How has social media influenced your life? Among the many answers to this question, finding inspiration is probably at the top. Today, we will learn how to go beyond our normal ideologies of what it can bring to our plates. Rodney Flowers interviews Travis Huff, social media management expert and Chief Social Marketer at Real-Time Outsource. Travis highlights the importance of social media and how to use it to leverage our business and our lives. He then offers details on the tools and techniques that we can use to scale our investments. Providing real time value, social media has proven to be an efficient tool for promoting growth. Get inside this episode to know more!
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Real-Time Outsource: Using Social Media For Business Growth With Travis Huff
How many of you have social media? That makes about all of you. If you don’t have social media, I don’t know what planet you are on because everyone has access to social media. If you have a business, social media is imperative. It is important. I have a social media expert guru with me. Travis Huff is going to talk to us about the importance and how to use social media to leverage our business and even our lives. We can use social media to provide inspiration. There are many tools and techniques that we can use to better our lives with social media.
We’re going to talk about that in detail, but a little bit about Travis. He started working for the Walt Disney Company on ABC-30 Television after graduating from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State University. He developed from a young, energetic graduate into a seasoned media executive. He learned TV broadcast and digital media business and working with brands like McDonald’s down to small local businesses to drive sales using advertising. In June of 2008, after a coffee with a friend reveals that in the future, business owners would need Facebook pages managed. He took the idea and Real-time Outsource was born. He’s a social media management expert with his own firm and clients worldwide. Please help me welcome, Mr. Travis Huff.
We’re going to bring some game-changing. That’s what it’s all about. We’re grateful, Rodney, for what you’re doing for your audience and for your mindset because it is about being in the game. Life is a game. You only get one shot at it. You better play the game right.
I believe in playing the game like a champion. You’ve got to play it a champ. My dad always told me, “You only get one time at this. This is not a trial and not a practice. You’ve got to get it right or you don’t get it at all.”
If you’re in that place where you’re a little down, you need to look yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “Now’s the time to change the game and the mindset.” It sounds cliché, but even if it is a new year’s resolution, let’s get it done. At the end of the day, that’s how my business started. I believe every great idea happens when you listen. In 2009, after I was working at the broadcast industry, I got a great chance to see the TV industry, work with these big brands, see how TV works, get to know these terms that agencies use that dictate the whole industry. I started saying, “If I could be on digital and show people, how many people will this commercial reach? That’s the game-changer.”
I had that in the back of my head seeing that the broadcast TV when you’re watching your news or sports and stuff. In some markets, they can’t even tell you how many people are watching that show or how many people skipped and went to the bathroom? How many people have the TV on and did something else? They’re cooking and they’re not even watching your commercial. I started to see in the 2006 to 2009 range that things were going to change. Digital was on the rise social was there but it was digital in general. ABC was putting content online. I’m sitting at a Starbucks with a buddy and a good friend.
He said, “What about Facebook pages? Businesses are going to need Facebook pages managed.” I said, “You’re right.” We had a little brief talk about it. He wasn’t going to do the idea. He was already busy and making a lot of money in the commercial real estate business because it was a boom at that time. As you know, before the economy crashed, those kinds of businesses were making people money left and right. I put a PowerPoint together. I started putting together the idea of what it would be to manage a Facebook page. Because we’ve been in business for years, it’s the same request we keep getting, “How to help me with my Facebook page?”Every great idea happens when you listen. Click To Tweet
Facebook is a local community business. You’ve got IG. That’s popping and if you get a viral IG, great, but it’s not localized for local business. If you have a viral IG and you’re an influencer that can go nationwide like Kylie Jenner or something, that’s great. If you’re a local restaurant, you don’t need followers from Los Angeles or Vegas because it doesn’t make sense. You’re a local business, so Facebook is still the one that is that community place for businesses. Although the algorithms changed many times and there are more and more people not getting exactly the reach that they used to. It doesn’t mean you can’t. You’re doing the wrong thing.
Let’s talk about that because it has changed. It feels like Facebook isn’t the leader in social media anymore. You’ve got IG, you’ve got TikTok coming on the scene and things are starting to go more video. You don’t see the memes this much anymore. People want the real stuff. Talk to us. What should we be doing on our social media?
First off, I’ll say the algorithm has changed twenty times since we started the business. Business pages we’re getting a ton of organic reach. When we first started, you put content out and it would reach all the followers on the page. You can look at some of the largest brands on social media, especially on Facebook. Facebook does own Instagram. Facebook is in a blessing that they acquired Instagram and it might be bigger than Facebook one day. It was a good acquisition for Zuckerberg and the team there that they have acquired that. I don’t know if they’re ever going to be able to buy another Instagram because of how big it has become.
The things that you can do are you need to start looking at your Facebook page as a community. What is my community about? What are these people about? Are they about seeing the highly touched up photos that try to send me to a website? If you put a link, Rodney in your Facebook posts, Facebook is going to automatically penalize you. Do you know why? Why would they want you leaving Facebook? If you do want to put links in your posts, you’re going to have to pay money for people to see them. That’s the bottom line. There’s no way around it. From the biggest pages to the smallest pages, if you put something on your page in your posts, if you put a post out and it has a link in it, sending them to the websites, a landing page, a contest offers. If the platform is away from Facebook, instantly, you’re going to get less reach organically.
You built 100,000 followers and only 1,000 people see each post. The reason is because you’ve been trying to send them off of Facebook. I’m going to give you a few things that you can do. This is turnkey. If you do this, you guarantee yourself more reach. First is find out what your community is about. The community is about, let’s say your pizza restaurant. Go on Google and start to find funny pizza memes because funny always wins first. You can do a lot of other things, it always wins. In fact, we have a funny cat page. My wife is a curator. We had a post that got 500,000 organic free reaches. Remember, it’s a funny cat’s page. Not every brand can be funny. There are probably a million funny pizza memes out there. If you type in pizza memes or if your pizzeria does the pizza right, find the pizzas that are not right or find pizzas with funny stuff on it.
You’re going to find it’s insane. Any category insurance, pizza, lawyer, it doesn’t matter. One time per week, you’ve got to have a fun day or your social. It sounds stupid. It sounds like, “I don’t want to do that, Trav.” If it starts to be a consistent thing, funny Fridays, funny Sundays, funny Wednesday, you can pick any day. I guarantee you that this will be your number one most engaged shared post of the week. The key is this. When people engage with your posts, they’re more likely to see your next post. You do a funny one to get them hooked, “This is funny, Rodney.” Comment, share this with a friend or tag it to him. They’re more likely to see your next twenty posts organically for free.
The more times you’re clicking and liking and commenting on your friends or your pages you like, the more times you’re going to see their content. The less time you comment, click or do anything with that page, the less you’re going to see that comment. Unless those brands are paying for you, the organic reach will go away. The less times I’m clicking on it, the less times I see your brand. The reason why funny always wins is it starts to become something people share. They take you more human. It’s human. We’re all human. We all like to laugh. Think of it that way. Have this strategy and I guarantee you it’ll work. Some of the clients who I convinced to do this are getting 50,000 organic reaches per post in a local business.
The page itself only has 13,000 to 15,000 followers. How does it reach 50,000 people do you think? It shares. It has 400 shares on one of these posts with the comments, tags, likes, and all that stuff. Shares is number one. If you share someone’s posts, you’re more likely to see the next twenty posts organically. The other ones that work too are this. Have an emotional or a motivational quote every week. On motivational Monday, a gratitude Sunday, a grateful Saturday, a thankful Thursday. It doesn’t matter what it is. You can create whatever. Have a funny, motivational, home quote. If you’re a home lender, talk about the home. If you’re a pizzeria, there’s got to be a million pizza quotes out there from different famous pizza, people, etc. You find a motivational quote about your community.
These posts will not get as much love as the funny ones but you can’t just do funny unless you want to. We can be funny. I have a few brands when we first started years ago. They said, “We’re all on brand. We have graphic designers that design all our stuff.” I said, “I love that but we’re going to do this. We’re going to share these memes on your page and I guarantee you they’re going to get you a lot more traffic, engagement and get this thing rolling again for you.” They’re like, “Let’s try it.” One post a week. That’s all you can do. Everything else is highly graphic. Lots of logos, everything looks perfect and looks great. Which posts do you think was the funny one? Which ones do you think got the love? This client, years later, all he wants us to do is funny memes. He doesn’t want anything else.
He’s loving that engagement. You’ve mentioned that a couple of times and I understand when people engage with your post, it allows them to see the post more often. What are some of the other important aspects of engagement on social media?
Engagement is so important because people think that social media is one to a million. People think, “I’m going to put this post out there. It’s going to go to a million people and I’m going to have a million people call me back.” It’s 1 to 1. I always tell people all the time, “My most successful social media network is Gmail.com.” Your email is a successful social media platform. It’s your community of people that comment back to you and you comment back to them called email. You ask them to do things, they asked you to do things and that’s what brings in all my business. My other platforms, my LinkedIn, my Facebook, my Twitter aren’t bringing in the pipeline of business like Gmail.com. Remember this, social media is about building the community and thinking of each person.
When someone comments, it’s important to comment back and say, “Thank you so much for your comment,” or “How can we help you?” If they’ve had a negative experience too because we get these as much as we get positive experiences. We get negative experiences on social media, it’s not a bad thing. People are making mistakes in your business. As the owner, maybe someone made a mistake. You can come in and say, “I’m the owner of the business. I’m going to take the time to call this person. Let me get their number.” “This is Travis Huff from Real-time Outsource. We’re going to completely take care of this for you. Not only am I going to edit that post, but we’re also going to boost this post by an extra $20. We’re going to also comp your next month’s campaign because we messed up and that’s my bad.”
If I call you as the business owner, from your social media posts that you sent on there and you’re getting a call from me, it feels real. Social is about taking that time to think about them. Each one of these people are people. It’s not computers or bots. On Twitter, it might be a bot. Even on IG, there’s a lot of bots on IG. There are many of what they call bot engines. Some of these engagements are all fake. It’s all computers engaging on behalf of brands and people to get them to comment and follow them back and unfollow them. It’s crazy but on a localized Facebook page, the people that are commenting on your page are real people. Facebook does a great job of getting rid of the bots. They’ve done a great job. Honestly, engagement is everything. When you think about that, if one person engages, it could be a new customer, you can keep their business, or in this case, if I was a loyal customer to you, and you’ve been with me for ten years. All of a sudden, I call you and say, “We messed up and I’m going to make your next campaign good and take care of you.” It feels like they’ve been heard. That’s what we all need.
That’s a good perspective to have because social media can be a platform for feedback as well. We’re reviewing the analytics and the comments even. Even how your social media is performing, it could be an indication of maybe some things you need to change within your business, how people are responding to your business. It’s two ways. It’s the way you communicate to your audience and the way your audience communicates back to you.
You can always learn from your audience and from your community. There’s always something to learn. If you don’t believe so, say, “What more can we learn about you on your social media?” Ask them the questions, start having a conversation with them and see what happens. Even if it’s a few people saying, “I’d love to have you serve a pizza with this kind of topping that you don’t have.” Now you know. Maybe this is something that’s popular, “That sounds good.” Maybe someone looks at the comments and says, “I like that one too. You guys should definitely sell that one.” You’d have two customers that would be buying that and you create it from there. It’s a great focus group. You’ve heard of focus groups. People charged hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was exposed to this after working for some big brands like McDonald’s in what they call focus groups.Engagement is so important because people think that social media is one to one million. Click To Tweet
McDonald’s has an open focus group on their social media. All they have to do on their social media, McDonald’s Facebook page or McDonald’s IG is, “We’re coming up with a brand new contest where you win McDonald’s for life. All you have to do is tell us what is your dream menu item? If you can make your own menu item at McDonald’s, what would it be?” That’s it. It would get millions of research, response, comment and you’d start to see some similarities. You start to see some, “We don’t have hot dogs, 60% of these things have a hot dog in them.” We didn’t know that. Does McDonald’s sell hot dogs? I don’t know. I’m saying Wienerschnitzel sells hotdogs.
Maybe not in the US. I’ve not seen a McDonalds that sell hot dogs
What if they did a crowdsource and they found out that people would love a chili cheese hot dog that they could sell? McDonald’s does it best. They know how to deliver because they have real estate. It’s a real estate company. They’ve got real estate everywhere. I remember someone came into my class and told me that. It was one of the top guys in McDonald’s. He said, “We’re not a burger company. We are a real estate company.” I was sitting in a marketing class and I was mind blown. I was 25 or 24. I was getting my final level of marketing classes done and they brought this guy. He said, “We are a real estate company. You will see us sell different things in ten years than we do now.” Now, they’ve got the McCafe. They’re competing with Starbucks. I remember when I was working at McDonald’s, they started putting these $15,000 espresso machines in and took a huge capital cost to put those in.
You can’t get a McMuffin and a coffee at Starbucks but you can get a McMuffin and a coffee at McDonald’s.
It’s a $4 coffee. They’re getting into the high margin, not just the dollar coffee, but they’re also even getting into these specialty drinks that these people are spending $5 at Starbucks or competitors like Dutch Brothers or one of these different ones.
It’s because they understand the market. It’s like you said, they were using social media as a platform to get their research done. We can do the same thing.
If you have any size of following, the biggest thing is that they’re worried that it’s not going to work. Let’s be real. That’s the truth, “I put all this effort into this. I put this campaign out there and it didn’t work.”
Think about it like this. If you have a product you go, you put money into researching, putting together a product, then you launch the product and the product doesn’t sell, it wasn’t what the market wanted. I love this approach where you ask the market what does it want and then you go off, you create the product and you offer the market what they asked for.
I had this guy on our show. He’s Bomb Tech Golf. He’s created an insane brand with $15 million in sales of his golf clubs. He created his own golf clubs. This guy’s a brilliant guy. What he did was he got a group of email lists from social media. He had some viral videos go viral. It was the timing of Facebook being cheap and giving a lot of organic. He got tons of views on a couple of videos. All of a sudden, he’s off to the races. He got all these people’s email addresses. When I told you email is important, I truly believe that having social, email, reputation and those three buckets are it. There are other things you can do like influencers and all those things. If you get a good email list of people and you got them on social, and you also maybe have them give you a review so that you can market that to your future customers. That’s a pretty gold mine of those. You could text people but people are not wanting brands to text them.
Texting is still personal.
If you’re an insurance agent, it’s okay text. If you’re a brand, text is still an area where it needs to be only on demand. If they want your coupons and they sign up for your text, give them the mobile alerts. Having the email on social is key. This guy had all these email lists and emails coming in. He didn’t create the golf club. He started talking to the community. What kind of golf products do you buy? He had these emails go out. He has a series of emails and it wasn’t long email. The thing that people do wrong in email marketing is they put a lot of content in there. What he did was two paragraphs max. He said two little sentences or paragraphs max, that’s it.
He was asking questions. “What kind of golf clubs do you currently own? Why do you love them? What do you not love about them? What golf products do you buy?” He came up to find that they like this certain driver with a certain shaft. He made a golf club that he believes is better than Titleist and some of these other ones for performance on a driver. He crowdsources the whole idea. What you told me with our funny cat pages, get all these email addresses coming in and start asking them what kind of products they like, rather than create funny cat t-shirts. It’s one of those things that you said. Rather than take a big capital cost to find out and put a product together and find out they don’t need it or want it or care about it, you do the opposite. You start gathering, asking questions, figuring out what they like and you’ve got the Bomb Tech Golf. There are all sorts of companies that do this. Do you know who the best one is?
It’s Elon Musk. Do you know why? Have you seen the brand new truck that he’s doing?
I have not seen that.Your email is a successful social media platform. It's your community of people that comment back to you. Click To Tweet
The best thing that he does is he makes you put down a deposit on these cars. Unlike other manufacturers like Chevrolet, GM, Ford, a huge company, they do market research. They come up with cars. They manufacture them all and they drop them off on the dealers. The dealers are stuck with them. Hopefully, they sell them. What Elon does is this, if anyone’s interested, you can type in Tesla Cyber Truck on Google. You’ll find this homepage and you can make a deposit. It’s $100 to $1,000 refundable deposit that he’s going to take from you if you want this cyber truck. You have to pay $1,000. It’s the same with the Model 3 and with every single one, he’s done this. He’s not going to give you the truck until late 2020 or early to mid-2021. Think about years wise how long is that. He’s not going to give you that car for 2 to 3 years. You’re giving him the money to start the product.
This is a concept phase.
He does this with every car. He has a good prototype that he showed everyone and they’re all putting their money in. They’re putting their hundreds of thousands to give him the infrastructure to start building these cars. Eventually, he’s going to charge them the full amount and he’s going to take that money and put it back into it. The point is he’s so great at being able to take your dollar and not deliver for 1 to 3 years. He gets your feedback by saying, “Are you willing to put your money down on this car? If you are and you love this cyber truck, I’m going to build it for you.” Money says everything. It’s different than saying GM and they’re going to build a whole fleet of cars, shove them at the dealers. If no one likes their cyber truck, what happens? They’re stuck with them. He’s not stuck with anything. If you don’t like it, he isn’t going to build it for you. It’s the same with Tesla. Model 3, Model S, Model X and he’s doing Model Y.
The reason why I mentioned Elon is for my podcast out of the 200-plus entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed. Everyone is most fascinated with him. It’s because he’s a fascinating guy. He’s doing so many different things, sending rockets to the moon, doing solar, doing Tesla, building huge tunnels underground and sending people underground to save time for the convenience of transit. The point is he always gets the money first, whether it’s from the government when he builds SpaceX. He got government contracts first before he built the rockets to send to the moon. It’s the ultimate way of what we’re talking about, no risk. There’s hardly any risk. Without the government contract, he’s not going to build a rocket.
Translate that to readers, entrepreneurs and how do they leverage social media to make that happen?
Do you start thinking about what services we could offer our customers? What services do you think the customers would like? Have a contest. We talked about a contest. It’s easy. If you want feedback, most people will enter a contest. They’re not going to necessarily give you feedback for free. We all value our time. You will have loyal fans, especially depending on the size of your community that will keep giving you great quality feedback. We’ve had it with a winery. What kind of blends would you like to see? We have all these blends you love. What other blends would you like? People tell us crazily enough. One of our biggest guys has this winery and the bottles are not cheap. We’re talking $50 to $100 a bottle. This person’s post on our thing was full fridges of wine. They’re the same as my client’s brands of wine.
He’s our true customer. He’s our valid customer, always buying, always getting more. He’s given us ideas about what types of blends he likes, “I’d like to see this blend.” He’s a real connoisseur. You don’t need a ton of these comments. If you’re a small brand, you shouldn’t be afraid of testing this because if I’m not going to get enough feedback. Any feedback is great feedback. This person spends thousands of dollars with this winery. Maybe $10,000 to $50,000 every year. He’s your best customer. He’s building this winery. If you think about it, this person is your top guy. He comments on every post. It doesn’t take more than one. I always say that too because this gentleman got his own variety from his comment. Sometimes that’s another thing that people think about, “I’m not going to get enough comments back.”
There’s a large disparity between the influencers and people with large, massive followings on social media and there’s everybody else that doesn’t have that type of follow. How should we view that? One can take it as, “I’m not as big. I don’t have as many followers.” That sets a level of expectation for their business. Should we have that type of mindset? Talk to us about that.
I don’t think any of that matters because if they get famous and they’re doing them and they’re happy with what they’re doing, that’s all that matters. The business themselves is never going to be as famous as Kylie Jenner. A personal brand will always be bigger than a business brand. Why does Kylie have more followers than Coca-Cola? Coca-Cola has a ton more money. Why does Kylie Jenner have a bigger following than Pfizer or Google?
Let’s talk about that because I don’t think that’s fair. Coca-Cola has been around for a long time, even before social media existed. There are some variables in that equation as to why they’re still successful. I’m talking about the entrepreneur.
What I’m trying to say is the personal brand. You can build a faster personal brand than your business brand. First off, you need to personally brand yourself in the world. If you do want to get that buzz around you, people are going to more follow the brand. The brand itself is kind of, “That’s great,” but they’re going to follow Rodney. They want to know your story. They want to know Travis’s story less than Real-time Outsource. That’s a distinction of telling your story, being able to talk about the things that are going on your business, what you’re struggling with and that you’re happy about. It’s not telling only the positives, it’s also to show the struggle.
For me, I’m a new dad and I’m a full-time dad. I let my wife go hustle. She’s a psychologist. She works four days a week. I figured out a way to manage my business and have my daughter full-time. It’s insane. I still do podcasts and still do everything. Nothing slowed down. The business hasn’t even slowed down crazily enough. The point is anything that you want to do is possible. For me, I say, “I understand that things might not go as fast.” Tempering your expectations is a big part of it but as a personal brand, there’s no better time. You could start on Instagram. You can start coming up with some hashtags, funny content, some emotional content and have a contest because contests work. Giveaway a $5 Starbucks, I will give you another one, guaranteed to work. If this doesn’t work, please comment on me or find me. We’re going to talk about where you can find me and I will give you the gift card. I will give you the money if this doesn’t work. On your social, have a guessing game. We’re guessing of a number between 1 and 100 or 1 and 1,000. It depends on the size of your following but I would say start with 1 and 250. Whoever gets the right answer wins a $5 Starbucks.
You will be blown away at how many people will comment on that post. If you don’t want to give a $5 gift card giveaway $100 gift card of your own product, give away $100 in pizza gift cards or whatever. The bigger the better. If Rodney gave away $1 million, we’d have him popping IG and Facebook. I see a few of these guys that are full-time giving away cars and giving away things because they built their social media. Their social media knows that if they follow them, they might have a chance to win a car. It’s insane and the brands are paying these guys for the car. The point is for you as the business, it’s to get that engagement.
If people are not engaging with your posts, they’re more not likely not to see your next post. You’ll be blown away with the inbox messages that I’ve gotten over the years from people being grateful for the brand, giving them a $5 or $10 Starbucks card like, “I never win anything, Rodney. We’ve been a loyal customer for twenty years. We’re thankful that you gave it to us.” Sometimes they’ll tag us with the post of their Starbucks and stuff like that because it’s a recap of, “Thank you so much Red Carpet for our Starbucks card. We’re enjoying this.” It’s more of a way of giving back too. Think of it as a giving strategy.Everything in the world has a negative side. Click To Tweet
I’ve learned as an entrepreneur that people do business with people that they know, like and trust. You can use social media to build that likeability and trust. For them, you’re telling that story to get to know you. It’s not all about the business. It’s about you because people do business with people that they know, like and trust. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling because if they need it, they will be willing to go to you and buy it if they know you, trust you, they like you. They can’t do that if you’re not on social media.
If you’re scared of being on social media, the biggest thing is to say, “Where do I need to be in first?” If you’re a local brand and you still haven’t been on Facebook, I still think you need to figure out Facebook. If you are in business, you are a business professional and you’re saying, “I do not necessarily need to be on Facebook.” I would say, “You need to be on LinkedIn.” Choose a platform. For a lot of people, they’re many businesses, brands, and people that haven’t even got on social yet. I come across it all the time. I’m like, “You guys aren’t even on social yet? Are you serious?” It blows me away because obviously, they missed the ball on some things on that organic reach and some of this, but they still haven’t missed the ball.
How important is a video? Because I see a lot of videos. Videos have taken over social media and all platforms.
It’s huge. You’re seeing it more with the Instagram stories, the short video content, the stuff that’s not necessarily on the feed of your IG or Snapchat that started it all. Video is important because it’s beyond visual. It’s beyond the text. It gives you the compelling nature of your voice. The inflections that we talked about. You can’t read a text right. If I say, “Rodney, you are awesome. You are badass.” If you’re going to read that you’re going to be like, “I’m a badass? What do you mean, Travis?” You want to slap me. If you hear it from my voice like, “You are awesome. We were so grateful for what you’re doing.” You feel that too in the voice and the feeling of it all. It connects. That’s what sells.
We got plugged in with an email platform that gives us the ability. It’s called BombBomb. They allow you to quickly and easily instead of writing a long message, hit record video. It’s like what we’re doing, “I want to thank you so much for letting me be on your show.” It gives you a little 15 to 20-second video clip and send it to your customer as an email. It’s pretty cool. Customers view them. I had a few customers say, “Thanks for doing that for me.” Even though I do it all the time, I’m typing it to them half the time what I would be saying, but they don’t take it the same way. If you believe it, it takes less time because you hit record. You go off the cuff and you speak with your heart and people like anything, the more you do it, the better you get.
It’s bringing me back to something that you said, which is authenticity and connection. The reason why I believe the videos have become so popular is you can gain that level of connection. People can feel your authenticity. In a text message, you can’t connect and feel it. In a video, they can see you and they can read your body language. That is a level of connection. I know people say, “We’re getting disconnected because of social media. We don’t have the touch and feel.” There are some elements of truth to that but at the same time because the video is prevalent. You do gain some level of connection.
There’s no doubt. Social media is amazing. It is incredible. Of course, it has a bad side. Every media platform does. Everything in the world has a negative side. There are people out there that are negative but this is the joy. My brother moved to Boston as a pilot. I’m an uncle of two little nieces that I don’t get to see because he lives in Boston. I’m not going to get to hop on a plane every day and go to Boston and see him. My life doesn’t allow for that. However, Instagram stories, I get to go watch on there and watch his wife’s stories. She’s capturing them taking sugar cookies and go on them all over their body and having a blast. We also get to do what’s called FaceTime.
It’s where you get to look at people and they get to talk back to you because most of my family doesn’t live near me. I get to use video to feel I’m connected to their lives. That’s important to think about as a brand because I told you how connected I am to this. It changes my life to be able to FaceTime my mom who lives in Phoenix, FaceTime my brother who lives in Boston, FaceTime my sister who lives in the Bay Area and let her see my daughter. Let them feel that little connection even though it is through a screen. It’s not the same, but it’s personal. They know who I am. They know who Uncle Travis is over there in Boston because we do silly faces and I play hide and seek with them even on FaceTime.
I’ll play hide and seek. We do hide and seek. It’s crazy. The point is, you can do this. Pull out this phone and capture it. You have the best digital device you could ever imagine right here and the simple iPhone 11 which is a $700 phone and you can capture, “I want to let you guys know that we thank you so much for your business. We hope to see you next year. I wish you a Happy New Year. I hope all your blessings happen for you. Thanks so much for all your business.” Tell them what you feeling that day, “We’re having an overwhelmed day. The Instagram algorithm’s changing and having a lot of customers come at us.” To be transparent with you, Rodney, you’ve seen on Instagram that there are a lot of ads. We’ve had influencers that we consult with that has one million or 900,000 big followings. They’re getting 90% less reach. Imagine this, you were getting 50,000 comments and engagements on a post and now you’re getting five. It’s disappointing for them because they’re so used to it and that’s the game-changer for them. How do they get over that? None of that engagement matters. How many comments or likes? Does it matter? No.
The likes don’t matter so much but the comments do matter, don’t they?
How many? That doesn’t matter.
It gets to a point where if you got 5,000 comments.
There are still a ton of people to comment back to. You still got a lot of work to do. The point is whether you got 50,000 or 5,000, it’s still 5,000. Whether it’s 50 or 5, 2 or 1, 10 or 0, if you’re at zero, you got to figure out, why are people not engaging? If you’re at ten, you got to say, “Thank you so much for engaging, can you tell a friend?” If you’re 100,000, you’re going to be disappointed because in about a year, you’re going to be at 1,000. All these top influencers are going to get hacked up. I already see it happening. I’ve already watched that.
What do you mean when you say hacked up?The world and the universe all feel off your intentions. When your intentions are good, the world's going to give you good. Click To Tweet
They’re already selling their influence on this level, but then their engagements are down here. Brands and influencers on Instagram are getting less organic reach because you’re seeing more ads take up in there. Instagram has realized, “We’ve got a lot of money to be made here. Let’s take away some of this organic reach from everybody.” It’s like what they did on Facebook. This is not any different than what happened on Facebook years ago. If you based your whole life on, “I got 100,000 comments,” and you’re only getting 1,000, is your mind going to be all right? It doesn’t matter, 1,000 is still 1,000. You’re getting 1,000 free engagements. As a brand, you’re not going to have that problem. You’re going to be going from the opposite end. You can keep on growing, even amongst the algorithm changes. Other Facebook pages have kept on growing up. I have many clients that have pages that kept on going up and changing. I have clients that I’ve told you about. A few of them have been getting 50 to 100,000 posts reach organically.
How do we beat the algorithms?
The algorithm is beaten by having fun and keeping people inside the community. Because the second you send them off the page, you try to do something where you’re sending them away, they’re going to start penalizing you. The next post is going to get less people seeing them, this fun, emotional, contest and also motivational. If you do those four things, fun, emotional posts on an emotional post are telling a story, make it something that ties at your heartstrings. It’s a contest, giveaway the $5 Starbucks gift card and lastly, a motivation. You’re going to win. Everybody reading, I guarantee you if you don’t win on the contest, meaning you have a lot of engagements more than normal, you’re going to win on the funny. If you don’t want on the fun, you’re going to want on the motivation. If you keep that routine going, it’s going to create momentum. People are going to share your posts. All of a sudden, you’re getting more followers each week. This is all happening without any money. You have to boost these posts.
I believe that’ll work and I want to try that. I believe that one day that Facebook or Instagram is going to change the algorithms again. That engagement that you will get into even with that strategy is probably going to change. The question that I have is, how do you stay not only ahead of that, but how to figure out what’s the next best strategy once they change the algorithms to maintain or regain the level of engagement you’re getting? How do you do that?
We’re going back to telling your story. We’re always going to be safe doing that. That always wins. You are telling your story repeatedly. What’s going on here, the success of your customers, what you’re excited about, the things that you’re looking forward to in the future, asking them questions about what they would see more for you. Those things never go away and never get old. The things that we talked about, they might change. I highly doubt that staying consistent around being funny, staying consistent around motivation, emotional and also having a contest because the contest is a leader. It creates this momentum and your other posts like the ones that are about the business, the other posts that are about something else like a car wash, about the detail services or some of those.
It’s shocking how much those get love too. You can still do other content. I don’t want people to think that these are the only posts you can do. It’s a strategy of being in the mix of everything and not being only one. At the other day, the truth is I don’t know. The strategy’s going to change, I’m sure and I’m going to have to evolve. That’s happened to me for the last years that I’ve been starting this business. I can’t tell you how many times I said, “This is happening again?” What I do and it’s not hard, it’s easy. You go to Google. Start typing in Instagram algorithm changes. Start reading content from other people that are figuring this out.
My game changer is I don’t know half of these things. I have to learn. Since I started this business, if something happens, let’s look it up a YouTube and figure out how to run this. Let’s go to Google. Let’s figure this thing out because that’s your academy. That’s your Harvard. There are many great pieces of content. You have to view a few of these different things. Don’t only take one of them as the Godsend because everyone’s got their opinion and maybe that person was wrong. If you start watching an hour of the content of different topics of how people are viewing the Instagram algorithm changes, you might get some things that are working. You might start to see some trends. Self-education is the game changer and there’s no excuse.
If you have an internet connection or can get to a Starbucks or place with a free Wi-Fi and you have some way of getting on your phone or on a device, you win, because all you’ve got to do is educate yourself and work on it. That’s literally how I started my business and how it’s been going the whole time. We had this about learning sequencing on Instagram ads and how to create an Instagram audience based on people that have engaged with your recent post. It was something I wasn’t completely familiar with. I came across my path, I watched the YouTube video and I’ve got an Instagram engagement audience created because I watched a five-minute video and I learned how to do this. I can guarantee you that if a customer asked me, “Travis, how do you build an Instagram engagement audience around my ads?” I know how to do it. In this world, anything you want, whether it’s in social, business, investing, you’ve got to learn.
At some point, maybe you’re not a professional and that’s the great thing about giving contractors or other businesses. In our situation, a lot of businesses say, “Travis, I don’t have the time to engage with these people. I don’t have the time to come up with this content.” They hire us. That makes sense. If you’re a small business and you can’t do it, you’ve got to put the time in. I already gave you four things on the show that will work on your social. You don’t need me. It’s a pillar. However, if you don’t have the time to engage, there are companies out there. It’s the same thing for us. We use a lot of other companies too. I’ve always learned that if I better off probably figuring some way to put this on someone else to help me out. I can’t even tell you how many times I told myself, “Can I do this myself?”
One time, I had to turn a four-prong into a three-prong. I looked up electricians and they said it was going to be $200. I said, “There’s got to be someone on Google.” I bought the unit that I needed. It was $7 and I went on YouTube. There was an electrician. He was like, “This is what you do. It’s easy. You turn off the power to your house. You do this and you do this.” The next thing you know, fifteen minutes later, I’m an electrician. You can’t do that with everything in life. Let’s be real. There are many times it’s like, “Am I going to pay $500 for this or can I get this done like learning a skill?” I learned drip because I got quoted $1,900 by a company to do all this drip from my backyard. I said, “Can I learn drip?” It isn’t that hard. You buy this stuff. It’s the easiest thing on earth. Once you learn the tips and its drip system, YouTube, how to do this? What’s a coupler? What’s this? How do I cut this thing off? You can’t always do everything on your own but it’s fun. I feel that there’s no excuse.
How can people connect with you for those that they would to maybe learn more about how to increase the following and engagement on their social media page? Maybe there’s someone out there that doesn’t have the time and want to hire you.
You can always go to RealTimeOutsource.com. If you go to RealTimeOutsource.com/bereal, I will give you something of value. We will audit your social media. We will track the mentions on your brand using our intelligence software and give you a report. This is going to be completely free. We’re not going to ask for any credit cards or anything. We’re giving value to you. Rodney, I’m going to start tracking your social following after this, if that’s okay and giving you these reports. I’ve done this for some of the others. It’s great content for you to understand who’s talking about you, who’s mentioning what else are they talking about. It gives you great insight into your audience and the people that are mentioning you on the internet.
That’s the starting ground. It’s understanding where you’re at first before you are even may be ready for a company like us. That’s the truth because most people, first off, they can do it on their own but they are too busy. The second is we’re a cost-efficient business. Most of our customers are $300 to $500 a month on a retainer. We do have customers in the $1,000 that are doing a lot of things but we have lots and lots of great customers in the $300 to $500 a month range. We’re doing a lot of work for that but transparently, they’re probably getting a lot of value on the other end as far as the not having to do it.
Also, for a lot of them more business because if you get social dialed in as we do with one of our client’s kids care, the person’s got a good problem. He is so busy that he’s impacted at all his locations. Meaning he has a hard time even taking new customers because he’s so busy. What happens is if you’re doing certain things right, it helps everything else. It makes everything good. Also, you can connect to me on LinkedIn. Find me, my name is 2Tallin. I go by that because I produced music. It’s a way for people to recognize me. I’m 6’8,” and it’s one of those things. You’ve got to stand out somewhere.
Look me on up anywhere. I would love to connect with you, follow you and reach out to me. I would love to give you some feedback. If you have a question about your business or brand, reach out to me and say, “Travis, I read you on Rodney’s show and tell me about this.” I’d be happy to give you some feedback. Don’t hit me with a spam message because I’m sure you got a few of those Rodney like, “Join this ClickFunnels thing and I’m going to give you $59.99 for free.” Please stop sending these things out. That’s another part of outreach. I always say be real with your outreach. Don’t send copy and pasted messages.
I wanted to get into that because we didn’t talk about it. I know you gave us the four-step strategy on posting. How about value? How important is it to put stuff out on social media that provides real-time?Never forget that the more you do you, the more you do for others. Click To Tweet
Think about strategies and tips. One of my good friends in lending gives people inside of like, “Ways to prepare yourself when you’re getting ready for a loan.” Many people don’t even know about the things that it takes maybe even to get ready for your business. Giving people the insight of, “This is what’s going on. This is how you need to prepare yourself.” In a lot of cases too, it might be like, “We value our customers. If you come in, we’re going to give you a free car wash.” It might sound crazy to give away free car wash but you will be blown away by what it brings you.
We had a customer do this with one of their locations. The place is packed. We had many people putting on their social media, “Thank you so much for the car wash.” It created an insane amount of buzz. I can’t even tell you. At some point, we had a promotion going around like some ads and things like that. We did have to cut the promotion back early in the morning because it was already going. It was packed from the beginning of the day. It was slammed and we were giving away a car wash and also a hot dog. Crazily enough, we talk hot dogs, some chips and a soda. It was a simple thing. It was a customer appreciation day.
It’s easy. You can do it. Go buy some hotdogs at Costco, go buy some sodas, buy some waters, give away some free product of your own. Possibly if you have that pizza, throw away a pizza party. Be creative, but giving back to the people that are your current customers is the most important. It spreads because they share it on their social and people are like, “They’re doing that for the community. That’s a great way.” We believe in the people that we’re buying it from. When they feel that you aren’t trying to trick them because we were in a whirlwind, there are many different tricks out there.
There are many different things like, “Join this course for 99% off.” The next thing you know, you’re going to get fifteen other emails about selling you this and this. We don’t know what we’re signing up for. When we do sign up for things, we want to be wary of those things. I’m sure you’ve experienced that yourself. That’s the most important thing, knowing that whatever you’re putting out there is going with the great intention. Your intention is not to scam people and send them to a million different funnels. Your intention is to give value and see what happens. If they don’t ever want to do business with you, that’s okay, as long as you tried your best.
You can’t get everyone on social media as well. You’ve got to have a target audience and an avatar and people that you’re focusing on. It’s not only focusing on them, but they’re the ones that could best use the products and services that you provide.
You hit it on the head there. It’s not a numbers game. Forget about the numbers and how many engagements you get. Care about each engagement, each new follower, each new person that you connect with, whether that’s on LinkedIn, email or on Twitter. Realize that these are real people and treat them that way. Don’t treat them like a bot or some new follower. Treat them as possible new customers. Welcome them to the family. Share the story on social. When they follow you on Instagram, tell the story of your life through stories.
People will know that if they watch my stories and I’m a dad. I’m showing captures of that and I’m also showing captures my real life. I’m going to be giving you a shout out here pretty soon about being able to be on your show. I’m going to always give back. That’s my number one strategy. In fact, I hate getting gifts. It’s nice to get gifts but I love giving. If you take that mindset with anything you do business, social, email, anything, you will have success. Remember the world and the universe and life all feel off of your intentions. When your intentions are good, the world’s going to give you good. Never forget that.
Travis Huff, social media expert. Thank you for coming on the show. This has been a wonderful conversation. Thank you for all the tips and strategies. You’ve given us so much. I want to say thank you for doing that. You’re doing it exactly. You’re living what you’re telling us to do. I know you’ve given us so much but do you have maybe one more game-changer mentality message that you like to leave with us?
My game changer is this, just do you. No one is going to do it for you. Your spouse, your partner, your friends, or your family. Anything you want in life, you have to make time to do you, whether that’s working out, starting a business or starting a podcast. Everything you do is about you. Never forget that the more you do you, the more you can do for others.
I don’t think anything else needs to be said. There you have it, another successful episode of the Game Changer Mentality. Words of wisdom from Mr. Travis Huff himself. Go out and practice some of the strategies that he’s given. It doesn’t hurt. Go to Travis’s website. I’m going to have you give that to us one more time. Get your social media audit. We’re going to get our audit. He’s going to do us. You can watch us and see what changes we’re making and what strategies we’re going to be putting in place. Let’s grow together, if you can give that link one more time.
You can go to RealTimeOutsource.com/bereal. You don’t have to put your credit card in. It’s a little form. You fill it out, put your information. I’ll be following back with our team and we’ll definitely give you this audit. You will see it’s a game-changer in your business to know what people are saying about you. To know what the sentiment of your business is. One of the biggest things we love is it gives people other ideas of things that their audience is talking about, “They tagged in this, but they’re also talking about this and this.” You’ll start to find out what other people are talking about. It’ll maybe give you better insight on your guests, on your potential partners and advertisers. I want to first say thank you to Rodney because what he’s doing for the world is amazing. Never forget that he’s giving this to you, so don’t take it for granted. He is doing it.
Thank you so much, Travis. I appreciate it and go do you. We need you and we love you. Until next time, peace and love.
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About Travis Huff
Travis Huff started working for the Walt Disney Company & ABC-30 Television after his graduation from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. He developed from a young energetic graduate into a seasoned media executive learning the TV Broadcast & Digital Media Business and working with brands like McDonald’s down to small local businesses to drive sales using advertising. In June of 2009, after a coffee with a friend revealed that in the future business owners would need Facebook Pages managed, he took that idea and Real-time Outsource was born… we’re now a social media management firm with clients worldwide mostly focused on English & Spanish speaking campaigns.
In February of 2015 … he set off on a new adventure of podcasting. He always dreamed of interviewing some of the people he looked up to in the marketing & entrepreneurship world but knew they would not come to Fresno to chat with him! The “Be Real Show” was invented and now in the 5th season and almost 200 episodes recorded, it’s become not only his passion but a huge business driver but also teaches him new lessons from these mentors that he gets to interview weekly.
In addition to his professional quests, Travis was a Board Member of the Fresno Advertising Federation for 8 years. He speaks out to college graduate & high school level students about following their passions and motivating them to conquer big dreams
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