If you'd known me back in 2005, 2006, you'd have said that is one human who will never do a training on social media. Because I remember when I graduated from college in 2003, that was kind of right when Facebook was beginning to get pushed out into other universities not called Harvard. That's when it was starting to take over. And so for me, I'm looking at Facebook and like, that's a kid thing. And I'm a grown up now, 'cause I graduated from college. I'm ready to go out there. Then it kinda got some traction. I remember in 2007, 2008 I guess when Twitter came along, like that's stupid. And all throughout the early history of social, I thought that it was just the dumbest thing ever. What a colossal waste of time. Doesn't anybody have any real friends anymore? Tell me I'm not the only person who's old enough to have felt that way. Anybody else in the room feeling me? Can I get a sympathy hand raise? Something, please? Yeah! But I watched it change and go through these different phases...
, until it became something that you could not ignore. And then I realized that this is the future not just of business and of marketing, but in many cases of human interaction and how it works today. So I wanna just congratulate and I guess thank everybody who made the decision to come here. And certainly if you're watching online, those of you who've made a decision to give up this time, really smart. Really smart to do that. And that's not just me pandering, although there's a bit of that. I think we're in such a unique moment right now, especially with regard to social. I believe that as a movement, as an industry, we're entering into the third phase of what's happening. This is not unique to social. This is kinda how all industry and all technology works. It starts out very artisanally, right? You think about you've got a craftsperson who's over here and they're making something and they have a cool invention and people start to notice. That's kind of what happened with Facebook. It was this artisanal social network at Harvard. You know and Twitter was just this thing that launched in my hometown of Austin, Texas at South by Southwest. And all these little channels just kinda popped up and it was these little groups, these little pockets who were taking notice. And then we moved into phase two, which was the wild, wild, west. And that really is the phase that we've kinda all experienced, those of us who are active as social either as users or as marketers, as business people, from about 2005, 2006, 2007 with most of 'em really on up through 2017 and going into 2018. We are now moving into phase three. And if you know anything about phase three, and what happens with technology, that's when it becomes about consolidation and regulation. Consolidation and regulation. There were at one time many, many hundreds and thousands of newspapers, and then there were a few. There were railroads all over the place and then there were a few. Consolidation and regulation. That is now the phase that we are shifting into. This has a lot of implications for users of these different social channels that candidly we're not going to get into because this isn't a class, this isn't a week where we're just talking about how to use Facebook. You know, how to use LinkedIn. How to use these different platforms. That would probably be a really great class for my dad to take, who still has no clue how any of these things work. When he'll have questions, he'll post it publicly on Facebook and ask me things, like dad just text me or call, it's okay you have my number. That's not how these things work. What we're talking about here, what I'm specifically talk about is how to build a social media plan that actually makes money. Okay? How do we actually make social media work for us as business people? And I know for me, when I realized that okay this isn't just something for the college kids, this is like a real thing. This is actually just maybe the future of business. That's when I grabbed hold of this and I never let go. But for me, just being fully transparent, I was always just about the money, right? I was just about leveraging these things to generate revenue and growth for my business. I'm still generally terrified by human beings. The idea that you would wanna communicate with more of them as an introvert never really made much sense to me and so just so you understand that that is my bias. I wanna talk about how can we build a social media plan that actually makes money, and how can we do it in the context of what social is today, where it's headed. It's no longer the wild, wild, west. It's no longer this sweet, adorable, artisanal little thing that we can enjoy. It now is becoming a utility. So what does that mean for us? That's a lot of what we're gonna be talking about. Kinda a long story short, I guess what I'm really getting at is if you aren't freaking out yet, certainly as a business person and somebody who would like to leverage social, I would argue that you probably should. Now would be an outstanding time to panic, okay? It'd be a really phenomenal time to panic 'cause if we look and then we talked about as you move and transition from phase two into phase three, that's where consolidation happens. And if you don't believe that consolidation is happening between Google and Facebook when it comes to just internet advertising, internet traffic, internet awareness. They right now are occupying about 60 to 70% of the US online ad market share. 60 to 70%, and it's growing. I don't know how much it can grow, 'cause at some point you can only have all of it, but I bet they're gonna get pretty dang close to it. And this is what's been happening. This is what we've been experiencing. This is this consolidation that we've been talking about. And it is only actually getting bigger, right? We're getting to a point where they're expecting that this is going to rise up to 84%. 84% of all US online ad spend is going to be taking place on Facebook and Google. Now maybe you're thinking okay, but that's advertising. I don't wanna do that advertising stuff. I'm here to learn how to do social and engage with my audience directly so I don't have to do advertising. My message to you is simple, that's really sweet. That's really adorable. I love that. That's not the reality today. That's just not the reality today. Now we do need to balance it. As you're gonna see, these aren't just pure ad channels where you can just sling up whatever advertisement you want like you're buying on the Superbowl or something like that. But we gotta acknowledge that with this consolidation is going to come certain changes in ad prices. So what do you think? Anybody wanna wager a guess on what's going to happen to ad prices? What it's going to cost to generate attention. I'll give you quick hint. Okay? They're not getting lower. Now I'm not an economist. I'm not a mathematician. But basic kinda eighth grade economics would suggest to me just simple supply and demand, that they're not going to get lower. That simply is not going to happen. And ad rates are already going up. Alright ad rates are already going up. What we're seeing is we're seeing ad impressions overall going down, and as one would expect, as impressions, as the number of eyeballs goes down, the cost to attract those eyeballs is going up. Now remember we're talking advertising right now, but don't think about it merely as advertising. Think about it as awareness. Think about it as attention. If you want to do social effectively, you need to understand that what you're really doing is you're trying to get some of this attention. And you might be trying to get it for free, you might be willing to pay for it, but you need to know that this is what's happening. Attention and eyeballs are going down, ad costs are going up. Anybody remember this announcement from early 2018? Mark Zuckerberg posted on Facebook, right? And he basically came out and said I'm sorta sorry for like ruining all of your lives. Wasn't exactly what he said, but he did say we're gonna make some changes to the Facebook algorithm. We're gonna make sure that you see the type of content that we wanna see. And he said "I expect the time that people spend on Facebook "and some measure of engagement will go down." he said these changes that we are going to be making to the Facebook algorithm, will absolutely cause the time that people spend on our platform to go down. The amount of engagement is going to go down. Now immediately everybody said, well clearly this is going to drive ad prices up, right? "The available supply will decrease, "which means only one thing, "the price to advertise on the platform "is about to skyrocket." Basic supply and demand. And the reality is this prediction is already proving true. In 2017 it cost you 29% more to get a click on Facebook than it cost you in 2016. Let that sink in for a second, 29% more. How many other aspects of your business could you afford to increase by almost 30% in one year and still be in business? Right, this is why a lot of people when out of business. Now I see statistics like this and I think yay, less noise. Yay, less competitors. Yay, less people out there vying for this same space. Because it's not like Facebook just went and picked on any one particular person. They didn't pick somebody in this room at random and said let's raise some 30% on them. Uh uh, it happened to everybody. So yeah it's affecting you, but it's also affecting your competition. That's why again, you're really smart for being here. You're really smart for taking this time out of your life to devote to this because that's what's gonna give you that edge, alright? So this is already happening. And it's going to continue happening. This is the new reality. This is what consolidation looks like. So yup, traffic costs are going up. They're going up for advertisers, they're also becoming more costly for those of us who might be trying to get attention, awareness, traffic. That precious, precious commodity, they're going up, for us who are trying to get it for free just is going to require a lot more work. A lot more time and yes, in many cases, more money. It might require you to spend, but all joking aside I don't believe that now is actually the time to panic. I know I said that before, I was joking. I didn't see anybody absolutely freak out in the room so I hope that nobody who is watching, you know if you're out there watching online, I hope that they didn't just be like alright and flip their table and they're done. If they did, they didn't see this part so my bad. So now is not the time to panic. I would actually argue 'cause I'm a big believer that when the rest of the world is zigging, that's a phenomenal time to zag, right? Now is actually the time, funny enough, to double down on social channels. Now is the time when everybody's declaring that this is dead, everybody's leaving this. When there's blood in the streets, right? When everybody's decided it's over, that's the time to turn back and say let's make this thing happen. And that is this time. That is now. That is where we are. And this I believe is going to be our reality into the foreseeable future, as we enter into phase three. So what are we specifically going to be covering as we're here in this time in this class? I wanna talk about the real reason that everyone is on social. We need to be reminded of why this whole thing started to begin with, 'cause it's become this new thing, we need to be reminded where it all came from. I'm gonna talk about the 5-Step Social Profits Plan. Again I didn't get really, really excited about these social channels until I realized that my customers were there. They were hanging out and I could use that as a way to intersect with them and to be like hey, how's it going? Let's hang out, right? Once I realized that, I said this is really worth investing a lot of time, but you need to have a plan. If you're just doing it ad hoc, you're saying like oh I'll post some pretty pictures to Instagram, why am I not rich yet? What happened? You know we've got a really interesting and eclectic group in the audience. We've got photographers, we have non-profits, we have bail bondsmen, we have jugglers, we have a very eclectic group but if you think that all you have to do is just begin engaging with these platforms and folks are gonna throw money at you, you're crazy, right? You're living in a delusional universe. I don't believe that anybody does, at least you nodded as though you don't. But you need to have a plan. And so that's really the main thing that we're gonna be talking about this morning, what should that plan be? How should that work for your business and for your particular market? I'll also say, you know shameless plug to CreativeLive, we're not gonna be diving really, really deep into individual channels, right now during this class. There are some phenomenal classes and some phenomenal trainings that CreativeLive offers on the specific channels that you should definitely check out, but it shouldn't be every single one of them. So we're gonna talk about how to decide which channels deserve your attentions and which one you just might wanna avoid like the plague. Okay? Digital Marketer is kind of our main company, but we also operate businesses in the makeup space, in the sewing space. We also operate a business in the survival and preparedness space. I can assure you that depending on the business that we're doing, we're gonna pick very different social channels. Like, the people who wanna know how to safely drink their own urine, we're gonna target them in different channels than we're probably gonna target makeup enthusiasts. Right? That's a real example by the way. We actually have a blog post on that. I don't recommend it, okay? Alright. Not that I've done it. (audience laughs) So many clarifications, yeah I know right? We're gonna talk about the metrics that actually matter and we're gonna talk about how to amplify your message and reach to finally break through the noise. Okay how do you amplify your message and reach because today you can have the most amazing thing to say but nobody is listening, and there's so much noise going, even if they want to they won't hear you. How do you break through the noise? That's what we're gonna talk about as well. Who's gonna benefit most from this class? Entrepreneurs and startup founders. If you're a solo, this is still, still this is your best opportunity to engage with your audience, still. It's not as easy as it one was. It certainly isn't as inexpensive as it once was, but it's still the single greatest opportunity that we have and we should all be thankful for that. If you're a small business owner or CEO, so you're launched and you're maybe thinking about putting together a team. And you're like maybe I should just hire my nephew, they seem to know a thing or two about the Googles and the Facebooks, I hope that person is watching. You know so that they can learn really what they should be looking for in an individual. Freelancers and solos, you're all you got, which means you get to do everything. So glad that you're here. Marketing and sales executives who wanna see how does a broader social plan fit within their overarching strategy. And then digital agencies who are looking for an edge as well as traditional agencies who are looking for what's next. Now my promise to you, kinda beginning with the end in mind, what I want you to leave here with, or if again, those of you who are watching online, when we kinda shut down with this particular class, is that by the time we're finished, you'll have a step by step process for building a social plan that generates traffic, leads and sales. Notice that it didn't say likes and shares and friends. Okay? I would expect those things to come along. But if you are looking for hacks and tricks to be able to you know really drive up your follower count or drive up your shares because that's what you're primarily going for, that's what's gonna make you feel really good, you're probably going to be disappointed, okay? What I wanna get you is targeted clicks to your site. I wanna get people filling out forms and asking to talk to you. I wanna get you sales. I wanna get you money. 'Cause that still is what we gotta generate as businesses if we want to pay employees, pay rent, eat food. You know generally these things cost money, so I wanna help you get some more of that.