SOCIAL 3.0. The future of B2B content marketing

Andy has over 12 years experience in creating markets, building profitable businesses, and leadership roles in industry-leading SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) organisations.

In 2016, he joined two others as one of the founding team of ContentCal, a social media marketing SaaS product. Over the course of five years, they raised over $10m, grew to be used by multiple thousands of customers in over 100 countries, won numerous awards, and, at the end of 2021 were acquired by Adobe Inc.

In March 2022, Andy encapsulated his learnings from scaling start-up business in the best-selling book, SOCAIL 3.0.

Right now, social media represents an unprecedented growth opportunity. But tapping into this new paradigm won’t be easy, especially so for B2B businesses. B2B’s have historically been behind the curve and guilty of seeing social media as just another ‘channel’ to distribute their content.

But, if B2B’s want to power growth in this new era, this mindset needs to change.

The fastest-growing and most-loved businesses on the planet all have realised the transformative potential of social media, and it’s opening up a great divide between those that ‘get it’ and those that are still marketing like it’s 2012.

It’s time for B2B’s to cross the chasm to unleash the power of social media, to build trust, and create demand at a scale that’s never before been possible.

Andy Lambert

Founding Team and Director of Growth

Podcast questions:

  1. What’s changing in the world of social media?
  2. Why does this matter for B2B’s and does this only apply to B2B organisations?
  3. What do you see as the common mistakes?
  4. What do business need to do to capture this opportunity?
  5. Where should a business start?

Podcast transcript here:

Disclaimer: this is an automated transcript. Please don’t call the grammar police on us. You never know, we may have ChatGPT writing our next one…

Asif Choudry (00:01):

Hello, and welcome to another episode in the you’re my CommsHero podcast. And I’m your host Asif Choudry. Today, my guest is Andy Lambert. Andy has over 12 years experience in creating markets, building profitable businesses and leadership roles in industry leading SASS software as a service organisations. Get ready for this. In 2016, he joined two others as one of the founding team of content call social media marketing SaaS product. Over the course of five years, they raised over 10 million. That’s correct. 10 million, which is amazing. And, , it grew to be used by multiple thousands of customers in over a hundred countries, won nerous awards. And at the end of 2021, were acquired by Adobe Inc. Now that’s a hell of an accolade. And in March, 2022, Andy encapsulated his learnings from scaling startup business in the best-selling book social 3.0. So Andy, it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome you onto the CommsHero podcast.

Andy Lambert (01:01):

Hey Asif, how are you doing?

Asif Choudry (01:03):

Very good, thank you. Very good indeed. And that, that, you know, , we, we were speaking before the recording, , to have raised over 10 million and, , you know, customers over a hundred hundred countries, nerous awards and being acquired by Adobe Inc. What’s that? What is, what, what is that like,

Andy Lambert (01:24):

How do I contextualize that in, you know, 30 seconds? , yes. It’s, it’s a dream come true. , I’m still pinching myself and as I said to you before we started, , Adobe is every bit the magical company that it looks on the outside, on the inside too. , so selling a company always has a bit of bit of sweet, a bittersweet, a tinge to it because yes, you’ve kind of hit a goal, but also you want to make sure that what you’ve built has as best possible custodian. And there is, you know, you always start with a mission, so you want to see that mission achieved and, , or continued at least. , and yeah, Adobe are on a, a wonderful mission and yeah, hence reason I’m, I’m still working for them because yeah, I believe in what they’re trying to do with it, so feel very lucky. Put it that way.

Asif Choudry (02:13):

Excellent. Now what a fantastic journey, , through business and where you are now. And you, , may have seen Andy, as I have many times on LinkedIn, stood up in his kitchen doing fantastic videos of content, giving advice on what the latest things are happening week on week in the, in this world of social media. We’re gonna get onto, , , picking Andy’s brains for his understanding and knowledge of social media. But before we do that, there’s a few questions I’ve got for you, Andy, so we can get to know you a bit more, the listeners and myself. So let’s kick off with, okay, an easy one. Are you an early riser or do you love a lion?

Andy Lambert (02:50):

Early riser. Big time.

Asif Choudry (02:52):

Why is that then?

Andy Lambert (02:54):

, young kids. , and, , yeah, so I get up before they get up, which means I can have like a few hours of golden time, , before they get up at seven in the morning. And because I’ve got up so early, I’m flipping knackered by 9:00 PM so I’m in, I’m in bed by nine 30, <laugh> <laugh>.

Asif Choudry (03:12):

Oh, brilliant. And , okay, so do you, , you are social media. I ask this of other people, , I need to mi I might need to update this now cause I’ve asked for a couple of years, Twitter or Instagram, but do I need to add LinkedIn and TikTok on this now as well?

Andy Lambert (03:27):

, yeah, you probably do. , cause LinkedIn would be, would be my jam. , yeah, to be honest, you picked the two social networks. I frequent the least <laugh>.

Asif Choudry (03:38):

That’s quite interesting cause most of the people I speak to would be the opposite, you know? And, , but LinkedIn’s had a massive resurgence I’ve found myself over the last couple of years. Just, I think it’s just become more relaxed than the people on it have become. There’s less LinkedIn police on there now, which is great. And people are posting the sort of content you saw in various other platforms. So LinkedIn is your one of choice? , definitely Apple or Android.

Andy Lambert (04:05):

Apple, yeah, I follow the crowd.

Asif Choudry (04:08):

<laugh> <laugh>, that is the crowd when it comes to our listeners, the majority of, we’ve had a few Androids this season so far. And, , let’s give you a final one then. So, , are you, do you prefer an ebook or a printed book?

Andy Lambert (04:25):

, yeah, printed. I won’t make it through a whole ebook and we do enough staring at screens, so, , yeah, I do.

Asif Choudry (04:32):

That’s quite interesting that Yeah, yeah, yeah, because that, that, that reason there is, , you know, the, the rise of digital and , digital in the workplace as well. We’re all spending more time front the screens. I’ve heard a lot more people have revalued and somebody who’s worked in print myself for, for 20 plus years. , I’ve always enjoyed that tactile nature and the smell of print as well. And, , yeah. Yeah, I’ve seen a lot more people going back to that now because it’s the one way they guarantee still, whether it’s fiction or reading for your job or whatever it is, that people just, they’ve preferred that because it’s forcing that downtime from the screen. So, good.

Andy Lambert (05:13):

Definitely. The, the only, , caveat to that, that I would, I would say is I probably conse most of my information through podcast or audio books now, I would say. Yeah. See, that’s probably my favorite means, which is probably quite good as we’re doing a podcast right now, so,

Asif Choudry (05:28):

Absolutely. Yeah, no, I’m the same. Put a podcast and, , books on Audible and, , reading a proper printed book when, , I, I’m not a massive reader, but I’ve started to become one, but audible’s definitely been a help to, to that, but I tend to retain information better from the physical form. Oh yeah. It’s the, and that’s, that’s one big difference really, that you, I think you’re more considered when you’re doing that as opposed to when you are, , listening to an audiobook or a podcast. I don’t tend to rewind anything, but when I’m reading I’ll map the page and stuff like that. So there is a definite difference from a re retention point of view.

Andy Lambert (06:06):

Yeah, yeah. Agreed.

Asif Choudry (06:08):

So getting onto the podcast, I’ve gotta little, an intro here just to give a bit of context to people before I get into some, some of those meaty. So right now social media represents an unprecedented growth opportunity, but tapping into this new paradigm won’t be easy, especially so for B2B businesses and B2B have historically been behind the curve and guilty of seeing social media is just another channel to distribute their content. But if B2B s want to power growth in this new era, the mindset needs to change according to Andy. And we’re gonna find out a bit more. So the fastest growing and most of businesses on the planet all have realized the transformative potential of social media and it’s opening up a great divide between those that get it and those that are still marketing, like it’s 2012. I love that statement. , and it’s time for B2B to cross the chasm on and to unleash the power of social media to build trust and create demand at a scale that’s never before been possible. So let’s get straight into these questions to just answer and give more context around that. So what is changing in the world of social media? Andy?

Andy Lambert (07:18):

What isn’t probably is a, is a way to start, but, , it’s one like we thought growth might taper off at some point, but we are still seeing double digit year on year growth of new users coming to social channels. So now there’s 4.8 billion people across the world that actively, when I say actively, I mean once every month log in, , to social media now, , that is 58% of the world’s population and only about 60% of the world’s population have access to the internet period. So we are pretty much at complete ubiquity, , between well around social media, connecting everyone Yeah. Across the planet that has the ability to be connected, which is just such an incredibly powerful thing. , and not only are we seeing an increase in the amount of people using it every month, we’re seeing, , an increase in the amount of time that people are spending on social media. It’s now larger than than tv. The only thing that, , trp’s social media in terms of time spent is time people spend on their mobile devices. That’s it. So there really is nothing that connects us like social, and it’s just it, when you look at those macro effects, absolutely huge. And obviously there’s a load of underlying trends as well, which are shifting as well. But

Andy Lambert (08:38):


Asif Choudry (08:39):

There’s quite fascinating stats there. Yeah, that’s like huge. So pretty much everyone who’s got access to the internet is on social in effect, basically. That’s what, , so big target audiences access to more audiences and reach that businesses have, well, to be honest with you never had before social. So it is a, a, a big opportunity.

Andy Lambert (09:01):

That’s it. And I think the, just a, a piece to add to that, to, to your point, Asif, about being a big opportunity, it’s like the, those people are getting more dispersed across multiple different platforms. So the average nber of social platforms that people are active on is seven. Now, , that means that, , if you kind of d i I’m a bit of a stats nerd, so, , you have to forgive me, there’ll be a lot of percentages quoted in this podcast go right? Like, , yeah, like only 1% of all of those social media users, 1% of those 4.8 billion are unique to one platform. So meaning that if we want to reach our target audience, we need to think multi-channel, right? Because I think that’s, that’s something that’s held a lot of businesses back before. They’re like, oh yeah, my audience is, is on li we we are Twitter and LinkedIn. That’s, that’s it. That’s where we’ll where we’ll focus and I’m all for focus, right? Especially if you are resource constrained, et cetera. But, we’ll, we’ll come onto this later on, but, , we are, we are missing an opportunity if we are not kind of opening our mind to other channels on what other people are doing. cause usage behaviors are changing dramatically. But, , yeah, I’m sure we’ll cover that a little bit later on.

Asif Choudry (10:10):

Yeah, no, I’m surprised. So the seven social media platforms, for me, it’s always been the last 10 years, Twitter and LinkedIn. And, , I’ve never really ventured into Instagram or TikTok, although I do understand the need for them. But certainly I think that, , building of personal brand and stuff like that, I I’m quite happy to open and explore, but there’s definitely been a difference in the last couple of years of wanting to be seen on those platforms because that’s where our customers are going. It’s, it’s much more desperate. You’re absolutely right then. So why does all that matter than Andy for, for, for b2b? And, and, and also does it only apply to B2B organizations?

Andy Lambert (10:51):

Yeah, I’m glad you brought it up actually, because whilst the book I wrote was, , explicitly calling out like B tobs because I, I see them as the, the group. So when I say b2b, just for clarity, I mean business to business. So businesses that are selling to, to other businesses. So, , think, you know, or something like that, right? So, , and typically those businesses are terrible with social media because typically business to business or B2B s think feature first in the way that they market their products. And, and they think that people buy products based on rationality. Because if we have a better feature set than, you know, than our competitor, then we’ll win. All of that is utter nonsense because it’s, it’s like removing the psychology as to why people buy products or do things. And the reason that people do things.

Andy Lambert (11:43):

, whether this is buying services, joining a community, buying a product, you know, whether it’s buying a product for your home or buying a product to implement in your team at work, we make decisions based on trust. And the way that we build trust is typically through others. We look to others to, , give us signals for, , what is a trustworthy, what is a thing that we want to believe in too, because whether we’re buying something for our personal lives at home, there’s, there’s an element of risk and anxiety that comes with that. So being able to look to others or have others talk about you is really where the opportunity comes to unleash social. So when we talk about, you know, whether it’s B2B or whether it’s any other organization for that matter, irrespective of who you you’re selling to or, or who you’re trying to convince, cause we’re all trying to convince or drive someone to take some form of action, whether we’re a charity, whether we’re a service company, whatever.

Andy Lambert (12:38):

It’s, yeah. So in order for someone to take an action, they need to feel compelled to do that. So feeling compelled to do that means having some form of like peer orientated signals that other people are doing that to. And when I talk about marketing like it’s 2012, the way that businesses have typically, and some of them still do think about social media, they, they see it as another distribution channel akin to email because, you know, like how we we’re all guilty of using email like that. Like, all right, we built a database, I’ve got something that I want to drive people towards or sale to make. Let’s bang out an email and let’s get people to do something. So you’ll notice that email was only about us. It was a selfish endeavor. Not saying that that’s all bad, but, you know, we wanted something, we wanted people to take an action on something and get that done.

Andy Lambert (13:25):

But with social, so many people have tried to treat it like it is a direct sales channel. It is fundamentally not. And that’s where we miss an opportunity. I’m sorry, I’m talking low cause I get on my soapbox with this because like, I can’t stress this enough because we’re not thinking about the impact of social at a more broad level, think about what we were just talking about 4.8 billion people across the world. That’s a lot of people to influence. We’re not just trying to like spray and pray and throw a load of crud at the wall and try and see what sticks. We want to create a really meaningful brand. So Andy, tell us what do you see as the common mistakes? Yeah, so like we were just talking about, , misunderstanding the appreciation of brand and how that fits into the broader marketing and perception, right?

Andy Lambert (14:15):

, and I think this is, this is where we, we need to kind of remember where social media sits in a kind of broader, broader funnel right at the top in awareness, right? And this is the thing that makes social media so powerful because we’ve never had an opportunity to go this broad to generate awareness at such scale, like you were saying in the kind of outset Asif. And that’s where an appreciation of of brand is so important and where people misunderstand social media, they, they default to the typical norms of, oh yeah, we’ve gotta promote something. Oh, can you check it out on social for me please? Of which that might drive a couple of clicks or a couple of sales, but it’s at the detriment of like long-term brand building. Now for anyone that is interested in marketing theory, and I would always recommend if anyone wants to understand marketing, just, just kind of read the long and the short of it or a little synopsis of it because everyone that’s doing any form of marketing needs to have a fundamental understanding of, , the dynamics of long and short of it, which is basically how a business grows over time.

Andy Lambert (15:25):

So well-known marketing theory, and it’s all about the kind of the, the short version of this is there is short-term advertising kind of, , acquisition orientated stuff, and then long-term brand building. And we need to have the right balance between the two. The typical right balance is about 60 to 70% brand building and 30%, , orientated acquisitional activity because we need to be working towards the long term because the, the big metric, cause there’s only one metric that I ever care about when it comes to social media success and it’s a metric that I don’t hear anyone talking about. , and this, I’m talking mostly from like a brand perspective, from a personal brand perspective, I wouldn’t necessarily do this measure, but, , if we’re talking from any kind of company and that metric’s called share a voice, share a voice quite simply is the amount of times that your brand is mentioned relative to your competition and in very simple marketing terms is that the more your brand is mentioned, and if you are mentioned more and you have a larger share of voice relative to your competitors, your brand will grow.

Andy Lambert (16:36):

If the inverse is true and you have a smaller share of voice versus your competition, your brand will shrink. Simple as that. Right? And that goes back to the point I said right at the start, and none of this is rocket science and we overcomplicate marketing like you wouldn’t believe, right? It is not a complicated endeavor because as we said at the start, the way hans make decisions is based on trust. So word of mouth becomes our nber one source of growth. It’s always been the most powerful marketing tactic always will be because, you know, on fundamental han dynamics, we trust people that we know and we trust. There is, there is an implied trust. If as if you and I have known each other kind of indirectly for many years, , I’m gonna come on your podcast because a friend of a mutual friend of mine, of yours, Luann said, you know, you should go on as this podcast, great trust is there because someone I know and like, and trust, yeah, just tell me to do something simple stuff.

Andy Lambert (17:37):

But then social media allows us to unlock that at scale and that is where we kind of, I’m sure we might touch on some of the tactics later, but yeah, in, in a nutshell, if we can understand the importance of, of share a voice, understand the long and short of it and importance of brand building, and then we can understand how important growing word of mouth and lighting a fire under word of mouth of social is and how we do that, then , anyone will succeed irrespective of whether it’s personal brand, b2b, B2C services or whatever. Yeah. There, yeah, yeah. Does that make any sense? Pretty much

Asif Choudry (18:12):

No, no, it does. Definitely. And then what the, there’s a lot of power there in the , word of mouth, but that can also go on the flip side in terms of negative comments mm-hmm. <affirmative> as well. So they can spread as equally as quickly, , for sure to the detriment. So, you know, how do, , how do organizations guard against, cause nobody’s gonna stop the word of mouth of the positive stuff. How do people guard against or do things about when it’s the opposite side and the bad news is spreading like wildfire? Hmm.

Andy Lambert (18:45):

Yeah. Guard guarding against is, is probably, you can’t really do it because it is, yeah, people will talk and they’ll, they’ll go to social so you, so you can’t really guard against it. , that whilst I would defer to some other comms pros that are, are in, in organizations that are more critical than the ones that I’ve worked in, right? Cause I’ve, I work in marketing tech companies. Yeah. I, this isn’t lifesaving <laugh>, like we are not doing anything really important here. So I kind of defer my comments. I always wanted to kind of like wrap up my comments and the fact that, you know, people are more on the frontline than I am. So here’s how I would, here’s my take on it though. But others more experience will have different take. So one, you can’t control it because it’s gonna happen. If people are gonna talk, they’re gonna talk.

Andy Lambert (19:34):

The best thing you can do is understand your position first and foremost. And you do that by having tools in place very at a rudimentary level. Google alerts and tweet deck is probably what you need at a rudimentary level. , more broadly I would use tools like mention lit, which gives me an idea, cause that’s how I calculate my share of voice anyway. And it helps me understand, , what other people are saying about our brand across multiple channels, right? So you need, you need some kind of basic tooling them like that. So that’s, you know, you start with a bit of understanding, then it comes into, , a form of, , forming a kind of action plan of, of the back of it. Now, you know, we, we’ve had a situation where we’ve released, and this is a real life situation where we’ve released some information, , that wasn’t particularly popular and we did see not a massive fallout, but, , some negative, , on social media.

Andy Lambert (20:29):

And there’s, the way that I choose to deal with this personally is that I don’t actually comment on the post and reply to people directly, , because I’ll reply saying, I’ll mention it in the dms because what you want to do is get this out of the feeds as quickly as possible. The, the real kind of detailed nitty gritty of yeah, you know, , of what you need to solve. There’s also, you know, , and my fellow comms pros will, I’m not too sure whether they would like this, this one, but there, there are some posts that potentially aren’t, , favorable that you might be better off just not commenting on at all. Because if they haven’t got much traction right now, you commenting on them only gives them more traction. So whilst I would still look to find the individual reach out to them on different channels, whether through email or through other customer service tools, I’m not gonna leave a frustrated customer somewhere, but, , replying on social sometimes might not be the best thing because one thing that replying to content does, it gives it a massive boost. So, , you don’t really want to ample be, even though you’ve got the right intentions, amplifying negative stuff is not what you wanna do.

Asif Choudry (21:44):

No, absolutely. And I think that that’s certainly, in my experience, I’ve seen, , and heard from lots of comms teams, comms managers, head of comms who’ve had the C-suite or the execs who’ve been very guarded against having a social media presence. Not for the massive positives it delivers in terms of engagement and reach, but for those instances that may happen that that could be negative, but that’s the same in everything. But with social, it just seems to be, , a, a very different place. But, , so let’s, let’s focus on the, the positive element there then. So what the, the, and there are huge positives then for businesses. So what do businesses need to do to capture this opportunity?

Andy Lambert (22:31):

Great question. So, , nber one is to realize the, the power of personal profiles. So the more you can amplify others within your business, , the better. It’s, it’s the most, it’s the biggest open goal that so many businesses miss. It’s obvious reasons, right? Personal profiles will always outperform company pages if you’re looking at LinkedIn and if a voice of an individual will always garner more attention, right? That’s why we went out of our way at, at content call as we are building, building that to have faces that represent the business and people, because you’ll connect much more with an individual than a logo and face this organization. And I think this also, whilst we’re focusing on the positive, this also plays into the negative as well because, , you know, people are less likely to be outwardly rude to actual a another han being, right?

Andy Lambert (23:28):

So some people, some people are, but you know, generally it’s, you feel very different when you know who is behind this organization, right? You feel a very different connection to it. And we, we saw this play out, , and it’s probably one of the, the best tactics that we had. It’s not even a tactic at content house, it’s just the best thing we did. It’s just the culture of the organization to feel like we’re always open, always accessible, always listening, , and it just felt approachable. And I think that’s, that’s a, that’s a huge thing cause it, yeah, eyes and trust. So that’s nber one, leverage your employees. Nber two is, , the kind of main quote, I, I’m like a broken record, but this quote is like, think beyond your feed. We spend so much time with social media people like thinking, oh, like how, what content should I create to get engagement?

Andy Lambert (24:15):

Or what content should I create to, to get more followers? Like get your head out your backside. Like the most important thing you need to do is go like, okay, who can I champion? Who can I work with? How can I get our content or get our message in someone else’s feed? Like set up an ambassador program, find some, like, you know, when I say influencers, I’m not talking like you need to work with Kylie Jenn. I mean like how, how I work with Luanne wise, for example, how, you know, we are doing this right now cause we’ll both co-promote it on our feeds, right? People who shared interests come together and share content together. Like think of whoever you are trying to serve in the, in the industry, champion them. So like, you do a wonderful job at Comms Hero, just the very like title of the, of what you’re doing here.

Andy Lambert (25:05):

Like you are championing the complex art of communications. So finding like, you know, it was always our almost popular content or content cow where we had like social media manager of the month and we’ll just like highlight someone because yeah, of course we’ll tag them in, make someone else feel good and it makes them want to share it with their followers too. We’ve gone beyond our feed, so I usually share a screenshot, like I take ’em from mention Lytics, is that a content cal, you know, people sometimes, like you’re a social media company, you had 20,000 followers across all your network. But what they miss when they, if you looked at the analytics and looked at both our share of voice is that we had a higher share of voice than Hootsuite who are massive, a 70 700 million valued organization. You know, , we had a higher share of voice than them, and our monthly impressions were over 1.7 million people would see our content because we spent so long, like building relationships with people, getting other people to talk about us.

Andy Lambert (26:03):

You know, once again, back to word of mouth, it’s not rocket science. You’ve just gotta build relationships with people. Look at whoever’s kind of influe in your field. Look at different communities working with like different, , Facebook groups or, , people that have, you know, active on Reddit or something like that. So even thinking beyond just our, the social media platforms that we typically think about. So all of those, you know, it pays to spend more time preparing or thinking and researching and planning. Who are the people that influence the industry that you work in and how could they, how can you work together to amplify your message? And honestly, you know, that is absolutely game changing. , and then the third point, so we’ve gone through two leverage power, , of employees, , thinking beyond your feed and working through collaborations. And then the third one, and , social media managers will, will rejoice here is that, , you need to give yourself a break with trying to analyze everything and trying to attribute stuff on social.

Andy Lambert (27:11):

You’ll never do it. It’s impossible. Yeah. Tools will tell you they can do it. They can’t. It’s a lie. , so understand what we call this is dark social sounds all dark and mysterious, but like what our tools will tell us. Typically if you looked at like, we used HubSpot when we were at content calendars like our CRM to track where everyone came in from. Yeah. And if you look at HubSpot and it would tell, it will tell you that everyone came through organic search, so Googled us and then found us. So typically what we then did as a result is go, oh, right, Google’s massive, we fired so much money at like Google, , PPC to like make sure we’re top of rankings and stuff. Did absolutely nothing. Well, very little, not absolutely nothing. That’s a lie, but not as much as the money we spent.

Andy Lambert (27:57):

Yeah, because the thing is, when you dig into it and actually speak to customers, they were like, oh no, I saw you, I heard you on a podcast, or I found you through a friend that shared you in a WhatsApp group. I I was on a, , a Discord group and about social media and someone gave a talk and mentioned content count you like, and all they did was they go, oh yeah, when it came up and they had a need, they then Googled content cal. So our tracking software just said, all right, great. Google did all the work. It wasn’t, yeah, it was all of the magic that happened through people talking about us, and you’ll never attribute that. , it’s impossible. So the best thing you can do is look at your share of voice and use that as your kind of guiding principle as are we going in the right direction? And under that, the only other metric I look at is, , or two metrics is, , impressions. So how broad are we going? And , also engagements of course, because naturally you know, more comments you’re getting on your content, more deeper engagement you get the further it goes. So, but over those three, three pieces, you’ll know if you’re going in the right direction, don’t try and analyze everything because it’s a fool’s errand.

Asif Choudry (29:04):

Yeah, certainly vanity metrics have, , appeared from every everywhere basically. There’s so many different, , things that, and it just depends. Cause you can, you can, , use, I remember a few years ago using, , tweet reach just as a quick ready reckoner for if I was at an event and just seeing what the hashtags, how it’s performing and the nber of impressions could be into the millions. And you think, wow, that’s just a massive nber. And you know, I would tweet that and people would think, oh, fantastic, the event’s doing really well, but it’s the stuff afterwards that, you know, know when you’ve finished in the engagement. And that’s what’s certainly what I’ve always looked at. You know, how many people are actually, , engaging with you as opposed to a nber of followers and all the rest of it. These are the balance between vanity metrics and the ones that do really matter. I suppose it depends who’s asking the questions. So there’s loads of places for people to, to start there. So where, where should businesses actually start then Andy? Cause there’s so many places, so much, so much great stuff you’ve mentioned. Where should they start?

Andy Lambert (30:11):

, we start with nber one, understanding, , intrinsically who we are trying to serve. , so the, the, once again, back to target customer, but , also just get out of your building and speak to people. Don’t look at charts and, and, and data to tell you who you should speak to. , that’ll give you a guide. But get out and speak to customers and ask some real questions about the problems that they face, , and the things they struggle with within your industry. They, that is the gold dust that gives you your content that you need to create. So basically get outta the building, understand intrinsically who you’re trying to serve and the goals you’re putting around that. So why are you doing it? It’s all about, it’s all about starting with why, , you know, pretty obvious. But after that then it’s about how do we then create a good content plan that’s going to deliver results against the objectives that we set and be able to serve the needs of those people that we’ve identified.

Andy Lambert (31:09):

And if we’ve asked our Quest questions correctly, we’ve understood the, the type of challenges that they face in their role. And our job as we’re building content is to solve problems, add value, solve problems, et cetera, right? So, , and we can also use like some tools to help us get this as well, right? Because you could use, , , answer the, right? Great resource. So you type in, , you know, in our case, social media managers and you’ll get a whole bunch of related questions, you know, pertaining to that. And also, you know, I also just do a couple of other quick things just to like gauge the kind of problems that we are we are trying to solve. I would go to, I would just Google like, you know, social media manager and I’ll, if you look at the bottom of your Google search, you’ll see all the related searches.

Andy Lambert (31:58):

So what people are also searching for, once again, you’ll see your problems. And the final thing I do, because TikTok is so heavy for, it’s so heavily used for search, even if you’re not posting on TikTok, what it will do, TikTok search capabilities is so powerful. So I would implore anyone to test that out. So go to search on TikTok, look at your category, look at the most liked content in your category, and you’ll see the type of things that are both kind of working and the types of content that’s being created in your space that that’ll give you a whole heap of inspiration. So with that, you know, we’ve got a load of qual and quant data, so we know who we’re trying to serve, we know what we’re trying to do, and we also know a load of problems that, that you’re trying to solve.

Andy Lambert (32:39):

And now our next job is to then put that into some form of cohesive plan. So across all of that data and information and problem kind of analysis that we’ve just conducted, we’re gonna conduct or create a content plan that is broken down into, , five themes. So those five themes recur every single week. And these, some might call them content pillars or content buckets. Yeah, I call ’em content themes. Basically just topics. So you break all of what you’ve learned down into topics, and then you build your content plan for the course of the month orientated around these topics which you believe, , will appeal to your target audience, add value, help solve a need, all the stuff that everyone knows. , and at the end of the month, , do some like quick, , ana analysis of like what the things that work for the best, what topics performed the best, double down on those, evolve them, look at different formats, et cetera. So, you know, that’s where I would start. It’s research and the plan. Like if you’re gonna do anything, well, you would spend 80% of the time researching and understanding and planning and then 20% of the time doing, whereas I think most people in social media just go, oh, let’s do something and just, just do it does pay to, , to really step back and think about, you know, the why behind it, , both in terms of your audience and what you’re trying to achieve, and that’s where you’d start.

Asif Choudry (34:02):

No, that’s great. Great advice, Dan. Some, there’s some fantastic stuff for people too, for the listeners to take away, whether it’s B2B or you’re working in public sector and it’s b2c, the principles are pretty much, , similar in some of the stuff that Andy’s, , said to us as well. So we’ve mentioned in, in among some of those answers, Andy, , our mutual friend Luann Wise, who was a speaker at com zero from the very beginning back in 2014. And, , you, you’ve also been a speaker at com zero week, our virtual event alongside, , on a panel with which Luann was chairing. So yep. Why is com zero important to you, and would you recommend people working in comms and marketing to be part of it?

Andy Lambert (34:43):

Oh, well, yes, definitely a no brainer for recommendation. , yes. And you know, it’s, it’s a difficult job, right? I say marketing is easy and sometimes a bit glib with it, but like, there’s, there’s a lot of pressure on anyone in marketing and communications to, to deliver results, to manage an ever-changing environment, right? It’s always shifting sands, , and what we’re working in both if we are trying to manage complex problems or customer complaints or whether we are just trying to get our head around what the hell has happened with Twitter right now, you know, there is, it’s constantly shifting and being able, whilst, you know, you can get advice and input from, you know, both I talk about that and anywhere else on the internet, what you can’t get is peer support. Having people around you that share your pain is just super valuable. So, you know, that’s why I I I’ve probably said community about a million times in this, in this call because it really is the heart of both everything that’s successful about social media and, you know, why , com things like ERO is just so, so powerful connecting people together, , helping people kind of share the pain of what we’re all going through. Yeah. And, and learning from each other. It’s just super valuable. So I applaud the work you’re doing.

Asif Choudry (35:58):

Well, thank you, Andy. It’s much appreciated. And the, you mentioned community there, so it’s important. We want people to connect with our guests, , and you’re gonna get loads of advice, , , including, , Andy’s regular content, latest news updates on what’s happening in social from the power of his kitchen. So Andy, where can people, where can people find you, what your social handles, where they’re gonna find you?

Andy Lambert (36:22):

, yeah, so I’m, I’m Andy, , Lambert on every channel. , LinkedIn’s where I spend most of my time. , and , yeah, that’s, that’s it. And then if any of this has been of any use whatsoever, then , the book Social 3.0 is on, on Amazon too. But I’m, I’m also guilty of just giving away loads of free advice. So if you just need something, you can just message me too. So <laugh>

Asif Choudry (36:47):

<laugh> fantastic. And, , you’re gonna find this podcast on Spotify, apple and on our website com, and you can follow us on twitter com zero. If you do listen on Spotify and Apple, please do leave a rating and review and, , hit the follow or subscribe button. , it’s important for us that we, , are being recognized and people do like the show, , and share it as Andy has mentioned here, to spread the news through word of mouth. And Andy has been genuinely fascinating and I’ve learned some new stuff today. So, , , thank you so much for giving us the time and your pearls of wisdom.

Andy Lambert (37:24):

Absolute pleasure. Thank you for inviting me. Really appreciate it Asif.