About this episode
Naira Perez, CEO of Springhill Digital a digital marketing agency that develops digital marketing strategies, identifying customer patterns and behaviors on and offline, and optimizing ROI through generating qualified leads, better processes, and effective planning and execution.
In this episode, Naira shares her perspectives and insights in exploring the plethora of possibilities that exist in raw data and in building community online for brands. She also shares why companies don’t need huge budgets to make their digital marketing more effective.
Some topics we discussed include:
- Why businesses approach advertising the wrong way and what should be done instead
- Why focus on building community online as an advertising objective
- What does building community online look like
- Types of online communities
- Advantages of building community online around a brand
- Steps for building community online
- Tips for a thriving online community
- Examples of successful online communities
- and much more ….
Vinay Koshy 0:02
Naira in preparation for this chat. I was thinking through a few brands that come to mind brands perhaps like Amazon Web Services, and Lulu lemon, Poppy blogger and WP Engine knows I was thinking about these brands, I know that they may have invested in some advertising, but the thrust of their advertising wasn't necessarily geared towards building an online community. Yet, you take a very data driven approach, from what I understand, with a focus on building community as a result of advertising. Why is that?
Naira Perez 0:45
Well, whenever you're building a brand, whenever you have a new product or service, it's very difficult to get that following and get the proper following. So if you start already from the beginning with a very targeted audience, you know that those people are there to hear your voice. They're, they're there to listen to your message. They are the right audience. So that's how we approach brands, especially that are starting in their life. They just want to start in their social media, they just want to start talking, they want to tell their story. So having that paid media there helps them spread the message.
Vinay Koshy 1:27
Hi, and welcome to the predictable b2b success podcast, overnight coaching. On this podcast, we interview people behind b2b brands who aren't necessarily famous, but do work in the trenches, and share their strategies and secrets as they progress along this journey of expanding their influence, and making their businesses grow predictably. Now, let's dive into the podcast for listeners. Welcome to the predictable b2b success podcast. I'm with nyro Perez, who is the CEO of Spring Hill, digital, and nyrA. As I understand it, you've had well over two decades of marketing experience behind you. And you got started with direct response marketing, which led to TV commercials, is that correct?
Naira Perez 2:12
Yeah, I started in performance marketing, through corporate marketing. But in advertising, I started through infomercials, we were the first direct to consumer ads in existence. And that's where the love of data and making sure that we take strategies and adopt tactics that actually benefit, ROI, return on investment, that's where my love for that stuff came in.
Vinay Koshy 2:39
If I understand this correctly, from your experience, you find that a lot of businesses just approach advertising the wrong way. In your opinion, is it very much geared towards making a sale?
Naira Perez 2:52
Yes, they especially small to medium companies, they are they think of advertising as How can I get more sales, where advertising is not that anymore, you definitely you know, at the end of the day, we all want sales, that's how business survive. But advertising is more than that, specially when we're considering social media, whether you're in LinkedIn or Facebook, you're talking to an audience and then you're interrupting their, their entertainment. So you have to establish a connection, you have to offer them something that they can continue consuming. Otherwise, then you're just the new ones. And they can easily move away from you. And just continue with their entertainment. Also, sometimes that's the first time that you talk to that audience. And therefore, you should make a very good impression. So first impressions matter. And social media advertising, is that first impression in many cases, so you have to take it seriously. And selling, it may not be the first thing that you want to ask them.
Vinay Koshy 4:02
So so if I could put this another way - social media channels are really channels to develop social connections. And so while you have the option of advertising, you're suggesting that should very much fit into the context of the platform, which is building social connections, and therefore looking at building community online is a natural extension of that way of thinking.
Naira Perez 4:26
Exactly. And so in social connections, but brand sounds like something somebody made up to sell social media to somebody, so But it is true, you are there to engage with a certain audience, you're there to connect with them, and then they will listen better if you're connected to them. And especially in b2b, this is important, because those relationships can last much longer. It takes longer to build them, but they last longer. So it is in Important to not only think about social engagement and social connections in a b2c product, it's also in b2b.
Vinay Koshy 5:10
So I'm curious, Nora, what was your ambition or your impetus to start Springhill digital? Was there a particular incident that caused you to say - No more! I'm going to go out on my own?
Naira Perez 5:25
Yeah, that's a great question. Yes. I mean, I saw I've worked with other agencies. And I saw that there's a certain type of cost of client a certain size of budget, the big agencies cannot serve properly, it is just a matter of their budget is too small for us to invest these resources in them. So whenever small to medium sized companies actually have to look for quality, advertising, consultancy, then they end up following budget related advice. So meaning, they have a small budget, the budgets, so therefore, they go with people that may not have as much experience, and then they make big mistakes that cost them their faith in advertising. So I saw a need for these small to medium companies to get the same quality advice that they will get in big companies. So that's why I wanted to start a Springhill Digital, I care about that size of company a lot because you can make a difference in their results. And you can make a huge mark in their how they talk to their audience. And nobody else was serving them the way that I thought, obviously, this is a personal thought the way that I thought they should be served. And what would you say is your personal area of strength? I thrive on having data, which, you know, if you were going to ask me, what's my favorite favorite tool, it's xo, I love people tables. And I know a lot of people here pivot tables and start, you know, getting these deals. So so for me working always with director, consumer, working always with marketing, and advertising that gave me the data back, that's where I thrive, I really can't make models explaining, you know, where we should go, where we need to go, where we have been, what's happening in the marketplace, I really thrive in that environment. So and then I surround myself with people that complement that, that maybe they're not as data oriented, but they're really good at copywriting, or they're really good at creative ideas. So Springhill Digital was also created as a way of bringing experts together and have a collaborative environment.
Vinay Koshy 7:57
And Naira in that area of strength what would you say that most businesses don't know but should?
Naira Perez 8:06
Most businesses don't know that they already are sitting in mounds and mounds of data that they can use, there is data all around them, there is their own data, there are customers, their previous customers can actually inform what their future customers could be who they could be also previous customers that come they can be reactivated, they can be up sold as well, you know that if they bought these, maybe they can benefit from that. And I always believe in like that win win situation, you don't want to just upsell anybody, because of the sake of an upsell. You have to upsell them if they need that additional product. So but looking at that data gives you so much more information that you could purchase anywhere else with surveys or with you know, research. Look at your own data.
Vinay Koshy 9:02
Right. Excellent point, I guess it'd be good to start with the end in mind. So if the objective of the advertising the data that you generate is to build a community around your causal mission, then perhaps a good place to start would be by defining what you mean by an online community.
Naira Perez 9:22
Exactly. Yes. That's a very good point. So an online community for me, whenever we talk to our clients about it is about those social media pages that they have up that are now just for a lot of b2c as an example, a lot of consumer goods and it's just offers just, it's all about ads, it's our product and now it's 20% off and these are features in our product and so going from a one sided from the brand to the audience, to start listening to their audience and actually engaging in commerce. sanctions that make sense to the audience. So if we take those pages that are kind of white catalogs, basically, and turn them into, okay, what does the audience need to really know, as an example, if you have a product, like a toy that decreases anxiety for kids, because it's like a weighted blanket type of toy, you know, we could just say we have all these colors, we could talk about, oh, you know, we have a 20% off discount. Or we could actually talk about the pain points that audience has, like, you know, let's talk about why the kids have inside the let's, let's actually hear the audience's parents that are at home, that see their kids in online school, and therefore, this is developing anxieties. So there is a topic around it that you want to engage your audience in is not only about selling that toy, in particular, is hearing about parents with kids that are anxious that may need more than then than what they they're getting right now. So having that conversation creates a community of audience members that will interact with each other. And we had a client at some point that it was a plus size clothing. So in, you know, they, whenever we got them, everybody complained about price, which is true for most products, but also nobody got why they were so pricey, and it's because of quality is because of you know, there were exclusive designs. But nobody understood it. No matter how many times the brand said it, once we start interacting with a community, I'm building that community through paid advertising of people that were our target audience that understood with our messaging, understood what we were about what I were, what problems we were solving in their life, then they're there, their community started growing to the point that whenever somebody had a comment, that was unkind, the community itself actually defended the brand. So and there's always going to be somebody that is going to have an unkind comment. But if, if you're giving the right message to the right people, then we're all on the same page and in the community can come to your defense. That's a obviously an extreme example. But that's what we have been able to do with paid media just build that community of people that care about the product.
Vinay Koshy 12:43
So Am I understanding this correctly, your community building efforts, really start with using public social networks and encouraging the conversation and sharing to get to a point where it becomes very much community that identifies with the brand and its values? Would that be correct?
Naira Perez 13:09
Vinay Koshy 13:09
Naira Perez 13:10
Yeah, that's correct. Exactly.
Vinay Koshy 13:13
And I guess for business that's thinks of this sounds like an interesting idea - this idea of building community online, we hadn't really thought about it, what would you say are some of the advantages of investing in that sort of direction.
Naira Perez 13:31
So the advantages on investing in that sort of direction, are that you are going to have followers in those social medias that are going to understand you. So any other marketing effort that comes after that, we'll have to work less hard. So as an example, if you have an offer of 20% off, and you're already telling to somebody that loves your product, they're they're in, they're going to purchase, because it's that person is interested. So when when again, it's a win win situation. And then from there, you can also like we've seen clients ask their communities for feedback on the next product, or improvements, you can get it as customer service, slash, you know, just suggestion box, where you can, you can hear the problems, and then really tune in into is your service or your brand, really covering their needs. So you can you can actually use it in many, many ways. So when you have a community, you can nurture that community, you can understand it better, you can serve it better, and that having a social media page that creates a community then leads into all of your other efforts. Then you can you probably will have an email list that it's way more valuable than you had before. Then you can have website traffic, that is actually quality traffic. So it just, if you think about it, it could be the center of your little universe that then expands throughout the brand efforts,
Vinay Koshy 15:11
certainly make some very great points there. So if we are to invest in this whole exercise would be, I guess the steps that you would encourage your business to look at, to build this online community, and certainly back it up with the advertising the data that they're using to be focused on?
Naira Perez 15:33
Yeah. So we normally started with something that a lot of businesses regrettably skip, which is building those personas, knowing who do we want to serve first? And what are their pain points? And I have many conversations with people that normally are not in marketing that don't understand why would you like talk to a fake person. And it's not a fake person, what we're, what we're bundling in personas is what's the profile of the audience member that will be most interested in our products and why? And so we generate those personas. And I'm gonna tell you businesses to skip this point, because generating those personas doesn't give you an ROI right away, by me saying, I generated four personas for you, you're like, Okay, and, and that is going to help me help right now is like, Okay, now we're going to use it. So don't skip this step. It seems like a lot of planning, that doesn't give you anything back. But this is the base. Because once I know who these people are, then I can start doing content planning. Whenever I do content planning, and social media marketing calendars, then I can look at that and say, Okay, now from these plan, I extract advertising, I actually learned from there and put advertising out. And it's a it's a circle, it's just, it's it feeds off each other with advertising. And normally reaching people that are new to the brand or to the industry. There are new, fresh, cold, cold audiences there. And with their organic content, and I am reaching normally, people that are already in the in the community, they're already my followers. So but if I sees that something really resonates with my followers, then I know that I if I extract that, and I make an ad that is similar to that, and I targeted to people like my followers, then it's going to resonate with them as well. And vice versa. If I find something in ads, that resonates really well, with that audience that I'm targeting, then I can feed it back to content and develop it more within that community. So the steps going back to your question would be persona development content.
Vinay Koshy 18:02
And if I can just ask you or clarify this idea of persona development, because I know that there's a few people that do struggle with this concept. From what you're saying, my takeaway would be that you could actually base this off of your existing customers as in your best customers, would that be correct? And so it doesn't have to be fake, it can actually be based around them and how you communicate to these actual individuals or individual individuals?
Naira Perez 18:29
Yeah, yeah, it depends on where which stage in your brand you are, there are brands that want to launch a new service altogether. And therefore do not know who these people are, they have a guest, but they don't know who they are. That's where we will come and make research. And, you know, go everywhere and find out who those personas are. But if you've been in business for a while, absolutely, you can actually know, our best customers are these. And this is what they're looking for. Although you want people like your best customers, you normally also want to see if there are best other best customers out there. So you probably want to have a range of personas that that are maybe a new market or a new segment within your market. How many personas may be your next question, I will say anywhere from three to six, I actually like to keep it between three and four, because that's a manageable amount. Six, that content mapping gets really complicated and it's, it's, it's possible. I just don't like I don't think it's as efficient as if you limit to three to four.
Vinay Koshy 19:38
Once you define that, you then also need to flesh out their veg purpose and goals for being in business and operating so that there is a degree of alignment.
Naira Perez 19:49
Well, yeah, and you know, that's probably you shouldn't have done it for like whenever you started your business, but what do you do next is actually Truly, with your goals in mind, and you always do every piece of marketing, with your goals in mind, obviously, but after the personas, then you start developing that content that you're going to feed to their personas. And again, this process is the same for organic content and for advertising, because I'm going to find out, how should I talk to these person like Joe, who's 35, and it's professional and blah, blah, blah, is going to talk differently that maybe, you know, Bill who is you know, 5500? Tired? So it matters? And, and that's where that content mapping goes together? Is this person Joe has a lot of time in his hands and, and can develop time to read an ebook? Or does he actually have five minutes a day? And I should actually send him a checklist. All of these things matter. But whenever we're pumping content, we have to bear in mind, where do I want to take these lead next, meaning, when I talk to him, I'm gonna give him a checklist. And I'm gonna give him a checklist so that he does something that then leads to another step that at the end of the day, and to a sale, if this is a win win situation, if this is the right persona, that should be a natural progression, but I have to have a plan. Yeah,
Vinay Koshy 21:34
so in saying that, that implies that you should really be familiar with the customer buying journey to be able to develop related content.
Naira Perez 21:44
Yes, yes, putting a marketing plan together. And strategies and tactics, you have to know that personas. So well. How do they buy? And how do they? How do they go through their pain points, how, what kind of levels of motivation do they need, at some point, in every customer journey, you're going to have price, price is going to be an issue because people love free stuff, they don't like to pay for it. So but you need to understand in what stage in life they're in, in that life cycle as well. So whenever we talk, as an example, to b2b companies, we always want to talk obviously, with the person that is going to make the purchase of that service or that product. But there is a there are influencers right next to that persona, that can become the purchaser in the future, or that can influence the purchaser. So all of those little things of customer journey, and then also just helping the lead move through the funnel. All of those are pieces of the puzzle that you have to put together. But if you consider them nicely, you go back to who is this persona? What are their pain points? And how can I solve them, then everything else should feed nicely into customer journey and nurturing program.
Vinay Koshy 23:13
Okay, and where to from from there.
Naira Perez 23:18
So after you do the persona, then you go to content mapping, like we said, and developing that content. And then from there is now comes the fun stuff. Now you start just posting and making ads. Once you do posting and making ads, then you have to have again, a plan for after if somebody clicks on an ad, if somebody becomes a follower, what do you want them to do next? So developing and nurturing plan is the ultimate goal for you. And that's where those goals that you were talking about business goals. That's where they come really important. What when are you developing that nurturing. But that's yet another place where a lot of businesses fail, is they don't have a plan after that, they think that ad is going to generate the sale. So why should I plan afterwards? Well, you need to, because not everybody's going to become a sale. And they're just going to start the relationship there.
Vinay Koshy 24:24
So what next, and that is sometimes more vital to the success of your advertising, then the ad itself with posting content. You're trying to filter out people, people who aren't a good fit with the brand's mission and values as opposed to those who are and with those who are there should be enough of a desire or pain point in order to join the community. Whether it be by submitting the email address and getting on to an email list or being part of something more formal in the online space with a forum or something else, would that be the gist of how I understand that your strategy,
Naira Perez 25:14
it has to be a win win situation? It has to be that that's what we're looking for people, that these relationships with our brand will be beneficial. So then the pain points, I know they're called pain points, there's not painting them. But there is, What is there? What is their need? I guess at that point, what is? And what are the barriers to trying your product or to buying your service. So, you know, if you go back to, you know, B to C, normally, you see pain points really clearly in the product features, right? comfortable, and pretty and colorful. So in b2b, then those pain points become a little bit more difficult sometimes to assess. But they are also very key, like if you're selling software, what is that software? What's the problem solving? As an example? Is it a project organization? Is it Team management? Is it I used to have a client that was accounting services for a specific industry, so that a specific industry had very specific means that no other software was meeting? So you know, talking about? You know, wouldn't it be nice if somebody came and solve this problem for you? Wouldn't it be nice if there was a software that will help you with these tasks that you cannot do now, or, you know, we've done compliance software as well. And, you know, there is certain things that have to be in software that helps that company, keep in compliance with OSHA, or with all the regulations. So you need to discover what those problems that company will have, and then engage them so and then to give them content that actually helps them as an example. You know, if you're dealing with revelation, what are the 10? things that you should be thinking whenever doing? Whenever we're thinking about being in compliance? Or what are the risks? Or what are the you know, just every piece of content educates that community, and therefore, whenever they come to you, they see you. And by you, I mean, the brand, they see the brand as expert and thought leaders in that industry. And then the natural tendency is, you know what you're talking about? So, you know, I need the solution. I'm gonna go with you.
Vinay Koshy 27:49
Okay, so once you've met that the content, you're actively engaging people, at what point do you decide to select a particular community platform? Or do you just engage them on, say, the social media platform that they're on?
Naira Perez 28:07
We, whenever you're analyzing that persona that's going to come up in the persona is going to tell me, you know, what, Joe prefers LinkedIn where, you know, Bill will be found on Facebook, and also what's what's the goal. And sometimes, the budget also tells me because every b2b company, as an example, wants to be in LinkedIn. But LinkedIn is extremely expensive. So maybe sometimes we can actually reach those target audience in other platforms for a little bit more inexpensive cost per click. And once we see that you're profitable, then we can move you to LinkedIn where the audiences are amazing, they're really engaged, we can target them very well. But the cost per clicks are 10 times and I'm not exaggerating, 10 times more. So we play with different factors. But the persona is the place where we're going to first find out where that that audience is going to be. So
Vinay Koshy 29:09
and it's a premature move when deciding on the platform, or is there something in between content mapping and publishing before we decide on that community platform?
Naira Perez 29:20
Now, you can start with that. But if you really, really want to be on LinkedIn, you know, we can really, really be on LinkedIn, it's, it's fine. As long as the persona development whenever we develop, and we say yes, there on LinkedIn, I have clients that calm as an example, I want to advertise on Google ads. And I'm like, sorry, your product is not. It's not going to be successful in Google ads, no matter how much money you put into it. It's just not going to work. Because there is no search related to your product. There's no search related to your industry, or simply because in Google ads, there's a certain type of ad that works and what you're trying to do won't work. So whenever you go to social media, Very similar. As I said, Every b2b client wants to be on LinkedIn and never come to there's Facebook where Facebook could be actually a really good place to reach those audiences. And the opposite, you know, b2c wants to be Facebook, Instagram, tik tok, and how well is your audience on Tick tock, if you're trying to sell cheese, you know, blue cheese, maybe blue cheese eaters are not addicted, let's find out. But yet clients come with preconceived notions notions of where they want to be. And it's only through research that we can show, we don't think you should be there.
Vinay Koshy 30:39
But in a developing a community, I guess there are some ground rules that need to be established. Otherwise, it can kind of pull in every direction when more and more voices get added on, is there a particular process that you recommend clients think through in order to establish those ground rules?
Naira Perez 30:57
Yeah, so whenever we build our community, we build a page and we engage with with people in that page, there is the paid side, where audiences will see those posts in their newsfeed. And they will interact with those posts the same way as they would if they were organic content. And so my philosophy whenever we're doing it on paid media, which we have ads that have a lot of comments is we talk with the client about their comfort, their tone of voice, and things that they find that are, you know, you've crossed the line here. And I always tell them, like, don't just ignore negative comments, the negative comments can be, which is, the scariest part of comments is whenever they go negative, they can be constructive negative, they based on lack of education. So whenever you find a comment like that, educate them, make it an opportunity to tell them about your product, and why is the best fit for that problem, right, this is an opportunity somebody has a pain point doesn't believe that you can solve it, demonstrate to them that you can solve it. And the other kind of negative comment is the destructive one, the one that is bullying, the one that is unrespectful, or the one that has nothing to do with what you're doing those, you have the right to delete them, they are your ad, you're paying for it. And if you do not do anything about it, you're just spreading that, that feeling all over the web. So as a responsible advertiser, as a responsible citizen of social media world, you can delete comments and block people that are not being respectful, that are bullying, and that simply just are doing nothing constructive. So that's why we're doing that. And we advise our clients on ways of answering if they want to do it themselves, if they want us to do it, it's a process of, you know, going through education for us. And then the same in organic. I believe that in organic, whenever you're in the page, people tend to be a little more respectful because they're your own followers. But there's always gonna be somebody that crosses the line. And it's okay, if you tell them, you know, what, we're here to talk constructively. And if you're not going to be constructive, then here's the door, and then having those those reminders from time to time to be respectful. They're totally fine. They're within your right, it's your page.
Vinay Koshy 33:35
With building community online, I guess, you're also looking for key people within that community to really drive the conversation and to add value to the mission and cause of the brand would that be correct?
Naira Perez 33:51
Yes, yes, there is always going to be vocal people. And I think that if if you can partner with people that are vocal, though, that they're not allowed to buy your product, and you give them a platform for them to express their opinions. Again, as long as it's a constructive conversation, I see nothing wrong with that the more people that participate in our community, the better. And there's always somebody that participates more than others. So and in paid, we can look for influencers and partnerships, and we can get external voices that may be, you know, louder than we can say things and there is something to be said about somebody else, you know, talking about you and saying the same things that you're saying about yourself, but sometimes, you know, people will believe a third voice and that's totally okay. As long as you're honest, genuine and transparent. On that relationship. I think it's fine.
Vinay Koshy 34:54
Excellent, and promoting your community. I guess you've kind of come full circle in Once you have a community that's kind of self sustaining, and doesn't really need your direct inputs to keep going, and then it's really just a matter of, again, extending your reach, hence more advertising. Whether that be Yeah,
Naira Perez 35:13
yeah. So once you're you have a community of followers that will interact with you, with your organic content, then is just about finding more people like those followers, because we, you know, it will be more Win Win relationships between your brand and people that may want to interact with your brand.
Vinay Koshy 35:33
In terms of, I guess, metrics, or KPIs, if you want to put it that way. With your advertising, are you really looking for engagement? Or is it some other type of metric that you believe we should focus on?
Naira Perez 35:48
It depends on the campaign, the campaign started to create that those followers to create that community, then obviously, the cost per like, will be, you know, as an example, on Facebook, that's what I would look at. And then but after that, it is engagement, it is how many people believe in your message so much that one, they interact with it, and by liking it to, they actually engage with it and give their opinion, they raise their their hand and say I want to say something about this, or three, that is the ultimate is whenever they share it in their own newsfeed. So that is the ultimate engagement, because they trust you so much, they like your message so much, that they will put you in their newsfeed. So those are the three types of engagement that I like to look at. And then depending, again, on the campaign, and what we're trying to do brand awareness is is something to look at, as you're putting Facebook as an example. But you can see lift percentage in the brand awareness that the new audience is having by seeing your ad. So those types of things indicate that yes, that message is resonating. But also we look at the basics, which are, you know, clicks, clicks through rate, like people that see that and click, and then how many people arrive to the page. But engagement is important whenever you're trying to get a sense of how engaged how, how into these relationships, their audience, I into you as much as you are into me,
Vinay Koshy 37:30
suddenly, okay, and is there any other aspect of building and scaling an online community that we haven't quite covered but should?
Naira Perez 37:39
I think I covered a lot, because we started with personas, I went all the way to nurturing I cannot say nurturing, and after you have to nurture, you don't build it and just stop, you continue to nurture it, and then just reassess every time every so often we look our personas and and see if there is still the same personas or we need to modify them. So this is something that you have to continue looking at, it's not something that you build once and just poof, it happens because things can go wrong. At any point, you have to maintain it, you have to nurture it.
Vinay Koshy 38:14
Other a couple of examples of thriving online communities that come to mind, especially in the b2b space.
Naira Perez 38:23
In the B2B world, right now, there's a lot of I cannot give you an example, per se, but there's a lot of good stuff being built in certifications, and universities have adapted very well to online learning and online teaching. So and it was very difficult to get them to get the audience engaged, they will finish their certificate and leave. And now they're they're being helped to spread the word by being proud of they got the certificate and feature done certificates in their newsfeed and is creating an online community of people proud of having gone there that that pride then extends to other people that are maybe looking at the same thing. So higher education is always a good place to look for the newest community building, because they thrive on that same tribal community. Okay,
Vinay Koshy 39:19
Yep. And I know there's a whole space around alumni and engaging those folks as well. So but it certainly gives something to think about and to look at. But I was wondering, from your experience, would you say that there are certain must include tips, if you will, to ensure that we have a thriving online community?
Naira Perez 39:42
Yeah, you know, my one tip will always be listen to them. So, because listen to your audience, because we tend to get very focused on what we want to say. They're not what our audience wants to hear. And so that My one Golden Rule, listen to them and adapt, hence the whole nurturing. And also just watch out for what other things your audience may be doing online. And by these I mean, are they interested? Now the things? How do they interact with other brands? Even if it's not your own, but you can see in that platform? Who are they? And so it's okay to go from time to time, if you can, if you can see, if you have customers, you have followers that you can actually look at what are they doing other places?
Vinay Koshy 40:36
So from listening to what you've been saying, I would say that certainly listening to your audience is important but also, the need to hire perhaps a community manager who is very much focused around nurturing and growing the community would be a good step as well - sooner rather than later?
Naira Perez 40:57
Absolutely, absolutely. So community management is something that is so important in a lot of businesses just put the youngest person that it's a millennials, they now have to be online. But that doesn't mean that they know how to manage your community. As an example, in Spring Hill Doodle, we used to be a paid media only agency boutique agency. But then I found out that I will bring all these leads and all these followers to pages that were totally different than what I had promised in my ads, like they weren't following up on the same topics, or they weren't following up at all. And so that's why we actually kind of started the community management as well. Because you need if I bring you leads, if you're bringing followers through paid, and then it they fall flat in your page, and they don't want to follow you anymore, you just spent a whole bunch of money that then you're going down the drain, a community manager Oh also is going to have a pulse on what's happening in the industry. And we're happening in social media, it's a distinct polls, it's just a different kind of, it's a different level of conversation. So knowing what to serve them what content to serve them, what content works, what content doesn't work isn't, excuse me, it's a day to day activity that needs to gather steam, you cannot just come in one time, do it leave, let it you know, be for two weeks and then come back and do something successful. It is a day to day you have to look at it, you have to answer comments, comments that go on answer show that the brand is not listening. So So answer to them. And again, a lot of businesses get afraid of comments. Don't be afraid of them. They're they're good feedback. They're there. They're free research for you free surveys, really. So yeah, that's, that's why you need a community management, you need somebody in the trenches all the time.
Vinay Koshy 42:56
And along with, I guess the skill set that a community manager should have would be recognizing and celebrating community members, as well as understanding what quick wins mean for a community member. Because I think one of the biggest hiccups that potential online communities run into is that there's no quick wins or wins, if you will, in order to show value to potential community members. So people kind of sign up and then don't come back or give up very quickly. So those in my mind would be too quick to Central ingredients.
Naira Perez 43:33
Exactly. And just keeping in mind, why would somebody follow you? And that's a question that you need to continue asking yourself, because, you know, like you said, People may sign up and then it's like, oh, that's not what I thought it was and then they leave never come back. At worst. They don't come back. You know, if you're lucky after you they don't come back or worse, they will actually unfollow you and you will have negative followers. So but yeah, is just rethinking all the time, I might giving the community what they want, because they're not here to hear me shout that I'm the best. They're here for something else. And that's what a lot of brands don't understand. So, yeah, would you say it is totally valid? And it takes a special kind of person to enjoy doing that all the time, every day?
Vinay Koshy 44:22
And do you bring your data driven focus to to thriving, making sure that the community thrives by ensuring that there are key milestones that members need to achieve? And should this progress or you know, give them a nudge to ensure that they take that next step?
Naira Perez 44:42
Yes, absolutely. We we look at organic engagement and we do also at the profile of our audience as much as we can and our platforms give us the access to certain information. So we keep shifting, we keep moving in. And yeah, if we have A whole bunch of posts that don't work then then we know we're going the wrong direction, we'll we should improve upon that that's an optimization effort. And if something was how can we duplicate? We're How can we duplicate it? If it worked one time, we can make it work again. So what can we learn from it? So definitely, it's not only just growing them growing the community and growing the followers, is making them engage, activate them. And sometimes you have to reactivate them, because organic reach only goes so far. In Facebook, the bigger You are the it seems like the less people you can reach, because you will go from being a small and reaching 20% other people to be medium sized account, and then only reaching 2%. So sometimes you actually have to get paid media to reach that other 98% of your audience and reactivate them and get them engage again, because but with organic alone, you didn't reach them.
Vinay Koshy 45:59
Would I be right in saying that there probably lessons we can learn your lessons we could learn from other communities that are not necessarily competitors, but in a related space?
Naira Perez 46:10
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, you can see that, especially in as example, fitness has learned a lot about online communities from other places, and they have to adapt their products had to adapt, and they had to recreate themselves. Same with hotels, you know, they have had to learn a lot on what to give their communities definitely. And that's where sometimes going with somebody outside of your organization may help. Because if we have, if we see what happens across communities, and we can compare and take best practices and try new things outside of the box, that may make your community actually way more interesting than if you just have narrow focus on only one thing. So I mean, they're obviously always benefits and price, but benefits and cons. But I think that you could benefit from looking at other communities and how they interact, okay,
Vinay Koshy 47:10
is there anything else that we need to be aware of when it comes to advertising and, and building out online communities that we haven't quite touched upon?
Naira Perez 47:21
The only thing that I was saying that I want to stress is the fact that when you are advertising, you are making a promise, you are giving a sense of what to expect next. So make sure you deliver on that promise, if you are wanting to build that community, make sure that whenever you have an ad is as true to what they're going to find in your community as possible. So I had, you know, I ran across a company one time that had a very successful post, and it was about digital marketing. The only problem is that they were not a digital marketing agency, they made heaters. So you know, yes, that pose was amazing. And a lot of people like that, however, they weren't, it's not good for you, because they were interested in the digital marketing behind that, not in the heating capabilities of your product or anything of related to your brand. So that's that's where sometimes we get caught up in those KPIs and how good they are losing focus of our content.
Vinay Koshy 48:36
Great point there. Naira, this has been great. But if you were listening to this episode, what would you say is your top takeaway?
Naira Perez 48:46
My top takeaway is that, community management, takes planning. That's what a lot of people do not see. It looks easy. It sounds easy, but it takes a lot of planning. And the more planning you do, the more successful your community will be.
Vinay Koshy 49:06
Definitely excellent. Naira, if listeners are curious and wanting to know more, where would you recommend they had to?
Naira Perez 49:15
They should head to our website is Springhilldigital.com. That's Springhilldigital.com. And from there, actually, we have articles that we post. All these knowledge can be found there. We like to educate people, a client that is educated is a Smart Client, and he makes our job so much more better. So and then from there, you can find us also in social media channels. So but the hub is our website, Springhilldigital.com.
Vinay Koshy 49:49
And if they wanted to connect with you, would LinkedIn be the place to go to?
Naira Perez 49:53
They can go to LinkedIn and also they can send us an email through our website, they can there's a contact form and those forms go to me. So you will find me there.
Vinay Koshy 50:04
Excellent. Naira, thanks so much for doing this.
Naira Perez 50:07
Absolutely. Thank you. It was great, great questions.
Vinay Koshy 50:10
No worries. If you enjoyed this episode of The predictable b2b success podcast, I would love your support, head on over to the Apple podcasts app and give us a rating. And as always, you can catch every episode of The predictable b2b success podcast on Apple podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for tuning in.
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Related links and resources
- Check out Springhill Digital
- Listen to my interview with Rob Balasabas – How to Monetize Your YouTube Channel and Build a Community
- Get more inspiration from Jono Bacon – How to Build an Online Community: Best Practices
- Learn from Adam Sands – How to Use a B2B Facebook Marketing Strategy That Dramatically Improves Your ROI
- Listen in to my interview with Pamela Wagner – How to Advertise Your Business Easily at Scale to Drive Business Growth
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