Young or old, everyone is involved with social media. Even your pet dog can have an account and create a large following. It’s ever-changing, and trends come and go swiftly that a bit of attention is crucial. In this episode, Andrew McCauley, Social Media Consultant and Strategist of The Social Media Bloke, shares his proven insights on how to use social media platforms as a tool to engage and improve social media presence in your chosen industry. There is complexity online, so hop in the conversation to take advantage of the free tools we call social media.
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Social Media: How To Hack This Ever-Evolving Business Tool With Andrew McCauley
We are talking about leadership in the online world, as we are constantly being reminded out there that it’s an environment, it’s a place where a number of people have made their mark and use that as a platform for each once, and also impact. As a leader in a company, or even as an entrepreneur or individually, we all have different reasons for using social media, where it comes into, how do we use it more effectively. What’s going to be some of the best strategies that you can put in place that help you get your message out there, or be seen as a thought leader, or position your company as the customer’s preference?
Our guest is someone who has years of experience helping companies, helping individuals. His name is Andrew McCauley. He calls himself as the original Social Media Bloke. He is named one of the hundred Most Influential Twitter users and also an Amazon bestseller. He consults with all types of businesses on their social media, their online strategies and has been a repeated and invited speaker at over 300 live events around the world. He has a passion for making the online world understandable, and also, his presentations are dynamic and fun as well. He is someone who is seen as a motivator and also a catalyst in helping companies grow. His sites help companies grow 3% to 500% in traffic and also to their business websites. On top of all of this, he also has a podcast that has been downloaded in over 120 countries. Welcome to the show, Andrew McCauley. How are you doing?
It’s an honor to be on your show. You’ve been threatening to have me on, and finally, I cracked the nut, and I got an invitation here. I’m excited.
With over 300 live events, speaking, and what you do in the field of online strategies and social media, I’m honored that you’ve had time to drop by, share your wisdom and experience.
A lot of those events I did with you, I was very happy to say. We had a lot of fun at some of those events. Some of them are long events, but we managed to have some good times and good fun. I love doing live events because it brings out great people, and you meet lots of different people when you do that stuff too. It’s great to be here, and thanks for having me on here. I’m looking forward to it.
Let’s get behind the whole Social Media Bloke. Where does that come from?
The word bloke is an Australian term for a guy. “The bloke down the pub. The bloke down the road. I’ll go and see this bloke over here.” I’ve been living in the US for many years. It’s a bit of a nod to my Australian roots. When I started doing this stuff, I got involved with Facebook in 2006, and it was way back when it was early. There was beginning to have pages. There were no ads, and I’ve been able to play on social media. This is why the original Social Media Bloke because I’ve been doing it for a long time. Somebody said to me, “Why didn’t you call yourself the Aussie bloke?” I’m like, “It doesn’t make sense.” The Social Media Bloke came about, and here I am. That’s what I’ve been using for the last many years from my personal website.
It keeps you grounded and connected to where you’re from, and at the same time, it sounds like good marketing.
It beckons a lot of explaining to people in the US. “The Social Media Blog?” I’m like, “Not blog, but bloke.” I have to be careful about what I say. Otherwise, I’ll send them to somebody else’s website.
What was it that got you into the whole social media industry?People are getting very savvy to what they want to see and quick to get on the closed down button if you’re running ads. Click To Tweet
In 2006, I started my own business consulting business. One of my first clients came to me and said, “There are some people using this thing called Facebook for Business. Can you help us do that? It looks cool.” I’m like, “Not a problem.” I went home, and I googled “what is Facebook?” because I’d never heard of it before. That began my love affair of finding out how people were marketing their business on this new platform called Facebook because as far as I can see, all people were doing was sending photos to each other, talking about their dinner, and playing some game called FarmVille. I’m like, “This is weird. How are people making money doing this? I need to work this out. I need to learn more.”
That’s where I fell into it. I started looking at it because I love marketing. I’ve always been a student of marketing all my life. I started looking at how people were getting their message out to people about their product or service. I was fascinated with it. I started doing it, started getting some early results, and it led from there. Twitter came along, LinkedIn was there, YouTube was there. All these on social platforms have been and gone since then too. It all became a new way of dealing with your potential customers, and it wasn’t involving networking and BNI meetings. It was something where you could get your message out across the world easily and rapidly too.
Given the growth of social media, think back to the early 2000s when we had Myspace and maybe a couple of other ones, too, this place where it’s over 100 different platforms out there right now. What do you see over the years that you’ve been in this industry, some of the trends that continue to evolve in this space?
It’s evolving rapidly. It changes all the time. Every day, there’s a new algorithm update for these things, but ultimately these algorithm updates to more for the user experience than anything else. One of the things that stayed consistent more than anything is that at the end of the day, these are platforms that people are using. If we’re doing business on social, it shouldn’t be any different than we did business many years ago. You are finding where your target market is. Some of these platforms cater to different genres or different tastes. You’ve got things like your Facebook and your Instagram, lots of videos, lots of pitches. You’ve got YouTube, which has all video. You’ve got Clubhouse, which is all the audio, and you’ve got Pinterest, which has all images.
It depends on your market and where they’re hanging out. You’ve got things like Snapchat, which has things that disappear as soon as you watch them. There are all different ways to get people’s attention. The expansion of it is that we’re not having one platform that is trying to cater to everybody. We see these splits. We see the Clubhouses and TikTok coming out, and they’re catering to people that like that delivery, that messaging if you like. Facebook, for a long time, was the only social platform. There was Twitter, and there were some others, but it was the main one that people would go to. Now, we’re starting to see fractions of it and people are a bit more discerning, a bit more, “I’ve got time for this platform. I don’t have time for all of them anymore.”
We don’t have time for a lot of them. A lot of them would take your time if you’d give in to them. The change is also, people are getting savvier to what they want to see, what they want to feel like, especially if you’re looking at it from a marketing point of view. You’ve got to be giving them valuable, entertaining, engaging content in a form that’s very similar to the natural form of those platforms. Stock ads that we used to see on Facebook that had to buy my stuff sort of thing don’t cut it anymore. You have to be creative. Even video ads on YouTube, you see stories being told inside that video. It’s an entertaining and engaging ad because, with the ability for users to click off real quick, you don’t want that to be happening to you and your ad. People are getting very savvy to what they want to see and quick to get on the closed down button if you’re running ads.
It’s an area that I fight with it every day. On the one hand, it’s great. It’s wonderful. It’s having an Instagram page or a Facebook page. It opens you up literally to the world. At the same time, it’s like, “I’ve got all these people to have to respond to. All these things I have to do. I’m opening it up to the world. I can’t ignore it.” How do I balance what I need to do here? Plus, also attend to the everyday needs that need to get done. What’s been your experience when you work with business leaders in the course of your years. What do you find some of the challenges that they face?
The fact that they feel like they have to be on all the platforms. Secondly, they don’t understand where the majority of their target market is. There’ll be people that they could possibly get as clients from all the platforms, but if you start looking at the 80/20 rule, that Pareto principle where you’ll find most of your clients will come from 1 or 2 platforms or probably one platform, maybe LinkedIn. That’s where you want to start spending your time. You might have to sacrifice, “I’m going to miss out on some people from TikTok or Clubhouse or whatever these new ones are because there are not a lot of people in there.”
I need to say, “Let’s focus on one and answer, then respond to questions from those people on the one major platform. Let’s get that dialed in. Let’s get the systems to respond to those people and the resources to respond to those people in a timely manner. Let’s go back, then later, if we’ve got time, let’s go and look at a different platform.” That whole trend of what’s going on from a marketing standpoint, that’s what I was talking about. There are also a lot of other things where there are a lot of mental health issues stemming from social media, especially that FOMO, that Fear Of Missing Out stuff. You can look at your Facebook feed, and you’ll see the same people posting glorious pictures of food, travel, and, “Look what I’ve done.”
It tends to sensationalize a lot of people’s lives. Some people get that feeling of, “Look what they’re doing. Here they are again. I wish I was there. They always have a good life.” When the reality is that they’re probably only picking their best pieces to show, the rest of it is boring and bland. Especially, kids these days are looking at this, and they’re getting that whole stigma of all these perfect people. “Look at all these people, what they’re doing,” then they’re getting upset or depressed because their life is not like these glorious things they see on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok or Snapchat. It can be a bit of a mental drain for people. I start to not look at certain people on Facebook anymore. I’m sick of the same old crap because it’s not their real life. It’s their best bits only. That’s something that we’ve got to consider about what’s going on with the world and social media too.
What ways can we filter that information? I think of some of the generational gaps as well for you. Someone like you and me, we’re not spending all that time on social media, but you do it professionally. We’re not plugged into every single chat and everything that comes through. Think of the twenty-somethings or the teens and the early university students who are coming out, and they’ve grown up with it. It’s an everyday part of their lives. What’s been your experience in seeing that population, their relationship with social media?Social media tends to sensationalize a lot of people’s lives. Click To Tweet
I have my niece here over Christmas. She was on her phone almost 24/7 looking at stuff. I’m like, “What is still capturing your attention?” She was flicking between different applications. I’m like, “This is attached to the hip pocket. This is how they interact.” Their attention span is short because they see a fifteen-second TikTok video, they bang onto the next thing, or they’re going to Snapchat. Attention spans are disappearing real quick. It’s one of those things as a marketer. You’ve got to be able to capture people’s attention spans. When we had TV, they used to say that our attention span was about the distance between the two ads on a TV show. A half-hour TV show, you get three sets of ads, and it would be eight minutes between the ads or whatever it was. That was our attention span. Now, our attention span is down to that of a goldfish because of flicking between these things. We are looking at different things. If you’re a business owner trying to capture people’s attention by doing something, it’s got to be capturing their attention in the first millisecond. It’s not a second anymore, but millisecond. It’s crazy how quickly you have to do attention-grabbing bits and pieces for your marketing.
It would seem as well if I want to attract a following that it still remains that content is king. At the same time, it’s consistency. How much am I putting out? What’s my consistency and response in terms of information so that I’m building that trust over time?
That word, consistency, is the number one. I emailed my list about consistency and how important that is because of all the things that I’ve done in many years, it is probably the number one thing that has seen me get results and that’s, be consistent. What does that mean? If you’re doing a podcast, be consistent about the dates or the times that you post it out. If you’re posting on social media, be consistent about doing that. If you’re writing emails to your group or your list, be consistent about that. If you’re writing blog posts, be consistent about posting those because people get into a routine.
I’ve tested this with a whole bunch of things, with social, tweets, blog posts, podcasts. Every time I’m consistent, I see the results go through the roof, and every time I’m not consistent, and I’m one week here, one week off, and somewhere else, and maybe ten days later, it doesn’t work. Consistency is one of those things where people underestimate it. If you can put in a program or a scheduling service or pay someone to be, that’s their job to be that consistent master, and then you start seeing some better results because that’s important.
I’ve likened it to be having the TV show that appears on that certain day at a certain time that you’re training people to tune in, being on that same bat time, same bat channel it. It’s an old reference for some of us. People are starting to come anticipating that next version of what you’re putting out there.
If there’s a takeaway, be consistent in what you’re doing. If you’re going to do something, do it consistently, and you’ll find you get good results.
What have you found some of the best strategies for being consistent? I say that the part of it is the consistency is also feeds into the content. People are like, “I’ve got all these platforms, but what do I put out there?” They can spend a lot of time trying to create content, which then delays what you put out there.
If you’ve got something that you can schedule, whether it’s a calendar, whether it’s one of those scheduling or project management tools, like a signer or one of those that keeps you on top of it, the challenge with those is that there are even apps now, you can get on your phone and say, “Did you do this?” I have an app on my phone that reminds me to do stuff every day. I get to a point where I’m, “I’ll get to it later.” I snooze the alarm and it’s gone. I forget about it.
If you’re going to use those tools, you need to make sure that you are doing what it tells you to do because you set it up, do it, and you’ve got to follow through. That’s the accountability part that a lot of people will lack is, “I don’t need to do that. I’ll mark it as done,” which we can do that when we go to the gym. “I’ll say I went to the gym and look at my muscles all of a sudden.” The challenging part is getting something that helps you schedule it. This is why I say, even pay somebody. You can get a virtual assistant, and all their job is to remind you and tell you, “Get to the blog post. Do your social. Do this.” That’s their job. You’re paying for it, and that will keep you on task.
One last question for you. You’ve covered a lot of different topics over the course of your career and helping different companies as well with their messaging. For those who are still trying to build their online platform and create that thought leadership space for themselves, what are some keys that people should consider and also be mindful of when they are creating that content?
You pick the right platform first. If you’re going to pick the right platform, make sure it’s the platform where your potential market is going to hang out. If it’s LinkedIn, stick to LinkedIn, get good at it, make sure all your bio’s, all that bits and pieces are all filled up, and people know who you are. You can develop your content around that platform because each platform is a little different. Your TikTok platform is all about short videos, and your LinkedIn platform might be a little bit more corporate-y. The messaging has to be a little bit more different. Whereas your Instagram stuff needs to be edgier and catching people’s attention with video and images. Learn what your customers like first, and then start to deliver that content.
The important part is measuring what you’re doing. You’ve got to look at numbers. Numbers drive what you should be doing all the time. If you’re putting out blog post after blog post for weeks on end and nobody’s coming, nobody’s getting found, nobody is looking at that stuff, then there’s a message there. Something is wrong. Something is not working. It could be the message itself, the title, the audience you’re going after. Look at your posts. If you’re putting out videos on Instagram or TikTok and nobody is listening or watching them, there’s something wrong. You’ve got to work out, “Where am I going?” A lot of times, these days, with social media, it’s pay to play platform.
You are not going to get the organic reach that we were getting many years ago. Go on to the days when we used to be able to stick out something, and all our followers would see it because they were your followers. On Facebook, especially, it doesn’t happen anymore. They got rid of that. You go and have a look at Converse shoes’ Facebook page. They’ve got 46 million followers and people that like the page. That’s twice as many people are in Australia. That’s how a lot of people follow that page. When they put a post out that, they are lucky to get 100 or 200 people who like it. That’s from a massive amount of a supporter base.
They stopped posting because it was a waste of time. They were paying someone to post, but no one’s seeing the posts. The 200 people out of 46 million were not worth their time to pursue that. You’ve got to look at, “How do I get my message out? Maybe I need to pay to play and get my message in front of the right people.” The good thing about that these days is that when you’re paying for stuff on social, when you’re paying for ads on social media, it doesn’t matter what platform it is, you have the ability to target your right market. You’re not putting a billboard out on the freeway where random people may or may not see your sign. You’re not putting a TV ad out were the wrong people are watching the TV show. You’re not putting a newspaper ad out that no one reads. You’re putting out something that’s super targeted. The value that we’re getting for advertising dollars is a lot greater than it ever was. I encourage you to use that stuff too.Attention spans are disappearing real quick. Click To Tweet
It is truly a whole new world out there for those who’ve seen it and evolve over time. For those who have been in their own industry for a while, it’s still fairly new. You’ve helped me walk through the main points here. I appreciate you coming in, sharing your experience and your wisdom.
It’s a minefield. I’d hate to be a small business owner out there trying to run and be good at what I do in my own business, whether it’s a plumber or a hairdresser. On top of that, you’ve got to work out, “What is going on? I’m doing this full-time all day, every day. I’m still trying to keep up with what’s going on.” I don’t know how small business owners do it. It’s baffling for a lot of them but they need to do it because this is where their audiences are these days.
If I capture what you’ve said, some things that stood out for me are, don’t get caught in the overwhelm. Pick one platform, learn it, own it, and be consistent with what you put out there. Once it gets working and once you feel comfortable, have it moving forward, then consider some other areas that you may want to expand into.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with it. Take one step at a time, grab a platform that you know where your audience is going to hang out, get good at that and stick with it. Once you’ve mastered that, it’ll change the algorithm. You have to get back into it again. Once you have mastered that, you can go on to the next platform. Stick to one platform, get good at it, then you’ll find your life will probably become a lot easier because you’re not stressing out about trying to be everywhere to everyone all the time.
You took a whole lot of pressure off me. I don’t have to get my hair redone for a TikTok video. Thank you so much. I appreciate that. I’ll stick to the other platforms for now. If people have to find out more about what you do as Social Media Bloke, where would they find you?
You can go to TheSocialMediaBloke.com. All my social handles are there, across all of them. I’m on every single one of them. Some of them are super active ones, but you can follow me on there. I stuck them on there for a bit of a laugh. Mostly, you’ll find me on Twitter, Facebook. I lurk on some of the other ones. The Clubhouse is interesting, but I’m still not jumping in there yet, only because I don’t have time. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the best ones.
Andrew, thank you so much. I appreciate it. I look forward to seeing you down the road. To all of you, thank you for being a part of our show here. Check out our other episodes on our show page at TheMakeWellGroup.com/Podcast or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you scratch your podcast. That wraps up our episode. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your day. Until next time. Be good and lead well.
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About Andrew McCauley
Andrew McCauley is the original Social Media Bloke. Named as one of the top 100 Most Influential Twitter Users and an Amazon Best-Selling Author, Andrew consults all types of Business on their Social Media and Online Strategy.
Having been a speaker at over 300 live events, his passion for making the Online world more understandable shines through in all of his presentations. His customized strategies have continually seen 300-500% growth in traffic to business websites and his Podcast has been downloaded in over 120 countries.
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