Ep. 31

Strength in Social Media

with guest Katie Thompson of HeyOrca.

Brian: –of Hey Orca we’re going to unpack the long term effects of social media and how it’s been an essential form of communication and how to be proactive during this time to reach your clients during the season that we find ourselves in. so stay tuned for the thirty first episode of the home service toolbox.

Announcer: That’s dedicated to helping home service providers every Wednesday your hosts Brian and Olivia, will interview leading experts in both the home service field as well as companies who support the small business owner. Our guests will help you nail down what will and what won’t work to grow your business, whether you’re on a job site or taking a break there’s no better time to sharpen your small business skills.

Brian: Well hey everyone my name is Brian and I am the host I’m joined today by my co-host Olivia, how are you today Olivia?

Olivia: I’m great Brian can’t complain on this Wednesday, how are you?

Brian: Another remote day, but you have some exciting news you’re moving to maybe a new scenery, like the next podcast you’re going to have a new background, right?

Olivia: I will, so for all you viewers who are very tired of my boring window you will see a new window behind me. I’m moving to downtown Winston-Salem on Friday right across from the office so I can walk to work from now on, very exciting.

Brian: Unfortunately, but we’re not there so you–.

Olivia: No we’re not there but once all this clears up I’ll be able to walk to work and be the first one there.

Brian: I’m going to hold you to that.

Olivia: Oh gosh, okay maybe not there, you’ll be the first one, there I’ll be the second one.

Brian: Okay. Well we’re not here to talk about moving, we’re here to talk to Katie of Hay Orca. Katie how are you today?

Katie: I’m great, I’m great thanks so much for having me guys, I’m so excited to be here.

Brian: Yeah, so the first thing we got to talk about is you’re from Canada?

Katie: Yes, I just moved back there.

Brian: let’s be honest, you’re the first person on our podcast from outside United States which is very exciting, our northern friends. So what is the most asked question about Canada, that you get from people that just annoys the heck out you?

Katie: oh God, so I’m actually in Newfoundland so I feel like I’ve even further removed from Canada, right, so I guess the number one question I get asked by [inaudible 02:36] Canada. Are you from Toronto Vancouver Montreal and I’m like no I’m not from any of those places. I’m from Newfoundland and then that just goes right over people’s heads because it’s a very small province. It was actually one of the first settlements in North America though, by the Vikings because it’s the most easterly point of North America, so we have a lot of history there but it’s not very well known. It’s a small province of half a million people and the city has about, you know, almost 200,000. So yeah I get asked a lot if I’m from the three big cities, I’m not a very small city on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. so I’m definitely out there but it’s a beautiful place but we say we don’t live here for the weather.

the weather here is crazy in January we had a snowstorm, I know you guys use a different metric system than us but we had 90 centimeters in one day I don’t know what that is in feet but [inaudible 03:34] because could not get out of our houses. So we got a lot of snow here we got a lot of crazy weather here but it’s a quaint little own that I was born and raised in so I’m happy to be here.

Brian: Well I just Googled and its 35 inches.

Olivia: North Carolina, what’s in on their head we had it dusting and we’re shut down for like two days, the only time we had snow all winter and that was it?

Brian: North Carolina’s really for its weather, like right now it’s supposed to be like hot and it is cold. Like those mountains have been getting snow I mean, North Carolina never get snow like even in April well, May.

Olivia: Oh yeah.

Brian: so the weather, we always talk about North Carolina you can have all four seasons in one day, so. Like what’s the temperature like right now for you guys?

Katie: so we use Celsius– I know, so that’s how I realize our differences I’m not sure we’re taking [inaudible 04:40] it is sunny today I think we’re at about 10 degrees Celsius which I’m not sure what that is in Fahrenheit. I’m so bad at conversions I’ve can do a quick check there by it, but

Brian: 50 Fahrenheit so.

Katie: Yeah so we’re pretty cold, we don’t really have a spring, we pretty much just have snow melting until the end of May, we rain all of June and then July we might get some Sun. so like I said we do not live here for the weather we are it’s not very hot province our winters are wait are three times as long as our summers so yeah, it’s a pretty crazy province to live in for sure.

Olivia: wow that’s crazy, so since you guys are so isolated how is social distancing been going for you guys up there?

Katie: Really good actually, you know, I used to hate being isolated on this island but now I’m so thankful for it we’ve actually been able to really flatten our curve we haven’t had new cases in over two weeks so we’re actually able to move to phase four, is what our local government is calling it. So parks are reopening on and some measures are being loosened still very strict on the social distancing but we’re able to a double bubble with another household now so we’re able to see just one other household. but it’s been really great I’m actually quite proud of our local government because I feel like we’ve done a really good job of flattening our curve which you know has been tricky for a lot of other places. But we’re lucky were a bird island and were quite small so um it didn’t really hit us here at the beginning as much as it did anywhere else.

Brian: Oh that’s crazy, it’s been interesting, you know, to follow all this but you know obviously we could price then, you know, [inaudible 06:28] Newfoundland and Canada and the coronavirus. but we’re here to talk about social media in a way that we can connect beyond the walls when we are needed needing to social distance but obviously social media is a very powerful communication tool even beyond the social distancing that we find ourselves in. so talk to us a little bit about what you’ve been seeing companies and how they have chosen to use social media and maybe ways that have not been seen or not as often just during this virus.

Katie: yeah for sure I think a lot of businesses have been forced to use social media you know I think if you’re not comfortable with it beforehand you have to be comfortable with it now so it’s something I’ve really seen businesses take too. and for those brick-and-mortar locations it’s been so challenging because they’ve had to close up shop but I know locally here through the power of social media they’ve been able to really keep their business back up whether they’re doing you know it’s a retail store doing curbside drop-off one. Whether it’s a restaurant who are making meal kits to pick up, you know, social media is their tool to get their voice out there. So I’ve definitely been seeing ramped up use on social media for sure I’m you know like I said on a cup or in a small city so by locals is really important to us.

so when it comes to that that’s our local businesses you know um really are the megaphone to get out to the community and since people are kind of stuck at home and, you know, that the socialization aspect is not part of it they feel like they’re still part of the community when they kind of give back to these businesses. so that’s been really nice to see because it was just so devastating as I’m sure you guys know at the beginning when you just see everything’s closing and you’re just saying, how can these businesses survive? but I really seen through the power of social media these businesses able to keep their sales up, connect with their customers, keep their community thriving which is you know near and dear to my heart since I’m the community manager at Hey Orca, I’m really all about keeping communities thriving online on social media. So I think the community aspect has definitely picked up a lot since Covid hit for sure because we’re overall just dying to be connected right now.

Brian: all the introvert were like, No just kidding.

Olivia: besides me the only extrovert, I– that’s just wonderful to hear I mean like you said community is so powerful especially during this time. Have you seen a trend with any people maybe in smaller businesses that have been more reluctant to join social media prior like starting to sweep in the trend especially locally? If they’re very unfamiliar with social media they started to maybe create accounts or utilized platforms like hey Orca during this time period?

Katie: I think we’ve definitely seen a lot of freelancers and, you know, smaller brands take advantage of Hey Orca right now, because you know we’re seeing people being laid off from larger agencies or larger businesses so they’ve really had to kind of trailblazer their own path. so because of that I think they’ve really been able to embrace social media, so yeah, I definitely think that, you know, I haven’t quite seen people who we’re reluctant beforehand because I think you know it’s been over a decade and a half of social media. So at this point you really have to know that it’s so important for your brand and your business, but I really seen people kind of trail basing their own past during Covid for sure. Because you know they either got laid off or something unexpected happen to their business so they just really took it upon themselves to go to social media and broadcast through there. So that’s been really amazing to see the resilience of people on social media and that’s just what I love to see when it when it comes to my job.

Brian: you know so I think that if people are even using social media which most people are I think that a lot of business owners get frustrated especially with Facebook and Instagram just with algorithms and, you know, the organic message is so hard to get out there, you know. So let’s kind of dive into that like what are some things that you recommend for businesses to really be able to get the message out? Because they’re seeing these stats they’re like, we have a thousand people liking our page but then only three people saw a message. I think that’s where some of the even reluctances to use social media because they’re not seeing the benefit. And most business owners they want a one-for-one, you know, they put money in the thing and they want money out and we know it doesn’t work that way but that’s what they’re expecting. So any tips, you know, to get that message out even further right now:

Katie: Yeah I would definitely say find your community and harness that. I know that’s it seems really simple advice but knowing who your buyers are and asking yourself what do they need right now? Like what are my customers really thinking about right now and really delivering that to them on social media I think is really key right now. I also think that, you know, a lot of people kind of been asking when Covid first hit, I know we’ve kind of moved into this normalcy now but you know should I be selling during a pandemic should I be, you know?

I’m asking my customers for money and I think the big question is can you afford not to? And we’ve seen that Facebook’s ads, the spenders has gone up increasingly. so you know so now is the time to really kind of harness that power while everyone’s home and everyone’s online, you know. Paid media is an ever-changing environment and even I get overwhelmed by it so I think if you’re looking to venture into that just get people who know what they’re doing on your side right? you don’t have to learn it all in a day you do not have to learn Facebook Ads overnight, so get people who know what they’re doing on your side and then get them to guide you along through and the more you practice the better you’ll get at it.

But I know for a lot of people just starting out social media can be very overwhelming but I would just say keep your community in mind, keep your customer in mind and think about you know what problems can you solve for them right now. it might just be like a picture of a puppy to brighten their day right, that’s all it takes sometimes, you know, and I think that’s another thing about social media right we’re so inundated by news which seems doom-and-gloom if you can add a bit of positivity or brightness or you know something that will make your you know future customer or client you know stop
There scroll on their phone and smile. Like you know that’s going to grab their attention so I think that’s been the kind of stuff that I’ve seen work on social media right now.

Olivia: I couldn’t agree more I feel like all I see every day are happy positive great messages, people jumping on live and talking to people and it’s like you have this whole
Network of friends that you forgot existed but now we’re all clinging to one another more so than ever which is great.

Katie: yeah.

Olivia: so for businesses who because in the States we’re starting to slowly reopen at a gradual pace what advice do you have for business owners who are trying to use social media to gently nudge, hey we’re starting to reopen this is stuff we’re starting to do. How do you think business owners can remain sensitive to the needs of their customer base but still have enough edge to help guide consumers back to their doors and start to get things back to normal for the months to come?

Katie: yeah for sure I think that we’ve been really doing at Hey Orca right now is, there’s a little phrase that I like to keep in mind I think I saw it online a few weeks ago but now it’s the time to be of service not of sales, right? So a big thing for us has been educational content, that is a service that we can provide for free for our clients that will help them in this moment, you know. Especially right now where everyone’s trying to kind of learn the latest trends of social media and really get their message out there. We’ve really been trying to put together content that will educate our consumers and that keeps us top of mind for them that’s a real brand awareness tactic. So that you know when they’re ready to buy when they have the opportunity to when things are settled down they’ll remember us.

Because they’ll remember on that we you know helped them in the time of need by providing educational content and so I would definitely say tap into that kind of free content that you can give away to your customers or consumers beforehand. I know you guys deal with home service so even if it’s like you know this is how you fix a leaky pipe just a quick video and then they can see that and if they have more questions down the road they’ll remember you they’ll remember you from knowing that you posted that free video a while ago. so I think really providing your consumers with content that will help them in this moment will keep that brand awareness going when it’s time to reopen and buy it again.

Brian: one of our clients is a plumber and I saw them post yesterday, you know, they have to get into really tight spaces and they posted a picture of a crawlspace that was basically only centimeters. use your more than the body of the person that was going in and you know they posted this something like, you know, a tight fit today or some of that. and you know, there’s a lot of comments a lot of engagement you know with something that you know I thought to myself I am glad I’m a plumber because there’s no way I would be in a tight space like that. and I’m sure, you Know, lots of other people had that same thought so it’s really just engaging so there’s so many channels for someone to engage with. and obviously I know as a marketer you know you want to be where your audience is and you want to speak to them and, you know, every platform has, you know, kind of unique place but you know if the business is trying to utilize social media more today than they were two months ago. What platforms you know would you recommend some you know kind of honing in on and just taking opportunity to learn about, as they jump back in?

Katie: for sure. I definitely need the big to Facebook and Instagram you know those are where the most people are on right now. That’s what most people are scrolling and that’s where you’re going to get kind of the best bang for your book, for paid ads on Facebook and Instagram. So I would definitely recommend learning those channels because those channels are really where kind of the bulk of your consumers are going to be. Now it’s different if you’re let’s say business-to-business then definitely harness the power of LinkedIn. I really love LinkedIn, I was not a lover beforehand but I’m a recent LinkedIn believer I really do love LinkedIn for connecting and networking especially now where, you know, and I actually even though an extrovert I didn’t really like networking. I found I had a lot of pressure but LinkedIn, its online networking and it’s something that you can totally take advantage of.
So if you are looking for buyers, if you’re business-to-business LinkedIn is a place to go but if you’re just starting out I would absolutely recommend Facebook and Instagram and I would recommend Google my business. On Google my business is a great free platform to use that not enough people take advantage of and if you have a physical location and you can put scheduled posts out through Hey Orca and you can post posts on google images as well. But basically I act like three little Google ads under your listing and I don’t think a lot of people know about that. so Google my business if you have a physical location, definitely build out that section and that is just going to help you with your SEO results if people are searching for you the more you kind of build out that section the more results you’re going to get.

Brian: I’m so glad you mentioned Google my business, we actually have a webinar that we’ve done because it’s, you know, I don’t know how long you’ve kind of been in the marketing world but I mean you know Google my business has had a lot of transformation. You know a lot of different crazy tools under a bunch of different names and they started taking everything away and then all of a sudden slowly but surely all the low features have been coming back. And as you said I don’t think most people even know that some of these features are there and the amount of keywords that you can actually put in some of these post on Google my business posts are. Even though they disappear there’s still a powerful thing so I’m glad you mentioned that.

Katie: yeah I love Google my business. we did a webinar earlier this year on it and I kind of let that beforehand I didn’t really know much so I had to do a lot of research but I found out so much about that neat little tool and I have only recommended it everybody. because what’s the first thing I’m you know your consumer is going to do when they’re looking for your service they’re going to google it that’s the first thing they’re going to do right so if they’re out looking for you especially you know like if it’s a home service like what you guys cater to and they search for plumber you want to be the first plumber on that page in that area. So really filling out that section is going to bring you to the top because Google will prioritize if you’re spending a lot of time and on your posts and if you’re spending a lot of time on your listing, they’re going to prioritize you for sure.

Olivia: well we definitely love Google my business as Brian said I wrote a very nice long blog post but all about it over Christmas and he did a fantastic webinar that is definitely one of our favorites that we’ve cut out.

Brian: You don’t have to, you know, butter me up right now.

Olivia: You know, I’m about to move like I said am I calling on those resources of that untapped potential so we’ll see. so earlier Katie you were mentioning that Hey Orca has been doing a lot of educational resources that you’ve providing to marketers, could you tell us a little bit more about those?

Katie: Yeah absolutely so we do a monthly webinar anyways um you know and we love our webinars. we got, you know, a lot of reach with them a lot of attendees and I kind of lead the efforts and I really, really do love webinars a lot, I love providing content and getting everyone together. So before Covid started we were kind of planning out our webinars for the year and then me and I Joe, CEO of Hey Orca called out to each other and said we need to scrap all of this and we need to do something that’s more important to right now. So that’s what we did, we kind of completely changed our webinar plan and then started an agency support series webinars for during Covid. So we got a lot of great agency advisors involved like Karl Sakas, [inaudible 21:51], Robbie [inaudible 21:53]. And one of our customers feel their Inc. they were there because they’re fully remote agencies so they helped us do a webinar on how to transition to remote.

We got a communications crisis listen just to odds lead to talk about how to create a communications crisis plan for your clients or for your business during this time. So really we just wanted to put together information that was relevant right now so we put this support series together we had six webinars in total and we were really proud of our efforts because we really feel like we provided content that was that was needed by our community at that moment. and then we also put together this big resource page of all the materials from our webinars and articles that just Joe and I have found along the way that have been helpful during Covid and, you know, I think it’s something that we realized we needed to give our community. we couldn’t just pretend like things were fine and do a status quo webinar about Facebook Ads right now, you know, we needed to address the issue.

So I would definitely recommend that to businesses that you need to be up front with your customers and clients right now about what’s going on, so providing that educational content like if you were just to ask yourself the question, you know. What is my clients biggest issue right now and that has to be the question you ask yourself because for us we would we put that support series together we realized that we have made the right choice for sure. so I can definitely send you guys the link for the Covid page afterwards, but it’s a full page full of resources for agencies, tons of articles, blogs, worksheets, webinars all in one page and really probably put that together because we really feel that it was needed by a lot of people in our agency communities.

Brian: Well I think it’s great just helping people and I think that’s really what you hit on earlier for our audience, you know, I think the question that you asked was what is the most important thing or need that they have right now? and I think our listeners can be asking that, you know, so people like us, you know, we’re remote office people we live behind our computer and so it’s a lot easier to create content than some of our clients. And so maybe walk us through some ideas about how people like boots on the ground, you know, the people which are literally doing the work. Because the way we approach social media for our clients is, you know, we’re going to be producing content but in a form of blogs, eBooks and things that are necessary to keep SEO and content flowing. But we believe that the day to day content and the real-life content really needs to come from the business owner or business itself. because it’s doesn’t make any sense in my opinion for a business owner to send me a picture and go crawling them, you know, the crawl space and then telling us to post it, you know, just post it yourself. So for those that don’t live behind the computer kind of summarize my question, what are some easy ways that they can create content? Because I think when people hear the word content they think of “oh my gosh like I have to write something” and besides Olivia which is you know our content rather, most people dread that so.

Katie: Yeah so like just when you were in talking about that post earlier the plumber showing the small crawlspace, you know, I absolutely love that because I think kind of these small businesses need to keep in mind is document everything and I mean everything. Like you know I know it’s hard to get in but mindset if you’re not a phone person and you don’t always have it on you but really just document any little thing that happens in your day to day life. Whether it’s, you know, a small crawlspace, even a win in your company maybe it’s somebody’s birthday, any of those things just document everything. And then if you’re too overwhelmed to kind of do it all at once, you know, like use a platform like Hey Orca, that allows you to schedule and directly publish your posts in advance. I do our content as well and I just batch content together so I’ll do my social media calendar for the month and I just have all the content ready to go, I’ll leave a few spaces open for day to day stuff but really getting ahead of that and you mentioned everything in advance.
you know and we talked about evergreen content a lot so that’s content that can be used on anytime anywhere so just try to keep that in mind when you’re documenting you know it could be you. Like I said if you want to show how to fix a leaky pipe, you know, you can shoot a video like that and then you could make so much content from that just one video. You know you, can take a still image and put it on Facebook, if you want to go to, you know, be really hip and go to tick tock and put it on tick-tock and put a music track behind it. You could write a little step-by-step process on LinkedIn, you know, so I think it’s just really being creative about on taking one piece of content and being able to repurpose it into many different pieces. That’s what we love about our webinar so much, we do one webinar and then I have, you know, so much content derived from that webinar, so.
you know, it’s I think it’s really about working smarter not harder just on my advice is document everything and then really try to repurpose on your content from there but even things, you know, like a lot of these businesses they’re very kind of, in their own bias and they think oh people will want to see that. they will people will want to see that especially right now, people are very bored they want to see stuff on their news feeds that they’re not seen in their home right now. You know especially for home services, right, and people are thinking about oh maybe I should renovate this or do this to my house, you know, oh my God before and after pictures I love before-and-after pictures, you know my whole home renovation Pinterest board full of before-and-after pictures. so I would just say document everything and some stuff’s going to work and some stuff isn’t and that’s okay if you do have a post gone out that doesn’t have any likes on it, social media moves at the speed of light, so that will be forgotten about in a second and you could try again tomorrow so, don’t take it too hard if your contents not working. It takes a while to kind of buildup that profile build up that muscle but if you stay committed to documenting everything that goes on in your business you will start to build a community for sure.

Olivia: I couldn’t agree with that statement more to kind of pivot a little bit reading your bio I saw that you had a background in journalism and radio and now being the contents I have a guru that you are such as myself I have to ask, what compelled you to join the marketing world and leave behind journalism and radio? Because clearly you’re very talented and are very comfortable behind the screen and talking to us so I really appreciate it.

Katie: Of course, yeah I know listen, my number one love will always be radio, I love radio that’s kind of where I cut my teeth when I was a 19 year old journalism student I worked for our local radio station as a reporter and I loved that job. oh man, you know, every day was different every day was new but being a reporter is exhausting and even by the time I got to 23 I realized some people want to do this for the rest of their lives, I don’t you know. I loved it while I did it but I was looking for something a little more stable and I love journalism I will love it forever and you know I hope to go back into it whether it’s in a podcast or a radio show or something later on. But the industry just wasn’t stable enough for me to want to stay and I just had kind of too much ambition and I just wanted to kind of get into a more growing industry.
so I left journalism and I didn’t really know what I wanted to do but I knew that you know I was a good communicator and then I liked social media you know and I knew how to use it so I started doing freelance social media for some businesses and I ended up turning to a marketing position that led me to Hey Orca and I do not regret it one bit. because it’s almost the same as journalism where every day is new every day is different I still get to communicate and tell stories and that was the biggest thing for me I love to you know be a storyteller and you still get to do that with marketing and content creation so that that was definitely a big sell for me in marketing and I love it.

Brian: I think that’s the reason why I’m in marketing is just, there’s something new every day I could not be in a in a job where I have to crank out the same thing over and over and over I would be way too bored.

Katie: yeah

Brian: yeah, and then not only are we doing something new every day but our entire industry changes literally every day and for most people that drives people bonkers because they don’t like change. I love change.

Katie: oh yeah I need deadlines to move, right, like I am a procrastinator by habit so that’s why I got into journalism and I needed to beat those deadlines and same with marketing and, you know, you’ve got to meet those deadlines to stay on track so for me I love the fast pace movement of it and I love just trying to kind of stay on top of trends and, you know, you never learn enough and I think that’s key for me because it keeps me growing and it keeps me ambitious and it keeps me want to keep moving forward so that’s what I so love and appreciate about marketing.

Brian: so you used the word document earlier and I really think that was a really helpful word because I think that’s the problem that so many business owners have is that when they get to social media, when they actually are logging on the Facebook or Instagram, you know at 11:30 at night and like crap I haven’t posted in 15 months. and they’re like I got a post, I got to do something they don’t know what to post and they haven’t documented and I think when you think about documenting, you mentioned document everything what are ways that business owners and leaders can help communicate the importance of that to their team? Because they may not be out in the field and obviously, you know, everyone probably has a smartphone but just because you have a camera on your smartphone does not mean you can take good pictures with your camera.
I guess what I’m trying to say is whether it’s, you know, maybe very simple tips that you could provide to someone that still finds is this documenting is overwhelming. You know, that before-and-after picture like I see some of the after pictures from our clients but they didn’t take the time to stop and do the before them like that’s the meat. So I don’t know if there was really a question in there but I–

Katie: No, totally and, you know, I think for people who are not used to it I’m a big believer in the checklist that’s what keeps me on track so if you really want to start upping your content, make a checklist at the beginning of the day. okay I’m going to take a picture of Brad doing this, I’m going to take a picture of, you know, a happy client, I’m going to take a picture of us out in the field I’m just going to take a picture of, you know, Joanna [inaudible 33:45] we love to see human faces on social media. Because that what is gives us the interaction especially now it feels like we’re communicating and we’re socializing through seeing other people on social media. So I would definitely say you know um find out what you want to tell your clients, what is the message that you want to tell your clients? Write that down and then everyday write a checklist underneath of what photos or videos you want to grab from today and start to plan ahead, you know.
If you are doing a big home renovation in two weeks make sure that you have that written down in your calendar and that you’re taking all the four pictures now and all the after pictures later. Because I will tell you like I said before and after pictures absolutely kill it on social media because they tell a story just in an image, in one image it tells a story of what this once was and what it is now. so that is hugely captivating on social media I know that if I’m scrolling I see a before and after picture I stop to look at it, but it really is having people you know like her for us at Hey Orca, when we were back in the office, any sort of silly thing we were doing whether it was our daily stand-ups or whether it was ordering Chinese food for lunch or whether it was taking a video game break we always try to take pictures of it because it shows our office culture and it shows kind of who we are and for that it tells the story.
so I know I’m speaking really broad with document everything and tell stories but it’s so different for every company but I would really just try to say, you know, what do we want to tell our customers about us, what should they know about us? Because sure you know there’s a million different home renovation companies in the world, what’s different about you guys, the people that work for you guys and how can you showcase those to people? Because then that builds the trust online because it’s, you know, that’s the biggest thing with trying to sell online is the trust. If you show real people, real faces, real names, real stories that is going to be the thing that connects you with your audience.

Olivia: Wow, they’re just so much impact there, I mean, the human connection especially now in the season we’re in that’s what people are really looking for and I’m taking the time to really document those moments like you said. I mean it just makes those connections last even longer and it gives people a tangible way to really hold on to your business while they can’t necessarily reach out and pay for a service right now. so I think that’s really true and if that’s the case, Brian when you start setting up our office picture game Amanda needs to come in here and start taking more pictures of us doing things, even if it’s just sitting there behind our desk, we’re behind the curve. behind

Katie: Yeah, I’ve used pictures of people sitting behind their desk almost like every month, you know, and it’s whether it’s just like fun facts from Haruka or, you know. We call all of our co-workers Orcas so like here’s an orca fact, because people want to get to know you, they want to build that trust they want to get to know you. So even highlighting one member of your company with a fun fact, that will. I promise get you the engagement that you need because people can connect to that, they can relate to that.

Brian: Yeah I think that’s a reality that our business center is just they just think people just don’t care you know and so trying to help them understand that people really do care. and reality is they’re only going to care to, you know, make a comment or like again it’s not like we’re asking them to sign their life away in the company but it’s that the big key word that you said earlier, which is trust. You’re trying to build trust and when you’re human, when people can see that, you know, people choose to you know partner with you.

Katie: Absolutely.

Brian: You mentioned tick tock and maybe that’s where you’re going to go but what is — something happening now that business senators need to be kind of be aware of or, you know, a trend that may be coming down the pike, there’s something that people just really should just keep their eye out for?

Katie: Yeah, absolutely for me it would be Instagram live and to be able to have guests on your Instagram live that is huge, that is a huge new feature from Instagram they’ll be able to have a guest request to go on live with somebody else. You know Instagram lives’ having a huge moment right now and to be able to kind of have that two-way live conversation on the platform I think not enough businesses are taking advantage of. and you might say well I don’t know what to talk about I don’t know what to do but, you know, we’re going back kind of to the home services you could talk to an interior designer and just have a conversation about how do I, you know, dress up my kitchen, what colors are in season this year? What trends are looking out for, you know, any conversation that you think that you’re on listeners will be interested in, everyone is dying for content right now, it’s not even a secret that’s just the big thing in Covid right now.
people are home absorbing so much content, so really you know you can put anything out there right now and it will be absorbed so I think Instagram live is a great feature, especially being able to have that kind of two-way live conversation with somebody else is something that businesses should definitely be taking advantage of. Because it’s so simple you just get on live, have a conversation and people miss talking and they miss listening to these types of conversations so I really believe they’ll tune in and if you can teach them something along the way then that’s even better because you’re providing value.

Brian: quick question, is that offered to all accounts? Because I know that sometimes there all things out to, you know, over ten thousand plus, I know Instagram live is for everyone but is there too many feature on all accounts?

Katie: Yeah, everybody, business, personal doesn’t matter you can do a two way live Instagram chat.

Brian: Really Kool.

Katie: Yeah, I tried it out for the first time over the weekend with some friends we did a little like comedy thing and it was a lot of fun, I have to say I never tried anything like that before but we had a lot of fun doing it and got a few people watching and it was great I had so much fun. so I highly recommend looking to this feature and, you know, it’ll stay on your story for 24 hours afterwards and then it’s gone, so you know what, if you don’t like it it’s only a moment in time.

Brian: one more question about that because this is news to me so I like learning things. So is it like zoom that come, when someone’s talking it brings your face up or are you kind of side by side?

Katie: Yeah, so it kind of splits the screen from top to bottom and the cool thing is that, you know, so let’s say you decide to do a live about whatever topic. Let’s say it’s Google my business, you didn’t plan on having to guess but let’s say some of the comments says hey I have this really neat tip can I go a live with you? They can request to go on live you know and then you can accept that request and they can come on live with you. So it really can be that’s for the moment kind of conversation which is so cool to watch in real time right. So it’s a really neat feature that I would love to see businesses take advantage of.

Olivia: I personally, not necessarily seen too many businesses but I’ve seen a lot of celebrities because late at night what else do I have to do once I’m done for the day? They’ll do lots of live streams and Q&A is and then they’ll ping requests and they’ll bring up a random fan and they’ll freak out. And so like genuine how excited they are and the conversations they have and like trivia games and questions they’ll ask. So I find a very entertaining I’m like man, I should put in my request let’s see what happens, odds are I get on. You never know, you never know until you try so I couldn’t agree more it’s an amazing platform and just I constantly that’s my new thing before bed when I have downtime I’ll read a book when I’m done packing or I’ll just go watch a couple Instagram live videos. and just see what happened and get pinged on my phone that hey this person went live, I’m like oh sweet I want to watch that see what they have to say today, it’s just the best.

Katie: Yeah and you mentioned Q&As, Q&As are an amazing tool to do live, amazing. You know you can’t talk to your customers face to face right now, go on Instagram live and say they ask me anything. that is a great way to use Instagram live so, you know, even if you’re a small business and you’re not sure what to put out there let your community come to you and ask you the questions and I guarantee you’re going to you know engage more people through that medium for sure.

Brian: That reminds me of a book I’m sure you’ve read they ask you answer and just the concept of you know your customers are asking questions and if you are not the business that’s providing that answer they’re going to go somewhere else.

Katie: Right, why not you know take a chance on Instagram live and open it up, you know, and if you don’t have that many people, you don’t have it up as much questions as you want you know it all takes time, right. so it all takes a few tries and I think that’s where the most people get stuck right like oh I didn’t have any one of my first Instagram lives so like I’m not going to do it again, you know. But you know with Hey Orca, when we started our webinars, you know, we would get like 30 signups and be like stoked, you Know, we’d be like so excited and one of our webinars earlier this year we had over 500 signups right. So it takes that time to grow so just remember that that it takes time on social media and it’s so instant that no one’s going to remember that you had an Instagram live with two people. So just keep trying and keep experimenting, that’s what this time social media is for.

Brian: cool well, you know just as we wrap up do you feel like there’s anything that you’ve learned through the years that you feel like it’s like, you know, one really good tip that you want to leave our audience, whether it’s about social media or not, just encouragement to business owners and employees and leaders that are, you know, in the trenches right now?

Katie: yeah, I said it earlier, but I just love this quote and I feel like it’s really carried me through Covid and it is, be of service not of sales at this moment, you know. And I think that’s really opened the gate for what content can become. it doesn’t have to be salesy it doesn’t have to be kind of, you know, buy this product it can be engaging even from a business it could be engaging, it can build communities, it can bring people together so when you’re thinking about content ,you know, you’ll get there too with the terms of sales right. You’ll figure out how to sell your product because at the end of the day if you’re the business owner you’re working for the company you know how to sell your product. The real key on social media is bringing that community together and to see that happen is just so amazing.
We have a Facebook group with Hey Orca called life and social and it’s for anybody who is working in social media so feel free to join and we’ve started it about a year ago you know and it was a lot of us kind of going through trenches posting our own content. but now we see you know someone asked the question and then all of our community members just jump on that post to answer that question right. It’s been a really amazing welcoming community, so I think right now, think about who your community is and what they need to know. Think about that for your content and the sales will come when the time is right for sure.

Olivia: that’s awesome. One last question from me is, what is your favorite part of your job at Hey Orca?

Katie: for me, yeah it’s in my tittle, but I love the community building, that’s huge for me the people that I’ve met along the way of this journey of leaving our webinars and running our Facebook group I met real friends, basically, right. And one of the coolest parts about it was, you know, earlier this year but it feels like forever ago I was actually in San Diego for this social media marketing borough conference. and I was about to leave one of the sessions and I you know I was there with one of their co-worker I knew she was at the booth and I just hear someone yell Katie, Katie, and I was like well that can’t be me, you know, I don’t know anybody here I’m from Canada. I know where my other coworker is and I turn around and it was a member of life and social who said I recognized you here. And this is a member who, you know, is very active with the group who I talked to all the time, it was so cool to meet her in real life at–.
So that’s by far is my favorite part of the job, I’m a real people person, I’m a real chatterbox so anytime I get to connect with people and really get to know them on that personal level is it’s just so gratifying for me.

Brian: Well all the introverts are like, no.

Katie: I know

Bran: Yeah, all the extroverts were like, yeah I saw this meme right before I went online and it was a joke basically about this person is at the house and they said they saw someone turn around in their driveway and they walked outside with two beers and they realized that they were just turning around they were getting so excited that someone was going to be coming to visit them and they, you know. [crosstalk 47:40]

Katie: Yeah I know, if I get a curved side delivery you better bet I’m not at the curve– that person, like hey, hey, how’s it going? [inaudible 47:50] interaction. I was joking around with my boyfriend and I’m like tinker bell applause to live I’m like—

Brian: And I’m like, okay leave it on the doorstep don’t talk to me. It is so funny how different people are [crosstalk 48:09]

Katie: I’m not a morning person so before 11:00 a.m. I’m probably a little more like you Brian but introvert as the day goes on, depends how many coffees I’ve had but definitely notorious extrovert as the days go on.

Olivia: oh I wake up and I’m ready, I’m like all right, I got my coffee, where’s Amazon guy, let’s go, what’s happening, who can I text, what’s going on, come on a lag like who’s online, who can I chat to? No one, okay I will start the day and then they’ll gradually join on and it gets better but I’m 100% like you Katie, I’m extroverted all the way through.

Katie: Yeah absolutely.

Brian: Well good, I appreciate Katie, you know, you taking time to join us today your busy schedule and just encouraging our audience how to use social media, you know, for their benefit and really build that community, so thank you.

Katie: Oh thank you guys, I love having these conversations I really do, I love my job I love to talk about the aspects of it especially when it comes to community building it’s a real big passion of mine. So if anyone here wants to reach out to me to chat my email is just Katie@heyorca.com, feel free to chat with me and we can also talk about, you know, the content we have coming up the webinars would come up. we do a lot of webinars about on kind of social media knowledge and we’ll have a few of those later on this year so definitely keep an eye out and visit our website as well to keep an eye on those but yeah, I just love chatting with people so feel free to reach out to me.

Brian: They’ll maybe go actually to San Francisco next year and they’ll meet you in person.

Katie: Yes, yes. Exactly.

Brian: Do you go [inaudible 49:48] down by chance?

Katie: No, no, last year’s and the Bunny March was my first conference actually, my first out of Canada conference hoping to go some more probably not this year though I don’t think I’ll be at the Bunny March this year, so maybe just virtual meetups for now. But yeah hope to do a few more conferences off my list, hopefully in 2021.

Brian: It’s kind of crazy to think about, but anyway, on next week’s episode we’re going to interview Mishka Fisher. Hopefully that is pronounced correctly, chief economists for Andy Home Service. And we’re going to unpack how business owners and home service pros can overcome some of the economic challenges that experienced over the past few weeks which has surely been a lot of challenges. So we want to definitely talk with them about just how we can overcome some of those stuff.

Olivia: And as always if you guys like the content we put out please subscribe to our Spotify, Apple podcast, Facebook live, all that jazz and leave us some comments and feedback it means the world to us and we really appreciate you guys tuning in every week.

Announcer: Break times over but thanks for listening to The Home Service Toolbox, keep your marketing toolbox up to date by subscribing to our podcast. We’ll be here every Wednesday hammering out solutions to help your business.