3 Things You Must Know August 2017

Welcome to episode 360 of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris.

All right guys, episode 360, first episode of August 2017. It’s August 1st today and I’m like, “Dude, where is the year going?” Oh, it’s killing me. But we’ve got some cool, cool stuff to talk about today. I want to talk about three things I want you to know right now when it comes to your online marketing, when it comes to your social media time, all three things are social media related today. We’ve got two Facebook things and a LinkedIn update, which I’m very excited about so let’s jump right in.

Number one, Facebook bots, do you need to be paying attention?

Okay, so real talk, Facebook bots are amazing. I’m absolutely obsessed. I think they’re really, really cool. I think they’re going to be a really powerful way for us to connect in a new way with our community and they’re going to be a really powerful way to serve our community on Facebook in a different way. However, like all new gadgets and gizmos and fun things, there are some people using it in some really screwy ways. There’s some people using it in some really, really awesome ways. I want to make sure you are one of those awesome people using it in a really cool way to connect.

I actually first really dove into bot stuff and how it worked and the structure back in March when I attended a conference that Digital Marketer puts on called Traffic and Conversion. The CEO of the Digital Marketer who’s a guy by the name of Ryan Deiss, for those of you who are not familiar with Digital Marketer, I’m obsessed. Ryan made a really good comment and I really, I run all of my bot related conversations through this filter, which is that bots allow you to automate the start of conversations. Not conversations completely, not sales, but the start of conversations.

The bot is really allowing us to get in front of someone and say, “Hey, can I help you?” “Hey, what can I support you with?” “Hey, where can I direct you?” “Hey, what do you need?” Now automating the need for me to never, ever respond to messages again. I think that’s a really important filter when you’re looking at how are you going to use your bot for good and not for evil. That’s what I really encourage you to think about when you’re setting up your bots. If you want to learn more about bots we’re talking all about bots in The Mic Backstage this month. In fact, just today a brand new training went live with some cool Facebook bot options.

We talk about how to use Facebook bot right inside of Facebook. There are some bot features right in Facebook and I do suggest turning those on, looking at those, setting those up. If for no other reason to say, “Hey, I got your message, I’ll be back soon or someone on our team is going to respond quickly.” You don’t even have to offer them up a resource right there but just saying, “Hey, you’re heard. Hey, we got this, we’ll be right back,” or, “Hey, we only answer messages between such and such and such and such, we’ll get back to you then.” Again, we’re just making sure that these people feel heard. We’re automating the start of a conversation, we’re not automating the conversation.

Those are really low hanging fruit bot stuff to set up that Facebook is actually doing natively and that’s killer. Also in the training we’re talking about some more advanced stuff using the tool I use for my chat bot, which is Many Chat. I love Many Chat, I think it’s fantastic. If you’re looking to get into the bot game I really, really recommend you check out Many Chat because again these guys are doing some really killer stuff with bots. Also, they’re really paying attention to, from a marketing perspective, giving us the features we need to be able to start those conversations and serve our audience the best way possible.

What I really love is I’m able to through Many Chat set up sequences, meaning I can post something like, “Hey. If you want to take advantage of a cool trial backstage go to the messenger bot and type the word trial.” You know what? If you go to My Messenger on Facebook right now and you type the word trial you will get some very cool trial information to check out Hit the Mic Backstage. I can automate that in a way that those people get exactly what they need right away, they don’t have to wait for me. Then I also have those conversations in a dashboard so that I can go in later and say, “Hey, are there any questions I can answer for you?”

One of the rules I wanted to cover before I end this bot conversation and invite you formally to come out the training in Backstage … Okay, so not formally but I want to remind you there’s one there, is this. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, never, pretend your bot is human, your bot is not human. Your bot is not you. Don’t try to trick people into thinking that. That would be like when you call your bank and you get the automated voice and they’re trying to pretend they’re human. No, they’re not. That’s not the purpose of this bot.

We have actually named our bot, our bot has its own personality, her name is Bettie Bot. We named her because I wanted it to be very clear that she is a bot and she introduces herself. If you go check out facebook.com/thestaceyharris you can drop them a message and you will meet Bettie Bot. Bettie Bot will help you get what you need or find a human who can help you, and she actually says that. Again, never ever make your audience try and believe that this bot is a human, that’s not the purpose of this, and Betty says that. “There’s a couple things I can help you with, here are some choices. Otherwise, I’m going to find somebody on the team who can help you.”

Then I can jump in or somebody on my team can jump in and say, “Hey, this is so and so. What can we do for you?” “Hey, this is so and so. Are there any questions I can answer about whatever?” A lot of times if they’ve engaged with some of those button choices we kind of have an idea of what they need so it’s, “Hey, are there any questions I can answer at Hit the Mic Backstage?”  “Can I point you in the direction to book one-on-one time with Stacey?” Whatever the situation may be, that’ll get us able to help them a little more quickly so they’re not having to just hurry up and wait. All right? That’s it. Again, bots, Facebook, big deal? Not killing email just yet contrary to what some of the big guys trying to sell you programs that will teach you how to do it are trying to tell you but it’s definitely got a place in the hierarchy of how we connect and how we engage.

Yes, pay attention. Yes, check it out. A great place to start is hitthemicbackstage.com. If you want to check out a trial go to the Facebook Messenger Bot, she’ll give you a trial, she’s very cool that way. All right? Again, hitthemicbackstage.com or my Facebook page is Facebook.com/thestaceyharris if you want to see a bot in action, that’s a great place to start. All right?

Number two, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from you guys on this one, Facebook groups.

Some of the major names in the health coach, business coach, business anything arena are closing their free Facebook groups. A lot of people are emailing me and are asking why? Here’s the deal. I can’t actually answer that because I’m not them and I don’t know but I can give you some ideas. Based on the conversations I’ve had with people who have closed their groups, I’m definitely one of them. I closed my group a year and a half ago. Yeah, we’re celebrating two years of Hit the Mic Backstage this month by the way. That’s a big deal, we’ll be talking more about that.

I think I only had the free group for three, maybe six months after we launched Backstage and then I closed it. Honestly, the reason I closed it, and I can only really speak for myself, was because at that point what I was seeing happening was my free group actually pulling value from my paid offerings. One of the big value points, one of the big incentives and benefits of being a part of Hit the Mic Backstage is access to ask me questions, access to talk to me directly and get my feedback and things like that. What was happening, people were using the free group for that. Even members were going to the free group to post their questions, which is partially my fault because the free group was called Hit the Mic VIP because that’s what my email list was called. The paid group was called Hit the Mic Backstage because that’s what my membership is called. There was a lot of crossover there but, again, it was pulling value from that premium experience in the paid group.

It was a matter of, “I got to clean this up, I got to make sure that this is clear for my members and I got to make sure that I’m maintaining this value point for my members.” I say the same thing all the time about giving people free advice, we’ve talked about it on this show, I wrote about it at YFS Magazine. We’ve talked a lot about this. The benefit, the reason we say no to people who want to brain pick or who want to just scope out free information and run away is we’re protecting the value of the people who are investing with us. We’ve protected the value of the people who are saying, “Hey, I want to pay you for your time and expertise.”

The same thing for me was happening with the Facebook group. I was protecting the investment and the value for the people who were paying me for that time, energy, and expertise. With that said, a lot of the feedback I’m getting is that groups and how people are using them have changed. Over the course of the last several years people are seeing now it’s really hard to keep up with cleaning a group and keeping a group engaged and keeping a group spam-free and on point, and on conversation, and a positive environment especially as the groups get larger. Some of what we’re seeing is people closing groups and opening small popup groups around challenges, meaning a group is open for 30 days and then it’s archived.

You can still see what was in there but you can’t post or share. It doesn’t have to be maintained anymore by the people running it and so that’s a great alternative to running a group full-time. With that said, no I don’t think it’s the end of Facebook groups and I don’t think that you have to close yours just because everybody else is. If you’re seeing value, and you’re seeing conversions, and you’re seeing a return, and you’re seeing those benefits then no, don’t do something because someone else did, that’s crazy. Keep using it.

However, this is also a really, really, really powerful reminder for those people who are putting all of their eggs in certain baskets. In this case it’s being able to market in other people’s Facebook groups. When you put all your eggs in that basket those are the people who are feeling the pain now. Two years ago when everybody was saying, “Oh, I only do Facebook, I just post on Facebook organically and I get clients,” they felt the pain when the algorithm changed and the newsfeed got a little different and they were having to pay to get traffic to their page or it just wasn’t working anymore.

Again, this is why we have multiple pieces. This is why we connect in different ways with our audience. This is why we engage on different networks. This is why we have two primary networks and two secondary networks and it’s why we have different pieces to our strategy. We’re not going all in and saying, “Facebook groups are the only way I get business,” because that’s where you end up in a world of hurt when it comes to changes like this and so many others that happen. All right? That’s the Facebook group conversation.

Number three, we’re going to wrap it up with a quick one.

LinkedIn has made a very cool update.

There is now native video on LinkedIn. For a long time if you wanted to share a video on LinkedIn you used a YouTube link. That will absolutely still work if that’s what you want to do but you can also upload video natively to LinkedIn. It’s interesting to me because this is the first we’re really seeing LinkedIn really embrace some of the changes of other networks and go in on it and say, “Hey, this could be a value point.” I absolutely see this being a value point for a lot of you who are in the B2B space. Maybe you’re a speaker or maybe you go in and you do corporate wellness or maybe you do corporate sales training or maybe you’re a leadership coach. This is going to be a really good way for you to stand out, to separate yourself from your competition or from the other people in your industry, however you want to refer to them.

It’s going to be a really cool space for those who take advantage of it especially, again, in these early days like bots. We’re going to be running into the people who do it well and the people who do it in a not so great way so make sure you’re one of the people who especially as an early adapter are using these tools for good and are using them to engage and provide value. That’s where you’re going to see the difference. That’s where you’re going to see the conversions. That’s where you’re going to see the conversations. That’s where you’re going to see the money coming in, is when you are using these tools to be of service and to be valuable to your potential clients and your current audience. Cool?

All right, that’s it, that’s the three things I wanted you to know. Again, we talked about bots, we talked about Facebook groups, and we talked about LinkedIn video. If you have any questions be sure to come over to the Facebook page, Facebook.com/thestaceyharris. That’s a great place to ask questions. The best place to ask questions though is inside of Hit the Mic Backstage. Very cool update in July that I don’t know if you know about yet. If you’re a member, which you should be, you do know this but you might not, you might have missed the email. We have reopened the Backstage Facebook Group so now there’s two places for our community to engage with me. We’ve got a private community right on the website, The VIP Lounge. Of course we also have the private Facebook group, again, members only so you can ask me questions in either space. It’s a really cool way to get to connect and engage and see what’s going on, all right? All right. Hit the Mic Backstage for that. Otherwise, I will see you next week.

If you have any questions be sure to come over to the Facebook page. That’s a great place to ask questions. The best place to ask questions though is inside of Hit the Mic Backstage. Very cool update in July that I don’t know if you know about yet. If you’re a member, which you should be, you do know this but you might not, you might have missed the email. We have reopened the Backstage Facebook Group so now there’s two places for our community to engage with me. We’ve got a private community right on the website, The VIP Lounge. Of course we also have the private Facebook group, again, members only so you can ask me questions in either space. It’s a really cool way to get to connect and engage and see what’s going on, all right? All right. Hit the Mic Backstage for that. Otherwise, I will see you next week.

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