Should, or should you not be using social media scheduling tools has been an ongoing battle of opinion between social media experts.
A previous guest on this show believes that tweets should never be scheduled, because what’s so important that it needs to be said, but not important enough for you to be there when it is.
Laura Roeder takes a different stance. She believes that there is a very important place for pre-scheduled updates, so much so she built a tool to do just that.
On this episode of the Traffic jam podcast we discuss the pros (and woes) of scheduling posts on social media as well as take a look at the marketing strategies that helped catapult her service Edgar to success.
Laura Roeder is the founder of LKR Social Media. She started as a web designer before she moved to social media consulting and training. Putting her learning and best practices together, she creates the new social media tool, Edgar.
During her off-time, Laura loves to read and spend quality time with her family. She reportedly “kills” it at karaoke.
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A QUICK PREVIEW OF THE PODCAST:
Here are some of the highlights from episode 74 of the Traffic Jam Podcast…
- Social Media Scheduling.
- When To Schedule Updates?
- How Many Updates To Post?
- How To Use Your Social Media Time Effectively?
- How To Use Social Media As Engagement Tool?
- Content Marketing That Works.
- Email Marketing Tips.
- How To Establish Your Email List?
- Importance Of Regular Blogging.
- Facebook Advertising.
- Getting PR Coverage.
- Why Consistency Is Important?
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Hey, what’s up there Traffic Jam listeners? You’re tuned in to Episode 74 of the podcast show that teaches you how to get more traffic to your website, and build a profitable audience online. I’m your host James Reynolds, as always.
Before we get stuck into today’s interview section, I want to say a couple of shouts out to businesses who’ve left some Stitcher reviews to Traffic Jam this week. The first goes out to Michelle from Seattle, who says “Hello James, I appreciate your Jake Burkett interview, very well done! Great information”. Second one to Larry Fournillier and he says “Awesome content! I’ve only recently started listening to Traffic Jam with James Reynolds and I must say, it’s one of the better SEO, Social Media related podcasts out there. The content is fresh and James finds some of the best guests who are top in their respective fields – Two thumbs up!!! :)”
Thank you to you guys. To you, the listeners, I absolutely appreciate your reviews and ratings on ITunes or Stitcher and to find both of those places head on to www.trafficjamcast.com/itunes for iTunes and www.trafficjamcast.com/stitcher for Stitcher.
So onto this episode, we’re joined today by Laura Roeder from www.LKRsocialmedia.com and www.meetedgar.com, who’s a very savvy social media consultant and a software service business owner. She was first referred to me by the ever so awesome Dan Norris.
Now, Laura is going to be talking about to us today about the pros and cons of scheduling your social media updates as well as the lessons that she’s learned marketing her very successful software service business called Edgar which ironically is a social media scheduling tool. So we’ll dive in into a bunch of lessons today. Laura is a fantastic guest and I know you’re going to love this show. Without any further delay, let’s jump into Episode 74 of Traffic Jam with Laura Roeder.
James: So hey there listeners, welcome back to Episode 74 of Traffic Jam. Today we’re joined by Laura Roeder. Laura, how are you doing?
Laura: I’m excellent, how are you James?
James: I’m fantastic! I want to start with slightly tough question perhaps for you to answer. That’s relating back to a quote that Scott Stratten said on the show way back on Episode #4 and he said “Don’t schedule tweets! What’s so important it has to go out, but not important enough for you to be there when it does?”
So of course for someone who’s got social media scheduling tool, what’s your answer to that?
Laura: I’ve had an ongoing battle with Scott Stratten.
James: Have you? I didn’t know that. So here you go.
Laura: Yes, because he is actually someone I admire a lot in the social media space but we have a very fundamental disagreement about scheduling because he’s held his stance for years. I actually wasn’t sure if he was still going in the same track, but I hugely disagree with that.
You know, I think there’s a big difference in using social media for fun and using social media to market a business. A lot of people start out on Twitter or in Facebook but using it for fun or using it to chat with friends and in transition over using it to promote their business.
When you’re using social as a marketing channel, it really doesn’t make sense to spend so much of your time of being there “live” every day. It’s just not a good use of time as a business owner. Not to mention a lot of logistical difficulties like time zones. Right now you’re in Dubai, I’m in UK, I’m usually based in the US, that’s a huge huge spread of time zones and it would be really silly if you have a huge audience in America and not to reach them because you happen to be in the UK and you don’t want to wake up at 3am to tweet in the middle of the night. So I just don’t think it sounded bias for a business using social media to promote themselves.
James: I don’t want to get stuck on this too much. But what can go wrong potentially with scheduling? Is there anything to be concern about that we should be aware of?
Laura: Definitely. I think a lot of people make a mistake of thinking that they can just set up a tool like “Edgar” one of the other automated tools and just say “Oh great, social media is done now. I never have to look at that again” That’s really not going to work. Social media is also an engagement tool. If you just have all of your updates scheduled, and you never check in, and then you’re probably not going to see a lot of growth or a lot of traffic from social media.
What I advise is use a scheduling tool to send updates, because that’s kind of the grunt work. You know, there’s no reason that you need to be typing it in and hitting the send button. Let the software do that for you. Use software to send the updates, but usually checking in, reading other people’s updates, replying, and seeing if the other people have replied to yours. That’s the engagement in social media. That’s how you spend your “live” time.
James: Yeah. Well let’s talk a little bit about more about “Edgar”. I think it’s fair to say it’s been pretty successful venture for you. I think your last count doing somewhere over $100,000 in recurring revenue per month. Let’s get a grip a little bit about with the marketing.
I think that will be an interesting perhaps lesson for Traffic Jam listeners. What aside from social media, which I sincerely hope you, are using to promote “Edgar”, are you using? What has been successful for you?
Laura: Successful for us have been content marketing, both on our own blog and channels like this. I love to do podcast interviews; we love to guest host on other blogs. That’s actually been huge for “Edgar” and we also do a lot of paid Facebook advertising.
James: Okay. Have you also been doing webinars? I think I’ve read that somewhere.
Laura: Yeah. We’ve actually just started experimenting with webinars for “Edgar”. We did a lot of webinars for LKR Social Media, my social media training business.
James: Well perhaps we will dig in to some of those in just a moment. But I also want to ask you about the kind of the step up you got with your email list, because I think when you first launch Edgar, you did have a pretty establish email list – somewhere over, I think 75,000 people, all of whom I expect were at least interested partially in social media. Do you think that you’d be in the same position kind of 11 or 12 months on, if you hadn’t had that list? What would be different right now?
Laura: No way that I’ll be in the same position. Starting a business with a list 75,000 prospects is a pretty big shortcut in the beginning. Of course that shortcut took 6 years of work every day to create, but that was a huge advantage to Edgar being able to market to our existing list. Now we’ve grown our list for “Edgar” on its own as well.
But I think a lot of people don’t leverage the audience they already have. Of course, a lot of people are starting with zero. But even if you have a personal following on Twitter, or maybe it’s just an email list of your friends, most people actually do a really bad job of letting people know what they offer.
I have a friend that recently started a video production agency. He’s actually based in San Diego and he sent me an email when he first started just saying “Hey, here’s what I’m doing. I started a new business, here’s a brief overview..” and I ended up holding up my team retreat in San Diego about a month ago and I thought “I can get him to do some video footage of our team that we can use for recruiting. So all he did was just send an email saying “Hey, I’m doing this” and in this case that was enough. I just would’ve never known otherwise.
So email your friends, send out Twitter messages, put it out in your Facebook. Tell people about what you’re doing.
James: What you say is it’s fair to say that perhaps, your closest connections are the ones that know least of what you do.
Laura: Definitely. I was telling you that I’m travelling here in the UK right now and I think that’s something that English people are sort of famous for – is being really shy or being self-promotional. Of course, no one wants to be that jerk. No one wants to be that person where it’s like “Ahh don’t talk to him, he’s always just trying to sell to me his latest thing. But there’s such a huge divide between being that obnoxious person that tries to sell you at the dinner table versus just telling your friends what’s going on in your life and in your business.
James: Yeah exactly. I think the same look – If you’ve got this problem, I can help you out. You are actually doing more good than you are, being as you said, kind of like irritating or forth coming with your sort of self-promotion. But it’s definitely some of the best leads in this digital age of Facebook advertising and email marketing list and all sort of other intricate stuff is actually just talking about what you do day to day to the people that you are mostly connected with.
Laura: Exactly. I think that people forget that every opportunity comes from a person. Every opportunity comes from either some sort of referral channel from someone you already know or a human has to approach you to ask you about it. I think sometimes we get a little too strategic just looking at okay what sort of traffic building strategies versus talking to people and all sorts of amazing things that you want to emerge from that.
James: Let’s go back to the email list conversation. What are you doing right now to grow your email list? What mechanism, so to speak, have you got in place for MeetEdgar.com to grow this new list you are now nurturing?
Laura: Our biggest one that we are experimenting with is having people request an invitation before they can join Edgar. That’s our call to action in our homepage right now. We experiment on that a lot. You might listen to this podcast, look at it and see something different. That’s been very successful for us is doing the flow of request an invitation and then after that we have an email marketing sequence getting people to sign up for Edgar. That’s huge and just asking for email addresses on our blog. We have a lot of content marketing that’s in the works for the next six months. Those are the big things we do now.
James: Nice. I’m guessing that probably built some anticipation for the product itself. It’s almost like you can’t get in if you wanted to, but once you’re actually through that first gate, I can actually get a hold of this product if I want to. It’s quite a nice anticipation building marketing sequence you’ve got going there.
Laura: It is. I think it also works because it’s a very easy “YES” for people. Just saying, “Okay, I’m interested in getting an invitation”, it’s no commitment, no, you’re not going to spend any money, you’re not even saying, yes I definitely want the software whereas signing up for a trial, it’s great that you get that instance access and you can check out the software right away but Edgar requires a little bit of a set up. Most people aren’t sitting down and doing the whole set up the second they first sign up. So you run that risk of being “Hey this looks interesting, but I don’t have the time to do this right now” so I don’t know if I’m going to bother doing the trial. I’ll do it later when I have time.
James: You’ve been also doing Facebook Advertising. You mentioned that a moment ago. What’s the most successful ad that you’ve ever run to promote Edgar?
Laura: Our most successful ad is a variation of “New social media software, maybe you want to look at it.” It’s really really straight forward. Sometimes your advertising doesn’t need to be so complicated. Our best customer is someone who’s actively interested in social media tools. They have probably tried out other tools, maybe they like them in some ways, don’t like them in the others and they’re actually looking for a better solution.
I know as a business owner, I love hearing about new tools. A Facebook Ad got me the other day. That was just like “Here’s a project management tool” that I haven’t heard before so I checked it out because I like to look at them. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that.
James: Like it. We all know that we’re checking out magazines and reviews that the most popular post and articles tend to be tool tips and tool recommendations. Everyone loves a good tool. But how long more do you think could you be running that ad for? Do you think that’s something indefinite one wasn’t one? How new can it be?
Laura: I don’t know. I think I’m definitely going to push the brand because I’m going to keep in mind that if someone hasn’t heard of it before, then it is new to them. I’m going to push that for as long as I can.
James: Fair enough. So what else have you got going on with Facebook ad aside from putting this ad out which seems to be compelling enough to your audience? How are you targeting people? Be it targeting options or what’s the funnel you’re putting the people to? Just sort of why, then a little bit for us.
Laura: We also do Retargeting on Facebook. We both direct that to people who have already visited our website and we have separate campaigns for people who have requested the invitation but haven’t bought Edgar yet. So that’s obviously a really juicy market for us. We know that they are interested enough to give us their email address and maybe they forget about Edgar and never opened up those follow up emails. I think those are what cool in Facebook Ads is it gives you another touch point and I think that’s definitely the future of advertising is not just reaching people through one channel but being in their inbox and having banner ads for retargeting. Having Facebook ads, and maybe showing up on their Twitter feed, were people are like okay I’ve heard from these guys so many times, I’m interested and I’m going to actually do it now.
James: Yeah. Absolutely. I think it’s all about being sort of channel agnostic. It understanding really who your audience is, where they are actually hanging out is less important because we got the tools to reach those people in those places right now.
It allows us to get back into what our core marketing message is and the tool suggests the way to facilitate the message reaching those people right? It becomes a whole lot easier.
Laura: You know the way people use the internet is very rarely through a straight funnel. I think as marketers, we love this idea that like, okay first they stay in my homepage, then they give me their email address, then they watch the webinar, then they buy the initial offer, but really what happens is someone finds your homepage, and they forget about you, and then they read or view a week later, then they remember you and they still don’t visit your page, and the next day they remember that they want to Google you, and then they find your Twitter account, they follow you on Twitter, it’s a very very convoluted process and people are seeing all different touch points.
So we have this fantasy that we want clear funnel but people don’t really research that way and people don’t really buy that way. So you need to be readily available on a lot of different channels. And that’s one place where social media becomes really valuable. If they want to talk on Twitter, we can talk on Twitter. We have a Facebook user group that we use for our customers to ask questions, make feature request. Just the more touch points the better.
James: One of the places you’ve been getting a fair amount of coverage is in press. We look at your own personal website and we can see a whole bunch of logos up there on the homepage on the prominent places you’ve been paired.
What’s been your secret to getting such good PR coverage for yourself personally?
Laura: It’s actually interesting because we haven’t got any traditional press for Edgar as in articles covering us but we have been able to get a good amount of mentions in tool round ups. We’ve done really well where people say that “Here’s the 10 new social media tools”. Another thing that has been hugely valuable is it’s called the YEC, Young Entrepreneurs Council, they have this place where you can answer questions that journalists have asks to collect content, that’s spread all across a lot of media websites. We appeared on Mashable and www.entrepreneur.com and a lot of these major websites through that YEC contribution.
James: Nice. I guess another alternative to that would be something like help a reporter out on my blog url and couple of other channels great for that. Are you using any outreach in your content promotion strategy or your PR strategy to get these mentions?
Laura: Somewhat. We actively solicit reviews. And those are mostly from our customers, those that are across a lot of little blogs, those are not usually a huge traffic source on their own, but they increase our backlinks, increase our search engine power, and whatever small audience is on that blog is seeing us.
We also reach out to influencers both via email and via Twitter and that’s sort of similar to the Facebook ads where we’re saying hey we are a new social media tool.
What I found doesn’t work is you might have someone in mind that you think might love your tool and it’d be perfect but they are either interested or they are not. Some people don’t resonate with that like Scott Stratten, he doesn’t like the idea right?
James: He’s probably not your ideal type of audience.
Laura: Right. He’s not for us. Even though he’s a huge social media influencer, it would be such a waste to my time if I’ll follow up with him over and over again. What we found is just we send out very basic email and often tweets saying, hey here’s a new social media tool, we’d love for you to check it out if you’re interested. A lot of people aren’t interested, but the people who do say, oh hey these do like a kind of cool, those are the people we dive in further with and that’s were truly well.
James: We’ll let’s talk about a little bit about blogging. Perhaps some of the interesting observation that I’ve made around through your methodology or at least what I can see of it. I actually check out your personal website and your company website, I can see that you published blog posts that are very precise in weekly intervals. How important it is to have a regular and consistent publishing schedule to a blog success?
Laura: I think the regular schedule is extremely important both from your end and your audience’s point of view. From your point of view as a blogger, blogging is difficult. Blogging takes a lot of work to maintain. If you just have this vague idea like, “I’m going to publish..”. It’s just not going to happen in my experience. You need to treat it really seriously; you need to create an editorial calendar.
A lot of bloggers decide that they are going to blog once a week and it gets to be Friday. And then they have this panic that they have not thought of anything, they need to write something. It’s like it’s if the today’s show or one of these morning news shows, showed up Wednesday morning and it was like “Oh no! We have to do a show again? Today? , What are we going to do?”
That’s sort of how most people act with their blog. I recommend not doing that. I recommend building out a library of topics and assigning them to dates, so even if you’re writing last minute, if you know what you’re writing, and you stick to it, you can usually turn an article out because it’s obviously a topic that you know a lot about.
From your audience’s point of view, they need to see, they need to be able to expect regularity. If you stop blogging for two months, people think that you died and your blog doesn’t exist anymore.
James: That’s certainly been the case for me and certainly the case for podcasting. I think that being the almost traditional media format in the new age, like a radio show, people do expect it to be out at certain times and they’ll soon let you know if you missed a show. They’ll be sending you emails – “Where are you this week? Is everything okay? How’s your castle? Are you sick this week? What’s going on?” People do come to expecting I guess you’re doing a good job. That’s a good sign that your content is having the effect that you want it to as well.
Laura: Yeah. That’s a real testament where people are emailing you, what happen? Where are you?
James: Exactly. The other observation I made in your personal website that I wanted to ask you about is the fact that you seemed to remove comments from post. Why did you do that?
Laura: That was definitely a tough decision. I don’t feel very strongly, one way or the other, that people should definitely do one or the other. For us, we just found that it’s something time consuming that wasn’t adding much value.
We actually do have comments on Edgar blog, mostly because we really wanted to see what’s sort of feedback are we getting, because as a newer blog, we get very few comments there.
With the LKR blog we got so few valuable comments. We have spent so much time reading through spam, people use it as a customer service channel so you have to make sure that you are reading all the comments and not ignoring anyone. There wasn’t really return on the time spent.
James: There are the likes of Copyblogger and such like of turning it off because they feel that perhaps conversations are better served sometimes on social media. Do you find that that’s the case? A lot of people are putting the conversations there and using blog commenting less, as a tool?
Laura: Yeah. I think a lot of conversations do happen on social media – Copyblogger interesting now, because they removed their comments, and then they removed their Facebook page too. I think maybe they are telling people to interact in Google+ now, it’s where they’re sending people last I checked. I do think that you don’t want to make it hard to communicate with you, like what I was talking about earlier; you want to make a lot of touch points, and you want to make it easy for people. I would say, don’t make it so hard for people to talk about what you’re writing.
James: Yeah. It’s like you’re talking to people, but not open to hearing what people responses might be, which is not particularly social. Well let’s end things kind of back where we started.
Having cleared up the scheduling may not be the biggest scene in social media despite what Scott thinks. What are the best times in scheduling our social media posts in your point of view?
Laura: I would just schedule every few hours, anywhere from 3-6 times a day. Again, depending on where your audience is in the world and you don’t have to freak out trying to cater to everyone.
We generally run our posts during the day in the US. Even though we have a good amount of customers around the world, the vast majority of our users are still in the US. A lot of people are like how I optimize every time zone, you can’t.
Some people are awake, some people are asleep. It’s not something to worry so much about. I have written some blog posts on Edgar on how to look at in the analytics of your various tools and see when posts are performing best. You do want to do that. The data is there. There’s no point in not checking out your Facebook analytics and your Twitter analytics, to see when your audience is online. See when you’re getting engagement but it’s not something that you need to be constantly fine tuning trying to figure out 4:03 or 4:07 is the better time to post.
James: So your advice would be – Be consistent like what you are in blog posting and post reasonably frequently per day but don’t get caught up too much in the numbers.
Laura: Exactly. That’s why I do think that it’s important to use a tool and I would not advise posting on social media 5-6 times a day if they weren’t scheduling it out in advance because you’re going to have the time to do anything else.
James: Absolutely. Well, there you go Scott, maybe we’ll send you a link, so you can check it out because he seems to be glued to Twitter each and every hour of the day.
Anyway Laura, that has been absolutely fantastic. To you, the listeners if you want to get the show notes and the links mentioned in today’s show by Laura, head on over to www.trafficjamcast.com/74
And all the remains is Laura thank you for coming on the show, been an absolute blast. I know you’re in Cornwall right now in doing sunning England. I’m going to let you go back to your holiday.
Laura: Thank you.
So that was Laura Roeder from www.meetedgar.com and that pretty much rounds up another episode of Traffic Jam. We will however be back very very soon with another show and to ensure that you don’t miss that episode as soon as its release, please subscribe via iTunes and/or Stitcher Radio, the choice is yours. www.trafficjamcast.com/itunes for iTunes and www.trafficjamcast.com/stitcher for Stitcher.
Now for direct links to all the bonuses that come with this episode, including a downloadable mp3, full transcript of today’s session plus social media schedule for you to implement in your own business, go to www.trafficjamcast.com/74 where of course you can join in the discussion for this episode.
Now we end the show with a Traffic Jam as we always do which is of course chosen by our guest today, Laura Roeder and she’s picked the track “Underdog” by Spoon. Enjoy the Traffic Jam and we’ll be back with another episode real soon.
- Scott Stratten on Traffic Jam Episode #4
- Scott Stratten on Twitter
- Dan Norris on Traffic Jam Episode #69
- Dan on Twitter
THE TRAFFIC JAM:
The Traffic Jam today selected by of course, our guest, Laura Roeder was a song Underdog from an indie rock band Spoon.
The song was written by the band’s frontman Britt Daniel and produced by Jon Brion. The song was featured in the 2009 film I Love You, Man and the 2009 film 17 Again. Two years after, it was used in the opening and ending scene of the film Horrible Bosses.
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