It’s a banner day on the Web.Search.Social Marketing Podcast! On this episode we talk with Ian Anderson Gray, a SuperFred with an official Web.Search.Social title, otherwise known as our Chief Executive Research Dude. And Ian doesn’t disappoint. He not only brings real research to bear on the conversation but he inspires us to be authentic (and successful!) on social media.
In This Episode We Talk About
- What you should – and shouldn’t – be talking about on social media (and where politics falls on the spectrum)
- How to be your authentic self and why that doesn’t mean that you need to be the same person on every network
- Whether a Facebook personal profile or a business page is the best place to do business
- Why you need to automate while recognizing the dark side of automation
- Plus we ask tough questions like, “Should you be positive online?” and “Is it ok to accept a LinkedIn invitation from everyone?”
Links & Resources
- Follow SuperFred and recovering content curator Brett Cohrs on Twitter, and thank him for helping us achieve our goal of world domination (and leaving the marketing status quo behind)
- Visit Ian’s website and get his take on social media (plus connect with him from there on about a billion social networks)
- Find him on his favorite social network, Twitter
- Find Ian on Google Plus
- Read Ian’s article 6 Answers to Common Social Media Questions
- Visit SoundCloud to listen to Ian’s amazing baritone
- Try Friends Plus Me to share on Google Plus
- Check out Commun.it to help manage your Twitter following and engagement
Your Marketing Action Item
Learn to use Twitter lists! Think about how you can segment your followers (or even people who don’t follow you) so you can connect more effectively. Try Ian’s idea: create a list for prospects, customers and influencers.
Where To Listen
Subscribe below to be notified whenever we publish new content and to stay in the loop on some new podcasts and other fun stuff that’s coming up.
Join the discussion 24 Comments
Wow-wee! Your very first international superstar. Impressive! And what a delightful guest. Of course, I’m all ears and a big sucker for a British accent. 😉
Proud to say I completed Ralph’s bonus marketing action item. Thoroughly enjoyed Ian’s article – filled with great social media do’s and don’t’s. The man knows his stuff. More importantly, he knows how to be human.
I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with saying “Thank you for following me” online. It’s a polite gesture BUT it’s a completely empty and meaningless sentiment when it’s automated. Boo-Hiss. 🙁
You have business tasks to tackle
You can’t always hang out online
Time away to write quality content
Is as critical as healthy downtime
Ian’s wife was forbidden to watch Netflix
During his marketing podcast interview
If you risk engaging in political dialogues
Your viewpoints may be misconstrued
Don’t warp your personality on the web
Shocked to learn Ian’s not a Dr.Who fan
Always be mindful of why you’re posting
Inappropriate humor will get you in a jam
There’s a dark side to SM automation
It creates clutter, not real engagement
A pet peeve for Ian, myself, and others
Automated Twitter DM’s are maleficent
Social media is a circus! Ian sounds like the guy who can help you perfect your balancing act and show you how to juggle all the platforms. 🙂
You always surprise and delight, Melanie. Ian is pretty awesome. He’s a thoughtful guy and I mean that in every way. Did I tell you he sent us a Christmas card? Like, a real one, in the mail! So sweet. Also thoughtful in the sense that he THINKS. Such a rare commodity these days, especially online. When we find the good guys we have to stick with them!
A real Christmas card? In the mail, no less?! Ian is definitely MY kind of human — one with grace and human kindness. 🙂
Fess up, Carol Lynn. It’s time for true confessions. You’re a full-blown word nerd, aren’t you? A language arts lover. A writing wizard. A proprietor of prose. A gatekeeper of guff. A vocabulary vixen. And so much more! You walking wikipedia, you! (It’s almost Friday. Why not fan the flames of fun a little early?) 😉
Wow, I’m blushing now. All I can say is, thanks for having me on the podcast. I really enjoyed it (despite the Doctor Who question!). Great to go deep and challenge the status quo!
Blush away, Ian! You look great with rosy cheeks. 😉
Haha, not sure my wife would agree!
Don’t think twice about your wife, Ian. She won’t even notice. She’s binge-watching on Netflix. LOL
Oh My Gosh.. My head is so full of information.. I need a nap.. I will have to listen to this one again.. I don’t think I could get past one thing I needed to fix before he was mentioning another one… Geez Louise with these International folks and all their logical thinking… And now I have to go read something too… Glad I had my Nutri Bullet this morning. And you will be proud to know.. I have been taking the stairs.. Working my way towards some form of exercise… tee hee
Haha, sorry, I will try and tone it down a little more next time! However I do have to blame Carol Lynn & Ralph – they were egging me on! And, are you saying Americans don’t have logical thinking?! 😉
I think we’re about to make Tammie’s head explode. We need a”drink cocktails and chill out” episode soon or we’re going to cross into information overload territory 🙂
I am quite politically savvy and love politics too, BUT unless I am on a political site, I do not want to have the stress of politics in my face. Nor do I want to see all the idiot responses what will inevitably show up
Completely agree. It’s only really enjoyable to discuss things when people are willing to discuss, not just spout typical nonsense. That’s why I keep most of that stuff to myself!
Yes, I am the same. I am really interested in politics but I don’t like to engage that often on social networks because there are too many people who have dogmatic points of view. It can sometimes be the same when it comes to matters of religion and faith. It can be very stressful!
This show was jam packed with some great information, but I’m not surprised. I’m a huge Ian Anderson Gray fan!
I do have a question for Ralph – help me understand why you lump automation and scheduling into the same bucket when clearly they are totally separate topics and strategies (in “my” mind anyway).
Most people use automation to share content before they even read it (unless it’s their own content) like Twitterfeed, Dlvrit, or even Triberr’s Auto-share. Many times they set up the automation in order to be the first person to break a story or at least one of the first.
On the other hand, most people schedule social shares of content that they previously consumed – or at least skimmed and they want to spread out those shares over the course of time. I do a tiny bit of automation – maybe 2 or 3 posts per week, because I’m not a huge fan of sharing things before I read them.
However, around 95% of what I share on social media is scheduled – I absolutely love scheduling tools. Btw – you mentioned not being about to schedule pins on Pinterest. I’m using 3 different tools for that – Ahalogy, Tailwind and Viraltag. You’re right about Google+ – there’s nothing that really lets you schedule to profiles – but I’m ok with that.
Thanks for letting me get that one off my chest 🙂
Hey Ilene, I’m going to listen to this episode again to hear what I said in the context of your question and then I’ll either post a comment here or talk about on the podcast on Monday.
Cool beans! Thanks Ralph.
Hi again, Ilene. I see what you’re saying here. I have a response, but…
He he. You’ll have to wait for Episode 82 on Monday to get the answer!
Thanks, Ileane, that’s such a lovely thing to say! I can definitely say I’m an Ileane fan! 🙂
I was really glad that @ralphmrivera:disqus made a distinction between automation and scheduling. They are different strategies and mechanisms, but they are both automation. However I’d put scheduling the semi-automation camp- because it takes work to set up the schedule. Connecting an RSS feed to your social media accounts using the likes of dlvrit and Twitter feed does take some to initially set up- but then it’s always on- and so I’d put that in the “fully automated camp”. I used to adopt that, but it did cause problems and it was so obviously automated. It didn’t really increase engagement or start conversations because people knew it was automated. However, I do have quite a few announce only Twitter accounts with dlvrit and TwitterFeed set up. They are news outlets and I’m using Twitter purely as a one-way tool.
You mentioned Triberr’s auto-share. That’s an interesting one and I’d love to know what you (and @carollynnrivera:disqus and Ralph) thinks. I do have Triberr autoshare switched on for a dozen or so people. However it’s only set to automatic for people I really trust- people who consistently produce quality content. Am I inadvertantly stumbling over into the dark side of social media? I don’t think so, but please tell me otherwise!
Like you, Ileane, I love scheduling tools- probably a little too much. I trialed Edgar last year and fell in love with it. If it wasn’t so expensive, I’d still be using it. It allows you to set up schedules to your social channels of specific categories of content. That could be evergreen content from your blog, images, videos or other content. It really worked for me and it’s made me start looking at developing a solution for me using Buffer.
And there I go, mentioning Buffer. I love Buffer. It allows me to set up a schedule across all my social media channels. I can share evergreen content, other fab articles I just have to share with my audience and more. I can schedule it, buffer it or post now. It does have the disadvantage of not allowing me to mention people on Facebook (as Ralph mentioned) but it does allow this in Twitter and (kind of in) Google+ pages. I have a system in place where articles I really want to share in Feedly get posted out on Buffer (using IFTTT). Again, am I stumbling across into the dark side? I don’t think so- this has been a really helpful system in part of my overall strategy. Please feel free to disagree with me though!
Then there is Friends+Me. I love Google+, and I love the way I can selectively (and intelligently) cross post from Google+ to other networks. I’m not usually a fan of cross posting, but when done properly and occasionally it can be very powerful. Friends+Me allows you to post to Twitter, Facebook (pages, profiles and groups), LinkedIn (profiles, pages and groups), Tumblr, AppDotNet and Google+ pages. It works in a similar way to Buffer in that you can post now, schedule or put in a queue. It also understand the differences between the different social media channels.
Yes, we didn’t mention scheduling tools on Pinterest. I’ve not investigated whether these tools use an official API and my guess is that they don’t. So I am not sure whether this goes against any terms and conditions. My guess is that is ok. I use Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest pins. I’m curuous, Ileane, whu do you use three tools? I’ve heard of ViralTag, but not Ahalogy.
Then there’s the murky world of Instragram scheduling tools. I avoid them, because that is definitely against Instagram’s terms (although I have to say- I am not a lawyer!). I’ve heard reports that people using Schedugram have had their accounts suspended. Maybe you could take that risk- but I am not going down that path. I am interested in Latergram. That manages the Instagram images for you, but it doesn’t upload (you can’t anyway with the Instagram API)- it gives you the image on your phone and reminds you when it’s time to post. I’m waiting for them to release the Android version.
There we go again, a long comment. Sorry!
Hey Ian!! Since we never get a chance to Skype the long comments are as good as it gets for now I guess 🙂
Tailwind and Ahalogy are Pinterest partners and have access to the official API. Tailwind has a ton of analytics that are completely different from what we get with our Pinterest business accounts and in my opinion they are more valuable. I joined Ahalogy on a whim but I ended up connecting with a lot of influencers there and right now I’m testing some new features before they get released to all users. They aren’t taking on new users now but will in a few months.
Viraltag came to me and offered me free access to the pro plan for a few months and I absolutely love it. I have 3 Pinterest accounts, 5 Twitter accounts, 3 Facebook pages and my LinkedIn account connected and that saves me so much time!! Since I use it for work – I don’t need to keep logging in and out of incognito windows in Chrome all day long to post to all those different accounts – which was a major pain.
On the topic of Friends+Me, I’m not a fan of the user experience – for example – when I see something shared on Twitter (I’m using HootSuite) from Friends+Me the message is ALWAYS truncated. That’s problem #1. Then if I’m curious enough because it’s one of my friends – I’ll click through. That sends me to Google+ and IMO that is problem #2. So now I’m expected to read a summary or “introduction” to the article which may or may not be written by my friend and eventually I get to decide if I’m going to click through to the article. To be honest – I never do. I’ve already spent too much time jumping through hoops to get to something I’m not really sure I’m interested in to begin with. So I end up promising myself not to click on any more Friends+Me links.
IFTTT – I gave it a go but the problem is that I don’t use Feedly. 98% the content I share comes from my friends on Triberr, Social Buzz Club, Viral Content Buzz, JustRetweet, Blogengage and Blokube. The other 2% of what I share comes from Flipboard but I’m still testing that one. It’s good for curating content to share on my work profiles (mostly Tech, Science, STEM and Manufacturing) but I’d be happy to find a good replacement for it. One beautiful thing about Flipboard is that I can check out sites like Forbes and Scientific America – without their popups – and I use the term popup loosely!!
There has to be an even stronger word for what they use on those two sites.
Honestly, I see no need to schedule anything to Instagram. My daughter has a few ecommerce clients who are doing very well using Instagram in combination with Email marketing and they never schedule any of their posts. It’s really not a necessity on Instagram at the moment.
Hi Ileane, yes definitely. I am sure we’ll get the chance to chat over Skype at some point. The time difference doesn’t help much does it?!
Thanks for clarifying that Tailwind and Ahalogy are Pinterest partners. I hadn’t realised they had an official API for posting. That is definitely good news. Is that the same for ViralTag (and Viralwoot)? I love Tailwind- a really professional product. I just wish it was easier to share from Feedly (which is the main discovery tool I use).
I’ll check out Ahalogy (I am always interested in new tools), but looks like I’ll have to wait to have a proper go.
Is there a reason why you use Viralag as well as Tailwind? Is that because you can manage multiple accounts? I didn’t know Viraltag managed anything other than Pinterest. Is there a reason why you’d use that rather than another social management tool (such as Hootsuite, MavSocial etc)?
As for Friends+Me, it does take a while to get your head round it. I’d definitely recommend chatting to Alois (the founder). He’s a really lovely guy and helpful- he’ll do his best to set it up the way you’d like it to be. I am also very happy to help. When it shares to Twitter- it shares the title of your Google+ post- but of course you do need to start with a title (i.e. written in bold- *like this*). If you don’t have a title, and your post is longer than 120 chars then it will be truncated. Most of my Google+ posts have titles and a link. Friends+Me will then post the title to Twitter, with a link to the article and embed the image from the article. Friends+Me allows you to chose whether you want to link back to the original article or the Google+ post. The latter is useful if you want to grow your Google+ audience (that has worked really well for me in the past), but it’s definitely not always going to be the best strategy- and it can be annoying. In your case, just make sure each cross post post links back to the original link and not the Google+ post.
It does take a while to get your head round it and get it set up in the way that works for you- but it is worth it in my view.
IFTTT may still work for you- but it might be more tricky if you use a different tool. I’d love Triberr to have RSS feeds, but I don’t think that will ever happen (unless @ralphmrivera:disqus tells me otherwise). I am not sure automation would work on the tools you mentioned.
Which brings me on to a few of them. I’ve heard of all of them, but I’ve never really invested the time in them. Are they worth it? I did use JustRetweet for a time, but it didn’t feel right. It felt like I was just retweeting other peoples stuff solely to build up points so I could then get some other random people to retweet my tweets. It’s a reason why I don’t get on with ViralWoot.
I love the look of Flipboard, but I am a bit of a control freak. I don’t like relying solely on an algorithm to tell me what it thinks I want to read. That’s why I love Feedly. I can subscribe to the blogs I want to keep track of. I can also see the most popular ones and then very easily share out on my social networks.
I’m not sure I’d say I am using Instagram for business. I am keeping my eye on it as a business social network, but I’m not convinced. I want to be converted though!
We really should arrange that Skype chat!
Ian, I had to pour a drink and get a sandwich before settling in to read this because I knew I’d be here for a while 🙂
I know how much you love tools so if I ever need advice on which to use, I know where to go. I also don’t think you could ever go over to the dark side because you think too much about what you do and pay attention to the results and consequences.
Now that I’ve said that…. there is definitely a “set it an forget it” danger to some of these tools. I used IFTTT for a long time, primarily for internal automation like saving things from Evernote to Email to RSS and back and such things. But I also used it for social and had some convoluted recipes for sharing this to that. Couple that with buffer… and a few other tools… and before I knew it, the machines had risen up and taken over. One day I looked at my Twitter feed and thought, “Now how the heck did THAT get there?” So I had to go and untangle all the tools.
I stopped using IFTTT (just sort of outgrew it, not for any particular reason) and though I do adore Buffer I also find their price points unsustainable. It’s not worth it to me to spend money on it just for my few accounts, but once I start to add in more it goes over their limit and pushes me into the “business” category which is ridiculous. That’s why for the most part I stick with Hootsuite for that type of scheduling although I do dislike it quite a bit.
Lately I haven’t done any scheduling at all because I’ve spent less time on social overall so when I get on there I post and chat in real time. Honestly, I find most of the scheduling stuff more cumbersome that just posting live.
I feel like that was a tangent but you are probably used to that!
Triberr autoshare is a conundrum. I haven’t used it so far because I really don’t like things happening without my knowledge. But if I did, it would be selective with the very few people I trust. I don’t know how others use it but I do know that it’s very obvious from Twitter streams who the people are that do A LOT of sharing. I’m guessing it’s either autoshare or a click-happy few minutes scrolling through the Triberr stream. I ignore those people because I know they are just spewing out updates constantly.
Since you are the official Research Dude around here, I will leave it to you to alert me to any must-have tools!