With over 20 years of international communications expertise in agencies and in-house, Jock Breitwieser is senior director marketing communications and public relations at StorageCraft. In addition, founded www.SocialSellinator.com to help everyone leverage the power of social media for their business. Most recently, he ran corporate communications at TriNet. Prior to that, Jock drove awareness for Dell SonicWall, Callidus Cloud and clients of the Hoffman Agency, Edelman and Havas PR. His mission is to close the gap between marketing and sales by driving measurable results through a strategy that generates media awareness, wins customers and impacts the bottom line for the business. Jock is mentor at the German Accelerator Silicon Valley and launched a network security startup through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Jock wrote a bestselling book on communications and won numerous marketing and communications awards. He holds an M.A. in contemporary history, law and political sciences from the University of Bochum, Germany and studied in Tours/France with a scholarship of the European Union. In his spare time, Jock enjoys international travel and competes in Triathlons.
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Intro speaker 0:11
Welcome to Silicon Valley successes, we interview experts and entrepreneurs to get the world access to the knowledge and experience that is here in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to create opportunities for those who seek them and tell you to become the next Silicon Valley success.
Shawn Flynn 0:31
Welcome to Silicon Valley successes. So on today's show, we have jock, who is a social media expert. He works with companies from early stage to corporations to plan their social media, and give them tips and tricks on on best practices and how to succeed. But before we start jock, could you
Jock Breitwieser 0:47
please introduce yourself? Absolutely. Thanks, Sean. Thanks for having me. Really excited to be here. And like you just said jock rod, wiser. And I've been dealing with social media for a number of years. And eventually you came from a position of not liking it at all, to then really becoming a huge fan and starting my own business around it. So excited to be here and share some insights.
Shawn Flynn 1:12
Tell me about that journey. So you said you didn't like it. I didn't know how your nine to five and probably nine to nine, because it's Silicon Valley is focused on it. So
the transition Tell me about that path was it was an interesting path indeed. And so
Jock Breitwieser 1:26
I initially really ran Corporate Communications for companies. And so had been running a lot of corporate social media accounts, and so very familiar with that. And obviously, a very effective way of getting the name and the brand out there. And then at the same time, I was having my own personal social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And after looking at them for a little bit, I realized they didn't really do much for me. So I looked at the people connecting with me, I looked at the people looking at my profile, and it just wasn't the right people. I didn't get any traction, I didn't get any kind of results. And I came to a point where I essentially decided to just pull the plug and just get out of it. And, and not continued anymore, because there was no point you know, I thought for me in doing so. And then when you're saying you didn't get any results, you say, no one liked your tweets. Or
don't repost it, or it wasn't, it was no one responded to your message,
Jock Breitwieser 2:27
I wasn't so much looking for fame, or anything like that I was. So for example, on LinkedIn, just looking at the people that visited my profile, looking at, you know, the kind of connections I made, there just was not really the kind of the right kind of audience that I was looking to engage with. So I was looking for, let's say, mentors, or people that I could connect with professionally, or and learn from it. Or maybe that would, you know, helped me in my career development. Okay. And there was nothing like that it was mostly salespeople.
Jock Breitwieser 3:02
nothing against that it was just not what I was looking for, personally at that point in time. And so it's more of a nuisance than anything. Well, I wouldn't call it that. But it definitely didn't really benefit me in that sense. And so because I decided then to essentially get out of it, I figured I might as well just mess with the system a little bit and see what happens. And so I started turning the screws a little bit and posting things that otherwise I wouldn't have posted. And all of a sudden, I saw actually really interesting results. And so that intrigued me, and then I started just digging a little bit deeper and started essentially just fine tuning the system and learning a little bit more about social media, and how you can actually really drive it with a purpose. Okay. And once I started doing that, became amazingly impactful. And so I learned from that lesson, and then really changed my entire approach to it. Okay,
Shawn Flynn 4:03
so if I'm an early stage company, and I want to start a social media campaign, drive it with the purposes you just said, what should my initial thought be? How do I plan it out? What are the steps? And I know, that's a huge question. But, you know, take your time, what should my thought process be?
Jock Breitwieser 4:21
That's, it can be a really big question, right? But at the same time,
it can be very simple. And at the end of the day, the biggest thing that you need to have is, you need to have a purpose, you need to think about what you're trying to achieve. And many individuals as well as companies that I'm engaging with, they essentially just go on social media, because they, they feel it's a necessity, and they they just want to get their name out, and that they're trying the best they can. And in many cases, that is not really a good strategy. Because it just means you're going to pump out content without really whole lot of purpose. There's no positioning, right? You don't really you don't have a goal that you aim for. And so you know, thinking about the perspective of what you're trying to get out of it. So, for example, are you looking to, are you looking to get people to visit your profile? Are you looking to maybe gets people to attend webinars or watch specific episodes of a TV show, right there, things like that, you have to think about that from that perspective. And then essentially reverse engineer think about, Okay, so what's, you know, what is attracting those people? Who are they? What do what are they looking to get out of it? And why should they be engaging with me on social media of all things?
Shawn Flynn 5:43
Okay, so say, I have a purpose to get more people to watch a hypothetical TV show. Well, I just coming out with this right now, what what would the first steps be to try to get to that angle right
Jock Breitwieser 5:58
now? So it's a that's really good question. And the way the way you go about this is really think about the people that would potentially be benefiting from your product. So from this hypothetical TV show, and so you would think about, okay, so what do they do? What are their titles, you know, what do they do during the day? Potentially? So, you essentially build a buyer persona, you you kind of
what buyer persona, can you tell talk about that,
Jock Breitwieser 6:27
that was my excellent, sorry, I meant you build a buyer persona, okay, so you, you think about, you know, who buys your product, or who just watches your soul? Ryan okay. And so you think about in more specific terms about the individual that you're trying to reach, right, okay. And from there, then you essentially just try to tie it back into what they're looking to achieve. And you really then tailor your message, for example, on social media to help them understand this particular TV show is exactly what you're looking to get out of it. And by watching it, you can learn amazing things, you get maybe recipes, how you can be successful in Silicon Valley, maybe you learn tricks from professionals that otherwise you wouldn't be able to meet, or that otherwise you wouldn't be able to speak to things like that. And social selling. And it's essentially the same thing, right. So when you look at LinkedIn, for instance, when many people on LinkedIn, they want to sell something, right, maybe it's themselves, maybe they have a product, maybe they are, in particular industries, like real estate insurance, right? or high tech sales, whatever it might be, it doesn't really matter. And so many people can talk about that title, their VP of sales, or something like that, or they, you know, they talked about being a director of something. And having made clubs on so many times fine. And that's not particularly helpful to me, assuming that I'm the person wanting to buy particular product, right? Because I don't want to know about how you made club 15 times, I want to know how you help the people like me achieve
what they are looking to, to address in their life. Right. So how do you how do you solve my problem, essentially?
Shawn Flynn 8:18
So if I wanted to start a social media campaign, would you recommend starting on LinkedIn and trying to convey that one problem to people? Or would you recommend what would your tips and tricks be for LinkedIn, I guess, and run talking about other social medias after that?
Jock Breitwieser 8:35
Yeah, so the the interesting thing is, it's, it's really depends a lot on that, you know, that audience that you're looking to achieve, right, there's no silver bullet, there's no particular platform that is particularly great for anybody and Facebook doesn't have all the answers. It doesn't Unfortunately, it has many answers, some, some of which you may or may not like.
So the thing is really think about, you know, this persona that you're trying to, to engage with, right?
What platform are they most likely to use? Right? Are they most likely to be found on Facebook? Or are they may be more LinkedIn, you know, where do they share content? What kind of content do they consume? And so from that perspective, then you think about the one or two platforms that you actually are going to be engaging with, and that you're going to be using in order to actually speak to your audience. So there's, there's no particular like I said, you know, one size fits all approach, right? You really have to think about it every time, you know, depending on you know, are you trying to do this for your own personal needs, you know, are you trying to help a business, and in many cases, it really varies quite a bit. On the other hand, you know, there's, there are some common threads, right. So, for example, for b2b companies, in many cases, a combination of Twitter and LinkedIn is fabulous. Okay, it works great, right? Because professionals are on LinkedIn. And they also in many cases, have, for example, a Twitter profile, or the company has a Twitter profile, because it's relatively easy to maintain, right. And so companies will use that combination as a sales channel, essentially, or to share news about their business, okay. And, you know, when you have consumer products, just generally speaking, maybe Pinterest and Instagram, and a combination of these two, together with Facebook might be much more appropriate and much more effective
Shawn Flynn 10:40
interest in so say, I was a new client and I came to you and I said, you know, our company, we just raised our first round of funding, we now have some money to actually pay for social media campaign, our product is in the baby industry,
how would you go about making suggest? Or how would you go about the onboarding process for a new client in that situation? Right? So the,
Jock Breitwieser 11:04
the process for for anybody who wants to help, you know, that particular company should be one where they really try to understand the business model, right? It's about understanding what is this business trying to do? Right? So are they trying to sell to mothers? Are they trying to sell a particular product, maybe two families in particular, is it maybe an insurance or maybe an education kind of, you know, financial foundation that you want to leave for your, for your baby, so that they can go to college later on. So this, there's a whole variety of products, obviously, that somebody can have. So you need to understand as a consultant how, you know, what are they trying to do, and what are they already doing, right, because
the important thing is also, you know, when you when you look at social selling, it shouldn't be standing on on its own right, it needs to tie into everything that accompanies already doing. So,
for example, if you have a marketing campaign where you have webinars or where you, I don't know, where you set up events, right, you want to make sure that those things tie together and that they amplify each other, right? Social media is a fantastic tool for amplification of things like that. But, you know, if you if you just talk about yourself, again, you know, if you don't show the benefit of attending a webinar or a particular event, you know, then then you're kind of losing your audience. And so, it's, it's all about helping that audience understand, why should it be talking to this company? Why should I? Why, why does it matter, right? How is it going to impact my life, how's it going to make my life better at the end of the day, you know, that's what everybody's looking for, as an individual. And everybody is trying to find a solution to personal or to a business problem. And, and so if you talk to people on social media, if you want to do social selling, that is really what you need to understand. How do you solve somebody's problem, if you just talked about yourself, if you just talked about, you know how awesome your product is, nobody's going to care about that. That's what I was gonna
Shawn Flynn 13:10
lead in China, or practices. But that's the first part of today's episode with jock. We talked about the ideas about your social media strategies coming back in our second part, we're going to focus a little bit more on startups they're planted little going to go back to webinars and some other things that were brought up to emphasize those and see what ideas startups might be missing. So all right, let's go back to part or start Part Two right now, you mentioned webinars before Oh, I forgot to say, please visit us in Silicon Valley. successes.com. Did that later.
You talked about webinars a little bit before, is that something that startups are missing out on or many clients you've talked to are missing out on for engaged in potential customers?
Jock Breitwieser 14:01
That's a great question. I I do think webinars can be extremely effective. And again, you know, if you make them part of your marketing mix, if you promote them on on social media, if you show value in a particular webinar, those are great resources, right. Because you can get terrific soundbites from a webinar you can show you can show your audience how you actually help address a particular problem. But again, you know, it's it's also about making sure that the content of you know, whatever webinar or event you're setting up really helps that audience solve the problem at the end of the day. You know, it sounds extremely simple, but that's really what it's all about. I do you want to make sure that in that webinar, you don't you don't just talk about your products and how fantastic they are, right. It's about maybe showcasing a customer that you helped drive maybe you How would you go about getting those testimonials from the customers brand new company? Well, I think the thing is in, in marketing, you know, the, the value that you want to share with your customers is one where they again, you know, you want to work with them, and you want to showcase them, you want to show how they have been successfully able to actually make a change in their current strategy, or maybe how they were able to turn something around that didn't work, right. And so giving them an opportunity to showcase themselves and saying, and by the way, company x happened to be part of that process, or, you know, we were able to, to work with them on improving a particular part of our strategy that goes a long way, right. So is I think it's really an opportunity for you to showcase how a company then has been able to turn things around successfully and really share that success and give them a platform. And who wouldn't want to talk about
Shawn Flynn 16:01
other platforms in particular, you would avoid or stay away from maybe Instagram or LinkedIn or Facebook or Pinterest? I know there's Rob mentioned, but is there one or two that are growing and others that are shrinking or? I mean,
Jock Breitwieser 16:17
no, I don't think so. You know, I think there there are specific webinar platforms. But I think as far as sharing that content goes
doing little takeouts for example from from a webinar creating snippets that are maybe 90 seconds or two minutes long. And creating that kind of visual content. That is actually a fantastic way of promoting something that you have to say, through social media channels to different audiences. Because visual audience, visual visual content is extremely easy to consume. People don't necessarily like reading 500 thousand words. And it's really hard to squeeze that into your, into your workday, right? Yeah. So you know, being able to watch 90 seconds on a video that are compelling, that show you how a company that has maybe similar to yours was able to solve a problem that goes a long way
Shawn Flynn 17:16
as a company, what are some metrics that I should be looking at to see if my social media campaigns were successful, or that I'm actually get my money's worth, right?
Jock Breitwieser 17:26
The The challenge with measuring social media is that there's a lot of different ways of looking at that, right. So for example, you could look at vanity metrics I call them, right, so you could look at is the number of followers increasing, right? That in it by itself is great, you definitely want to see your accounts grow. But it's not necessarily something that speaks volumes about the success, right, because ultimately, as a business,
what you want to achieve through social media is you want to see traction in your business. So you can gain 5000 followers, but nobody is engaging with you, or nobody's buying your product as a result. So the result is still net zero. And and so what you want to see is you want to see engagement with your audience, you want to see people maybe am clicking on the links that you share on social media so that they come to specific landing pages, but you want to see maybe subscribers to your email newsletters, so that you can actually gain influence and that you can reach out to more people and hopefully convince them to buy your product or your service on
I think ultimately, it's also about the relationship between marketing and sales.
Okay, can you talk about that a little bit?
Jock Breitwieser 18:41
Yeah, yeah, the the sales marketing relationship is, it's really important, right. And in many companies, what you find is both departments essentially, you know, march down their own path, and they kind of run separately, okay. And at the end of the day, that's not really what you want, right? You want sales and marketing to be one word, and you want that team to jointly understand that they're really trying to solve the same kind kind of challenges. One, and one is on the front lines, the sales team, and the other one is trying to drive awareness, trying to get interest, right, trying to get leads, and and so ultimately, marketing without sales is nothing. And likewise, so and so both teams really have to work alongside and they have to be in lockstep and there's one lead the other he said, locks, so really, they're moving together same time, I think it's, it's really moving together. And I think it's about getting a joint understanding between the leaders of both teams, okay. And so, you know, when you look at marketing and social media, or social selling, in particular, that was, to me, actually, one of the reasons why I got into social selling. So after realizing the power of social media, you know, on my personal accounts, I figured, you know, it's a great way to actually help the sales team be successful. Because if I can use social media to teach sales teams, how to build their profiles, how to build audiences, how to actually share relevant content, and then drive inbound leads, that is extremely helpful, right?
And so that's what I've been doing for for many years. And would you say, a lot of companies aren't fully utilizing? Oh, absolutely, really?
Jock Breitwieser 20:30
Yeah, this the, this a lot of challenges in in social selling, right, and
what are some of them. So,
Jock Breitwieser 20:37
some are, for example, some people just really don't feel they belong into social media, right, they have never seen any success from it, they just prefer to essentially go, you know, with picking up the phone or sending an email. And unfortunately, you know, that's not how, how the life cycle of the buyer has developed, right. So the buyer today does a lot of research, right, the buyer is really shaping how the sales cycle has progressed. So buyers do a lot of research online, and they speak to they speak to a lot of vendors, but only when they feel they have the right information. So for, for the salesperson to actually use social media and help the buyer understand, hey, I'm an expert in this field, whether or not you end up buying my product may not be that relevant. But I can definitely share interesting information with you, you and I should talk right and building yourself that position of a trusted resource as somebody who has valuable information that is something that's then on social media allows me to actually leverage social to gain influence in the buying process, and make sure that you think of me when you want to buy your next car, or when you want to buy a piece of software.
Shawn Flynn 21:54
So the social media information out there is actually kind of guided and shaping that customer his research and you have to position it for them to come back to you through that path. Is that a way to say
Jock Breitwieser 22:06
it? Yeah, no, I think that's exactly how I would say it. And so it's a little bit backwards, you know, when you think about it, it's almost like, like, a white paper or a byline article that you read in a newspaper, on you read the article, and somebody says something really smart, and you think, and, you know, you read it, and then in the end, you say, um, that's really good, I should use that information, who wrote that, oh, this guy from this in this company, okay, I want to talk to him or her, or I want to see what kind of product that company has. And on social media, it's essentially very similar, right, your offer ups information, you try to really, genuinely help. And it's really about building that relationship, being that trusted advisor and and really
Shawn Flynn 22:50
trying to help somebody make a step forward in solving the problem that they have, by offering up information that's valuable, how would you know what gap in the problem you're trying to solve the gap? I mean, the information that you're missing out there in social media, how can you discover that, and what I mean by that is, say, you're trying to solve this one problem for this customer, and you have all this social media out there. But for some reason, you're missing this one little segment right there, how do you go about discovering that that's what you're missing, right? So, you know,
Jock Breitwieser 23:25
on on social media and using it for, for the sales process, you really have to think about, you know, where your buyer is, and what their, what their issues are, right. And so, it's entirely possible, that's that you that you miss a piece, and what I would always advise companies that I work with, is also to take smart risks, so I didn't, and so experiment a little bit, and, you know, you have to consider also, the buyer is not static, right? It's not, it's not something that is just defined, and then it doesn't move anymore. It's know trends, tastes, you know, you know, all these things just shift over time. And so, you know, you also must really consider, you know, you're not a one dimensional person. Yeah, you're not just, I hope that you're not. So you have you have different interests, maybe you have, maybe you have a family, right, maybe you do sports, so there's many different levels, how you can engage with people, and using social media is actually a great way to figure that one out, right? So, for example, Twitter and LinkedIn, fundamentally different, right, on LinkedIn, you have a much more structured and much more formal kind of conversation on Twitter. It's very conversational, right? Sometimes it's like a bar, right? And people are shouting over each other and whatnot. And so being able to figure out what is this person say on Twitter, right? What's their personality? What do they say about themselves? What are their personal opinion? And how do they represent themselves? For example, in a professional network, like LinkedIn, what are their interests there, and then being able to strike up a conversation about different elements and different aspects of a personality that actually I've seen work fantastically in the sales process. OK, so we've talked about
Shawn Flynn 25:15
solving the problem for the, for the client, or the, the potential buyer, we've talked about how different social medias there's a different type of voice or feel to it, such as LinkedIn, and Twitter, what Haven't we talked about the really things important that people should know,
Jock Breitwieser 25:33
I would say, for, for everybody to get in that and really
gives off a media chance that that would be the first thing that I would say, because it's, I think, you know, many times people just get into social and they, they give it a shot. And then they give up. And I think there's huge potential a, from a business side, but also personally, I've met amazing people, both professional and personally on social media that otherwise I never would have met, right. So that's one
I think, consistency is big, right? I see many people fail on social because they try to do too many things at once, okay. And they tried to be on five platforms, and they try to blog and then it doesn't work. And after two weeks, they give up because they're burned out, okay. And so, you know, limiting yourself and actually doing the right thing and consistently doing it for an extended period of time as as something else. And then the third one I would say, is probably investing in social media, both from a financial but also from a time perspective. And so from a financial perspective, in terms of
getting services that may be cost you $50 a month or hundred dollars a month can be really, really effective, because you get much better services, whereas some of those services, and then 30 seconds to talk about how people can contact you and your services.
So in terms of services, for example, buffer is a great tool just to manage your social media presence, right? It makes it really, really easy and allows you to stage a lot of content. So that's 120 dollars a month. That's really good investment.
And this some others, right, so like, really interesting research tools.
In terms of reaching me, I have a phone number, it's 408 800
jock j ck. So that's, that is one and this website social selling later.com key. Say that one more time social selling later.com and yeah, I'm online on LinkedIn.
Shawn Flynn 27:46
JACK, thank you for your time here today and Silicon Valley successes and we look forward to everyone next week when we bring you another episode. Thank you.
Intro speaker 27:57
Thank you. From all of us at Silicon Valley success. We hope you found the information presented today useful in your path to success. For further information on accessing the resources in Silicon Valley. You may visit us on the web at Silicon Valley successes. com on Facebook and YouTube. Thank you. And remember, we want to help you in your journey to become the next success.