What’s Trending in Social: Inside Scoop with PR Pro Lisa Buyer
PR pro Lisa Buyer always has the scoop when it comes what’s trending in social media, SEO and digital marketing. Buyer, the CEO and founder of The Buyer Group and author of “Social PR Secrets,” likes to stay ten steps ahead and get in front of the next big thing — whatever it is.
- The Mindful Business Movement
- Her new book “Space”
- Advice for businesses just starting out with social media
- The importance of paid social
- Social media for mobile
Kristi Kellogg: You just got back from Wisdom 2.0 conference in New York and you were doing research for you latest book, “Space.” What did you learn there?
Lisa Buyer: When I was writing my book “Social PR Secrets,” I hired a business coach and he advised me to block out space and time each day before I did any of my writing to go to yoga, and then take three hours right after and write my book and then go on with my day. I thought this would make it take forever, but it actually ended up being the most productive advice ever and I finished the book within 30 days.
That got me thinking about the brain and how to calm it down and how that really helps you get creative and improves your productivity and thought processes. That made me think there must be something more to this. We’re in a social media crazy world and there’s a movement going on called the Mindful Movement in Businesses. It’s prevalent in high tech and startups.
It used to be it’s great to be a multi-tasker but now that’s not great and it’s better to take time and recharge and restore to really be the best you can be as a company leader and lead by example, so that’s why I was inspired to go to Wisdom 2.0 to do research for the book that I’m working on now: “Space.” It’s going to be a general business book and will apply to any type of professional.
KK: One of the things you really focused on in “Social PR Secrets” and that you’ll be talking about at Pubcon is social media. How has the seismic shift to mobile impacted social media marketing?
LB: From a public relations standpoint and getting social media to get publicity, we have to just realize that everything is in the palm or your hand, whether it’s your tablet, iPhone or other mobile device, and you really have to be thinking about that – be short, quick, visual, and get to your point as quickly as possible. Optimize and hopefully lead them to longer form content on your website or blog with a signal to purchase right there. Make it as easy as possible.
KK: What do need to focus on in the paid social media space right now?
LB: Traditionally in public relations, you want everything to be organic. But the reality is you need to use paid (social media) to really amplify and reach your targeted audience, and if you do it right, the beauty and synergy of using paid, organic and social can be very effective from a public relations standpoint.
But a lot of brands just try to do it by trial-and-error and get super frustrated and don’t get results. But in order to get the best return on your investment and not spend needless money, you need to stay educated and keep up with the best practices because things are moving so fast and changing so fast.
KK: Speaking of education, you teach a course on social media management at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism. What are some of the most common social media knowledge gaps among these tech-savvy millennials?
LB: Of course they’re super proficient when it comes to social media from a personal standpoint, but it’s a whole new world to them when it comes to social media for business. Even though they’re using social – it’s the old joke of hiring an intern to do your social media. It could be a good thing, but they need to have had background in using social media from a business standpoint so they’re not learning as they go.
Even though they’re familiar with all the channels and using Instagram every day and Snapchat, it’s a completely different mindset on using it for business vs. personal. Even though the millennials grew up on social for the most part, social from a business standpoint is something they still have a lot to learn about – and so do we!
KK: Let’s say you’re a business with no social media presence — how would you recommend getting started?
LB: I’m imagining a startup or personal brand or entrepreneur or a company that’s maybe just a little behind. The first thing I would do is see where your audience is – where are your prospects? Which social networks are they actually on? Focus there first. A common mistake that brand makes is spreading their efforts across evenly on every social network and really you should just focus on one. If Facebook is where your audience is, focus on just Facebook and really master that and then move on.
The next thing I would do is see where your competition is and look where the media and journalists that are covering your space – where are they? Start following them and interacting with them on social media.
KK: How do you gauge the value of a new platform, like Blab.im or something else that hasn’t really been tested?
LB: It’s worthwhile to definitely explore some of these new platforms that come out – I just did an interview right before ours on Blab and you know it’s in beta and it’s just starting out and it’s definitely worth testing. Should you put all your eggs in one basket? Should you stop what you’re doing and switch gears? I wouldn’t recommend that. It depends on your resources. If you can test things out right away and be an early adopter of something when it comes out, you won’t be playing catch up later if you realize it’s a good match for your audience.
KK: Other than Blab and mobile, what else would you say is trending in the world of social and digital?
LB: You can’t help but notice the huge explosion of Periscope and Meerkat, which fall in line with Blab. Livestreaming video and being able to interview someone from your mobile device is another huge example of mobile and social being used together. Personally, out of the two I like Periscope right now, but for brands to be able to have that ability to use livestreaming video whether it’s doing a behind-the-scenes interview and then uploading it to YouTube and have that video content which is the content that is working so well right now on social and mobile it’s huge. If you can find a way to integrate video into your social and PR strategy that makes sense, it could be a home run.
KK: What are you top tips for staying on top of reputation management?
LB: Reputation management is so important for so many different aspects. From a public relations aspect, if you’re a startup or new company, it’s so important to start early and be proactive when it comes to reputation management. Get those easy wins in the search results right away – get positive media coverage. Because then, when something negative happens, you’re at least a little bit secure and prepared and it’s not just this obvious negativity.
The other thing I would recommend goes back to mindfulness for business. We’re working 24/7 in social media – and the more you’re on it and the more you don’t take breaks, the more apt you are to making mistakes. A lot of these social media mishaps caused big huge reputation management PR problems because somebody posted something on behalf of the brand instead of a personal account. A lot of these situations start with mistakes, and mistakes are usually made when people are overworked or trying to do too many things at once.
KK: For someone who’s an employee or working in-house and can’t necessarily break away for yoga every morning, what tips would you give to them to manage their time better and be mindful?
LB: You don’t have to do yoga to be mindful! It could be as easy as stepping away for five minutes and actually taking a lunch and not sitting at your desk and eating while reading emails, etc. Get up and get out and take a pause – that was one of the biggest takeaways I got from the Wisdom 2.0 Conference. Refresh, restore and come back and be more productive and happier.
KK: Pubcon is one of the most anticipated digital marketing conferences of the year, with more than 180 industry leaders sharing their insights. What are you most looking forward to at Pubcon?
LB: As an attendee, I think it’s great networking. I always meet the most interesting professionals from the tech and digital world. I also continue my own education. I go to sessions on search marketing and other sessions that complement what I do from a social media and PR standpoint. I think it’s a combination of the people, the content and the network we can do – and, of course, it’s Las Vegas.
KK: Who are some of your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
For mindful business:
For social PR and marketing:
Great insights from Lisa Buyer! Catch Lisa speaking at Pubcon on Oct. 7 at 11:45 alongside Marty Weintraub and Murray Newlands in “Mobile and Social PR Secrets.” A 10% off ticket is yours with discount code ex-6104410.