It’s because you aren’t seeing the results you want, or because you don’t know what those results should be.  Right?  Because if social media was working for your business, you’d make a bigger commitment to using it.

Believe it or not, I get it.  I’ve been using social media for 11 years now.  It’s led to almost all of my income for over a decade, it’s allowed me to travel and speak throughout the country, work with global brands, and even write a wildly successful business book.  Yet when I sit down to write a blog post, I have no idea how much of an impact that post will have on my business.  Or if it will at all.

Crazy, right?  Social media has been an evolving process for me, and probably for you as well.  The more I use social media, the more I work with clients helping them with their social media efforts, the more I learn and the more my efforts improve.

And I want to share what I’ve learned with you.  But not here, on my newsletter.  As I talked about last week, I am also evolving how I use my newsletter. For the last 2-3 years I’ve approached my blog and newsletter audiences as being essentially the same.  Which in my mind meant I was basically replicating the experience and content in both channels.  And since my blog was more established, why would I start to build my newsletter when that audience was already here?

But then I realized that my blog and newsletter SHOULD be two different audiences.  My blog here is where people meet me, while my newsletter is for the people that already KNOW me.

So my newsletter is written for my friends and the people that know me.  As such, my best advice and tips on social media, brand advocacy and digital marketing will go there.  It will also be a bit more personal than this blog.  Some of the advice and ideas I share there may eventually make it here, but it will first show up in the newsletter.

If you want to get my weekly newsletter, please fill out the form below and you’ll be set! Remember, this is NOT the same thing as subscribing to this blog via email.  If you are subscribed to this blog those posts will still come in your inbox.  The newsletter is different, and it’s where you can find my best tips and ideas on how to use digital marketing to take your business to the next level.

Are you in?


8469030267_83837249f7_zYour blog is where people meet you.

Your social media channels are where they seek you out.

It’s important to understand these differences because they necessitate adjusting your social media strategy accordingly.

Let’s use Twitter as our social example.  On Twitter, people are sharing your content and it’s where people are going if they have a customer service issue or a question for you.  They are more likely to want to connect with you on the sites they are already using, like Twitter, versus coming to your blog or site.  They are also more likely to know you because how would they know to connect with you at all?

On your blog, a good portion of your traffic is coming from search engines.  So many people are clicking on a link from Google, and then being sent to your blog, probably for the first time.  This is where people meet you.

So if you think about how people are interacting with you via social and your blog, you can see that you are dealing with slightly different audiences.  And you can even expand this to include newsletters, where people already know you, and want to develop a deeper connection with you.

Let’s think about how we are talking about slightly different audiences:

Social – People that are aware of you, that are following you or seeking you out.

Blog – Some people that also follow you on social, but also people coming from search who are likely being introduced to you (and your content) for the first time.

Newsletter – People that know who you are, and who enjoy your content so much that they will give you access to their inbox in order to get it as soon as its available.

Or put more simply:

Social – People that know of you.

Blog – Strangers.

Newsletter – Friends and fans.

Granted, that’s not a perfect representation and I can already hear some of you howling “But my friends all read my blog!”  True, but look at your blog’s traffic from search.  Almost all of that is coming from people that have never visited your blog before, and if your blog is older than 6 months, the odds are that at least half its traffic is coming from search.  For older blogs like this one, that percentage can go over 75%.

So each channel is a slightly different audience and requires slightly different approaches to your content.  Here’s how I tweak my content strategy for each channel:

Blog – This is where I create content based on the topics I want to be known for.  I assume that you are visiting here for the first time, so I am sharing what I know and more importantly, what I want to be known for.  It’s also used as my best channel for establishing thought leadership, since blog content will stay seeded in search engines.

Social – This is where I interact with people that know of me around topics that I am passionate about.  It helps us develop deeper connections plus to some extent it drives traffic back to my blog.

Newsletter – This is where I interact with people that know me and trust me enough with access to their inbox.  This is often people I know, and have met.  So my newsletter subscribers are far more likely to be friends that I love.  So I share my best content with my newsletter audience.  I give them first access to any new tools or tricks I come across, and try to be as helpful as possible to them.

Now it’s worth noting how your social media strategy would change if you didn’t use each of these channels.  For example, let’s say you only have a blog, and you are trying to use that blog to generate sales.  You can see how your job is going to be more difficult because your main audience at your blog will be strangers, and it’s typically more difficult to see to strangers than it is people that know you and value your work.

Blog – I don’t know you. (Content – Here’s who I am)

Social – I know of you. (Content – How can I help you?)

Newsletter – I know you and I like you.  (Content – This will help you, my friend)

Also, if you are trying to generate sales, those sales would likely come from Social and your Newsletter.  But at the same time, these are the audiences that know you and that you know.  So you don’t want to sell too much to your friends, right?  Instead, you give them your best and most helpful content, and make sure they are AWARE of how they can help you.  Friends don’t just sell to friends, right?

At least that’s how I do it.  How do you balance your content for different audiences?

Pic via Flickr user mkhmarketing

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SocialGraphI just came across a quote in an eMarketer interview with an agency CEO that made me stop and shake my head:

“We don’t start to work with an influencer unless they have 50,000 combined followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”

This thinking is soooo backwards and lazy.  Picking an influencer isn’t about the size of their network, it’s the connections they have to that network.  I once wrote a post, and shared it on Twitter.  I had two people RT my link:

1 – An ‘influencer’ with over 80,000 followers on Twitter.

2 – A friend with 15,000 followers on Twitter.

The ‘influencer’ sent a grand total of THREE visitors to my blog.  The friend with 80% fewer followers sent over 300 visitors to my blog.

Why?  Because even though the friend had a far smaller network, her network trusted her and the content she shared.  I’ve been actively tracking referral traffic from Twitter for years, and I find that the people that send me the most referral traffic tend to have between 5,000 and 20,000 followers on Twitter.  At that size they are following fewer people and can develop more relationships and connections with their followers. Influencers with between 20,000 and 100,000 followers typically send LESS traffic to my blog.

So does that mean that number of followers is meaningless when evaluating which influencers to work with?  No, but it’s far less important than the levels of engagement that the influencer has with their audience.  And you have to dig deeper than just looking at RTs or Likes.  Look at how many comments they get.  Also look at how often they reply to followers and engage them.  You want to work with influencers that have a larger following, but who also are engaged with their following.  If I had to chose I’ll take working with the influencer with 15,000 followers that gets a ton of engagement with her network over the other influencer with 75,000 followers that never engages with or gets replies from his network.

Numbers aren’t everything.  Remember the whole point of this social media stuff is to be social.

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Long-Form Content or Short Posts; Which Is More Important?

January 19, 2016

Tweet Share9 Share22 +13Total Shares 34For years, there’s been a raging debate among both personal and business bloggers over what’s the ideal length for posts.  In general, most bloggers settle in on a post length of a few hundred words, but there are definitely exceptions to the rule. There’s actually a lot of research that […]

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What’s the Difference Between a Blog and a Newsletter?

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Tweet Share6 Share19 +14Total Shares 29For years I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the difference between a blog and a newsletter.  I keep seeing smart people saying that I need to have a newsletter, that a blog alone isn’t enough.  A few years ago when I was planning for Think Like a Rock […]

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The Changing Ways That Retailers Are Leveraging Influencers to Drive Sales

January 13, 2016

Tweet Share4 Share5 +1Total Shares 9I recently saw an interesting article that eMarketer had on how retailers are shifting their strategy for using influencers.  Most companies, regardless of industry, typically use influencers to help raise awareness of their brand or new product, etc.  This is a smart move to ‘get the word out’ about who […]

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The Passion Principle: The Secret to Creating Content and Marketing That Your Customers Will Love

January 11, 2016

Tweet Share14 Share13 +110Total Shares 37 Patagonia doesn’t market itself like your company does.  Patagonia spends almost no money on traditional advertising, and when it does, it typically does so in a way that makes its competitors shake their heads.  For example, a few years ago Patagonia ran an ad telling its customers not to […]

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Customers Are Increasingly Using Mobile Devices to Research Your Company and Your Products

January 7, 2016

Tweet Share22 Share24 +13Total Shares 49According to new research from eMarketer, the majority of mobile shoppers are under the age of 44 (78%) and Female (53.4%).  The article also referenced a study done by Payvision that found that 57% of retailers worldwide experienced major mcommerce growth in 2014, and that figure increased to 79% for […]

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Travel Agencies, CVBs Should Highlight Bloggers That Are Promoting Your Local Area

January 6, 2016

Tweet Share18 Share7 +12Total Shares 27 The Southern Grind in @ALwharf was featured on @donnahup‘s blog! Check out the article on this coastal coffeehouse! — AL Gulf Coast CVB (@alagulfcoastcvb) December 22, 2015 This is a great example of a local CVB (Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) promoting a blogger that took the time to […]

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Your Brand’s Guide to Dealing With That Customer That Just Called You An Asshole on Facebook

January 5, 2016

Tweet Share13 Share20 +13Total Shares 36“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson Let’s say you get this comment on your Facebook page about your all-purpose cleaner: “This product sucks.  It works on vinyl ok but did nothing to the stains in my carpet, I sprayed it on and […]

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Companies Encouraging Employees to Use Social Media is Increasingly Popular Heading Into 2016

January 4, 2016

Tweet Share12 Share9 +15Total Shares 26A new article from eMarketer sheds light on how popular Social Employee Advocacy Programs are becoming.  These are programs where employees are encouraged to promote their brand via social media.  You can immediately see why it would be popular with many companies. In crafting such programs, it is important for […]

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