Episode 85 | Posted on

Building Followers and Influence Through Social Media with Kim Garst

We all know the negative stereotype of people who use their social media accounts to share pictures of their dinners. Boring, right? Well, believe it or not, that’s exactly the right thing to do sometimes. That isn’t to say that your professional social media accounts should focus solely on your meals, but now and then your audience likes to see behind the curtain and get to know who you really are.

Today’s guest, Kim Garst, is one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers, and her site, kimgarst.com, is one of the top social media resources. She’s also a renowned marketing strategist and the bestselling author of Will the Real You Please Stand Up: Show Up, Be Authentic, and Prosper in Social Media. In our chat, Kim discusses the path she took to become the powerful influencer she is today.

In this Episode

  • [01:23] – Kim talks about her experience with War Room, which is where she and Stephan met. She then talks about the automation she has been employing to help her business scale.
  • [02:47] – Kim discusses the path she took to become the powerful influencer she is today.
  • [05:58] – Is Kim now teaching others to do the things that she had to figure out on her own?
  • [07:05] – What are some of the secrets that Kim teaches in her trainings on social media marketing?
  • [09:02] – Kim offers some techniques for getting free traffic and visibility on Facebook. She agrees that free reach is somewhat curtailed from what it used to be, but makes clear that it isn’t impossible. She emphasizes the importance of video in leveraging Facebook for free.
  • [14:17] – We hear Kim’s thoughts on repurposing content from Facebook for Twitter (as opposed to creating brand new content).
  • [16:40] – Kim has experienced in her own testing that inspirational content is the most shared kind of content in the social space, and other research backs that up.
  • [17:42] – Kim isn’t a big fan of connecting your Twitter and Facebook accounts, she explains, because it’s very clear that that’s what you did.
  • [21:25] – What are Kim’s strategies for repurposing content across social media outlets? For example, does she change the titles and descriptions?
  • [24:07] – Stephan shares his thoughts on what Kim has been saying. She then offers recommendations for anyone who has podcasts or audio content.
  • [26:02] – What Kim tends to do on Twitter is to put all of her evergreen content into a queue that gets automatically posted.
  • [28:31] – Kim talks about management tools, explaining why she opts for Agorapulse instead of Hootsuite.
  • [32:37] – We hear Kim’s thoughts on the strategy of following people, or unfollowing people who don’t follow her back. She also talks about using automated DMs on Twitter.
  • [35:33] – How does Kim split her time across all these social platforms, and how much time a week does she spend on them? She then compares that to spending time on email.
  • [38:27] – Kim uses ManageFlitter for her following strategy as well as her unfollowing strategy.
  • [38:57] – Other tools Kim likes include SaneBox, Adobe Spark, Ripl, Canva, and Wavve.
  • [42:13] – Webinars aren’t dead, Kim explains, and she tries to do at least one a month.
  • [44:32] – Kim offers some closing words of wisdom, explaining that social media is a way to build a true community.
  • [46:21] – Where can listeners who are interested in working with Kim find her or get in touch with her?


Super excited to have Kim Garst join us today for this interview. Kim is one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers. She is a renowned marketing strategist, keynote speaker and international bestselling author of Will the Real You Please Stand Up: Show Up, Be Authentic, and Prosper in Social Media. Kim focuses on helping entrepreneurs grow their business using social and digital media strategies. Kim is also internationally recognized as a thought leader in the social media space. Forbes named her as one of the Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers. Her blog kimgarst.com is one of the top social media resources in the world. Kim, it’s great to have you on the show.

Well, thrilled to be here, Stephan. Thank you so much for inviting me.

Of course. We met at War Room which is a Mastermind run by digitalmarketer.com. That was back in January. It was a fun event. You’ve been part of War Room for how long?

This is the third year so a little bit, a little wise. We’re learning, soaking up everything we can. I’m heavily invested in the social side of the house and I realized that I really like a lot of the digital knowledge and that’s where the money is. This is where the relationships are but you have to cross the bridge and get to the other side to automate a lot of things and so learning and collaborating with others that are doing it has been valuable.

What sort of automation have you been employing in your business to help you scale?

Funnels, specifically. Funnels, I hate that term because I see this big hole at the top and the people are just dumped in but that’s what they are. That has really allowed us to scale at a much larger scale versus selling time for money, which is what I was doing.

Right. Your claim to fame is that you’re a very successful social media marketer. Let’s talk about how you got from where you started to where you are now. What was the path? Did you get mentored? Did you take a lot of training courses? Just trial and error, figuring it out on your own? How did you get to become such a powerful influencer?

Great question. It goes way back to the early days of my business. I’ve had an online business for over 25 years now. My original business when I first started was web design. Interestingly enough, way back then, websites were ridiculously expensive and anyone who had any knowledge at all was highly sought after. But one of the things that, and really, ultimately why I went in the social media direction was because I heard the same kind of déjà vu verbiage that I heard early on when the internet first got started from a marketing business perspective. That was that if you don’t have a website in five years, you’re going to be out of business. I heard that same kind of speak with social media. If you’re not on social media, you’re going to be out of business. It was like, “Oh my goodness, this is a sign.” I was actually one of those people who said, “I’ll never have a Facebook account. That’s just for kids.” Until I saw it. I also share quite frequently that I have been doing social media before it was called social media. Because way back in the day, when I was trying to connect and find customers that needed web design, I would go to B2B boards and AOL business chat rooms and things of that nature to connect with people, to ultimately attract them to my business. I’m like, “Wow.” When I saw what Facebook was initially because that’s where I started, I immediately saw the opportunity that social media was. To answer your question about how did I do it? Did I get a mentor? It goes back again to my early days. 25 years ago, there were no YouTube videos to watch until your eyes bled. There were no resources, no knowledge, and so I had to teach myself pretty much everything. Exactly that same thing today, even if I want to know something, I just figure it out. The good news today is there is resources for all the things that you want to know. You can hire a mentor. You can to your point get training courses and a lot of other things to shorten the learning curve. But when I decided to start in social media, I found people that were doing, it looked like good things, they had good following, they had good engagement and then I would try to reverse engineer what they were doing. How are they doing that? Are they automating that content? Until I found my systems, what worked for me. But much of it was trial and error honestly, on the front side, and then putting myself out there. Getting out from behind the keyboard and really connecting with people was the magic, talking with people versus just talking at them, and sharing content and then not engaging with people. That was my kind of secret sauce to really taking off.

The good news today is there is resources for all the things that you want to know.

Are you teaching others now how to shortcut that process maybe through online trainings or seminars, that sort of thing?

Absolutely. Yes, I do. Focus primarily on helping others. You would think that this would be a common thing but it’s sometimes a real struggle for people to embrace who they are or maybe that’s not the right way to say it, but more specifically, they don’t know how to share in social. They sit down in front of their computer and they have a freeze mode. What do I say? There’s that hurdle to get over. And then what types of content do you share? How do you engage? How do you automate some of this stuff? Because the reality is there’s not enough time on God’s green earth to do it all without a little bit of automation. I tell people there are a lot of things in the social space that you can automate. The only thing that you can’t automate, that I highly recommend that you don’t, I guess you could but I highly recommend that you don’t, is the actual engagement, the actual talking with people. That needs to come in real time, in my opinion.

Yeah, yeah for sure. What are some of the ninja secrets that you teach in your trainings on social media marketing?

Social media is such a broad category, obviously. Is that Facebook, is that Twitter, is that Instagram. I think the first thing that is critical, it goes back to that being who you truly are and being okay with putting that out there and sharing. It’s encompassing. It’s not like I’m going to segment. I’m just a business. I’m just going to share business stuff because the reality today is that people want to connect with people. They want those people to come out from behind their logos and they want to know a name. They want to get a sense for who you are. A lot of times people will be like, “You’re saying I should share my dinner on Facebook or on Instagram?” I’m like, “Yeah.” It’s incredible how much that one thing, and again, it’s a relatable issue, it’s something that we all do. We all eat, or a variety of things. That’s just one example. I think being okay with showing up personally and being who you are in a relatable way. We’re not out there to serve everyone, we’re just out there to serve people who connect with us, that have a sense of connection and relatability to what we share. It’s not all about business. It’s a variety of content: humor, inspiration, expertise absolutely, and then you personally, giving a little bit of a sneak peek into who you are.

What would be some of the ninja tactics that would increase your reach on Facebook specifically, like Facebook Live for example. What would be some specifics around that or in terms of just an organic post, not advertising. We could get to advertising if you like but just some organic free traffic, free visibility through Facebook.

I’m the queen of free. I love the fact that through social, you can get free reach, free engagement, free people that are attracted to your content, ultimately to build out your tribe. When I say free, that’s kind of a misnomer because technically, social media, while free, it’s not free because it takes time and effort. Time is our most precious commodity. Determining what that’s going to look like for each and every business owner is important. What kind of time and resources do you have to devote to it? But as it relates to Facebook in particular, a lot of people will say that organic reach is dead on Facebook. To some degree, I would say yes. It is certainly curtailed but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get free reach on Facebook. In fact, I reach anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million people each and every week for free. If you do the math on what that would cost you if you were paying for it, it would be on up there. It can be done. The one thing that I really want to highlight, and it’s something that I think everyone should be doing each and everyday if they’re serious about building out their fan base and reaching the fans that they have, is video. That means video across the board. Whether that’s natively uploading using the Facebook app which you will get more reach by the way if you do that versus sharing a YouTube link. Facebook and YouTube, not friends. You’ll get more reach if you share an upload directly to Facebook using the native uploader inside of Facebook. Facebook Live is another golden opportunity for free reach even though Facebook has definitely curtailed it a little bit from when it first rolled Facebook Live out to their users, but they’re pushing reach to you when you’re physically live. Right now, because we’re live on your fan page, Stephan, there is going to be more visibility in your fan’s news feed for this stream while we’re live and Facebook is going to again show that content more than they would if it was a photo or some text, for example. Video across the board is something I’m sharing with everyone. Any entrepreneur out there that is interested in trying to leverage the power of Facebook for free, it’s a huge opportunity. Just from the reach standpoint. Not to mention the impact standpoint which I guess we could talk about but that would be my number one tip for you. The number two tip I have is understanding what your community really is engaging with, not what you want them to engage with. I think a lot of times, we put content out there, “Oh yup, alright, our ideal customer, they need this. It’s a tip or it’s a strategy or it’s a blog.” And then maybe you share an inspirational quote, for example, and you get three to four times the engagement or reach on that, then you did pure value in your mind. I think that really paying attention to what kind of content and then mixing that content in. It doesn’t mean you have to share only that type of content but when you share content that people will engage with more frequently on your fan page, then that builds out your insights and gives the rest of your content more visibility because without reach, you don’t get engagement and without engagement, you don’t get reach. It’s like a self licking ice cream. You have to understand and play the algorithm a little bit. Honestly, approach your fan base with at least some of the types of content that they really love, whether it’s inspiration, or humor. You might not get as much bang for a blog post but mixing that up and using that other type of content to get your business content in front of your fan base more frequently.

What would be an example of what you’ve done in that regard?

I frequently share and in fact, I’ll share, just open the kimono here and tell you exactly what my fan base engages with the most. It’s inspiration and humor. They love to be inspired and they love to laugh so I mix that into my strategy fairly frequently. Usually, once a day, I have at least one of those types of posts on my fan page and then those types of content are engaged with more frequently. And then when that happens, obviously, when I share a blog post, just because my reach has been built up, that content will also get in front of more of my fan base, just because again my overall reach is at a higher number.

Are you repurposing the same content you’re creating, inspirational quotes or funny memes or whatever for Twitter? How are you managing those two platforms? Do you have to create separate content for each or you’re repurposing between the two?

You can do both, and or either. In my case, I do a little of both. I don’t normally share exactly the same amount, in fact, I don’t share exactly the same content that I share on Twitter that I share on Facebook only because you can share so much more content on Twitter than you can on Facebook. I tweet on average sometimes as much as 8 to 10 times a day. I couldn’t post on my fan page that often without really upsetting my fan base. For example, how I treat my community on Twitter is slightly different. Honestly, the community there that I have is very interested in content on Twitter versus Facebook. When I say content, I mean blog content in particular. Like last year alone, my Twitter account sent about a million clicks to my website, to my blog. It sends a ton of traffic. This is the one thing that I think a lot of people don’t understand about Twitter. Twitter, people are searching for content. It’s a search engine for specific types of content. Honestly, a lot of types of content. There’s a lot of people searching for hashtags for example and then they’re finding content that they can consume, going to it, etc. Again, going back to how much would a million clicks cost you for blog content in particular? It would rank right on up there. I share a ton of content on Twitter, some inspiration, occasionally, a little bit of humor but it’s a slightly different community and then I tweet it slightly different. Same with Instagram, my Instagram community responds very well to inspiration. I weave in tips and strategies there quite frequently as well. Every community is slightly different. The way that you showcase content like visual content across the board will outperform almost any other type of content outside of video. When I say visual content, I mean a photo, or an inspirational quote, or something of that nature. In fact, inspiration is the number one shared content on any social platform across the board.

Cool. Where did you find that stat? Is that something that you figured out through your own research?

No, there’s a number of places that will, I don’t know off the top of my head, but I’ve certainly experienced that in my own testing. There’s a number of entities out there who track this stuff and will say the same thing that inspiration is one of the top, in fact, the top most shared type of content in the social space. If you think about it, it totally makes sense.

Let’s say that you connected up your Twitter and your Facebook, some people make this mistake where they’ll Facebook something and then they’ll automatically get tweeted out and it’s a really lame tweet because it wasn’t optimized for that platform, it doesn’t have the visual to go with it. It’s a really bad experience. Or let’s say that you’re doing a lot of Instagram. Are you mirroring all of that over to your Facebook? When would that be appropriate, when would it not?

I’m not a big fan of connecting your Twitter account to your Facebook account because like you said, it just looks like that’s what you did. You’ll have hashtags, or there’s no visual that goes with it, or this is the worst case scenario. When you see people who tweet constantly and then it shows up on Facebook. That usually is somebody who just doesn’t know better. When you see it, they may not know better or they don’t understand really how the social space works. Because if somebody sees that constantly and consistently, they just tone that out, or unfollow you, or unfriend you, or whatever if they’re savvy at all because nobody really wants that experience. I’ve seen a lot of people connect their Instagram with their Facebook. The only time that I would really recommend that as a strategy is if you don’t post all the time on Instagram. In other words, if you’re sharing something on Instagram, maybe once or twice a day, three times a day and you have it connected to your fan page, that might be something that you could do and would totally get away with it. It wouldn’t be an issue at all. The only problem that I see if ultimately you chose to do that, is the hashtags. If you’re using 7 to 10 hashtags on Instagram and those go over to Facebook, Facebook for the most part is a 1 or 2 type of hashtag. Hashtags on Facebook are not as accepted as they are on Instagram and Twitter. Even on Instagram, the average number of hashtags that are recommended is anywhere between 7 to 10 upwards. You definitely want to use hashtags on Instagram to get more visibility for your content. I guess my point is every platform is different. Your communities are ultimately going to be different there and you should treat the content that you share on those platforms differently based on who your community is on those platforms and how they consume the content. Instead of just blankly saying, “Oh, I’m going to post that here and there and I’m done.” It’s tempting to do that because it’s easier but I would recommend definitely treating each platform independently of one another and sharing content independent of the other. It doesn’t mean you can’t share the same content. Let me say that real quick too. Sometimes, I’ll post something on my Facebook page that I also share on Twitter or Instagram, probably more frequently on Instagram than I do even on Twitter. You can definitely do that. You just schedule them independent of one another, not connected to one another.

That makes sense especially if you’re putting a lot of effort in creating a powerful visual. Let’s say it’s a really amazing photo and you want to leverage that on Instagram and on Pinterest or it’s a really amazing, helpful video and you want to blast that out on YouTube and on Facebook. What are your strategies there? Do you change the timing so that they don’t happen around the same time? Maybe you spread that out on your editorial calendar. Do you change the titles and the descriptions of those content pieces in the hashtags or you’re using the same hashtags between let’s say Instagram and Pinterest? What’s your strategy there?

Well, I don’t use hashtags on Pinterest at all anymore because they don’t really do anything. They don’t have any value anymore on Pinterest but on Instagram and Twitter for sure, Twitter I would recommend no more than two hashtags and then on Instagram, of course, you can use a ton of hashtags. I actually have a file of hashtags based on the type of content that I’m sharing and then I just copy and paste those based on the content and the platform that I’m sharing. You touched on the video piece. Obviously, the video that we’re doing right now is a gold mine. I really want to focus on this just real quick because anytime that you’re live on Facebook, you’re creating a piece of content that, honestly, it’s not just live on Facebook, it could be any type of video that you’re doing but Facebook Live in particular, I think is not getting leveraged and repurposed to the degree that it could. For example, we’ll finish this video or this live broadcast. You’ll have a video as the final product. Then you can take that video and ultimately slice it into or edit it, I call it slice, edit the video into smaller segments that you can use in places where content is shorter. In other words, on Instagram, you’re limited to a minute. You can share smaller snippets on Twitter and other places where you can get a visibility to drive traffic to wherever you want. If you want to drive traffic to your website, use a link for your website on Twitter, for example. If you’re on Instagram, let people know to click on a link in your bio. There are lots of ways to leverage the video content and I’m seeing so many people miss the repurposing of those videos. Instead they’re, “Okay, I created that content. I’m done.” Wash their hands off it. The reality of it is that the video content is a gold mine. You could take snippets. You could take quotes like if you’re doing an interview and I happen to say anything great, you happen to say anything great, that you thought was something you could really make a visual piece of content with, you could take that quote and make a quote tile. There are so many ways that you can repurpose the content. Like I say, I think a lot of times people aren’t slowing down to make that happen and they almost think of it as one more thing instead of it being the thing. You could literally create one video a week and have social media content for your other social platforms for the entire week.

That’s awesome. I love that tip that you basically slice that down into a whole bunch of bite size pieces. Normally with my podcast, I just do audio only so this is one of the few ones that I’ve done as a video. Even pre recorded, I’ve done only a handful of pre recorded video interviews. I could go back to those. I interviewed John Lee Dumas on video. That would be a fantastic example or it could take sound bites and turn that into tweets or into short videos for Instagram, for Pinterest because I don’t think everybody realizes that you can pin YouTube videos as well.

Yes, you can. I think Vimeo as well. That’s another option. Stephan, one thing I would recommend for you and of course anybody that has a podcast or any type of audio, video content, even if it’s old, you mentioned that, “Wow. I got all these podcasts that I have.” I am positive that every one of the amazing people that you have interviewed had some nuggets. I call them tweetable moments that are just quotes that you could pull out from content. Like I say, it could be two years ago but the content is still solid. It’s evergreen. You can make quote tiles, visual content that you could put up on Twitter, and Instagram, and Facebook, and Pinterest to drive traffic to your podcast or to that specific podcast. It could be a huge traffic generator for you.

Yeah, that’s a great tip. When you’re tweeting, you can tweet multiple times the same content, you can’t get away with that on Facebook, right? I think that Guy Kawasaki says he tweets a blog post maybe eight times over a course of a three day time period.


That works very well for him. Wouldn’t ever do that on Facebook. I don’t know what your strategy is for Twitter. Is that something that you would recommend?

I think a lot of the times people don’t consistently try to drive traffic to it. What I do on Twitter is something like I say that I don’t see a lot of people do and ultimately, why I get so much traffic to my content from Twitter. I put all of my evergreen content or anything that is current, that is right now, this is the truth because in social, that sometimes changes daily. We try to monitor the content but I put everything into a cue. That’s what I call it. I use a tool called Social Oomph. It’s like Meet Edgar, if you’ve ever heard of Meet Edgar. I personally love Social Oomph because it’s an automated system. Literally, I build a cue and I put all of my evergreen and current content in that cue and then it’s tweeted consistently over and over for me, incrementally. I have about 600 blog posts so I have a ton of content. The chances of somebody seeing the same blog post in a window of time, it would probably be two to three weeks before somebody would see that same blog post. Before that same blog post would be tweeted again, no one’s going to remember that they’ve seen that blog post probably. When I have as many followers as I have, nobody has ever said, “Hey, you’re tweeting that same content over and over again.” Technically, that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m consistently sharing my relevant content and current aka evergreen content. With Guy’s strategy, nothing wrong with it, absolutely not. In fact, a lot of what I picked up early on was when I noticed was the strategy of sharing my content consistently technically came from Guy Kawasaki because he was one of the early people that I was paying attention to. I noticed, “Man, look at all this content he’s tweeting all the time.” With his strategy where he has a new blog post and he shares it over a small window of time, absolutely nothing wrong with that on Twitter. You can definitely do that to get more exposure for content. I would encourage people though to take it a step beyond that and have your content always working for you. Share your content. Don’t set it and forget it, in other words. Leverage it consistently over and over again to drive traffic for you.

Share your content. Don’t set it and forget it. In other words, leverage it consistently over and over again to drive traffic for you. Click To Tweet

That’s great. Tools other than Social Oomph, I’m using Hootsuite to schedule out Tweets and Facebook posts and so forth. What about tools to grow your reach like on Twitter or Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook?

Let’s just step back for a second on the management tools. Hootsuite is a great management tool. It’s one of the cheapest ones out there too for anybody who’s worried about the budget and making sure you stay within a certain spend but there are other amazing tools as well. I personally am loving Agorapulse. I moved to Agorapulse a few months ago. The reason that I love it is because of a couple of reasons. It pretty much integrates and pulls all of my social platforms in. Hootsuite does that as well, technically. You can monitor and schedule for Facebook and Twitter etc. The disconnect for me between the two, and this is ultimately why I use Agorapulse versus Hootsuite now is because I can see all my previous conversations with people I’ve had on Twitter. I have over 500,000 Twitter followers. I have conversations everyday on Twitter. If I don’t know who I spoke to and what we said, it’s embarrassing, to say the least. Because you can’t remember them all. That’s the reality of it. You just can’t. That’s a big, big feature and one of the reasons that I ultimately moved over. For reach though, I’ll start with Twitter. I love Twitter because I’m like you, a marketer. We’re trying to grow our business and I’ve never seen a better free traffic source. It’s probably the most undervalued social platform out there for a lot of marketers. I don’t know if they  don’t understand the traffic implications for them or what the situation is but anywho, we won’t go over that. I just spend a lot of time and effort building out my strategies and ultimately, my community and then automating a lot of it, specifically growth so that I can continue to build out my community there. I use a tool called manageflitter.com. ManageFlitter has some intricate filters in their backend that allows you to set up kind of who you’re looking to connect with. One of the most common strategies is, “Hey, I’m going to follow…” If I see somebody serve my ideal client and they’ve got a big community of people who are technically my ideal client too, then I’ll just follow all those people. That’s one strategy for sure. Nothing wrong with that. Other strategies are looking into their bios. If you’re looking to connect with real estate agents, I guarantee you, if they’re a real estate agent, more than likely, they have the term real estate in their bio on Twitter. There are a lot of ways that you can actually connect and follow and ultimately, build out a community of people who are your ideal client, your ideal customer instead of just randomly willy-nilly bumping around, trying to figure out who you’re going to follow and who’s following you.

Another great tool is Followerwonk which allows you to search Twitter bios. Really helpful for finding journalists and bloggers and influencers in particular.

Another great tool is SocialRank. I love that tool as well. The neat part about that tool is you can really funnel down for what you’re looking for using that tool. That’s one of my favourites as well. Like I say, I use Agorapulse pretty much across the board to manage all of my communities now to include Instagram. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, all of them are integrated into that one platform so it’s kind of a one place for me to go versus all the others.

Actually, before I ask you about how do you split your time across all these social platforms, I wanted to ask you specifically about Twitter. Do you leverage as a tactic when people get a follower, they tend to auto follow back. You could grow your Twitter follower base by just following a lot of people. Is that something that you recommend or don’t recommend? What do you think about that?

My strategy is this. First and foremost, trying to follow people that I believe are my ideal client, my ideal customer. I start there and then a percentage of them will follow me back. The ones that don’t follow back within a certain percentage of time, my gauge is anywhere from I think I have it seven days, if they haven’t followed me back in seven days, then I have it automated to where I unfollow them. Giving them plenty of time to follow if they’re interested and if they’re not, that’s okay too. They’re not my ideal client. They’re not my ideal customer kind of thing. Or if they’re not active on Twitter, I’m certainly not going to be of service to them. Again, I usually unfollow within a short window of time, with a good amount of time for them to decide whether or not, “Hey, I’m going to follow this person back.” There’s another strategy that I think a lot of people employ on Twitter that I just like to throw a big caution flag out on. That’s the auto DM. You probably have seen and a lot of us got these spam messages because that’s pretty much what they are anymore. As soon as somebody follows you, you get this automated DM in your inbox on Twitter. Almost every one of them is, “Great to connect.” And, “By the way, go buy my stuff.” Or, “Go look at my blog.” Or, “Here’s my opt in.” Or, “Hey, I need you to do something for me.” If you’re going to use an automated DM, one, know that they’re frowned upon by a lot of people but there is a good way to use DMs if it’s a value add for the person that’s just followed you. Instead of saying, “Hey, it’s all about me.” You know, “Hey, let’s make it all about you. How can I help?” Ask an open ended question. I have had amazing conversations and ultimately relationships built through asking an open ended question. For example, “Great to connect here on Twitter. Just curious, do you use social media for business or pleasure?” If they’re using social media for pleasure, then more than likely, they’re not a business owner and not ultimately my ideal customer at that point in time, anyway. But I’ve had incredible conversations with people because some will come back and say for business. I’m like, the next question is, “Hey, what kind of business you got? I’d love to know. Tell me a little bit about yourself.” In other words, have conversations. If you decide to use a DM, use it as a conversation starter.

That’s great. I love that. How do you split your time across all these different social platforms? How many hours a week on social and how much of that on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc?

I spend almost no time on LinkedIn. Shocker, but I do get business from LinkedIn, mostly speaking opportunities and things of that nature but I spend very little time on LinkedIn. InstagramFacebook, and Twitter are where I focus the majority of my time. And then of course, it’s just an engine around here. There’s been so much content created over the years. Some of that content gets regenerated. Some of it may be a year old but we freshen it up and put it back out, that kind of thing. My time now is pretty much spent on okay, yes I would say that, or here’s the verbiage that goes with that quote. And then, somebody else, my team will schedule it. Most of my time in social is spent talking to people, engaging with people and/or doing live video. I do quite a bit a lot of video and just actually having the conversations, physically talking with people. I spend I would say a couple of hours a day just engaging and talking to people.

How does that compare with spending time in email?

Don’t even talk to me about email. That’s like my elephant.

I feel your pain.

Email is not my buddy. I’ll have to say that. In fact, just this past week, I got it down to zero which is a huge feat for me.

So zero emails in your inbox?

Not now. I’ve already let it build back up but on Monday, I had zero emails. I used a couple of tools to help me screen out a lot of stuff. I would still say I probably spend an hour or so on email everyday.

Yeah. That’s rough because that’s not super productive time.

No. Most of the time, frankly, I would say anywhere from a quarter to maybe even a half some days, it’s just total put it on the blacklist kind of stuff. It’s not always the good stuff. There’s nuggets in your inbox but you have to dig for them.

I try to avoid spending time on email as much as possible. I have my team doing my email for me. They have access to all of my email.

That’s what I need to do.

Also, you have to build up a lot of trust with that individual to give them access to everything, all my personal email, all my archives.

It takes time. You have to figure out what’s your time worth. It’s tough sometimes.

Yeah. You mentioned unfollowing people after seven days. What is the tool that you use to do that on an automated basis?

ManageFlitter. I use ManageFlitter for that as well. It’s all automated for me. I have the filter setup for my following strategy as well as my unfollowing strategy.

Okay, very cool. Other favorite tools that you wanted to mention that we didn’t already talk about? It doesn’t even have to be in social. It could be like for example in email or in funnel development or anything.

We just spoke about emails so I’ll just share real quick, I love SaneBox. It was a referral from a friend. I use that. It’s cut my time dramatically on how much time I spend in my inbox. That’s one resource that I have really enjoyed. As it relates to kind of what I do on a daily basis, I do create a lot of content on the fly so I use a lot of phone apps in particular. Things like for visual content, quote tiles or putting something on Instagram or wherever on the fly. A few of the tools that I use for that are Adobe Spark. I love Adobe. It has some animations so you can create a video, technically, using text which is a clever way to, going back to what I shared about Facebook and sharing video each and every day on your Facebook page, that’s a way to do that. Another great tool that does animation as well is a tool called Ripl. I love that little app. That’s a super good app. Desktop, I love Canva. You probably heard Canva because a lot of people share Canva, that’s nothing new. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s definitely something you might want to check out. Adobe Spark, to go back to Adobe Spark real quick is also desktop based. I use the phone app a lot but you can also go on your desktop and create videos and a host of other things. There’s a new app out there that is web based, it is called Wave. It does square videos. The reason I’m bringing that up is Adobe Spark, Ripl, they also create the square look for you so you can share that on Instagram, on Facebook and they’ll be square. But if you’re using the desktop version of Adobe Spark in any other kind of traditional video that you’ve created and you’re going to share it on Facebook, most of them are landscape. The reason I’m highlighting this is that this is huge. I’ve done a ton of testing on the fact that square video outperforms landscape video on Facebook. If you think about it, it does make sense. If you’re scrolling on your phone, for example, and you’re looking at Facebook, it takes up more real estate, the square videos. You’ll see a lot of marketers have switched to this. There’s data to back it up. I’m not the only one who’s been doing testing on this. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to highlight some of the tools that create those square videos for you. In the past, I was using PowerPoint to create and record my screen to do the square videos. Now, there are tools out there that actually help you create them and they’re the right size.

That’s awesome. That’s wave. How do you…?

It’s a new tool. animation.com is the creator of this tool. It’s wave.animation.com.

Awesome. I’ll put all the links to these different tools in the show notes for our listeners.

But that’s a great little resource. Brand new, but pretty cool little resource.

Awesome, very cool. Let’s talk a bit about webinars because I’m just curious what you’re doing in your business to leverage webinars in your marketing and in your sales channel.

Webinars, as you know, are incredibly powerful. They are not dead. I think a lot of times, I’ve had this conversation over and over again with people about live video and how live video is ultimately going to supplant webinars. I don’t think we’re there yet. I’m hosting a webinar that’s live today on my fan page but there’s still that comfort level with traditional webinars. That’s what people are used to. Their response and the sales, etc. are still there. The percentages are absolutely intact as it relates to webinars. We try to do a webinar a month because, like I say, they’re so impactful. It gives value back to the community, which is always, you gotta make those deposits so that when you do ask for a sale, the withdrawals, it comes once in awhile, not all the time. We try to give value back in that way by hosting a webinar every month, at least once a month. Leveraging the power of automated webinars. We just started that but everybody has told me, “You got to do that. You got to do that.” We are just now beginning to get our first one out and have a complete funnel built around that webinar. I don’t have a lot of data on that yet but I’m excited about it, that we finally got it done.

Awesome. What tool are you using for doing automated webinars?

Easy Webinar. My friend Casey Zeman owns the platform. That’s what we’ve been using. It’s easywebinar.com.

Awesome. Very cool.  I want to be respectful of your time here. I know we’re up to the hour mark. I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing your brilliance and all these great tools and strategies, tactics that you use in your business to get leads and turn those leads into customers and opportunities. Any last bit of advice that you wanted to share that we hadn’t already talked about? Any golden nugget you want to leave our listeners with?

I think having been kind of now on both sides of the fence with the social marketing and the digital side, and then marrying those two together to make them work together has been a process because I only had one side of the puzzle and kind of put that puzzle together. I think that when I say marrying the two together, I still think there’s a big divide between the two for most marketers, most business owners. They’re either struggling to figure out how to make social work for them or they’re not even attempting to figure that out because they’re just used to paying for their traffic. But with social, it is work but it can be incredibly impactful to your bottom line and figuring out where your ideal client, ideal customer is in social, you don’t have to be everywhere. A lot of times I think we get overwhelmed. It’s one more thing and it’s just easier to pay for our traffic but with social media, it is definitely a way to generate eyeballs for free on your products and services and attract people to your business. But it’s even bigger, frankly, than that. It is a way to build a true community. With paid media, it’s one of those things where you just pay for it, and do they stick with you, do they feel a connection to you. With social media, you have that. As long as you are connecting and giving value, and talking with people, engaging with people, that gives you raving fans, honestly and raving buyers. I think that is the difference maker. It’s worth it is I guess my point. Social media is worth it.

As long as you are connecting and giving value, and talking with people, engaging with people, that gives you raving fans, honestly and raving buyers.

That’s great. If somebody wanted to work with you or your agency Boom! Social, what will be the next step?

You can find more information anywhere in the social space. My name is Kim Garst and my usernames on all platforms is Kim Garst so you can find me on any platform under my name. My website is kimgarst.com. Our agency website is boomsocial.net.

If somebody wanted to work with you, with your agency Boom! Social, how would they do that?

Just go to the website and fill out the contact form or tweet me, Facebook me, whatever works. I am pretty active in the social space. I’ll definitely make sure I respond.

Awesome. Thank you so much, Kim. It was such a pleasure interviewing you and having you share your wisdom and advice with my listeners. Thank you so, so much.

Thank you, Stephan.

Listeners, go check out this episode’s show notes on marketingspeak.com. All the links from the tools and various platforms that we discussed are going to be on the show notes page. Also, there will be a checklist of actions that you can take based on things that Kim shared in this episode. Definitely check that out. It’s at marketingspeak.com. Thanks and we’ll catch you on the next episode of Marketing Speak. This is your host, Stephan Spencer, signing off.

Important Links:

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Be comfortable with who I truly am and put myself out there when I share with people to connect in a relatable way.

☑ Use video to leverage the power of Facebook for free by uploading with its native uploader and using Facebook Live.

☑ Understand what my community is engaging with, not what I want them to engage with to create content that will help build my reach.

☑ Use square videos using a tool like Wave to take up more real estate and get noticed more than the traditional rectangular video.

☑ Don’t connect all of my social accounts and publish the same content on all platforms. It is better to tailor the content for each audience.

☑ Use hashtags based on the content and platform I am posting on, for instance no more than 2 hashtags on Twitter and unlimited hashtags on Instagram.

☑ Slice or edit my large videos into smaller segments to use those portions on places like Twitter and Instagram.

☑ Create compelling photo based content with quotes using a tool like Adobe Spark to drive traffic from visual sources like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

☑ Use tools like Socialoomph and Agorapulse to automate and monitor my social posts and my social strategy. I can also try ManageFlitter, Followerwonk, and Social Rank.

☑ Use direct messages on Twitter as conversation starters and make it about the person I am connecting with, not myself.

About Kim Garst

Kim Garst is one of the world’s most retweeted people among digital marketers. She is a renowned marketing strategist, keynote speaker and an international best-selling author of Will The Real You Please Stand Up, Show Up, Be Authentic and Prosper in Social Media. Kim focuses on helping entrepreneurs grow their business using social and digital media strategies.

Kim is also internationally recognized as a thought leader in the social media space. Forbes named her as one of the Top 10 Social Media Power Influencers. Her blog, kimgarst.com, is one of the top social media resources in the world.

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