#403 The Zen of Social Media: Interview with Shama Hyder

In Internet Marketing Podcast, Social Media & Online PR, The Digital Marketing Blog by SeanLeave a Comment

In today’s episode of the Internet Marketing Podcast, Andy is joined by award-winning CEO of The Zen Marketing Group, Shama Hyder.

Shama is a highly acclaimed international keynote speaker and a regular media correspondent, often featured across all major media channels, including MSNBC, Fox Business, Forbes, Inc. and The Wall Street Journal. She’s also the best-selling author of The Zen of Social Media Marketing (4th Edition) and Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age.

Shama joins Andy on the podcast to talk about The Zen of Social Media & on the show you’ll learn:

  • What drove Shama to writing her book, The Zen of Social Media Marketing
    • Plus the other books on the topic that she’d recommend
  • How smaller, niche businesses can incorporate apps such as Pinterest, Instagram & Snapchat into their social media marketing
    • Plus, examples of the businesses that are already doing this well
  • The key steps in turning a follower or a fan into a customer
  • Why it’s important for marketers to add personality to brand accounts
    • Plus tips on how to do so and who is currently doing this well
  • Some of the new emerging social media platforms that you should be paying attention to

Plus, as usual, Shama provides her one top tip/key takeaway for our audience.

If you’d like to connect with Shama, you can find her on Twitter here, and her personal website can be found here.

Full Transcript of the Show:

Andy:                                  Brought to you by SiteVisibility at Sitevisibilty.com, this is Internet Marketing.  Now before we start today we have a request – if you are really enjoying what we do here on the Internet Marketing podcast, then if you could please leave us a review on ITunes or your podcast app of course, that would be fab.  It really helps us to grow the podcast and ensure we bring you great marketing tips and advice each week.  Now today I’m joined by Shama Hyder, keynote speaker, author and founder of CEO of Marketing Zen.  Shama, how are you doing?

Shama Hyder:                   Doing well Andy, a pleasure to be here.

Andy:                                  Before we go into the main subject, tell us a little bit about yourself Shama and a little bit about Marketing Zen.

Shama Hyder:                   So I started the Marketing Zen Group about eight years ago. It’s funny to even talk about it that way now but arguably one of the first social media marketing agencies in the world just because it was so very new.  So, founder and CEO of the Marketing Zen group, social media marketing, digital PR firm, author, keynote speaker.  I guess I wear a lot of hats, serial entrepreneur, so it’s never boring around here, that’s for sure.

Andy:                                  I know, speaking is quite good fun isn’t it.  Do people laugh at your jokes?  Do you tell jokes when you speak like I try and do?

Shama Hyder:                   I think I’m particularly funny.  I do try to entertain when I speak just because I think entertainment is the future in general and of course when people are at conferences and keynoting and they’ve got these huge conventions or trade shows or whatnot, you’ve got to make sure that you keep their attention.  So yes I think it’s always good to find ways to keep [00:02:00.06] things light and moving.

Andy:                                  Yes and I think people learn more when they’re happier and laughing, don’t they?

Shama Hyder:                   I certainly think so.

Shama’s Book: The Zen of Social Media

Andy:                                  So let’s talk about you book.  I’m interested in what drove you to write this book, “The Zen of Social Media”.  Are there any other books on the topic you’d recommend as well?  Sorry, I’ve asked two questions in one there, which is what I usually do.  Let’s start off with what drove you to write the book first.

Shama Hyder:                   Yes, so I’ve got two books, “The Zen of Social Media Marketing”, which is now on its fourth edition and “Momentum” which just came out this past summer.  The funny thing about the Zen is, well both the books are [00:02:39.01] need, so when I wrote The Zen it was because no book existed.  At the time that was tactical, that was a primer for people to get started.  So there were books that were – I say books, but there was maybe one book out there at that time that was very theoretical.  A great book, just very theoretical.  And people kept saying – where can we go to learn more?  And obviously running an agency, we have a global audience of over a million people that read our content and subscribe and so forth, so there was nothing you could refer people to, to say – hey, go check this out and it’s a great starting point.  So I essentially created that starting point as “The Zen of Social Media”.  It started as an eBook, it got picked up by a traditional publisher.  I never thought that it would go as far as it has or that it would be used as a college textbook to teach social media in college classes.  So it’s been quite a journey and then a few years later I felt like there was now this other shift happening which people really need to talk about – this kind of overwhelm of marketing and how do they thrive from that?  How do they make sense of all of this?  And hence “Momentum” was born.  “Momentum” is a more strategic look at principles that are changing this ecosystem that we live in and affecting it in a profound way.  So both those books were really derived from need and what [00:04:01.11] I felt like was missing in the marketplace.

Andy:                                  So you wrote these two books and you mentioned that the first one was – the landscape was quite bare and you were probably one of the pioneers of writing a social media book, but there’s quite a few books around now.  Are there any that particularly resonate with you, any that you’d recommend?

Shama Hyder:                   Yes, there’s so much good content.  I think one of the books that continues to be a good go-to is “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott.  There’s so many amazing books, that’s just what comes from the top of my mind.

How can smaller, niche businesses incorporate apps into their social media marketing?

Andy:                                  And we talk about social media, there’s quite a few social media platforms, but I’m particularly interesting in things like Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and I’m just wondering how smaller, perhaps the more sort of niche businesses, can incorporate these sort of apps into their social media marketing?

Shama Hyder:                   It’s really important I think to start with goals.  It’s so key to make sure that we look at what are you trying to accomplish, and then look at the network that gets you there, rather than saying – hey, there’s this platform, how do we force the message on there?

Andy:                                  Do you have any good examples of businesses that are using social media in a particularly effective way, Shama?

Shama Hyder:                   There’s lots of companies doing it obviously in multiple ways.  I think what’s important is to understand that social media isn’t just about the platforms, right.  It’s this idea that people are the media.  And that’s really the key thing, and it’s how do you leverage that?

Key Steps in Turning a Follower Into a Fan

Andy:                                  Yes.  When you’ve got a follower or a fan, what would you say are the key steps in turning that follower or fan into a customer?

Shama Hyder:                   Giving them something worth talking about is absolutely key and it does take time.  So I think both these things are important, in The Zen, I talk about an acronym called attract, convert, transform or act, and so attracting is how do you get attention, the conversion is obviously [00:06:00.17] how do you turn someone into a customer, but I talk about there being two Cs, the big C being – how do you get someone to a paying client, and the smaller C being how do you get someone to consume?  How do you get someone to be a consumer of your information?

Andy:                                  It’s quite important isn’t it, for marketers to come across in a human way and perhaps add a bit of personality in the way they’re coming across.  How do they do this well Shama?

Shama Hyder:                   I think again, it’s important to remember that social media is a human thought form and you see all the time, companies that are rewarded for being human and for having fun and for really being personable and then you see companies that are penalised when they’re not, right.  So a good example of what not to do, is in United’s case of course, which is what everyone’s been talking about right now from a social perspective.

Andy:                                  Oh God yes.  Just to remind all our listeners, we’re recording this right after the United Airlines, let’s be positive and call it an event.  That thing where the gentleman was removed quite forcefully from the flight, but yes, carry on Shama, sorry.

Shama Hyder:                   Sure, so it’s two things.  It’s the incident itself, which I’m sure details will come out, but it’s the response to it, and the response the CEO gave for example, through social, was considered very mechanical.  It was corporate, it wasn’t acceptable to people and so there was a huge backlash, not just for the incident and what was perceived, but for how the organisation responded to that and I think that’s very important.  Now if you compare that, and I’ll use an example that I was privy to.  Dippin’ Dots is one of our clients and a few months ago we had a very successful, what one might call a “viral campaign” [00:08:00.15] which was really based on this very fun, tongue in cheeky open letter that the CEO wrote to Press Secretary Sean Spicer after there were some things in the media about Press Secretary Sean Spicer not liking Dippin’ Dots, you know the ice cream.  And that campaign was so successful and we reached over 1.4 billion impressions, which is just staggering to think about, but I think the reason it did so well is because it had personality.  It was human, it wasn’t just a company giving a stoic response.  It was showing that yes, we get it and there’s people behind the screennames.  So I think that transparency that everyone keeps talking about, when you can see it in action, not only is that very gratifying, I think it’s rewarded in the social sphere.

Andy:                                  I’m going to assume, Shama, that you’re very wary of automated responses and things which we sometimes see on social media platforms.  Do you think they’re as popular as they used to be?

Shama Hyder:                   Yes I think so.  I think that again so much of this has to come down to who your audience is, what are you trying to accomplish?  And then just continuously catering to that, versus chasing whatever you think is new-fangled or dismissing something because it’s historic.

Social Media Platforms You Should Pay Attention to

Andy:                                  And I’m going to ask a question that you’re probably asked a lot, and I know it’s a tricky one, but with all the social media platforms out there at the moment, would you say there are any emerging social media platforms we should be playing attention to?

Shama Hyder:                   Yes again so much of it depends on your audience, and I always say that because I think it’s very easy to go chasing down the new thing.  That being said, obviously Snapchat and Instagram are two I think that continue to be emerging, not in the sense that they’re particularly new but they’re constantly evolving and growing market share [00:10:00.20], getting more audience engagement, so I think that’s fascinating to watch.  I’m very excited by live video in general: Facebook Live, Instagram Live, live video in general – it’s amazing what a difference there is.  It’s really staggering and so I’m excited about live video in general.  So I would say that’s not an emerging social platform, it’s more emerging technology, but again, I’m more keen on that then a specific platform.  I’m very platform agnostic.  I think you go wherever your audience and visibility is, frankly.  The other thing that I would mention is that it’s so important again to look at your audience, like if you’re a B2B company, business to business, LinkedIn is still one of your best platforms.  It’s more for example, your target market is baby boomers.  Snapchat is not where you want to be, even though it’s an emerging social platform.  You’re really going to go where your audience is.

Shama’s Top Tip/Key Takeaway

Andy:                                  We’ve spoken about quite a few varied things today around the social media topic, but if you had one top tip or a key takeaway for our audience today Shama, what would it be?

Shama Hyder:                   That consistency trumps everything, and what I mean by that is, social media, market, all of these things in the digital ecosystem that we live in, it can’t be a one shot thing.  It really does have to be something that is consistently done over time.  So even if you pick one tactic, email marketing or whatever, you want to make sure that you’re doing it consistently and I think that’s important.

Andy:                                  So consistency is the key?

Shama Hyder:                   Yes I would say it’s absolutely key.

Andy:  Fantastic.              Well Shama thanks so much for going on. Before we go, how can our listeners find out more about you and more about Marketing Zen?

Shama Hyder:                   There’s tons of information on the interwebs, if you will.

Andy:                                  On the tubes.

Shama Hyder:                   Right, so marketingzen.com is the company site.  We’ve got a blog, tons of great content, over 500 articles on all things social media [00:12:01.13], online marketing.  And then my personal site, which is shamahyder, H-Y-D-E-R .com.

Andy:                                  And presumably your books are available through the usual channels?

Shama Hyder:                   They are, absolutely.  Amazon, book stores globally and yes.

Andy:                                  Fantastic.  Well thanks for listening everyone.  The show notes are in the usual place, sitevisibility.com/impodcast.  If you want to email us it’s podcast@sitevisiibility.com, if you want to tweet us, it’s @sitevisibility and don’t forget the Site Visibility group on LinkedIn.  Well that’s all from me Andy and it’s all from Shama.

Shama Hyder:                   Thanks so much Andy, a pleasure to be here.

Andy:                                  And we’ll see you next time, on Internet Marketing.



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