Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane Sanfilippo

Build a Badass Business Podcast #28:How much time should you spend on social media? (Recorded live from Periscope!)

Build a Badass Business Podcast | Diane SanfilippoBack with another episode recorded LIVE from Periscope! The audio isn’t amazing on this, but I promise it’ll improve with future live from the ‘Scope recordings. We didn’t have any furniture in the house on this day, so it was echoing in the room! Plus, I’ve got a new mic I’ll be trying out.

In any event, enjoy this Q&A episode all about how much time to spend on social media in the early stages (or any stage, really) of your business!

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Build a Badass Business: Episode # 28: How much time should you spend on social media? (Recorded live from Periscope!)

Coming to you from the city by the bay, this is Build a Badass Business with Diane Sanfilippo. Diane is a New York Times bestselling author and serial entrepreneur. She’s here to teach you how to grow and develop a successful business you love, and how to create raving fans along the way. Here she is, your host: Diane Sanfilippo.

Diane Sanfilippo: So here we go; I’m going to read this question, and then I’ll jump into my answer, and then I’ll take comments and questions from you guys after that, because obviously for the podcast purposes, I’ll keep the audio pretty clean while I’m just kind of ranting and riffing. But I’m happy to see your comments and questions as we go along, because we will include some of those on the show. So that’s a great way for you to get your answer, and then be able to play it back later if you want to remember what it was we talked about. Thanks for being here you guys.

Alright, so Mira asks, “When you were in the building phase of your business, you obviously spent some time on social media. But how much time did you spend on Facebook or whatever? How much time would you recommend people spend on social media in the developmental stages, and what should the primary purpose be while spending time on social media? Should it be solely for research and/or connecting with a specific audience?”

I think this is a really great question, and actually Mira originally posted this to me in a message, and she also is a part of the Build a Badass Business group over on Facebook, so I highly recommend that you guys jump into the group. But I want to tell you about social media is this; I think, unfortunately, just like nutrition, diet, and exercise, there’s no one size fits all approach to social media. I think for some people, social media is overwhelming and overstimulating, and they don’t love it. And for some people, it’s invigorating, and exciting, and a fun place to be. So in order to best buffer yourself for what’s going to work for you, you have to find the balance that feels right.

I spend a lot of time on social media. I’m a pretty social person, I enjoy the feedback that I get from social media. I think one of the best advantages you can have in creating your business, and creating a product that you’re going to sell or a service that you’re going to sell or promote or offer is that you have a direct line of feedback between yourself and your customer. And that’s something that we’ve never had before. With this whole idea of social media, it’s a direct connection.

So in the past, if you had a problem, or question, or concern with a company that you were dealing with, you would have to call their 800-number or send them a letter, and now we have this very outward public forum to express our either pleasure or displeasure with a product or a service. So I think that’s a great benefit for those of us who are just starting a company or starting a business. Mira is asking in the developmental stages what I would recommend.

I actually think in the developmental stages; this is something I talked about, I believe it was episode number 9, called Listen, Labor, Launch, and this is part of the listen phase of developing any kind of product or service that you’re going to sell. That is, you have to pay attention to what’s going on in the market place, not only looking at what’s just happening at large, but if you do put something out, so that could be something as simple as a picture on Facebook or a post on Facebook, a picture you post on Instagram, a blog post. The listen stage, after you’ve launched it; so you just publish it and you put it live, you come back to listening and all that means is you see what the response is.

For me, that’s one of the most powerful parts of social media, is that immediate instant gratification of a response. Do people like this photo right away? Is it getting shared? A share is the absolute number one thing that you’re going for. When it comes to Instagram, it’s a really tough one because not a lot of people spend time regramming photos. Mostly companies that see their product being used will regram it. Like, I’ll regram a picture of somebody who is making my recipe. I’ll see food companies, like Kasandrinos, will regram pictures of people using his olive oil. That’s a really great example.

But on Facebook, and I’ll tell you this as somebody who, for those of you who are listening to this broadcast and you’re a user on Facebook, meaning maybe you don’t have a business yet, but you’re kind of consuming content there. You’re getting recipes, you’re kind of sharing what’s going on. Sharing somebody’s post is really the highest level of respect you can pay to a post that they share. And obviously, you don’t want to share something that you don’t think is worthy to your friends and whoever is on your page, but if you like a recipe, if you like a blog post that somebody is posting, then share it with people. That’s really how we can find out, as business owners, also, what do people respond to the most, what do they feel is the most valuable. That they say, you know what, this is so good I want to tell other people about it.

So you’ll see me sharing over on the Build a Badass Business Facebook group, you’ll see me sharing posts maybe from Gary Vaynerchuk, maybe Chalene Johnson; those are people I love to follow. I love Amy Porterfield’s podcast; these are people that I listen to and somewhat learn from and somewhat just kind of absorb what they’re talking about.

Because for me as an entrepreneur who is actually coming into this arena of, sort of going backwards and talking and teaching about marketing in a different way than I did for a long time. I was working in small business marketing for a long time as a graphic designer and art director and sort of a client manager. So I was doing that on a different type of scale with a different type of audience with a lot of small business owners, and looking at the way they were branding themselves and putting themselves out there.

But now I’m circling back to you guys and helping you get yourself out of your own way and out of that fear place to where you can put whatever this solution that you have is out into the world and solve problems for people. Social media has created an environment where we now have this access to our customers like we’ve never had before. So I honestly think, as much time that you can spend there that keeps you sane, and happy, and feeling like it’s not consuming you and taking over your life, and as much as you can multipurpose content that you have.

That’s exactly what I’m doing today; it’s exactly what a lot of other sort of top entrepreneurs or top marketers or business people that you’re seeing out there. I know Chalene has talked about this on her podcast and her Periscope channel, and we’ve done this for a long time with different types of content. But I’m recording this in more than one way, and going to use this. It’s a live Periscope video now, and for those of you who are listening to it as a podcast recording, recognize that there is no less value in the information simply because I’ve shared it in more than one place.

So you can take information that you have on a blog post, and maybe you didn’t have a shareable graphic for it, because maybe you wrote that post before Instagram existed. So maybe you didn’t have a square sharable graphic. So you can create one or have a designer create one and reshare that. Maybe you wrote it two or three years ago; go ahead and reshare that. This is something that I’ve definitely done a bunch with Practical Paleo and a bunch, with Practical Paleo and different information from books. When Practical Paleo came out, Instagram didn’t even exist. So it was a totally different environment in terms of social media.

So how much time you should spend on it in the developmental stages, I honestly think as much as you can handle because I think that it’s worth you getting in there and not only doing the research, seeing what people are talking about, seeing what is helping to solve problems for people. If you notice that; let’s just say you’re a recipe developer, you’re a blogger, you’re an author, and you’re posting recipes all the time that use nut flours. And you see people consistently commenting, the first comment that comes back, or in the first 5 or 10 comments that come back, somebody says, can I make this with a different flour. I’m allergic to nuts, what can I do? And you don’t take that as feedback to continually develop recipes that either doesn’t include nuts or you give alternatives for, then you’re wasting your time on social media.

This is something that you need to listen to. You need to pay attention, because the people who are interacting with these posts are the people who are your customers. So instead of being like, ok I didn’t like this comment or question, or they didn’t like what I put out and so they had another question about it or asked to do it a different way. Instead of feeling defensive, it’s your opportunity to learn and to listen to what people are asking for.

I think that research can be extremely powerful. And of course, connection. I do think, I’m going to say this on every single podcast, Periscope, whatever, every single talk I do; connecting live in person with people in your community and beyond your own community. As far as you can go to travel within your means, within what’s reasonable for you, to reach people in person face to face in a room; that is what I want you to do to connect. But, if you don’t have that, Periscope is a great option; podcasts a great option. Obviously blog posts are a great option. Any other social media; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, great options.

I actually think Twitter is one that, we’re getting a resurgence because of Periscope, but it’s one that I used a ton at the very beginning to answer questions for people that were hashtagged with the word paleo. Where now that hashtag is overflooded, I think, but if you can find a hashtag and become a resource and answer questions for people, Twitter is great because it’s almost like texting somebody who isn’t in your phone as a contact. So you get to send a really quick message to somebody. If they’re responding live, in real time, then that’s your opportunity to continue that conversation back and forth.

I know, for example, Robb Wolf is extremely active on Twitter; so people who send him messages there, he is very apt to have a conversation there. And he is one of the sort of leaders of the paleo community in terms of authors, bloggers, speakers, etc. So just a really good example there.

So that’s it; that’s my general take. I definitely think that spending as much time as you can that feels ok for you, and if it’s taking over your life, if you’re family is like; you never put that phone down! Or, you know, your significant other or your kids are feeling like you’re not spending enough time with them, or you feel like you just haven’t gotten outside or been in nature, or spent time doing something else, then put the phone or computer down and step away from it.

I do think there is a place; I spoke about this earlier today, so if you follow my Periscope videos, you can also catch the replay on But I talked about it this morning; that you could use social media as sort of a treat or a reward. So let’s say you’re focusing on writing a blog post, or you’re creating a program, or working on a product or service. Time on social media might be your reward. So for me, today, we recorded a podcast. We recorded this weeks’ episode of the Balanced Bites podcast just before this, and for me, this Periscope video is kind of a reward. I get to come just do a Periscope video; actually, I’m going to repurpose this as a podcast. But for me, I have little work things that are actually a reward because they maybe weren’t on my schedule today, but I’m going to do them anyway, because I just want to, because I love it, and I think it’s fun.

So there you go, those are my tips for how much time you should spend on social media. I would love to hear from you; comments or questions. You guys are super quiet on the Periscope while I’m chatting, but I think a lot of you know that while I’m talking and doing the whole thing for the podcast that I do stay focused and focus on what I’m talking about.

Do you schedule posts or do you use apps that deliver to multiple social media sites at once? I personally on my own accounts, everything I do is live currently. I can’t say that I think that’s 100% the best way to go, but that’s what I do. That’s my honest response. What we do over on the 21-Day Sugar Detox social media; I do have a social media manager for that. April is her name; it’s not a secret. Everybody knows that April is posting over there. She’s extremely, extremely well versed expert on the program, has been on my team for a number of years, and she schedules posts on Facebook, but we don’t use a manager like HootSuite or one of those. We don’t use one of those right now. I think we will going forward, but we’re not so overwhelmed with it that it needs to be automated.

And I think there’s something to automation for sure, but I also think that paying attention to what’s going on and what the conversation is. So for example, yesterday or the day before, I made a post to my Facebook page letting people know that an upcoming episode of the Balanced Bites podcast would be about fermented cod liver oil and the current swirling of debate that’s going on in the real food community about fermented cod liver oil. Well, you know, if I had only operated on scheduled posts and I didn’t take time to add something in there that’s a little more timely, then the content on my page wouldn’t be quite as fresh and it wouldn’t get the same kind of feedback. I think it just depends.

If you want to schedule it, that’s fine. I think if you don’t have a team, especially, and it’s something that you’re doing, and you dedicate a couple of hours a week to scheduling content posts through social media, but Instagram is not one that you can schedule. Instagram is one, though, that you can send also to Facebook and Twitter. So if you’re going to post on Instagram, you can have that post other places, as well. But I don’t schedule social media at this point.

Thank you! What percentage of posts should we be promoting versus what you’re selling just everyday stuff? Well Billy, that’s a good question. This is something that Gary Vaynerchuk talks about a ton. His book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, he made a comment recently that he wishes he could have called it Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, because for him, the Jabs are kind of the gives, and the Right Hook is the ask.

Again, a lot of what I’m seeing with other marketers or business people or entrepreneurs talking about business and putting a language to what they’re doing, it’s something that innately I realized that I had been doing for a long time, so I was probably jabbing for a year before I had a right hook. {laughs} So what I mean by that is, I was probably blogging for at least a year before I had anything to sell. And I don’t even know what I was thinking. I don’t think I was thinking that a blog was going to be a business for me. Maybe that was a naïve way to start, but I think it was actually a better way to start, because if you go into something just thinking it has to be a business, then you might slow down or you might not have the gusto with it that you would if you’re just super passionate and you’re like, I want to do this because I’m really passionate about it. And that’s kind of the way I go into anything. I do it because I’m really passionate about it, and if I’m not really passionate about it, I just don’t do it.

So people ask me all the time; are you working on another new book; something different, what are you doing? I’m like, if I don’t have it in me, this huge fire that’s lit, I’m not going to do it just for the sake of doing it. So I do think that you need to give a lot more than you think before you ask for something from people. I don’t think it has to be in a consecutive; 3 posts on Instagram are you giving content, one is you asking. I don’t think it has to be so formulaic, but I do think you need to feel, overall, in general, are you providing value to the people who are visiting your social media pages, accounts, or sites. Are you providing value?

And for me, sometimes the value, I’m asking, I’m telling people, hey, you can get Practical Paleo at Costco. Yeah, that’s a right hook, because I am saying, hey you can buy this book. But I’m actually, it’s kind of a combined jab and a right hook, because you are, I’m also letting you know that there’s a great place to get this book at a discount, and a lot of people have no idea that it’s even there. It’s kind of a combination there, but truthfully, any time you’re putting something out there where it’s like, something that people can buy or spend their money on, or spend their time on, even, if you have a free webinar and people can come sit, and you’re asking them to come join you, then that really is an ask, and it’s a right hook, and it’s something that you need to make sure you’re balancing out.

There isn’t one perfect formula; I would just make sure when you’re looking at everything that you post, that it’s not too asky. That it’s a lot of giving, and not too much asking.

Hey guys, I’m so glad you’re loving the show. Let me ask you to do me a favor; come follow me on Periscope. You can find me; I believe you can search Diane Sanfilippo, or you can search @BalancedBites, which is my Twitter handle, which is the account name over on Periscope. I am going to start doing live sessions, really quick thoughts for the day. I’m not sure if it I will be every day, but it will be pretty often, and some Q&A on business topics and motivation, inspiration, etc. So make sure you’re following me over on Periscope. Download the app in the app store, and I will see you there.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys today. Don’t forget to subscribe in iTunes so you don’t miss an episode. And drop me a review to let me know what’s speaking to you from the show. If you want to get in on the conversation and you haven’t yet joined the group already on Facebook, head on over there and join the Build a Badass Business group. I share insights and tips regularly, as well as answer your questions right there on the page. Do work that you love, and hustle to make your business grow like your life depends on it, because it does. Thanks for listening, and I’ll catch you on the next episode.

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