Social media is an effective but under-leveraged tool for communicating our personal brand. Let’s get strategic and learn how. Consider 3 things: WHERE you’re engaging, HOW you’re engaging and WHAT you’re saying. Here’s your opportunity to get updated on social media from an industry expert, Andrew Jenkins, author of “Social Media Marketing for Business.”



Episode 101 - Social Media - laptop and phone showing social media postsAndrew Jenkins


Dr. Andrea Wojnicki & Talk About Talk 





Alright, here we go with episode #101.  We’re into the 2nd 100 episodes now. And I thought a great way to kick off the next 100 episodes would be with another look at social media. Why?  Well, its prevalent, social media cannot be ignored. Social media is a great way to network and it’s a great way to learn things.  And social media is changing fast. There are new platforms, and new capabilities happening all the time within the platforms themselves. 


But in my opinion, the MAIN reason why social media is worth our attention it is a fantastic and under leveraged tool for communicating and reinforcing our personal brand. As you probably know, I’m a big fan of purposefully, strategically managing your personal brand. And social media is the perfect tool to help you do that.  It’s free, for the most part, it’s accessible, it has massive reach. 


And yet, most of us don’t take the time to think about how to leverage social media as a tool to communicate our personal brand.  It’s not our fault – these platforms were built to put us on autopilot.


Do you catch yourself going into autopilot when you’re on social media? I CANT be the only one!


Welcome to Talk About Talk episode #101, where we’re turning off autopilot and focusing on our personal social media strategy. 


Let me introduce myself. My name is Dr. Andrea Wojnicki (please call me Andrea!). I’m the founder of Talk About Talk, and I’m your communication coach.


If you’re an ambitious executive with a growth mindset, looking to advance your career, then you’re in the right place. At Talk About Talk, we focus on communication skills topics like personal branding, storytelling, confidence, and yes, social media. And if you check out the website, you’ll find tons of resources to help you, including the new online course on Personal Branding, as well as 1-on-1 coaching, the archive of this bi-weekly podcast, and the free weekly communication-skills newsletter. Please go sign up for that newsletter if you haven’t already – you’ll find it all at 


In this episode, you’ll hear from an expert who’s dedicated his career to social media. My friend Andrew Jenkins, author of the recently published book. Social media marketing for business. I’ll leave a link to the book in the shownotes. 


Yes, it’s Social Media Marketing for Business. But I have to say, whether you manage social media for your business or whether youre focused on social media for yourself, for your personal account, I promise you’ll learn lots here.


Let’s get into it. I’m going to, briefly introduce Andrew. Then we’ll get straight into the interview and at the end, as always, I’m going to summarize with key learnings. Three key learnings, actually. Of course!


 So you can keep doing whatever you’re doing. As our guest Andrew says, one of the reasons podcasts are so popular is I can’t watch a youtube channel while I’m walking the dog. But I can listen to a podcast! So whether you’re walking the dog, driving a car, or making dinner. There’s no need to take notes ’cause I do that for you. You’re welcome. 


OK, let me introduce Andrew. Andrew Jenkins runs Volterra, a professional services firm specializing in social media and social selling strategies. Based in Toronto, Canada, he was formerly the Head of Social Media Strategy for Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and has worked with firms in North America and Europe, including CIBC, Rogers, Bell Canada, InfoSpace and The Aga Khan Foundation. A regular international speaker and panellist at numerous industry conferences and events, Andrew also teaches a course on Social Media Strategies for the Enterprise at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.


INTERVIEW (unedited)


All right. Thank you, Andrew, for joining us here today to talk about social media marketing. Thanks for having me. So your book is called social media marketing for business. But when I read it, I realized that much of it is really directly applicable to us as individuals, whether we are, you know, sole proprietors, or small business owners, or whether we’re working in a corporation and we’re managing our own personal brand. My first question for you is, do you think that we should have a personal social media strategy?


Oh, very much. So you know, a lot of people think social media is about an organization promoting itself. But the efforts of an organization from a marketing and sales point of view will often cascades down to the relationships that individuals have with individuals in either from a direct to consumer point of view, or to individuals at another organization, in the case of b2b. So it still comes down to people to people. And that’s based on trust and rapport. And that ladders back up to personal brand people buy from people who know them, and like them, and trust. And so you need to convey thought leadership to build trust, you need to be consistent to build trust, and all that ties right back to personal brand, and increasingly organizations that are relying on the relationships of their employees, not only to amplify their messaging, but also to act as ambassadors and advocates for the organization and their messaging, take a Facebook page with a million fans versus 150 employees with on average, you know, 400 connections, and all those employees sharing the corporate content can potentially outperform a single Facebook page. And that’s just one example.


Oh, gosh, I think your point about firms encouraging their employees to amplify has been happening for a while. But now they’re even creating some content,


it’s certainly become more commonplace. There are actual software solutions under the umbrella of employee advocacy, where I can, as an organization, put some content into the system that’s been reviewed, pre approved, and even like the copies already written, and so on, and it cascades down to the employee. And they just have to click share and out it goes on their LinkedIn profile or on it goes on their personal Twitter account, whatever they’re comfortable with. But also there was a lot of the heavy lifting on the part of the employee and employees want to help their organization for the most part, but don’t know where to start. And so they need some of the work done for them. Oh, this is all ready for me to go and share done. Increasingly, socials used to show a portal into an organization from the corporate culture to celebrate employees, friend of mine just shared on LinkedIn, a video from there, they had done an internal promotion for employees, or if not employee, sorry, employees promoted this scholarship. And then in front of hundreds of the employees they interviewed, the person they interviewed thought that they were like, down to the final two. And then they were informed that they were the winner of the scholarship. Wow. Yeah. And it had nothing to do with the corporation was the catalyst of this, the company was the one offering the scholarship. But I mean, it was just nothing but feel good content, but it was shared by employees.


Yeah. And it’s so smart for these organizations, right? Because they’re improving their brand equity with their customers or their clients, but also internally, huge halo effect. Huge, huge Halo fest self reinforcing. Brilliant. So as you know, I think and write and coach a lot about personal branding. So I’m imagining being at an organization where many we’re employing software solutions, where they created content that was offered to them right as something that they could share. And then they could add their own comments to it. And I’m thinking, so I get a checkmark from my boss for amplifying the corporate line. In the meantime, I’m also managing my personal brand, right? So the things that I’m passionate about my expertise, my reputation, my identity in the workplace, do you have advice for people about what to think about maybe in that specific scenario, we’ll start there say they’re launching a new product, and they want everyone to talk about it. Sure.


But even something as basic as LinkedIn itself. A LinkedIn company page has a feature that says when you post content, it says there’s a button to push notify employees, right? If the employees that are on LinkedIn will receive notification, that there is new content to share. And we have a client that on a monthly basis, we would tabulate the growth of the followers of their company page. But we would also calculate the potential reach of content shared by the employees that shared their content. Here’s the potential reach through the company page itself. And here’s the potential reach based on the amplification from your employees. And no disrespect to the client and the company page. But visibly, the reach through their employees was


far greater. Of course, it’s the network effect. Right? That’s right. Yeah.


But going back to your question about at the individual level is a personal and important and where do you start kind of thing comes down to what you’re comfortable with. Some people don’t like to write, but they’re comfortable in front of a camera. So fire up your phone, there’s a reason there’s a video feature embedded in LinkedIn or Instagram or now TikTok and so on. Don’t get hung up on production value over immediacy. You don’t have to look any further than Tik Tok, as an example, to see, people don’t care about the production value. I keep using LinkedIn as an example. But the LinkedIn corporate account on Tiktok, one of the first videos I saw was one of their young staff a 20, something in a LinkedIn corporate t shirt sitting on their couch in their own home, you know, riffing off some sort of meme. And well, if that LinkedIn now owned by Microsoft allows that or as seen sees that as permissible content, you know, don’t get so hung up, and there’s an expression to just ship it. Yes, you want to make sure that you’re not saying you’re doing it, and that’s inappropriate or is against corporate policy, but don’t get hung up on that has to be perfect. Just put it out there.


And what’s the name of your podcast? Again, Andrew,


the low production high value show


exactly. I agree 100%, it’s better to get it out there than to wait till it’s ready to wrap it and put a fancy bow on it. Right. Nobody cares about the fancy bow,


it’ll Cisco predicted by the 2022, that 80% of the content being shared on social would be video. And so the bar is low, the barriers to entry is are nearly non existent. But if you don’t like being on camera, you can write a blog and used to also that you’re incorporating artificial intelligence to read the blog, transcribe it, turn it into an animated video so that people can essentially watch it, it can pull in stock imagery, and so on. This is gonna be something we’ll be leveraging for my book, there is a solution where I can read texts, whether it’s from my book or my blog, or what have you, and it records my voice, then I give it a new piece of text that I have not read, and it reads it in my voice.


Yeah, that’s not surprising. I mean, I hadn’t heard of it, I’ll admit, you’re the first person that told me about that. But I can see because AI is really about patterns. And so they see the pattern and the tone and the pitch and, and so on, have a voice.


So we use get some blogs, and we use some solutions. So if I would like a lovely to listen to female British accent of voice, yeah, I can have that. Or if I want to take away the burden of reading my own book, to create an audiobook, I can read a portion and then have my AI voice take over very cool, or even if I just wanted to use like little snippets of audio as pieces of content, but I only had to read it. Read one piece of text once.


Yeah. So I think that’s an interesting thing to offer. When you’re thinking about creating your content, don’t just assume that you’re posting, you know, a lot of people think so what am I going to post I’m either going to write something witty and find an image for it, or I’m going to find an article, and then I’m going to write two sentences about it. There’s so much more you can do. Right?


Exactly. You can work smarter, rather than harder, do not fall into the trap of one and done. So I made a video or I wrote a blog and I shared at once and then I move on the shelf life of a tweet is 15 minutes. So there is nothing stopping you from sharing it again. And you can so here we are having a discussion. It’s gonna be a podcast, the transcript can become a blog, we can pull a quote like you when you read a magazine article, and there’s a quote in a box that stands out to be provocative. That’s a, that’s a pull, quote, well, I can take a quote, from a podcast, create a visual graphic, and use that as a teaser to promote go and listen to it. I can pull on create an audiogram, where it’s again, it’s it’s taking an excerpt from the podcast, but you can listen to it. Yep, we’re recording this on zoom as well. And I can have the full episode. But that also I can cut it up into, you know, six to 12 smaller clips, which is what we do with my podcast. So suddenly, every single episode becomes 15 to 20 pieces of content. Right? Beautiful, as opposed to one.


And that’s it’s a win win. It’s a win for the producer of the content, but it’s also even a win for the audience. I think,


yeah, well, you’re seeing increasingly No, I see a blog, and you can read it, or there’s an embedded audio file, you can listen to it. And it was one of the reasons podcasts are so popular is I can’t watch a youtube channel while I’m walking the dog. But I can listen to a podcast


True, true. So there’s sort of think of it as media but it’s different ways of presenting the content right. And then I want to get into the different platforms in a minute but before we do that, can you share with the listeners some examples of of what kinds of things that professionals can be posting. So, you know, in the olden days, Andrew, we used to talk about writing a white paper as a way of establishing your thought leadership. And we’ve blown way past that. So can you share with us a couple of ideas or examples that you have for how we can really create a reputation of thought leadership on social media?


You know, I joke about white papers, having worked for a technology company that produced white papers related to their software, and have authored one or two myself, there’s nothing wrong with all those more substantive pieces of content. The example I like to give is, so I’m the former head of social media strategy for the Royal Bank of Canada. And any organization that releases some milestone report or milestone piece of content, whether it’s a white paper or case of a bank, maybe it’s an economic report, there will be people who want to devour that lengthy PDF file that they downloaded and had to give their email in order to get to. But there’s nothing to stop the creation of an infographic with highlights from said report, there’s nothing to stop a short two to three minute interview with the economist that authored it, to get their highlight from it. There’s nothing to write a blog that summarizes that sets the stage for or teases out why you should spend the time to read this longer report. People get hung up on this thing about what do I have to say? Do I have to write something? And one of the examples I give from something I did was I shared an article from I think, was Fast Company or but they were talking about Marissa Mayer, which at the time when she was the CEO of Yahoo, and she talked about the key to her success was working some insane 120 hour work


week or something. Yeah, she likes to brag about her hours. Yeah, yeah.


So I shared the article, and I preface it by with one word, agree, question mark. And the discussion followed from there, you don’t have to author everything.


Similarly, my post on LinkedIn that had more views by far than any other post I ever created was, when the Japanese Olympic official made that horrific quote about if women are going to join boards, we have to allow more time for meetings, because they’re not succinct, was basically the gist of it. And I said, he took 38 words to say this, I use three do the research because the research shows that’s in fact, not true. Right. And it just blew up on LinkedIn. So you’re right, encouraging people to weigh in and establish thought leadership.


Well, and with that in mind, you don’t even have to share a piece of content. Yeah, don’t just like what someone shared. Comment. Yeah, even share it yourself as a supporting supporting their content efforts, and add your own commentary to it, help the conversation, contribute to the conversation. And don’t get hung up on this that I must, quote, produce content. The content is the driver of a conversation. The ultimate goal is yes, you want to share content that’s thoughtful, informative, educational, helpful, and occasionally, you earn the right to be promotional, but you can also simply start by being conversational. You are as an organization or an individual competing for someone’s attention. You’re having to fight to get them to stop the scroll, stop their thumb, and richer media stops. The thumb provocative commentary stops the thumb and it isn’t about like posting a million times. You can post once a week and be very, very engaging and provocative. Join the conversation and Tik Tok is a perfect example of where comments are extremely important. Brands are building real cred by piling on to some of these videos in the comments. They don’t have to reshare a single thing that just have to show up in the comments and they get brand love


the nice segue to the platform’s I want to ask you, if you have any interesting stories to share with us or advice about I’m going to pull three of the platforms Okay, so LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok, those are the three that for me, I think are most interesting and just talking to a lot of other professionals. And more and more TikTok, I have to say,


Well, I’ve seen a corporate presentation from TikTok now, I mean, it was already fascinating before the pandemic, but one of the reasons it took off was people had a lot more time stuck at home to produce content, but also communities found them people found communities on TikTok like nowhere else before. One of the biggest communities is mums of TikTok. They found a community that provided humor provided support provided life hacks to make their life easier as moms predominately moms were dealing with working from home having to help the education of their children from home. There was so much burden unfairly placed on them. But there was this community there was this outlet. And that note we’re not only did they derive support and so on from it, but They were also contributed to it. And it just I talked about it with my students at the University of Toronto, I find it utterly fascinating. I’ve not produced a single tech talk, but I’ve been on it for four years, just as a net consumer, and it skews younger. But if you’re going to be there and you want to produce content there, again, you don’t, doesn’t have to be high production value, but it’s all video, you’re not sending out a static image like Instagram.


So what I’m hearing maybe as a professional who’s looking to kind of up their personal brand online, I’m thinking about Gen Y and, and Gen X in particular, who might be like, Oh, TikTok feels a little young. I keep hearing more. It’s not just anecdotes anymore, right? There are stories about people who, whether it’s personal or professional are finding a niche on Tik Tok, and it’s probably worth our time to explore.


People are still finding their thing. So Her name is Laura. She’s from Toronto. 1.2 million followers on Tiktok. And her thing is corporate humor. And she crowdsources What’s your most unusual email signature that you’ve seen at the office? Or she has a work bestie and she’ll ask him, How do you say that’s not part of my job description? professionally? Yeah, well, I love it. Well, I’ll just say on the case of Tik Tok set up an account listen first and this goes with any platform that’s imagine, see if your audiences there if you’re a brand forget as an individual, but we often recommend this to brands set up an account so that no one else does. Yeah, no matter whether it what you feel about Donald Trump’s network, true social, I have seen tic TOCs of a guy who set up the account for Walmart on true social, and Walmart can’t do anything about it. Wow. So this from a brand protectionism, it doesn’t mean that you have to love whatever the platform is, or whether you’ll ever use it. But to avoid any, someone hijacking your brand. Just to be mindful of


that. Yep. Or even your name. Okay, so how about Twitter? Talk to me about Twitter,


every time someone dismisses Twitter, and then you have something like the Academy, the Oscars of the Academy Awards, and everything that happened that night, we are reminded of just how integral Twitter is to our lives, whether it doesn’t matter whether you have an account or not. That’s where news comes out. That’s where news trends and from a social media listening and sentiment and so on, and now you know, Twitter is not everyone in the world, I completely understand that and get that I remember


a conversation you and I had a couple years ago, Andrew, where I said, I don’t like how I feel when I spend too much time on Twitter. So I’m just gonna leave. And so I have a personal account, I have a business account. And I it’s pretty dormant. Yeah. And I remember your response to me, I actually, I’ll never forget it. I think it’s brilliant. You said, you curate what you see Andrea. And I was like, Oh, that’s true. I, I need to do some social media hygiene on when following.


choose who you follow, move people to lists and follow lists. If you’re on a desktop, you want to use TweetDeck, which is owned by Twitter, and you can have a bucket of influential people you follow up, you’re gonna have a bucket of hashtags, you can curate and remove a lot of the noise. And I mean, yes, Twitter can be overwhelming, but a lot of it comes back around. I love Twitter. It’s so rich in information. People say well, like what’s what’s the value of Twitter. So first of all, news dissemination. Yeah. And then I also say if you wanted to, like everything that was possibly could learn about a particular subject and have, you know, just overwhelming amounts of information about it for you to sift through. Would that be a value to you? And they will, yeah, I go, Well, hashtag project management, hashtag leadership, hashtag change management, you will find an absolute ton of information.


Okay. And LinkedIn, talk to me about LinkedIn, what’s new on LinkedIn,


it’s getting more active. There’s over 800 million members globally, people are recognizing, oh, I’m not having my coffee meetings to network. I’m not having my I’m not going to these conferences and corporate events, and I’m not out. So I have to make my connections digitally. And then that cascades into personal brand and making connection. Those are all the positive things. What I’ve also seen is people getting really lazy, and they are just spraying and praying. They are sending out automated messages through LinkedIn into my inbox and referred to asking you to connect and then you connect, and then two minutes later, you get a pitch, which is why it’s being now referred to as you just got pitch slapped. Yep. And it’s getting so bad. That I’m getting messages from two different people from the same organization with the literally identical or verbatim message.


I hate it too. I feel like no matter what you do in your business, you’re selling something and someone wants to sell to you. So for me, people want to be guests on my podcast and I’ve been telling people lately I get a minimum Good company. Yeah, I get a minimum of five emails a day minimum, some of them end up in my junk, some whatever. And I have a strategy now and I share this with with some of my clients and actually to other podcasters. I didn’t ask for those people. I’ve never invited people to say if you want to be a guest emailed me, I’ve never said that. So I just I don’t respond, I just delete and if they’re incessant, I block. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m thinking there. This is not just podcasters. This is like, whatever your business is, people want to sell to you. If you didn’t invite that conversation. I was raised to be polite, and not to ignore people and to reciprocate when people are nice. These people want to sell something to you. If you didn’t initiate that conversation. It’s okay to say no, I just had to get that in there. It’s very actually relieving. It was a relief, because I was feeling a lot of guilt about deleting these messages.


I felt a little bit of that too. And more recently, no, for LinkedIn, especially. I’ve gotten like someone after a five drip series of emails. Yeah, we’re the fifth one has shown me. Yeah. Are you not the right person? Yes. Yeah. Just reply. But there was someone who reached out to me. So I added to my LinkedIn profile, job title, author, and then I use the publisher. Yeah,


there you go. You’re, it’s open invitation. It’s open season on and


two people message me about promoting my book. Yeah. But what was worse was someone messaged me through LinkedIn and said, took a look at Company X. And looks like you’re, you know, things are really, you know, growing there. And perhaps we could talk about your talent acquisition needs complete, missing the fact that I’m not an HR and that I’m merely an author for said, publisher, I don’t work there. And so it’s just again, it’s automated message. Yeah, lazy and like you blew it, you might look more foolish. It’s like showing up at a sales call. You don’t know the client. So ill prepared. You know, like, what was the point of all that energy? Yeah, only a complete misfire.


So. So I guess the main message here for LinkedIn is to be thoughtful and purposeful, and personal with your communication.


So if your messages do not automate, now, if you want to schedule the posting of an article fine, because that makes it easier to manage. But don’t outsource the messaging of people don’t outsource the looking at someone’s profile, because we can tell a mile away and all of them will eventually get shut down. They are against LinkedIn Terms of Service. And you want to get your own account shut down for you using it.


Yeah, that actually makes me feel even better about deleting them. Because I hadn’t thought of that. It’s probably not even a human on the other side. Oh, for sure. Okay, let’s get to the five rapid fire questions. Okay, the first question, what are your pet peeves?


Sort of what we just talked about the automated messages in LinkedIn just being lazy and unprofessional.


Question two, what type of learner Are you


more visual? If I can watch and replay a YouTube video then so I can scan instructions, but I find a video more helpful.


Question number three, introvert or extrovert? Introvert. 


Question number four, communication or media preference for personal conversations, casual conversations.


I prefer like zoom or in person. I don’t like phone. Okay,


the last question and we were talking about this at the very beginning. So we’re going full circle. Yep. Is there a podcast or blog or an email newsletter that you are recommending the most lately or enjoying the most?


Well, we talked about earlier, but PIVOT in terms of a podcast. I’m paying attention to the morning brew newsletter, which I think just sold to somebody for like $75 million. Wow. So yeah,


I’m gonna check that one out. Thank you very much for your time, Andrew, and the listeners are really going to appreciate all of these insights. Thank you so much.


Thank you. Bye


THANKS for LISTENING.  Talk soon!


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