Find out what’s working in the world of social media marketing today! Corinna Essa and her agency, Social Media Worldwide, provides done-for-you social media marketing services for thousands of businesses giving her insights that will benefit ANY digital entrepreneur.
- To find out more about Corinna’s social media marketing agency: socialmediaworldwide.com
- To learn more about Corinna’s social media marketing strategies: YouTube.com/socialmediaworldwide
Transcription Episode 89: Actionable Insights From A Social Media Marketing Agency – With Corinna Essa
Welcome to the Project Ignite Podcast. A podcast designed to skip the hype, skip all that BS and bring you real, actionable tips and strategies from real digital entrepreneurs to help you grow your business and income on the internet.This is your host, Derek Gehl.
Today we’re going to be talking about social media marketing tips and today’s guest is an internationally recognized go-to person when it comes to social media marketing. She personally found social media after being made redundant a couple times in her mid 20’s.
Then, when she found social media marketing, she used it to replace her entire income. Instead of just replacing it, she did it with only working two hours a day. Today her social media marketing agency, Social Media Worldwide, manages social media marketing for hundreds of clients worldwide.
Without further ado, I’d like to welcome Corinna Essa to the show.
Corinna, thanks so much for being here today.
I was really thrown in the deep end at the time when I started. My dream was to become a TV producer. I knew since I was about 14 or 15 years old, that’s what I’m going to do and nothing else was an option.I went to London to study TV production and did a few odd jobs there to pay for my studies. Like selling popcorn in a cinema and waitressing at a pub. Then, I worked for free for few TV companies, a few TV production companies. Until I finally started working there and being paid for it.
Right in the middle of the financial crisis, it was 2009, I lost my job for the 5th time, so I was made redundant for the 5th time. I know it doesn’t make me sound too good, but that’s really what happened and I see it as a blessing now. It wasn’t at the time but looking back, it was a blessing.
I realize, there’s no way I’m going to find another job. Not when every company out there is downsizing. Definitely not in the TV industry because the TV industry is particularly small and really tricky to get in.
I called my brother asking him for help, because he’s a very successful internet marketer. He wrote a New York Times bestselling book, The Laptop Millionaire. He always used to tell me, “Forget about what you’re doing, just have your own business. Have your own internet business.”
I never really followed his advice for few reasons. Well, the main reason was, I just couldn’t picture myself doing what he was doing. I just couldn’t picture myself. It’s not really what I wanted to do and also, I thought that I didn’t have the skills he had. I didn’t …
I just also felt that there’s no way I’m going to throw away all these years of studying and working for free for to now, basically change completely my career. I just couldn’t make myself do it but I got desperate. I got desperate and bills pile up even when you lose your job.
So I call him. Swallowed my pride and basically asking for help. He said that it was the best news he had ever heard. He invited me to come to one of his seminars. He used to run some of the biggest internet marketing seminars in the UK. I went there reluctantly and I learned different strategies. The strategy that appealed to me the most out of all of them was affiliate marketing on Twitter. Affiliate marketing is basically when you sell other people’s products for a commission.
I thought, well, I don’t have a product, so that’s convenient. I can just grab other people’s products and sell them for them and make a commission. Twitter’s free to join. It was pretty handy. Sounded easy. I went ahead and did that. I implemented the strategy.
I built a few Twitter accounts. Built them up to a few thousand followers and picked a few products from clickbank.com which is an affiliate network where you can just pick and choose any product you want to sell. I started generating an income.
The first day I started promoting affiliate products, I made $21. My first $21, I know it wasn’t the most exciting $21 I had ever had. Because it was … It just was proof that it worked, so that’s all I needed really. It was a proof that it worked and all I needed to do was scale it, and that’s what I did. I scaled it. I created even more Twitter accounts. I built them up to even more Twitter followers I started promoting even more products.
Very quickly, within three weeks, social media marketing replaced the income I had lost. I started making $250. In my third week, I made $250 in a week in commissions. That’s pretty much how much I was earning at the time. It’s not a lot but it’s what I was earning at the time working full time as an assistant TV producer.
Then one thing led to another. I created my own product about Twitter marketing and information products. That did very well the first year. I made I think about $100,000 just selling that social media marketing product. One thing led to another again and people were asking me if instead of following my course, I could implement the course on their behalf like a done-for-you service.
I took on a few clients and next thing you know, I was just working Christmas day, Christmas eve, New Year’s Eve. The next thing you know, I was like doing 20 hours a day at social media marketing. I had no life anymore. I decided to hire a few people to help with the social media marketing. I started with one person part time thinking that it’s going to be plenty.
I just had one person helping me part time. That’s going to be plenty and that person became full time. Then, that person needed help. That’s how we grew and then became one of the fastest growing social media marketing agencies here in Australia.
Wow. I mean, that’s an awesome story. It’s interesting. For everybody that’s listening too, there was a progression that happened there that you may not even know it right now but that progression may be happening to you.Specifically in the information space with what you’re doing. Basically, Corinna, what you did is you went out there. You started educating. Then, from that, people come to you and say, “Hey, can you just do it for me?” It’s funny how many entrepreneurs I’ve known over the years that had the same progression. Where they go out there and they say, “Okay, hey, I’m going to teach people. I’m going to create an information product,” like you did.
Then, it turns into something far bigger than that as they become that authority and that expert. Now, today, you’ve got this social media marketing company and I love talking to people like you.
I’m picking the brains of people like you. Because you get to see across not just one campaign, but you get perspective into hundreds potentially of campaigns of what’s working today in social media marketing. I always love to tap into someone like you because you’ve got so much interesting knowledge. It’s not just one, to one specific industry.
Let’s start at the beginning. Social media marketing is massive. I said, “Hey, guys. We’re going to talk about social media.” Social media, it’s a massive platform and for the new entrepreneur that’s just getting started. Trying to figure out where to spend their time or how to generate income on social media, is a question mark.
Should they be on Instagram? Should they be on Twitter? Should they be on Facebook? Where do they need to be? Let’s start there. When somebody comes to you and says, “I’ve got a business. I need to use social media marketing. What do I do?” What do you tell them?
I tell them that the first mistake to avoid is joining a lot of social networks. Because what happens is, it becomes really difficult to manage. Because social media marketing, whether you like it or not is very, very time consuming. Because it’s something that you must do manually.
It’s conversation marketing. You can’t really automate conversations. I say, just pick a social network wisely and just pick a few. One or two is plenty. Because you’re better off if you have one or two social networks by managing them well and then, bringing your return. Rather than have five and basically, they’re like billboards in the middle of the desert.
I tell people to choose them wisely. The best way to choose which one fits is really knowing your target audience and exactly what you want to do. What would you want to achieve with your social network.
It could just be brand awareness. Brand awareness, Instagram is great for brand awareness because it gets a lot of people sharing your content. It gets seven times more engagement than any other social network. It’s good for brand awareness and word of mouth marketing.
If you want to generate traffic and leads then Facebook is probably the best social media marketing platform because there’s Facebook advertising, and I think that Facebook advertising is even more efficient or at least will become more efficient than even Google AdWords. I predict that’s going to take over really.
It really depends who your target audience is and what exactly you want to achieve. Once you know that, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision.
When you know who your target audience is, let’s say it’s women who are into arts and crafts. Then, you know that Pinterest is more likely to suit because Pinterest attracts more that sort of audience. Mainly 80% are female and they are into arts and crafts.
If you want more of the younger audience, Snapchat and Instagram tend to attract a younger audience to social media marketing. It also depends as I said on what you’re trying to achieve if you had the marketing budget. If you say, “Yes, I can afford to spend $5-10,000 a month with my online marketing.” Then, I will say, “Definitely invest in Facebook advertising.”
A lot of things have to be taken to account before choosing a social network for social media marketing.
I think to summarize here. Number one is go where your audience is. Find a social media marketing platform where your audience exists and what platform they use, and that’s where you need to focus your time.I think that’s a really good advice too, also really stay focused because I think people get distracted. There’s just expectation that I have to be everywhere which I agree is not the case.
Now, here’s a question for you. Do you think today, I mean, I’ve watched over the years. Facebook become more of a pay to play social media marketing platform. If you want to generate significant results, you’ve got to be willing to spend some money on that platform.
Are you seeing anybody that is still generating significant business for free using social media? Or is it all shifting to be pay to play?
Facebook is definitely pay to play but there’s other social networks where their advertising platform is quite new still. You can still get a lot of organic reach. I would say Facebook mainly is pay to play. The only way to really get reach for free now on social networks like Facebook for example would be, if you are really part of a movement.I always tell people. If you want organic traffic, free organic traffic, you have to either create a movement or join a movement. Because then, you can get a lot of word of mouth. A lot of people sharing your content. Therefore, giving you more eyeballs to your content for free.
Otherwise, yes, it can be really tricky and I mean, every few months, Facebook decreases their organic reach. You’re doing well one day but then all of a sudden, you’re not. Because they’ve decreased their organic reach again. Little things like that.
There’s still a few tricks to maintain a steady level of organic reach doing social media marketing on Facebook. I know that they’re trying to become the next YouTube, so they absolutely love when people upload their own videos. If you want Facebook to basically show your post in people’s timeline for free, then, upload some 45-minute long videos. There are a few social media marketing tricks but yeah, it’s getting harder.
Just clarifying for the audience here. Okay. Now, I agree. Facebook has definitely become a more pay to play social media marketing platform. I also agree with your assessment that it’s going to be more effective than Google AdWords. I think in my opinion, it’s already there except for local business. I think local business in AdWords from what I see still more effective. People looking for a local thing, right?Now, let’s talk about social media marketing on Twitter for a second. Because Twitter is one of those ones that I honestly can’t say I know many people or any people that can say, “Yes. I’m driving significant consistent revenue from Twitter.” Now, enlighten me.
Well, you have to remember that with Twitter, you can speak with anyone regardless of whether you follow them or they following you. You can initially have conversations with absolutely anyone. I think that makes it really powerful. All you need to do is put their user name at the beginning of your tweet and all of a sudden, you just start a conversation with them which I find extremely powerful.The @ mention and @ replies on Twitter is just huge. Hashtags, you can really join conversations. Thanks to hashtags. Hashtags, I mean, Twitter is the number one platform for hashtags. You can really leverage that. Your tweets can be seen by anyone who isn’t following you. Who is following you, start in conversation in Twitter. That also makes it extremely powerful.
Something else also is their advanced search feature. Twitter has an advanced search feature and it allows you to basically siphon leads, even local leads. I can tell Twitter, show me anyone on Twitter who from January the 1st to January the 31st, said that they wanted to lose weight and they live in LA.
Twitter will just show me all the people that match that search criteria. Then, you can really have targeted leads. It’s not really leads yet until you start conversations with them and they start responding.
It definitely lets you do all that for free and pre-qualify people. On Twitter, it used to be about volume. We have 100,000 followers and you “spray and pray.”
Now, with Twitter, because of their little features like the @ symbol and @ replies and hashtags and their advanced search tool. You can get what you want for free, and I think that’s very powerful.
The only problem is, is it’s hard to scale because it’s something that you do manually, so it’s quite tricky to scale. Also, it’s very time consuming. If it’s going to be free, you’re going to lose somehow and you’re going to lose your time. I guess, you’re going to not lose your time but you’re going to spend time.
Yeah. I guess that’s the catch there. Everything you just said, I was like, “Oh, okay. Yeah. I can see where the value is.” I was unaware of the advanced search features that exist there to really laser target people. The manual work required to create that is difficult.Here’s the question that I’ve been asking… Because you’ve built an agency, you’ve built teams. You’ve trained people to do this. Is it easy to hire people, to train people, to manage a Twitter account? Or does it lose something in the voice if you’re outsourcing social media marketing on Twitter?
No. Because, basically from my experience, I know that people won’t do it. People might do it at the beginning. They might agree that is the right thing to do. Do it yourself. It’s your voice but then, they don’t do it. I think this is a second best option is to just have it done by someone else.The person who handles your account becomes your voice. Because the person who handles your account becomes you. At least in my company, what they do is they look at everything that the person has ever produced. Any videos, any content, any blog post, any articles to really understand what their voice is. Is it friendly but informal? Is it frank, creative, adventure type voice? It’s very easy to then model that voice.
People say, “I’m always concerned. Oh, if I let go, my social media marketing will just outsource it. Then what’s going to happen, people might feel it’s not me.” People won’t realize. We’ve never had it happen where people say, “Is that really you, Mary?” We’ve never had that before.
Right, okay. Now, dig in a little further into Twitter. One of the things that I’ve been seeing happening and I just read this is that, that the actual lifespan of a tweet now is something like 30 minutes before it’s just buried and gone.Now, what I’m seeing is, there needs to be … Well, this is interesting. Because I’m here at one side saying, there needs to be frequency. The few people I know that are doing something on Twitter posting a ton on Twitter. What I’m hearing from you is a little bit different.
Because you’re saying go out there and engage people in conversation and utilize the different strategy there. It’s not about posting a ton of stuff holding a stick. It’s about strategically posting and tweeting. Is that correct?
Yes. I mean, you can do both. If you’re going to go with the spray and pray technique where basically you have a bunch of followers and you want to basically share messages with them. Then, tweet as often as you can. Maybe every half hour to make sure they see your tweet.If you want to do less but more, you can just specifically target people and just have conversations with them and it’s like a exchanging text messages with them. The only difference is that it’s free. Basically, managing maybe five or six conversations at a time, every time. It depends really on the strategy. Do both. We find that doing both works really well.
Well, definitely not as effective as Facebook. First of all because of the audience size. I mean, you’ve got almost two billion people on Facebook and on Twitter, you have between around ten million. Again, that’s a limitation because you can’t target as many people.Also, the targeting options. Not as many I guess. Not as many as Facebook. With Facebook, you can say, “Look, pick someone who just got married and is female but lives in Sydney.” Whereas with Twitter, you can’t really. Your targeting is still quite general.
You can still get traffic and leads from Twitter advertising but if you’re in a micro niche, it can be a bit tricky. Just because of the volume. You don’t have that volume on Twitter and you don’t have the targeting options that Facebook advertising has.
Yeah. Now, let’s take a shift back and let’s talk about the Facebook advertising platform. Because I think right now, I think it’s the biggest opportunity for entrepreneurs out there to grow their business at a relatively low cost per click. Obviously, that’s starting to change as it gets more and more competitive and evolved.Now, over the past few years, I’ve watched the Facebook advertising platform evolve rapidly and the rules are constantly kind of evolving and changing. I think it’s getting more difficult as they begin to clamp down on what people are able to do and that’s a very similar path that Google AdWords followed in the very early days.
Let’s take a snapshot of today. Now, you’re working with lots of different clients out there. Probably involved in multiple different campaigns. Can you give us some insights in today to what you see in the current landscape and environment that’s working really well with Google Facebook advertising. Is there anything that stands out?
Yes. Before, most ads would lead to a landing page. Now, people are reluctant now to let go of their name and email. They just don’t like it and Facebook doesn’t like it either. What’s working right now is basically sending people to content that’s not gated with an alternative page and landing page. Just content, pure content.Within that content, then, you can have calls to action. I think that works much, much better. Because it’s really hard with cold traffic to basically get people to let go of their name and email. People get bombarded with landing pages. They just don’t like it because they know what’s coming next. They know what’s coming next and so, that doesn’t work as well as it used to.
What we found is, just send people to pure content and the people who are then interested, you’ve warmed them up a little bit because they’ve across your name and your content. Then, retarget them. Retarget them with an opt-in page offer with a landing page offer.
It’s going to cost you less because they’re more targeted. You know that they’ve clicked on your ads, so they pre-qualify themselves. Then, re-advertising to them is going to be cheaper. First of all, they warmed up because it’s not as cold traffic as initially. Because they know you now, trust you a bit more because you gave them a great piece of content without asking anything from them. Then, retarget them.
I think retargeting is definitely the way to go with social marketing and definitely, don’t expect anything with cold traffic at first. People run a campaign and they think that for every dollar they spend, they’re going to get $2 back. Not with cold traffic. At least from what I’ve experienced. Re-targeting is where the money is.
Something else that we’re doing right now that works really well is the one-click opt-in option with Facebook.
With Facebook, you can basically capture people’s names and emails with one click. When they click on your call to action, so your call to action on your ad can be read more, find out more, whatever. When people click on that, Facebook automatically saves the name and email into a spreadsheet for you.
Now, you can set it up with a software called Lead Tunnel so then, with that software, the names and emails get automatically uploaded to your auto-responder system. Whether you’re using GetResponse or AWeber Email Marketing or InfusionSoft or MailChimp. Instead of having the spreadsheets of names and emails, with Lead Tunnels, you can straight away upload these onto your auto-responder and these people can basically be part of your campaign. Your email campaign.
That’s what we do and we’re doing retargeting one-click opts-in now. With cold traffic, we’re sending them to content that doesn’t require any name or email.
When you’re retargeting though … Now, in the olden days, we used to be able to just drive a click to a page and we would measure the … You get the conversion. Whether that’s not an opt-in or registration, or whatever that was.Now, we’re having to effectively pay for two clicks to get the same results. When you click A which is to the content and then retargeting which is going to be another click. Is that correct?
Yeah. I wholeheartedly agree. My experience today is the same. I go back to the very early days of doing this. Where we used to have hundreds of thousands of people on our list, and it was really a rite of passage. He who had the biggest list, won.Now, the landscape has changed entirely but back to the re-targeting and you bring up a really interesting topic there. Because I don’t think enough people truly understand the value of building those audiences and building a retargeting list that you now have the ability to retarget too, that sort of put out their hand and said, “I’m interested in that.”
Now, the other social marketing strategy I want to explore with you there that you were talking about is the one click subscription.
That’s right. It cuts the middleman which is the landing page. It cuts the middleman. They get to consume whatever it is that you want them to consume outside of Facebook but they’ve already given you their name and email with the one-click opt-in option.
That’s really revolutionized list building because first of all, the conversion rate is much higher. Because whoever clicks, you get the name and email. Also, it’s revolutionized it because you know you’re getting the correct name and email. You’re not getting fake names and emails because people are getting smart now and they just put a fake name and email.You’re getting the name and the email associated to their Facebook account. It just revolutionized list building.
I think this is one of those windows we have where it’s early days for that feature. I suspect that those who leverage that feature now while it’s still new and it hasn’t been abused by all of the marketers out there, I think we have a window where people are going to be much more open to that before they become more aware.That every time they click on this, they get added to someone’s email list. I watched these things where eventually, they evolve in … They get abused and they become less effective. What do you think?
So bad. Totally marketers wreck everything. Sorry guys for everybody listening that’s not a marketer, if there is any. I think everybody is, so they’ll understand. We’re good.All right. Some really, really valuable tips and they’re related to what’s working on Facebook today. Again, I think most people are spending their time just trying to push ads out trying to drive clicks to sales pages. I think this is the next evolution. I think you’ve hit it on the head there.
For everybody listening, if you’re not getting the results that you’re looking for with your Facebook advertising, you may want to consider rather than … Making it a multi step process.
From my perspective, this is the future. You look at Google AdWords. I don’t know if you were online in the very early days of Google Adwords but you could go out there and you could bid anything and drive it to any page for pennies.
Then, it got regulated and that’s where social is going. All right. We’ve covered Twitter. We’ve covered some really good stuff on Facebook. What is today the other outside of the Twitter, Facebook’s fear is the other social media that you’re paying most attention to today?
I think Instagram because of course, it belongs to Facebook now and they’re starting to introduce new features. I’m keeping an eye out to see what’s going to happen next. It’s also very promising because engagement is seven times higher than any other social network.Something that I’m keeping a close eye on, Instagram ads also were introduced. Also something that’s worth pursuing. Now, that slowly, slowly, Facebook advertising is getting saturated then Instagram advertising would probably be the most obvious step. The next obvious step.
Pinterest, although Pinterest has grown slowly lately. Pinterest have allowed new features, so they’re introducing new features like affiliate link, you’re allowed to have affiliate links on Pinterest. Whereas before, you couldn’t. Little things like that, they’re really trying to appeal to marketers.
Pinterest and Instagram, I’m keeping close eye.
Yeah. Excellent. Now, I have one last really big question for you and I’ll admit, this is a little bit of personal interest as well. That is, how does a small business go about outsourcing their social media? How do you pick a company to work with.Because here’s what I see happening. Everybody heads over to Upwork and they post, “I need somebody to manage my Twitter account. I need somebody to manage my Facebook page.” Everybody, they get all these applicants. They pick what they think is the best and then next thing you know, nothing good is happening.
Nothing good comes of it. How do you find the right people to manage that?
Yeah. That’s a big mistake. When people want to outsource their marketing to an outsourcer, it’s just the wrong thing to do because you have to remember, an outsourcer is just a person who will execute. They won’t bring in personal skill or expertise or knowledge.
If you know exactly what you want to do and you’re the marketer and you just need someone to execute it, then, Upwork is fantastic. You’ll still need to micromanage that person.Whereas, if you hire a company that specializes in something, let’s say, you want to outsource SEO, then, get a company that’s specific for SEO or social media management. Because you know that that’s what they specialize in and they’re not just going to execute. They’re also going to build and build marketing campaigns bringing their marketing intelligence into play. This is really important.
It depends on what you want to do. If you just want to do someone to execute and you’re happy to micromanage the process, then, that’s fine. You can just have an outsourcer.
If you actually want to delegate the whole process without having to have too much input. Then, definitely pick a company that specializes in exactly what you’re trying to achieve. Also, a second selection criteria is don’t pick companies who just claimed they were experts at social media management or experts at SEO. Get companies who are expert at tracking.
Because I found that with all the companies we compete with, a lot of them, they’re not tracking experts. They don’t look at data and then execute based on the data they’ve collected. The main selection criteria would be well, do you know how to effectively track and measure and base on your results act accordingly?
I think that’s very, very important. People tend to hire let’s say, social media management based on their understanding of a social media platform. “Oh, you’re great on Facebook. You understand Facebook, so here. Do my Facebook marketing for me.”
Instead of saying, “Well, are you a tracking expert?” Before actually being a Facebook expert. Because anyone knows how to post. It’s not difficult. People know how to post, and it’s easy to get your head around Facebook. Everyone’s a Facebook expert nowadays because yeah, they know the tabs and they know what this means and what this does.
Really, what make someone an expert is someone who knows how to track effectively and also act according to the analytics. I think that’s the main selection criteria.
I think that’s a fantastic piece of advice for choosing that and further to that, if somebody is actually really focused on the analytics. They’re holding themselves accountable to the results as well, right? If they can’t measure the result, they’re not accountable for anything. I think that’s a very wise piece of advice.I think this is a perfect opportunity as we start to wrap up to tell us about what you offer in your agency. How are you working with people today and where can people find out more?
We offer social media marketing for up to six platforms. The platforms we manage for people are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn. These are the six people can pick from.We usually tell people just pick one, one platform and then we can build on that. You don’t have to, as I said, spray and pray. Just focus on one. Only start adding more platforms when you’ve mastered one and that one is bring you results.
That’s what our advice to people is, and people can find us on our website socialmediaworldwide.com. There’s a phone number and email there. They can call the office or email us.
Or of course, they can look at our training on YouTube. YouTube.com/socialmediaworldwide. You’ll find a lot of training there. We are very transparent with what we do, how we do it because we don’t sell information, we sell the service.
We’re really generous with all our training as well, the training can be found as I said on YouTube.com/socialmediaworldwide.
Absolutely. All right, everyone. That was social media expert, Corinna Essa. As always, any of the links that we discussed here will be included in the show notes along with the entire transcript of this episode.You’ll find all of that at projectignite.com/podcast.
Now, it’s time to take all of the social media tools, strategies, tips that you learned here today in this episode from Corinna and apply that final essential ingredient to making it work for you, and that ingredient is action. If you could just take one thing. One thing. I challenge you.
One thing. Take it. Apply it. Start using. Start getting results.
This is your host Derek Gehl, signing off.