The SocialMadeSimple Show – Matt Krol: Episode 5
“We have that ability to handle hundreds and hundreds of clients and still make our content perfect, and still make sure everything is perfect and at a good scale.”
Ryan: All right welcome back to the SocialMadeSimple Show! I am your MC, and host, Ryan Chiasson. Today, I’m joined by one of SocialMadeSimple’s Content Leads, Matt Krol. Matt, thanks for joining us today!
Matt: Thanks for having me! Happy to be here!
Transition: The SocialMadeSimple Show
Ryan: First of all, happy Friday! I think the best place to start, is talking about our first day at SocialMadeSimple. What were your thoughts? I want to know your honest thoughts about going in, and then I’ll give you mine.
Matt: Yeah, so I had an extra hour of experience on you, I think, because of my mistake. I didn’t check my email that morning, we had new hires come in at ten o’clock whenever they start out, but I didn’t check my email so I showed up at nine o’clock. They didn’t have much for me to do because they usually spend the first hour prepping for the new hires. So I did a little tech support, I was troubleshooting one of the computers, and, after that, you showed up. Then I kind of made you the unofficial secretary, as the first person that people see as they walk in the door- sorry about that! It was an interesting first day I would say!
Ryan: I felt like a chump, coming in. I think I was maybe five to ten minutes early, and thinking, ‘I’m so good, I’m on time’, and I don’t think I knew that you were also starting. I forget who said it, maybe one of the admins, but they said, “Oh yeah, he’s been here since nine”. Then I was thinking to myself, ‘Was I supposed to be here at nine?!.. It’s ten!’.
Transition: Get to Know Our Content Lead: Matt Krol
Matt: I went to school at UMASS Amherst, and when I went, I didn’t have social media in mind. Honestly, as a Freshman, I didn’t even know you could make a career out of social media; so I started off as a history major. Even going into college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I picked my major as the subject I liked the most; which my parents weren’t too happy about but it worked out in the end. I had a couple social media internships. One of them I started out my Sophomore year, doing an internship for a brand and just running their social media. They just kind of handed me their Twitter account and said, “Build a brand”, basically. So that was my first experience of social media in a professional setting, and I ended up working for two more companies after that, and one agency; which is similar to what we do. When I first started working for that agency, is when I solidified it and thought, “I want to do this as a career”.
So after I graduated, I just started applying to social media jobs and it was a little tougher than I thought. It’s hard to go for social media marketing positions as a history major. It’s usually the first question they ask: “How did you get into social media, and why social media? You’re a history major.” The first question was always: “Do you want to be a history teacher?”, and I knew I did not want to be a teacher. That was one of the things I didn’t want to do.
So SocialMadeSimple took a chance on me, even as a history major, doing social media marketing, and thank God for that because I love being here. I started off as a Content Specialist with a lot of writing, as you know, writing content, scheduling out content for our clients, and things like that. So definitely writing-heavy, which was one of the things I liked a lot being a history major- writing papers, editing, etc.
Ryan: I will never forget on one of the first days we were there, we had just been handed over our first set of customer accounts to fulfill, all of us are trying to set quotas for ourselves, we didn’t know the other people at that point or what was expected of us on the day-to-day. I just remember that you fulfilled all of your accounts that they gave you, for at least half of the day, in an hour. And I was so starstruck at that point and thought, ‘I’ve got to write faster man’. That really set the tone and for all the other Content Specialists that were already there before us.
Transition: Content Specialist to Content Lead
Ryan: So jumping into the transition from Content Specialist to Content Lead, what do you feel like has changed in terms of your responsibilities? To be honest, I don’t even know everything that you guys do. So what do you guys do as Content Leads?
Matt: I would say the biggest part of it is just being that second line of defense from the content specialists when they write their content to when we actually schedule it out, we’re the second set of eyes that look over it and make sure everything is perfect. Since this position has been enacted, I know that our team errors have gone way down.
Our errors, just as a whole, as a company have gone way way down; so I think that’s just a testament to the position and how effective the position is. Also definitely a lot of editing, a lot of higher-touch concierge accounts, not the franchises that we partner with, but the individual accounts that have special requests and things like that. They are a little more difficult to manage, but we usually handle those as well.
Ryan: How has it been going from a Content Specialist to having a more supervisor role? We’ve only been with the company for about a year and we both transitioned into new roles before the year was up. So was it weird, being a co-captain of the team?
Matt: Yeah, it was strange at first, but I had a little bit of experience as a supervisor. I think the weirdest thing about it was the fact that we were all co-workers, but also friends. Before the world shut down, we used to hang out and things like that; so being co-workers to kind of being in that supervisor position made me a little nervous but it worked out. I had a little bit of experience in college in one of the companies I worked for where I was in a supervisor position and I had five people that I managed that were my age and a couple of them were my friends as well. So I had a little bit of experience with that transition, but I think it worked out for the best I would say.
Transition: Advantages of the SocialMadeSimple Platform
Ryan: In terms of your day-to-day, what would you say are the biggest advantages that it offers, specifically when working within the platform?
Matt: Definitely the scale at which we can create content and schedule out content. It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen before! I have that agency experience, working in college at an internship, and we used just a regular social media platform. Not to name any names, but it was a paid service, it could probably handle 10% of what we do on a day-to-day. So we have that ability to handle hundreds and hundreds of clients and still make our content perfect, and still make sure everything is perfect and at a good scale.
Ryan: Yeah. Everyone has their own methodology for creating content for Facebook vs Twitter vs LinkedIn, do you feel like you have to have a different voice or tone when it comes to the writing process? When you’re pushing out one post to the same network, I almost feel like there has to be some combination of all three; whether it’s short-form or long-form content.
Matt: I would say with Twitter it’s definitely more, like you said, short form. It’s more conversational. You want to not be clickbait-ey and things like that, but you want to grab attention because, to be honest, a lot of people aren’t on Twitter for business reasons. They’re on there for entertainment, to follow sports teams, athletes, celebrities, things like that.
Ryan: I feel like Twitter is definitely underutilized by businesses as customer support. I feel like the brands and companies should see that with us being a younger generation and being able to just go onto Twitter and have a conversation with the company if there is any type of complaint or type of communication that we want to have directly with the company, instead of doing a direct support line, I think is amazing. It’s amazing that we’re able to just hop onto a social media network and there’s someone designated to do that. It’s a super slept-on thing in the business world.
Matt: Yeah- it’s way more conversational. It’s definitely, for younger generations, less intimidating than going onto say a company had their customer support on LinkedIn, for example. Which I don’t think anybody does, but LinkedIn is a little bit more intimidating. Facebook, you know not a lot of younger people want to go on Facebook these days. So Twitter is definitely easier to have a conversation and, like you said, those support things are so much better than sitting in a chat room and waiting; talking toa robot for five minutes then they connect you to somebody else. It’s just easier to have a conversation.
Transition: The Value of Posting Organic Content
Matt: I think organic content sort of puts a face behind the brand. Because if you’re only pushing out ads or pushing out boosted posts and you’re whole timeline (feed) is just a sales pitch, it comes off a little bit tone-deaf. You want to have those posts that, to the naked eye, don’t seem like they offer a lot of value, but it builds the brand and just rounds out the brand as a whole.
Ryan: I would definitely agree. This comes up when I’m talking to new customer accounts and I’m trying to describe the difference between, you know, a custom branded post and general interest. With general interest, I feel like when you see a business post something that’s not associated with who they are, they’re just trying to provide value to their audience, they’re more than just a business. They’re almost in a place of empathy, where they’re really trying to care for their customer and clientele.
Matt: Yeah and they’re so useful as well. I mean, I do some of the general interest content and some of the concierge accounts are real estate agents so it’s a lot of home buying, home selling, home decor tips. I’ve learned a lot just from creating those! I’m not in the position where I can or want to buy a house right now but I feel like down the line, I’m going to be somewhat prepared just because I have that and I feel like the audience for those accounts are just a little bit more prepared all because of that general interest that isn’t a sales pitch.
Ryan: Yeah- absolutely. And I feel like when there are so many businesses, so many pages, so many places where you can be learning information, you have to diversity in that respect. If you’re going to a business’ social media, and all you’re able to consume is just their products and services and they’re not giving you any type of added value beyond that, then it makes it extremely hard to keep your audience engaged on social media.
Even with, let’s say skincare products for example, and how popular they are on social media as a whole. If all you’re doing is just pushing the products and you’re not sharing information or an article on how important it is to take care of your skin and have good hygiene, then you’re customer base is just going to be trusting your word that they need your product and they don’t know the reasons why your products and services are important.
Transition: Organic Posts vs Boosted Posts
Ryan: I feel like one of the biggest questions I get on different sales calls and just talking to individuals about social media is: what is the difference between an organic post and a boosted post and why does a boosted post bring more value?
Matt: The most basic difference is you put money behind it. You put money behind a boosted post to reach farther than the audience that likes your page- or follows your page. They are definitely beneficial just to put content out into a wider audience. You can target who you want to see the specific demographics and things like that.
They definitely add value because if a page only has, let’s say, 40 people that like it, the organic content is kind of limited to the people that follow that page. And if they interact, then maybe their friends and their followers will see it too, but it’s pretty limited as to who sees that organic content. So with a boost, you can really push it out to a much wider audience and it’s more useful for the ‘sales pitchy’ sort of post that you want to get out there to drive customers or clients.
Ryan: Correct me if I’m wrong- then when you have a boosted post and you have a set following, that post is already going to be at the top of their feed- of the people that are already in your audience.
Matt: Yeah, yeah. The audience is going to see it- definitely! Then it’s just going to get pushed out to a wider audience as well.
Transition: Future Goals for SocialMadeSimple
Ryan: Where do you want to see the company go? What things would you like to see in the next few years of us growing to a much larger company and fulfilling more accounts?
Matt: Great question! I think we can definitely diversify our clients, taking on different styles. If we find a way to utilize Instagram, I know we’ve been using Instagram for our own content and it’s been working pretty well so if we can find a way to use that for our clients, I think that opens the door to different clients like restaurants, etc. that are more image-heavy and things like that. So yeah, I think definitely diversifying!
Transition: SocialMadeSimple Fantasy Football League
Ryan: I’m going to switch gears! Matt is also the commissioner of our fantasy football league. I am not playing this year because I really don’t pay enough attention to all the teams. My sport is basketball. Have you guys had the draft yet?
Matt: No, not yet.
Ryan: Oh maybe I shouldn’t ask this question then. Alright alright maybe instead of top five, give me your top three sleepers that you feel like you want to get this draft?
Matt: This is the part of the interview I was looking forward to. So I would say the first one is Justin Jefferson, wide receiver for the Vikings. He wasn’t the biggest name out of the rookies or wide receivers I would draft, obviously. That would be Ceedee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, but I think he can fill in to that Stefon Diggs role. Obviously Diggs is in Buffalo now and I think he’ll slide in pretty nicely there. Then we got Noah Fant, tied in for the Broncos. He had a pretty good rookie year last year. Then I think Daniel Jones. Hopefully, you can only get smarter as a quarterback, and he’s got a pretty good skillset around him. I don’t know about that offensive line but hopefully Joe Judge, the ex-Patriots coach will whip him into shape and he can have a good sophomore year.
Ryan: Your face lit up when I asked that question.
Transition: Adapting to the Remote Work Lifestyle
Ryan: Do you like working from home? I feel like I get mixed opinions on this every time. I’ll listen to yours, and then I’ll give you mine.
Matt: I’m not a huge fan, honestly. I like the interaction, and even if I’m not talking to people every day I kind of just like listening to the conversation and being in an environment where I can talk. I’m at my parents’ house right now, between apartments, but usually, I’m at my apartment just kind of doing nothing. Not much to do, but in an office, you can connect with people.
Ryan: I agree, 100%. The biggest challenge for me has been not working past right around five. If I’m finishing things up, I feel like the hardest challenge is just letting work be and understanding that you’ve got to walk away. Walking away is also something I literally did an hour ago. During all of this, I really haven’t been getting outside at all. I definitely miss the interaction, the whole routine of going to the office, and being able to leave work somewhere and come back to your home without it being your workspace.
I was even experimenting where I’m working because my friends and I just moved into a new apartment in July and when I was working from my couch in the living room, to my bedroom, to my dining room table, I saw I need separation between these. Working from my bedroom, I would find myself just being not as efficient because I associate that room to me sleeping and relaxing, versus being here.
Matt: Yeah at my old apartment, there was no other space besides my bedroom so I had my desk in my bedroom and the line between bedroom and office just completely vanished. I’d find myself sometimes waking at eight o’clock because we don’t have a commute to the office, eat breakfast, then I start work at 8:15; when we don’t have to start until nine o’clock. At my new apartment, I’ll have a more dedicated space so it should be better.
Transition: What is Your Favorite Thing About SocialMadeSimple?
Matt: I’d say the people. I mean, I love the people that I work with and the team I’m on. Like I said, before everything shut down we used to hang out together so it’s a great environment to be in and a very collaborative environment. You’re encouraged to speak up, you’re encouraged to give your opinion on anything even if it doesn’t directly relate to your day-to-day; which I think is a huge benefit to any company.
Something I’m looking forward to is getting back into the office and seeing everybody. Hopefully, we have a nice beer fridge in the new office like we did in the old one, and the office dogs are allowed to come in again. I definitely miss our office dogs!
Ryan: I think that’s one of the things I miss the most too. Awesome- thanks again for taking the time out of your busy day, I definitely appreciate it! Be sure to check us out at www.socialmadesimple.com. You can always follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and check out the rest of our episodes on YouTube. Until then, we will see you next time!