Eric Schwartzman Featured on Social Pros Podcast with Jay Baer
This is Episode 30 of the Social Pros Podcast featuring Eric Schwartzman, best-selling author, speaker, blogger, trainer and advisor.
Eric Schwartzman on the Social Pros Podcast
Jay: Hey, everybody, and we’re back with another episode of Social Pros, shining the light on real people doing real work in social media. I am Jay Baer, joined, as always, by social media marketing software company genius, Founder, President and man among boys, live from the woods of North Carolina, Mr. Eric Boggs.
Eric B.: These introductions keep getting better and better, Jay.
Jay: And longer. The next time I’m going to do a 20-minute introduction and a seven-minute show.
Eric B.: That sounds fantastic.
Jay: How are you my friend?
Eric B.: Doing just great. What’s new?
Jay: Oh, man, it’s been a crazy week in the interwebs. We’re going to talk about that in just a second. Let’s take a real quick minute to acknowledge our sponsors in addition to Eric’s company Argyle Social, who we use for all of our social media content missives.
Also our friends at Infusionsoft, fantastic e-mail CRM company, who we use for all of our emailings; our buddy Jim Kukral at digitalbooklaunch.com, who is our erstwhile guest host; and the good folks at Janrain, who do all kinds of amazing social sign-in and matching up your database to real people in social media. Solving common problems, those folks at Janrain.
We, today, have ourselves quite a show, quite a show, Eric Boggs. We have a professional on the show today.
We actually have somebody who actually knows something about podcasting and other stuff, but podcasting in particular.
I first met Eric Schwartzman when he was writing his fantastic book Social Marketing to the Business Customer, with Paul Gillin.
We’re going to talk to Eric specifically today about a really interesting series of web-based training programs he has now about social media, social media boot camp, if you will.
Eric B.: Yep.
Jay: So, we’ll do that in a second.
Eric B.: It’s bonus, extra Eric also in this podcast. Jay’s Thought of the Week
Jay: Two Erics, one Jay, it is a Jay sandwich. So crazy week in social media and a lot of things potentially to talk about, but the one I wanted to talk about, especially because you’re on the show is what is the deal with Twitter? This crazy API pronouncement and, “You must make everything look the way we make it look,” and, “If you don’t want to do it the way we want to do it, we’re going to revoke your access.” For somebody in your line of work, it feels to me like a shot across the bow. How did that go over in the halls of Argyle Social?
Eric B.: You actually reminded me that I was supposed to write a blog post about this earlier today. It’s on my to-do list and obviously…
Jay: Now you can just link to the podcast transcript.
Eric B.: Exactly, yeah. Now, I haven’t done it and thank you for reminding me. We actually saw it as a good thing, oddly enough. If you read through that whole massive post from the Twitter API guys, they had a quadrant at the bottom of the post that basically, I think they divided the world in engagement and analytics, and then business and consumer and they basically called out their four quadrants.
One of them is sort of consumer engagement apps. Another is sort of consumer-influenced analytics, obviously Klout being the only thing in that quadrant. Then there’s business engagement and management in business analytics and they basically said, “Look, if you’re in the consumer engagement quadrant, you might want to think about starting another company.”
That type of clarity from Twitter is welcome to us. One, because Argyle is not in that quadrant, we’re firmly nestled in the business analytics and business engagement side of the world along with quite a few competitors. Getting sort of clarity and a sense of roadmap from Twitter is actually good.
In terms of all the display guidelines, that’s peanuts. That’s piece of cake stuff. That is all kind of driven by Twitter’s ad model and trying to protect page views and consumer experience.
So, overall, I thought it was welcome, actually. There are obviously big chunks of the market whose businesses will need to change in a really big way and some of whom whose businesses will probably really suffer.
But Twitter’s got to do what Twitter’s got to do and I felt the announcement was necessary and I thought they handled it pretty well. Jay: Very interesting. That’s not precisely what I thought you would say. I guess because you’re not Echofon or somebody who they almost and did call out by name and say, “Guess what? We’re going to shut you down.”
Eric B.: Yeah.
Jay: I certainly understand the perspective of, “Hey, you know what? It’s our data and we’re going to do what we need to do to protect our intrasite.” I understand that. But it does seem that it is quite an evolution of their general stance toward open development because it is no longer open. Maybe that’s an inexorable result of stake getting higher.
Eric B.: Yeah, well it’s definitely – I think that Twitter is still a fan of open development, just not open development that impinges upon their core revenue model, which is consumer experience enhanced with advertisements and social ads.
Echofon and these third-party consumer applications will infringe upon Twitter’s ability to service ads, and it pretty much comes down to that. Ultimately, I think it’ll make for a better Twitter experience for the end user, for Twitter to own all these bits and pieces and it sucks, man.
It really does for Echofon and all these other third-party products that are basically going to get wiped off the face of the Earth. Look at how Pinterest has gone about this. Pinterest has purposefully not published an API precisely because they don’t want to have Twitter’s problems.
Jay: Right. Yep.
Eric B.: I don’t know if that’s been confirmed. But that’s pretty much the confirmed rumor is that that is one of the reasons Pinterest has not taken this open developer strategy that Twitter did, is that they see all the problems that it’s caused.
It sucks and I’m being really probably overly positive because it gives me clarity and peace of mind. Because there was always this threat of, “Oh my God, what’s Twitter going to do?” We know folks there. We’re pretty cozy with a number of folks on the biz dev team and the API team.
But to get clarity in terms of what we’re building and how it fits into Twitter’s long-term strategy, it’s a good thing.
Jay: It’s interesting to hear that you were, at some level, apprehensive about that. I guess it kind of reinforces something that I say to clients all the time, which is, “You always have to be a little bit aware that you are building your house on rented land.”
Eric B.: Yeah.
Jay: Whether that’s in your case more of a behind-the-scenes API or whether you’re saying, “Look, we’re going to put all of our social media eggs in a Facebook basket.” You don’t own Facebook. Far from it, and they could change the rules tomorrow.
That theory was very much codified for me today when I got a letter from my attorney with an update on my lawsuit that I have for a condo I bought in Mexico that was never built. So, you know what’s a super, super fun thing to do? A lawsuit over real estate in Mexico.
Eric B.: Is that like a land war in Asia?
Jay: It is really, really, really something.
Eric B.: Oh, gosh. I’m sorry to hear that. That sounds like not much fun.
Jay: It’ll be one of other chapters someday when I write my memoirs. It will the one chapter written in Spanish.
Eric B.: “The Mexican Condo Incident”.
Jay: Exactly. So, Mr. Boggs, speaking of Twitter, do you have for us a ground-breaking, earth-shattering, notable, Tweetable, social media stat of the week? Eric’s Social Media Stat of the Week: Twitter Getting More Media Coverage Than Facebook
Eric B.: Oh, unfortunately no. But I do have an interesting stat that we can talk about. This stat comes from – I’m reading through the email again now – it’s from HighBeam Research, which provides a monthly social media index. They did some research around media attention and visibility for social media platforms.
So, obviously the key players, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and MySpace made it onto the list of networks that they researched. But the big takeaway is the July 2012 media attention for these key social media platforms – Twitter, 56%; Facebook, 40%; which is fascinating because
Facebook is much, much bigger than Twitter, yet Twitter continues to get more of the mainstream media type of attention.
Jay: So according to our friend, Tom Webster, from Edison Research and my partner in The Social Habit, Twitter is used by 10% of Americans, but it comprises 56% of the media attention? Is that what you’re telling me? via Highbeam Research
Eric B.: Yes.
Jay: I blame Chad Ochocinco for that, among other people. That is a Kardashian of social media and Facebook was what, 40%?
Eric B.: Yeah, less than 40%. J
ay: 54% of Americans are on Facebook, but it’s 40% of the media attention, and that’s with an IPO, right?
Eric B.: Yeah. This was July so, obviously after the IPO when Facebook is all pretty much anybody wants to talk about in finance news. Yeah, I’ve noticed it more and more. Twitter hashtags are everywhere.
Jay: Every TV show, it’s crazy. I was watching Discovery Channel over the weekend and checking out the MythBusters special Shark Week episode.
About every 15 seconds, they would overlay a tweet on the broadcast and it was the most inane, like, “I sure am glad I’m not a shark because that would suck, signed @idiotboy whatever.” I’m like, “Seriously?” This is the talk radioization of television, right? We’re just going to pull random tweets and put it on the show. So, it’s just insipid and ridiculous.
Eric B.: Yeah. That has a ways to go. I think that there is a model for high-mind type commentary on live television. But, yeah, that kind of stuff is just stupid and really annoying.
Jay: We need to do a social TV episode where we talk about this. I am a doubter in the impact of social TV and I know we’ve mentioned that before. But we should have a show about that sometime.
Eric B.: That would be interesting. I don’t know who we could get as a guest. Let’s dig in on this a little bit. I think social TV is amazing, but not with the entirety of Twitter.
When I’m watching a Carolina basketball game, there is nothing more enjoyable than being in a room with other Carolina basketball fans. Sometimes I’m at home and I’ll have a couple friends over sometimes, sometimes I’ll go to a bar.
But when I’m watching it by myself, I would love to be on Twitter with a sort of narrow group of people chattering about stuff.
Eric B.: Maybe it can be like a debate. We could hire a moderator and you and I can debate positions in social TV.
Jay: Let’s do that. I like it. I like it. You know who we could have as a moderator, is today’s guest.
Eric B.: Eric Schwartzman, what a coincidence. Special Guest: Eric Schwartzman
Jay: Eric Schwartzman, podcasting impresario, book author, gadfly, man about town, raconteur. Thank you for being on Social Pros, Eric, great to see you.
Eric S.: Hey, thanks for having me.
Jay: So, how’s the book going? It’s been a little while since it came out, loved it by the way. You guys did some guest posts for me on Convince & Convert and really, really a big fan of the book. I know that initial hullabaloo has died down. But how’s that working out for you?
Eric S.: Well, we hit our targets on the first printing and we’re in our second printing now. It’s been exciting, because when you have a book, as you know, it gets out.
It’s in airport bookstores and you wind up getting calls from people from far edges of the Earth who want to meet you and talk to you.
I’m actually getting ready to go to Manila to consult with a client, who picked up my book from an airport bookstore. So, I feel blessed to have been invited by Paul to write the book and it was a great experience.
Jay: Fantastic. Did you do one of the airport bookstore deals, where you sort of pay them for shelf space and that whole underbelly?
Eric S.: We did not, but our publisher did have distribution in the bookstores and we were able get in there.
Jay: Nice. That’s strong. That’s strong. My advice for Manila is, bring an umbrella, so I’m told.
Eric S.: Yeah. It’s a little wet there now.
Jay: Yeah, be careful. So, tell me about this new Social Media Boot Camp that you’re working on. It’s with Udemy, is that right?
Eric S.: Right. Well, Udemy is a new social network for online training. So you can basically create your content. Upload it to Udemy. They have the e-commerce.
They have the customer service and you can slice up your content into bite-sized chunks, which is one of the disadvantages of real-world training is that people have to sit through stuff that’s not of interest to them to get to the nuggets that are.
One of the advantages of online training is they can just sort of laser in right to what’s interesting to them and not have to sit through the stuff that they know already.
But, yeah, Udemy is a new site that’s up. It’s U-D-E-M-Y.com. They have investment from a number of different VC’s. They put out a press release earlier this year about what some of the trainers on the site are earning, and it seems to be going quite well.
So, I made a pretty big investment and put up ten different classes, six of which comprise the Social Media Boot Camp, but there are four beyond that.
Jay: So you did all the content production yourself? You upload it to them and they may advise you on best practices, but they’re not helping you make the materials. That’s your side of the equation?
Eric S.: That’s correct. Actually, I rented a stage, I brought in a crew. I did the whole thing, soup to nuts. In addition to the live action – because if you look at best practices for online video training, if you see somebody onscreen, it increases retention – we did that.
We also did screencasts, and then we also did phonecasts as well, so screen captures of mobile apps. We did motion backgrounds to increase retention that way, kind of like you see on the news, to keep you awake.
It’s exciting, man. I mean, we just got them up. The last class got up on Friday of last week and it’s starting to take off.
People are starting to buy the courses. So, it’s exciting because, like you, Jay, I’ve been flying around the world and doing trainings for the privileged few that can afford it. I get emails, which I’m sure you do and probably you, Eric, too.
You get emails from people, who want help, but they don’t have any budget and they don’t have the resources. They want the information. They’re really entitled to it, but they just can’t figure out a way to fly to a city and stay at a hotel and go to a training. Or maybe bring somebody of your caliber or my caliber in to do a training.
I think that is sort of the other 99% of the business world. Like you guys, I find myself at barbecues explaining to people what Twitter is, and ad nauseum.
I mean, it’s not really an enjoyable conversation to have. But the truth is, until the digital IQ of the rest of the world is at the level of where you guys are, social media doesn’t really work. Because each time you try to roll out a program that is in the best interests of an organization, the analog gatekeepers, I should say, are sort of blocking your every move…
Jay: Yeah. It becomes lowest common denominator.
Eric S.: …because of digital illiteracy in the boardroom.
Eric B.: Yeah.
Eric S.: I mean, there are so many examples of this. The Olympics, Rule 40 – if that’s not the classic example of digital illiteracy in the modern day I don’t know what is.
Jay: Yeah. So, your new thing is you’re just taking business cards to barbecues and being like, “You know what? I’m showing you the hand. You need to go buy this course.”
Eric S.: Well the truth is yesterday I was at my brother’s house at a barbecue and I was just giving away free classes to all my cousins and things.
Jay: There you go, very nice.
Eric S.: I wasn’t handing out any business cards.
Jay: Do you sell it as a package of six, or is it a la carte per class?
Eric S.: It’s a la carte per class and the boot camp is available for one price as well. Each course is $99. There are ten different courses, and then the six courses, which comprise the Social Media Boot Camp are available at half-price for $299.
Jay: Are there quizzes and questions and some sort of information exchange built into that, or is it more of a one-way street?
Eric S.: Great question. Udemy did not opt to do assessment or certification as part of their platform. At the same time, I am working with other companies in creating trainings that they’ll host internally, and those are being done with assessment slides and then some sort of certification, because I think Dell sort of lead the way on this, Richard Binhammer and his group.
The idea that everybody in the organization should be able to use social makes sense, but how do you qualify people so they’re ready to do that? At Dell, there’s a curriculum and you can qualify.
Once you’re qualified, you can use social media professionally on behalf of your job whether or not you’re in marketing or PR or not. The same thing, I think, is true at most companies that sort of get this stuff.
It’s not really about what the PR guy says on Twitter. It’s about what the company says or what the community says.
So, I think the concept of using some sort of a training curriculum makes a lot of sense. But how do you do it for a call center or for a huge company where they’re not going to send everyone to a conference center or a hotel?
I think online training is going to be the future of that because I don’t think the ROI is there for face-to-face adult learning and the cost is just so bloated to send people to a hotel conference center.
There was actually a Pew report about online learning that came out last week and interviewed Jarvis and a bunch of other guys. One of the quotes that came out of it that stuck for me was, “Education is a bubble, and schools is the next bubble to pop.”
Jay: Interesting. Yeah, I think it’s entirely possible.
Eric B.: Well, you talk about online education as the next wave in sort of social training and business training. My alma mater, UNC Kenan-Flagler, where I went to business school, made really big waves with their alumni community and the UNC community as a whole, by being the first sort of blue-blood top 20 business school to launch an online MBA. It’s called “MBA@UNC“.
They’re powering it through a service called 2tor, the number 2, T-O- R. I think it’s brilliant. I’m really proud of the school, and I think it’s going to sort of pave the way for the program and I think a ton of other schools are going to follow.
But it’s been amazing to hear my colleagues and other alums really have a problem with it. This aligns with what you just said with the education bubble that is coming without a doubt.
So to see schools, really prestigious academic institutions follow down this path is, I think, is really exciting and really interesting.
Jay: Isn’t our boy Harrison Kratz the community manager for that initiative?
Eric B.: Yeah, I think I may have had a phone call or at least exchanged emails with him. He’s down here in Chapel Hill. Jay: Love him. Great guy and has does some guest posting for me on Convince & Convert and done some work with us.
Really, really smart young man who is going to make some serious waves in the business world.
Eric S.: Princeton Review wrote a story on a study. They basically said 85% of customers expect businesses to be active in social media. 79% of companies are either using or planning to use social media, but only 12% of them are doing so effectively.
Jay: So look at that, social media stat of the week from the guest. It’s an all-time first.
Eric S.: It’s an all-time low for me.
Jay: Yeah, you could tell he does podcasts. He comes with his own stats. It’s genius.
Eric S.: The reason will be no shock to listeners of the podcast. But it’s simple lack of basic knowledge and skills.
Eric B: Yep.
Eric S.: You send a bunch of people off to SXSW, who are essentially digitally illiterate. They go and they hear a bunch of people present about their big wins on stage, because the skeletons will remain buried and they go home with this false sense of security of how and what to do.
More and more, I think, they’re sort of allocating resources, not getting the results they had hoped or heard about on stage at South by Southwest and the takeaway is ultimately, social media doesn’t work. That’s not in our best interest, as people who are sort of working in this sector.
So I think the more we can educate everyone outside of our bubble as to how these tools work and what to expect and what’s realistic, the better off we’re all going to be.
Jay: Yeah, no question. I think South by Southwest in particular is a difficult place to get your feet wet in social.
In fact, I actively try and dissuade my clients from going if it’s one of their first forays, because it’s sort of the technology equivalent of, “I want to learn how to play football so let me try and evade Ray Lewis,” or something.
It’s just not an easy way to get involved. It’s a little much.
Eric S.: But Eric, as you said, I think certainly the prospect of taking education online incites as much excitement from the tenured professors as social media did originally in the marketing space.
Eric B.: Yeah, without a doubt and that’s not to kind of keep talking about the UNC example. It’s just the one that I know really well. This MBA program that’s taught online, it’s the same professors as the full-time program.
So, it’s Doug Shackelford, Jennifer Conrad, the same sort of prestigious professors that stand up in front of class and teach are now sitting in front of a webcam teaching students scattered all over the world. It’s really, really cool.
I’m pretty pumped to see how it’s going to shake out over the next 18 months, and 18 years.
Jay: Eric, do you find it difficult as a trainer to not have that in the room feedback, to not have that dialog, that Q&A that you just miss out on because it’s prerecorded?
Eric S.: It’s tough. It’s definitely tough. But the advantage is that all the information is presented in a linear fashion. When you’re in the room and you can sort of read people’s intonations and body language, you decide how much time to dwell on a certain topic and when to move on.
If you really do the best you can to encapsulate that knowledge in one lecture that’s… All the lectures of these courses are two to 12 minutes each.
I did the best I could to try to get the basic techniques, the fundamental knowledge and hands-on training exercises into small, digestible, bite-sized chunks.
So, while I don’t have the body language to go on to help me with timing and flow, I can parse the information in bite-sized chunks.
If I’ve indexed it appropriately with the right key words, then it’s not the type of linear training experience that one would deliver in person, it becomes more a sort of data mine that you can consult when you have a specific question.
You look at like Lynda.com – I don’t know if you guys are familiar with Lynda, the online training company. Jay: Definitely. It’s L-Y-N-D-A, I think, right?
Eric S.: People will tend to subscribe, not so that they can take a course but so they can have access to the database of knowledge. So they’re in Photoshop today.
They’re trying to figure out how to do clearer backgrounds. They can search “clearer background”, the meta data is there. They find that one lecture. They watch it. I sort of took the same approach to socialmediabootcamp.com.
The idea being that people aren’t probably going to watch all the different lectures, but they have access… Because once you take the class, you have lifetime access, you’ll just go in and query whatever it is you’re looking for and get that answer.
Jay: Very interesting. As opposed to they can’t bring you back to their conference room at a later date, but they certainly can rewind a particular lecture.
Does the Udemy platform allow you to add that meta data or is that something that you did inherently in your production?
Eric S.: No, that’s something that you have to do. That’s a manual process and it adds a lot of time to the process of producing these courses. I can tell you I completed production, physical production in the studio, of the courseware in mid-May.
It’s been until now until we’ve edited it, handled all the post-production and done all the search engine optimization with respect to meta data.
Jay: Wow. That’s a serious project and it’s always tough training in social because you say, “Hey, this is true, and then at some point down the road it’s no longer true.”
Eric B.: Yeah, Twitter changes its API and nothing’s the truth anymore. Jay: Yeah, right.
Eric S.: In the process of producing this thing, we went back and actually had to change a lot of things in the process. I mean, you guys were talking the Twitter API – which by the way, if you’re talking about the Twitter API, you’re probably not a candidate for socialmediabootcamp.com.
This is for people who aren’t quite there yet. But one of the things that I used to love in LinkedIn was LinkedIn Signal.
What I loved about LinkedIn Signal was the ability to search tweets by LinkedIn profile information.
Of course, Twitter shut off LinkedIn, I think like a month ago and pretty much rendered LinkedIn Signal useless from that point because people weren’t that active in the LinkedIn activity strain.
Eric B.: Exactly.
Eric S.: The thought I had when you guys were having that discussion was the road to openness is a road of acquiring users. But once you’ve got the users you become more and more proprietary, as we’ve seen with Facebook. Remember Facebook RSS feeds?
You can still hack a feed on a Facebook page and bring it into Google Reader or something like that. But you cannot move the entire contents of your news feed out via RSS anymore.
Jay: Well, you can’t really even upload any content. I mean, everything’s iFrame now. You can’t really even have any resident, native content on Facebook.
Eric S.: Rightly so, because in order for them to profit, they need to start advertising in context.
Eric S.: So I think, once they get the users is when they clamp down. I really think data liberation and that whole discussion that we were having several years back was a rhetorical discussion designed to sort of numb our senses and get us more invested.
Jay: Well, it seems to have worked. That’s for sure. We’re excited about Social Media Boot Camp. Please keep us posted on how it’s going. I think it’s a fantastic idea and really quite a terrific service.
As you said, social media is everybody’s responsibility, not just one person or not just somebody in marketing. Hopefully this will be the springboard necessary to make social and digital literacy go end-to-end in a lot of these big organizations.
I hope it’s an absolute smash for you and I have no doubt that it will be. Do you have, before we close the show, a Social Pros shout out for us, Mr. Schwartzman? Social Pros Shoutout
Eric S.: I do. But before I give you that, I want to thank you and I want to thank Eric and I want to congratulate you guys on doing a stellar job on the podcasts.
I really enjoy it.
I get a lot out of it as well.
So, thank you for that and also thank you for inviting me to be on this episode.
Jay: Yeah, there’s no future in it.
Eric S.: Now that the online training is up, I hope to go back out again. If it’s okay with you guys, I’d be happy to move this mp3 file over to my feed as well, if you’d like.
Jay: Please, we’d love to. That would be fantastic. Thank you for offering.
Eric S.: Awesome. Okay, so here’s my shout out and chances are if you’re a podcast listener you know this one already.
But these are two guys that I think don’t get all the credit that they deserve. Those two guys are, that’s right, Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson.
Now, in addition, to having the For Immediate Release podcast at forimmediaterelease.biz, which is a terrific podcast, they also both have personal blogs. If you read their personal blogs, a lot of what they share on the podcast is developed on their personal blogs.
I have a huge debt of gratitude to them because when I have the time to listen to their show, I’m always happy that I did.
Jay: Well said. That’s a terrific Social Pros shout out. I’m glad you mentioned those guys.
They’ve actually been very, very kind to us and mentioned our show quite a bit on their air and we have a debt of gratitude to them as well. So, thanks very much to Shel and Neville.
Excellent, excellent shout out. Well done. Thank you for being on this show. You were great, as expected, looking forward to further misadventures with you. Mr. Boggs, who do we have on the show next week?
Eric B.: I actually just tweeted, “Any suggestions or volunteers for Social Pros #31?”
Jay: What? We don’t have anybody on the show next week? That can’t be true.
Eric B.: You’re going to be on a plane. I’m in charge of hosting and I have not done my homework to shake down anybody.
Jay: Oh, that’s right. It’s your responsibility next week. See, excellent.
Eric B.: Yeah, so we’ll see what the Twitters comes back with. We definitely have a good list of folks that we know we can spin up. But Jim Kukral will be joining us as guest contributor.