Orange branded background with Libby Langley and Scott on the left hand-side. On the right hand-side is grey writing that reads 'what's new in social media?'

Scott: Hello, everyone. As the first LinkedIn live for this week and today, I have the beautiful and talented Libby Langley here. When we first met, we were discussing this prior. We’ve known each other since 2013, was that right?

Libby: Yeah, we met in 2013.

Scott: So back when I was a young, naive and inexperienced entrepreneur we were part of the same mastermind, we went to the same national conferences and probably out of a room of hundreds of people. We just became friends and hit it off – I think we were both crazy, that helped, but both very loud and very crazy. I wanted to get Libby on. We were part of mastermind group for a good few years and would meet up every month, every six weeks.

So I’ve seen behind the scenes of your business, I know your core values, your work ethic. So very happy to have you on. Have a bit of a catch up – you’re an expert in social media, so I thought you could share some top tips with the audience. Why don’t you do a much better introduction about business and about yourself?

Libby: Thank you. Well, it’s really nice to be on and it’s nice to be included. Very nice to see you again. After a hiatus of several years. I’ve been teaching business owners, businesses how to use social media for about 11 years now, actually. I’ve been doing that for over nine as my own business. I feel relatively seasoned at this. My focus really is always been working with small businesses. I’m from a small business owner myself, and I like the fact that you can with a little thing, you can make a really big difference to someone.

That’s very satisfying for me. It’s also really rewarding for the business owners. So, it’s good fun. It’s been interesting journey over, 11 years. When I first started, Instagram didn’t even exist. For example, we were LinkedIn, we were on Twitter and Facebook. So how it’s all changed has been really interesting to say it’s a lot more complicated and difficult than it used to be. But it’s interesting. Keeps the brain ticking over.  

Scott: I remember I just used to run Google, Facebook ads – you go on, it was very simple and there was a lot more options. You pick your demographics. It seems like every single month that something new comes out, they’ve changed the menu options. I would to just a quick ad, probably in November and there is no quick answer these days. You have to set things up, set up an ad manager and business manager. I’m not daft when it comes to tech and computers and stuff, but that was the tipping point for me.

There’s no way I can keep up with this on a weekly basis, and it makes sense to pay somebody to do it. Things are changing. Back when we started you, it was if you put a nice bit of content on. I’m in the office myself. So back then it was pictures, then it was videos and now I suppose it’s lives.

Libby: I told my husband to lock himself into the other room because it’s really noisy when he’s on the phone. That’s the beauty. Actually, that’s the one thing that I think has really changed for the positive in this last year – I’ve always been an advocate doing stuff online. I ran a B tech in social media, what, seven years ago or something like that. So this online delivery is kind of not new to me.

But what’s happened in the last year is everybody’s doing it, in every industry now – meetings around Zoom and we all accept and expect the dogs to bark or the kids to come in or the doorbell to ring, whatever it is. That’s normal and acceptable. I think it’s really nice because it just makes everything a bit more real, a bit less polished, a bit more accessible. I think that’s been a real positive that’s come out of the last year.

Scott: Actually, I’m never one for saying the new normal and repeating words we’re programmed to say by the media and the news. But again, it doesn’t make sense for us to be mucking about wasting the environment by going for meetings. We, I think there was eight of us that used to go to Birmingham every month, six weeks and would drive down and we’d all get a hotel.

Libby: You would fly sometimes too, wouldn’t you?

Scott:  Now we would probably get the value of sitting here and being able to do a little bit of your business to take that travelling time out equation for me was five hours. That’s five hours I can spend on my business – nothing beats face to face and a good hug. But that’s just the way the world is saving the environment and doing other things for us.

There are thirteen staff members here. They all they mostly work from home. An interesting topic I’ve seen recently is things happening across social media. Everybody had a voice that was net neutrality. You could say what you want, but certainly in the last half of last year. We’ve seen Donald Trump being censored and we’ve seen people with views, just literally hit every single account expected. And the big ones, Parla, of course, I’m not sure what your thoughts on the Parla situation.

Libby: I think it’s interesting that people want to voice, but largely people want a voice to likeminded people. We want to be part of our community. When Facebook and Twitter cracked down on the far-right stuff, then oh hello Parla – let’s all go over there and just build our own mania over there. And the fact that that’s now no longer possible, I guess people will – there will be something else. People pop up on there.

Libby: I mean, I don’t know what Club House is like for monitoring that kind of stuff, but it’s perfectly possible that people will pop up on there. It’s too new to say how it’s going to be at the moment. I think that we all want our own communities wherever they are but I don’t know, it’s a difficult line because, yes, you should in some ways be able to say what you want. However, what you’re saying shouldn’t be racist, shouldn’t be sexist, shouldn’t be defamatory – it’s a fine line, isn’t it, really? You can’t say those things in the street without getting into trouble. So why should you be able to say them online? It’s difficult balance, but I’m not sorry that Trump has been banned.

Scott: In that same note – it was that Jack Dorsey went on and said, we are banning Trump. But the news have come out that they’ve taken a zero action stance on child pornography on Twitter. So, we can say the big tech giants, of which there’s lots of stuff happening and various regulation and legislation, points of view, if they don’t say what the telethical thing is they’re going to be in trouble if they don’t toe the line.

But I mean, what would be more dangerous, Donald Trump or child pornography? The spread of that. I say it’s a really interesting time in history to be living through. So this is acceptable, therefore I believe therefore that’s allowed. But that’s not allowed. I suppose history repeats itself, as the historians will tell you. and the times when free speech gets banned is when we need to worry.

Libby: You just have to you just have to look back at Hitler, really – and it’s all really similar. We all know what happened there. But it was the same thing. It was someone who said the right stuff that hit the right note to a disenfranchised population and then propaganda was different to propaganda now, because we have so many available news sources and we know more what’s right and wrong or the majority of us do. But it’s not a dissimilar kind of stirring up of the mob in in the slightest.

It just isn’t. People have always looked for somebody to lead, someone to guide them, someone that they can get hooked into. And social media has facilitated that. We all have those people. It just might be that, you know, ours is Nicola Sturgeon or somebody quite sensible, stirring up our mob, which is a gentle, kind of nice group of people, or Donald Trump who gets the disenfranchised to feel like their being understood.

It all repeats itself, unless somebody kind of cracks down on it

Scott: Totally and probably stay away from politics. That’s probably a wise thing, too.

Libby: I wasn’t really getting too political. I was talking about the voices.

Scott: I was just thinking it’s easy to get roped into and that’s definitely the what heats people up these days. Paulo’s gone. There was another one that people were switching to. Is it mewee or weeme the kids were going to? Clubhouse has taken off massively. Is there any other thing, somebody who has hit 40 a few weeks ago wouldn’t be aware of?

Libby: There’s a couple of things I’m interested in seeing what happened, because clubhouse has been a real phenomenon and I’m still on the fence about it.

I can see why it’s great because it’s kind of like joining live podcasts all the time. But if audio isn’t your thing, then that’s a bit of a challenge. The amount of marketing bullshit that’s going on in it from the people in my industry it needs to settle down, really. I think it will continue to be valuable, but it needs to find it’s path. The two that I’m interested to see what happens is the launch of Twitter Spaces, which is basically clubhouse on Twitter, their fleets, their equivalent of Instagram stories, hasn’t worked but it doesn’t really work on Facebook either.

But I’m interested to see. It’s invite only. It’s iOS only. It’s very Club-house-y. I’m just waiting to see if I’ll be allowed in yet. I think it’d be interesting to see how that same model, if you like, and the same kind of mode, works within an existing platform – the jury’s out on that one. I don’t know if is just kind of had its day really. It’s too late for that. But the other one is the relaunch of Bebo.

Scott: Yeah

Libby: Now you being Scottish, it was way bigger in Scotland than it was in England because we had friends reunited and then Facebook. I think we in England, we kind of went to it and Bebo was much, much bigger and bigger in Scotland. It’s being relaunched – it got sold for millions, billions bought back for something like a million euros or was it a million dollars and then sold again. But now it’s up and running again with the original chap.

I just think it’d be kind of interesting because what he wants to do with that, what his vision is what Facebook used to be, which was just about friends chatting and real time live communications and more stuff like this, I guess, Zoom-y that we could just hop on when we when we felt like. Almost like an anti-Facebook, but taking the good bits that we know about Facebook that perhaps got lost in the ads, in the business stuff and in the marketing of it, maybe.

I don’t know. It’s an interesting time. I think that this last 12 months, the fact that we have moved to online, we don’t go out and do anything. Everything is digital, all our communication is digital and probably, quite frankly, will be for a lot of this year, whatever happens. It’s interesting to watch. I was never on Bebo the first time around, so who knows, maybe I’ll be a Bebo virigin.

Scott: It was just on the rise. I didn’t uptake social media then but I do remember it. I think it was sold to Justin Timberlake or someone or was that MySpace?

Libby: It wasn’t Justin Timberlake – that was just in the film but yeah.

Scott: You immerse in this on a day to day life. We do lots of training, you’ve got lots of clients, you’ve got masterminds. So I thought it was a good idea to share some of your tips. I don’t know if you want to do platform specific, general or whatever, I I’ll leave it up to you. You can give us some advice for the viewers watching this at all levels. I’m sure you’ve got some great top bits advice that I can learn from each other.

Libby: I’ll do my best I tend to focus on strategy. I’m knowledgeable across the board on platforms and obviously give platforms, specific advice. But strategies, is what’s really, really important. That’s the thing that people kind of miss because shiny objects, oh, let’s go on Instagram all their lives but without a strategy, everything kind of gets lost. So that’s my focus and that’s kind of what I teach to people in my online programme and my consultancy.

A number of mistakes that people make on social media and we’re all guilty of them all the time. But one of the biggies really is putting yourself first. When you go into social media, it’s almost panic of I need to sell something, I need some customers. I need to sell something. But that’s not ever going to get you any sales because unless you’re giving value and putting your customers or your potential customers first – there’s nothing to hook to so there is no conversation starter there.

So definitely one of the biggest mistakes, is putting yourself first and not your customers. It’s just a simple little kind of switch in your head. Actually, you can use the same language. It’s just you versus I. That’s changes in the wording and that that makes a big difference to people. I think as well, not knowing who your audience is. If you just go on to social media and you just start broadcasting to the world, you know, it’s like, how can you do that?

Because that’s how many billions of people and it just isn’t a message that’s ever going to stick or resonate. If you know who your ideal customer is, who your target audience is, and you talk to them about the things that matter to them, that’s going to make a massive difference in the engagement. And once you get some engagement, then you can start to nurture that and convert that into sales into customers. They’re key points.

It’s about not broadcasting. It’s about helping people. It’s about thinking on a micro level. I think people get so fixated with the numbers. We’ve got to get 1,000 followers on Instagram. Why? Why do you need to get those ten thousand followers on Instagram? So you can get a swipe up? That doesn’t really matter. If you’re directing people to the right place and your content is good, you might only need five hundred followers because you only need ten new clients to make a real big difference to do business.

It’s a real bugbear of mine. You see so many people would say in my in my industry how much experience they have and all of that, who knows. I went from zero to twenty thousand followers in a fortnight. Well, no, you didn’t, did you? Why? Why does that matter? It makes me really angry. It’s something that I’m kind of always preaching. My ideal customer is somebody who is perhaps just starting up certainly who doesn’t use social media, but isn’t necessarily in love with it, uses it and gets really enthusiastic but doesn’t have this kind of strategy.

Doesn’t have this kind of focus. Doesn’t really know where they’re going with it but desperately wants to, but just gets lost in the muddle and the stress and the frustration of people saying, oh, I’ll get you ten thousand followers overnight.

Scott: I think that’s most entrepreneurs, most new businesses. are there with a new business or a new service or product and very passionate about it. I started my first business in 2005 and I still don’t – these LinkedIn lives is one strategy, but I still don’t have a firm here is overall strategy that’s written down, that’s planned. I happen to have a slight advantage that I don’t have a fear of going on video – don’t know if my contains any good. So that’s the only advantage I have is I put myself out there that some people would be terrified to do. I brought my thing up – I would cover the name, but basically that was 37 minutes ago – it was do you want to make an extra £50 a month selling milkshakes – those are all my time. There’s a thing on my LinkedIn there’s something – building the headline, it shows you the picture, your name, and then underneath it’s trying to build the world’s largest property management company and every couple of days I’ll get people saying, would you like to earn one hundred pounds a week extra selling milkshakes? You’re just spam inbox me.

Whether I am the world’s biggest platform, but at least I’m trying to build it.

Libby: That’s the point. You’re not it. You’re building it. And that’s the objective. That’s the message, isn’t it.

Scott: Is somebody that’s trying to build the world’s biggest company in that sector going to want to make one hundred pounds extra? It’s not that I’m a super-billionaire going to, but people spam me all the time and don’t read the profile. It’s like me saying, Libby do you need any social media help. You want me to run your campaign. Read my profile and that’s what I do.

Libby: I have to say for me, LinkedIn is the worst for that. Instagram isn’t too bad. I invest the most time and effort on Instagram, and I’ve got a really lovely community there. We engage with and who become clients, it’s a nice kind.

Scott: What’s your handle?

Libby: So I’m Libby Langley on most things. Libby Langley on Instagram, Libby Langley on Twitter, /LibbyLangley UK on Facebook and Libby Langley on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the worst because my bio is really clear as to what I do and who my target customer is.

But I get people saying to me do you want me to help grow your business? No, that’s, you know, that’s kind of what I teach other people. Did you not read any of it? I get the same almost copy and paste comments and messages from people. I can see – I never applied to the first one, never applied to the second one. It’s like man, that’s soul destroying from them on the other end – it’s just such a waste of time.

Scott: I think at the level that we are doing there are companies – it is automated software. Text message and you can send automated SMS shortcodes and that works for techs because of the scale. But in LinkedIn you’re connected with. Hopefully professional business people in some capacity who either have their own job, or a reasonably decent career, because people don’t have LinkedIn profiles unless they’re in business in some capacity. For me, it would just give me the fear that a message in random people and destroying a potential relationship by letting someone else do it.

Libby: I mean, there’s nothing absolutely nothing wrong with direct messaging people. I’m not saying that. Don’t just jump in and try and get straight to the nitty gritty without at least saying hello, how are you first. But what’s interesting with the way that Mark Zuckerberg is trying to change Facebook, I don’t know if it’s working or not, but what he’s trying to do is focus is all about one-to-one conversations about relationships, which is how it started and which is what Bebo is looking to do.

I don’t think he’s achieving it, but certainly in the last couple of big Facebook updates and his big conferences that he does. That’s been the message. And I do think that that is the way that we all need to think on social media. So what I was saying before about this just going on and just broadcasting just scatter-gunning your message, it doesn’t work. That used to work, like you said, you put a Facebook post out and you’ve made a few grand overnight from one place.

Just does not work anymore, really. You have to be strategic in your messaging, but you have to think every single piece of content that you put out there is the start of a conversation with one person. If you switch your thinking like that, if that is your strategy, then that’s absolutely fine. That’s enough to get you going on things. That’s where you’re going to get results and that’s where you’re going to get some kind of reward for what the time and effort that you put in it. Really.

Scott: Yeah, because over Christmas and New Year, I deleted Facebook from a phone and just thought instantly, your brain is programmed to click on it and you check your email. You don’t even realise that you’re thumb or finger goes to it. I wanted to on Facebook for this month, the month of February, focussing all my time on LinkedIn. And I thought, if I just spent all my time on social media for social things and look to people arguing over covid and people grassing their neighbours for not wearing a mask and outrage that somebody that did this, and some funny stuff and some connecting. But my thing for February, could I make some genuine conversations? Could and I don’t mean followers, I mean genuine conversations like we’ve reconnected. If I was on Facebook, we wouldn’t have done this.

We just took a poster and so we saw each other and thought you would be a great person to come on and have 20 of these and connect then I will share the results of that at the end. But 28 days of this and even at the weekend, I didn’t go on Facebook and I was thinking to reply to messages. Even if you reply somebody faster than you normally do and you give people value and answer questions because you will get bombarded with people asking you for free stuff.

There’s a balance of when you share your knowledge and maybe somebody’s life or business better. But likewise, if you did you would never have any paid clients. You can never pay the bills.

Libby: People get directed to something. Absolutely. Well, it’s interesting, you’re doing these, you’ve set February as a month for doing these interviews and you’re doing it on LinkedIn because I’ve been doing a series of interviews. I started at the beginning of the year. I’m doing lives once or twice a week. But I do it on Instagram. I do Instagram lives with people with owners of small businesses.

The series is called Social Media and Me, and it’s about them and their business and how they view social media in the last 12 months – the last 12 months has been tough for a lot of people. But it’s been a really fascinating and uplifting and way more inspiring than I thought it was going to be. A series of interviews just half an hour or so like this. But then just explaining a bit about the business and then how they’ve used social media to grow, to wildly pivot, or used technology, to get themselves through it.

Yeah, it’s been great because one of them particularly was with a beauty clinic. You’d think, well, that must be a tough, miserable old story to have been shut for seven of the last twelve now or something, which is just insane. But actually, the positivity of it and how they can access training now that they couldn’t before and how it felt much more of a community on social media, because I’ve been spending the time and effort on it and actually seeing the value in it rather than just broadcasting the office or whatever.

It’s been really interesting. I hope that your experience of doing these things is it’s going to be rewarding for you as well as your audience – it’s rewarding for you as is the series for me. I find it really inspiring. I mean, social media all the time, but actually listening to other people’s experiences, we can all learn.

Scott:  You’re a much better handle on Instagram than I was on Instagram. I know I’m far too old for Instagram.

Libby: You’re younger than me so be careful.

Scott: I should use my Instagram TV. So I should put all these on and make a channel or something, but I will need to get someone like you to do that. It’s a nice story of social media, bit of positivity, I think is one of the few rapid fire attempts where I share this.  Where I live in Glasgow – there was a café there. And just before lock down the café was okay. It’s one of the most affluent areas of Glasgow and I don’t say that because I live there. That’s not what I mean – it’s just people have money to spend. If you’re a shop there you can, but sort of café didn’t work and he sold it a month before lockdown and then this time last year and he sold it.

This lady took it on and then the lockdown and everything was absolutely shut down or destroyed. He was saying that lady Marianna bought it at a worse time ever. And I’m glad I got out because it didn’t work. And if it doesn’t work, pre-Covid, it won’t work after that. It turns out Marianna used social media amazingly well. She literally there was queues of people she had afternoon tea on a Saturday.

So all the housewives would get their afternoon tea and again, we got afternoon tea and cakes and Marianna used social media so well that if she said there’s only a few of these homemade slices left people run and people fighting.

Scott: She made more money during lockdown than she would have a normal time having that café, because perhaps she was just as good at social media before that, but perhaps she bought that business and thought, well, I’ve just bought a business and I do need to go out of comfort zones, push a little bit harder. Spend some time on social media because that’s what buys so whatever she did. It’s called, Marianna so I am assuming she’s called Marianna but she’s made that amazingly successful and she’s always posting that’s me sold out.

She makes all these plaques and stuff which people in the summer just bought from her. I thought that was an amazing story because there’s many businesses say, well lockdown and Covid is going to destroy my business, but you’ve have you have seen thousands of businesses over the years that wouldn’t have nothing to do with Covid.

Libby: I’m not saying Covid has been a good thing. I’m saying there are positive stories of people’s resilience and spirit. Absolutely. I think part of it is the approach that we have to things perhaps I’ve changed my business completely this last year. It’s allowed me. I suppose – being forced to take a bit of a step back from life, which we all were last March, enabled me to kind of think about what I really want to do.

I think a lot of other businesses have done the same thing. I could have said, oh, well, this is terrible. You know, that client now doesn’t work with that client anymore. But actually, I’m doing what I want to do and it’s just having to stay at home a bit more, enable me to do it. So, yeah, I’ve kind of got no complaints business wise about anything. It’s good and it’s more rewarding for me.

I guess in many ways that cafe – she’s making tiny little differences to people’s lives. That’s how I think about what I do. Little differences. They add up to where you came in in a real muddle and now look at you and so the little differences might add up to a huge, great big weight lifted off. This is good. It’s a good place to be, really.

Scott: So you mentioned a great point. There are those people that may not have needed somebody like you to manage stuff because one social media wasn’t that big a strategy and the thing to get people walking, or in their local shopping centre, there will be people that didn’t need your services last time last year, but might need them this year. What can you offer businesses and what’s your ideal customer? You mentioned at the start, but to finish up, small new businesses.

Libby: Not necessarily new businesses, but small businesses.

I like to work with business owners because they’re the ones who have a million different things on their plates – your business owner, I’m a business owner and we understand what it’s like. So I work with kind of kindred spirits, I suppose. You’ve got small social media followings. You are keen to grow the number of customers they’ve got and their social media following kind of goes with that. But feel kind of stressed and anxious and just like they just can’t quite get it yet.

It’s that kind of feeling. The way that I have an online programme that I help people with a learn at your own pace online programme. That it is all online, but they get support from me and a Facebook group and weekly live Q&A. So that’s my main kind of focus. But the thing that I can give to everybody is a free masterclass. So if you go to Libby, then there’s an hour long free masterclass that that will help you discover the three essential secrets to stress free social media. It’s this stress free social media that is my absolute mission, to educate people and to help people and to just stop all that, because life is kind of stressful now, so we don’t need social media, but that’s just what we need is a clear step by step strategy that we know what we’re doing, thing that turns nicely into customers.

Scott: I like that because social media saying we’re going to add a new strain, this new variant, and like me coming off and basically getting rid of a lot of noise to concentrate on business. There will be people that instantly now, look at Facebook and social media. Don’t me before it was all I’m addicted because the brain works a lot as well, these platforms and all. But now and that was the way I was getting started around dopamine, cortisol a bit of stress, because you’re going to go in and see maybe, another lock down or something or a new strain and people worry. I love the term stress free social media. So I think that’s pretty good.

Libby: It was it was born out of my own experiences as well, really, and through the years I’ve been doing this. But yeah, there’s too much stress. People don’t need stress adding to it. What we all need is a clear path that we know what we’re doing, we know how to follow it and it just doesn’t take hours. It’s a few minutes here and there and it makes a big difference. So simple as that.

Scott: Perfect. Well, I can give you a testimonial because we were on a mastermind and it was with eight hour and I think everybody in the mastermind group just used to pick your brains. We would essentially get free training out of you for a good few years to say, how does this work and what’s the best strategy. It’s been a few years since we worked with each other, but I can definitely say and recommend her for social media stuff.

I’ve put a link in there it should come up in the record and I’m going to share this content. This is going live on LinkedIn, my Facebook and my business, Facebook. So and let me share your details when I post on the content underneath on YouTube, etc. and everyone can contact you there. Any final steps before we finish off?

Libby: My final tip is the thing to remember is that this is a tool that if you use social media as a tool and use it well, it will get you results. But without the strategy, you’re just going to be wasting time and energy. The backbone stuff that matters, not the shiny stuff.

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