Episode 82: The Death of Organic Social Media with Mike Stelzner

facebook live community development

The founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner, Mike Stelzner, explains to the experts why organic social media is dead and details the medium and a new philosophy you can leverage to develop a loyal community who can positively impact your bottom line.



  • The surprising percentage of social media traffic that visits Social Media Examiner.
  • The community development “superpower” that helps you generate super fans.
  • The key to going Live on Facebook (« it may not be what you ere expecting).
  • The innovative strategy Mike uses to repurpose his podcast to generate more exposure that you can use, too.


Developing a Social Media Strategy
Episode 50: How Frank Kern Generates Sales and Goodwill with Facebook Live
Episode 81: How Laura Roeder Grew MeetEdgar to 7,000+ Users
Social Media Examiner Live Show
Social Examiner Facebook Video Archives
Social Media Marketing World
Huzza (Huzza will no longer be available as of March 1, 2017. Livestream is alternative to Huzza.)
Episode 82 Transcript (swipe the PDF version here):

Keith Krance: Hello, and welcome back to Episode Number 82 of Perpetual Traffic. Super excited today. We’ve got a great guest coming on today. Hopefully, you liked last week’s episode with Laura Roeder, some really, really good stuff.



Today’s episode is such a great follow-up because this is a guest that we definitely had on our list to try to get on and Molly made it happen again, so nice job Molly and I think she’s going to be speaking at their event here in a few weeks, which is pretty cool too. The guest of today’s show is none other than Michael Stelzner, the founder of Social Media Examiner, the host of the Social Media Marketing podcast, and the creator of the Social Media Marketing World Event.


  If you listen to podcasts, if you ever open up iTunes and look at the top trending podcast in business or marketing, you’re pretty much always going to see the Social Media Marketing podcast. It’s a podcast I’ve listened to since the beginning. He’s the author of the book Launch, which I’ve listened to on Audible two and a half times. It’s one of those great books. You know we talk about books quite a bit that you want to listen to or read once a year, and this is one of them.



  If you ever want to know what’s happening–the latest trends in the social media world–Michael is where to go. Michael, thanks for coming on. Appreciate it.



Mike Stelzner: Thanks so much for that awesome intro, and thanks for having me.



Keith Krance: Okay, let’s talk about some stuff. We talked mostly about paid traffic–a lot about Facebook advertising–and I know you have built the majority of your traffic and your business and all of your customers through mostly organic traffic and building a community and building a brand that way. You have a very large audience–a large following, a large email list–and you put on a huge event, so let’s talk about that. What’s up in the world of organic traffic and social media?



Mike Stelzner: Well, you know, organic is definitely always been what we’ve done. We’ve almost never ever paid for traffic and the vast majority of our traffic, honestly, comes from search still. Funny enough, social traffic for us is only like 4% of our traffic, which is kind of surprising when you got a website called Social Media Examiner. The amount of traffic that we actually get from social media is almost inconsequential compared to all the other stuff we get.



Molly Pittman: Mike, would you say that organic traffic is dying? Is this something that’s been going on or is this always been the case?



Mike Stelzner: Well, here’s the deal. I think that when you have a really big website, there’s so many ways people can get there, right? There’s email subscribers–which we have, I don’t know, 560,000 of them–there’s search, there’s other websites linking to you, and I kind of classify all these things into a big bucket called organic. Then of course there’s social shares, which we have an outrageous amount of social shares on all of our articles, but anybody who knows anything about that data is that when you publish really great content, people love to share it but they often don’t read it.



Molly Pittman: Right.



Mike Stelzner: You know, because they just trust it’s good. They want to look good, and they share it. So to your question–what’s going on with organic social–I would say, it’s dead.



Molly Pittman: Wow.



Mike Stelzner: As a matter of fact, I would say it’s so dead that we no longer re-share any of our content on Twitter. We do nothing Evergreen. Everything we post is once and done on social media. On Facebook, we do post a couple of recurring posts, but we have decided that we are no longer doing anything more than just once with social media.



Molly Pittman: That’s quite the stance, and I can say that we’ve seen a similar trend here at DigitalMarketer, so you are obviously not alone. What do you think caused this?



Mike Stelzner: I think that it’s a combination of things. First of all, I think that a lot of the social networks are following Facebook’s lead. If you think about what’s going on with Facebook because Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla in the space, with the biggest audience, and when you have that many people on a social network and you have so many people interconnected, the rate of content that’s coming through is impossible to follow.



  All you have to do is just go on Twitter and actually look at the raw feed, which nobody does, and it’s like a river, right? It’s impossible to keep up with it. Somewhere along the lines, Facebook realized that we need to intelligently deliver relevant content to people that care about it based on all sorts of crazy signals. Thus, the algorithm was invented, right? At first, marketers were up in arms about this because our content that we used to be able to post and would get crazy amounts of traffic coming to our website, started going down and down and down and down, and we have seen at Social Media Examiner a significant decline over the last three to four years, to the point where it’s so tiny, that it almost doesn’t matter.



  In our case, if 4% of our traffic is coming from all social, then you’ve got to think maybe half of that’s coming from Facebook. That’s 2% of our traffic. It’s almost so inconsequential, that you have to ask yourself whether or not it makes sense to even drive traffic from social with money at all. In our case, we’ve decided we don’t. We’ve never paid to drive traffic to our content, and it is dead. Let’s just be honest, it’s dead.



Molly Pittman: It’s interesting. Someone in our community today asked me what I thought about third party tools that automated social media posting, and they said that it decreased reach and they’re not sure why we would have Laura Roeder with Meet Edgar on the podcast because, “Why would you use one of these tools if it decreases reach?”



  I basically responded and said, “The human resources that it would require to post everything manually–whether it’s Twitter or Facebook–is not worth the reach or the traffic or the quality of traffic that we would get from social media.” It’s not that we’re not posting, but along the same lines of, what’s this worth to your business and what’s the opportunity cost?



Mike Stelzner: Yeah, and here’s the thing. There’s nothing wrong with scheduling, right?



Molly Pittman: Absolutely.



Mike Stelzner: Most of the social platforms have built-in scheduling, but let’s be honest, Facebook is running out of inventory. By mid-2017, they will have no more inventory for paid advertisers.



Molly Pittman: Yeah.



Mike Stelzner: If there’s no more inventory for paid advertisers, what’s the chances of the organic stuff coming through? Zero.



Molly Pittman: Right, and what’s the chance of your organic posts from a brand page showing before someone’s actual friend or family member on Facebook, right?



Mike Stelzner: Not going to happen. It’s not going to happen.



Keith Krance: Just wanted to make sure and clarify if you’re listening, we’re talking about organic social media traffic, not organic traffic from Google. Totally separate thing because in the beginning we were kind of talking about organic traffic, so I just want to make sure there’s no confusion there. We’re talking about organic social media traffic and that’s exactly a great point, Molly. It’s like, yes, Facebook has plenty of room for organic social media traffic from people’s friends.



Mike Stelzner: That’s not really traffic, that’s more like newsfeed.



Molly Pittman: Inventory.



Keith Krance: Inventory, exactly. Exactly. I want to see my friends, my cousins, my nephews, my nieces, but that’s not from a business base. That’s from a personal profile so it’s a totally different story.



Mike Stelzner: Just to add a little more meat to the bone on this thing, we are seeing traffic across the board everywhere. Everywhere. Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, everyone is getting less and less. For those that are thinking, “I’m going to increase my frequency in order to fight the algorithms,” I’m here to tell you all you’re doing is you’re dividing your pie into little tiny pieces.



  For example, if you tweet once now on Twitter, that tweet could be seen 24 hours later by someone, so the idea of increasing your frequency to hit people at different times of the day is no longer relevant. Everything is time-shifted in social media, so you just have to realize you might not see something until tomorrow anyways–or your prospects or your customers–so the idea of doing it over and over again needs to come to an end.



  There is a new philosophy that I could share with you guys to solve this problem.



Molly Pittman: Absolutely.



Keith Krance: Love it.



Molly Pittman: We’d love to hear it.



Mike Stelzner: Here’s the thing, anybody who’s been around for a while–and I’ve been doing this since I founded Social Media Examiner in 2009–knows that in the early days, there were not as many people posting and you could do amazing things. Now, something has to change. What was happening back then was incredible community involvement. You could have hundreds and hundreds of comments on a single organic post that just had one sentence and there was no graphics at all. Now you’re competing with video. You’re competing with quote graphics. You’re competing with live video. You’re competing with all these different things and if there’s one thing that Facebook has made crystal clear, they love the song “The Hotel California.” What’s the line in “The Hotel California?” “You can come anytime you want,” but, what’s the punchline?



Ralph Burns: “You can never leave.”



Mike Stelzner: That’s right. Anybody who doesn’t think this is America online in reverse needs to check themselves. Facebook wants you to stay forever on Facebook. That’s why there’s instant articles, that’s why there’s Facebook notes, and that’s why there’s Facebook Live. I got to tell you, they’re going to do everything in their power to not show anything that’s going to get someone to leave Facebook because they make all their money when you stay. If you embrace that and you understand that people are going to stay on Facebook, you might be thinking: “Maybe we should go ahead and just post our articles up on Facebook in instant articles.” No way. Don’t do it.



  Instead what you want to do, is you want to leverage live video, but you don’t want to leverage live video as a traffic generation tool, although it could be used that way. It’s not going to work as well that way. Instead what you want to do, is you want to leverage live video to develop a loyal community, and I’m here to yell the clarion call that we as marketers need to understand that developing a loyal community of tens, hundreds, thousands of true loyal fans, is going to deliver more return on our marketing than anything else that we used to think. We need to stop thinking about the numbers and we need to start thinking about cultivating the right people that ultimately will become customers.



  The bullet, or the secret pass, that fights the algorithm is live video right now because Facebook gives it a free pass. They do everything in their power to let you know that there is a live video happening. That’s why they changed the interface on the bottom left and if you follow a brand and they went live, you won’t be able to get rid of that little number unless you actually clink in and look at the video, so live video is where it’s at.



Keith Krance: I have to ask the question: will you ever go to a paid model? You’ve got such great content.



Mike Stelzner: You mean will I ever put money behind my content, you mean?



Keith Krance: Absolutely, and boost it to the audiences that are cold and then retarget them and have some sort of paid strategy on Facebook or otherwise.



Mike Stelzner: When you get over a million people a month for free, it’s really hard to justify spending that kind of money, you know? That’s our struggle. The cost to get even a tiny fragment of our audience to come from Facebook is so tiny. I’ll tell you, there’s three things that we’re doing. Number one, we’re being okay with the fact that we get less people coming to our site from social. Number two, we’re doubling down on search optimization because we realize that that’s the secret weapon. All those social signals on the content are very valuable. Number three, we’re doing everything in our power to grow our email acquisition. You know, we add 25,000 emails a month, so conversion rate optimization all of the sudden become essential.



  The idea is to capture the smaller numbers of people that are coming to your website and to nurture them via email is really where it’s at because it’s so much more economical than paying a social network to do something they don’t want to do. They don’t want to send traffic away. You’re competing against everybody and when you have a limited supply, what does that mean? The cost is only going to go up, so we’re not going to be entering that game. We use paid to promote our products and to promote content marketing that’s designed to sell our products, but we really don’t use it for our organic at all–for our articles that are purely educational.



Keith Krance: But it’s so cheap and it’s so easy to do! I mean, obviously we talk about paid traffic in most cases here.



Mike Stelzner: Well, let me ask you this: What’s a good cost per click? Tell me what a good cost per click is.



Keith Krance: Well, I mean, we look at everything based upon conversion so it’s a little bit different, but we do have all of our customers post their organic posts on Facebook and then they actually boost them, and then we use those website custom audiences or those warmish audiences to then sell their products in sort-of a two-step fashion.



Mike Stelzner: Instead of investing in paid advertising to drive more traffic to our website–to read our content–we invest in editorial. We have huge editorial teams that publish really rich quality podcasts, live video productions, and also our content. We spend hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce the content that we have at Social Media Examiner. We know that when people do share that content, however they choose to share it, that does drive some sort of traffic to us and it does leave a signal that ultimately will allow us to grow our email list or allow us to get on organic. We don’t see the value in it because we’re a product-based media company.



Molly Pittman: Yeah. What you’re saying totally makes sense, and I think, like you said, it really depends on your business model. It also depends on where you’re sending the traffic.



Keith Krance: Exactly.



Molly Pittman: Like at DigitalMarketer, we’re not paying for traffic that doesn’t have an ROI within 30 days, so we don’t see value in establishing a $50,00 media budget that we’re just going to throw at the wall and hope it sticks, right? We have to know along every step that we’re running traffic to a squeeze page, someone’s going to opt in, and within 30 days we’re going to break even. I think it’s interesting when you do have a big organic following and you are getting all of this free traffic, it comes down to opportunity cost, right? Where are you going to spend your money and cash flow in a business? I totally understand, you don’t need to pay for traffic.



Keith Krance: You’re talking about content. So much of your business is content and articles. It’s different. Now if you guys are doing a promotion–if you’re doing a product that you’re rolling out–where there’s an opt in, you guys are running paid advertising, and you’re specifically talking about your content.



Mike Stelzner: That’s the difference. We don’t actually ever create opt in offers. We have one offer and it’s the same offer every day, 365 days a year, and it’s designed to get them into our email newsletter list, which gets them into ultimately being fed every day with our original content that we produce as part of our core strategy. Then through those distribution models is how we sell. You know what I mean? Through our email newsletter that goes out three days a week, there’s ads in there for our products. In our podcasts, it’s exclusively sponsored by Social Media Marketing World, or in our live show. It works and, for us, it’s a brilliant model because we don’t have to be beholden to a social network to buy their traffic. Instead, we draw the traffic to us with the content. It’s just another model.



Molly Pittman: Right.



Mike Stelzner: We do re-market like crazy, so once they hit our sales page, that’s when we start paying to bring them back.



Molly Pittman: Absolutely, and I’ve seen your ads for Social Media World because I visited the sales page and the re-targeting ads are great. I think it is worth saying that if you do have this big amount of organic traffic, it is worth paying to re-target these people, right? Especially when you have a relevant message, like ticket prices are increasing or it’s going to sell out, something that you really want to get across to them because sometimes the email just doesn’t do the job.



Mike Stelzner: Yeah and here’s my take on this. Could I be a much larger company if I was also doing all the great things that you guys do? Probably, but there’s a million things you’ve got to focus on and for us, we always started as a media company, you know? We kind of figured out our strategy from the get go–the strategy that I talked about on my book Launch–was all about just drawing people to you with consistent, original, high-quality content that you produce every day. Then basically when you do that, you become a media company and then people just want … Like, I don’t know, we have a 140,000 people just on our RSS feed. These people, they come any way that they want and they get to us and they just love our content and they recommend the heck out of it.



Molly Pittman: Totally.



Mike Stelzner: Then our products are for sale around that, if you will.



Molly Pittman: Absolutely. Mike, the idea of building a community, I couldn’t agree more with that. I remember four or five years ago, when DigitalMarketer, we didn’t really have a community, and marketing was tough. It was hard to market our products or even our content because we didn’t really have anyone to back us, right? Ryan had a name and he had followers, but DigitalMarketer as a brand didn’t really mean anything. Now, with our community and people sharing, referring members, coming to our conferences, even just when we do post something onto Facebook, the amount of engagement that it gets has increased because we have people that like our stuff. I think building a tribe and really the value in that is you can’t really measure it.



Mike Stelzner: With live video you can totally take that tribe to a whole new level.



Molly Pittman: Totally. Tell us how are you using live video?



Mike Stelzner: First of all, we break news with live video. In our space in the social media world, there’s constantly changes and updates coming to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Periscope, all this stuff. We actually go live on Periscope and Facebook and sometimes on Instagram Stories and we go ahead and we just basically give a quick update about what the breaking news is. This allows us to essentially be almost like television. We’re breaking into your feed to let you know that this just happened, you know?



Molly Pittman: Right.



Mike Stelzner: For example, as of this recording, the Vine camera has been integrated into Twitter and we went live and we talked about what this means and how this all is going to work and our audience loves us for it. We just randomly go live constantly and at the end of the show–which could be five minutes or two minutes or one minute–we say, “And by the way, if you want to learn more about this, come to our conference, Social Media Marketing World.” It’s almost like right at the end, in addition, every single week we have a live show for an hour where we literally break down the entire news that’s happened in the last week and we quad cast that on YouTube, Periscope, Facebook, and Huzza. We’ll get anywhere from 6,000 to 8,000 people who watch that live and we’re just basically talking about all the news that happened in the last week and what it means, and it’s basically me and an entire team that puts that show together.



  Sometimes we’ll do live Q&As, where it’s “Ask Me Anything” day. The audience will just come and ask questions and then of course, I’ll put a little commercial in there–like a spoken commercial, like you would in a podcast.



Molly Pittman: We gave Facebook live a stab and I don’t think we gave it enough time. We had other things that were more pressing in the business so I’m really curious, because we’re looking to start our Facebook live show back, which is exciting. How do you do it? What’s the setup? Is it a talk show setup? Are you doing a screen share? Is it a mix of both? Do you have someone interviewing you? What’s the structure like?



Mike Stelzner: The core technology that we use is something called Huzza, H-U-Z-Z-A. It’s a $49 a month piece of software and it’s online. It allows you to get up to six live people on at once. With the click of a button, you can simulcast to Facebook. You don’t have to have a piece of software in the middle. They’ll do it for you.



Keith Krance: You don’t need to use Wirecast or something if you’re doing that.



Mike Stelzner: You do not need to use OBS or Wirecast. It’s one-click live to Facebook and you can broadcast into a group or to a page. You can imagine–think about this for those of you who have membership sites–you can go live into a group with this, which is awesome because Facebook does not allow you to have multiple people right now.



  What’s cool about Huzza: it’s like Blab, for anybody who’s been around for a while, so you can do full-screen sharing. What we do on our show is we usually have myself, and a co-host, and then we bring on correspondents–like this morning we did the show and we brought on Amy Schmittauer, who’s a YouTube expert, to talk about YouTube Super Chat. Then we brought on Carlos Gil, who’s a Snapchat expert to talk about Snapchat Universal Search, which are two things that came out during the week of this recording.



  They come on as remote correspondents and we pop them in for about ten minutes, I ask them questions, and sometimes we share screenshots of what this stuff is and the audience is right there interacting. We use Wirecast to simulcast the Huzza feed over to YouTube and to Periscope, but the centerpiece of the whole thing is this thing called Huzza. It’s just really, really simple technology that totally works for us, and we love it. There’s many other types of software that you can use that do similar things, like Zoom I think is one and Crowdcast I think is another one. We just really like Huzza. It’s super simple.



Molly Pittman: Yeah that’s great. We were using Livestream and we actually had some technical difficulties with it, and it was really expensive so if you can do more with less, that’s highly recommended.



Keith Krance: The Show Notes will have links to everything that Michael talks about here today, digitalmarketer.com/podcast. This is Episode 82. We’ll link out to any specific live shows that he mentions or anything else.



Molly Pittman: Mike, so is your goal of the live show to engage with your audience? Obviously, you have the little commercials and soft calls to action, but is really your goal for them to engage and share the video?



Mike Stelzner: I got to tell you guys, it’s kind of nuts. Huzza itself, there’s only about 150 people that show up on Huzza and all the other thousands are showing up on the other social networks, but what’s happened is–and you guys are podcasters, you can relate to this–when you go to events, people will say, “I love your podcast.” They used to say, “I love your blog.” Now they say, “I love your podcast.”



  Well now people say, “I love your live show,” so it’s almost like the super fanatical, loyal fans that are influencers, that absolutely love everything that you’re doing, are going to never miss your live show. It’s almost going to develop that relationship, almost as if you were standing in front of them in a crowd live. It’s almost as close as you can get to physically having them all in a room like you guys do at your event. You know what it’s like. When you have them in a room at your event, they become ultra-fans, right? It allows you to develop this community and get to know them and call them out every week and say, “Hey, Wade from Florida, welcome back.” It’s just amazing, and they end up becoming huge evangelists for you. They end up promoting everything that you have. They come to your events. It’s almost like the true superpower to community development.



Molly Pittman: Right.



Mike Stelzner: On top of this, Facebook gives you huge reach on this stuff, unlike anything you’ll ever do. It’s just insane the amount of reach this will get you on Facebook, so yes it’s about exposure. It’s about the right crowds, and it’s really about helping your business. In our case, we have a bunch of our staff that comes and watches the show because they want to learn and they want to keep up with what’s going on in the industry too.



Molly Pittman: Something that we ran into with our live show was: how does this differentiate from what’s inside of our products? I know you guys have a monthly membership, we’re a part of it, love the content in there. You guys do calls and trainings. I know the difference, right? One’s behind a pay wall and one is not, but do you struggle with that–with your community at all? How do you differentiate between the two?



Mike Stelzner: That’s a great question. In our blog post, they’re deep how-to content and then in our podcasts are interviews. In the live show, it’s almost like CNN. We don’t spend a lot of time on any one thing, but we cover a huge breadth, you know what I’m saying? Anybody who’s in an industry where you have lots of change going on, this would work really well, but you could turn this into an interview. If you turned it into an interview, it’s no different than what your podcast is, except it’s live, so there are people that are doing their podcasts live using this platform.



  By the way, ask me about going live with playbacks a little bit later, because this is something else we’re doing that would blow your mind.



Keith Krance: 100% totally agree. A few things here that’s happening: number one is that people see you live, they get to see your authentic self, so they get to see you make mistakes. One of the best ways to build an amazing following is for people to see you admit you don’t know something, or make a mistake, or just be yourself. I think if you can be the expert and the authority but also just be relatable, so I understand what you’re talking about on how these people that come up to you at events now are talking about this as opposed to the podcasts like they were before.



  This is something that we’ve done. I did a couple Facebook lives earlier in the year, kind of like Molly talked about with DigitalMarketer, as well. We’ve been planning on rolling out a live show. Maybe not specifically exactly the same every week, but to do it on a consistent basis, and so I want to hit on the tech stuff again because I know a lot of people are wondering about this and get hung up. I get hung up myself, so where like my video guy–I’ve got a full-time guy, he’s local and we’re like “Okay we’re going to use a Wirecast, Switchboard Live, which is what lets us do simultaneous with the other social platforms,” which is what I was going to ask you about that, if you even need that.



  Also, it sounds like, when you’re using the Huzza, how much are you using multi cameras? Are you just using because you’re always having somebody on every time, so that gives you that really great engagement?



Mike Stelzner: Yeah, so let me explain it. It’s kind of like Brady Bunch. You’re full-screen all by yourself, when you’re just by yourself–like 16 by 9–but when you bring another person on, it puts you side by side. Then when you bring a third person on, it goes Brady Bunch so they go into a 4-grid. It’s super easy.



  One thing I want to tell people that might be scared to do this–and most people don’t even know this–you can pull up Chrome on your desktop and you can go live now direct to Facebook from your desktop, which a lot of people have no clue you can do that. It’s 16 by 9, high definition, and you can have Skype open in the background. You can have someone feeding you questions, or you can just totally go live.



  It doesn’t yet support screen sharing and it’s not multi-person, but for those that are used to sitting at a computer and don’t want to have to hold their phone up to go live, you can go direct live into a group or live from a page or your personal profile just if you have one person and it’s the easiest way to just go live on Facebook. You could download that video. You could slice and dice and edit it, re-upload it to YouTube or whatever you want to do, but yeah. So hopefully that … I don’t know if that answers your question.



Keith Krance: It does. Absolutely. Because a lot of times we get hung up trying to do it perfect. That’s my kind of the one thing.



Mike Stelzner: Yeah, imperfection is the key to live. I got to state this over and over again: live video is the hardest video there is to do because you have a live audience. It’s exactly like being up on the stage and when something happens, it happens in front of everyone so everybody knows it’s never going to be perfect. Sometimes your internet is going to go out or your video feed is going to be bad or whatever, but it’s all good. People don’t care, and that’s what’s cool about it. It’s actually not like television and that’s I think why everyone loves it.



Keith Krance: On Episode 50 of this podcast, we interviewed Frank Kern and he talked about his live show, and you made a comment a few minutes ago, Mike, about how the Facebook live is something that just builds a deeper community. Yes, of course right now you’re getting a huge bump from Facebook organically. We don’t know how long that’s going to last. What Frank had talked about was the same thing. Yeah he threw out some ROI numbers, but we know that Frank Kern is not like the type that builds up a social media following. He runs a lot of paid advertising, so for him, he’s doing that to build that community right? Exactly the same reason that you talked about, which is pretty interesting because he builds a pretty high level setup because he kind of had it already set up and ready to go, but the point is, the reason why he’s doing that is not to really generate new people into his world. It’s to cultivate those existing ones.



Mike Stelzner: Exactly. That’s the key. When you’re live, you want to encourage your fans to share it because while you’re live, when fans share things, it’s almost like it’s a bump to their community. I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed this when you’re on Facebook, if one of your friends shares a live thing, it’ll like pop up at the top.



Molly Pittman: Right.



Mike Stelzner: It almost gives it preference. It’s almost like Facebook is giving it a free pass right now. We have seen the reach, the climb. In the beginning, we would get like 1,000 to 1,500 people at any given second, you know what I mean? On Facebook live. Now we’re down to like 200 at any given second, but still after an hour, we’ll have 4 or 5,000 that watched it. Then sometimes you could get another 4 or 5,000. You could put money behind it at that point if you really wanted to and then you could radically extend your reach, but all the signals that Facebook cares about–like all those likes and interactions and stuff that you can ask for when you’re live on Facebook–you can’t ask for that when you type a post. You can’t say in a post: “Please like this post.” Facebook will kick your butt over that. They won’t let it happen, but you can say it when you’re live because they’re not tracking that stuff.



Molly Pittman: Right.



Mike Stelzner: It’s just an awesome way for you to get enormous exposure while you’re live.



Molly Pittman: What do you do after the live show is over? Playbacks? Or do you distribute the live show anywhere?



Mike Stelzner: After the whole thing is over with, we simply embed the playback into a blog post the following day, and then we just leave it and let it roll. One thing that we do–which I alluded to earlier, which is very unique, which I think anybody could do–is we go live with pre-recorded material. My podcast comes out every Friday and every Wednesday–the following Wednesday–we go live and we use Wirecast. We play an animated, looped video, with our logo in it and we actually play the entire podcast through Facebook live and we’ll get another 4 or 5,000 people watching that video.



Molly Pittman: Wow.



Mike Stelzner: They’re asking questions and our community team is there interacting with them live during the playback of the recording, so this is essentially something very innovative. I’m the only one that I’ve ever heard do this, but we’re taking podcast audio content and we’re re-publishing it as live video content. We put on the screen just a simple animation that’s like one of those looping animations that just looks like it’s going forever kind of a thing. It’s a very simple innovation, but it allows our Facebook fans to even discover that we even have a podcast, and Facebook recently announced that they’re getting into audio. This is going to be a really big deal because they could take on iTunes, so this is our early stage into repurposing our podcast content into live content after it’s already recorded.



Molly Pittman: Yeah, I love that. We will have to try it.



Keith Krance: Awesome, I love that. You do that–



Mike Stelzner: Every Wednesday.



Keith Krance: Your podcast comes out–



Mike Stelzner: Friday.



Keith Krance: Friday, and then Wednesday–every Wednesday–you do that.



Mike Stelzner: If you have a page–by the way, which is really cool–if you have a page you can schedule a show and that post will show up. On Monday or Tuesday of each week we say that we’re going to be going live on Wednesday at this time. People can subscribe to that as they see that in their feed and leave questions ahead of time. Then that post that started out as an organic post, turns into a live video post. Then when it’s done, it turns into a video. It’s really, really cool stuff.



  Yeah, and anybody that wants to see how we do this: facebook.com/smexaminer and you can just go into our video archives and take a look at how we do it. The live video stuff is hot, man, and we’re doing some really innovative stuff with it so you guys should really start experimenting with it.



Molly Pittman: Yeah.



Mike Stelzner: It’s crazy what you can do with it, you know? The desktop thing is huge.



Molly Pittman: Absolutely.



Mike Stelzner: A lot of marketers work from a computer and the fact that they can just push a button–and by the way, you have to go live from Chrome–but the fact that you can go live from your desktop, like if you have an iMac or a laptop, you know, and you don’t have to worry about holding your phone out there, it’s awesome.



Molly Pittman: That’s great. Awesome, Mike.



Keith Krance: This is awesome, awesome stuff Mike. Holy smokes. This is one you’re going to want to listen to, probably a couple times. Once again, digitalmarketer.com/podcast. This is Episode 82. Mike, I know you’ve got a big event coming up. Tell us about the Social Media Marketing World Event. I know a ton of people that go to that event. It’s an awesome event.



Mike Stelzner: Yes. It’s in San Diego, and it’s March 22nd to the 24th. We’re expecting between 3,000 and 4,000 people to come and what’s cool is we have 13 sessions dedicated to live video so if you want to come and you want to really understand how live video could change your business, you can literally just sit non-stop in live video sessions. We have a total of 140 sessions spread over three days on everything from live video to Facebook marketing to Facebook advertising and Molly’s going to be there talking about Facebook Messenger and bots, which we’re super excited about.



Molly Pittman: Yeah!



Keith Krance: Yeah!



Mike Stelzner: Yeah, check it out. It is a really innovative, unique event. If you understand that social media and community development is an important part of your strategy and you’re struggling–let’s say you’ve mastered Facebook but you haven’t mastered Snapchat and you know you need to get there, or you know you need to really go into Instagram because it’s the hot new thing and you’re not sure even short video and Instagram Stories–all that stuff you’re going to find at Social Media Marketing World.



Keith Krance: Awesome, awesome. Cool, cool. Love it. Love it.



  All right Michael, once again, thanks a lot for coming on. It’s been awesome. I can’t wait to get into a ton of the stuff we talked about today. Great stuff. Once again, check the Show Notes out. Check out his event. Check out the podcast and other than that, we will talk to you all soon. Have a great week.




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