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Have you ever felt like you were spreading yourself thin across the hundreds of social media platforms? Are you trying to apply one social media strategy across too many platforms? Krista Neher is a social media pioneer. She is a 6-time bestselling author, international speaker, award-winning entrepreneur, global thought-leader, and the CEO of Boot Camp Digital. Krista has written 6 books on digital marketing, including a textbook and a “Dummies” book on social media marketing. She has worked with companies like Facebook, Nike, Procter & Gamble, GE, Macy’s, Google, and the United States Senate and has been featured as an expert in the New York Times, CNN, Wall Street Journal, NBC, CBS, Entrepreneur, and the Associated Press. Krista is passionate about digital marketing and created one of the first accredited certification programs in the world.
In this episode, George Leith and Krista Neher discuss specializing on just one platform and perfecting it, adapting content to different cultures and considering infrastructure when doing video campaigns in different countries, and paid Facebook ad strategies- what strategies break through the masses and gain attention.
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George: It’s another edition of the Conquer Local podcast. And this week, we’re bringing you CEO and bestselling author at Bootcamp Digital, Krista Neher. Krista is a serial author of six books and counting, Launch Yourself, personal branding, the latest work, all the way to her first book, which is the Social Media Field Guide. And I’m looking forward to learning more about how she became such a prolific author and where did all of this great learning come from. Also, you’ll be able to find Krista online when you do a little bit of research. She’s a global keynote speaker. She’s a certified virtual presenter and an expert on many of the top-tier social media platforms. She’s done work for Fortune 500 businesses, like Google and Procter & Gamble, NASA, and even the US Senate. Definitely gonna ask some questions around working with politicians. Krista Neher, CEO and best-selling author at Boot Camp Digital is coming up next on this week’s edition of the Conquer Local podcast. Excited to speak to our next guest here on the Conquer Local podcast, joining us all the way from Amsterdam, welcome Krista Neher, the CEO and best-selling author at Boot Camp Digital.
Krista: Excellent. Thank you so much for having me today.
How Krista Became A 6x Bestselling Author
George: Krista, in the next few minutes, I would love to understand more about some of this great content. You are the best-selling author of six different books, and there’s a lot of great material inside those books. When did you start writing and what was the inception of you becoming a best-selling author?
Krista: Yeah, so, to be honest, I never set out to write books or thought it was something I would do. My first book I wrote in, I think, 2010, 2011, and really, I had been doing training in social media. So my company specializes in training and I started off running these social media workshops and I made a user guide. And it was like 150 printed pages. And a friend of mine was like, why wouldn’t you just turn this into a book? And I thought, yeah, why wouldn’t I just turn this into a book? So I wrote my first book, Social Media Field Guide, which was just sort of an adaptation of that. And from there, I got a contract to write the first textbook on social media. Then I wrote a book on visual social marketing, right as images and videos were hot, like when Pinterest and Instagram were new to the scene. And the people at the Dummies group, like the people who write the Dummies books, they wanted to do a Dummies book on visual social marketing. So they actually reached out to me when they saw the book I had written. So then I did a book with them. And then my last book is on, well, I have two other books. I wrote Digital Marketing That Actually Works, and then a book on personal branding called Launch Yourself. And really, what my books, I hope, have in common is like practical, real things that work. So there’s so much hype and garbage messaging out there in the world of digital right now, and what I really try and focus on, and that’s why we came up with, that actually works, is to focus on just like the sustainable things that get you results and get rid of this hypey stuff that doesn’t really work in the long run.
George: Well, I find that folks that are looking to learn more in this field that we’re in, whether it’s around branding or social media, they’re looking for those tactical takeaways, I can read the book and go do something and see a benefit.
Krista: Yeah, exactly. And I think, to me, that’s really important, but to stay away from these hacks and tricks, right? It’s like, oh, add 20 hashtags and use this tool to find the most popular hashtags and throw those in. Like, if you think about from a user experience, it’s horrid. So it’s not gonna work in the long run, right? But there’s a lot of stuff that’s not rocket science that you can be doing that will grow your business right away that will also work in the long run.
Social Media Strategy: Are You Using Too Many Platforms?
George: When we were going through our research of you and your brand, your organization, I saw these amazing logos. You’ve been training Fortune 500 businesses, as well as startups and small businesses, but you’ve done work for Google, Procter & Gamble, NASA, and even the US Senate. What’s the level of digital proficiency inside the US Senate?
Krista: Well, I mean, you could probably see that if you watch some of the recordings. I’m Canadian, by the way. That’s always my neutralizer on politics in the US. I’m Canadian. But what’s really interesting, if you step back, I’ve worked with a lot of politicians over the years, and what’s really interesting, again, is they have these tactics or ideas, but the blocking and tackling of building a good reputation on social media, it’s not sexy, but it’s the same stuff that worked 10 years ago. And you just gotta kinda get it done, be consistent and write great stuff people care about.
George: Well, and it has to be content that people want to read and want to consume, really. It comes back down to that age old thing of, what’s the message? In the work that you’ve done on the social media platforms, I’m sure you could give us a training manual on every platform. But the question that I hear coming up more and more, businesses asking this question of, do I still need to be using Facebook? I’d love to understand your feeling on Facebook and where it sits in the ecosystem, because it is changing. And I’m wondering what your answer to that question would be if a business person asked that.
Krista: Yeah, so in full disclosure, Facebook is a client of ours, but I think my answer will surprise you given that. Here’s the thing, right? I think social media experts do the world, or do marketers the biggest disservice by acting like everyone needs to do everything, right? And there’s a sense of urgency. So you could go onto a social media group and say, oh, I’m a llama farmer. Should I be on Tik Tok? And everyone will say, oh, absolutely. You’re missing out. Get on Tik Tok, right? So whether it’s Facebook or something else, I think the most important thing is choose one channel and maximize it, instead of doing everything kind of at a mediocre rate. So like, the Instagram influencer who’s making millions of bucks on Instagram, they don’t care about their Facebook page. They’re not worrying about YouTube. The YouTube unboxer doesn’t care about their LinkedIn presence. And I think businesses need to adopt that mindset of really optimize one thing and one channel. So when it comes to Facebook, I think there’s an expectation that many businesses have a presence there, just if you think a restaurant, for example, you’d expect to be able to find them and find their menus. So you need to be there for those types of things. But organic reach has declined so much that I think unless you have huge resources and a topic that’s really suited to Facebook, you’re really just not gonna see much organic reach. So more and more, we view Facebook as a paid strategy for businesses. And I think that’s where you’re gonna get the results. If you’re thinking organic, again, it’s an awful lot of work to earn that visibility anymore.
George: I just want to interrogate what you said there. Is that because just the sheer magnitude of everyone that’s on there is making it harder to stand out, and that’s why you have to have a paid strategy?
Krista: Well, so it’s both, right? I mean, Facebook was the first social platform to introduce an algorithm to decide what you saw in your newsfeed. And everyone hated it when it came out. People were like, how do I get recent back? But an average Facebook user can be exposed to over 2,500 updates a day, right? Ain’t nobody got time for that. So what you need to do is optimize it to say, okay, let’s show you the stuff we think you care about. And that’s what the algorithm does. But what Facebook’s algorithm has done for the last 10 years or something was intentionally deprioritize posts from pages. So their algorithm actively reduces the visibility of pages. And for years, they said it didn’t, but then eventually, like five, six years ago, even longer, they came out and said, okay, yeah, we do reduce the visibility of pages. So I don’t think it’s a secret that Facebook doesn’t give organic page posts the same exposure as other type of content. And so, that’s really what it comes down to. And I think the average organic reach now is under 1% on average for most pages. So you just do some basic math there. It’s hard to get a good ROI when you’re reaching so few people with your messages.
Adapting Your Digital Campaigns Across Cultures
George: So we’ve talked about the algorithm and we’ve talked about what’s success on a Facebook campaign. What changes when you go into a different country or you go into a different culture, because I know you’ve worked in numerous geographies and I always get that question from folks that are like, oh, I just got back from a trip to South Africa. How much difference than it is in Canada or Australia or? So what is, in your experience, is the big difference when you go into a different country or language
Krista: Yeah, the big things you have to be cognizant of, if you have paid, obviously, the budgets are vastly different. If you think of what you would pay for reach, for clicks in the US versus Indonesia, for example, night and day difference there. I think you also need to be really aware of the format that people are viewing your content on, and the infrastructure. So what we see in a lot of developing countries, like if you take Indonesia, for example, most of the views are on mobile because the infrastructure for laptops and that just never developed. So you see that across the developing world. Same in Africa. But then the other layer on top of that is the mobile speeds that people have access to. So one of the basic tips of Facebook is create more video content, which is true in the US, Europe, developed countries. If you do that in a country with poor wireless infrastructure, the videos never load and play and you’re wasting your budget. So the main thing really, I mean, the platform works the same way. Obviously, you need to connect and understand your audience and their needs, but the biggest thing is optimizing your type of content for mobile speeds and the local consumption patterns.
George: I remember when we first, in our organization, made the move to Australia and we’re working in the Australian market. I had a sales manager reach out to me and say, can we change that text? And I’m like, well, it’s in English. It should work. And they were like, no, we don’t talk like that here. It was more around the colloquial phrases. Even if it’s still English or even if it’s still Spanish, there are those nuances. Is it localization is what we’re calling it, or how have you experienced that?
Krista: Yeah, so it’s really interesting ’cause Facebook makes it so easy to internationalize your business, right? You just literally check another country and there you go. But I think you need to make sure it’s adapting to the local market needs. Plus, is your website experience in that native language? Is your product service in that native language, right? So for example, we sell online digital marketing training courses. We talked about Indonesia. I could run ads there, but all of our courses are in English. So unless I run English ads, I waste my money because my product and my website is gonna be in English. Sure, you can Google translate the website, but it’s not gonna be a good user experience at the end of the day. So I think businesses, in a way, it’s easy to reach a global audience, but you do need that localization or some level of customization, or you could end up spending your budget not so wisely.
Want To Join Krista’s Training Course? Here’s How.
George: Krista, in your bio, it talks about your global keynote speaking at industry conferences and you do corporate events, but you did allude to your online learning component. Tell us a little bit more about how our listeners might be able to learn from you and the experience that you’ve had over the last 20 some odd years.
Krista: Yeah, so, I got into training, to be honest, because I really felt like there’s agencies that can execute this stuff well for you and businesses need that. That’s hugely important to rely on people with best practices, but as social media and digital is new, those best practices are still evolving, right? And so, even practitioners need to be up to date, but also, marketers and business owners, you need to know enough to make the right strategic decisions to assess if your money is being well spent. And so, that’s why I really got involved in training and capability building, ’cause I feel like that’s how businesses get better results. And I continuously find it frustrating when there’s so many small things that can be done to grow results that people are just missing, right? So that’s why I love training. And we have a full online training program. So we offer certifications in digital marketing, social media and SEO, and those are endorsed by global accreditation bodies. And then we also have a full online library of over 30 classes, which you can try it for free for five days at bootcampdigital.com/aap. It’s called our All-Access Pass. But really, what we try and do is give people the practical skills to get results. So it’s not just video training. We’re gonna give you a checklist. We’re gonna give you an implementation guide. We’re gonna give you what you need to actually do it properly because that’s how you actually grow your results.
George: When I mentioned the large organizations that you’ve dealt with, I don’t think the audience should take that as it’s, you gotta be Fortune 500 company to work with you. You work with everybody, even individual practitioners. Correct me if I’m wrong.
Krista: Yeah, absolutely. It’s just no one’s heard of them. So it doesn’t sound so sexy to be like, and I’ve worked with 20 businesses you don’t know.
George: Well, we really appreciate your time today and the learnings that you’ve brought to our audience. And once again, if people want to reach out to you, we’re going to put all of the contact information in the show notes. And Krista, thanks for joining us. I know it’s afternoon there, so enjoy your evening. But thanks for joining us here on the Conquer Local podcast this week
Krista: Yeah, thanks so much for having me. It’s been a real pleasure.
George: Well, I enjoyed speaking with Krista this week. It’s interesting when you talk to somebody that definitely knows what they’re talking about when it comes to various tactics that businesses should be using. And she talked about using those experiences and best practices, and it became the foundation of her training business. And then, as she continued to go out and do that training, it became clear to her that she needed to write a book, and then became that prolific author. But it didn’t just happen overnight. I’ve talked to a number of different authors on this show over the years. And a lot of them have the same theme. They just finally did it. And then they wrote another book, and then another book. It’s just getting that first one written. I read something the other day. It was like, instead of talking about all the books you’re reading, why don’t you write one? So it’s just interesting that that was Krista’s experience. And then we find a lot of these authors and the people that are out there doing on a day-to-day basis and professing these best practices, they have this online training component so that their audience can continue to grow. And it’s being able to leverage that repeatable place to go and find that content. Best practices, they change all the time. And what Krista is telling us in her organization and from her learnings, that we need to keep up with that change. And the pace of change is only accelerating. So that’s why we hear over and over again about lifelong learning. And you need to continue to consume information so you can stay on the cutting edge. I did think that it was really interesting how organic reach on Facebook, as it has grown with their user base, and more and more people are utilizing the platform, the organic reach has declined. And you could insert any platform into that message. And we need to be a little bit more innovative in the way that we’re leveraging that platform. And she talks about the ad component and how you might be able to use that. And I think you just insert name of social media platform after that, because we have a history of watching these platforms as they evolve. Organic’s great out of the gate today, but is it still great two or three years down? The other thing that I love, and thank you to Krista for bringing it up, let’s not fall in love with the treat of the week or the recent hack. It’s usually that small item or those 10 or 15 small items that, with discipline, you continue to do and iterate on and maybe throw out the one that isn’t working, but measure the small things that you’re doing and see if they’re getting you the outcome that you’re looking for and not just falling in love with some bloody thing you saw online that might solve the problem in the short term. She was calling that a hack. I like to call it the treat of the week. We need to stick with the strategy and the plan, look at the measurements and see if it’s getting us the outcome, and then make just the small little tweaks. The businesses that are doing that, the practitioners that are following that path are usually the most successful. And there, you’ve heard it from another expert that that is what she’s professing to her audience. So Krista Neher, the CEO and best-selling author at Boot Camp Digital and the author of those six different books. You can find them all online, Launch Yourself, personal branding, Digital Marketing That Actually Works. I love that title. Social Media: A Strategic Approach, Visual Social Media Marketing, Visual Social Marketing for Dummies, and Social Media Field Guide, the one that started it all. Those are the works of Krista Neher, and we have all of them in the notes so that you can find them yourself. And we appreciate her joining us this week on the show to talk about all of those items that she’s been working on over the 20 some odd years of her experience, Krista Neher, our guest this week on the Conquer Local podcast. Thanks for joining us. My name is George Leith. I’ll see you when I see you.