Transcript: Thanks, Allan. This is David Brower with your 20 minute podcast and our special guest today is Scott Ayres from Texas, beautiful downtown Texas and Scott’s the co-author of Facebook All in One for Dummies, he’s a podcast host for Social Media Lab powered by Agorapulse and he has written over 2,000 blog posts on social media topics and Scott, welcome to the show man. Glad you’re here.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. Thanks for having me. It’s a nice, you know, 70 degrees in Texas today. We don’t get this very much. This is cold weather for us.
David Brower: Yeah. We’re having fall here in Colorado. I had to put on a sweatshirt yesterday, but it’s gonna go back to 80 on the weekend so I understand what you’re saying.
David Brower: I’m really intrigued about talkin’ with you because so many people want to use or feel they need to use social media in their business world to help grow their business and all that, but there’s a lot of myths out there about that. There’s a lot of second guessing. There’s a lot of I wish I coulda, shoulda.
David Brower: Tell us how you got started in all this and how you help people.
Scott Ayres: Well, I mean as far as getting our, for the social media lab, you know, we’ve been doing this project. I keep calling it a project. I probably should quit saying that cause it’s not really a project. It’s my full-time thing now. We been doing the social media lab now for, we started publishing August of last year 2017. I came on board in January 2017 and took us about 8 months to finally launch it.
Scott Ayres: The whole idea and premise of it is we wanted to put out some information about social media marketing that was based on data instead of just opinions or thoughts because a lot of what’s out there by, you know, the “gurus” it hasn’t been tested thoroughly and I was guilty of that. I mean you mentioned before, I’ve written literally 2,000 blog posts about social media over the last 8 or 9 years working for other app companies and through that process most of those were those quick one off, kinda, you know, here’s the 5 best things to post, oh yeah here’s the best time to post on social media. Here’s this and that. None of it was tested.
Scott Ayres: It was really just my opinion and granted it was my opinion based on what I saw working for my accounts, but never really applied data to it and so, you know, our CEO said, hey, we wanna do something different. We wanna be known for something different. Our blog itself, we have a regular blog that does those sorta, you know, “how to” sorta posts and they do very well and that blog has been named the top 10 of social media examiners yearly list that they do, but we wanted to do something different with it and so, it’s been an interesting task so far. Spending lots of money, you know, runnin’ ads or paying for organic, you know, doing the organic test. My full-time work is just running these tests and doing our social media which is part of the test and it’s different from anything I’ve…
David Brower: The website is agorapulse.com and you’ve got a free trial opportunity there, a 90 second video people can watch. You’ve got ways to help people with all the different social media from Twitter to Instagram to Google plus YouTube, you name it and a lot of solutions for different types of use; agencies, small teams, large teams, customer service, small business. How do you qualify people that you think will make a great fit with you?
Scott Ayres: For the beginner, there’s a lot of different uses. Like you say, it could be small business. It could be agencies, you know, it could be large corporations. Typically, our main clients tend to be agencies that are doing social media for other business or the larger corporations. For the small business you still can use us, if you’re just a solopreneur and you’ve got a couple social media accounts you wanna schedule content, you wanna manage the flow and influx of the comments and replies and messages. You can do all that in there, but we really kinda lean ourselves more toward those with 20, 10, 20, 30, 40, 100, you know, profiles they’re tryin’ to manage because that’s a daunting task for anybody whose trying to do that on the social platforms.
David Brower: Right.
Scott Ayres: And so that’s really what our solution comes in, I think, the most probably for those larger ones. We do have a lot of smaller business, though, who use us and love us and they just use it for their own stuff, but I think, most of our clients tend to be that mid-range and up.
David Brower: That makes sense because, I mean, once you get past 4 or 5, I don’t even know what the number is, but once you get past 4 or 5 it starts to become daunting and by the time you get to the big numbers it’s like, “Oh My God! How do I do this?” It’s not like you can hire 3 or 4 millennials to come in and take it over for you. You know?
Scott Ayres: And now everything’s a lot more sophisticated and moves faster and, and there’s a lot more coming in and you’ve got to be more active in the conversations that people are having about you and directed towards you so we have lots of customers that have like 10, 20 team members who are handling social media. It’s a big thing when you get larger. You can’t do it on the platforms and stuff cause you’ll miss 90% of the conversation.
David Brower: Gotcha. Looking at the free tools that you have there, it’s a Facebook page barometer, a Twitter report card, a Facebook page contest. Tell me about those things, those tools and how they help agencies and other businesses improve their social media stuff.
Scott Ayres: The biggest, I would say probably, the biggest of the contest thing is kind of a little, you can run on these timelines. It will help you pick winners if you do these timeline contests on Facebook. They’re not as popular these days as they used to be.
David Brower: Right.
Scott Ayres: But, the barometer is a really intriguing tool that we created a few years ago. It absolutely free to connect to. You can go right on our main website and find it in the footer, I think in the footer in the free tools.
David Brower: Yeah.
Scott Ayres: You can connect your Facebook page to it and basically will weigh it against the other about 30,000 pages that have connected to the app to kinda compare your reach, your engage levels, those sorta things. It’s neat to go look at because it lets us, also, see what the trends are. We just, kinda, wrote about here recently about is reach dropping really? We found out, yeah, it really was. Probably about 12% or 15% lower this year than it was last year overall, but it does let you compare so, for some pages you go compare yourself because you may be sittin’ there going, man I can’t get any engagement on my Facebook business page. I’ve got no, no reach. Woe is me, but then you pop it in the barometer and compare it to other pages your size and you might be doing really well and so it’s kind of a cool way to go in and compare yourself to similar size pages is the whole idea.
David Brower: That’s a cool idea and it’s free.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. Yeah. A 100% free.
David Brower: So, you just go to agorapulse.com/freetools, click on the get my Facebook barometer score and it takes you right there and you connect with your Facebook fan page business page. That’s fascinating. I’m gonna do that when we get done. You’ve got me curious.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. You should.
David Brower: So, what else to you do to help agencies and business help to grow their business, I guess, to increase their bottom line?
Scott Ayres: Well, I mean for my portion of what I do at Agorapulse with the lab. You know, my goal is to run these experiments and test all these different social media practices. That way, you don’t have to spend the time to do it. You don’t have to spend tons of hours and/or dollars on an axis that’s just simply not gonna, that’s gonna be a waste of your time. So, that’s kinda what we’ve kinda set out to do is to instead of, you know, starting a race at 0 miles per hour, you’re starting at maybe 50 miles per hour.
David Brower: Gotcha.
Scott Ayres: You’re kinda already running full speed. You don’t have to do all the hard work and waste the time and a lot of time with, you know, cause I do social media myself and the hardest part is you don’t always have the time to test.
David Brower: Yeah.
Scott Ayres: Because you’re, especially if you’re doing clients, you just got to get to work and you just gotta hope this works.
David Brower: Well, yeah and when you’re, when you’re startin’ out, you don’t know what you don’t know and so, to be able to, right? So, to be able to, so then you are, it’s like a shotgun approach. Okay, I’m just gonna throw everything out there and see what sticks, but without the data you don’t even know, from that, what’s gonna stick so to be able to come to you guys and literally get a running start on this is, that’s a cool deal. I’ve never heard of that before.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. I’ve been in social media for quite a while and everybody kinda does the, a lot of the people out there that are teaching social media and their friends of mine, their basing their, their product, their courses off of what worked for them. That doesn’t always work for everybody and so what we’ve kinda tried to do is in all of our tests, whether we’re testing Instagram hashtags or Linkedin hashtags, you know, live video on Facebook, whatever it might be, you know, we’ve tried to use a cross section of different types of pages. So, it might be, you know, our big software page, I have a local business page in Texas that I use, I use my personal profile, multiple Twitter accounts sometime on Twitter and so we’re kinda tryin to get a cross section so then we can go well here’s an average from all these pages in this test from various industries.
Scott Ayres: So, this is gonna give us a better idea what should work for everybody because if you just base it off of your one page, you just may have the uniform page that does well with that sorta content and nobody else does and vice versa, you may perform horribly on it and everybody else is doin’ great. So, that’s the problem I’ve seen for years with all those who are teaching social media marketing. They’re basing all of their conclusions on what works for them as a personality and, you know, this celebrity, we’ll call it that and it’s so different for people who are in the trenches doing social media for a real business.
David Brower: Absolutely right. Absolutely right. So, when your boss came to you and said, “Hey we’re going to do this differently,” did you go, “Oh my god! What are we gonna do?”
Scott Ayres: Well, I was hired on to do it so, I was expecting it.
David Brower: Oh. Okay. Cool.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. He actually is, it’s kinda funny. I worked for another company before called Post Planner. They’re a scheduling tool for social media. I worked for them for about 3 and a half years and Emeric our CEO for Agorapulse, he tried to recruit me a couple times and I told him no and then I finally left that position and then took kind of a furrow from social media for about 6 months and you know, he hit me up once or twice and then I hit him up once and said, “Hey, you lookin to hire,” and he said well, yeah, actually, I have this interesting opportunity and he kinda sold me this position. Our company is based out of Paris, France.
David Brower: Okay.
Scott Ayres: And we all work remotely around the globe and there’s about 10 to 12 that work in the Paris office. All of our marketing team is in the US and so, we’ve been lookin’ for this person and that is a French saying. It’s called a five legged goat.
David Brower: Really?
Scott Ayres: And I’m like, what’s a five legged goat? But, it’s supposed to be like the equivalency of a unicorn, you know, this odd rare thing that you don’t see very often. You can’t find. So, he said, “I’ve been lookin’ for a five legged goat who can come in and be our guy to run these detailed experiments, who has the time and knowledge to do it and is willing to tackle it because it’s gonna be different than anything else and so, I’m like I’m game and you know I had to, they made me run a test experiment for ’em before they’d hired me on. I had to compete against someone else and, you know, they chose mine over, over another one and we been running since then. I love the company.
David Brower: How fun!
Scott Ayres: It’s a really cool company. Like I said, it’s based out of Paris. It’s, you know, boot strap. We’ve never taken any sort of venture capital and we’ve got 3,500 or 4,000 customers I believe, paying customers, I believe. Somewhere around there and the company is very healthy 42 or 43 employees. Our CEO and our co-founder Ben, he’s our CTO, you know, their whole goal is just to, they just want to build a good product for one, obviously, but the product is not the end result. What their real end result is they want to work with other people they really love and love their families and, you know, and can make their lives better. Their not gonna millionaires. None of us are. Emeric and Ben wanted work with people that they love and love being around and they’ve kinda built a company around it. I got to go to Paris and finally got to meet all of them this summer and, you know, I could see that in the company. It kinda makes me excited to work for ’em because they’re real people. It’s just you know down to earth.
David Brower: Oh my gosh! That is so rare.
Scott Ayres: It is. It really is. Especially in this space, in the tech space where it’s cut-throat and you know, Emeric’s gotten out there and hired people that weren’t necessarily maybe a good fit for that position, but he knew they were moldable and he could, he could turn them into that best customer support or whatever.
David Brower: Right.
Scott Ayres: Just because he wanted them on their team, on his team cause they’re a good person and he does this a lot.
David Brower: He, obviously, had you on his radar for quite awhile.
Scott Ayres: We’ve been friends for a longtime online and I finally gave into him. I told him. I don’t regret it whatsoever. I mean, I love the guy. We have a lot of fun even though we’re, you know, across the globe from each other.
David Brower: So, do you have a five legged goat t-shirt that you wear?
Scott Ayres: What’s funny is just yesterday, we have a weekly video conference as a conference as a company like we all get on video conference and talk about the updates to the app and the company and I’m the guy who’s been goofy lately wearing goofy hats and stuff in the meeting just to liven it up because part of the branding for social media lab, we have this character we call Pat. He has this crazy orange hair and has a lab coat on and I actually one day showed up in our video meeting with the orange wig and lab coat on and it kinda caught on from there with everybody so I’ve been showing up with goofy hats every week, but this week we got our CEO to put on a unicorn mask in the middle of the meeting. It’s him and I. I’m wearing this crazy hat with like these wires sticking off of it and wearing an orange clown nose and he’s in the unicorn mask so on his video. It was pretty funny. We posted it on Instagram and it was and it’s on my personal profile
David Brower: What an amazing environment to get to work in. I mean to, to.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. Just fun people. I mean they got a foosball table in the office and they hang out and have parties. Of course, it’s Paris so they enjoy their wine.
David Brower: But it breeds integrity, it breeds loving other people, it breeds doing all these things for the right reasons and that I mean that alone is so rare no matter what the industry.
Scott Ayres: It is, you know, and the people that I work with we share our personal ups and downs. We share what’s going on in our personal lives and you know, we truly do, even though we’re co-workers and we’re across, I’m sittin in my living room right now. I don’t see any of them personally right now, but you know I care about what’s going on with them because we do have a really good connection and a really good comradery and anybody that comes new onboard it’s just kinda the same thing, immediately because of that culture that Emeric and Ben started when they started the company 8 or 9 years ago.
David Brower: I got goosebumps, man. That is so rare and it’s so exciting to hear about that kind of environment especially from so far away from the main yet you’ve got people all around the world, but yet with the way you can connect with everybody now you really can be right there. That’s pretty cool.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. Working remote’s pretty, I think right now in the US, I think, 40% or 45% of the US, you know, work remotely at some point or at some degree and it’s what I’ve been doing now for, gosh, like 8 years now. I don’t know any other way at this point. My kid, my kida are used to being at home.
David Brower: Right. I’ve been working from home since 2010, May of 2010 and you know, I tell everybody I meet I never want a real job again.
Scott Ayres: Exactly, I can, I can sit here earlier this morning and watched a documentary on Netflix in my living room while I worked.
David Brower: So, if people want to get a hold of you. If agencies want to get a hold of you. Mid-sized companies, people that have a lot of profiles on all the different social media from YouTube, to Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter, to on and on and on, what’s the best way to get in touch with you or get in touch with your company and see how you can put together, possibly, a meaningful relationship?
Scott Ayres: Yeah. You can just find our app at agorapulse.com. You can connect for a free trial there and you can find us anywhere on social media. You can find us @AgoraPulse and if you wanna read about the experiments that we’re doing on social media, we kinda have a room in the house is what I call it. We’re on agorapulse.com/socialmedialab is where you’ll find me.
David Brower: Oh. Okay. I got it and that’s where, that’s the address for your podcast.
Scott Ayres: Yep. Yep.
David Brower: Very cool. So Facebook Agorapulse, Twitter AgoraPulse, Instagram AgoraPulse, YouTube AgoraPulse for Facebook, Linkedin AgoraPulse, the website of course, agorapoulse.com and the podcast to learn more about the social media lab is agorapulse.com/socialmedialab. So, tons of ways to get a hold of these folks. Lots of free tools on that website that you should check out cause if you’re like me and you don’t know what you don’t know and there maybe an epiphany ahhh let’s do that, you know.
Scott Ayres: Definitely. Yeah.
David Brower: That’s exciting, man. Congratulations, first and foremost, to be able to work from and enjoy your life and have a job that you enjoy. There isn’t anybody on the planet that wouldn’t like that kinda deal, you know?
Scott Ayres: Yeah. Especially being in a small town in Texas, you talk about being a five legged goat. I tell people that live around me in a small town of about 6,000 what I do for a living and they look at me like What? So, it’s definitely a blessing because I couldn’t do what I do and get the amenities that I get with this job anything locally and so it’s a fun thing. So, if anybody has the opportunity to work for a company remotely, I say go for it. It’s a lot of fun.
David Brower: Absolutely right. Hey Scott it’s been a real treasure man. Again, he’s the co-author of “Facebook All In One for Dummies,” he has a podcast for social media lab that we talked about so check him out. I’m excited for yeah and I’m glad you’re having a good time and I’m gonna go run my Facebook fan page on there and see what it tells me.
Scott Ayres: Yeah. Do it. Do it.
David Brower: Alright. Take care, man. Great to visit with you.
Scott Ayres: Alright, you too.
Alan: Your 20 minute podcast with David Brower has been brought to you by Audible. You can listen to any of David’s podcast anywhere podcasts can be found including Iheart Radio, the Spotify mobile app and at davidbrowervo.com/yourtwentyminutepodcast. Until next time, thanks for listening.