Kevin Price, Host of the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Andrew McCauley. Here’s that interview
About the interviewee
Andrew McCauley is the Co-Founder of Autopilot Your Business, a digital marketing agency which focuses on helping clients to become an authority online in their industry by creating platforms for them to launch and grow their personal brand.
Also known as ‘The Social Media Bloke’, Andrew began his career with 17 years in pub/hotel management in Australia where he learned a lot about business principles and attracting traffic to a business. He was an early adopter of social media and the tools and techniques came naturally to him.
Besides running Autopilot Your Business, Andrew is in demand as a coach, trainer and speaker worldwide on the topics of Social Media and online marketing.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
We currently have 7 employees located all over the world. It’s actually a theme that runs through our team that hardly anyone is located in the country of their birth! This way though, we are able to cater to the needs of clients across different time zones.
We work largely with small to medium-sized companies who want to grow their online brand. A big focus is that ‘online presence’ means more than just a website. We have worked with clients from many different business types and niches and helped with online content such as production of TV Shows, Podcasts, Magazines and Radio Shows.
We also have an avenue for the ‘do it yourself’ type client (as many start-ups are often doing!). We offer VIP Membership, Courses and Live Events where we teach people how to use online publishing and social media to grow their brand themselves.
What type and size of companies do you have as clients?
Our clients are largely small to medium businesses or solopreneurs.
What comes to mind when you see this topic?
In our line of work, we have seen two sides to the effectiveness of social media for growing a business: one where, when done well, it attracts a significant following and builds a community around the brand. The other side is where social media is not done well, and in this case does more harm than good to the brand.
What do I mean by “not done well”? Unfortunately, there are still a significant number of businesses out there who just ‘do social media’ because they think they should. We’re seeing instances where the following five things are doing more damage than good for promoting the brand:
There is no real strategy behind what is posted.
No one is really responsible for social media for the business.
Social media activity is done half-heartedly because they ‘have’ to.
The person responsible for social media doesn’t really know what they’re doing.
Social media posts are constantly a sales pitch rather than providing useful, shareable content.
Sure, the world of social media can be overwhelming for many and it seems that there is always a new piece of advice or new ‘guru’ coming out to tell people what they should be doing, but I would suggest that for the sake of your brand, you are better off not being on social media at all rather than attempting it half-heartedly.
What are the best practices when it comes to this issue?
If your business is making any of the five mistakes above, then I would suggest getting back to basics. Firstly, are you a “jack of all social media platforms but master of none”? I would suggest cutting back to the one or two social media platforms that are going to have the best impact for your business.
How do you decide which platforms to use? Know the demographics of your ideal target market and do some research to find out where on social media they are hanging out. Those one or two platforms are your starting point.
Secondly, make sure you have someone who knows what they are doing in charge of your social media! We actually talked about this in a recent podcast – a good place to start with making sure someone does know what they’re doing is to ask to have the URLs to their own social media platforms (especially the ones that your business is most interested in).
Thirdly, develop a strategy for your social media activity. What is your ideal outcome? How will you encourage engagement from your followers? Remember the point of social media is that it’s ‘social’! This means not constantly pounding people with your product promotions or sign up requests. From there you or your Social Media Manager can implement a content calendar for posting. (Of course you can still do promotional posts sometimes, but it’s important that the majority of your posts are designed to serve, such as delivering valuable content rather than pushing product).