Today we welcome our friend and fellow social media strategist, Heather Heuman. Heather is the founder of Sweet Tea Social Marketing and specializes in helping brands and driven business owners create a strategy to leverage social media by building relationships with the right audiences. Heather shares her strategy for how to manage multiple social media accounts and how to keep your audience engaged with content, timing and goal setting.
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MORE ABOUT HEATHER HEUMAN:
Heather Heuman is the Founder/CEO of Sweet Tea Social Marketing and host of the ‘Business, Jesus and Sweet Tea’ podcast. Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Heather is a social media speaker and strategist that specializes in helping brands and driven business owners create a strategy to leverage social media by building relationships with the right audiences through her signature framework ‘The Golden Rules of Marketing with Social Media’. Heather has worked with phenomenal brands, including Chick-fil-A, Wilson Sports and Chambers of Commerce during her 19 years in the digital marketing space. Her zone of genius is turning teachable clients into self-sustaining smart marketers and trains Christian business owners how to do social media themselves through her Social Thrive Business Academy.
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Stefanie LaHart: 00:00 So today I want you all to give a big warm weather. I don’t want to said whether it’s been so warm here of big, we’re welcome to my friend Heather Heuman, who is the founder, the CEO of sweet tea. So, so marketing and the host of her own podcast business Jesus and sweet tea. And she is based in Columbia, South Carolina. She is a social media speaker and a strategist that specializes in helping brands and driven business owners create strategy to leverage social media by building relationships with the right audiences through her free c. Oh sorry. Signature framework. The golden rules of marketing was social media. So Heather and I have known each other for years and I feel like we’ve gotten to know each other a lot better in the lack of couple of years. And thank you so much for agreeing to be on my podcast.
Heather Heuman: 00:48 Yeah, I’m thrilled. I love obviously talking about this whole thing called social media and how it can help people. And of course I love you as a dear person. So it’s like a win win for my Friday here.
Stefanie LaHart: 01:01 Awesome. Well, I will make sure that we have all of your links in the show notes and on the blog post so people can follow you and find you. And Heather bought a podcast actually started way before mine. So if you go and follow her podcast, she’s got a whole archive, a really great, great social media information for you to read and to interact with. So make sure you follow her over there. And you were definitely one of the people that I saw doing podcasting that I thought, oh wow that looks really great. I think I could do that too. So you know, thank you for motivating me to get off my butt and actually do it. Cause this is, this is actually going to be the topic of our show today is sometimes we have business owners get very overwhelmed with the opportunities that are out there in the marketing and social media spaces.
Stefanie LaHart: 01:44 Cause we feel like, oh new tool, new venue. Oh I could do a podcast guy could do a channel, I could do all this. I feel like I have to do it all at once. And you know, that’s something that often my clients come to me at the beginning and say, well, should I be doing everything? Do I have to be on Twitter? Do I have to be on Facebook? Do I have to be on Instagram? I have to do everything at once. And we all know as a small business owner or someone who’s just starting their business, unless you have a financial backing and from the beginning you’re going to have a team behind you doing all this, you can’t do it all yourself. Right?
Heather Heuman: 02:15 Exactly. And that’s one of the biggest mistakes I see people making, especially if they’re new to social media. And when I say that, I want to clarify because there are many times businesses that are established making great money and they have established their business via face to face or word of mouth, and they’re new to social, but they’re not new as a business owner. And so they show up and they’re just like, wow, what do I do? How do I make this work? And so the biggest mistake that people make at the beginning of using social media is they spread themselves so thin and they try and be an all the places. Because the reality is, Stefanie, I could make an argument right now until you that youtube is a fantastic place where there are millions of people that show up every day. But at the same could be said about Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, tick-tock, if that’s your audience, podcasting, all of these things.
Heather Heuman: 03:15 And so people, if you’re trying to be smart in your marketing efforts, which I say, please, let’s be smart. We want to look at the data, but you have to realize, unless you have unlimited amounts of money or time and time is money that you need to pick and choose wisely. So the first thing anyone doing social media well is you have to make sure that you choose the right platforms. And that is kind of like what are my key foundations and my like framework as I teach business owners how to do social media, choose the right platforms. And the quick, easy answer because I could go into this forever, is that you need to go where your audience already is outside of your preferences. So if you are looking to target 60 plus year old women, Twitter’s probably not your number one go to place, right?
Heather Heuman: 04:14 And yes, we’re generalizing and yes there are 60 plus year old women on Twitter, but I’m just saying for the most part, so there are certain people that really like to hang out. There are different cultures for all social platforms and so you want to choose as you strategically make that decision, the platform where your people are already hanging out and you’re not going to try to convince everyone to go over to Instagram. But if they’re already over on Instagram, then that might be a good choice for you. And then if it feels like it’s a tie and you’re like, well I don’t know, is it Facebook or Instagram? The argument could be made. Both of those would be a good choice. And then the second factor I like to tell people to consider is what feels like the most natural thing that you actually want to be spending time in.
Heather Heuman: 05:07 Because social media done well means that you are being social. And that means that you’re not just coming up with a strategy to create content, to execute it, to get graphics made, and to post it and then mentally checkout because that’s not going to serve you well. So if you hate Twitter, it’s going to be super hard for you to fake it longterm, right? Because it moves super fast. It’s quick, it’s engaging, it’s all about, you know, all of these factors. So if you hate a platform, I’m not really sure how successful you’ll be. So you need to like it and your audience needs also be there. And real quickly, when I say if you like it, some of that’s just an education process to where you’re like, I don’t feel familiar with what Instagram done well really looks like. So if that’s the case for you and you’re willing and you’re teachable, well then great, you’re in the right place because we can teach you all day long smart things to do. Don’t get distracted and stop trying to do everything and showing up, looking like it’s like, like halfway done on seven platforms. Do one platform and look like a rockstar. [inaudible]
Stefanie LaHart: 06:15 Well you just touched on so many great points there. Let me touch, okay, let me go back just one second on a couple of them. Cause I agree with everything you said and it’s something, you know, we have very similar businesses and I run into the same things. Let’s go back to what I call the content cranking mill. I actually just had an experience with a, I had a client that I’ve been working with now for about six months and he just went through the same thing where he had hired these VA’s, they were cranking out nonstop content, no engagement whatsoever. And he was basically like, social media is not working for me. And what we did with his program is we basically stopped the content cranking. I mean we post literally once a day, but there’s way more engagement going on and he’s already gotten like five, six new clients and he’s like, this is incredible.
Stefanie LaHart: 07:05 Like he thinks I’m magic basically. Sometimes I let him think that. But that is, I mean that is something that I have seen over and over now because they hear on the news all the time, this whole thing called the algorithm and you have to keep pumping out this content, content content, but there’s not really any thought to well what’s happening when this content out there? Like what happens then it’s basically like screaming out a window and then you kind of shut your window and people are like, you know, they don’t really know what to do with the information. You just dumped on them. So that is point number one that I think is really important. Like you said, the second thing is, so as far as like picking the platform, you know, let’s talk about that a little bit more. I know you were saying about generalizing, is it Facebook is an Instagram, you know, I think at this point, because social media is so spread out you know, people are feeling definitely like they spend too much time on it and maybe in a lot of ways they aren’t paying as much attention.
Stefanie LaHart: 07:59 Like how do you as a business decide, well I’m going to only focus on Facebook, you know, is it about the industry? Do we look at like what your business is? So let’s say I’m in the coaching sphere or I have like a personal product. Does it make more sense for me to touch base with something like, I think Facebook is a lot more community oriented than a Twitter or even an Instagram at this point. You know, how do they make that decision?
Heather Heuman: 08:23 Yeah. So that’s a great question. And I think that when you really look at what you’re willing to put into it, if you acknowledge what value your bringing to your audience that you know exists and is out there, you could ultimately justify this either way you want. So for example, if you were to say that you are an accountant and you were like, I think I’m going to do Instagram, some people might say, Ooh, I’m not really sure. Instagram would be the place. And depending on your demographic and age range and maybe the, the, the place of life of the people that you are wanting to connect with. Well you could say maybe there are less accountants that are on Instagram, which then my elevate your ability to be able to perform and do well there because there’s maybe quote not as much competition that could be said or someone could say, hey the the safer bet or the maybe more traditional choice for you would not be to pick Instagram.
Heather Heuman: 09:25 So it’s kind of like, I think you can, depending on your angle and depending how outside of the box you’re willing to be in your marketing approach, you could still make a case for either. But I think something as you are making that decision, it’s really important going can I maintain a level of consistency based on the platform that I want to choose. So, for example, Instagram I believe currently has the amazing benefit of Instagram stories and so many businesses aren’t even using Instagram stories and they’re just thinking like traditional, you know my posts. But Instagram for example, one could say that doing one post today on Instagram, maybe even only three or four times a week would be considered very consistent, very on point. And like exactly what you’d need to be doing to vary to show up, like really awesome. Okay. And some people might be like, fantastic, I can do three or four days a week.
Heather Heuman: 10:31 And then if I said, hey, I think on Facebook, totally depending on your audience and the culture and like what type of business you have, you know, posting once or twice a day might be better. So someone might just go, okay, she just said you know, four to seven times a week or basically 10 to 14 times a week. That seems like a lot more work. I’m going to pick Instagram. But Instagram is very visual, so you have to, before you jump off that bridge, so to say, you have to say, what content do I have? What visual stuff do I have, am I willing to get on camera? Because if I am willing to get on camera and leave my ego at the door, then I can make these one minute videos and show up like the real person I am and address the issues people have. Make them smarter and incorporate that into my content. But because the platform of Instagram is super visual, if you’re sitting there with zero content, you don’t have a website that could feel super daunting and intimidating. So it’s like there’s the opposite effect of that content machine you just mentioned. And there are other people that literally just want to get going and they literally aren’t thinking about the content piece at all. And with, as we both
Stefanie LaHart: 11:54 Know, the only way that new people are finding you or new followers is through the stories. I just actually launched a brand new Instagram account for my new dog as we were talking about earlier. And I am telling you, I post very religiously in the story section and I, there’s all kinds of different people finding us because Instagram is promoting that in the discovery section. So you’re right, I, you know, as far, and this goes for business, this is not just dog grabs. If you are maybe just posting like an actual post on Instagram, maybe even two or three times a week, but you, like you said, you’re consistently in the stories, New People are able to find you. Instagram’s going to keep suggesting you and Heather, I notice you’re in stories all the time for your business and I’m always so super impressed because that actually is not something for my business.
Stefanie LaHart: 12:40 I’ve done a lot of believe it or not for his outgoings I am, I’m a little video phobic a lot of times where I’m just like, ugh. So I really want to go on video today. So that’s been kind of like something that’s been holding me back. So for a business owner like me, what suggestions could you give to get somebody a little bit more comfortable doing like a live video everyday on Instagram? Because Instagram video doesn’t have to be a big, you know, set up, it doesn’t have to be any kind of set or a great lighting, but how would you approach that with a client that says, I don’t know that I’m comfortable doing that.
Heather Heuman: 13:14 Okay, get into that. So I have two quick things to say and I mean this in love. The first thing I want to say is we’ve got to get over ourselves. Like people are like, I don’t like how I look. I’m like, what do you think every single person in your life sees when you open your front door? There’s just something that we have in our minds that are like, oh my goodness, if I put it out there like on social media, like it feels much more like intentional. Like I uploaded this video, I must think that I am like, you know Christie Brinkley like Beyonce, like rock star, awesome. It feels vain and we started having all of this stuff in our head. But if we honestly started saying, if I feel like I have something that can help people, whether it is pizza or whether it is my service, I am honestly being selfish by just constantly going, oh, it’s about me. I just don’t feel comfortable. So I think when we check our ego at the door, we can get past it. And you, I’m not saying you’re not going to be fearful, but I can promise you how you feel on your first video versus your 50th video is very different.
Stefanie LaHart: 14:22 Yeah. So it’s a matter of just getting yourself into the hole and doing it. Right. Getting yourself into that habit. Yes. And that said,
Heather Heuman: 14:29 Instagram in video, anywhere on social doesn’t have to be a talking head. It doesn’t have to be you making the video. Instagram stories. You can do photos, taking a picture of something else. It can be a boomerang that still shows some movement, but not of your self. It could be the festival, it could be the parade. It can be you putting the label on top of the Bourbon that you’re making in the distillery and it’s engaging content that shows what’s happening. It does not have to be your face, but I always like to say when people see more of the person who you want them to pull out their credit card for and feel like there is this trust and go, who is this? Is this a local company? Is this an American company? Is this somebody that I feel like I want to do business with? They believe you more and you become more trustworthy when you do get out. Yeah.
Stefanie LaHart: 15:26 Yeah. And this is an amazing, that actually goes not only for small businesses but you know very large businesses to like look up with. T-Mobile has done with their CEO John, what’s his last name? Legare or whatever his name is. He’s super active on Twitter and let me tell you their, their business just keeps growing and growing because people are into his crazy personality and they just like him. I mean that has really boosted t-mobile more than anything else that’s out there. Like Verizon has no face t-mobile, you know, it’s hot pink, you know, it’s this Guy John and you like him and you’re right. It’s like it does, it’s not just small businesses. It’s like larger businesses could also take advantage of that. So my next question is this. So we were talking about, you know, you don’t have to be everywhere at once.
Stefanie LaHart: 16:11 I just had a discussion with Sharon the other day about is there value in having a social media platform that maybe you are not posting on all the time, but you do just kind of hold your name. We were calling it social squatting simply. So if somebody was having a conversation and they want it to tag your business in it or reference you in some way, they would be able to have that, you know, that handle to tag. So it wasn’t like, cause I find this, you know, with the work that I do with podcasts, when sometimes when I’m trying to tag podcasters or something about the story and they don’t have a social media channel on there, like they’re not on Instagram. Maybe they’re only on Twitter. I don’t have a way of looping them into that conversation. So do you think there’s value in just at least having an account, maybe only having a few posts, not updating it all just simply so people can keep tying you in? Do you understand what I’m saying? I understand you’re
Heather Heuman: 17:02 Saying so I think that there a is value in as you establish your brand, getting the getting the URLs or getting the usernames that are on the different platforms, even if you aren’t necessarily super active. But I think you have two options in doing that. So let’s say you claim it and if visible, if you’re amazing and if you are a rock star but you’re only a rockstar on Twitter and you literally look like you don’t exist and that you’re not credible and that you’re not one that I actually should be doing business with in my first and only impression is like, let’s say what I see on Instagram, which is that you have zero followers that you follows zero people. I just feel that it could have a negative impact. So at minimum make like one post on the platform that just says, hey, we are on fire over on Twitter, but blah, blah, blah, like guide people where to go.
Heather Heuman: 18:03 Something Eagan. If, if you are mainly on Instagram and you want to go claim that over on Twitter, you’ve got a huge nice cover photo on Twitter that could literally just be focusing on your brand and just say like, hey, we spend all our time over on linkedin. That’s where the magic happens. Come there and make sure that the URL, at least on that platform guides people to a Freebie. And that way it feels p it makes people just go, hey, they thought enough to go. I’m trying to let these people know that I’m not actually here real time. And then if you choose not to do that and you want to put forth a little more effort, there is really smart automation that’s possible. So I’m not an advocate of saying, hey, let me make this one tweet and I’m going to take that exact image and that exact language and I’m going to go put it on LinkedIn and I’m gonna go put it on Facebook and I’m going to post it all on Tuesday at three o’clock because that’s very robotic.
Heather Heuman: 19:02 It’s not personal and it doesn’t take into account the varied cultures on the platforms, but I am an advocate of, let’s say you have this awesome blog posts that you make or you make this awesome three minute video on Facebook. So then what you do is have a smart system and whether it’s you or whether it’s your assistant, if you want to be 80% on Instagram and 20% on these other places, then literally what you do of all of your content, you don’t have to get your VA or your assistant to do all of the steps over on, let’s say your account that you want to have, but not really be there, but you could easily have a system in place that’s like, I need you to take this two minute video. I need you to break this up into eight different tweets and I need you to make a nice rectangular shaped graphic that literally fits the platform of Twitter and I need you to schedule these out over the next 30 days.
Heather Heuman: 20:03 And so you and I both know that the lifetime of a tweet really is maybe only 20 minutes, however yes that, but if you have someone on your team or you putting out four new tweets every single month and it literally probably at most is going to take them 15 to 20 minutes to do what I just said. Then if I go to Twitter and that’s not really where you love to hang out, I’m still going to see an updated cover photo, a Twitter bio that tells me kind of like what you’re awesome at and it’s going to have like content that’s relevant in 2019 and it’s not going to have nothing or just something from 2018 I just think it’s, it can be a bad first impression that can easily be solved with minimal. Yeah,
Stefanie LaHart: 20:52 Effort. Okay. So having some kind of at least like a little bit of a drip going on there of something fresh or like you said, directing them to a platform that you are active on an I. I agree with all of that. So just in, in final question here, because you are so good at all of this, what do you think, and I’m almost afraid to ask you this, cited about repeating content.
Heather Heuman: 21:17 Okay. So I think the platforms vary and I think it’s fine, but here’s the but so look on Twitter. If I have, let’s say the, I’m laughing and I work with nonprofits as I say this, but sometimes churches are the worst. Someone will make a graphic for their spaghetti supper for Bingo night or for mom’s night out and they have that one graphic. They post that one graphic with the same content 18 times. What do we now and when it happens. So what is the user experience? I see aging graphics of Spaghetti and I’m like, oh my goodness, it looks terrible. Just like don’t post it all really. So if you want to repeat on Twitter something that you post on like Tuesday morning at 8:00 AM, it is fine for you to repost that on Thursday at 9:00 PM on Twitter. Even if it is the same graphic, but just change like maybe the sentence around a little bit, you know, just like change up the hashtags at the beginning.
Heather Heuman: 22:16 Say, Hey, are you coming? And then say whatever’s happening at your event. So try to not be so robotic that you’re literally just copying and pasting the same image and the same copy. But that said, if you’re having a conference or if you are having an opening for coaching clients or even if it’s about your opt in, you probably on Facebook for example, wouldn’t want to use the exact same copy in the exact same image any sooner than like 45 days. So it’s like I repurpose on Facebook, but I’d say I have a much bigger sure longer gap that on Twitter and on Instagram. Again, that totally depends. But I would probably not repeat an image on Instagram for like at least probably like three months just because there’s so many opportunities. Even if the context was the same. Well, great. You’re having a conference.
Heather Heuman: 23:15 We don’t need to use the one graphic that you hired your interior design. You’re not entirely design your web designer. We can use the same copy, but maybe here it’s going to be the a keynote speaker from last year on stage. The next one’s going to be everybody that went to your conference that was at like a meeting. Gree. Here’s another one of like a crowd of people at the conference from us. You’re taking a selfie. So it’s like the content can be the same, but as I’m scrolling and I’m looking on Instagram, I’m not going to see, oh wow. They’re real creative
Stefanie LaHart: 23:46 Then got the one same graphic over and over and over again. Yeah, I totally agree with everything you said. I would, like I said, it was a little nervous about saying repeating content. I know some people still think, well you don’t want to do that. Everything again, that content cranking mil, that mentality that had been around for so long. But you know, we are seeing, like you said, there are certain platforms that you can do that with because Twitter, the posts do not last long. You know, we are, we are posting a lot on Twitter these days. It’s a very active platform. So I think you do get away with being able to repeat and also being able to catch people more often than, because you know, Twitter is so fast and people are only checking in maybe certain times. But while you gave us so much great information, Heather, this has been an awesome conversation.
Stefanie LaHart: 24:28 I have learned personally so much and I think I, I maybe we’ll have to start rethinking my whole video thing as well. Cause like I said, I was kind of fearful in that and it was for reasons that you were saying the whole self judgement thing and then also thinking like, well, you know, what do I really want to put out there? But I think it is a matter of, you know, really sitting back and thinking, you know, what is your goal and you know, how best is that going to be served, you know, with your time and your resources? Because maybe you do have the option of having a team of people, whether it’s, you know, a couple of VA’s or an assistant, or maybe it is you on your own, but you have to be realistic. You know, what is my consistency going to be?
Stefanie LaHart: 25:07 Because that is the key to everything. It’s just consistency. You know, it’s just showing up at the same time. That’s how we build relationships. That’s how we make friends. That’s how we get clients. And I think we’ve got a lot in here for people to really work on. So again, I’m going to make sure that all of your contact information is listed in the show notes on the blog page. I highly recommend people to follow Heather on Facebook on what’s the other, you do Instagram a lot too, right? But, you know, definitely. And She has, or your coaching what is your, your coaching thing called again? Your monthly? Yeah, it’s social thrive business academy, Social Five Business Academy. She’s been having that going on for a couple of years now. I think a very successful, she’s got a lot of really, really great people in there.
Stefanie LaHart: 25:51 She’s helped thousands of business owners. So I highly recommend, you know, if you’re getting into the social space, you know, checking her out. Cause Heather is not only sweet and knowledgeable, but I have to say you’re one of the most approachable people in social media that I’ve seen. You know, we see a lot of people out there that are very big on the kind of the slash and the screaming and just kind of in your face. And that I find personally overwhelming and I think a lot of people would be attracted to your style. Just very thoughtful and genuine. And you know, I, I recommend, I very highly recommend people reach out to you. So thank you very much for being on our Tradigital podcast. You are our second guest. This has been going awesome. And again, follow Heather’s podcast as well. She’s got great information over there, so thank you so much, Heather.
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