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Jeff Sheehan: The Ins and Outs of Social Media Marketing

Repeatedly recognized as one of the world's top Thought Leaders and Marketing Influencers, Jeff Sheehan teaches professionals and companies how to utilize social selling and thought leadership to drive revenues. His "no fluff" approach is based on decades of experience in sales and marketing working with some of the world's largest companies.

( Innovate Marketing is a #podcast by MyPodcast.Media )

Intro / Outro 0:00

The following podcast is intended only for listeners who are intent on growing the business. Welcome to Innovate Marketing, where we are bringing you interviews with the brands, the influencers and the nonprofits that are making waves and growing a business. We are brought to you by MyPodcast.Media. MyPodcast.Media produces high quality podcasts that authentically connect you to your ideal audience. And now, I'd like to introduce you to your host for Innovate Marketing, Sherry Peak.

Sherry Peak (host) 0:41

Hello, and welcome to the Innovate Marketing podcast, and we're so excited about the special guests that we have today. His name is Jeff Sheehan and his company is Sheehan Marketing Strategies and he is repeatedly recognized as one of the world's top thought leaders in marketing influence. He has a very impressive social media footprint. You can find him on LinkedIn, Twitter, he's got some wonderful articles posted as well. But he is really known for one of the top 20 Content Marketing Influencers on Twitter. So I want to take this opportunity to welcome you, Jeff, to the show. Welcome.

Jeff Sheehan 1:25

Well, thank you. It's great to be here. Sherry, great to join you this Monday morning.

Sherry Peak (host) 1:31

It's so good to have you here today. So I've been looking forward to this compensation as we're just constantly in a perpetual state of learning, and all of the tools and resources that we have available today to help grow our businesses in different ways. And being that you're known as one of the top 20 Content Marketing Influencers on Twitter, can we begin to just talk about some of your pathway that led you to become known in that area?

Jeff Sheehan 1:58

Well, I've been on Twitter for 13 plus years. I started really aggressively in 2009- in the fall of 2009. And what happened is I decided that I was going to use Twitter as a mechanism for the distribution of books that I was in the process of writing. Unfortunately, only wrote one book, Life seems to get in the way. But nevertheless, I decided to go in develop a distribution channel and using Twitter as a mechanism. Twitter was had been around for a while, but it was growing and I wanted to be part of that growth. So I jumped in with both feet actually took a class with another guy back in October or November of 2009 on how to better utilize it. And with that it was off to the races and really have embraced it ever since. There've been so ups and downs. Some days, I really don't feel like getting on it and just taking a break. But other than that I've been on it almost consistently, except for those break periods. On a daily basis, I will get up very early in the morning scheduled tweets, review articles, I learned something new every day, I read all kinds of articles. And I do read almost every article that I post to Twitter, either fully through it, or you know just a cursory look at the particular subject headlines what the content is below them. Don't study in depth. But nevertheless, I do take a look at it, see what it's all about, before actually posting it to Twitter.

Sherry Peak (host) 3:32

Could you have imagined the growth of Twitter from the time that you started to where it is now? And even where you see the future growth of some of the social media sites that we could use in the space that we're talking about?

Jeff Sheehan 3:46

No, absolutely not. Now, one thing is I started on LinkedIn back in 2006. So I've been on that for 16 years. So it seems to be some growth in that, but never envisioned what the growth in social media was going to look like back in 2009. Quite honestly, it's just been absolutely incredible. Seems like Twitter has ebbed and flowed. I think they've had some serious issues one being customer service. The other being they're adamant about censorship and things like that, which has really hurt the brand, quite honestly. And I did not have too much use for Jack Dorsey as the CEO from a standpoint of he's totally inaccessible and like I said, the customer service. I was hacked back I think five years ago and it took me a week to get back on I couldn't talk to anyone at Twitter itself to help resolve the issue. At that time, I was so one of the largest users from a non celebrity basis on Twitter and they wouldn't do anything that wouldn't answer my emails when I couldn't call anyone couldn't speak to my own. So what happened is I actually found the tweet. He had an office here in Atlanta, I contacted someone there, that I was able to locate through LinkedIn search and happen to be in sales. And I figure- and I give this advice to others- that if you're looking for someone to help you make connections within a company, get something done contact salesman, or salesperson or sales woman, because they're going to help invariably in most cases. So I did that, I met with him. And sure enough, he volunteered to help me. I talked about my problem over lunch. And the issue was rectified several days later. But it took almost an act of God and honor resolve my hacking issues on Twitter. And I've worked for many years to try to boost my engagement on Twitter posts, my Twitter followers, and that they have it to disappear overnight was just absolutely incredulous. And so I was so grateful to this gentleman at Twitter that did help me out. But they've been notorious and all the social media channels, you can't talk to anyone if you have an issue. But that's so much indicative of what's going on in society now, where all these platforms as well as any company to deal with, you have to go through their online portals, the chat bots, or whatever, it's next to impossible to talk to humans. And I think that's gonna be downfall of social media platforms, because people verbally run into issues with them, and there's no one helped them resolve them.

Sherry Peak (host) 6:21

Interesting. So how do you see that leading into the marketing trends today, being that you mentioned, issues with customer service. I'm a big proponent of customer service, good customer service, and so much has changed and, and even myself, have a hard time just even getting the thought together that I need to call customer service because I know that it might be a difficult thing and you got to be ready, that's all I'm gonna say is you have to be ready.

Jeff Sheehan 6:47

I think they're quite honestly, customer service is part of ... there four "P"s of Marketing, I actually changed it, and coined the phrase nine "P"s and actually had a blog posts on it. I found out later that someone had already trademarked that term. So it was kind of a dicey situation, I resolved it and give them full attribution. But nevertheless, so I consider customer service, one of the four P's. And the number one P is Product, the product that a company produces, whether it's a service or physical product is service is part of that product. You have to look at a portfolio approach, what are what is a product product is customer service product is delivery product is support through the life of the product itself, warranty claims, or if there's some malfunction, whatever product is not just that initial launch of the product, but exists throughout the lifetime of that particular product. And customer service, and the customer experience is such a critical part of the product, but it's one of the four P's of marketing. And if you don't have a viable product, a solid product, then everything that you do on social media and the other channels is often not because people will not continue to buy from you, or what's gonna happen is not going to refer you to others. They're going to badmouth you to others. So what happens is it really damages the product and the ability to sell that product. So I'm adamant that companies try to embrace customer service as part of the product aspect of the four P's. And make sure that each aspect of the customer journey is adequately addressed. If you have a computer system, if things are done through an app on through a website, or whatever it is, from regardless where it might be in the world that someone's interacting with you. Make sure it's still a look at all the potential pitfalls that a consumer might encounter in dealing with your respective business. And the product that you sell. I ran into a problem last night trying to make rail reservations in Spain for an upcoming trip. And it was a nightmare, trying to make those reservations, quite honestly. And the website, the the actual app itself, nothing worked properly, it took hours to make what I thought were fairly simple reservations. That shouldn't happen in this day and age. But they need to study each and every part of the respective customer journey, whether it be on social media, and how it's reflected with the customer service support and that on places like Twitter, or Facebook or Instagram or whatever it might be all the way to phone calls and let people talk to people, if they've exhausted all their efforts to resolve issues.

Sherry Peak (host) 9:26

I love that. And so you're talking about that customer service, that customer experience and it will make a huge difference in returning customers or retaining customers. So once again, how does that tie into some of the marketing trends? You know, as people are deciding some of the marketing tools that they could use or strategies, customers are looking for, that experience? How do you see that whole customer service experience those four P's moving into the marketing trends for the future?

Jeff Sheehan 9:56

As far as the trends, it changes on a daily basis, you never know quite honestly. Look at the, what is happening with TikTok and how that came out of nowhere. And so many people have embraced that. Now I've not been wanting to embrace it, I think if I do anything will be through Instagram reels or something similar for multiple reasons. But nevertheless, they might be that shiny object that will all of a sudden appear. So you need to look at those however, you can't neglect the current platform. So I think what happened is a lot of people just moved over there from Facebook and from Instagram for the other things to TikTok. I mean, if you look at Instagram, now, it's become nothing but ads. And as a matter of fact, I conducted a poll last week about that, on LinkedIn, whether or not Instagram was nothing but ads. And I think the general consensus is yes, so from a marketing trend perspective, I looked at more of these social media platforms to put out more and more ads, what's going to happen is that going to cause a lot of consumers such as myself to lose interest in the platforms and not want to go on there, if they're being bombarded by ads all the time, and not interaction with real people. So I look for continuation that because what they're trying to do is they're trying to maximize revenues. And if you look at the some of the pundits have been talking about Facebook who owns Instagram, as matter of fact, they're, they're hurting from a standpoint is their revenue growth is not there than it used to be, particularly the advertising area. So therefore, what they have to do is see if they increase the number of ads that they display, hoping that they'll maximize the potential for advertising revenue, but what's going to happen is, it's going to have a boomerang effect, and cause him to lose a lot of subscribers a lot of uses on a daily basis. So that's one trend. The other trend is, like I said, things change on a daily basis. So you never know what's going to come down the pipe with regard to any of these platforms. The next thing is, one thing is not going to die as email marketing. I think that's still very, very viable. It's something that people overlook. The fourth thing is word of mouth. It's so vitally important, getting referrals for your respective business, particularly if you're in a non product sector, but in a service business, or something where you have a business that works on a face to face level or on a personal level with other people. So word of mouth marketing is still vital, important. Some of the other tactics, I mean, direct mail has not died, whether people realize it or not, I think the loneliest person on the planet now is the post man, because he's, where's he used to deliver a stack of mail, now, it's one of two pieces, and they're generally fluffy ads. But nevertheless, is a channel there that people can embrace. and they escape the clutter from social media. Social media is cluttered with so many things. It's in a lot of cases at less than nanosecond. Whereas if you get a direct mail piece, it might sit around for days or weeks, depending upon what the particular material is, and how much of an interest it is to the consumer that's directed towards. And if it's directed towards someone that has been personalized, all the better. And that's another trend, you know, personalization will continue to be extremely important.

Sherry Peak (host) 13:10

That's good information. You know, as I was reading over your information, there was one thing that stood out, I just want you to talk about this, because it really does feed into the marketing. But I read that you teach professionals and companies how to utilize social selling, and thought leadership to drive revenue. That's the core of what we're talking about , would you say so?

Jeff Sheehan 13:32

Yes, correct. And from a social selling perspective, one of the things that differentiates me is the fact that I've been in the sales and marketing arena for 40 years. And I have sold and cumulatively, if you look at what I was responsible for, half a billion dollars. And I worked with some of the world's largest companies such as Apple, Intel, Hewlett Packard, Dell, IBM, AT&T, just to name a few and travel the world, I have a great deal of experience in that area. So social selling to me is utilizing my background in sales and marketing, to utilize the tools that are out there taught the game so people that are out there trying to increase their sales revenues. There are ways of doing it; you develop the relationships through the social media tools, you have incomparable connectivity that didn't exist years ago, you can nurture those relationships very easily and then you can create opportunities for yourself your respective business through those. And that's what my forte is. Now from a thought leadership perspective, I never thought in a million years, I would be considered a thought leader; I was deemed that by IBM and several publications throughout the world. And so what happened there is being in the right place at the right time, publishing articles, writing articles, and doing numerous things to actually solidify your thought leadership position. I have certainly the years of experience and I'll see educational background to help justify that as well. I don't put myself out there really is Thought Leader per se. And I think that you have to be deemed that by others or corporations, in order to even talk about that, for instance, last Wednesday was interesting. I gave a lecture to 27 students at Santa Clara University, on thought leadership, and for the importance of each and every individual that is serious about doing business in the future become a thought leader in their respective discipline. Because the fact that it's so cluttered, there's so many people out there for your respective occupation, they have to be deemed or thought of as a thought leader within that area. So people gravitate towards you. Otherwise, you just become a "me too," within your respective industry or business. And you can't, it's very, very difficult to survive and thrive. So becoming a thought leader really helps with that. So that is what I try to teach people is how to do that up the game through social selling and thought leadership, the combination of the two, and then incorporate that with LinkedIn, Twitter, the other social media channels, as well as email and CRM systems that provides a total integrated package for doing it. There's no other way of doing it, quite honestly. And it's time consuming. I admit that it doesn't happen overnight. It's a marathon and not a sprint.

Sherry Peak (host) 16:17

Wow, that's some great information. I love so many things that you shared there. But I want to ask you, before we close out our time together, what is one piece of advice or even encouragement? You know, like you talked about how the market could be flooded in different areas, mainly an area we're talking about? What could you share with someone that would encourage them to take the next step in whatever that journey might be for them as it relates to maybe a new business owner, continuing owner, someone who's thinking about getting to the the area of owning their own business and maybe scaling up in marketing? What would you say to them as your final thoughts here with us today?

Jeff Sheehan 16:55

Well, it depends upon the occupation. It's not a one size fits all model. For instance, if you're a sole practitioner, you're competing in a environment, get as many letters after your name as you possibly can. For instance, if you're competing in an area such as quality assurance, and you're a consultant in there, you'd want to get you want to be a scrum master, you want to get a green belt, your black belt, and then the yellow belts that they have out there, have almost restrictive designations next to your name from an accredited organization, or an accredited university and school, because that helps differentiate you. So that's one thing. As far as others, write, write, and write to the best of your ability for as many.... you can start off as simple as just posting articles on LinkedIn, that you can write on LinkedIn. You can do polls, and then take those and post them to Twitter. And everyone should have a Twitter handle and all the positions themselves. It's indexable by Google, if they have a Twitter handle, they'll invariably probably show up on the top five, with the LinkedIn profile on their Twitter profile right there. It's free real estate, to claim the only involvement is time, and making sure that you curate the content that for the Twitter handle. But please write and speak. It's incumbent upon everyone to speak and to learn how to become a speaker. I myself have been in Toastmasters for 11 years is the best thing I ever did, quite honestly. It's helped me become a better speaker, a better leader, and better networker. I still have the training wheels on in some respects, I'm not as polished as some of the other speakers out there. But so be it. And Tom Peters, who I admire greatly he wrote In Search of Excellence is really was the godfather of personal branding, indicated that he's given 1000's of speeches, and none of them are perfect, and he doesn't care, he still gets out there and talks, and I'm of the same vein is get out there and talk to as many people in as many groups as you possibly can. Because at the end of the day, what will happen after you give the speech or talk to a group, they'll come up to you, and they'll introduce themselves to you. And it might create business opportunities for you. So it's very important that you get out there and speak. You write. You can't sit back; you can't be on the sidelines in this day and age. You have to be in there and embrace what's out there. Don't be too flashy, be honest, humble and treat people right. One of the things I like to emphasize is that you should really try to help others along your journey to the best of your possible ability. Now, the boomerang doesn't always come back and I can tell you that unequivocally. However, when it does come back, it feels really good. It but it helps you get going in from his daily basis to go out and help others but help others as part of the overall equation. Make that at the forefront of whatever you're doing.

Sherry Peak (host) 19:39

Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, great, great information. tell our listeners, how could they get in contact with you a fter our time here together.

Jeff Sheehan 19:50

The best way is either follow me on Twitter @JeffSheehan. Or actually connect with me on LinkedIn, JeffSheehan2010 is perhaps the best way of getting in such, and I tried to connect with people and follow them back.

Sherry Peak (host) 20:03

Oh, that's nice to know, I've really enjoyed sitting here talking to you and listening to you. And I really appreciate you taking the time to share your knowledge with us today and even more appreciative for all of the practical examples, and steps that you have shared with us that individuals can take to begin to move their business or their vision forward. So again, Jeff, thank you so much for being with us today. And until next time, friends, be great and stay safe.

Intro / Outro 20:51

Every week on innovate marketing, we are excited and honored to bring you a featured nonprofit. These are organizations that are doing good things in our communities, in our nation, and in our world. So without further ado, here is this week's featured nonprofit.

Unknown Speaker 21:09

My name is Skip Ockoman. I'm the president of the Worldwide Peer Support organization. Our organization helps first responders all over the United States of England, whether it's mental health or addiction, we try to pay for their services or we have different treatments, there's give a scholarship if that person doesn't have insurance, whether they've been fired from the job, or it's not the right kind of insurance. If you'd like to help us, you can go to worldwide peer and make a donation. Or you can share our three support zoom meetings with first responders. They are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays at 8pm. Eastern, you can go to our website and find out a lot more information about our organization. If you'd like to contact me, my number is 765-425-1936. My name is Skip. Also you can go to That's part of the worldwide support that we do a podcast with first responders all over the United States and England, to connect with other people to share our brokenness so somebody may able to walk through the door. Please be safe and reach out and have a blessed day. Thank you.

Intro / Outro 22:39

That brings us to the close of this edition of Innovate Marketing. We're glad you tuned in. Innovate marketing is brought to you by MyPodcast.Media. MyPodcast.Media produces podcasts for brands influencers and nonprofits. Find us online at MyPodcast.Media. Your producer for innovative marketing is Beth Fried. Executive producer Shawn Neal and your host is Sherry Peak. We'll see you next time. Be sure to tune in...

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