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Unprepared Ep 21 - SMBs Should Start Being A Better Community Manager with Stacy McPhillips

[00:00] - Intro
[00:17] - Video content is uncomfortable but effective
[01:00] - Human presence makes content perform better
[01:30] - “People want to do business with people”
[01:55] - Stacy’s role in Pencil Point Marketing
[02:34] - Marketers help to predictably increase traffic
[02:56] - Get to know your customers more
[03:22] - SMBs should be better community managers
[04:32] - Engagement helps in your initial growth
[04:56] - Make your comments as personal as possible
[05:36] - You have to be timely in your responses
[06:04] - Make commenters interact with each other
[06:21] - Take advantage of Stories on social media
[07:06] - Stories give great returns and reusable assets
[07:45] - The Stories format is slowly growing
[08:05] - Interact with other content creators and brands
[08:35] - If you don’t have a budget, invest your time
[08:57] - Partner with complementary businesses


Key Points:

  • Video content can get 3x to 4x times more audience than traditional content such as audio podcasts, blog posts, etc. 

  • Video content is much more relatable to audiences because they can see the individuals or group of people that’s delivering the content to them. It’s part of human psychology and social etiquette. They want to see who’s talking.

  • Stacy made a social media experiment when she worked at a Nashville pizza chain. And they A/B tested a post of just a pizza and a hand holding a pizza. The one with the hand always performed better which shows that human impact is so big in content marketing.

  • Stacy helps small businesses with their marketing strategies as a part-time/stand-in marketing director. She has a wide marketing background and she’s using that to help small businesses be better marketers.

  • Small businesses really need to employ experienced marketers during their starting years.

  • Most online businesses struggle to find which lever to pull to predictably increase their traffic.

  • One of Stacy’s core principles in marketing is businesses having a true connection with their customers.

  • Small businesses should improve being community managers in social media.

  • Social media platforms are created to have communities where people can talk to friends, family, and other like-minded people.

  • It’s hard to build an organic presence in social media using advertising and algorithms alone.

  • Being a better community manager improves your engagement.

  • Most businesses just look at social media as a box to tick which makes them miss out on the human aspect and the opportunity to socialize with their audience.

  • Most of the guests in Honest Ecommerce that are the founders of businesses said that just by being very active on social media and responding to every comment, message, or inquiry helped the initial growth of their businesses.

  • Make your responses on social media as personal as you can. If you can have a conversation with them, that’s better. At the very least, like their comment to let them know that you are interacting.

  • Respond to comments, messages, and interactions as fast as possible. You have to stay on top of it.

  • You really have to invest the time in order to properly interact with your audience through social media.

  • The ultimate goal of your interactions in the comments is to stimulate conversation and make people interact with other commenters.

  • When you manage to make your audiences interact with one another, you basically set up a marketing flywheel that’s just going to grow exponentially.

  • Instagram and Facebook Stories are a growing format on social media. Take advantage by highlighting your community’s posts.

  • Be sure to interact with your community if they share your post. Comment or at least like their post, and you can even reshare their post.

  • The Stories format are hidden gems that give great returns, especially on Instagram. It’s also easily reusable as ad assets.

  • As much Facebook and Instagram are pushing it, the Stories format hasn’t caught on yet. But it’s definitely growing.

  • Don’t just interact with your audience, be active on social media. Interact with your favorite content creators and brands. Your community will then come to know who you are as a fan.

  • There’s a lot of things you can do to grow your social media presence organically. It’s cheap but it takes time.

  • Investing in organic social media growth can really change your business.

  • Find businesses on social media that are complementary to your own and partner with them.


Chase Clymer  

Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of unprepared I'm your host Chase Clymer. And today we're welcoming to the short 10 minute video segments. Stacy, Nick Phillips from pencil point marketing. We met about a week ago on a local webinar we did here in Columbus, Ohio. Welcome to the show.

Stacy McPhillips  

Thanks. Thanks for having me. I'm really excited about doing videos because it's completely uncomfortable with me.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, they're, they're terribly uncomfortable, but the metrics Don't lie. So we've been doing our podcast for over a year. And we put those on YouTube, obviously, recycling content for all your socials, I'm sure that you'll have some input on that here in a minute. 

But um, we were just putting them on there with pictures and people were finding out about the podcast that way. But the second I started doing these shorter video clips, kind of micro content, micro podcasts, really. 

If they're getting triple, you know, quadruple the amount of views on YouTube, because there's actual human beings in the video. And it's just human psychology, people will want to look at other people while they're talking.

Stacy McPhillips  

I know, it's so interesting that you say that I used to work for a national pizza chain. And we did some testing in social media about like, if you include people or don't include pizza, so you know, you have like the beautiful shot of a slice of pizza.

Or if you have the beautiful shot of a slice of pizza with just a hand like holding it, which one does better. And that hand always did better. So having so you're right, having that sort of human impact in society is super important.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I don't know where I heard it. But it was just like, it's one of those like, super simple marketing rules that have stuck with me. It's just like, people want to do business with people. Yep. So I mean, I'm all for mascots and stuff. It makes it, you know, notable, but I'm sure there's probably data out there that says that human mascots outperform like the goofy ones.

Stacy McPhillips  


Chase Clymer  

Awesome. So for people that are unaware, what, what do you do over at pencil point marketing, what's kind of the strengths that your team brings to the table.

Stacy McPhillips  

So I'm a marketing strategist and I and I develop marketing plans for small businesses. So you could kind of think of me as sort of a part time or step in marketing director for small businesses. I'm a generalist.

So I have a wide background in marketing, I've done everything that there can be I've done like small little local events, up to doing filming national commercials for CPG. So I just have this really wide marketing background, and I'm using that to help small businesses be better marketers.

Chase Clymer  

I mean, I think that is something that most small businesses have trouble with is kind of finding that action item, that lever that they can pull to predictably increase traffic. That's kind of like the hardest problem to solve, I'd say for most startup e commerce businesses is, how can I get more traffic?

Stacy McPhillips  

Yes, it sure is. And, you know, we just talked about sort of the human aspect of marketing. And it follows through in all marketing. 

So like, one of my core principles of my business is making sure that small businesses are truly connecting with their customers, and thinking about and polling and really getting to know their customers better. And that's actually the tip that I have a little bit today. 

So one of the things that I see that smart that small businesses could improve on is being better community managers in their social media. So back in the day, you know, Facebook, and Instagram, and all of those things were created to be these like communities where you talk to your friends and family. 

And then at some point, like businesses and brands sort of got on the bandwagon, and they sort of hopped in. And now, it's sort of just all about like advertising and algorithms, and it's really, really, really hard to build this sort of organic presence on social media. 

And one of the things that you can do to improve engagement is be a better community manager meaning so if someone likes comments on your stuff, then you know, you should comment back. 

And I see a lot of small businesses right now. Almost doing social media, sort of like a check the box like did I post on Facebook today? Check? Yes. And did I post on Instagram last week, Chuck, but then they're kind of missing this kind of human interaction opportunity to really engage with your community.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I've had multiple founders on the podcast talking about what helped them with the initial growth of their business. And bluntly they have said, I responded to every single comment. Yep, I replied back to every single message. I talked to those initial people that liked this less and that's really what helped us grow was talking to our customers.

Stacy McPhillips  

Yes, absolutely. So if someone comments on your story, social media post, then you should comment back. And you shouldn't just comment back like, thanks, or you know, something generic, like try to make it as personal as you can. 

And if you know taking it one step further, if you can start engaging them in a conversation, that's even better. And those comments, they really do help, you know, your engagement rate on social media in that organic space. 

So you know, while it is very pay to play on social media, that is, you know, kind of the one thing that you can do to make things better. And at the very least, you should like, at least like their comments, so that somebody knows that you're interacting. 

And this can't be something that you do a week later. And I see that happening all the time and see what happened. When I comment somebody like, a week later, they're like, Oh, so and so liked your comments. 

And I'm like, when did I even do that? So you got to stay on top of it. And Instagram and Facebook are really good about notifying you when people make comments or like your post. 

So you have to sort of invest the time to be able to engage and create those kinds of conversations, sort of like gold or like, the ultimate goal is to have your commenters start interacting with each other. That's really hard.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, that's kind of when you I guess you've set up a flywheel at that point of organic conversation on your content.

Stacy McPhillips  

Yes, exactly. And the other things that you can do. So, you know, stories are not like they're not super. So they're getting there growing, right. So not everybody reads the stories or watches the stories on Instagram or on Facebook, but it's a growing platform. 

And both of those platforms are pushing the story format. And so one of the things that's easy to do is to share other people's posts to your stories. 

And then Always be sure that if someone else shares your posts, to their stories, to you know, like that post, and if they've added some cute comment to, you know, even reshare their story. So that's another way to engage with your people. And you're following in your bands. That's really a very good meeting.

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. I think that stories actually, when it comes to when you're getting into like advertising stories for a while there were kind of like a hidden gem of you were going to you were getting some awesome returns when you were utilizing, especially Instagram stories and kind of doing it in a way awake, where it's almost like user generated content, you could get away with some like really not cheap, but like quickly created assets. 

So yeah, I think stories are a fantastic thing to utilize. I'll be the first to admit, though I didn't like using stories myself for the longest time. But now we're getting back into it.

Stacy McPhillips  

Yeah, and I would say that as much as Instagram and Facebook are pushing it like it hasn't caught on quite yet. So you probably have, you know, younger audiences, people that are a little bit more tech savvy using it. But it is growing. And there's evidence, there's data evidence that says that it's growing. 

So investing in that format is really good. The other thing that you can do, and you kind of mentioned this earlier, is engage in posting in, you know, actively post and comment or comment on other people's posts. 

So you know, if you have somebody that you're really interested in, or you have, you know, your own fan favorites on Instagram and Facebook, be sure to engage in their posts, so they sort of get to know you as a fan. And then in turn, you know, they'll follow you. And then you're just kind of continuing that engagement as well.

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, I think there's a lot that you can do with organic, you know, strategy when it comes to Facebook and Instagram. It's definitely taking time. You know, there isn't like a magic bullet. But if you don't have a budget for paid ads, you can definitely invest the time into organic social media, and you know, it can change your business.

Stacy McPhillips  

Yeah, for sure. The other thing that I really like right now is partnerships. So like picking people, other people that you know, Instagram and social media accounts that are complimentary to your business, and kind of partnering with them. 

So for example, like one of my clients is a veterinarian, and she was noticing that, since groomers were closed, like maybe pets, were getting matted fur and things like that. So she partnered with a groomer who also has a nice social media following and they did some educational videos. 

And then so then you have this like content that's out there that you've partnered on and so then you just share the hell out of that between the two of you and it creates for this other kind of like good community, you know, two businesses in the same area that are kind of supporting each other good vibe as well.

Chase Clymer  

That's amazing. Stacey, thank you so much for coming on the show today.

Stacy McPhillips  

No problem. Thanks for having me.

A few weeks ago the world changed forever. Every business, every entrepreneur, every single person was unprepared for the sudden change we'd all experience. I'm going to use this time to create content focused on what you can do right now to help your business grow. We're all in this together, we're all unprepared.