Social Media Business Hour

Social Media Business Hour | Episode 132 featuring Jason Falls

micNile Nickel & Jordan SalamonetodayApril 18, 2016 2

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    Social Media Business Hour | Episode 132 featuring Jason Falls Nile Nickel & Jordan Salamone

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Largo, Florida – April 4, 2016- In this show Nile Nickel talks with Jason Falls the award-winning social media strategist and widely read industry pundit, Jason is known as a top influencer in the social technology and marketing space by Forbes, Entrepreneur, Advertising Age and others. His strategies and ideas have touched iconic brands like General Motors, AT&T, Makers Mark, Humana and CafePress, among others.

Jason leads strategy for Elasticity, an innovative agency that blends public relations, social media, mobile and SEO to help brands adjust and excel in an ever-changing marketing landscape.

He is the co-author of two books: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing (Que 2011), and The Rebels Guide To Email Marketing (Que 2012). Falls is also noted for founding, one of the industry’s most widely read blogs.

143_Jason Falls

Jason is the co-author of two books: No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing (Que 2011), and The Rebels Guide To Email Marketing (Que 2012). Falls is also noted for founding, one of the industry’s most widely read blogs.


No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing


The In-Your-Face, Results-Focused, No-“Kumbaya” Guide to Social Media for Business!


  • Detailed techniques for increasing sales, profits, market share, and efficiency
  • Specific solutions for brand-building, customer service, R&D, and reputation management
  • Facts, statistics, real-world case studies, and rock-solid metrics

Stop hiding from social media–or treating it as if it’s a playground. Start using it strategically. Identify specific, actionable goals. Apply business discipline and proven best practices. Stop fearing risks. Start mitigating them. Measure performance. Get results. You can. This book shows you how.

Jason Falls and Erik Deckers serve up practical social media techniques and metrics for building brands, strengthening awareness, improving service, optimizing R&D, driving better leads–and closing more sales.

“Conversations” and “communities” are wonderful, but they’re not enough. Get this book and get what you really want from social media: profits.

Think social media’s a passing fad? Too risky? Just a toy? Too soft and fuzzy? Not for your business? Wake up! It’s where your customers are. And it ain’t going away. Does that suck? No. It doesn’t. Do social media right, and all those great business buzzwords come true. Actionable. Measurable.And…wait for it…here comes the big one. Profitable. Damn profitable.

Want to know how to do it right? We’ll show you. And, yeah, we know how because we’ve done it. This is the bullshit-free, lie-free, fluff-free, blessedly non-New-Age real deal. You’re going to learn how to use social media to deliver absolutely killer customer service. How to R&D stuff people actually want. Develop scads of seriously qualified leads. You’ll figure out what you want. You know, the little things like profits, market share, loyalty, and brand power. You’ll figure out how to measure it. And then you’ll go get it.

One more thing. We know what scares you about social media. Screwing up (a.k.a., your mug on the front page of The Wall Street Journal). So we’ll tell you what to do so that won’t happen. Ever. No B.S. in this book. Just facts. Metrics. Best practices. Stuff to warm the hearts of your CFO, CEO, all your C-whatevers. And, yeah, you. So get your head out from under the pillow. Get your butt in gear. Let’s go make some money.


The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win


A No-Nonsense, Take-No-Prisoners Plan for Earning Positive Return on Your Email Marketing!

“They” say email is dead. Baloney! 94% of Americans use email. Passionate social networkers use email more, not less. Mobile email is huge. Email offers marketers more opportunities than ever…opportunities to guide customers from consideration and trial to repeat purchase, loyalty, even advocacy! But email has changed. Email users have changed. To get breakthrough results, you must break the rules! Whether you’re B2B or B2C, Fortune 500 or startup, this is a complete no-nonsense plan for transforming your email marketing. Discover radically better ways to handle every facet of your campaign: lists, From names, Subject lines, calls to action, social network integration…everything!

Learn how to

  • Discover which email marketing “rules” are obsolete–and when to break the rest
  • Optimize every component of your message and campaign
  • Drive list growth that translates directly into the top line
  • Encourage opt-in by systematically simplifying signup
  • Bring real humor and creativity back into your email
  • Write a great main call to action–and great secondary and tertiary calls, too
  • Take full advantage of tools ranging from QR codes to texting to grow your email list
  • Make better technical decisions about prechecked opt-in boxes and other attributes
  • Know when to deliberately introduce “imperfections” into your emails
  • Use email marketing and social media to power each other
  • Prepare for the short- and long-term futures of email marketing


Email Address:

Twitter Handle: @JasonFalls

Facebook Profile:

LinkedIn Profile:


Show Transcript:

Segment 1 [Weird Ass News – No Transcript Available]

Segment 2:

Nile:    Hey, I’d like to welcome you to the social media business hour tonight. We’ve got Jason Falls on. You heard a tease upfront so you’re going to learn some great things about social listening and I’m sort of fascinated to hear that topic myself. And Jason, by the way, is a leading digital strategist, author, speaker and thinker in the digital and social media marketing industry. His strategies and ideas have touched iconic brands probably you’ve never heard of like General Motors, AT&T, my personal favorite Makers Mark, Humanic, FA Press and many others.

Jason:  Everyone likes that one.

Nile:    Yeah, it’s — that’s always a good one to warm us up in these cold winter times.

Jason:  Exactly.

Nile:    Well, you know, one of the things that you talk about and you’ve got a sort of a really innovative agency. Elasticity, correct?

Jason:  That’s right. Elasticity. We’re about, you know, we’re a boutique agency. We’ve got about 30, 35 people headquartered in Saint Louis. It was founded by three former Omnicom executives and I actually was — when I was the vice president for digital strategy at Café Press a few years ago I brought Elasticity to Café Press to be our sort of marketing, digital marketing and PR firm. And, you know, just absolutely loved them so much that — I mean, there was a little bit of an executive change over at Café Press and I was sort of looking for a different opportunity. I just kind of gave them a call and said hey, is — would it be possible for us to work together? And it sort of worked out. So, I’ve been there a little over a year. I run a Louisville office and we continued to grow and create content strategies and stuff for clients that we just have a lot of fun doing it.

Nile:    I was going to say the size of it sounds like you are. I mean, that doesn’t sound so boutique anymore.

Jason:  Well, I mean, I guess, you know, I guess it’s all relative. I mean, when I think of a boutique agency I think of anything under 50 people. You know, once you get over 50 you’re starting to get pretty big and layered but we’re small enough as an agency that we are still very flat and by that I mean there’s not a great hierarchy. We bring the right subject matter experts to the table for each client so it’s not just an account executive who is the liaison between the client and everybody else in the agency. When we have a client call or a meeting, you know, the media planning and buying, you know, person on that particular account is at the table, the creative director’s at the table, the account executive’s at the table, the strategist is at the table, the guy doing the SEO and pay per click stuff, the guy doing the community management or the gal doing community management is sitting there as well. So, we have a very flat organization which makes for a great collaborative environment.

Nile:    Sounds like it does and I know that you guys have won a number of awards. You personally have as well. You’re widely read in the industry. Considered a pundit. You’re also noted as the top — go ahead.

Jason:  I was just going to say it’s great that I’m considered a pundit because I don’t know how to spell it but that’s okay.

Nile:    You know, to me that always sounds like the guy on the football team that, you know, kicks the football. But that’s just me.

Jason:  Exactly.

Nile:    That’s just me. Well, and you also coauthored two books. I like your first book title. You probably listen to the show and you know that we have a segment in part of the social media business hour. It’s called weird ass news. So, you’ve got the no bullshit social media the all business no hype guide to social media marketing. And then you’ve got the rebel’s guide to email marketing. So, I like both of those titles. I think it says a lot about you.

Jason:  It does. I’ve got a little bit of a non-conformist personality. I typically — I’m the guy in — that you sat next to in class growing up who always had a problem with authority and was probably continually sent to the principal’s office. That’s kind of me and it’s not necessarily that I’m, you know, that I _____04:16 at rules and all that. But I just have a disruptive personality which, you know, in the marketing world these days is what you’re looking for. You’re looking for people who can — especially with content marketing online you’re looking at people who can help you disrupt, you know, the status quo of way too much signal or way too much noise and not enough signal. And so disruption is something that, you know, we pride ourselves on at Elasticity creating ideas that make people perk up and take notice and so, you know, no bullshit social media was where I first pitched the idea for the book to Pierson and Q, my publisher. I said if you won’t use the title I’m not going to write this book for you because the title is absolutely the essence of the book. It has to be the title. And they came back and said if Barnes and Noble likes it, we like it. And Barnes and Noble was like thumbs up man. We’ll put that on the in cap. Those are great — that’s a great title. So, it worked out really well.

Nile:    That is absolutely super. And, you know, I’ve never heard that I’m a rebel or a non-conformist ever. Well, at least in the last five minutes so — listen, I know where you’re coming from and I appreciate that. Well, you know, one of the things that you talked about — you talked about this in the tease before we got started. You’ve even mentioned it here. As we’ve just got — we’ve allowed people to get to know you a bit. You mentioned social listening and, you know, I’m going to understand that concept. I talk to people a lot about engagement with their audience and I’m curious how engagement and social listening relate to each other.

Jason:  Well, they’re certainly intertwined but I think to define social listening let’s first define social monitoring because there’s a difference. In, you know, in 2007, 2008 as companies started to really look at social marketing as a viable avenue to reach consumers lots of software vendors started to pop up to try to make sense of this social media mess out there for brands and one of the popular sort of verticals of software that popped up was social media monitoring software. And so if you’ve heard of brands like [?] and Radiant Six and, you know, some of those types of software. There’s even a free one out there called where you type in a keyword or a phrase and just like Google these softwares go out to all the social networks and blogs and even beyond that. Forums and message boards. And find mentions of that particular keyword, term or phrase and sort of quantify it for you. How many people are talking about it, what are they saying, is it positive, is it negative? Etcetera, etcetera. So, social media monitoring in my mind or kind of the definition of it is just that monitoring. Watching what’s going on on the social web so that you can quantify the conversation about you. Social listening takes that concept one step further where you’re not just quantifying, you’re not just measuring but you’re actually doing something with the data. You’re doing something with the information. You are extrapolating insights. So, you might be doing what many brands do with social listening which is social customer service. They find people complaining about a product or service. They reach out proactively and try to — or actually it’s reactively because they wait for someone to say something negative. They react to that and reach out and try to conduct a little customer service on social media but there’s so much more there and real, true social listening is when you say I’m going to monitor the conversation. Not necessarily about my company but about the whole category. The whole category of the industry I’m in and I’m going to look for what people are saying about the types of products they like. The types they dislike. So, you’re trying to get consumer insights out of the social conversation just like you would try to get them out of consumers through a focus group or a survey. The data here is unstructured, there’s a lot more of it and it’s a lot harder to sift through but if you are practicing social listening very well you can actually get the same type of insights for your product, for your consumer experience or even for your content marketing out of just the conversations that are happening every day on the web.

Nile:    You know, I want to do something that, you know, when I was in marriage counseling way back when the therapist told me it was a good thing to do. So, I’m going to parrot back what you’ve said based on my perspective and what I heard and I’d like to get your comments on it because I think it might help the listeners as well. What I heard you talk about was social monitoring is sort of the analytics and the keyword analysis to find out what people are talking about on the social platform. Whatever that might be. Social listening is where you start listening for specific keywords, specific topics that you want to engage with if you will. And then we talk just a tiny bit about engagement. I’m going to put engagement on top of this. Engagement is where now you start engaging in some sort of conversation based on the listening that you did as discovered by the monitoring that you — that lead you there. Is that fair?

Jason:  That’s — yeah. that’s absolutely fair. That’s right in there. What I would say about — to extend the conversation into engagement is when you’re doing a really good job at social listening you are understanding more about your audience and what it is that they are looking for not just in your product or your service but in the experience they have with companies like yours and the types of content that companies like yours can provide to intrigue them. And I’ll give you a quick example. Vespa, the really fancy scooters that you can buy. You know, it’s kind of like, you know, today’s version of the Moped only they’re really nice and, you know, well designed. So, Vespa had this, you know, standard blog on their website where they blogged all about scooters and driving scooters and what driving a Vespa was like. And they started looking at — they actually started the practice of social listening to say okay. We want to find out what our customers — and we want to try to identify our customers online, on social networks and we want to listen to what they talk about besides scooters. We want to know what else intrigues them so that we can understand them more. And what they found when they did that was that Vespa customers, when they are talking online about anything and everything have a much higher tendency — they index higher than the normal, average person talking online in the categories of art and fashion and design and, you know, sort of that sort of genre of the world. So, you’ve got a higher cultured consumer that is a Vespa customer compared to customers of other scooter companies or just the general web. Well, that insight lead them to say you know what? We need to change our blog and stop talking about — yeah, yeah.

Nile:    We’re going to carry what they learned and what they did about it over into the next segment. Does that sound fair?

Jason:  Okay. That sounds great. We’ll talk about what they learned in a second.

Nile:    Yeah. so, make sure you join us. Nile Nickel and Jason Falls on social media business hour in our next segment.

Segment 3

Hey, welcome back and if you listened to the first segment, man, we’re into some fascinating conversations. This is Nile Nickel with the social media business hour. You hear me all the time but we’ve got Jason Falls, just a fascinating gentleman and as we talked about in the first segment a pundit. You could go back and listen to that conversation. But in our first segment we got into social listening and you started to describe — and they’ll have to go back to figure out what we’re talking about, social listening, into that first segment. But we were talking about Vespa and Vespa had done some listening and that listening allowed them to gain insights into other interests, you know, basically the what else their consumers were interested in and then you were given an example of what they did with that.

Jason:  Right. And I got so excited about telling the story I forgot we needed to break for a segment so I apologize. But so they discovered obviously that the Vespa customer was a — has a higher tendency to talk about art and fashion and design. So, what they decided to do with that information was they said we’re going to stop just writing about scooters and transportation and getting around and whatnot on our blog and we’re going to turn our blog into an online magazine and again, the mechanism doesn’t change. It’s still a blog. But they changed the name of it from blog to magazine because again, they’re going after a higher brow consumer, someone who’s much more into design, fashion, art, etcetera. And they changed the content to be really focused on art, interior design, fashion, so on and so forth. And so what they did was they changed their content on their website. They started calling it a magazine instead of a blog and that attracted more people like their customers to come to Vespa, to read articles, to share content, so on and so forth. Over the course of — I think it was a three-month period. They measured 50000 I think it was new, unique visitors to their website. And from those 50000 new visitors they were able to gain — I think it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1400 new leads of people who wanted to buy Vespas. Because again they were creating the type of content that a person who might want to buy a Vespa wanted to consume. So, it was listening to the conversation to try and gain insights about their customers that they could then turn into something actionable which would drive more customers, more leads and more transactions. So, that’s the type of thing you can do if you’re doing social listening well.

Nile:    Now, what I took away from that because I’m an analytical guy is I was looking — and I said well that’s about 2.8 percent conversion from followers to leads. That’s huge.

Jason:  It’s — it is. It’s fantastic. And when you talk to people in the digital marketing space about conversion, you know, click through rates, things of that nature you have to remember the average pay per click advertisement — just average is a .2 percent click through rate, right. That’s basically one in 10000 visitors to a search page is going to click on that pay per click ad. And that’s kind of the standard that you work from when you’re trying to look at how efficient you are in digital conversions. When you’re talking two, three, four percent — and there’s some digital marketing case studies I’ve seen where you get 30 and 40 percent click through rates. Those are obviously rare and crazy, insatiable things. But when you’re talking two, three, four percent you’re talking significant jump in visits —


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