Episode 147 Bridget Willard Talks Twitter and More
From the center of the universe, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This is the SDM show with your host Rob Cairns. The SDM show focuses on business life productivity, digital marketing, WordPress and more. Sit back, relax, grab your favorite drink and enjoy the show. Here is Rob.
Hey, everybody, Rob Cairns, I’m the co founder and chief creator of amazing ideas that stunning digital marketing. And today’s podcast, I sit down with Twitter expert, Bridget Williard, my good friend to talk about Twitter and one of her new books. Sit back, relax, grab your favorite drink. And I hope you enjoyed this conversation.
Hey, everybody, Rob Cairns, here. I’m here with my friend Bridget Williard today, and we’re gonna talk about a little Twitter and we might even dive into her latest book. How are you today, Bridget? I’m doing great. How are you? doing? Well, it’s actually you know, we were talking before we record a little bit about the world. And finally, Toronto’s actually cooled down where we’re a balmy 80 degrees today, which is at the time of this recording, which is pretty cool. Lately, we’ve been running about 100 110. all summer. So better today. And how’s Texas? Oh, well, it’s
humid, you know, anything east of the Continental Divide is going to be humid. So yeah, I live I live in 72 degrees or 74 degrees every single day. Thanks to invention of air conditioning.
I did the best adventure going. What I didn’t tell you is my favorite football teams from the Dallas area. We will we will talk about that today. Anyway, can you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself in your background and what you’re working on these days?
Hey, y’all, I am Bridget Willard and I have been doing business to business marketing since 2009. I specialize in Twitter management. And I have a Twitter course I have a book, The Definitive Guide to Twitter, marketing. I double dog dare you to try it. And yeah, I managed client Twitter accounts. Right? I’ve published I’m sorry, my voice I tried to sing and get my voice all warmed up. But yeah, I’ve published six books so far, two with my partner in Germany, Warren lane nyda. And we’re gonna do a third this year. So I took a different route with the pandemic.
Yeah, that that’s a bit of an awesome way to write a book I, I haven’t dived into that territory yet. And I’ve got enough journalists, writers, in my family and in my circle are all like, when are you going to write a book and I said, maybe this year, maybe next year. So
for every purpose, your podcast, like, for example, the book that I put out last year in October keys to being social. That was originally 30 blog posts on my site. It took a lot of editing, from me and my best friend, Sarah Pressler, to get it into, you know, a cohesive flow, because, you know, it is Wait, who was allowed to blog on my website in 2009. There were no keywords. But, you know, like, we have content, we all have content that we can repurpose.
It’s so it’s so true. And I mean, I’m at the time of this recording, I’m like 145 episodes into in the podcast, so I’ve probably got a lot of content. So
I mean, like just riffing, what if you did, like 30 things I learned from podcasting, and then each chapter features some insights you’ve gotten from each guest. And then you can link to the podcast episode, and then do it on Kindle create. And then the Kindle book will have links to your podcasts, so can actually be another. I know, that’s not what we’re doing here. But I can’t help myself.
It’s all good. Bridgette you know, it’s funny. One of one of my real sweet friends was a journalist with the with the Toronto Sun, which is one of the daily papers in Toronto, and he worked for the sun for 25 years. He’s well retired, and we forever talked about and he’s trying to give me a nudge to get off my butt and write a book so you can keep going. It’s all good. Let’s talk Twitter, and I don’t so a little premium. When I started on social media, I started with Twitter. I mean, I don’t know I first I looked, I got somewhere ungodly, like 16,000 followers, and you know, that’s fine. And then Facebook came along, and a lot of people migrated. And I should tell you, I’m fed up with the Facebook game, except as a marketer, I have to be on Facebook to run Facebook ads. So I’ll tell you that now. I’m even in a situation where if I post my own links of my own website on Facebook right now, I get told they don’t meet community standards. That’s funny. So so what I’m actually doing is posting the actual podcast link on the podcast site to get around that problem. And Twitter, and I said to somebody about six months ago, I need to dive back into Twitter, because I’ve let it go for a year, and I’m much more happier. Why is that? Do you think?
Why you’re happier with? No with Twitter? Why do I prefer Twitter over Facebook?
Oh, Twitter is my favorite. So here’s the thing. Twitter is where people go to have a conversation. Yeah, it used to be when you logged into Twitter, it would say, you know, what are you thinking? Or? Let’s start a conversation now. Would you log in on twitter.com? It says, What’s happening? And then you click in the box, and you can answer the question, like member Facebook use ask us, like, what’s your status update? You know, and I and it seems like poppycock, a bunch of just nothing, right? But the thing is, and my husband, my late husband used to say this, to me, he goes, social media, Bridgette is just talking to your neighbor over the fence, you talk to your neighbor over the fence about stupid stuff all the time. And when I say stupid stuff, I mean, small talk. And when I say small talk, I mean the most valuable part of communication that exists. So here’s the thing. In order to have a relationship, you have to have trust. And we have all these different variations of relationships, right? with businesses with people, acquaintances, you know, I walk, only people that really recognize me in my apartment is the guy in the Kids Next Door and the maintenance guy, you know, cuz everybody’s kind of locked in. Right? They’re still super cautious here in Texas, despite what you see on the news. So like, and the thing is that we use that still a relationship, you know, so a lot of people in the WordPress space feel that small talk is not valuable. And that if you’re not saying something valuable, then you shouldn’t be saying anything at all. Okay. However, you and I are going to start this podcast, Rob, and then be like, Okay, well, let’s figure out what to do with Afghanistan. It’s you and me, we’re going to figure it out right now. Like the UN didn’t ask us, they’re not even participating. You know, I mean, we’re not gonna like sit down and figure out the nuclear crisis in North Korea. It’s not gonna happen. Like, we have to be like, how are you? I’m fine. How are you? Those are ways that we judge body language tone inflection to see if somebody is open to having more of a conversation, right? We’ve all been on those dates or business meetings, where it’s like pulling teeth to find out what somebody wants to talk about, because oh, what on Twitter, they’re like, this is what I think and you have an opportunity to reply. And based upon those replies, you have an opportunity to build relationship. Now. I recommend against trying to convert people, to whatever way of thinking that you’re doing complete like it politically or whatever. It may sometimes it’s nice to know that there’s people there are like minded people, right? But if you’re doing it for business, think of it like a think tank, your colleagues, your peers, a lot of us in the WordPress community work from home or are solopreneurs. And those are co workers. So when you’re nice on the internet, and I mean, like polite, you know, maybe people don’t like me, it’s fine. You don’t have to like me, but I do try with all my heart to be polite. And there’s that that creates and facilitates a conversation. Rob. So that’s why it’s I think that’s why Twitter’s enjoyable. That’s why I like it.
I would agree with Yeah. And I kind of go down the list of people I know. And I’ve met from Twitter. So one of my dearest friends is, was one of the guys behind a lot of the early days of Toronto police’s moved to social media man. He’s now retired as a police officer. And he, he worked for the Ontario Police Association, Police Association in his retirement, and he’s gotten out of that, and he would tell you, Twitter is invaluable. I’ve got a couple other friends from community perspective and nonprofits. And they will tell you Twitter’s invaluable. And I actually think the conversations I have on Twitter with people are deeper than they are on Facebook. It’s just the way it goes. For me, I was having a conversation with Bob Gunn this morning, who’s well known in the WordPress space. And Bob is another one who’s recently been very public about not wanting to talk on Facebook, and doing more and more on Twitter, and he’s there more another guy in the podcast space is Joe casts bonaga. Joe is almost always on Twitter. I mean, it just goes on, right?
Yeah, I mean, I hate to blame the platform, because the platform is what we train it to do algorithm. I always say algorithms are like dogs, they do what you train them to do, right? LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, they do what you train them to do. The problem was Facebook is the culture is post and go. So I’m at a picnic, I take a selfie, I put it on Facebook, and I leave, it’s very self centered that way. Whereas when you’re on Twitter, the same person, the behavior is different. Also, for me, like I’m connected with a lot of people on Facebook that are family members and old friends. And I don’t necessarily want to hear their opinions about whether or not I should get another tattoo. Or if they like my hair blonde instead of dark. Or, you know, like, I recently considered like telling Facebook, then I bisexual and I was like, oh, holy shit. I don’t have the energy to deal with my Christian friends and all their opinions, and all the DMS that are gonna have because I used to be a pastor’s wife. Right. Yeah. So I’m just like, So you mentioned earlier in the pre show that I’m, I feel happier that you see that I’m happier. I see it every day. Yeah, yeah, you’re not the only one. A lot of why I left California was to leave the ghosts of my husband’s family of who he was. And me being a kind of a shadow of him. Not that I didn’t love them or anything like that. But like, you know, when you’re a pastor, everybody wants to know about that guy, right? He’s important. He was an important person to a lot of people. And I just don’t want to live the church life anymore. I don’t want to be around all that. And I needed to live somewhere where I chose where I live, instead of being born somewhere or being married and we have to go live somewhere else, right? So I’m making choices that are for me and the community that I’ve found. came from Twitter. And I will tell you, my very best friend, Jen Miller met on Twitter. Sarah Pressler met on Twitter, Rhonda Nygaard that I that design my website, and who was one of my best friends on this planet. Twitter. Yep. The person that I we work with clients together and write books. morlais nyda. Twitter from that WC EU hashtag two years ago.
Yeah. And people are open to it. They are and and that’s a big thing. I mean, I have a friend of a good friend of mine who trains workplace education in Nova Scotia. And we’ve been out together multiple times. And where did we meet Twitter? I mean, I can go on. And I think it’s easier to find like minded people on Twitter than any other platform just because of the way things like hashtags are laid out the way, the way people interact with each other. I think it’s an open platform. And frankly, one of the biggest things for me Twitter is is a new source every day. I have a Twitter list that has all kinds of journalists and then all kinds of news outlets in it. And where do I go first thing in the morning to read the news.
Yep, if I see a trending hashtag, I’m like, oh, man, what happened? Because I’m busy looking at Twitter for my clients, like I’m looking for WordPress news, e commerce, news, podcasting, news, that kind of thing. I’m not looking at what’s going on Afghanistan. I was literally at Sara’s house couple weeks ago. And she goes, how do you not know what’s going on? Like, I listened to Yahoo Finance, I listened to the Wall Street Journal, like, I listened to, I had this app called Curio, and you get the Financial Times, Bloomberg, you know, wire science, all that. And they read it, they read it at a podcast level. And I love listening to that, because it’s one subscription, instead of me having to subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, and the economist and Bloomberg. And like, it’s all together, and then somebody is reading it. And it’s not like the fakie voice thing, you know, but so like, I know what’s going on in the world. I know, the dollar is down. You know, like, I know that, but I have to, I have to make myself look at regular news. When I see that hashtag, or, like, what’s going on with this? What’s going on with that, but I do the same thing. Rob, I have a news list. Yeah, but it gets overwhelming. You know, like, we’re already dealing with so much stuff, just at close to home, it’s
the last the last year has been hard on many people, me included. I’ve gone through a separation that’s, you know, headed to the, to where it’s headed. And that’s okay, I’m better off for it. I mean, I, I’m I’m good. And, and COVID was an impact on now. But you know, if the way I look at life is if you can support each other during tough times, how do you support each other during good times? So you don’t, you don’t so and and we’ve all gone through tough times in life. And I think we just gotta I think the way we can curate social media, and Twitter makes it a little easier. For somebody that’s a company that’s on b2b. So that’s business to business. Why should they be on Twitter? Oh, my
gosh, you don’t even have a podcast long enough. But I’ll be I’ll be as succinct as I can. Number one is promoting your things, public relations, customer service. listening, listening is what people don’t do. You know, you can write a persona, all you want. And that persona is essentially a stereotype or a bias. And you can actually find out what your audience does by putting them on lists and reading their tweets, because everybody tells everything about themselves all the time. And then also, it’s a great place for, you know, engagement of your customers, you know, building those relationships. And another thing I like to throw out at people is individual tweets, individual tweets, not individual Facebook posts, not individual LinkedIn posts, individual tweets are indexed by Google. So if you go searching for Bridget Willard, you’re going to find my website, you’re going to find a Twitter account, you’re going to find my other Twitter account with a carousel tweets. gonna probably find like my books, YouTube, but it’s right, there was just five tweets. That’s what comes up in search results. I discovered this searching for Chinese New Year. Okay, and I forgot like, it’s, we don’t call it that anymore. I grew up in California near the Bay Area. So we always call the Chinese New Year. That’s what everybody called it, but Lunar New Year. So I was like, you know, what year is that? I want to know, you know, I’m really like that It’s the Year of the ox, which is my birth year. So I but I saw a carousel tweets from different news sources talking about Lunar New Year. And I was like, What is this? Oh, I mean, I knew that Google cared about it as a as off page SEO, you know, as a ranking signal. But like being active, that’s how people still see you. Like, that’s how they discover who you are. It’s essential, because what’s essential in b2b relationships?
Yeah, I would agree. I know if I punk by name into into Google, my Twitter account comes out before my website, believe it or not, yeah. And that’s just the power of Twitter. No winks on Twitter. Um, I’m gonna dive into something at the risk of creating a little controversy. It is a controversy. Yeah, I know that. But how do you feel? And I’ve got a bit of a take on this one, but I wanted yours is how do you feel about Twitter censoring certain posts on Twitter? So the one that comes to mind was the president, the former president of the United States. We just had a situation I don’t know if you know, but in Canada, we’re in the middle of a political election, and they censored a cabinet ministers tweet last week, because they were misinformed. How do you how do you feel about Twitter going down that road?
I mean, if you want to just censor hate speech, there’s always going to be haters, right? Yeah, yeah, I feel like censoring and suspending accounts that aren’t of political ears is a bias, a part of a machine that I think is a little bit unfair. I wouldn’t do it. If I were on their Twitter board, I wouldn’t do it. I know, there’s a lot of people that demanded that happen to Trump. But the thing is, they are a private company. It’s their platform, and they can do whatever they want. This is why we’re always like, blog on your own website. And Twitter is a mini blog. This is why WordPress people are always about owning your own content, because you are a digital sharecropper, every time you publish words, on a third party platform, I publish on Bridgette Willard calm. I own the domain. I rent the hosting, I have backups every night. When they can decide that they hate me, hey, Google Ads just did this to me. And I don’t even know why. Because they won’t tell you. I have been banned from having ads forever. And I think it’s because I’m was promoting my book, how to market your plugin. And they would suggest keywords. And I didn’t put WordPress in there. But they said, Here’s 1100 keywords, and I just said accept them all. So it’s kind of a trap. But that’s unlike well, whenever they don’t get any money from me, you know, I’d rather advertise on a podcast like I did on the mat report. Yeah, somebody I know, got the money. You know, somebody that could actually use the money is sort of stupid Google, right? Then like, well, Sucks to be you. But like, but the thing is, it feels unfair, it feels unjust to something that we trust. So I’m conflicted, because they’re private company, and they have the right to do whatever they want. I wish there were more active about you know, suspending actual spam accounts. Like Yeah, john 65724390. Like, those are all spam.
Yeah, I will. I will. So So My take is a little different. I actually have a tough time with this one. I think the private companies need within reason unless somebody is doing something absolutely illegal not to get involved. And I mean, I’m no, hardly. And I’ll give you an example. We were right now. Do you know where the Taliban is going to communicate in the back channel? We’re all using Twitter, DMS, although, and the problem and the problem is Twitter hasn’t done anything to get them out. And this is what I get upset about.
Yeah, I get mad about American and Canadian politicians like hello. The taller bond is using Twitter. Yep.
So that’s the first part. And then I was reading not that not that I care about the space. But if the biggest hot topic on Twitter now last week has been the whole only fans debate if you’ve read that debate. I have and and again, I’m not advocating porn, so So hear me out here. I’m not getting a stat. My problem with again, only fans doing what they did, as I said to a friend last night, is they decided to center when it didn’t suit them. Yet, if they didn’t have all that business that put them there, they wouldn’t be where they are today. So
Exactly. A friend of mine and I have been investigating and researching financial literacy in the sex industry. Oh, don’t even go there. Seriously, because if they start an LLC, then they can buy health insurance through the LLC and you can have a tax write off That you can write off of your costumes, your lashes, your plastic surgery, because it’s it’s, it’s what actors do, right? Yeah. But if you get into personalized porn, modeling, or actually being in a film, and it’s taboo now it’s not illegal, and it’s not prostitution. So they should have a right and our our Matt, our Matt Mullenweg tweeted about that, that that subject, I don’t know if you saw it, but he was like, Hey, don’t be upset with only fans Tumblr at all. be upset with visa discover.
He’s actually right. I saw that tweet. And he’s actually right. The payment processors are making it hard. But when it suited the big companies, they all took the money, because it suited them because they get a percentage.
So how is Pornhub? collecting payments? Like? Well, I was good question. I’m just I’m being serious. Like if you think about it from an objective standpoint, and I know that a lot of us in the WordPress community believe and democratizing publishing, right, yes. Yep. All have a right to the career that they’ve chosen. Yeah. Okay, as long as they’re not being trafficked. Okay. This is their path. And that’s what they’re doing. They should be able to set it up, however, works best for them. Now, what I’m I also saw the tweets are like, create your own membership website. Yeah. Don’t because then, then PayPal, you know, you can do it through PayPal. Venmo. Yeah, right. I mean, I don’t know which, which, if I were a payment gateway, I would have been all about like, Hey, we accept whatever business is going to be the same thing with the cannabis industry, because it’s technically illegal in the United States, because it’s federally illegal, but certain states have allowed it. But still, you go to a pot store. That there you know, you go to weedmaps, calm, they’re taking your credit card. Ash,
it’s the same thing in Gander, you can walk in in Ontario, cannabis is legal, you can walk into a store that’s sanctioned by the government with a debit card or credit card and pay for their and that’s not an issue. So my suspicion is the disputing the card charges as fraudulent once your wife or husband finds out that that’s what you’re spending your money on. That’s a different issue. Right? There. I mean, maybe MasterCard and Visa could be smart about it, and have a insurance or you know, some kind of insurance plan against fraudulent charge back charges or something, or some kind of like, I agree to pay for this, and decline my right to dispute or to be smart about it. Like, yeah, of course you want to be if we’re not a fundamental Christian country anymore. And even if we were, it doesn’t matter, because it’s not illegal, we have to separate what people can do and what they should do. Yes, you can auto post to all of your social media things with jetpack as soon as you hit publish, but should you do it? Under no circumstances? Should you ever do that? Yep. So how about good or bad? It’s about strategy.
I would agree. So how does it there’s a couple interesting points. And one of the ones I wanted to talk about was, how do you feel about what I call live tweeting, and, you know, the writing the tweet and pushing a button and going to take your clients site? Or tweets that matter? And then saying, Okay, I know these aren’t going to change and scheduling them. Do you have an opinion on that?
Yeah. Okay. live tweeting. When I say live tweeting. I mean, I’m in a word camp talk. I’m watching the Oscars. I’m watching a presidential debate, which I used to do when I was heavily involved in politics in a former life. And I’m tweeting out quotes. To me, that’s live tweeting, but tweeting organically in the moment versus scheduling, I think you’re need both. Now there is a distinct difference between automation and scheduling. And some automation is good. So on my site, Bridget Willard calm, okay, I’m using revive old posts by revised social, then it goes through and I’m always blitzing with the man of hours. It’s always like some kind of prime number with a point five, because if you do it every eight hours, it’s gonna be the same time all the time. So I’m always like, 37 seven point something 17.5 13.5 I’ve always messing around with it. But anyway, so um, and I love prime numbers. I don’t know why I just feel like they’re special. So I scheduled tweets for my clients, that’s what they pay me to do. Like I literally have six clients. I mean, I have more, but for the Twitter basic package, and Twitter Pro, I make a content calendar with like one to three tweets a day depends on what they pay for. And then they approve that calendar and then I schedule and Hootsuite. However, I am also paying attention between 7am and 10pm. I’m looking for things to reply to, I’m looking for things to push out like today. I saw those tickets for wordcamp. us. So I retweeted that from several of my client accounts where it makes sense, because you need the you need the regularity, right? You need the regularity of publishing. But you also need that spontaneity that like seeing somebody said, Oh, I just released this plugin. And just saying congratulations, is a big deal. People can tell if you’re not online.
Yeah, I would agree. And it’s an in being online is a 24 by seven world too. So that adds to that mess even more to some degree. But the other thing I would say is if you’re going to schedule posts, you better be keeping an eye out on what’s going on. Because I’ve known several cases where people have scheduled posts. And then the post went out after something in the news changed or something changed. Yeah. And then they’ve been lambasted, rightfully so for the tweet that went out the door.
Yeah, there’s a there’s kind of some controversy about that. I mean, yes. If we were tweeting when we saw 911 happen, no, stop, we pass out most good social media managers pause all that stuff. Okay. Some clients don’t want you to pause it, you know. So I differentiate myself from a manager to a marketer, because I use the insight that I get on Twitter to inform my clients and give them ideas for content. Or maybe your site doesn’t say this and such because otherwise you wouldn’t be getting that question. Right. So yeah, I think you should I do, if, if things are getting weird, and I’m like, whatever, I just turn off revival post. You know, and I don’t because it comes over us tone deaf, and there are tragedies, we do have hurricanes and things like that, you know, natural disasters, the people storming the capital of United States, things like that are really bad. So it depends on where you are to and your business. So in San Antonio, we are a city where people from Houston and Corpus Christi from the Gulf, they evacuated for hurricanes here. So if there’s a hurricane coming like Harvey did, then I’m not going to be tweeting about stuff. I’m going to be retweeting FEMA, and things like that. You know, I’m going to be re tweeting the city of San Antonio evacuation things. I’m going to be helpful. I’m not going to be talking about buying my book.
Yeah, I would, I would agree. I mean, there’s a time and a place for everything. I mean, and you know, you got to be insane. Because we all we all know what’s going overseas in Afghanistan right now. It’s hard to stay away from that mess. And, and I think you got to make sure you’re not tone deaf. In terms of business to business, we know Twitter works really well. Do you think it works? Well, in a business to consumer, do you think except for support? Or do you think that can work as well?
Oh, I don’t. I don’t do those accounts. I specialize in b2b, but I think it works as a consumer myself. You know, I was asking a friend for an Asian restaurant recommendation. I found their website, I checked out the social media there on Twitter, I was like, Oh my gosh, those sounds so good. And they were like, you got to come in here and get on. You know, already. I feel like I’m welcome. You know, you, when you have retail opportunities, you can say, show us this tweet, we’ll give you a free cookie. And then you know, you have more more direct data, you know, are closer to it, because everybody is after the first click lead. It doesn’t exist. It’s like Like the abominable snowman, it almost never happens. It’s still a seven to 10 touches doesn’t matter what, what media it is, you know, people are still using billboards Rob billboards I know, literally and I was on a date the other day. And my friend really likes IPA. And he was like, oh, man, did you get an IPA? But the guy gameling I’m like, What the heck is jianlin is like, don’t you know what this beer is? And I’m like, I don’t know. He goes, why I don’t understand what the kanken an IPA. Then all of a sudden, I’m seeing billboards for Yang Ling. It’s I keep seeing all these bars around here having mainly I mean, Yingling is pushing their distribution in Central Texas or South Texas right now in Texas. So yeah, it’s an all out assault, because marketing is war, right? You’re trying to get the territory. So they’re pushing it and then all of a sudden, you’re like, Okay, well, maybe I’ll try Yingling. Yeah. It just depends on your demographic.
I would agree. I think, you know, it’s funny. I know, when I’ve had support problems with companies. Where do I go? Twitter? I every time. I mean, Rogers Communications, they actually, they actually give. And we all know what communications companies are. One of the things I’ve learned again, is when I have problems, their communications team has more latitude than a rep on the phone. So I’ll go there every time because I especially if I’ve got a big problem. And, and they can’t, and I’m sure they look at my account and say, Oh, this guy’s got 16,000 followers, we need to fix this like now. I think well,
as somebody who manages for other companies, I try to make that my last resort. Because I’m like, Listen, if you guys aren’t doing your support, 24 seven, and I still can’t understand why. WordPress companies don’t have seven day support hours, like, get a part time person on the weekend or stop selling at different time zones. Because they come on the weekend. They’re building a website, they’re like, I need help. And I’m like, oh, sorry, we always do this Monday to Friday, nine to five, central nine to five, Eastern nine to five Pacific,
nine to five Australian times. Raise a problem. Yeah, it’s a big problem. What’s the one thing on Twitter that you wish b2b companies would do better? Cheese,
stop re tweeting themselves. Follow people back. I’m a big believer and following people back. Because that’s how you build relationships. And you can’t even build your account, really, unless you’re following people back. I don’t know how people are having these giant accounts. Because I think what they’re doing is dropping followers, because their home feed is unmanageable. And then I say you don’t know how to use lists, Twitter lists, and the Reply button are two things that most people don’t use on Twitter that are very valuable to to the operations of your business. Like I said, like, I gave a talk and word camp nightmare him and the Netherlands three years ago, literally three years ago. And I talked to my friends about this. And they were like, Well, what do you mean a persona is a bias and like, Okay, everybody thinks the Bob, the WordPress developer is 25 lives in his mom’s basement, plays video games, a drinks, IPA, and watches, you know, Marvel movies. Okay, well, where have I seen this? Right? And so and I was talking to two guys about this. And they said, Oh, I used to be Bob. I go right. But now you like wine? You own a home? You run a business. And your favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption. Yep. we evolve as people. And so when you make these personas of these fictional people that you think are in your audience, why would you do that? When you can just read the people’s tweets, that’s why it’s so important to list them. And I don’t understand Rob in WordPress, where we working with databases, and actions and filters what you know, filters and hooks I mean, and why do you not understand that if I put you on A list of you know, users and I read those tweets. I know what you like.
Yep. I agree. I agree. 100%. It’s knowing what, and it’s not hard on Twitter to figure out what people like,
right? Everybody knows Joshua’s struggle from Paisley likes single malt Scotch. Yep. Because he tweets about it.
So I’ll give you an example. I sent my friend Joe Casobona. I emailed the follow up on something. And I said, by the way, you must be really happy about how your New York Yankees are doing these days. Joe is a staunch New York Yankees fan, he tweets about it every night, right?
Because he’s a person. And that’s the other thing that business businesses don’t do? Well, they need to show a personality, you need to have something that people can latch on to otherwise you’re not going to be have anything to talk about, you know. So like, if I were talking to Joe about the Yankees, I would like pull something out of my brain and be like, well, I’m reading this book right now called Oh, man, see, and they keep talking about the great dimarzio? Do you think that any current players are like dimarzio? Was that an ideal that can’t be lived? toward? You know, I’m sure he has an opinion on that.
I’m sure he does. Knowing Joe, he’s got their opinion a lot. But yeah, it’s a it’s a valid point, you get to know what people like, and and how they like it. And and I think that’s, if brands were smart, they would look at their followers, and they would actually start to figure out what their followers like didn’t didn’t like, and then they could adjust your marketing and their products accordingly. Right.
And you know, and then you find out what is their biggest pain point? It’s not this, it’s that you never thought about it, because product. Developers think about a specific that problem, and then they solve it, but then they’re so into their own product. They don’t have any outside influence anymore. They don’t they’re no longer in the real world.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I would agree that hashtags. We all peep on hashtags. We all know a little bit about hashtags do you think are overused underused, abused? is a good way to put it? What’s your take on that people
don’t understand what hashtags are wrong. Essentially, they see people doing it. It’s a funny skit with Justin Timberlake, and whatever his name is, and I forgot and you know, like, but hashtags started on Twitter. Yes, pound sign with a word for for Twitter chat to filter for a keyword. I explain it in one of my guru minute. videos, the hashtags are like looking up in the phonebook. The live companies hashtag their own name, which is completely stupid, because that is not how people use hashtags. hashtags are literally a link. When you click on that link, it gives you a filtered view of tweets that also use that hashtag. They are for search and discovery. That is it or filtering a conversation around something like a Twitter chat. So when people like, come up with these hashtags, I’m like, first of all, that’s stupid. But also, that’s why you’re not getting any reach. So So here’s the thing. So they started on Twitter, and then they moved over to Instagram, and they became sentences and sarcastic. hashtags are great for sarcasm on Twitter and Instagram, then Facebook, people who are cost posting to Facebook and LinkedIn. So they exist there. And technically they work. But every time I teach a social media class, I asked how many people use hashtags on Facebook, and they all raise their hand. And then I asked how many of you click on a hashtag on Facebook, and usually one of 70 you know, a very small percentage will raise their hand. People don’t click on hashtags. This is why Instagram and like LinkedIn allow you to follow a hashtag, because that’s essentially what you’re doing for discovery. So I actually started using hashtags way at the bottom of my post on LinkedIn. I have a specific style of tweeting for this one purpose, not To distract from your call to action. First of all, okay, you want the words and you want the link, and then you want a couple returns and put the hashtags, because what you want people to do is click on the link. So you don’t want a bunch of blue things in your tweet. Blue is a link, we’re all trained. We grew up with the internet. We’re Gen Xers, everybody younger than that knows, you touch it, you click on it, it takes you somewhere. So if you hashtag words, you know, in the in the tweet, first of all, they could click that and then go down a whole nother rabbit hole, and they’re not even in your tweet anymore. You lost them. In fact, you didn’t just lose them. You sent them away. Yep. And it’s also very difficult to read and super annoying for a screen reader or Siri or Google or Alexa reading to you. Yep.
That’s a bit of a problem too. Because one of the things you mentioned a screen reader we all forget about is accessibility. And I think accent and you will get your your book in a bit. But accessibility, especially with nonprofits is a big deal and is actually mandated in many, many places, including in the province of Ontario. So, yeah, it’s a bit of an issue. And I think we’re getting to the point where people are forgetting about accessibility, and that’s not a good move, in my opinion,
right. And that’s why I don’t like using overusing emoji either in tweets, because when the screen reader or Alexa or Siri reads that to you, which a lot of people get have that read to them, not just people with vision issues. They prefer it. They’re auditory in nature. It’s like a monkey covering face monkey covering eyes monkey. I mean, it’s laborious. You, you don’t even know what people are saying anymore. It’s just stupid. Besides, a gift on Twitter is extra real estate. And you can see more emotion. See, that’s the other thing. So I’m 48. Last year, I paid for LASIK. So I literally have 2020 vision. So my phone, I can’t have some of those emojis are too small. You can’t, you cannot enlarge them.
Yeah, on a phone, I wear progressive glasses and on a phone, I find emojis awful, even What progressors? I really do. And it’s it’s just I just wish people wouldn’t do it, to say the least. Before we move on, what do you think, in Twitter is the value of DMS or direct messages? When should they be used? When Shouldn’t they be used? I know one of my big quorums is I get really frustrated with people follow you and what’s the first thing I get in my inbox a DM saying buy my product and, And to me, that’s not the right way to as a marketer to do marketing. I’ll never do marketing that way. And I tend to be very quick on the go away ban button. And I don’t care what the platform is. generally take home one dm should be used when they shouldn’t be used beyond a personal conversation,
a auto auto dm or cold calling. You know, it’s spammy. I think it’s a mistake. And maybe if you if your product can afford the attrition, that will happen because of it. And you have enough volume, okay, whatever. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should applies to almost everything in life, including auto DMS. DMS can be really good for, you know, client communications like, so I spent the first 30 years of my career as a secretary. Okay. And pretty much however you want to communicate with me. clients, whether we accept, you know, smoke signals and Morse code, I’m fine with people used to laugh that the eight year old would come in at with a paper check to pay for his tenant improvements. And I was like, hey, if Bob wants to come out with a paper check to give us $85,000 I’m fine with that. Oh, if he wants me to fax him an invoice or mail him his contract. I’m going to do that because we’re about serving them. So my clients the way my businesses I don’t have I don’t make them go into my communication platform. Some of them like email, some of them like Slack, some like Basecamp Some even have it Discord server site, you know, however they want to communicate. So for me if if I have a client who gets a lot of emails, and I just want to send them something like, Hey, I do this all the time with my clients, ooh, this might be something for you to, you know, comment on, or UI this some here’s some insight, or Hey, there’s a speaking opportunity. I did all three of those things today. Yep. Yeah, that’s a good place for it.
I would agree with the i think i think you hit the nail on the head is too many people in our position, Strikeforce clients into doing things their way. And I personally think that’s the biggest mistake going because you’re there to service the client. So not the client to service you. And yeah, and that’s always been my take is, I know, like, away from Twitter, one of the things I’ve implemented in my business is a helped us system. Do you know for 50% of my clients, I’m opening the tickets for them, because they won’t do it. They just won’t do it. They prefer to communicate in other ways. And that’s just the way it is. So you got a thank God for Xavier, right? I mean, yeah. I’m sorry, Zack.
When you when you have to, like make the slogan, the Pronunciation Guide, because you name something. Xavier with only one p instead of two. Anyway, like, yes. Okay, so, but here’s the thing, like, I don’t get push notifications for Twitter. And I’ve never will. And I recommend that nobody does that. I look at it when I want to look at it. So but also, I don’t remember stuff. They’re like, Oh, it’s it. If somebody DM me there, and it starts to become let’s schedule where you do X, Y, and Z. And I’m like, you guys send me an email. I’m Gen X. My Asana Trello project management system is Gmail. So you know, there’s just too much. There’s, there’s too much from too many different places. I am not making a Trello board for my life. It’s not happening. Yeah. So that and I need less work.
Yeah, I agree. Yeah, I agree. I know. That is so true.
So apologize. Apologies to everyone who I have ignored or forgotten about into DMS, I was just apologizing to somebody today, who is asking me to do an AMA and I said, I’m so sorry. I forgot about this because it’s in a DM.
Yeah, yeah. I agree. Was Twitter question before we move on? Should people do Twitter in a tool like Hootsuite? Would You Do? Or should they use the native Twitter app? And I know on my phone, I actually prefer the native Twitter app. I’ll tell you that now. So but what’s your take on?
Yes, that’s the fastest answer you got for me. So I use Hootsuite because I want to look at my lists. Yeah. And because I manage client work, people were really upset. And I kind of was at first that their plan that was $15. It’s like 79 now, but the LLC pays for it. So it’s either going to Hootsuite is going to IRS, that’s real life. Like that’s a business expense. But for a regular person, a free account is fine, it’s a good way to look at your list, and to follow a hashtag in a column. However, if you’re not using the native app, you will miss things like people were like, what is Twitter spaces? What are now debunked defunct, or sunsetted? What are fleets? Because you’re only gonna see that on the mobile app? Yep. You know, so I, I believe and using both of there is no tool that’s great. And does everything you need it to do? We we in the software world, like to think that there is the perfect tool, or as I say, we procrastinate doing something we know we should do by learning about all of the tools we don’t use. And so what I always say is the best tool is the one that you use.
I would agree. I know one and I’m not, you know, we’ve followed each other a long time. We’ve talked on social media, as you know, I’m not one for jumping tools around I tend to lock my tool stack pretty down. And then once it’s down, I people say well, this is better. And I’ll say yeah, so that’s nice. Because at the end of the day, investing time in a new tool is not always the right approach. Like for example, I don’t know if you know, but I don’t run Windows or run Mac. I run neither and people shake their head. Definitely I, I run Linux at my agency, and I’ve been there for about about six months. And somebody said to me, can you doesn’t matter? And I said, Well, I can do everything I want to do. And all the tools are cross platform that I use, so it doesn’t matter. And you know, at the end of the day, you just got to use what worked for you. And as I tell people who use Macs, and you know, I’ve, I’ve never, I shouldn’t say I’ve never owned an apple, I’ve never owned an apple, since an apple one. So that goes back like 40 years. Yeah. And I and I still have the apple one, by the way, as a momento. And, and people laugh at me, and they say, but you are so not an iOS guy. And I said, No, because I learned my tools. And once you learn how to master your tool, it doesn’t matter at the end of the day. Right?
Right. I mean, that’s, it’s whatever you use it, you know, just get it done. I feel like people are always distracted by the shiny new object. And that’s what it’s affects their productivity.
I would agree. So let’s move on to your book. You co authored a book with Warren called the only online marketing book you need for your nonprofit, I’ve started reading it, I’m about I’m about a third of the way in, so that’s good. The the guy who has too many books to read in his Kindle library right now. I’m an avid reader, which I think, you know, how did you guys develop the concept for the book? Um, why? Why? Why a book on nonprofits?
Oh, that’s great question. Yeah. So like I said, Warren and I have been working on client accounts for a while. And last year, we both started writing all these books. That’s how, and then he said, Hey, I want to do a series of online marketing for small businesses, schools and nonprofits. What if we wrote them together? And you know, combined our efforts instead of being super frustrated, you know, because it’s sad, you wrote a book, and then people don’t buy it like you think they should? And then you’re like, Man, you know, but that’s not why right. I was literally tweeting about that today, right to teach. And so I was like, yeah, this will be great. We, you know, it’ll be fun. It’s, it was such a fun project. And so we wrote the first one in small business, and we did it in a Google Doc, at began being and in Bremen, Germany, seven hours ahead, I would write then I go to bed, and he would write and I’d go to bed, like, you know, it was just like, if it was made it really great to collaborate a Google Docs. And then, and then we did it together, we use his account. And Kindle allows you, I mean, the, the self publishing kdp.amazon.com allows you to put other authors in there. And then you just pay pals me my cut of the royalties. Yeah, and so both of us have a passion for all three of these subjects. Because we both worked with these industries. But nonprofits You know, I’ve, I used to be a board member of women who WP which is a nonprofit. I have been on staff at churches, I have nonprofit clients. And I coach nonprofits, you know, their business, what I see them doing wrong, is not treating their nonprofit like a business. So that’s where our subtitle came from, like, it’s a business treat it like one like you’re an e commerce store. This is stuff we used to say back when I was building gift from 2015 to 2017. You know, yet this e commerce platform stop, you know, you you need donor data, you need donor reports, you need to care about Giving Tuesday. Like if you don’t know what Giving Tuesday is in your in nonprofit, this you’re leaving money on the table. Right? So and then we reached out to people we know. Like Adrian Toby wrote the foreword for how to market your plugin. So he’s the founder of groundhog.
I know Adrian actually really well is his father is one of the biggest digital marketing trainers in the Ontario.
Yeah, his dad is awesome. His mom is awesome, too. I love Nancy.
Yeah, you’ve met Nancy on Twitter, but she’s like, she’s a doll. And I’ve taken I don’t know, I took a year of training through his dad. So an Adrian’s God his dad’s dad. So smart Caesar, he’s a really. I remember when he started building groundhog and, and talked to him about that at length when he was working on it. And, and him showing me some stuff. Yeah, he’s a he’s a pretty remarkable young man.
Yeah. So I reached out to him to if you wanted to talk about how nonprofits should be using marketing automation, so I wrote a chapter for us. Yeah, you know, so I mean, it’s about doing something that’s helpful to nonprofits and not being all. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, cute cliche, cliche, cliche, no, like, here’s information you need to know. And it actually includes a whole chapter on Giving Tuesday, and a link to my 40 days to Giving Tuesday, Google Sheet you copy to your drive for free, you know, because I have it all I have day by day from like, October 20, or 21st, exactly what you should do to get ready for GivingTuesday.
That’s amazing. I think a lot of nonprofits to where they get into trouble. And I’ve dealt with a number of them in my career of running an agency and even before and I I’ve sat on like you on nonprofit boards. I used to be very active in the Toronto Community and enough another various is Na Na dues as far as I’m concerned, silly things internally, for example, what nonprofit what business would allow their chief financial person to miss a board meeting and not submit financial statistics at a time? That’s one of my biggest pet peeves? And where we seen that in a lot of sports sites, which are also nonprofits is embezzlement how money is disappeared?
Oh, yeah. Um, we’ve
seen this time and time again, I was very involved in the lacrosse community and one of the biggest across organizations in the Greater Toronto Area had $150,000 stolen because their Treasurer Miss three board meetings.
You know, that’s, that’s not okay. You know, you have to, you have to care not just about the cause, or the organization, you have to care about it as a business. And that’s what they don’t do. Or like on Giving Tuesday, nonprofits will just, you know, say, Oh, we need money. Well, everybody needs money. But for a while be specific, what’s my money gonna? Do? You know, is it gonna help build a well, you know, is it gonna give a kid a backpack? What is it happening with this money, make it specific, and there’s, with giving free give up with it being free, there’s no reason why every nonprofit shouldn’t be using it, who uses WordPress. And, you know, and making those donation forms very specific to the campaign, the money can go to the same bank account. But if you don’t do different donation forms, you’re not going to be able to, you know, people won’t that they don’t trust sending money to already big organization, you know, or just somebody they don’t know.
Yep, it’s true. And I think, honestly, where nonprofits get into trouble, is they they truly don’t budget for this kind of stuff they sell we have an event to do. Well, that’s nice. Do you not realize stream promoting the event as part of your cost? claiming that they’re broke all the time? Alright. I had that story with a client that I worked with, and his salary, and I won’t mention their nonprofit or who was over $100,000. And I said, So did he take a salary cut tissue? And he said to me, excuse me, I said, I’m serious. You’re calling me you? Can’t you need me to drop my contract? contract price? Did you take a 20%, our cutter shirt. And he just kind of looked at me and said and grumbled that means that I’m sure is you’re asking me to do that. Where’s your salary? Right. And this is why I think nonprofits sometimes have a tough time getting good expertise, because they claim they’re broke all the time.
Oh, right. And the thing is, there’s a difference between budget and money, like you have money is I don’t care what your budget is. You have budgets an arbitrary number, make more budget, okay? If you want it to happen, but don’t like emotionally strong arm the rest of us to help you for free. You know, be be serious about what you want. you’re collecting donations. Yeah. To market
We have a nonprofit organization in the Greater Toronto Area called the United Way, there’s United Way’s all over the place. And one of the problems I have with the United Way is from a donor standpoint is their operational budget is 60% of all money taken. Right? So I kind of look at that as a donor, and I say, okay, so if I’m going to donate to an umbrella organization, wouldn’t it be better off calling the organization and giving them my money instead of giving it to the United Way campaigns? You know, I
mean, you’re trusting them to vet people. I mean, one of the things that bugs me and I’m not necessarily a total greeny, but I’m a hippie from California raised by hippies, you know, like, I am donate to the net Nature Conservancy. Conservancy. I never say that word. Right. And the World Wildlife Foundation. Why are y’all printing magazines? And mailing them to me? Why can’t I opt out? Yep, that is a waste an enormous, enormous waste of money. Not to mention.
Okay, like, yeah, photographs of the animals are beautiful. But allow me to choose to not receive the magazine. And just look at your website. Yeah, it makes me want to stop donating.
Yeah, I would agree. In chapter five of your book, you talk about CMS. So and, and you throw in and we all know WordPress, depending on what stat you want to listen to today, is somewhere between 40 and 45% of the CMS market on the internet right now give or take. And we all and one of the things you focused on. Small focus on was you mentioned Drupal on like two pages? Why Drupal?
Oh, my gosh, Warren is a huge fan of Drupal. He used to work in an agency in Canada actually, he’s he’s Canadian, I believe. You always know when people say house, where they’re really from. But uh, yeah, and so he, he’s like WordPress is fine. But if you’re at enterprise level, sorry, you need Drupal. And a lot of these bigger foundations they need to consider because I was like, we both work with WordPress. Mostly, why are we doing this? Because, Bridgette, these, these bigger foundations need Drupal. It’s important for them to consider as a legitimate choice. I mean, we didn’t do typo. Three, just because it’s popular in Germany, but like Drupal is, you know, Drupal is a tool that is very useful for certain niches, you know, niches, niches, whatever. This is a problem when you read all day, Robert, you don’t really know how things are pronounced.
I know I read too much. So I, I’m there. So that’s an interesting take on it. Because I think, you know, I personally, not not to disagree, but I think there’s some pretty big sites running WordPress. I mean, oh, we know there are white how whitehouse.gov comes to mind right away, right. As the national parks Purdue University goes on,
yeah, okay, Rolling Stone. The thing is, we love WordPress. But Warren felt that the need to say here’s another option, especially because he has such a big expertise there. So I’m like, whatever syrup I made, sir book, you don’t have to like, one of the things that was really great about working on this project is we had to kind of compromise on a lot of things. So we went with UK spelling. Yep. We went with punctuation inside the quotes. So it’s kind of a mix, you know, like that. The UK way is not the same as the American way right? But nor the Canadian way always fight. Right? Right. So it but it was really fun, like to go through and edit it and do the tonality and talk about, you know what’s different. And so we copied, we literally copied the Google Doc from the first one, and then put it in a different drive and everything for nonprofits. And then I was like, This is missing, Giving Tuesday. This is missing this. So we started with that skeleton of a small business book. This one is so much better. it like it’s so good. I’m like, we’re gonna have a kind of a hard time. not keeping giving too. Stay in for the schools because a lot of schools are nonprofits. But it’s just you know, it’s so important. And I’m giving Tuesday’s also a really good way to co market with a nonprofit. That’s true as a as a for profit business. So it was a great experience. And I’ve really enjoyed it. I think it made me a better writer. I mean, you can interview Warren and ask him what he thinks of us, like our bridges drive me crazy.
Actually, Warren and I are talking as soon as I see his latest is racist, Porky did on his own. So yeah, yeah, we are down the road. I really liked him. I think he I think you both bring a lot to the table. What’s the biggest takeaway out of this book? Do you think? I mean, you kind of roadmap for, for the reader for readers confused, like you. You talk about how to build relationships, you talk about the technical stuff, what do you talk about how to market? What is the biggest takeaway out of the book?
Um, what our intent is that it’s a reference manual. That, you know, you, you know, I have everybody writes, you know, and I keep that because I, oh, if I want to refresh myself, I go and look at that chapter. You know, you’re it’s not a novel. You know, it’s not, it’s nonfiction, but it’s, it’s for helping, you know, like, Oh, yeah, what was that chapter again, because we’re about to hire somebody. So I, we wanted it to be a base level education, so that when nonprofits do hire internal employees, or vendors, they have enough base understanding of marketing and the tools that integrate with these with one another, as well as the mindset of you are a business, you have a bank account, you are you have e commerce, and sometimes they have a store also, and you have to file tax returns. So you need to think of it like a business, stop thinking of it as you know, your cause your cause is important. But you have three audiences, the vote, the donors, the volunteers, and the recipients of the cause. Those three things. So it’s the mindset of your three prong audience, as well as it being there when you need it as a reference manual. Yeah,
I would agree. So true. It’s just conversations been great. If somebody wants to reach out to what is the best way to get ahold of you, and what projects do you have coming down besides another book?
I’m fit. I’m writing. I’m trying to get this finished. I’m behind my own little schedule, but I’m working on the residential contractor pack for launch with words. I’ve also contracted with Ryan Kinney, to trademark launch with birds which has been filed. That’s my best. That’s my kind of product. One of my products besides my book, and as is my plugin launches words. And also, Warren and I are doing another book this year. I have an idea for another book for myself. That’s more inspirational, but really, I’m just gonna focus on launch with words besides my client work this year. Yeah, it’s been a really great conversation. And I appreciate all the subjects we’ve covered. Like, I can’t imagine the tweets. You want to hear Bridgette coming out as a bisexual being a former pastor swipe. her thoughts on Twitter not banning the Taliban. Listen.
more power to you what to take. Note, there’s an old saying that no publicity is bad publicity in silence is worse than negative.
So as an IQ as someone who experienced a bad publicity, I’m gonna disagree with that. However. You know what I mean? Like, we are whole people, Rob, we’re all people. But yes, we’re businesses. But the more that we appreciate one another, for the things that we have in common. Instead of focusing on the differences, especially now, we’re we’re not even sure how to be humans with one another is important. My philosophy is, if you invest in people, they’ll invest in you.
So true. Thanks for your time. Bridget, have an amazing day. You too. Thank you. A very special thank you to Bridget Williams for joining me. On this podcast, if you want to tweet up Bridget, you can tweet at her @BridgetMWilliard. Say hello, she’ll be glad to hear from you. Thanks for listening to the SDM Show. The show is a production of stunning digital marketing and all rights reserved. Rob can be reached by email at VIP at stunning digital marketing calm on twitter at Rob Karen’s on his website stunning digital marketing calm and on his website there’s links to all his social media platforms. This show is dedicated to my late father Bruce Cairns. Dad, I miss you very much. Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars make your business succeed.