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Episode 路 10 months ago

The Science of Growing a Community w/Kate vanderVoort

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

How To Grow a Community on Facebook

Want to GROW your community the right way?

Join us on episode #103 of the Social Media Lab LIVE where our guest, Kate vanderVoort, will dive all into the data of growing a community with SCIENCE!

Who is Kate vanderVoort?

Kate vanderVoort is Founder and CEO of Social Mediology and host of the Social Lights Podcast where she interviews change makers and community managers on how they grow and activate customer communities. She has worked with over 3000 businesses and not for profits on social media strategy and implementation across every industry. With more than 12 years specialising in social media for business, she is a highly sought-after conference speaker and trainer both in Australia and internationally.

Kate is a Digital Community Champion with the Queensland State Government, a Facebook Certified Community Manager and a Facebook Learning Mentor for the Community Manager Certification. She is passionate about growing and activating customer or cause communities and lives in Brisbane with her two young daughters and their puppy, Minnie.

Welcome to the social media lab live podcast. I am Scott Air's the content scientists here at the Social Media Lab, where we attempt to bust the myths, the rumors and the stories of social media marketing with science. This podcast is audio from my live interviews that I do on a social media lab live show every week now for over two and a half years, and you can see and listen and watch the replays if you go to social media lab dot live. Today. On this episode, my guess was Kate Vandervort from Australia, so it's kind of funny to begin you'll hear me stumble over her name and talk about the time differences. But she is an expert at growing communities and managing communities, even though as lots of work with facebook regarding communities, and we're going to talk about the science behind growing a community and what that looks like in two thousand and twenty one great conversational learned a lot from her and I'll be applying a lot of what she says to our communities and I hope that you do as well. So here's my interview with Kate Vandervort, Kate Van dervevirt I'm gonna get that wrong. Kate van. They get close, Kate Vandrvert bean deport then for see. My Texas draw has a hard time with that and I had to apologize to kate because I accidentally said it in the description of just live. It said Katie in one spot and Kate and another, and I was like and I noticed like five minutes before. So we'll change that. But but kate is in Australia and so it's like three hundred and five in the morning, I believe, where she's at in Austria at twelve o'clock and afternoon here for me, and she's in the future. It's Thursday where Kate is at, and so we appreciate her being on the show. If you don't know who kate is, I'll tell you a little bit and I'll let her tell the rest. But case got a couple really cool websites and things she does. She's a founder and CEO of social mediology and she hosts her own podcast called social lights podcast, and she interviews lots of different change makers and community managers on how they grow and how they stay active in their customer base, which is really hot on my mind right now. And I should have pinged my my new direct contact and report here at my at Aga Poles, because he's our new head of global community, a position we never had before, and so it's so kate, tell us to kind of give us like your, I don't know, your sixty two elevator pitch on who you are and and why we you know you're focused on growing communities. Yes, it's gotten high. It's great to be here. We were just reminiscing that the last time we were all traveling, both in social medium marketing world in San Diego and I'm now back in hard lock down here in Brisbane Australia. But it's great to be getting my American fix at three o'clock in the morning. So, and that's not the coffee, that's you know, that's not the coffee, that's the hair. Scott's the hair I have. I started social mediology twelve years ago now and started in a fairly typical agency fashion but very quickly realized because social work is actually my background. So I got the social part right in my degree. But when I did my degree there was no social media. So I started out in a very traditional agency kind of way, but realize really quickly how important relationship and community and connecting customers with not only a brand or a business or a person, but connecting them with each other and how important that is for a business. So I've been sprouting on about community for twelve years and a Lord and did. Marketing has gone down ads and funnels and bigger and better and I've kind of just trounded along on my little journey of community. But everyone's coming back to community now and really understanding how important that that relationship side of marketing is is. You do a lot, like you were telling me before, and like you have a your Texas connection to facebook, who is in our you know, in Austin, in that so you have a is it a facebook community certification? That yes, Sir Facebook, facebook last year launched a community manager certification, which is fantastic to start to see the professionalism of community managers really being acknowledged on a much, a much broader scale. So that's a certification that you can do with facebook. I volunteer with them as a learning mentor and my learning mental buddy, as I was saying, is in Austin, Texas. He's the founder of the world's largest octopus community on on...

...social media. Okay, there's so many questions there. Let's go to the most obvious one. Okay, so a guy in Austin, Texas has a large octopus community. There's no oceans near Austin, so is it just like just education about octopus? Like what is he's working at the cords as. It's a really cool story because he was in the fashion industry and he decided to launch a brand and marketing agency and he thought I really need to prove that I know what I'm doing and the octopus is really misunderstood and not really well represented. So if I can build the brand of an octopus, surely I can build any other brand. And they literally have seven hundred and Fiftyzero people now around the world and it's turned into a whole organization that's focused on marine science and supporting Marine Ecology. So it's a really cool story how a very organic community of people who were just interested student the same thing has turned into an organization that is so intruing. Like I play around entertainment wise with a few things, like I have a huge big foot fan page and group because I like talking about sasquatch and big foot. You can see big foots feet right above me on a shelf over here. So, yeah, that's interest. He took it to a whole business and I'm you got to give it to me offline, like what the link that stuff is, because I am in true now I do want to kind of go back a little bit. The community management training at facebook does is that intensive? How long is it take? Is it something you have to recertify every year? What's that going to look like? Yeah, so, like the other certifications that facebook run, it's an exam that you sit and on facebook blueprint there's a whole study guide to support people around community management in the learning cohorts that we're running. It's an Eightweek kind of study time where we show up every week live and connect with the learning cohort to support them on their journey. And it really depends. You know, some people have been managing communities for years and years. The exam is still quite challenging really, but there's a lot of people who are really you know, they're quite familiar with social media and how social media marketing works, but they're wanting to add to their skill set this this community management kind of role. Now the test. Is it like like a multiple choice things like what is thet? He's he's multiple choice, but it's not. You know, a lot of the questions have got some nuances that, unless you have either done the study or are really familiar with managing communities, that you know they're a bit tricky. But it's it's certainly worth having the professional stamp if you're going to be working in facebook communities, right to actually have the the professional certification, and I think it needs to be REC at every couple of years. Yeah, especially the change stuff special on facebook. Is it now? Is it all facebook focus assumed? So that facebook certification is facebook focused? Yes, okay, and you said you were a mentor towards someone, so you're helping someone else just kind to learn. Now we have a whole learning cohort, so groups kind of people who are interested can go and find the facebook group and they can sign up with the next learning cohort and we do study, kind of study practice sessions and look at questions and have discussions about all of the different stages of community and and how you manage those. And you don't get paid for that, right. No, I do that because I'm really passionate about increasing the professionalism of community management. I wish I'd plugged in my stream deck. I'd hit the the but the bell. I forgot to plug it in. But yeah, that's that's our something I want to point out and that's, you know, because in like people talk about community. We a lot of those, especially guys like me who are, you know, social media, you know, marking kind of stuff. We think of groups. That's community, but then it's run by somebody and that's pretty much it. But then people who are really growing really good communities. You got people like you who are willing to come in and help others learn and kind of hold hands with them, if you will, and take them through the processes, and that's really intriguing. Their facebook has been able to pull that off. facebook really understand the value of groups now and how important that because if you're a brand on facebook, unless, we all know, unless you're paying for ads, very difficult to be connecting with your audience and a meaningful way, and so groups provide a way to do that. It will be interesting. You know, I don't work for facebook. I contribute to their program but it's it'll be really interesting to see how that unfolds over the next couple of years, but they have, you know, they've got some really cool functionality coming up with facebook groups and they've got a really big, big focus on community and that programs. It free. It's paid for it. It costs to set the sit the exam I think it's ninety nine. Do us. Okay, so it's not expensive...

...and the whole learning co coort and the the facebook learning groups are all free. Very cool. Yeah, I'm in sure. I I think our community manager, Deab, I think she's gone through and done that certification. I'm not sure if she's still active in those or not, but it's I'm that came outs like, oh, that's interesting because that's facebook making that position for one more professional, which we need, but also of their you see where their focus is and what they realize is more important. A lot of people have talked about, you know, dark social and all kinds of stuff for a long time, where people want to be in groups and private groups and things like that on facebook to grow so that you'll be in our C better certifications come out from from this. So I'm going to that was a set up to talk about what we really want to talk about today, but it was. So it is very intriguingly for sharing that we want to talk about. If you're just hopping on, you know the science of growing a community and what that looks like and what's involved. And kates Gott, you, you mentioned, twelve years or so experienced with community management, and so I think we can learn a lot from you for this. And so the first thing I'm I'm curious to find out from you is, you know, what is the future? You kind of mentioned a little bit, but what do you really see is the future social media for businesses moving forward? I really think there are two aspects to this and one is community, and we'll obviously talk a lot about that, you know, while we're while we're here today. But the other is the hyper personalization of content. And I think now more than ever, we are so bombarded with content and even with lockdowns and covid and, you know, we're online so much more than we ever have been. Some of us have been using zoom for years in our business, but and the rest of the world is now caught up. So we're all, you know, online all the time. I'm and whatever we're creating or sharing with our audience or whatever our engagement strategy is, really needs to be personalized to the person that's reading it. And we talk about you know, you want people, when they're reading your content or viewing or listening, however it is that they're consuming that content, you want them to feel like they're sitting across the table from you having a cup of coffee. You want them to feel like you know them well enough, that you speak in their language, that you address the issues that are going on for them. And so many businesses and brands and causes they still set themselves up and broadcast on social media and pay more and more to have that be saying. But what they miss in that is the ability to truly connect human to human, and community is how you do that on scale. But unless you get that first piece of really creating content that speaks to your audience in a way that develops that no like and trust factor, it's very difficult to you know, to resonate with your audience. Yeah, I think that's so true. That, because now you've got to talk to people one on wine where used to be broadcast, you know, to billboards. Social moves always a billboard, you know kind of thing. But now, I mean, if you're not talking to people and making it. You know so about them. They're they're not going to stick around. It to you competitors, you know these days. That's right and it's it's quite a tricky thing for some businesses to get around because we've generally invested so much time, money, energy and building a brand. Right, and a brand does set us apart from our competitors. But beyond that, people don't care about your style guide, your fonts, your colors, your logos. You know, they're there to connect with human beings and they're not even really there to connect with you as a business. They're there to connect with the solution that you provide for them. and well, there's a great analogy around if you're a washing machine company. People don't want to create community around washing machines. They don't, you know, it's not like they're going to sign up and say, yeah, let's talk about our washing machines. Find what are the challenges or the interests or the things that are most important to that audience. That connects them to each other where they can also add value to each other, not just the business doing that for the community. Right. I was a former metag repair man in a appliance salesperson at best by and circuit city back in the day. So I could talk about washing machines for a very long time. Well, maybe that's your community scope. Get is sure isn't mine. Right. I mean I guess you could. You know, you can form a community around you know how to get stains out of stuff or killer's right, you know diy home and kind of there's a little ways kind of stuff that interests people. Now maybe appliance repair men would have a community of their own, and they do. There's lots of those out there that you can find now. I'm not had to...

...go back later because this is a when you what you just said about the people don't care about your fins and your colors and stuff, I'm going to take that out and use it. Personally. The graphics designers say something about fines. Little Hey Kate said this, not me. Not Make that propping lynched by graphic designers very right, and brand is important. It is it is now. I always talk about if your brand is in the middle of the conversation, then people can only relate to and connect with the business. And the best example I have of this I did some work a couple of years ago now with quite a wellknown tech company and they wanted to it was a few years ago. They wanted to set up a facebook group to support their fairly traditional tech support model. You know, you used to ring up, set on the phone for ages on hold, wait for tech support get the help that you needed. So I spend about three months doing the culture change in this company that was really needed to embrace this new way of doing customer support, and I stuck around for about three more months after the group was launched and it went fantastically. It was. It went far better than anyone expected. But I got a phone call about six months later from the head of customer service saying, Kate, I've just come out of a senior management meeting and you're not very popular. Not the kind of phone call light yes, and thankfully I don't get them often, and I said, Oh, Matt, you know what's going on, and he said we have a really big problem. Our customers are answering each other's questions before our staff have an opportunity to answer them. And so I took a deep breath and pause. But how great for them that they you know, that's the Holy Grail, that's their customers care enough about their brand and their product, that they're willing to help each other out. And obviously there was some work to do there to have the staff feel more comfortable and they have to share contact, you know, that to respond in a timely way, make sure the informations accurate. But what that managed to do was it wasn't about the brand anymore, it was about the customers, and the customers didn't just connect to the brand, they connected to each other and really, you know, built that community. Excuse me, that's totally trick that I go back to in this you know, was before groups. I think groups are around. I mean I got my start and social my first job for an APP company called a hubsy. They had product called Fan page engine, and this is, guys, we're going we're talking eleven, the twelve years ago now. They had that had a product where you built the custom tabs on facebook pages, back in the day, where it's like a little lad way, you know, landing page, you could do and I learned how to use that product really well and started making videos and and answering people's questions on their page and on their blogs. I was like and everybody knew me as that guy and so like we helped each other out before the company ever had a chance to. We're help each other out. And if illow David Foster, who still good friend of mine, the day he's like Hey, can you like do tutorial videos for us, and the hey, you would have come to our customers support. You know are at better than we do. But that is that goes back to that that whole customer. Once you get in, that's a good but brands are scared of that, typically because they're worried that you know, probably something, you will say the wrong thing or they're not in control of it, and that's atmosphere I would about. Yeah, and look, I'm often in board rooms and meeting with senior exacts where we have this very conversation and I talk about the concept of letting go of control for the benefit of greater reach. And we can control what we say, when we say it, where we say it, but beyond that, what people do with that content is actually beyond our control right and so if we can start to let go of some of that control and allow conversations to unfold, including the good and the bad. I never tolerate the ugly, but the good and the bad and then if a brand is comfortable enough to really put their customers first, the focus is all about delivering a great service or product so that people are not complaining about that, but it's also, you know, it gives you an opportunity to listen in a way that you can't elsewhere. If someone's unhappy with you, they're going to go talk about it somewhere. Yeah, they already are. As well have the ability to engage with them. And if you have a really strong culture around your community, a few things happen. One, your community stand up for you if you've done a really good job of serving your customers, connecting with them, developing that relationship, they stand up for you when the times are tough. But I think in today's Day and age and you know, movies like the social network and more documentaries, but more affect you know, more information in this space, people want authenticity and integrating more than ever and this is a brand or a business as opportunity to do that in a really authentic way, not because it's the...

...brand values and they're, you know, sprouting some kind of corporate messaging, but because they deeply care about their customers and the journey that they're on. And so for those that don't have that at the heart of their strategy, that's where community goes wrong, because they're trying to manipulate a community or use a community and see their community as a commodity that they can get more from. Yeah, you get to know on they head there, and I think this were most companies would probably go all hard. Stop, you know, because they want to build a market, market, market, use it, use it, use it, when sometimes just got let it run and and let's not the benefit of community right. You got to let people, you know, who know your company, know your product, you know, be the ones controlling the community and that have an overseer, you know, maybe who's in the companies, who make sure like give you know if someone spamming or, you know, posting, you know, derogatory comments, like you them. You got a moderate. But usually inside your community you can get that to happen to I know even you know our facebook groups. We've had lots of people who just say, Hey, can I be a moderate and help you out, and they do. I'm like, Whoa, that's weird, because you don't expect that as a brand marketing when you're thinking the marketing brain. You know, that's that's scary to give somebody else control, but nowadays you can do that, you know, pretty easily. I do like Richard Said something here in the comments. It can also be a challenge for a startup which needs to make sales now to stay in business and on the lecture, spending months to develop relation. I think he was talking back about the branding earlier on. Yeah, branding is important, but at some point I think we're trying to say here is, you know, let your community kind of grow and let them help each other and then there's some camaraderie around everything. I want to want to kind of go now and to like we've talked about this a little bit, but how do you really grow? And ask a we're starting now where Richards talking about his company, start up, and he wants to grow community on social media, like what's what's the first thing he should be doing when you're trying to grow a community on social media and specifically facebook, probably yeah. So if I can just talk to Richard's trum point there for a minute as well, and Richard, you're right, you know, it does take time and I still have brands and businesses that come to me and say we want a community. You've got three months, please go do it, and I say no, because community is not something that you can manufacture. Those deep relationships are not something that you can fast track. So what I would say in that startup mode is, and it's really not even about your social media or community, but if your customer is at the heart of everything that you do, you then start to be able to pave the way for community and you'll start to see the natural points we're bringing people together make sense in your business. Like I said, if you're selling washing machines, creating a community around washing machines probably isn't the best strategy and it's really different, and it's one of the differences here in Australia, I think, is in the US you've got loads of tech companies and community makes sense for tech companies really. People buy a product, you can factor in the cost of, you know, your community building, because they're paying up front first software. That's a no brainer. But all the other businesses that don't have such a natural aid to be journey, it's really about if you don't figure out that magic source first, if you don't figure out that deep need that your customers have that you can serve, you'll miss the mark when it comes to creating community. I feel like you want to jump in there, Scott. No, no, I think it's a great I think it that. Yeah, you're got to know why you're having the community in. What are they talking about elsewhere? Probably the way you can kind as help building and we've got a couple of strategies actually for people to really find that out. And facebook groups are gold. F Y are if you find the groups where your Avatar are hanging out, and I think in the show notes we're going to give a link to we've got a free Avatar tool which steps you through going deep on who your customer is, what they're interested in, what are their values, their motivations, even down to the language that they use to describe their own problem or challenge. And if you go really deep on that, you have the ability to connect with them unlike anyone else's doing from a marketing perspective when it comes to your business. But it's truly understanding. I'll just touch on that language side of things. Oh, so the strategy. Sorry, three o'clock in the morning. Con Second Copy, and so in terms of strategy, if you can find the facebook groups where your customers are hanging out. Excuse me. So for some if you've got...

...small business customers, there are gazillion facebook groups that are there to serve small businesses and what most people do is they jump in, they start posting, they're looking at how can I get my needs met? What can I say? How can I pretend to add value so that I lead people back to my page? Right, get all that strategy. That's not what I'm talking about here. But what you want to do is get really clear on the topics or the challenges, the problem that bring people to Your Business and search for those keywords. What's the exact language that people are using to describe the problem that you solve? Because if you can literally take that language word for word, and so in my situation, I might go into a women's face, women's facebook group and just put in facebook and there are hundreds of comments at people going how do I do this? And I don't know how to do that, and this part's really annoying me. And if I actually use that exact language in my content and in my marketing, what I'm doing is speaking to my ideal Avatar who are mostly, you know, over forty digital natives don't tend to be my clients. I tend to be working with people who are a little bit further down the track that this maybe doesn't come naturally to but actually taking their own language is such a powerful way to develop that empathy and that no life can trust, so that people really feel like you understand who they are. Yeah, that's it. Yeah, I think that's it's so true and you can find that in groups like yeah, I'd love just gone in groups that are not company run, you know, and just kind of be there to hang out and not be the marketing I think especially, you know, I'm talking to myself and people like me. You know, especially if you've gone to social media marketing world, it's as most of us you know, we want to be that guy who's at the networking of in is constantly passing out our business card and that's not what community is and you get so if you're in those groups, yeah, don't be that guy. Just be there to help just because you want to help, not because you want to sell. And I think people have to get past that because the customers don't want that. Like I think of my wife is a kindergarten teacher. She's in so many different groups that are all about teaching and there's nobody selling products in those groups. They're just they're just in there helping each other out and there and yeah, they probably recommend a lot of products and people probably who own those products should listen. They probably are, I'd hope. But they're helping each other out because they want to be better at their jobs. And that's what and that's where everybody wants at the end the day from these communities is how could I be better at that and give more value? And then, you know, your own your own company, you look like the genius because you figure it out, but you asked your community, you know, for that. That's what we're always trying to do is look at who can we make a hero in this community? Who can we deeply serve so that they're a hero in their own life, whatever that is, from washing machine to take support. I'd like to can go back to washing machines, because it's gonner because, I say my head, I used to always talk about like, you know, I don't know the other term to say, but like there's some there's some companies that are just not sexy on social media and appliances tend to be that because it's there's not a lot you can do with it. But I've also helped in seeing some people who have, you know, an appliance business do funny and cool stuff on social and and now now don't they built a community necessarily, but there are some of you, everyones, you could probably find something. So everybody has, even octopus gout. Who would have thought the octopus guy would grow this thing of the seven hundred and fifty something thousand followers? So there's I think everybody has an opportunity. It's just, like you said, finding what they are already talking about and making that similar focus, because we just we've actually literally gone through this with our new head of community Paul he where he interviewed. He spent two months or so just interviewing customers, finding out their pain points. What are they talking about? Where they talking, you know, what are they feeling? What do they need help with? And then, okay, now at the stage we're going to start building some communities around those topics and then kind of let them run and go. And when you look at the community growth strategy, understanding first is key and if you don't get that part first. I've seen many a community and being brought in down the track in many a community where it's gone south or it's gone in a direction that was not expected. And so understanding is the first part, but the second part. Most people go, we're going to launch the community, thousands are going to join and again that rarely happens. You know the days of the World World West. Those who were working in social media twelve years ago know that you could just put up a bit of text and it could go viral. Doesn't happen that way anymore. So the next stage of building community is connecting...

...with the low hanging fruit, because the reality is that on social media we're all connected to people like us. So I'm a forty ish your old woman. I won't be able to say that for too much longer. I'm a forty issue old woman with two kids right through with you. I'm at the end of I live. You know, I live in Brisbane, Australia. I'm really passionate about startups and entrepreneurship. I'm really passionate about the intersection between technology and humanity. So if I'm in any way, shape or form your Avatar I'm connected to hundreds of other people like me on social media. That's how organic community growth works. So you want to find who are those in that inner circle, who are those that know I can trust and love your brand or your business, and connect with them first and really consult with them on the value that community can bring to them, because they will give you insights that you probably won't get just by looking at it from your own perspective. And so if you can build that in a circle first before launch and get some of the structures and the systems and processes set up and maybe even, you know, you'll you may start to get some volunteer moderators or admins in that process. But you really want to connect with that core group first because those founding members will be the ones that see, you know, all the fluctuations in growth and as things change on the technology, those core members will be really key to keep things going. Now, how do you motivate that inner circle core members, initial moderate how do you get them motivated to do that? You know, because there are anything you know well, it's going to be different and and they are getting something or there's no point in having the community, because that means that you haven't nailed step one yet, if you haven't really articulated what they're getting from the community point. So, for example, we're working with a business at the moment where we're looking at matching up it professionals in the not for profit sector and giving them some support. I'm not going to disclose exactly what we're doing in that space at the moment, but what we're identifying is what are the biggest needs that the tech support person, that the tech person has or the IT person has? What are the needs that the software companies have, and how do we bring those two together in a way that's meaningful to both sides of that equation? And so truly understanding the needs there is going to be critical to that having success. And so that's different. That motivation is different for every business or every community, because it's going to be different for a tech you know, if you're selling a piece of software, you can have a community that supper courts people and using that software. Really obvious what the buy in is for them. They need support, they want quick dances, they want to hear examples from other people who are using the you know, the support. But if you're a sorry, the software but if you're a divorce lawyer, then that's a really different, different kettle of fish. But having just gone through a divorce myself, I can tell you that there are, you know, communities of people. I'm in some amazing communities now. Of like I'm in a single mum community, which is a really positive, vibrant community. That's not about the negativity that goes with all of that, but they bring in family lawyers, they bring in dating experts, they bring in all of the people and they aggregate the things that are most useful for that group. So I'd be hard pretty you had. You'd be hard pressed to find a business that I couldn't come up with some kind of community idea for, except for a Ross machine. Spent it well that, except for washing machines. So I don't know. I could. I could do that. That's challenge. Yeah, working funerals before, believe it or not, have a uncle on a funeral home. So yeah, he's he's a funniest guy you know, to he has to be has of a good sense of humor. And some communities are about stages. Like divorce is a stage and I'm not going to be in that stage forever. That community may just be relevant to me during that stage, but then, you know, I joined groups when I was pregnant and I'm still connected to those groups because we've gone through the parenting journey together. So it's really about finding what's most valuable to the customer or the community member. And if you get that right, the rest of what needs to happen in community building is it has a's and flow rather than trying to push something, you know, to to falsify some sense of community. Yeah, because you try to, you know, and I've been in groups, I've probably run been moderators or run some groups where it's like everybody knows at the...

...end of the day you're just trying to get traffic to your website or push your product and not really helping. And then the bad thing is, especially on Facebook, is once you've gone in that road too long or neglected it, then people kind of ignore it. That gets lost in the algorithm. They don't see it anymore and they've moved on. But there's some of the fit. My favorite groups and in the Tech Industry that I'm in are not run by companies at all and it's just an it like want. There's a couple of Amazon live groups that there's not anybody who works from Amazon who started the group. It just people want to talk about how to do stuff on Amazon live and help each other out and just just cool little community of people who, you know, there's a couple hundred and maybe one one of them got a thousand or so, and we just every day talk about, Hey, look at this, I check out that. Hey, this work for me, that that work for you, you know, and just Oh, here's a new update or or something of that nature. And no one really for the most part, there are probably a few, there always are, but no one's really out for I I don't I don't post inside those groups to own anything back, you know, as far as like mine, arry. Yeah, I just want to help people out and be a person who can help the new person who comes on WHO's going to that stage, is brand new and is trying to get to that next level and I think that's where brands got to get to get that rate, not just grow it to get more traffic to our website in final and that sort of and those that start there have a much harder journey to community growth because the byproduct when community really works is the sales and marketing right, but it's not where the focus needs to be when you're starting a community. And we're in this funny place at the moment where community has been seen quite distinct often to the rest of the marketing that is happening. And what we're starting to see is the overlap in those and I'll often talk about the bridge that social media creates into community and community could be facebook groups. But if you're in B tob for example, we're working with a global accreit healthcare accreditation organization at the moment. Now they're part of their members doctors, nurses, surgeons, etc. And they are on facebook. But do they really want to hear about hospital accreditation on facebook? Why they don't. That's not the natural place. Right. You can do bits and pieces to be fun and put some personality behind the brand, but that's not you know, a facebook group is not the right fit there and a linkedin group is much more appropriate or an offsocial solution is much more appropriate in some circumstances. But social media gives you that front facing place to connect. And so whether your communities out there in the big wide social media world or whether it's more in house and you're in using social media to invite people, and understanding what that customer journey looks like is critical so that you can map out the touch points and make conscious decisions about how you're supporting people on their journey in connecting with your business. Now a couple things there I'm curious about for you, like, because you got to have social media connect in customer journey. You mentioned what is and what point is do you, as a it's say, I'm a Golropulse Company, I work for and we're building these off site communities, off facebook communities, like what? Or even on Facebook, let's say? But what point do you start like pushing people are recommending? How do you do that in a way that doesn't seem, you know, like Oh no, here's another place as brand wants me to go to, because you and I know on facebook groups especially, you can get data from people and do a lot of things with it. So how do you do that not seem like great's just another group I'm going to follow and hate? You know? Well, that's that's where the work is. I keep coming back to that first step and understanding, you know, as someone who uses a Gore repulse and I'm going to go look for your communities because I'm not in them. But case in point. But part of that what I would be without, you know, exposing any of that, what one of the things I would be saying is looking at a customer like me. At what point could I have been invited into those coman where would have been the natural point for that to happen? Because if I'm not proactively looking for it, then maybe I don't need the community, but maybe I do. Maybe you've got this really cool community where I can connect with other professionals who are working in the same way as me, where I can add, you know, ask tricky questions. I think the difficulty now is how much already exists in that space. And so for a platform like a Gore, a pulse, you'd be wanting to look for what's unique to you. Right that other social media communities don't answer for people. And you know, the Amazon live is a really good example, because Amazon would be crazy if...

...they didn't have someone at least listening. Oh, they do. There's, like your terms, lots of employees that are in there. Yeah, and there's bring ante markets and there's any of that happens to but and Amazon could take the information there and use that to inform the decisions that they make about building their own communities. And a lot of companies have done that. I've interviewed a few of them on my podcast, where customers have created communities and the business has looked at how can we close that gap? So it's not a completely externally run thing, but we can support them and we can make them look like heroes. But then they almost become brand ambassadors for for the organization. Yeah, and that's happening a lot in his Amazon grow specifically as one Creator Group where we know they're in there, that they're real quiet, they don't say much, but some of the things that the community has talked about, wishing that, I wish we could do this, I wish we could do that. Suddenly you start to see some of those changes because they're paying attention with the community saying and going hey, that's a great idea, let's go apply that and do that, or they have found some really are some big ambassador's influencers. You know, some guys are most of us a never heard of, and maybe they hadn't and now they've highlighted them and their emails and some of their own campaigns because they see a community one hundred people or so, you know, like Hey, if we point out one of their people, they're going to be even more excited about our platform. But you know, they wouldn't talk to him and say we're going to they just did, which was really smart, on Amazon spart. So I've kind of seen that happening and that to back to Richard's point about when you're in start up mode, everything feels very manual, like at the beginning, and it is. You know you need to. We've had times where we've launched a community and you put things out and those crickets and it's literally ringing five people. Hey, we you just go and engage with this question just to kick things off. You know, sometimes it's that manual when you're starting with a really small community. But first tapping into those you know, those core digital champions, we often call them, and it might even be that you've got a separate group or that you've got VIP access to something or you know, we have one one business that we work with where their CEO does a briefing for their their core ambassadors on a monthly basis so they get information before the public do. So it's about finding what that motivation is for people, and it's often a lot less than we think it's going to be. But I think one of the points that you touched on, Scott, is more than ever, people are looking, and I don't want to get to esoteric, but people are looking for meaning and purpose and they're looking for connection. And so as much as you can, you know, nail that in your community strategy, that's where you'll start to see the benefit. But that's why people are happy to donate their time if it's something that they're passionate about or something that they're interested about. And people often just like to be asked. Very true, and we only get if you weren't meas with you, but I want to ask a question. You don't know if you have a good thing. I want to facebook would recommend, or what you would recommend, or a time at facebook groups. Public Private? What's which is best and what do you recommend? So again, it depends on the kind of community that you're building. That single mum community that I was talking about, they've turned out into a whole business. They now have businesses that provide discounts for single moms. They provide services, all sorts of things. So what was just a bit of a cause or a hobby group turned into a business. But that would not be appropriate for that to be an open group, right to be a public group, because people are often sharing things that are vulnerable in there, whereas if you are a piece of software and you're you not a piece of software, if you're selling a piece of software or if you're just me being software thing that doesn't expose people personally, then public group can be beneficial. But it does depend where it is in the customer journey, because opting in and having to actually take one step where you're signing up for things and agreeing to things gives you some buy in that often, public groups where people can just see what's happening without joining, don't necessarily give you. Yeah, I think you know. What I've found with the facebook groups is is even an art in the social media marketing industry because so many are agencies or social media managers and they don't for they don't want to give up their secrets to everybody that might be friends with and the same time, you know, especially for like, for I know for me, like I've whittled down my facebook friend list who literally two hundred or so people and they're either other marketers...

...or their people I actually know in person and that's it. I used to like friend everybody and five thousand friends cool, but now I mean most of the people who are my friends on facebook could care less about what I do for a little. They don't want to see bunch of posts for me and their feed. You know about you know the number of hashtags to use on linked in, you know does they don't care. They want to see pictures of my kids. You know what we're doing. Are they kind of want to hear about the amazing guests you have on your pot at times? Yeah, but so I think it was with a private group. Sometimes I've noticed that a lot of the private groups that I'm in a run you tend to get a little bit more conversation because people are less scared of everything being out there, where the public groups are always bigger. But the conversation can die off in Wayne Pretty fast because there's that somewhat. They're worried about their what's the what I'm looking they're looking for, like their social equity. How is that affected and impacted if everybody sees that their friends with or follows them or so that's kind of interesting mix. And in that kind of an environment where you've got five hundred thousand people and no one engaging, there's no value in that community at all. And so people can say that they're not you know, you can't manufacture relationship man. So I mean one group that's got a hundred and Fiftyzero people in it. It's probably the most active group that I mean it's for women in business and there's just this real culture of everyone's there to serve and support each other and it's it's highly engaged. Posts get hundreds and sometimes thousands of comments, but it's been curated really well and the culture of that group is really clear and it's well moderated and people get what they go for when they go to that group. But it would change if that was a public group that had a million people in it. People would start to lose some of that. Yeah, no, lie and trust with other people in the group and then you start getting the spammers and everything else and that gets the build dead. Mitchell, who is our community manager, mentioned you mentioned you weren't in our group. We do have a group that's just for agencies are customers of our so I will connect you, Adeb in, with that group, because you should be in there and you could tell is what we're doing right or wrong. If with running that. I would never presume to do that. And I like Tim Sound. Tim's a good friend of the show. Dancing is key to building community. Tim has what he calls the Tim Dance and it's just staying here and every time, since Tim says that he gets to kick that, he probably pulled US clip out letter. Yeah, appreciate him saying that. Miss Jackson, saying happy hot data everyone real quick, because you were about to at the top of the hour. You didn't mention and I put the link to it already your your social media customer advotar generator. There's an interesting peace and basically what it's the goal that I assume, is to find out who, like we, we call maybe your ideal customer. Is Right. Yeah, and you know a lot of businesses have already done that work. But what this does is it puts all of that information into a poster that you can print up and put on your wall. And what I encourage people to do is, when you're creating your content, look at the picture of your Avatar so that you actually imagine that you're speaking to a human being. We go right down to the level of give your Avatar and name so that you're speaking to hate who's in her forties, who lives in Brisbane, who as two young children. Why? You know, how you speak to people is really different. The images that you would use and what you would say to a sixty year old on facebook is completely different than what you would say or do for a twenty five year old mail on, ticktock. So truly understanding your Avatar and speaking to them using imagery and language that relates to them. This avatar tool will help you move move forward in that yet in that process. Yeah, it's a pretty, pretty simple website to the don't how long would it take me to get you said Bout fifteen minutes. It had fifteen minutes. Yeah, so I would challenge people go to this and I've put the up put the link in the comments. I'm a putting there again. This case is getting lost, but yeah, go. An other cool thing people can do with that is if they join in the facebook group, and I'm not just trying to grow a community here, you can actually post the information about your Avatar and ask the question do you fit my Avatar? And if you do, where do you hang out on social media? Because your if your Avatar is in that group. They're very generous with sharing the kind of groups they're in, the pages they like, the kind of information they like to receive on social media. So it can give you some some hints and moving in the right direction. Yeah, so that's pretty cool. So you can get a little videos. So I'm just going to I'm going to walk through a quick where you're...

...talking about yeah, so you got all kinds of things you can do inside or so I would challenge every to go through this and run that. You know, it's like a little test to see if you actually because here's what's funny. It happens for a lot of businesses and they go through we've gone through this with with our own company many times, other a previous company, and we started a lot of insight. We we thought we put together, as cuts as employees, what we thought our ideal Avatar or customer profile was, and then we started looking at our audience and surveying them and we realize we don't know who our audiences we were targeting the wrong people and we switched immediately because we work. We were like five or six guys at a start up, and so we're talking like guys in our s and posting stuff and doing things that appealed to guys and thirties with a couple kids, and we realize, no, it's actually women and their s and you know, there's a different Avatar. We went okay. So then we get we hired someone who could talk like that and do it right, and then ourselves went way up astronomically and the community was tighter and people trust each other better because we figured out. So these little exercises like this, I think a really cool and you have to step outside of yourself as the business because while you're looking at it from your Lens, you're missing all of the opportunity that social media brings. And often the customer Avatar for a company or a business might be different to the Social Media Avatar. So if you work in aged care and your clients hell seventy plus right, they not your Avatar on social media. Their children are right. So who your Avatari is or who you serve as a business may not be who you're targeting on social media. So that's another little nuance that some people need to consider. Yeah, that's a great point, because sometimes we want to we target it the wrong way. Like, you know, I had a bounce house business. You were in bounce houses and inflatables and stuff. Kids are my they're the ones who were going to help push that. But kids aren't on social media. So who's my ideal customer? MOMS. So I had to talk like a mom, postuff that MOMS would be excited about and resources and things like that, where you know they're going to they're going to trust me at that point to rent and, you know, and give the inflatable to their kid to play on for a day or so. So, yeah, you really got to know who your customer is. It's going to buy and write the check at the end of the day. What will okay, I enjoyed this time and I appreciate you getting up so early and hanging out with us. We've posted links in the comments social biology and your Avatar in then Elsa or anywhere else you like to send people to. Know that's that's where they can find us and I just really encourage people to, you know, build this alongside whatever you're doing. It's not going to give you the quick fix. It's the long term, but you'll find yourself five years down the track, fingers crossed with a business that is flourishing and you've identified the community that supports your customers along the way. That man that was over there. That's a great point and I'm asking you one more question now. You said it can't. He didn't happen over now, like you said, someone told you three months. We want to build it. No, is there an ideal timeframe when you can evaluate? Is My community doing what I wanted? Should I move on to something else? It's different for different for everybody. I and I was saying to you offline. I've just closed down our membership and our online courses because there's so much free information that's available out there now and I really want to work with people who are ready to go to community, not still needing to be convinced about social media marketing. So I've made some decisions around shutting down that for the benefit of opening up something else that is the next level, and so there is no time frame that works. You know, that existed in our business for five years. We've decided to change, change that offering. It's going to be different for every business. But if you've been at it, and I have people who say I've been trying to do this for years and I've had no success, well, I would say there are keys that are missing in that strategy right, and sometimes you need, you know, professional help to help you get there. But if you're putting out an enormous amount of content, generating a whole lot of information and you're not getting any return, it's definitely time to evaluate what you might do differently, because a lot of us are still banging our head against that social media brick wall, just generating more and more and more without getting the results. So definitely time to stop and evaluate if that's if that's where people are at, that's so good. It's like you know you're trying to lose weight to go in the gym, but then you're eating a McDonald's every meal and you're not evaluating tracking that, and I tracking it and looking at the data. We always go back...

...to data. You need some extra help and probably need to have somebody to hold your hand and hold you responsible for that. So so, okay, appreciate you being on the show. Would be today. Hang Up.

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