How to get the most from your social media channels

This week on the Boagworld Show Nathan Ellering from Coschedule shares his top tips for your social media strategy.

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This weeks show is sponsored by Resource Guru and Gather Content.

This week on the Boagworld Show we talk to Nathan Ellering from Coschedule about making better use of social media.

Paul: Hello and welcome to the Boagworld show, a podcast about all aspects of digital design, development and strategy. My name is Paul Boag, joining me this week, as always, is Marcus. Hello Marcus.

Marcus: Hello Paul. I’ve got my tea finally.

Paul: Good. Good, because I was worried about that! I know how important that is to.

Marcus: Especially in the afternoon Paul, me being an Englishman and what not.

Paul: What not. Yeah, I don’t feel like… I feel like I’m letting down my entire nation by not liking tea.

Marcus: You don’t like coffee either do you? So.

Paul: No. So at least I’m not American or Italian or…

Marcus: Hot drinks of any sort Paul?

Paul: I will partake in hot chocolate.

Marcus: That’s a nice thing. A bit too sickly after a while though, but lovely.

Paul: It can do, too much. Talking of to sickly I will also drink hot cider.

Marcus: Oerr, no, that, err. I don’t like cider. I’ve probably mentioned this before I can remember when I was probably about 20 or so, saying to myself I must learn to like things like Stilton cheese and cigars and stuff like that, things that are meant to be…

Paul: Grown-up things.

Marcus: Yes, and I realised I don’t like either of those things. No, that’s not true, I like Stilton cheese but I don’t like cigars. But cider was another one that I thought “I must like cider.” Everyone likes cider but I don’t like it at all. And the hot version I think smells and tastes like vomit! (Laughter)

Paul: Yeah, I kind of know what you mean, I can actually give you that. The other thing that I do quite like but I can’t cope with the smell of, talking of that, is mulled wine.

Marcus: I’d rather just have wine, again.

Paul: Well, no, I quite like mulled wine. My problem was, you see I worked in a restaurant when I was a teenager and come Christmas we would make mulled wine and sell mulled wine but of course you are making it on such a scale that we would make huge vats of the stuff and the smell was just overpowering and I just can’t cope with it as a result. I’ve overdosed on the smell of mulled wine.

Marcus: Yes, that’s another one, I’ll drink it but it’s like can I just have the wine please? Take the mulled bit out of it.

Paul: Yeah, but it is nice to have something warm, especially this time of year is looking all grey.

Marcus: We are getting all festive aren’t we Paul?

Paul: Yes, we are. This is true.

Marcus: It’s seven weeks to Christmas.

Paul: Well, I’ve already had my present.

Marcus: Have you?… Oh yes of course.

Paul: I got my shiny Iphone X. Or 10.

Marcus: I’ve ordered mine.

Paul: Oh have you? Oh good.

Marcus: Yeah, yeah. It will be coming at the end of the month. I played with Dan’s a bit today and I thought yes, it’s actually rather lovely, I do like the big screen on the same size phone that I’ve currently got, thats rather good.

Paul: It is rather good. I have to say I really like it. I’ve written a blog post thats gone out today. It’s not really about the iPhone but it’s about some user experience lessons relating and wrapped around the iPhone so things like…

Marcus: Don’t design a phone with a notch in it.

Paul: Do you know, that actually doesn’t matter when you actually use it.

Marcus: I think it does if you’re designing websites for it.

Paul: Well, I… It took me, well, one line of code to fix that for Boagworld.

Marcus: Oh, okay.

Paul: It’s literally a bit of meta data that you got to throw in. I mean, I suppose it depends on the design of your website but in my case it made no difference whatsoever, it was really, really simple and straightforward to fix which was great. But no, I was writing about things like how big a deal face idea ID is. Because it really is an enormous thing. Because you know what, you don’t necessarily notice the points of friction in interaction until those points of friction are taken away, right?

Marcus: Hundred percent, yes. This is the demonstration that Dan did earlier that I was most impressed with, but carry on Paul.

Paul: Yes, so you literally just pick up your phone and use it, right? It unlocks itself and it does all of its security checks but you don’t think about that.

Marcus: Correct.

Paul: You don’t have to put your thumb on a button or anything like that, it just does it. The bit that really, I think where face ID made the biggest difference for me, which was just a delight when it first happened was, I went to a website where I have to log in and it was a website that I had previously logged in at some point and it just popped up with a face ID message, just briefly long enough for me to go “Oh, why is it doing that?” And then it logged me in.

Marcus: Yay!

Paul: And it was like “I’m in the website and I haven’t had to type anything, I’ve not had to press any buttons, I’ve not had to do anything, I am just there.” And that whole thing about making the interaction invisible. They always say don’t they, “The best interfaces no interface.” And this really is that, it’s just goes away, it gets out of your way and that’s just really lovely.

Marcus: Isn’t it funny because we were talking about this for the last two or three weeks and I was like “Face ID, ner, probably won’t work properly.” Or, “Even if it does it’ll just be like ‘Yeah, so what!’” But isn’t it funny that the things that kind of strike you the most. Dan was showing it to Chris, holding it or had it on the desk or something. No, he was holding it in his hand but kind of pointing it at Chris. Chris was looking at the phone and it was locked and he just tilted it towards himself and it just opened. And it was like “Now, that’s good!”

Paul: And the other thing of course is notifications on the lock screen. You know, if Chris had been… If Dan had received a notification while Chris was looking at it the notification wouldn’t have appeared. But as soon as Dan looked at it you would have seen the notification. So it’s things like that but also things like the removal of the home button. That surprised me. I mean, I suffered from some muscle memory problems for a while, in fact I still am actually, a little bit, of going for the button that’s not there but setting that aside interacting directly with the interface rather than a separate hardware button just feels so nice and so fluid. Especially combined with, I mean it’s got one hell of a processor behind it on this phone so it is so fluid and all the animations are instantaneous and natural. They have added just a little bit of haptic feedback at various places as well that is just, it feels like a natural interaction with it. So I got to say the actual iPhone itself was just a pleasure. Of course, getting the iPhone was a disaster!

Marcus: Really?

Paul: Oh!

Marcus: I thought, I don’t know, I thought we talked about this last week but obviously not because I can’t remember what the story was!

Paul: Well no, I just said… All I said last week was that… The long and short of it was that I got up like a fanboy at 8 o’clock to order it exactly on time.

Marcus: That’s really early for you Paul!

Paul: I know! I might as well got up in the middle of the night! And I ordered it within, I don’t know, a couple of minutes? But I didn’t manage to get the 3 of November delivery date which was when it was coming out. So, you know, being the petulant child that I was I didn’t want to wait a week, that’s not me is it? You know, I mentioned this on Twitter, on slack actually, it was on the slack channel and somebody said oh “Oh, carphone warehouse are saying they can deliver it by 3rd November.” Okay, so I went to the carphone warehouse site and sure enough on the home page it said in big bold letters delivered by 3rd November. Oooo.

Marcus: You didn’t believe them did you?

Paul: Well, I instantly placed an order, straightaway. Because I figured I can always cancel it, can’t I. And I kept the order as well with Apple, just as a backup. But no, I wasn’t… I didn’t believe that they would do it. Sure enough, I got a confirmation email that instead of saying delivered by 3rd November said expected delivery 3rd of November. So the wording suddenly changed.

Marcus: Ah, what does that mean?

Paul: Yes, exactly. So again, you’re beginning to see some kind of user experience lessons here in terms of kind of consistent wording and setting expectations and all that kind of stuff. Then I contacted, or tweeted… I didn’t want to pick up the phone and call them on the day that the iPhone was being released, I knew that it was would just be a nightmare. So I tweeted instead, because they didn’t seem to have a live chat or anything like that. Somebody replied to me and said… Again, it was a canned response, right?

Marcus: Which we all love. We all love a canned response!

Paul: Exactly, so I asked “Is my order, here’s my order number, is it going to be delivered on 3rd of November?” Instead what I get back is a canned response saying our current expected delivery date is 10th of November.

Marcus: Ooo.

Paul: Well, does that apply to me? As someone who has already ordered it or are you just sending out a canned response to anybody? So again, rubbish user experience. So, so it goes on and I wait as the week goes by and I think that I will just wait and see what happens, kind of thing. Come Thursday, so the day before it was supposed to be released I still hasn’t heard from them, no email, nothing saying… See in the original email they said we will contact you if we can’t deliver it by the expected date. Well, hang on a minute, Twitter tells me you’re not going to be able to but I haven’t heard anything, what’s going on here? Don’t know. So, I reluctantly pick up the phone, ring them up and was told my current order is set to deliver on 10th of November. Okay! Right? So then, literally an hour after getting off the phone I then get a “Your order has been dispatched” notice.

Marcus: Ooo.

Paul: And so I did, it turned up on the third but what a terrible user experience. You know, poor communication. There was no way I could log into the website to see my order, there was no way to cancel my order online. I would have to rung somebody. There was no information, no communication in terms of where my order was at, whether it was going to be fulfilled or not. Absolute joke. So, bah.

Marcus: But you don’t mind that much because you got it on the day, when they said you’d get it.

Paul: Absolutely, exactly. I don’t mind because I got a gorgeous phone at the end of it but that is pretty… It shows, for me I thought that that was really quite an interesting… I’m going to be using that example when I talk about user experience because it really shows you how user experience is a lot more than just user interface. You know, it is a lot more than just going to the website and buying something, isn’t it?

Marcus: Absolutely.

Paul: It’s all the other stuff too. Even things like that wording example of the website said “Will be delivered” and then the email said “Expected by.” And that makes a big difference.

Marcus: I think that’s deliberate though. I think that’s covering their arses.

Paul: You think so? But then why on the website give it as a guaranteed?

Marcus: Because they want your sale.

Paul: Yeah, that’s naughty.

Marcus: I’m probably going to get sued by carphone warehouse now but no, maybe that’s… You could argue that a more positive wording on the website will encourage sales. You could even say that one department has been studying the wording to get more people to click on the buy button and if we use this sort of wording, which is fine, they say to themselves, it works. Then when it comes to the kind of… the department that is dealing with delivery that they are kind of “Well, we can’t guarantee it for that date so we are going to use slightly woolly wording.”

Paul: And therein lies the problem, isn’t it? That these departments don’t talk to one another, they don’t interact with one another, which is great for me because that’s what I spend my life fixing these days.

Marcus: There you go. It gets you more work Paul!

Paul: Exactly which pays for my shiny iPhone! Which is wonderful.

Marcus: It’s a big circle.

Paul: Anyway, we’ve just spent the best part of quarter of an hour talking about me buying an iPhone.

Marcus: We’ll look forward to the end of the month when I get mine.

Paul: Yeah, you’ll enjoy it. The camera is everything that you hope it is so that’s good. All right, so today we are going to be talking about social media which is very appropriate as we have already started talking about social media and interactions on Twitter. We’ve got Nathan from CoSchedule joining us. This is a good interview isn’t it Marcus, you were on this one so it makes it all the better having you there, obviously!

Marcus: I made lots of promises if I remember rightly.

Paul: Yes, have you done any of them?

Marcus: Well, I have thought about it and I don’t mean that as a throwaway kind of way. I have actually kind of thought "Right, I need to do that, that, that and that. I haven’t done any of them yet but I am planning.

Paul: Oh, okay, that’s progress.

Marcus: So, when did we do the interview? It was only like two working days ago, so…

Paul: Yeah, it wasn’t that long. So we didn’t know whether we were going to have an interview on this show but Nathan kindly stepped in and you know what fan I am of CoSchedule so it was really great to have him on the show. What I decided next week is we are not going to do an interview next week and instead, following up really on the promises that you’ve made, I thought I would take you through everything I do in an average week from a content marketing point of view just to kind of give you a framework of the kind of stuff that you could be doing, potentially. I’m not saying that you do the same as me, Marcus, but I just thought you might find it interesting and other people might find it interesting.

Marcus: Yeah, we talk about marketing calendars in the interview that is coming up and to have an example of that would be great. Yes, perfect.

Paul: Yes. Good. Right, but before we get into the interview I just want to… Let’s do our sponsor first actually. Let’s talk about ResourceGuru and then we shall do some reading material around social media and then we will jump into the interview.

Featured Posts

Play Featured Posts at: 15:11

So, ResourceGuru. We all know how painful it can be if we don’t quite manage to schedule things properly, we end up working late and we work weekends and deadlines are suddenly looming and we end up having to sometimes even pick up the workload of other people because they haven’t been able to schedule right, or they’ve gone away on holiday and, yeah, it’s horrible isn’t it. Deadlines really can catch you off guard. What is it? What’s that great hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy… What’s his name?

Marcus: Douglas Adams. Yeah.

Paul: Something about…

Marcus: I love the sound of deadlines as they go wooshing buy, or something like that.

Paul: Yes, that’s it. Yeah, that’s such a good phrase. But obviously you can’t let that happen unless you are an internationally famous writer like him who can afford to miss his deadlines but most of us don’t have that privilege. So, if that kind of pressure and scheduling problem sounds familiar then you may well want to check out ResourceGuru which is a fast and really simple way of managing your projects. It gives you an accurate up-to-date view of the big picture of who is busy, whose available, whose away from work, all of those kinds of things. So you can be confident about your project timelines. Whether they are realistic or not, whether you are going to have the right resources at the right time because you know, projects shift around don’t they? You also get great features like absence management, when people are not around, you can track billable versus non-billable hours and you have a really good utilisation set of reports as well which is nice for kind of working out whether you’ve got the right number of people and whether you’re working in the right kind of way. It is used by lots of successful teams. Some really big people like Apple, NASA, Ogilvy and even the NHS use it which I thought was kind of cool.

Marcus: Do they, really!?

Paul: Yeah, how cutting-edge of the NHS!

Marcus: They are not very but okay!

Paul: I know, I’m kind of shocked if I’m honest that they are on the list but apparently they are, so there you go. I don’t imagine it’s the entire NHS but yes, that’s really good. NASA, that sounds cool as well doesn’t it? Well, if NASA uses it then you know… Do you guys still…

Marcus: Then Headscape should use it. Oh, we do!

Paul: You do don’t you?! Yeah, I thought you did.

Marcus: Yes, we’ve been using it for a long time.

Paul: I love the fact that you weren’t quite sure about that. It shows how much you are involved in running projects these days, it’s all been taken away from you hasn’t it, thankfully!

Marcus: Yes, mostly.

Paul: Emma is in charge of such things.

Marcus: Emma is in charge of that sort of thing, yes.

Paul: So if you fancy a free trial of ResourceGuru go to ResourceGuru.io/Boagworld. And if you subscribe using the coupon code Boag2017 you will get 20% off the life of the account, right? So as long as you use it you will get 20% off which I think is a really good deal. Right, so, you know that every show I am trying to give you a little bit of reading really, resources that you can find out more about the different things that we are covering. As we are talking about covering social media these days I have got some stuff that you might want to check out. One that I refer to all the time is the buffer blog. So that blog.bufferapp.com. They are always posting thoughts on social media and its use. So things like looking at the conversion and ROI of social media or getting started with Instagram or, I’m just looking down their homepage. All kinds of things, level up your social media skills and oh, they’ve started a podcast. Ooo, that might be quite interesting, I like those guys. Anyway, sorry. Yes, there’s the buffer blog, check out that at blog.bufferapp.com. Another one came across that looks quite good is called Dustn.tv and its D U S T N.T V. So it’s kind of… Oh, /blog, sorry. Which seems to have a really good collection of social media blogging and design articles. So it’s got some great stuff on everything from Pinterest to sizing social media images, that we talked about last week, to email lists. Any of the content marketing type stuff you will find on that blog and it’s got some really good articles. I really enjoyed having a look through there. So that’s another one to check out. The other one that I wanted to mention is sociallysorted.com.au/blog. So this is au, Australian, and again loads of really great concise very easy to digest articles on all aspects of social media. Even including things like podcasting, social video, imagery, Instagram again. The whole works really, everything… Even how to create great Facebook page, that kind of stuff. So loads of stuff to get you started there and yeah, hopefully you will find some stuff that is really useful amongst that little lot.

Marcus: Cool.

Paul: Okay, shall we jump into our interview with Nathan and kind of go from there.?

Marcus: Let’s do that.

Discussion with Nathan Ellering

Play Discussion at: 20:54

Paul: So, joining us today is Nathan from CoSchedule. Nathan, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Nathan: Well thanks to you guys for having me. Well, I am pretty excited, this is going to be fun.

Paul: I’m pretty excited as well because I have been using CoSchedule since, I think it was in beta. Because I had… For a very long time I had one of your grandfathered accounts that I was holding onto because it was this amazing value and I was doing really well out of it. And then recently you released a solo kind of entrepreneurial package which was even better and so I’ve signed up for that one now.

Nathan: Nice, yes, I’m really glad to hear that. I mean you are one of the really early birds then, like 3, 4 years ago.

Paul: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. It’s because… Just for people who don’t know what CoSchedule is, and we are not going to spend the whole time talking about CoSchedule because these guys have very kindly agreed to sponsor some episodes later so you’ll get to hear a lot more about it later but essentially CoSchedule is a tool for managing content marketing really. Everything from the blog post that you send out to the social media updates. But for me what really originally got me on board with it was the fact that it gave me this lovely editorial calendar where I could schedule all of the various bits and bobs that I end up having going out. Because I’ve got the podcasts, I’ve got blog posts, I’ve got social media updates and you kind of want to link your social media updates to go out at the right time with the blog post and the podcast. But then I’ve got newsletters as well and that all needs to be kind of managed and so essentially CoSchedule brings that all together in a single calendar and it integrated into WordPress which for me was just kind of the icing on the cake. But since then, I mean it’s grown so much, you’ve added so much. The re-queue feature that you offer now where you can essentially set social media updates to go out on like a cycle. I mean, that is just so useful.

Nathan: Yeah, I mean, actually I couldn’t have explained it better.

Paul: Oh, well there you go.

Nathan: That was really good. And yeah, we’re really excited about re-queue. That thing is just like such an interesting feature and actually since you are talking about being a customer as far as beta, that was something that we had been requested, it’s been percolating in our minds for years, so we are excited to launch that finally.

Paul: And I mean, let’s be honest it’s quite similar to the functionality provided by Buffer which is, I am guessing, one of your competitors, kind of, you overlap a little bit with them. But for me it is so much nicer to have it all together in one tool because obviously Buffer don’t do the editorial calendar side of things and so it just makes life so much easier. And also I guess the difference between what re-queue and Buffer is is that you can re-use the same updates again and again. Because on Twitter especially if you just post stuff once nobody ever sees it.

Nathan: Yeah, I would say that for sure for Twitter that is something that wre-queue does really well with. And to your point, something that you can do with CoSchedule is… What I like to do is look at the engagement on certain messages. Let’s say I send a tweet and like 10 of them fall flat but one of them is really, really good and gets a lot of engagement. I’ll make sure to just throw that one into our re-queue so that we recycle that one. It is just a smart way to be like “Hey, I’m going to use data to say, if this one is successful in the past chances of it being successful in the future are pretty high.” Anyway, that’s a pretty good use case for it.

Paul: It is, it’s a very good one. I mean that brings us onto one of the first questions that I wanted to ask you. I mean obviously you guys have huge amounts of experience working in the social media field and seeing what works and what doesn’t. To the point of Twitter, the need to repost things on a regular basis, it seems like there are so many different platforms out there from Twitter, Facebook, Google+, if there’s anybody who still uses that. I don’t know! Instagram, you know, Pinterest, all of these different platforms. It’s very hard, you know, if you’re coming into this and thinking about your social media strategy, which platforms do you… I mean, do you try and support them all? And if not then which platforms should you be focusing on? Which platforms are good for what kind of jobs, if that makes sense?

Nathan: Yes, that does makes sense. The very first thing that I kind of advocate is do one thing at a time. You know, focus on one thing. I think as marketers it’s really easy for us to think that we need to do everything, especially with all the information that is coming out in this industry. It’s like every single day there are literally hundreds of thousands of articles published in every day you are learning “Oh, I need to be doing this thing, I need to be doing that thing.” I think that’s almost doing a disservice to marketers everywhere because we think that we need to constantly be doing the new shiny thing when really what we should be doing is concentrating our efforts on something that we know already works. And so as far as that goes, like the advice that I would have to begin with is to do one thing at a time so that you don’t spread yourself too thin. Another part of that is like to target the right kinds of followers not just all followers. So like if you only have limited time just kind of think about your audience that you are building already and just kind of… Something you can do is that if you have even a minimal customer base right now is you can literally just send an email with like a one question survey that says “Hey, what social network do you most often used to find out information about this kind of product, or what you’re doing?” Like, our industry information. So that’s what I kind of advocate at first at least.

Paul: Obviously each platform seems to have its own little quirks. Is there certain things to bear in mind in terms of which platforms not better for what if that makes sense? The obvious example is the 140 character limit on Twitter which means that you know, anything longer form doesn’t work very well on Twitter. But are there other kind of preferences that you have of what platforms you use for what type of content?

Nathan: Yeah, definitely. So, if we are thinking about… You know, if I were to give a rundown Twitter, since we are talking about that first, I like to use Twitter to share useful business tips. CoSchedule is B to B so that is something that we do, helpful tips to help attract that following two us. We use Twitter to show just a little bit of personality too. Tweets only live for like 15 seconds so it’s fine to do a lot of MVP’s or minimum viable tests there. Something like quotes and stand-alone graphics work really well, animation works well so if you can share gifs or video there then motion in busy news feeds stands out. There’s actually a lot of evidence to suggest that images get a 150% more retweets on Twitter. Animated gifs get 167% more click throughs and like you were talking about with character count, we’ve actually done a ton of research at CoSchedule on the mechanics behind writing for all these networks and it looks like writing your message to you about 115 characters will get you the most engagement on those. Then using two hashtags per tweet can help you grow that engagement by 21%.

Paul: Ah, interesting. Because I am terrible. I never use hashtags at all and I know they make a big difference but somehow I think I’m too verbose so by the time I have written my characters I haven’t got enough space left for any hashtags. (Laughter)

Nathan: Well you can always sneak them in. Something I do is I actually write the message and then if I use the word marketing in the message then I can just turn that into a hashtag.

Paul: Yeah.

Nathan: The reason for Twitter being good with hashtags is that is it is a discovery engine. Like people use hashtags to discover content versus other networks kind of just use them to categorise. So use hashtags on Twitter, it can help you attract people who might not otherwise find your brand.

Paul: What about LinkedIn? You know, if CoSchedule is a B to B network, you know, a service, you kind of think that LinkedIn may be the way to go but that’s kind of bit of a peculiar one. I’m never quite sure what to do with LinkedIn.

Nathan: Yeah, there is, you know, we use LinkedIn to share business industry news, thought leadership content, you know. It is very much a B to B audience that would work really well for you there. So you can think about sharing your case studies, maybe some of your how-to articles even stuff like how to grow a professionally as a professional or business in that niche specifically, could do well there. So you know… Something we’ve kind of found to is link posts with images and short messages really work well as far as actually creating the message, just as we were talking about Twitter in the actual message creation there. That sort of stuff does extremely well on LinkedIn.

Paul: Of course the problem with all of this is that it all takes time, especially if you’re going to start kind of trying to customise what you are posting to different networks. And this is the thing, Marcus, that you moan about all the time. That you just don’t really have time for this kind of stuff.

Marcus: Yeah, at least you’re doing something Paul. You’re doing a lot. Yeah, I’m here on this interview, Nathan, as a bit of a Luddite really. I’ve already learnt a lot. I know that the value of marketing our company through social media is high but I’m… I write the odd blog post but it’s always kind of when I feel like it rather than when I should do. What advice have you got that you can give me and other people in similar position because I am always saying “I just don’t have the time.” I’ve always got other things to do. I’ve got clients harassing me about this that and the other and I’ve got to deal with that. And I never have the time to kind of work on promoting us through social media in any kind of measured way. So have you got any advice that you could maybe give me?

Nathan: Yes, something that I do… It’s really easy to kind of neglect social media. It is one of those things that is “Oh, I have the whirlwind of my job that just needs to get done.” Something that I have seen work and that when I was doing this when CoSchedule was still a start-up and I was the one writing social media messages on top of everything else marketing, I was like a one-person marketing shop for a long time, is just time blocking. Essentially what I did was I would get in and right away in the morning I would pour myself a cup of coffee and it became a habit that I would just look at social stuff for the day. Basically just make sure that that days social media posting schedule was full and I was taking advantage of posting to all the networks that we were posting to at the time. You know, that’s the… Take five, if you only do it five minutes a day you keep on top of it and it’s not that big of a commitment either. So that’s kind of what I would suggest there.

Paul: And I think Marcus, that’s where it comes back to having the right tools. Some of the things I see with you guys is that, you know, is not kind of a job in itself in your minds, or it’s not something… You know, you might post something if you think of it and it just goes out in that moment but having a scheduling tool like Buffer or CoSchedule or something along those lines it just means that you can sit down whenever you want, fill up a list of things to go out and then they post at the most relevant time. Also, the great thing with these tools now is that they even detect for you when the best time to send stuff out is.

Marcus: Okay, I just need to be more of a grown-up I guess. Turn it into a real job! (Laughter)

Paul: Yeah. It is difficult because I think some people are naturally more inclined to use social media anyway. I mean I think I’m the kind of person that wants to share stuff and it is naturally in my character to do that so it kind of occurs to me more and maybe I don’t need to be quite so disciplined about it because I kind of do it instinctively. But if you’re not someone that does it instinctively, yeah, the idea of setting aside a little bit of time seems very sensible to me.

Marcus: I’ve already written that down as a note.

Paul: You won’t do it. I know you won’t to do it.

Marcus: I must do it, I have it is to do.

Paul: I mean… Sorry go on.

Nathan: Oh yeah, I was going to say that something about that too is like it sounds like such a simple idea but something that I have learnt from our CEO and co-founder Garrett, he says this all the time, he says the simplest approach is the best place to start. With social media, with all… Content marketing as a whole, with marketing as a whole, a lot of the times it feels like so complicated that it is hard to know what to do. That is kind of where I was at before where I was saying just do fewer things and do few things better and that’s like the best approach. So like literally something as simple as saying, after lunch right when I get back to my desk I am just going to look at social stuff and kind of get that ready. Starting to do that is, you know, it is an easy process therefore it is more doable.

Paul: I think the other thing I would say to you Marcus is, which builds on the same idea, is that maybe we need to just pick one network and focus on one network. I mean LinkedIn seems like the logical place really for Headscape and the kind of clients that you guys work with. So it might be better doing that than kind of trying to replicate what I used to do when I was at Headscape, do you see what I mean?

Marcus: Yeah, makes sense.

Paul: Hmmm. I mean of course the other problem is even once you have carve out some time a lot of the companies social media updates that I see are pretty dull and crappy to be honest.

Marcus: Ours wouldn’t be, ours would be really exciting.

Paul: I’m sure it would. It would be all about cricket Marcus is the truth. Nothing to do with web design!

Marcus: And guitars.

Paul: Yeah, exactly. What can people do to make those channels a little bit more engaging. I mean what makes a good update?

Nathan: Yeah, I think… Something that I think about there is a very simple test like at CoSchedule we would use questions as frameworks to help us understand things to get into the minds of our users, our audience, our customers. And so a simple test here is like to ask yourself what’s in it for me? What’s in it for me as your audience member that I actually care about this? So another question I ask is, as an audience member do I even care about this? And if you can’t really, I mean, if there is no value in your post, like, just don’t post it. So that goes for… That goes all the way back into the content that you are sharing too. Paul, you are saying that you use content marketing so you are like creating these podcasts, right? You don’t want to be creating a podcast that no one is going to care about anyway in the first place. So draw out the value points from, you know, the speaking points or something that’s a good takeaway from that episode and turn that into a message. Something that will captivate. Another, this might even get further away from being social media being dull, you know those messages. We need to be creating content that people will actually care about and it all stems from that. So if you can draw out those sorts of points that’s where it’s at.

Paul: What about humour? This always seems a fine line, okay? The example I give in the UK is that… I think they’re in the US, do you have Waterstones bookshops in the US, not sure whether you do or not?

Nathan: Not that I’m aware of.

Paul: Okay, so Waterstones are a big chain of bookshops here in the UK and for a long time there was one store, admittedly it was the Oxford Street store in London, which is a big store but one store had like a huge number of followers, huge, ridiculous number. Much bigger than the main corporate Twitter channel for the same bookstore and the reason was that the person running the social media channel for that particular bookstore was funny. You know, he for example Waterstones used to have an apostrophe in their name and they dropped it. They removed the apostrophe so that it just spelt Waterstones without the apostrophe. You know, the main corporate headquarters released a press release you know, saying we have dropped the apostrophe. And everybody was up in arms because it was bad grammar. This is the kind of sad thing that people get angry about!

Marcus: Not sad.

Paul: Well, I’m sure you would be passionate about that Marcus but…

Marcus: Oh yes!

Paul: … You are the kind of sad person that I am referring to so, anyway, meanwhile the Oxford Street branch instead cut out a giant apostrophe and put it outside their door with a begging bowl and put a sign up saying “Will conjugate for food.” They lightened the whole thing and while everyone was… Even somebody as anal and uptight as Marcus still would find that funny and it kind of lightened the mood of the situation. So humour can work great but it also, it really can be dangerous as well and it can backfire hugely so I’m just interested in whether it is something you ever toy with.

Nathan: Yeah, I mean we love humour at CoSchedule and we try to use it all the time. Actually we just released a video for that re-queue future that is meant to be hilarious. It doesn’t even show anything about the tool itself, it doesn’t show screenshots or like the video from the app it’s just like this humorous video that is all about this guy who is dealing with some really cruddy animation, automation out there and you know, the end is just like “Re-queue, automation that actually works.” So we embrace that and that video has been extremely popular. We’ve just launched it and our plan is to actually do a lot more around that. I think the reason why humour works is like… there is this research report from the New York Times customer insight group from a couple of years ago. They found that 50%, just under 50% of people share content because it’s entertaining. And they think that other people will find it also entertaining. And humour is definitely a part of that.

Paul: I think a lot of organisations shy away from it because they think “Oh, we’ve got to be professional and grown-up.” But my response to that is always “Well, the first-ever tweet by the CIA was that we can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” And you know, you think that if the CIA can joke then pretty much anybody can add a bit of humour into their social feed.

Nathan: Absolutely. Something I think about here is for those companies that are just worried about brand voice and tone and all of that BS, literally, the brand is made up of people and you should let the people be the brand. So corporate voice doesn’t connect with other people, it doesn’t sound human and social media, as the name implies, is meant to help a brand, if we are approaching it from this perspective, is to humanise your brand. So humour is a really great way to actually do that.

Paul: Talking then of actually engaging with your audience, you know, social media should be interactive, it should be a two-way conversation. I’m kind of interested in maybe some of the ways that you do that. You mention putting out a survey earlier but are there other things that you do around that kind of stuff?

Nathan: Yeah, with interaction something that we do is we will kind of monitor keywords that are core to our product or service and how people are saying those, using them, on social media and then we can kind of connect with them that way. So, for example on Twitter we might follow the hashtag marketing calendar just so that we can kind of see what people are talking about there and know how they would want to use a marketing calendar. Or the challenges that they are having with the marketing calendar. And it’s kind of having those conversations that way. From there we can answer those questions where they are happening, whether it is on social media and blog post comments, in groups or forums that sort of thing. So we look for the words that those people are using to try to interact there, I guess. Another thing that we do with interaction is at CoSchedule we create tons of content. My team is the team that creates lots of blog posts, we create courses and webinars and all sorts of stuff meant to help marketers do what they do better. So we get a lot of marketers who are big supporters of us and share our stuff on social media and so we always make sure to thank those people so we thank those promoters for sharing that content. That’s definitely a form of interaction. We know that there are some big fans of us out there and so we want to make sure that we show them the appreciation every single time they share stuff.

Paul: And as somebody who does that, who is out there sharing you and other people it does make a big difference when somebody just takes the time to say “Hey, thanks for sharing that link.” Or “Thanks for mentioning us.” You know, it’s just courtesy really as much as anything else isn’t it?

Nathan: Yeah, yeah. It’s like if someone gave you a gift, a lot of times you send a thank you card, right? It’s exactly like that only it’s in the world of you’re building these relationships with people online and that’s the number one way to use social media in my mind, is to build connections that can ultimately at some point result in building trust and if there’s anything that we know about marketing the classic quip is “People buy from people they know, like and trust.” And so we are talking about humanising that brand, right? Let people know that there is a person behind that, something we do and we thank those promoters for sharing our stuff is that we do sign offs with people’s first names so that it is like Leah actually wrote this, we don’t use any canned, like copy paste stuff.

Paul: Oh, good.

Nathan: She literally writes them all out.

Paul: That makes an enormous… I hate canned responses you know when you are getting a canned response, you can just sense it can’t you?

Nathan: Yeah, absolutely. If we are going to talk about marketing or automation stuff, social media automation there are specific forms of it that I just like a no-brainer. That would be one of them, auto-thanks, no one likes that. Err.

Paul: Yes, nasty, nasty! Talking about nasty, the downside of social media, it’s amazing in many, many ways and you get this enormous reach and you can talk directly to your users and to potential customers which is all great but it doesn’t take much, he says out of personal and bitter experience…

Marcus: And regular experience!

Paul: …Regular as well, to put your foot in it! Every now and again you are going to upset people and you are going to face criticism. I think this is something that maybe puts a lot of people off from trying humour or engaging too much is because they are afraid what is going to happen.

Marcus: It’s definitely… It’s one of the reasons why I tend to stay off Twitter that I will often write tweets and I’ll delete 19/20 of them thinking “Who cares” or “Ooo, should I be saying that?” Or you know just that kind of thing. I kind of self censor myself because of what I’ve seen happen to you.

Paul: It’s interesting because I’m now wondering what evil thoughts are constantly going around your head that are so horrendous that you don’t feel able to share.

Marcus: (Laughter) no, it’s nothing that. It’s more of a case of do I want to be, you know, it might be a mild criticism of something we think “Well, I don’t want to be criticising people.” But actually other people might be pleased to hear that you are criticising thing they don’t like. It’s a tricky one. But that’s me, I tend to…

Paul: You are overthinking it.

Marcus: Hmmm, yeah.

Paul: So, Nathan, you guys I’m sure every brand has come in for some criticism at some point about something that they have done, you know, when you change pricing or whatever else. How do you typically deal with it?

Nathan: Yeah, I think that… This is a really interesting topic because I would say if you are not making some people upset you are probably not doing it right, honestly. Because it’s like the second that you try to please everybody the messages and the stuff that you are creating is so watered down that no-one is going to care about it to begin with. It’s good to go into social media with an opinion and actually controversial content tends to perform really, really well on social media which means that you’re going to make some people upset whereas you are going make the people who really do care about that stuff and share your stance, they are going to be really excited. Controversy doesn’t have to be always negative. It’s basically making people question a behaviour, a belief or a sense of belonging. So something there as social media goes is sharing content like “10 reasons your working calendar sucks.” Stuff like that is “Oh, you’re making me question a belief that my marketing calendar is awesome so I’m going to want to click through.” There’s actually a lot of research that proves that that generates a lot more traffic back to the content that you are sharing when you have a perspective like that.

Paul: Does that, do you think… That’s all almost kind of getting into the realms of click bait type behaviour where you are almost baiting people and kind of winding them up on purpose. Is there… Where is the line there. I mean, how do you decide that it’s okay to express an opinion and you might drive a lot of traffic from doing it but are you just alienating readers when they come in?

Nathan: Yes, that’s a good, really good question. It’s only click bait if you don’t fulfil the promise within contents.

Paul: Yes, fair enough.

Nathan: And so like in that example “10 reasons your editorial calendar sucks and how to make it the best.” If that is your promise, how to make it the best, when someone clicks through you better make sure you follow through on that promise and actually teach them how to do it on their own and teach them why you would say that your calendar sucks. So, yes, I agree with that. There are elements of the copywriting, I guess, that make people click but the reason why click bait has come around is because it is based on psychology and based on reasons that have worked really well for years since the time of Ogilvy. These things are not new it is just that we are seeing a lot more of it because there is a lot more content being published every single day.

Paul: Which brings me to the very last question that I wanted to ask you which is, you know, we are all producing so much content now, we are putting a lot of effort into that. How do you measure success from that point of view? You know, are you focusing primarily on traffic driven or conversion or how people are sharing that content in turn and whether the sentiments of them sharing it are positive or negative? What kind of metrics do you tend to focus on?

Nathan: Yeah, this is an awesome question because just this week I had people walk up to me at a mixer here in Fargo North Dakota and asked me “Hey, how do you measure the ROI from social media?”

Paul: Yeah.

Nathan: And I can literally do that. When we do Facebook ads here at CoSchedule and so when you put money into something you need to measure the return on it, right? You can apply those same principles from return on ad spend into return on social shares. It is a thing that you can do but that is like saying something like, you know, how we think it works is that we share something amazing, people click on it, people give us money. And the way that social media marketing works and that content marketing works is that you have this idea where someone following you they are going to read and promote, read and promote and basically they need some time. You are building a relationship with your followers through your content that you are sharing, through the social media posts you are writing and it’s not going to be like “I shared this one tweet, this one tweet then earned me $10” or whatever it is. You can’t just share one tweet and expect a huge return on it. It takes some time. So the way that I think about social media and the way that I measure this is that I actually just think about it as “Social media is the way to build trust with an audience.” It is not about a return at the time. Maybe the better question to ask is what is the cost of not maintaining an active presence on social media. Because no matter if you are there or not people are talking about your brand, they are talking about your industry, they are talking about the solution that they are hoping someone is building for them. It is just an expectation these days that companies participate on the social networks where their customers are actively participating. So, think about it that way. The way that we see it at CoSchedule, the way that we measure it is just like audience engagement and share of voice. We want to be present where our audience is and that is the way we look at it. So there is not like a specific metric that we look at but it’s at the very top of a funnel, if that makes sense.

Marcus: That’s so great to hear. Because one of the reasons I think why I am reluctant to put effort into it is because we are just a small web design agency that does kind of a number of quite sorry, a small number of large projects so we are not trying to sell thousands or millions of small items we are just going to… It’s just about kind of… To get our name across, to get people to know us, get to know our brand. And I’ve always kind of been “Is this really worth it? Is there any kind of value to it.” So to hear someone like you, Nathan, say your view is that it’s about, you know, getting your name out there, building your brand is really kind of encouraging and making me think yes, I need to pull my finger out.

Paul: So it din’t count that I’ve been saying it for years then Marcus?! That didn’t count? It had to be Nathan did it?

Marcus: Yeah. (Laughter)

Nathan: Well, like something that’s interesting there is again, people… I think people are scared to start something like this because they think that there has to be this active return on ROI and like I said, you can measure that but starting and doing something and just kind of seeing what works and what sticks, that is better than not doing it at all. Like at CoSchedule to, just to relate a little bit more is when we started in 2013 we had like zero email subscribers, zero customers, zero Patrons?????. Nothing. We started by just publishing content, sharing it on social media and then we’ve… basically we started, it wasn’t perfect at the beginning, in fact we probably did some things that people would just downright frown upon now but we started and we were able to build some skills around that. We were able to see what does work, what doesn’t work. At that time we’re all about getting traffic, right? We have since honed these skills and honed this traction to be where we are at today which is, you know, a multi-million dollar business. We have 250,000 email subscribers on our email list. We started with zero like three years ago and a lot of it has to do with this idea behind just knowing that social media was one avenue to introduce our logo to people who had no idea who we were.

Paul: The whole thing about what would be the consequences if you didn’t do it is also quite an interesting one. I mean, for example this podcast is a great example of a type of content marketing where it is actually very hard to measure the ROI of it. But we know, we took a break from doing this podcast a few years back and actually, Marcus, it had a negative impact didn’t it? We saw the consequences of that.

Marcus: Yes, definitely. How negative, you’ll never know but we did get… People did….

Paul: What surprised me it didn’t just affect the podcast it also affected traffic on the blog and social media followings and newsletter signups. All of these things seem to be interconnected with one another which I find fascinating.

Marcus: Yes, it’s the slightly scary thing for me is that if you start doing one, two, three things and then you think “Oh, I don’t want to do that one any more then that affects the other two..”

Paul: Yeah, but don’t start too many things.

Marcus: But it is true! I go back to Nathan’s original advice, do one thing well.

Paul: Yeah, absolutely.

Nathan: Yeah, I mean with social media as far as that, the conversation is happening. It is just a matter of do you want to participate in it?

Paul: Yeah, which… That’s what it comes down to isn’t it really. People are talking about your products and services, you can either choose to engage or you can choose not to and I think it is fairly obvious which of the two people should be doing. All right Nathan, so where can people find out maybe a little bit more about you and a bit more about CoSchedule and that kind of thing. Because you’ve got a really good blog.

Nathan: Yeah, yeah. You can definitely check out the blog. It is CoSchedule.com/blog. We actually do a lot with that blog to… Basically our goal is to publish the best marketing content on the Internet or why even do it? So there is probably something for everyone to learn a little bit more about, content marketing or project management or even social media stuff that we have been talking about there.

Paul: Cool, great. That’s really good and we will include the URL for that in the show notes but I’m sure a quick Google will also get you to that point. All right, thank you very much Nathan for joining us and hopefully we will talk to you again before too long.

Nathan: Yeah, thank you guys, I really appreciate this it was a fun convo.

Featured Apps

Play Featured Apps at: 57:55

Paul: Okay Marcus, so what have you been thinking about after that interview. What have you been thinking that you need to do?

Marcus: Getting myself organised.

Paul: Oh, yes!

Marcus: Which is… I’m not that organised a person with my job generally so to be overly… I don’t like being nailed down to certain things but the idea of taking a little bit of time every day I think is a really good one. I haven’t done it yet but I think I need to pick the one thing, which I don’t know what that is yet either! Although we talked about LinkedIn, and work out what I am going to do so that I can kind of say “This is your 10 or 15 minutes every day or Monday, Wednesday, Friday.” I don’t know. And not sit there and go twiddle my thumbs going “Oh, what shall I do?” I need to think in advance “Right, this, this, this this or this..” And pick one.

Paul: And build a list of things you could do, yeah.

Marcus: Unfortunately Paul, as you said earlier in the show, you’re going to give me a whole bunch of things that I can pick from next week.

Paul: Ahh, yes, not necessarily because what I’m going to do next week is…

Marcus: Is what you do, yes, okay.

Paul: Yeah, is what I do. Obviously I am using lots of different channels while you are going to focus in on LinkedIn which is a really good idea if I’m honest. Because the other good thing about LinkedIn as well is that you can post blog post directly to LinkedIn. So the blog post that you tend to post to Headscape are longer pieces but maybe you could post shorter pieces to LinkedIn. You don’t have the same word restrictions as something like Twitter for example so that’s the kind of thing. You can also upload case studies, very good place to put case studies, it’s a great place to share little videos even, all kinds of things you could do on LinkedIn so is quite a versatile platform. I still don’t like the interface very much, it’s a little bit messy and hard to find stuff but I find it… A lot of people kind of screw their nose up at it because it’s not hip and trendy but let’s be honest, most of our clients aren’t very hip and trendy.

Marcus: (Laughter) Good point!

Paul: I don’t mean that in a rude way.

Marcus: No, neither we aren’t, they aren’t.

Paul: No,

Marcus: We’re just sort of… People are getting on a bit in life, not that our clients are particularly but we are less likely to appeal to rock bands these days!

Paul: Yes, exactly. Even if the people we are dealing with are hip and trendy, and often times the actual client, the person that you are interacting with does know their stuff, is very digitally literate but they tend to use LinkedIn for the same reason we are talking about using it which is that their colleagues, the people that they are trying to work with are all on LinkedIn. So I actually think… And also there is so much noise now on other social networks and so much personal stuff and so many memes and things that actually if you are B to B, focusing on LinkedIn makes a lot of sense, I think. Anyway, that’s my two cents. Okay, let’s talk about our second sponsor which is GatherContent, obviously, that have supported the whole season and are absolutely awesome.

Marcus: What do you use them for?

Paul: Me?

Marcus: No, what does one use them for?

Paul: Oh, what does one use them for!

Marcus: I was trying to be funny!

Paul: Oh, I see. You use them for gathering content.

Marcus: There you go!

Paul: I get it now! Doesn’t it make a pleasant change when actually the product name describes what they do?

Marcus: Oh yes. What was it earlier? Dustn TV. Hmmm

Paul: Dustn TV. I mean what’s that about? Boagworld, I mean honestly!

Marcus: Well yes, Headscape.

Paul: Exactly. Yeah, Headscape the hairdressers!

Marcus: Yes, we are! That’s what we do in the evening and on the weekends.

Paul: Yes, that’s how you make your real money.

Marcus: Yes, quite.

Paul: Yes, so GatherContent is great for managing and gathering content you need for your website, your app, social media campaign, whatever really. So I tend to personally use it when I am working with a client on a very content heavy project because in my experience those kinds of projects almost always are guaranteed to be delayed, and they are almost always guaranteed to be delayed because of the content and getting the content out of people. In fact I often say that content delivery is the single biggest barrier for delivering a project on time. I think that’s probably fair to say isn’t it? Marcus?

Marcus: I would definitely agree with that. I think it might be getting a bit better because it seems that clients that we work with tend to have more dedicated digital, in air quotes, people.

Paul: Yes, that is true.

Marcus: There is still an underestimation of the task. Especially because everybody wants to rewrite all their content now.

Paul: Which, to be honest, I think is quite a good thing that everybody wants to rewrite their content because those days of migrating content across just were an embarrassment really. You know, you are just slapping a new coat of paint on the same old crumbling façade!

Marcus: You still have to do some of that, I mean like news in particular is something that you would want to migrate over but…

Paul: Yeah, yeah. That’s fair enough. You know, I’m not saying you should never migrate content but you should do it in an intelligent way I guess. Anyway, when you do need to rewrite content or even to some degree migrate if you want to kind of reorganise it and reshuffle it a little bit you are probably better off bringing it into GatherContent and then from there into your new CMS. It is an app that was very much born out of the frustration of the agency, pretty much like Headscape that created it and it is now turned into their business. They are such a really great team of people, they are very open and very responsive and it is used by thousands and thousands of teams worldwide. They have done so well for themselves and I deeply hate them for it! Well, they’ve lived the dream haven’t they. It is a UK agency that have then switched across to an app and they have done really well out of it. Bastards!… Really, yeah.

Marcus: Well, I don’t mind now. I mean that was…

Paul: Do you? Don’t you feel… There was…

Marcus: I’m quite happy doing agency work although when we were at smashing conf. a couple of weeks ago, oh, what are their names? Anton and Irene who were kind of very hip…

Paul: Oh, yes they are very hip aren’t they? They make me feel very unhip!

Marcus: Based in New York in a loft and all this kind of stuff but anyway, a lot of the things they said really hit home with me. They had kind of met up with some of their idols from the 80s when they were at school and that kind of thing. And these guys these graphic designs are still working now but they are not working for any clients, they are in the 70s and 80s now and they just do design work for the fun of it and what the whole kind of angle of their talk was is that they are trying to kind of balance client work with fun, again air quotes, work and it really hit home with me with what I could do, with what I might do with my life in 10, 15 years time. And it was like yeah, very interesting.

Paul: Yeah, that’s nice. Totally irrelevant to GatherContent. We are supposed to be doing their sponsor slot. I can’t even remember why we went there. Because I was talking about switching from agency work across to doing an app which is what they have done.

Marcus: Yes, but I guess the point there was that they are still doing client work but less of it.

Paul: Yeah, it doesn’t need to be an either or which I think is, yeah, I like that. I like that balance. Because I like the variety if I’m honest. I wouldn’t want to get rid of client work at all.

Marcus: Yes, I agree.

Paul: That’s kind where I am at. Some of the stuff I do is client work but a lot of it’s not actually these days, a lot of it is like writing or speaking or that kind of thing which is a little bit different. There’s a part of me that quite likes the idea of working on something like GatherContent, you know, taking an app and evolving it over time and refining it and improving it. Because they are always doing updates and new features and I love all that stuff.

Marcus: I think it would be great but it’s a bit… I’m sure I’ve made this analogy in the past, but I think it is like trying to have a hit record. It’s kind of… Yeah, you might put your heart and soul into it and a lot of work into it but I think many people do that, as we did with Get sign off. Loads of effort and money went into that and it didn’t work in the end. And it’s like well, I’ve kind of got the feeling now that unless something comes along that absolutely blows me off my feet I’m quite happy with the way we are doing things.

Paul: Yes, that’s true. And also the grass is always greener on the other side isn’t it?

Marcus: Yes, yes.

Paul: So it’s swings and roundabouts. Anyway, GatherContent give it a go guys if for no other reason then we have completely butchered their sponsor section and you feel sorry for them, I think that would be a good reason to go and check it out. So it’s perfect if you’re doing a website redesign, if you are building a new website, if you are just expanding a new section and you’ve got a lot of content to gather and bring together and edit and sort and all the rest of it. So you can get a 30 day free trial, no credit card required by going to GatherContent.com/boagworld. I’m glad that they are a cool and laid-back sponsor that’s all I can say! So, talking of cool apps that you should check out I want to, just before we wrap up, share a few ones that relate to social media and managing your social media. I mean there are two straight off the bat that are going to be obvious. One is CoSchedule because we just in whole interview with someone from CoSchedule. It really is worth checking out and is a platform that I have been using, as you gathered from the interview, since it was in beta and absolutely love it. Another platform I’ve been using since it’s been in beta is Buffer. I find that buffer is a really good way of dealing with those more impromptu kind of updates. You know when you sit down in an evening and you read a load of stuff and you know, you’re sitting down all in one go and you read a load of things and you want to share all the different things that you want but you don’t want them all to go out same time? Buffer is really good with that. Although I have to say now with this re-queue feature in CoSchedule I’m beginning to switch more across to using CoSchedule for that kind of stuff but Buffer has got some really good sharing extensions built into the iPhone that make it really easy. So I’m kind of torn at the moment so I’m still paying for both but eventually I suspect I will go one way. Anyway, the other tools that I did want to focus on a little bit more are a tool called Buzzsumo. Now Buzzsumo is, how do you describe what Buzzsumo is? It’s a place to find out what people are talking about on social media, right? The chance to see how different kind of content types are performing, what topics are popular and who is talking about those topics. So you can go along to Buzzsumo and, I don’t know, I’m typing into it web design podcast for example. What is going to come back with is a load of blog posts, a load of social media updates. So I’m seeing the “12 best web design podcasts.” Let’s see if I’m in the list, because if I’m not going to be very upset. And you can see how many times those articles have been shared. So it’s a great way of finding out what kind of content is shared really well and that kind of stuff. Let me just scroll down this list, one, two, no. Three, no. Four, no. Five no, six no, seven no, eight no, nine no! ten no. We’re not in the list!

Marcus: Oh no! (Side)

Paul: I’m really sad now. Anyway, you get the idea. So that’s Buzzsumo it’s really great… And you can filter, you can say “What’s been hot over the last year?” “What’s popular right now?” For different countries you can filter by different types of content, all kinds of things. So it’s a very, very powerful way of getting inspiration, going back to what you were saying earlier Marcus about, you know, what do you write about? What do you cover? You can go along here and just type in. Okay, I know that we need to be writing more on user experience so you type in user experience and then you will see all the articles that have been posted about user experience and it’ll maybe inspire you with some of the kind of stuff that you could write too. All right? So that’s Buzzsumo. The other one I wanted to mention is mention.com. That’s great for monitoring what people are saying about your products, what people are saying about your company, what people are saying in your industry and what people are saying about your competitors. So it is great for like social media monitoring and support. You know when you slag off some product online and within seconds they come back to you and go “I’m sorry you feel like that.” You know?

Marcus: Yeah!

Paul: That’s because they’re using a tool like mention.com. So it is worth checking out. Especially because it’s got a range of different plans, all the way from basic plan that’s about $30 just for one user, all the way up to enterprise level where, you know, you are trying to manage a big brand and how many times it’s mentioned online. Because it will give you things… It won’t just tell you how many times your brand is mentioned or the specifics of what is said but you can get stats as well. So you can do things like look at… I don’t know, say you launch a website and you could monitor what people say about that website say over a three month period and get a report back about whether generally speaking those are positive or negative comments. Because it can pick up on sentiment in mentions and that kind of stuff. So it is very cool app, check it out. All right, I think that about wraps it up for this week. As I said next week we’re going to talk about my own content marketing strategy, what I do and hopefully share a few ideas about how about the how we go about doing that. But until then we just have Marcus’s joke.

Marcus: It’s Ian Laskey’s joke, thank you Ian. A sign in the bakers shop said “All cakes 50p.” I pointed to one and asked for it. The owner said “That will be £1 sir.” I pointed to the signing and he said “Ah yes, but that’s Madeira cake.”

Paul: Madeira… Ah. Oh, yeah, yeah. That is technically a joke, well done. Okay, and on that, just glorious end to the show, we will sign off for now and see you again next week. Bye bye.

Marcus: Bye.

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