Nov 13, 2019
If I say the words, “social media," what comes to mind?
Does it fill you with a sense of dread because you’re
overwhelmed trying to figure out what you should be doing and how
much? Or do you feel confident because you love social media
and it the easiest part of your business?
Whichever way you lean, I think you will get a ton of
information from today’s show where we're talking about how to use
social media to grow relationships and engagement with your
Today, my guest is Neal Shaffer, a social media strategy
Neal teaches large companies how to best use social media to
grow and stay engaged with their customers. We’re talking about
many different social media platforms today, hearing his insights
on how to have success on each.
But first, if you haven’t joined my Facebook group,
The MiloTree Mastermind
Group, I want to encourage you to do that today! Every Monday
at 3:00 ET, I go live in the group to talk about that week’s
I go over the highlights, what I learned, and what I think
it’s important for you all to take away from the discussion. It’s a
great place for you to ask questions and to share your knowledge
with others. I hope you’ll join me!
Building Real Relationships Online
As bloggers, we work alone most of the time. It can be an
extremely isolating lifestyle.
That’s why Neal puts a huge focus on building relationships. I
want to tell you how I met Neal as a great example of using online
research to build those relationships.
I use an app called Bonjoro to send a
personal video to everyone who signs up for
Recently, I had sent a video like this to Neal, as he had
signed up for MiloTree. A few weeks later, I was randomly
researching “social media experts” and I saw Neal’s name on a list
of people to follow.
I knew the name looked familiar so I went to his website and
realized I had just recently sent him that video, welcoming him to
MiloTree. And the rest, as they say, is history. We connected from
there and here he is, on my show!
All of that to say, you have to be reaching out and building
those relationships with your followers and with those you
Neal points out that if you follow 1,500 people on Instagram and
you send just 5 of them a direct message every day, you will have
contacted every one of the people you follow in a year!
But don’t just message them; ask them how you can serve
them. Being able to connect one-on-one is a huge step toward
helping other people in the online space to remember
The Importance of Consistency in Social
When your goal is to increase your presence online, build
relationships, and increase brand awareness, you have to focus on
If you’ve been blogging for a while now and you feel
discouraged, if you feel like things will never work out for you
and you will never meet your goals, the first thing Neal wants you
to remember is that success is often just on the other side of
- Focus on what’s working for you on social media
- Keep track of your analytics
- Stay the course
Don’t stop creating content and putting it out there. Go back to
your "why," the reason you started your blog in the first place.
What are you trying to accomplish by being on social media?
If you don’t know "why" you’re using social media, you
aren’t going to be successful with it.
Are Followers the Goal?
Most bloggers are very good at gaining followers. It comes
naturally to us. The trick is what to do once we have those
followers and how to monetize them.
The main goals of online business are:
- You have to have passion
- You have to have a product to sell
- You have to build a community that will want to buy your
If you want to attract people who will be interested in what you
sell, you have to push out the type of content that will draw those
same people in.
Focus on the platforms that give you the best returns and work
on growing those. You don’t have to build every platform at the
The platforms that work the best for Neal may not be the same
ones that you are the most successful with. That’s okay; do what
works for you.
Neal’s Instagram Strategy
Instagram requires a different strategy than other social media
platforms. Neal posts a few times a week on IG but his goal is to
be publishing daily.
While Neal has mostly used IG to keep in touch with people
rather than using it for business, when he’s traveling and doing
conferences, he focuses more on posting photos of what he’s
Over the past year, he has focused on developing his own
Instagram strategy, and that begins with the premise that IG should
not be 100% dedicated to business.
When you have a broader reach and you post things your community
will engage with, whatever that may look like, it helps your
These days, Neal’s IG posts fall pretty neatly into 3 buckets of
- Travel - mostly international business travel
- Food - because of his international travel, he eats a lot of
different foods and he has followers who love to engage over
- Business - this includes blog posts, conferences, podcasts,
His business posts get the worst engagement, but by mixing it
up, he can at least keep people interested in that side of
Neal believes strongly that you need a lifestyle focus on IG and
your posts should lean heavily in that direction. Why? Because
those are the posts that allow your followers to feel like they
really get to know you.
A potential client is following you and they see a post that
makes them feel a connection to you. Maybe it’s a shared passion or
a place they’ve also been to. You posting about your passions will
connect you to those people who share your passions.
Instagram Posts vs. Stories
One of the cool things about Instagram is the options available.
You have a main feed filled with posts but you also have the
ability to share even more with your audience by using
It’s important to post to stories more frequently since they do
disappear after 24 hours.
Instagram now has the option of having a Creator account, which
is what Neal has. This is not the same as a business account but it
is public. It provides you with tools to better understand your
growth and manage your IG presence.
While IG posts can be put off indefinitely, stories are more for
what’s happening right now. Also, the IG audience tends to engage
more with creators on stories than on posts.
Growing Your Following on Instagram
Instagram is a bit different than Facebook when it comes to your
followers vs who you follow.
You want to be focused on who you are following and how you are
connecting with them and building relationships.
Neal is reducing his follower count because he does not want
unengaged followers. He wants his content to go to the people who
will engage with him.
If someone is following you and not engaging, you are wasting a
Instagram DM Strategy
Go into your app, and you will be able to sort the people you
followed by the date you followed them.
Go back to your first follows, and choose 5 per day to visit
their feed, send a message, and ask how they are doing. Just
basically reconnect with them.
If you do these in order of when you followed them, just grab a
screenshot of the last DM you sent, and the next day, pick up where
you left off and keep going.
You don’t need to spend hours on social media to be able to
build meaningful connections and grow your organic
Neal does not spend the majority of his time there. It can still
be a valuable asset, but it is one that takes more work.
Facebook ads are still a great place to find your people and
Neal still spends some time on the platform but it’s the bare
minimum that keeps his account active. He typically posts once per
day and does live streams occasionally. He also sometimes uses his
Facebook lives to record his podcast.
Compared to Facebook, Instagram can have a bigger reach, simply
because the sheer number of people on Facebook limits your
Don’t disappear on Facebook but keep life support connected to
it. Neal uses it for recording his live streams and for the ads.
Otherwise, he focuses elsewhere.
Bloggers On LinkedIn
Are you using LinkedIn as a blogger? Have you thought about
using it? Isn’t LinkedIn just for trying to find a job or
connecting with business people?
Here are a few very interesting statistics that Neal, shared
- 50% of Americans with a college degree use LinkedIn
- 45% of LinkedIn users earn $75,000 a year
- LinkedIn’s audience has 2 times the buying power of the average
Does this sound like anyone you are trying to reach or build
relationships with? You want to be going after this
Keeping Up With Changes in Social Media
There is one thing that never changes about social
media: it never stops changing.
Algorithms change from day to day; audience engagement goes up
and down based on the seasons; your content may not be applicable
to every platform.
So how do you keep up with all the changes?
- Look at your data and track your information on a regular
- Continue to show up on the platforms
- Learn how any changes are going to affect you
- Follow social media experts who share upcoming changes
Mentioned in the Episode:
- 2:00 Building Real Relationships
- 4:20 Neal’s Journey to Social Media Expert
- 7:45 The Importance of Consistency
- 13:15 Are Followers the Goal?
- 21:12 Neal’s Instagram Strategy
- 24:42 Posts vs. Stories
- 27:58 Following on Instagram
- 29:57 Instagram DM Strategy
- 32:00 Facebook
- 33:42 Bloggers on LinkedIn
- 39:27 Keeping Up with Changes
TOP 4 TAKEAWAYS
- Connect with people one-on-one as much as possible in order to
build real relationships that will help you grow your
- If you are discouraged with a lack of social media success,
don’t quit! Consistency is the key to success so keep posting what
your audience wants to see.
- On Instagram, focus on sharing more lifestyle posts and fewer
business posts. Lifestyle posts help your audience get to know you
- Find a couple of social media experts to follow so that you are
always aware of any changes coming up and can prepare for
Try the MiloTree pop-up app on
your blog for 30 days risk-free!
Let your MiloTree pop-ups help you get to that next level by
turning your visitors into email subscribers and social media
followers on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and YouTube.
Sign up today!
Install your MiloTree pop-ups on your site in under two
Sign up for MiloTree now and get
your first 30 DAYS FREE!