do you guys have any resources, free resources, content, things like that. Of course, they can probably find that at I’m assuming Ripl’s website ripl.com.

Clay McDaniel: Absolutely. Yeah. We publish best practices, tips, tricks all the time on our blog. Push those out, obviously through our own social media channels and through our own email. And we’re learning all the time too. We do things like building a social media calendar, recommendations around types of content posts. What the use cases are and the kind of specific content examples that we recommend. And then, obviously we’ve got thousands of prebuilt templates in Ripl itself, and those are purpose-built for your business types. So if you’re an e-commerce seller, or you’re a restaurant tour, or your professional services business, we know that, and we’re going to give you specific recommendations with pre-built templates, just make it easy. We do 80% of the work for you to figure out what to make and where to post it and look great. But in addition to that, we are sort of constantly trying to learn from our users and watch, tens of millions of posts that are going out from our service. And so when we get those learnings and we see something that’s unique or new, or kind of trending, we pull that out of our data and we publish that back to our customers, and that all that advice that’s just freely available usually through our blog.

Tim Jordan: That’s awesome. Good stuff. Well, thank you for sharing with us. If those of you that are listening, found some, great value in this, make sure to leave us a review on whatever podcast platform you’re listening to. If you’re watching this on YouTube, make sure to give it a thumbs up a like, and share. Well, thank you Clay for being on. I will publicly apologize those of you listening, what is he apologizing for. I’ve had to reschedule this interview like three times because 2020 and 2021 have just been hard to schedule stuff. And Clay has been diligent about following up with me going, man, I want to talk about this. I want to share this. So Clay, I appreciate your diligence to get this advice out for our listeners. It’s good stuff. And appreciate having you on.

Clay McDaniel: Yeah, no, it’s been a ton of fun. And I was persistent because I knew it was going to be a fun conversation and honestly, I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had in my career because of the fact that small business owners, entrepreneurs, like this is the fabric of our communities. This is the engine of our economy. And I’m just so inspired every day. So I love we’ve had this opportunity to talk together because it’s really a treat for me. And it’s nothing I’m more passionate about than helping independent business people try to be more successful with themselves. So, hopefully some of these tips and advice have been helpful and honestly, hopefully people really bring social media marketing into their own hands. Because there’s so much opportunity there for them to grow their business if they do it right, I’ll do it right.

Tim Jordan: Those of you that are just listening, you can’t see it, but on YouTube, you can see, I am showing my notes page. So this is good stuff, Clay, because I’ve literally been writing notes and I’m going to apply in my business. And that’s one of the coolest things for me in this podcast is getting learned myself from experts. So, thanks for being on. Thank you all for listening and we’ll see you guys on the next episode.