PAL Media’s David Kitchenham interviews Richard Hollis Editor of Tool Hire and Business Magazine and the ever popular Skip Hire and Waste Magazine and Dan Daintry Director of Perfect Associates, who operates the successful plant, machinery and equipment hire company PAL Hire. What do we want from Social Media as a business? What is important for business? How is social media evolving for the traditional magazines? How do you focus on return on investment for digital and social?

 

 

 

David:                                  So, hello, I’m Dave Kitchenham from Pal Media. This is the inaugural Pal Media podcast.

Richard Hollis:                   Yippee.

David:                                  Okay, so, um, episode one, social media for business and niche industries. Uh, today, I’m joined by, uh, Richard Hollis, the editor of Tool Hire And Business magazine and the ever popular Skip Hire And Waste magazine.

David:                                  And Dan Daintry, director of Perfect Associates, who operates the successful plant and machinery and equipment hire company, Power Hire.

David:                                  Hello gentlemen.

Richard Hollis:                   Hi.

Dan Daintry:                      Hi.

David:                                  How we doing, alright?

David:                                  Gentlemen, um, as I said, um, this, this episode is about social media for business, um, and, um, niche industries and you kind of operate in those worlds. Um, so I’m going to start by asking, what we want from social media?

David:                                  So, Richard.

Richard Hollis:                   Us specifically, or?

David:                                  Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   What do we as human beings want?

David:                                  Business wise, what you would expect for, for your publications.

Richard Hollis:                   Yep, uh, well, you want to, it’s about putting our personality-

David:                                  Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   Really. If you want to, you know, if you’ve got, uh, if you’re advertising a new product I suppose, if you’re wanting to tell people facts about your company, that’s one thing. But, um, social media first and foremost is about putting, uh, a personality to your brand.

David:                                  Yep.

Richard Hollis:                   Getting people, uh, talking, getting people asking que-, questions. And getting people to feel like they know who you.

David:                                  Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   They know who you are. Um, even when I go on Twitter now, I know certain companies are funny-

David:                                  Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   I know certain companies are going to make me smile. I know certain companies do really interesting content. Um, and some companies just put up, you know, static adverts-

David:                                  Yep.

Richard Hollis:                   All over [inaudible 00:01:39]. And those are not the ones I’m interested in. I’m interested in the ones that are engaging. The ones that make me laugh.

David:                                  Excellent.

Richard Hollis:                   That’s, that’s what we want now.

David:                                  Fantastic. Dan, wh-, how, how about you? What would you say, you know, a business would want from social media?

Dan Daintry:                      A business, it wants to, uh, back up its brand. So, depending on what your, your aim is, and what you’re trying to establish within the business, um, you want social media to, to support that. It’s a great way to generate new customers. It’s a great way to, uh, get people aware of who you are. What you are, and what you stand for.

Dan Daintry:                      Um, it’s a way of projecting your own values. But most of all, it’s a way to interact with people in the market space-

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      Led so much from those who are in that market space, from what they want, what their likes are, what their dislikes are-

David:                                  Sure.

Dan Daintry:                      And, uh, social media just gives you a platform to many different types of people-

David:                                  Yep.

Dan Daintry:                      Within the market space.

David:                                  That’s great, because you’ve both sort of steered away, and didn’t mention the fact that we want to sell in social media. It, it, it’s predominately about conversations and listening and-

Richard Hollis:                   It is.

David:                                  And helping people understand what our brands are about. That’s great.

David:                                  So, uh, that’s really our understanding of social media. Um, which social media channels would you want to broadcast on, if, if you had the option?

Richard Hollis:                   Oh well, it’s, you get different audiences, um, for, for, for different platforms. Um, the, each one is, is geared up towards a sp-, sp-, specific end. If you’ve got something that’s very, very visual then Instagram obviously is the one to go for.

David:                                  Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   Um, if you want to target, you know, business professionals in a work capacity, then LinkedIn. Um, Twitter and Facebook are very much more for the wider, uh, market. And even, uh, different, there are differences there. Because Facebook, you want to catch up with your friends and you want to know what your friends are interested in doing.

David:                                  Sure.

Richard Hollis:                   With Twitter, you want back and forth-

David:                                  Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   You can talk, you can literally say something and have a, a company reply to you. So, it’s very much, you, you very much tailor the platforms that you want to be on.

David:                                  Yeah, okay.

Dan Daintry:                      I think it depends what you want to achieve. I think each platform does have its pros and its cons. Um, there are certain platforms from a business point of view, I don’t particularly like. Um, I’m not, while I’m amazed at what Facebook can do, and the audiences you can reach. I’m not a particular fan, it tends to coordinate more B2C.

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      Not, a B2B market-

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      Not even a B2B market. Um, I’m not sure Instagram would be right for my particular business. But I can understand if I’m [inaudible 00:04:25] very visual, then I would be all over Instagram.

David:                                  Yep.

Dan Daintry:                      Um, I think what it can do is it can help you, uh, project what you want your, um, brand, what you want your product, your service to be.

David:                                  Sure.

Dan Daintry:                      And once you understand what you’re trying to achieve from that, so, uh, Twitter’s great for getting a message out there and bringing people back to, to show the sort of content strategies. Um, but if you’re looking to actively do business, then you might go to more of a LinkedIn profile.

David:                                  Yep.

Dan Daintry:                      Um, which tends to get professionals within certain sectors together.

David:                                  Yep.

Dan Daintry:                      Um, you can do a lot of networking on it, and it, it’s done in a very formal manner. Um, you can actually solve a lot of your problems on, on, sort of, LinkedIn and those types of places.

Dan Daintry:                      However, but understanding who your market space is-

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      And who you’re aiming to interact with should probably define what you spend maybe more time on social media directing. I think they’re all important to a degree. But some of them might not necessarily suit-

David:                                  Sure.

Dan Daintry:                      Your individual business.

David:                                  Yeah, excellent. Which, uh, I think is a valuable point there. Um, whilst it’s all … great to have the conversation. And the, they’re different conversations in different locations, it’s really what we get back as a business in terms of, from our effort.

Richard Hollis:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

David:                                  And my next question would be, from a business point of view, what would you say is the most important aspect for a business to consider when, when approaching social media?

Dan Daintry:                      I think from my point of view, you’ve got, uh, return on investment-

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      You want to kind of be looking, um, … If you’re going to do some, some paid advertising on the, uh, the marketing side of some of these tools. Then it’s important to kind of keep a track of how much you spend and what are your clicks, what are you getting out of it.

Dan Daintry:                      Um, it’s really important to have the right set up to measure the result.

David:                                  Yep.

Dan Daintry:                      Um, and to be able to measure the performance of the result. Not everything will work, and that’s okay. What you’ve got to be able do is put something in place-

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      Measure it and know when it doesn’t work.

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      And then not continue to spend money on that aspect.

David:                                  Sure.

Dan Daintry:                      And, a return on investment from a point of view, from a sales point of view, I like to know from every click I get from a PPC campaign-

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      So, every click we get on a, on a, a, an organic traffic, to see what the level of conversion that is.

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      So, if I’m converting at a higher rate through a certain medium, then I’m going to put more money into it.

David:                                  Yep.

Dan Daintry:                      And if I’m converting at a lower rate on, uh, another platform, I’ll avoid it. But I can use that to measure-

David:                                  Sure.

Dan Daintry:                      I can only understand. So it … you tend to want to pick that based on not what you think is good. But what the measurements and

Richard Hollis:                   [crosstalk 00:07:06]

Dan Daintry:                      What the revenue brings back to your business.

David:                                  Yep, so, um, how about your publications Richard. Um, obviously, um, you, you’ve got the Tool Line business magazine.

Richard Hollis:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

David:                                  And Skip Hire magazine. Skip Hire is obviously, um, a, an industry that’s not very long off paper. Um, and find its computers and that sort of thing. Where do you think the development of social media will be going, um, in, in those publications?

Richard Hollis:                   Well, I think it’s, it’s an interesting, uh, having the two side by side, because, uh, Skip Hire has been, for years, very kind of personality driven.

David:                                  Yes.

Richard Hollis:                   Uh, we, they like the … it’s more of a novel, um, magazine. If it was, uh, a newspaper, it would be more kind of tabloid, more kind of general-

David:                                  Right.

Richard Hollis:                   Interest, so-

David:                                  Red top?

Richard Hollis:                   Yes, red top. It, it would have, you know, the [inaudible 00:07:57] is always very popular. Um, the Pop Idols is hugely popular.

David:                                  Pop Idols, one of my favorite things-

Richard Hollis:                   It is, you look up, and you look up the, um, overloaded skips. You can have a laugh with that. They’re very popular and that’s the, half the reason that the, the magazines are always lying around in the skip yards.

David:                                  Yep.

Richard Hollis:                   And that’s why people like it, so that’s very much a focus for that publication. Whereas Tool Business is, uh, more kind of high brow, it’s more, it’s more focused on being, um, I don’t want to use the word professional, um, I, but, it’s more about being focused-

David:                                  Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   I suppose, on the, uh, the higher end of the tool business market. And, all, cr-, setting a standard there as well.

David:                                  Yep.

Richard Hollis:                   Because there’s, this is m-, much more open market-

David:                                  Yes.

Richard Hollis:                   So, we can really define where we want to be with that publication. So having the two side by side is, is an interesting position for me to be in as well, just in-

David:                                  That’s fantastic, yeah, brilliant, okay, so, um, we’re, we’re nearly nine minutes into, uh, our conversation today. I’ve got one more question before we, we wrap up, um, and, you know, I’ve found your insight from, from this brief conversation, uh, both of you, just really ideal, and, and, and great.

David:                                  Um, social media’s still quite new, um, it’s not, it’s not, it’s not fully arrived yet. I think there’s so much to, from my personal opinion, and my experience with social media, I think there’s more to come. Um, and that may well be a change of platforms, um, obviously phones and mobile phones and, and smart, smart devices have, have made social media what it is now.

Richard Hollis:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

David:                                  Where do you think social media’s got the ability to steer business moving forward?

Dan Daintry:                      I think moving forward, I think it’s going to be a vital tool for identifying, um, I think it currently is probably, but I think you’ve got to identify future trends.

David:                                  Yes.

Dan Daintry:                      I think it will be driving the direction of your business. There’ll be information and data available and where you’ll probably be able to make calculated decision on people’s choices.

Dan Daintry:                      Um, I think if you are a data led business, and you are driving towards those statistics, it will give you the information you need to make the correct decisions.

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      Where, at the moment, I think it’s a very reactive process where people are posting and, and, people enjoy it, people think it’s … We’ve got a modern era and generation-

David:                                  The emperor’s new toy, isn’t it?

Dan Daintry:                      Yeah.

Richard Hollis:                   Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dan Daintry:                      We, we like the fun. We like the frolics of what, what can happen on a social media platform. But actually I don’t think any of us really incorporate just how much information goes through it.

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      And the type of information we’ve got on social media that is telling us where we are, at what point of the day. It tels us our, what time we open it up. It tells us what time we close it. That initially tells us who we need to target-

David:                                  Sure.

Dan Daintry:                      At what times, where. And that type of information, if you can start scrolling into what it means to the future, it means that your marketing suddenly becomes hyper-targeted.

David:                                  Yes.

Dan Daintry:                      And you’re going to be able to tell a Mom who’s, uh, got a two year old-

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      And your product suddenly is specific to that requirement. You’re going to be able to put an advert in front of that person.

Richard Hollis:                   Wow.

Dan Daintry:                      And while Facebook and some of the others have those tools already in existence, I think what you’re going to be able to do is go layers deeper.

David:                                  Yep.

Dan Daintry:                      You’re going to be able to know that you’re aiming at people, not only a Mom who’s got a two year old, but one who likes organic food. One that, uh, only eats broccoli.

David:                                  Yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      It will go very intricate to know-

David:                                  Very, complementary lifestyle decisions-

Dan Daintry:                      Yeah.

David:                                  Based on, yeah.

Dan Daintry:                      Based on its information that it gathers, and it will suddenly allow you to, if you understand who uses your product, and basically we should all be looking at our market spaces and who’s interested in our product base. But if we can identify that, these new products will soon allow us to identify those people who suit our products best.

David:                                  That’s brilliant, fantastic. Excellent, well, I, I think that draws to a conclusion, I, uh, our, uh, our podcast and our session today. Um, once again thanks Dan-

Dan Daintry:                      Thanks.

David:                                  And thank you, uh, Richard for-

Richard Hollis:                   Thank you very much.

David:                                  Uh, your time today.

Richard Hollis:                   Thank you.