Matt: Well hello and welcome to another edition of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast. As always, I’m your host, Matt Bailey. And as most times I’ve got the guest Greg Jarboe with us again. Greg, how are you doing today?
Greg: I’m doing well and I’m running through envy because I can see your Endless podcast logo behind you. It’s like you have a logo. Oh, man.
Matt: I not only have a logo, but I found someone who did a laser cut. I know it’s incredible. And so I’ve got a couple of them around. It makes for a nice background. I stumbled into that, Greg. I’m actually doing some marketing.
Greg: I’m feeling logo envy and it’s not a nice feeling.
Matt: Aww, I’m so sorry. But I’m getting the logo on a mug, and I plan on sending these out to my guests. You’ll just have to let me know how many mugs you want. If you want the set, or you’re just good with one.
Greg: I’m good with one.
Matt: Okay. All right. All right. Greg, the reason why I asked you to join me today is boy, I’m trying to think.
Was it about six months ago or a little more? tried to define social media, in three episodes and I think we even then came up with, we have defined social media as it was yesterday. I think that’s where we left it.
Greg: Yes. And we were at least aware enough that things were changing when we did a few watches in this space, things could move around. And since then, everything has slipped sideways.
Matt: Oh, you’re not kidding. I was just going to joke like we’ve had a few minor changes to the industry that might require your attention, I don’t think either of us would have imagined, what has happened just in the past six months.
Greg: I know. This is, an earlier iteration of my long checkered career, I was the news editor at a daily newspaper. And yesterday’s news, you couldn’t put it on the front page today. In social media marketing, yesterday’s tactics, what? Are you still using them today?
Matt: That’s what it all comes down to so much of this is tactical. You had pointed to an online discussion on Reddit in one of the articles I was following. And it was interesting because I went in and started reading about it on the SEO on Reddit and so much of it, Greg surrounds tactics.
And when people explain, here’s what I hate about digital marketing. It’s usually the tactics. It’s not the employment of digital marketing or SEO in content marketing or in other areas. It always seems to boil down to the tactics that people hate. And what it creates. And I think one of the discussions was about using AI to boost your content and, which is a tactic, but we’re seeing more and more especially John Mueller from Google saying, there’s some warnings about that.
Greg: Yeah. And Facebook or pardon me, Meta, it’s hard to remember how they call themselves these days. Is playing around with no less than 30 different AI chatbots for Facebook. Each one will have a different personality. One will be a surfer dude gonna give you travel advice. And yeah, like I want travel advice from a surfer dude. But yeah, it’s gone crazy.
Matt: Wow. Wow. Let’s start with probably the, biggest news is Twitter. And what has happened?
Greg: X. formerly known as Twitter.
Matt: X. Yes. And, that’s a thing everything now that refers to Twitter starts with X but has Twitter in parentheses. And I’m wondering how long that’s going to go.
Greg: Yeah. The AP style book has now officially recognized the X formerly known as Twitter comma. So when you get to the style book status, then, you’ve definitely confused everybody.
Matt: Absolutely. So they did a complete rebrand. We can talk a little bit about the implications of this because there’s, I would say most people are on the side of why would you rebrand when your brand is a verb.
That’s powerful. And then there are a few that say it’s genius. What he’s doing is genius. But I think I’m more in the camp that says, you’ve got cash in the bank with that brand. And, but also when you read that he wanted to rebrand PayPal as X 20 years ago. It seems like he’s had this vision or idea in his head for a long time and now he’s doing finally what he’s always wanted to do.
Greg: I wish I could agree with you and call it a vision. I think it’s more of a delusion. And let’s put it this way. I think this is going to be the ultimate case study on how to blow 46 billion dollars, buying something and then destroying it within. So far it’s been less than a year and he hasn’t finished destroying it.
But whatever you want to call it, X, Twitter, an interesting platform that had to be on the list of platforms that you focused on, everybody and their cousin is now looking for an exit ramp.
Now, advertisers have found the exit rap fastest. The platform formerly known as Twitter has lost over 50% of its advertisers. That is a landslide. That is, is this a viable platform anymore? You know, you and I talk occasionally about whatever happened to MySpace. Or whatever happened to Google+ well, guess what? We’re watching in real time whatever happened to Twitter.
What has intrigued me is that the platform has not lost users as rapidly as I would have predicted. Oh, what do You want to call it? Are not the same kind of users that might have been using it a year ago. There’s been a sort of, churn. A lot of people have left, but apparently, some new people have come on board. It makes for a rougher environment, which is why the advertisers have left.
But, I’m surprised when I, let’s say, post a new article to Search Engine Journal or Search Engine Land, that I’m still getting it, I think we can still call it retweeted. It’s not being re-exed, is it? Double exed? What do you do when not only did you change the name of the company, but there were all these other expressions that we knew meant?
Matt: Yeah. The verbs, and you don’t have that on their platforms. To get there, I know Google is probably the biggest one. I Googled that. But I don’t hear that with the other platforms, and so that’s powerful, but then to use that X, which it’s interesting when you look at what is X used for it’s the unknown.
It’s, that I hated X when I was in math. I couldn’t stand, any of those equations, but they also, have other connotations. So to take incredible brand value, and as you said, there was a tweet, I tweeted it, I retweeted it, those types of things, and everything else is a post on every other network, it’s a post
And completely transforming. And now he wants to transform it into again, this centralized place. I think what he’s trying to do is create, something similar to I want to, I think it’s a WeChat. It’s an app in China that you can do 200 things on. You can do your banking. You can do an Uber. You can do food. You can do library books. All types of things to get you around. I have a feeling that’s what he’s trying to do with X.
Greg: Normally you would launch a new service that did that with a different name and a brand taking quote Twitter and I’m gonna, turn it sideways or upside down or backward or pick the metaphor of your choice and heading, heading it off in another direction is not a vision.
It’s not a vision. It shows you what happens when people have too much money. And they think everyone that I talk to agrees with me. Yeah. You don’t talk to enough people.
Now, our problem as marketers who also share advice with people who want to become marketers is, so what do you do in this weird environment? And one of the cautions that I guess I’m ready to share with, students, clients, you name it. Colleagues in the industry, be prepared to exit Twitter, Have your bag packed, but don’t stop tweeting today. It still has enough juice left. It’s still doing enough things that even as it stumbles towards the exits, there’s traction.
Matt: There is, and as you said, so far, the user numbers haven’t changed, which is an interesting aspect of this. If you were going by advertisers, that would be, it is a big red sign. But the user numbers are still there and active, but at the same time, it seems like a lot of the safeguards have fallen away content-wise.
It’s becoming a bit more of a dangerous place. It always has been more focused on journalism or breaking news or things like that. It hasn’t been like one of the most social of social platforms. It’s more of an informative, up-to-the-moment type thing. But it does seem to, it seems to be building in the toxicity of what’s happening.
Greg: Here’s what I’m watching. There are a number of news sites that still have the little Twitter bird when you want to share their stories, and you know what? As long as key media keeps saying, please tweet my article, I figure then, you know what? I may not like it. It may be rougher.
I may think twice about what content I share there, or how often I tweet. Or encourage a client or a student to use the platform, but it’s still based on the list I looked at a day or two ago. It’s one of the top five social media platforms. So yeah, you got to use it.
Matt: Interesting. Interesting. One quick question, Greg, about Twitter before X, before we move on. Will it catch on? I am trying to think of other times when a brand has tried to change, but the population didn’t accept the change.
Greg: You remember the new Coke?
Matt: New Coke. That was exactly what was in my brain the new Coke. Also, I live in Ohio. The baseball team changed their name. However, I have yet to hear anyone call them by their new name.
I talk to people, they’re like, yeah, I went to the Indians game. No one calls them the Guardians except for officially. But anyone who’s grown up in the area, that’s the default. But New Coke, yeah, that was exactly in my brain.
Greg: I did some work with Hewlett-Packard. Who said, Oh no. We’re not Hewlett-Packard anymore. They’ve left the company. We’re now HP. And I went Okay.
So when I do a search for Hewlett Packard, I still find you. And last time I used, oh, let’s say Google Trends. There are still a lot of people who are using this term.
You don’t want to use it anymore. And by the way, HP yeah, fine. IBM became IBM and they lost the International Business Machines moniker along the way. But, I still think of you as a laser printer company.
Matt: We can go back to IBM because that was in the days of, when we mass media is what we call it there, but it was so much easier to control a brand. I think in those days because you didn’t have citizen journalism, you didn’t have content creation, even if you created content, you didn’t have the platform to distribute it.
I even look at how we have Meta and we have Alphabet, At the onset of the program, you said Facebook Meta, whatever they’re calling themselves these days if anything, they’re adding to, we say Google Alphabet or Facebook Meta. Is it good? I think it’s gonna become Twitter X or something like the majority of the population is going to make their own moniker for what you’re trying to do.
Greg: Yeah. I, again, in the misty mist of the past, he passed. I was the director of corporate communications at Lotus Development Corp back when we made Lotus 123, which was a spreadsheet before Excel. And we tried to go through that process.
So we want to be more than just the 123 company. We also have Lotus Symphony and freelance graphics and lots of other products, and I’m sorry, at the end of the day, even after we launched Symphony, which was supposed to replace one, two, three because Symphony had five features, not three 123 remained the best selling product of the company. So Lotus and 123 were joined at the hip, whether we wanted it or not.
Matt: Yeah, I always think of Lotus Notes. That always brings back memories.
Greg: I launched Lotus Notes and I apologize to any of our listeners who had to use it.
Matt: That’s good to know, Greg. I now know who to call whenever I have those bad memories.
Greg: Oh man, I had to replicate.
Matt: I gotta bring this up. Our friend John Marshall, who developed ClickTrack, worked at Netscape. And he jokes that he invented the blink tag. Which is almost on par with Lotus Notes.
Greg: Let me then put a positive spin on this. In other words, we’ve seen a change in the industry. And certainly, the social media marketing space is going through a sea change right now. What is different, I think this time is the changes that we’ve seen in the past where you could see them coming.
You knew which direction they were headed in and you could adjust accordingly. This change is again, I call it sideways. It’s rocking the boat, but boy I wish I could tell you which direction it’s headed in.
Matt: And the advice we gave back when we did our defining social media, I think is the same as watching. Just keep a watch. But I like your advice to keep your bags packed but keep an eye on things.
And so in the midst of rocking the boat, Meta makes a move and launches Threads, in the first week, I swear it was the Immaculate conception. The gushing news articles. The fastest to what was it? The fastest to a billion or something, or…
Greg: No. It was a hundred million. but it’s a big number fast. Yeah.
Matt: And so because of that performance in the first week, people were hailing Threads as like the new, the best, this is the Twitter killer. I was absolutely amazed at the gushing articles about it. And again, and here’s the, from an analytics standpoint, you’re looking at one metric. One metric was the amount of new signups.
Here we are six weeks later. And I saw your post on this the other day. They’ve lost 80% of active users in six weeks. I haven’t heard anyone talk about Threads in a month.
Greg: Yeah. So if you’ve got, oh, let’s say a billion Instagram users and you all give them access to Threads Boy, wouldn’t we all love to have that kind of launch in life? This is like being born with a silver spoon in your mouth.
And the press coverage is merely a reflection of how desperate people are to find an alternative to Twitter. So that’s not a good sign if you’re Musk.
But at the end of the day, there was no there. You could go, you could sign up for it, and you looked around and you thought, oh, timeout, I don’t have my thousands of Twitter followers interacting with me, do I? This is a lonely spot.
Matt: Yeah, there was that. I also saw a lot of, UI problems. Things weren’t really understandable. And then on top of everything, if you as an advertiser, Meta’s Ad Center is confusing to start with and it changes weekly.
And this is what I’m seeing more and more, especially as tech companies, try to do things faster is the user interface is becoming poorer less clear less understandable and so forget just from the user standpoint if I’m an advertiser and I don’t understand and things aren’t clear I’m not gonna do it.
Greg: Let me ask you this question, Matt. Do you have a keyboard on your laptop?
Matt: I do.
Greg: It, does it use QWERTY?
Matt: Yes, it does.
Greg: Okay when that got developed during the typewriter era back in the 19th century, and it was designed to slow typing down because otherwise the little keys that came up to hit the paper might get stuck.
And so here we are 150 years later, and we’re still using a keyboard, that was designed for a different technology in a different era because we’re creatures of habit. There were so many typing teachers who learned how to teach people how to type with a QWERTY keyboard.
So yes, one of the things that new advocates need to understand is that people can adjust, particularly if it’s something new, and they can learn them how to write a tweet in 140 characters or, like something with a thumbs up.
Okay. I learned that heck. I remember having to learn how to use a mouse graphical user interface. What a weird concept. Okay, fine. But once people learn it, having them unlearn something to quote, learn the new thing, is part of me. It’s a pain. It’s confusing. It’s not a nice thing. And Oh by the way, it’s one of the reasons why a whole lot of the so-called Twitter alternatives have floundered.
Matt: Yeah, it seems as though I think its clubhouse is doing well in Europe, and I think it’s being perpetuated by the war in Ukraine. That has become a You know really a viable channel for a specific region purpose. I do see a lot of things on Twitter. But again, There’s pushback on some of that which makes it just so much a conflict.
Greg: Yeah I played around with Mastodon for moments. And again, it became a kind of okay, I can say I tried it back to Twitter.
Matt: Yep, yep. I get what you’re saying with the keyboard. There’ve been times I thought about trying, It’s not a new layout, but it was the other than the QWERTY board.
Greg: It was called the Dvorak keyboard.
Matt: Dvorak, yes. I’m a four-finger typer. I have to look at the keyboard. I never really caught on to how to type without looking.
One of the principles in a user interface is that, yeah, here’s this bright, shiny, and new but like Amazon does they make a series of thousands of micro changes that take the user from where they are, and here’s where we want you to be. And you just can’t do that quick shift. You’ve got to do it slowly over time. Many companies just don’t have that patience.
Greg: Yeah. Here’s the lesson I learned from Microsoft when they introduced the graphical user interface when they introduced Windows. The first thing they did was give away Solitaire for free. Why? You could learn to click and drag and drop. And it taught people how to use a mouse by playing a card game.
Okay. So this is one of the funny things that we tend to forget that, yeah, we’ve had to overcome these changes in the past. There are paths that work. But apparently, we all have short memories and can’t, it’s improved! It’s slices of bread!
Matt: Okay, so this isn’t social, but it’s related. Speaking of major UI changes and forcing people into a new program. What about Google Analytics? They finally sunsetted, Google Analytics Universal and have forced G4 on everyone, GA4.
Greg: Au contraire! Au contraire, I have a client who is still using UA, Universal Analytics, and the data is still coming in, Pardon me, it’s past July 1. What Google has secretly done without publicizing it, is instead of the hard cutoff, which would have really upset a lot of people,
You gotta change, you gotta change, you gotta change. And then they’ve got this little hidden grace period here. And you still gotta change, but they didn’t go cold turkey. So I’m now trying to convince this client it’s time to change and they say, why? I’m getting data.
Matt: It seems to be fairly selective. Some I can see data, but most I think have started to cut off and yeah, even their playground data has now disappeared along with all the historical data.
So now I have to change how I teach using Google Analytics. And, if I even continue, I am one of those who said, you know what? I’ve had enough and I’m going to pay for analytics. And I changed to Pivot Pro. It gives me what I need. And I love the support. There are other things to look at. And that’s where I’ve gone with it. I still keep an open GA4 to keep an eye on things, but I have to tell you, I think this is going to force people back into the, we were paying for analytics 12 years ago.
Greg: Everybody paid for it until Google acquired Urchin and then decided we’re going to give it away for free. I was standing in the room when they made that announcement. Next to John Mitchell of Click Track.
Matt: Oh, yeah.
Greg: And we were only charging 3, 000 a year for our version of Web Analytics. And he looks at me, they’re going to give it away for free? Okay, time to update the résumé
Matt: Yeah. Lucky for them, The Urchin was only really a reporting tool. It was not an analysis tool and it took Google a couple of years to even get to the point where you could do segmentation.
And I was one of those of you who still need to use Click Tracks. You know, I think you and I were the cheerleaders out there that look at what you can do that you can’t do with Google.
Greg: And I’m now headed in a different direction with Google Analytics 4 than you. So let me share that just since we’ve touched on this topic. I’m teaching Google Analytics 4 to a new group of people who never used Universal Analytics. They’re called PR people. Now, they’re saying, why should I use analytics at all, period?
They don’t have to unlearn what they learned and then learn something new. So I don’t have to struggle with that. But one of the interesting things in the new GA4 is they have broken out, let’s just say social, it used to be its own channel, but what came through social could either be advertising or organic.
Google split that now there’s organic social and there’s paid social. And they did the same thing with video. There’s now organic video and paid video in the default channels. And for anyone who’s in content marketing, or PR, or corporate communications, or, on that end of the content creation spectrum, even in social media marketing, it’s like you now have default channels.
That will, oh, by the way, not give credit to the last click, which really benefited the advertising folks, but they have a data-driven attribution model now. And oh, by the way, if you’re bringing in prospects and they convert somewhere along the way, you can get your share of credit for it. And for PR people, that is oh, you can, I haven’t been getting credit for what I’ve been doing for my whole career.
Matt: That attribution piece is huge. And that’s one thing that they had in the old version is that, different models and you could, or and I used to teach that in that the model is based on what you want to know, if you want to see the first touch, if you want to see along the path but that default to last click, it actually hurt Google because when you would run multiple models, you would see that a large portion of people found the site initially through search ads.
But on a last-click attribution, it was typically, and you could see this, it would shift about 40% from that search ad into direct navigation, which when you think about the process of discovery, and then, research and then decision, it fits that model. So the last touch, even though they came up with it, actually hurt them because they, their own tool were getting undervalued as well.
Greg: Let me bring this thing back to social because I was just part of a test that ran fish can read. Where we discovered a whole lot of that direct traffic is what Rand is calling dark social. In other words,
it’s traffic from a social site that Google is not crawling. Because. Some of them are, walled gardens and don’t let Google’s bot crawl every post, et cetera.
But, so again if you are not, if you haven’t used GA4 before, there is now plenty of good reason To start playing with it and again, I’m going to give up on the people who used to use universal analytics because they’re setting their ways. But this brings us back to that whole Twitter phenomenon.
If people get used to doing something and they decide I’m an engineer, I can change anything I want. You could. But will your users transition?
Matt: I love we Oh, my goodness, Greg, we are transitioning so well, and great question. You can do what you want. But will the users transition? Boy, we had a civil war at Reddit. And it’s now somewhat over. But oh, my goodness, did that. And that’s the thing that made a few headlines. But if you weren’t watching it, you completely missed it.
But Reddit wants to monetize. They want to go public. My thinking is you’re 10 years too late. 80% of the work at Reddit or more is done by volunteers and they get nothing, there’s no advantage to them. And so you had a site-wide protest against the ownership of Reddit because of what they plan to do. That was absolutely amazing to watch.
Greg: It was, and it demonstrates the power of a moderator. It’s when you build a business model around, that I’m going to get volunteers to moderate on a particular niche topic. Okay. All Right.
Wikipedia made that work. Sure, but boy, if do something without their input and their buy and there in some cases they’re, I need this, to make my life viable. Good luck. And write me when you get to work.
Matt: And we’ve seen moderators fire dismissed. It was a massive protest and there’s still, that’s probably one of my favorite places to go to get news and updates and things. And it’s strange because, to me, it’s one of the only social networks where you really don’t want followers. It’s people who go to learn things. People go to find information. And there are still minor protests going on.
Greg: Yeah. Let’s talk about the people who have made a dramatic transition successfully. Because in the midst of all this doom, gloom, turmoil, change, what do I do tomorrow? The people who have surprised me by literally transforming themselves over the last couple of years and coming out stronger is a little entity called YouTube.
Now, they started a couple of years ago. In fact, it was about two years ago this month. With an experiment called Shorts. They launched it in India, and they launched it in India because India had banned TikTok. And so there was this, unique opportunity. And so they went in and filled the vacuum.
But then they rolled it out in the United States, about nine months later, and then they rolled it out globally. And today, there are two billion people a month. who are watching shorts, and they are watching 50 billion views a day. One of the things that caught my attention was the number of people creating video content on YouTube has surged.
In other words, this is not just the old guard adding shorts to their repertoire. They’re doing that too. This is a whole new generation of content creators around the world, who are creating video that is getting monetized. And, oh, by the way, the monetization didn’t really change until February 1st of this year, because up to that point, there was this shorts fund and you could get a token amount of money if you were like the top few percent. Now it’s gone mainstream. One of the clients that we work with is very well, The New Media Academy, If you go to their YouTube channel, it’s mostly shorts.
Greg: They totally transitioned.
Matt: Absolutely. And that’s the thing. They were focusing on Instagram first. Then they started merging toward TikTok. But then, YouTube has always been part of the strategy, but I would say it’s more of in third place. But now it’s just, more their creators are doing long form, but then they’re cutting it into shorts.
And what a great strategy. You know it to me. It goes back to, what was it Vine? It shows that there is a place for short-form video. TikTok showed us that And with their algorithm, you could call YouTube the old guard. They are adapting and not only adapting, Instagram, tried to copy it, Facebook, tried to copy it. Everyone tried to copy it, but YouTube did it better. They just really understood what to do and how to do it. And that is an incredible number of, people who are watching a feature of YouTube more than are on TikTok right that’s, what’s crazy.
Greg: I was asked to update an article that I had written a couple of years ago on the top 40 viral videos of all time and it was like yeah, sure you know this will be easy because all I got to do is add a couple of years to the tail end of what I’d written before right
What Shorts has done is literally transform even viral videos. Because it used to be you needed to have a cute kid or some kind of stunt. Let’s put it this way. The formula for going viral had gelled at one point. And now, all of a sudden, with shorts, we’re seeing, videos go viral, they get a million views, they get them in a short period of time, they get a lot of engagement, and they’re not formulaic. It’s wow. Who knew that this would become so popular with viewers?
Matt: Yeah, they really hit on something. And the thing is, I think they had a lot of research to start with. YouTube’s got a long form. They’ve got short form. They’ve got creators who are doing all kinds of things. I prefer to think this way, Greg, that they looked at data in deciding, here’s how our short form content is performing right now, and use that as the launchpad to now let’s develop the product called Shorts.
And using that, I like to think that was the way of doing it and seeing how well it’s progressed. I could almost be certain that they had a great pool of data to work with to make this work.
Greg: And they actually published some of that, data. They published it back in 2019 before COVID-19. And again, part of the changes is everybody’s life changed when COVID hit. But part of it was YouTube was already headed in a direction that had identified not one, not two, not three formulas for success.
They literally had identified the top 20 reasons why people watched what they watched yesterday. And they harnessed that data to say, if there are 20 different reasons, then yeah, this is not one where we jump on a couple of formulas and try to push everybody down this channel, this became a, how do we make it easy for people to create whatever it is that they feel they’re going to create.
And oh, by the way, around the world, YouTube is now the second most visited website behind only Google. It’s ahead of Facebook. And that still comes as a shock to a lot of people I talk to. What? Facebook isn’t number two? It’s no, it slipped to number three. That’s still in the top three. That’s not chopped liver. But, YouTube is ahead.
Matt: And it’s always been the number two search engine, for quite a while, but it’s funny how people forget about YouTube, but yet it is a major part of their media diet. And I think maybe it goes to those 20 reasons. I use it for so many things. I don’t think about it in a singular context.
But yeah, I think about just my use of YouTube and I need to know something. I need to see something. I need to learn something. It comes up consistently. And it’s the Swiss army knife.
Greg: When I had to update this list of the top 40 videos of all time, there was a time when the… If I had done that list, it would have been 40 music videos. Because that’s what people were going to YouTube for. That was what was getting shared and going viral. Today, music is still there, but it’s a slice. It’s a percentage of the overall videos that are going viral. And it’s you could… Top music video. It’s yeah.
Matt: Absolutely we are guaranteed change. And Greg, as we draw to a conclusion here, let me ask you this. What do you think is going to happen next? What’s your prognostication for the next six months, considering we just covered yesterday’s news?
Greg: I confidently predict that in the next six months, we will be surprised. Because if you think you know where all this is headed, you’re a smarter person than I am. And pardon me, can you give me any stock tips?
Yeah, the answer is, wow, things are uncertain that I can confidently predict, things are not easily projected that I can confidently predict. And what that means for any of us in this ever-changing, rapidly transitioning world is you have to hedge all your bets, you better be testing the new platforms out there that are trying to take on Twitter at the same time, you don’t abandon Twitter.
That’s a hard thing because we’re used to binary thinking, if he’s down, somebody else’s up let’s move all the resources into, oh, I don’t know, the metaverse. Yeah. And the answer is, it’s not that simple. Now, there is a wonderful place to go visit, if you want to get your head wrapped around this and it’s in France. And I don’t know. A lot of people are doing what I call revenge travel. We couldn’t travel for three years because of COVID. Now everybody’s getting their visits in.
One of the places you may want to visit is Arle. It’s in Southern France and it used to be a provincial capital of the Roman Empire. We’re talking old history, even older than, us. What blew me away visiting Arles is There is an amphitheater for the theater, there is a coliseum, and there’s also a circus and a racetrack.
And so here in the, not Rome, but in this little provincial capital, there’s not one, there were two, there were three venues. Where people could go to, quote, get that era’s version of entertainment. And sometimes it was actors on a stage, and sometimes it was, gladiators in an arena, and sometimes It was chariots running around in circles.
But the point is, It was not a one predominant only thing. There were multiple. And I think the lesson we can learn 2000 years later is the future probably involves multiple options. And if you’re used to particularly coming out of the mass media era, where everything is a TV ad, that’s the only thing we need is TV ads. It’s like, that’s a different world. There’s no one-trick pony. You need to have multiple competencies.
Matt: Very good. I like that. Yeah. That’s a great illustration. I love that. There always has been a different form of entertainment, different types, things that people are looking for. I think one of the things I’m watching is, and I think this was asked when threads came out how many social channels do we need?
Is there some social fatigue ahead of us? I like your example. There were three venues that they could go to not 30. Maybe there were, but there were three big ones. I’m watching to see at what point. And it’s always interesting because threads were the perfect example of the hype cycle.
Metaverse was a great example of a hype cycle. You were seeing that with AI. I think it’s going to last longer. I think it has a bit more roots and some good fundamentals to it. But we’re in a hype cycle and being able to discern what’s hype, what’s reality, and what’s going on there I think is going to become, again, another skill that people are going to have to employ because if you jumped into threads with both feet week one, now your CEO might be wondering what happened with all that money and effort and time that you put into it.
Greg: But if you didn’t test it, then shame on you. Let’s give people a practical takeaway. Alright. One of the things that will enable you to not just survive this weird transition that we’re in, but thrive, is a test mentality, because if you can identify what’s working faster than anyone else in your organization, faster than your competitors at other organizations, then you can double down on what seems to be working and cut back on what is no longer working.
And how do you figure that out? You don’t figure it out by making a big bet the way Mr. Musk seems to have done. I predict that this will be. You do 20 different things, assume 10 of them will fail. And why do I think that there may be 10 successes? Because the average person that we’re currently teaching, Matt, has 10, 10 different social media apps on their smartphone.
And oh, by the way, the smartphone is rapidly being bumped aside by this other platform called Connected TV. And there are more and more people who are watching content on their connected devices, and a lot of that, oh by the way, is coming from this little social video-sharing channel called YouTube. Their fastest-growing channel is Connected TV and they’ve just done a deal earlier this year with the NFL. The NFL to basically start showing football games on YouTube on Connected TVs. It’s like, we will work time out. That’s a new form of content. You’ve jumped the shark. That’s not your channel. That’s where Netflix belongs, right? Yeah. YouTube is now competing with Netflix. For those eyeballs.
Matt: Yeah, and that’s going to kill the cable companies because most of the people I know that watch football, that’s the only reason they keep their cable is because of that. And so that is a killer thing. But yeah, watching YouTube at night, is part of our normal, when we sit down on the couch to watch TV, we always check out YouTube to see what part of the favorite creators are there.
But it’s becoming part of viewing and I’m noticing more and more in my viewing, that I’m watching more than one hour or one hour plus videos from different creators. I’m not going to sit on my phone and watch it, but on my couch, that’s a completely different thing.
Greg: Or you may do both because one of the deals that again, YouTube cut with the NFL is we’re going to broadcast the game. That’s a couple of hours of viewing a slide, but they’re also creating special Shorts where YouTube creators get access to NFL athletes to give you the backstory or the, the commentary. So you can actually be watching the game on your connected TV and your mobile phone together at the same time and getting, one perspective in one place and another in the other.
And Oh. by the way, YouTube will be serving up ads in both places. That’s a company that, again, if I had to give somebody a big takeaway, there’s a lot of change going on. Yeah, yeah, yeah, a lot of it is sideways or down. Watch what YouTube is doing. They’re doing weird stuff that you wouldn’t have predicted a few years ago. And it seems to be working.
Matt: Of all the social sites and platforms we have talked about, YouTube is by far the one that’s growing the most and showing the most innovation. And we even talk about from a creator standpoint, it’s paying out the most. We’ve talked about all this sideways down and all that, but YouTube is, they are the elephant in the room. No billion dollars. the most amount of space.
Greg: In the last three years, they’ve paid fifty billion dollars to content creators. That’s a bigger budget than Netflix. That means that what they have figured out why is network television dying. Because they ran out of good ideas a long time ago.
And they now have half the audience they had in their heyday. So network TV, boy, we started off by talking about people heading for the exits on Twitter, already ahead of them, is network television. So where does that money go?
And that is, that’s the big prize. And that’s one of the reasons why, you know, social media marketing. Yep. Yep, focus on that. But guess what? There are forces at work in parallel universes and they’re all coming our way.
Matt: That is great. That is great. Greg, thank you so much for your time today. As always, it is a fun conversation when we get together. Man, I miss hanging out at conferences but hopefully, we’ll be able to meet up here soon.
Greg: Conferences could come back, right? They’re not dead yet. This is like the Circus Maximus, I’ll see you in The Next Chariot Over.
Matt: The amount of times that I have heard concerning things it’s not dead yet. The past few months have just, kept growing. Oh, thank you so much, Greg. I really appreciate you being here and thank you listener for tuning into another edition of The Endless Coffee Cup podcast. I hope you had enough coffee to get you through this one because there’s a lot of meat and I know I was taking a lot of notes. So I look forward to seeing you the next time on the next edition of the Endless Coffee Cup podcast.