Gone Social SF: The Art of Social Media

This week I attended my second Gone Social SF event. I previously wrote on the rise of on demand services but this week featured the co-authors of The Art of Social Media, Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. They shared tips and tricks for using social media to build a brand — a category you know interests me.

These high demand speakers, and high demand venue, are a prime example of why I enjoy Gone Social. The founders are listening to their community and doing whatever it takes to make it happen. Another super impressive event, and thanks to Thumbtack for hosting + Farm Hill and Goat Hill Sourdough Pizza for feeding us!

This week Luke at YourLocalMe was the community shoutout. Really neat product — connecting travelers with local experts to get personalized advice and recommendations for trips. Currently live in San Francisco. Wish I’d known about this last year prior to my visit! Definitely check it out.


Now for the presentation recap. Guy and Peg have known each other for over 5 years now, after Peg invited Guy to live tweet a book club event of hers (back when Twitter was the biggest thing). Guy mentioned that behind every successful man is a successful woman. Well, he has 3. His wife, daughter, and Peg (as well as a dog!). Peg’s been largely influential towards him, keeping Guy on top of social media best practices and so forth.

The presentation would be split into three main sections:

Part 1: The Art of Social Media Presentation

Part 2: Canva Demo

Part 3: Audience / Social Media Q&A


Part 1: The Art of Social Media

I made a quick Slideshare recapping the 10 tips from Guy and Peg:


Part 2: Canva Demo

Below are a few notes from the demo. If you’ve never used the tool, you really should give it a try: http://www.canva.com/

  • Peg made her entire presentation in Canva. She’s a big fan because the presentation comes out 100% unique. See it here.
  • Drag/drop pictures into template frames.
  • You can view presentations directly from Canva, similar to Powerpoint.
  • Great resource for creating book covers if you don’t have your first publisher yet.

Guy even offered a $10 promo code for Canva (to purchase additional stock photos, etc.), so be sure to click thru this link if you’re interested.


Part 3: Q&A

Packed house

Packed house

Q1 – How do you see VR affecting social?

Peg: Pokemon Go has been an excellent example of how people enjoy engaging with tech out in the real world. But in actual groups of people. We’re going to be seeing a lot more of this soon.

Q2 – Instagram or Snapchat stories?

Guy: I don’t know — you tell us! (Encouraging us all to vote… against Trump)

Result: 50/50 split in the crowd. It’s circumstantial.

Q3 – Best tools for analytics?

Peg: Sprout social. Different from native and what you see in most other tools. But it’s not one or the other, try to look at all of them collectively.

Guy: Never pays attention to metrics.

Peg: Only Facebook reach, right? 🙂

Guy: 90% of his concern is reach. Spray and Pray philosophy on social (ha!).

Q4: If you’re starting a new brand on social, 0 followers, how do you recommend getting started?

Peg: Get all the pieces for the brand together first: Logos, colors, brand persona, etc.. You’ll wing it to an extent, but need to test/refine/optimize. Smartest to pre-seed imagery and content beforehand — can’t just do 1 day at a time. Make an editorial calendar.

Q5: Any tool functions you feel are missing in the marketplace?

Guy: SocialChamp has filled my gaps. I’m happy.

Peg: Can’t think of any. Pretty happy and do a good job checking out all the new ones.

Q6: Is Instagram becoming pay to play for businesses? (Boosting posts.)

Peg: Instagram did just change their algorithm, influencing engagement. Recommend checking out  the Command App – free for iOS. Shows you audience insights + best times to post. Brands typically post during the day, a lot of people are online at night and weekends. Right now you don’t have to boost on Instagram, but if you do it may result i more likes but not more comments. May become more FB-like in the future.

Guy: When platforms announces new features, jump on the feature. Product Manager’s want proof that it’s being adopted, and you’ll probably be featured right away because the PM’s are excited about it. Be an early adopter. May waste some time, but it’s worth it. Just believe and go for it – that’s Guy’s algorithm.

Q7: How are you seeing social media evolve professionally? More opportunity coming out of it?

Guy: It’s still just beginning, and there are enormous opportunities to come career-wise. This is a similar question to the “Should we have a website?” question in the 90’s. This stuff will never be asked again. I recommend getting academic training in behavioral economics as to why people buy stuff. There are two purposes in a business. Someone makes it, someone sells it. If you can’t make it, sell it, and a behavioral economics degree mixed with social media training is going to be killer.

Q8: Setting up new profiles? How many?

Peg: Grab your name, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Shiny Object Syndrome is definitely a thing in this industry. Be realistic for how many hours are in a day.

i.e. Snapchat vs. Instagram discussion earlier earlier. Snapchat can be harder to use and harder to generate content. Things will evolve and change, try them out, but don’t feel like you need to be everywhere.

Guy: Services like Sprout and SocialChamp eliminate this issue. No extra effort in posting from 1 to 4 platforms, so why not?

Q9: Re: personal social presences (not brand) how much time to spend developing?

Guy: Just do your best to add value where you can. Don’t add to the clutter.

Q10: People like the happy & funny stuff. In getting posts viral, how do you promote darker issues?

Guy: I don’t. I have a moral responsibility with my large following to post things that make the world a better place.

Peg: Stick to the tone of your content. If you’re a funny person, be careful about what you’re posting. Viral things are emotional. Be respectful, but make it interesting.

Guy: Relevant story — some of his Twitter is automated 32 hours ahead. HolyKaw is a site Guy runs that’s all for humor and entertainment, not to be taken seriously. Every headline there becomes a tweet for Guy four times, 8 hours apart. There have been instances where a funny story interjects with a terrorist attack. Hard to know the solution. Does the world completely stop every time something happens?

Q11: Some people don’t use hashtags. How to help people discover you or your topics?

Peg: Use a mix of hashtags and keywords, each carefully handpicked. What are people talking about? Both are fine, just don’t get stuck in a vacuum. Use a mix of what’s most popular + what could be next most popular.

Guy: Execute the Wikipedia / NPR model. Always look for interesting content to add value to people’s timelines. Using this tactic, Guy earns the right to promote his book, or Canva/Mercedes…whatever it is that day. He’s actively trying to earn more followers, not hiding that fact. Use your platform for adding value, but once in a while you’re allowed to hit them with some ads and self promotion. Earn the loyalty.

Two great quotes from Guy Kawasaki to end the Q&A:

  • The more followers you have on social media, the more useful it is.
  • There are two kinds of people on social: those who want more followers, and are liars.

To keep up with the conversation, follow the #ArtofSocial and #GoneSocialSF hashtags on Twitter.

The next Gone Social event will be held on September 19th at the Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf featuring Sarena Bahad (founder of the Women in Tech Snapchat) and three surprise panelists discussing Snapchat. I’ll provide another recap in the days following! In the meantime, be sure to check out the Gone Social blog and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Snapchat (gonesocialsf).

Finally, thanks again to Thumbtack for hosting. Amazing space and less than 10 mins on bike from my apartment. 🙂

[Images taken by Steffan Pedersen, logos and banners credited to Gone Social, Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick]

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