Social Media Marketing for Small Businesses: An Interview with Julian Sage
Updated: Feb 4
The following social media marketing industry interview is with Julian Sage, Host of Short Term Rental Success Stories and Vacation Rental Machine.
Andrew: Do you think that Social Media Marketing is useful for small businesses? Why or why not?
Julian: Social media marketing has been the backbone of our business. I started a podcast Short Term Rental Success Stories out of sheer curiosity and enthusiasm for Airbnb back in March 2019. 8 months later and we were able to reach the number one spot in search on iTunes for 'Airbnb'. You may be thinking, "What does Airbnb have to do with small business and why the heck would a podcast help?" After starting my podcast I realized how many successful people there were managing Airbnb's (or Short Term Rentals as we like to call them) professionally and able to scale this into full-time or part-time businesses. Like any management company though one of the biggest struggles is finding qualified leads. Having started multiple businesses in the past and failing at them all it never truly clicked for me until I connected my passion for podcasting and my interest in Airbnb. I thought, "Why not start my own management company?", and that's when it clicked. I created a website, a digital form, and a link to book a time on my calendar. I started making episodes mentioning our management company and that is when the calls started trickling in. But I quickly saw that the more exposure the podcast had, the more calls started rolling in. Is podcasting the end all, be all? No. We have people who find us from YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Google, Meetups, referrals and more. We plan on expanding our reach through other forms because not everyone is social media savvy, however I can honestly say that podcasting has changed my life and if you do need that fuel to jump-start your business, starting off using some form of social media and mastering it can pay off.
Andrew: Excellent story Julian! You have made effective use of multiple channels to spread your content and it has allowed you to capture the attention of audiences on their preferred platforms. I originally found your content on your YouTube channel but I happen to also listen to podcasts on iTunes and enjoy engaging in your Facebook group. This multi-channel approach also makes it more likely for your content to reach your followers and promotes greater engagement which is aligned with my original Symmetrical digital marketing strategy. Have you noticed any noteworthy trends in social media marketing in recent years as it pertains to business and what are they?
Julian: Social media from what I've seen ebs and flow to different platforms. For a while it was all about Facebook, then Twitter, now podcasting is picking up steam. But every business can utilize some platform! Just pick one and stick with it, once you are comfortable try to re-purpose content on different platform.
Andrew: Choosing a platform, developing a solid objective-based strategy, executing and then expanding strategically is exactly what small businesses should seek to do. What is your favorite aspect of digital marketing?
Julian: Creativity, reach, and the ability to have real connections with people.
Andrew: What is your favorite social network for business or personal use?
Julian: I really enjoy Facebook groups. It's great for business and personal use.
In my Facebook group It's like being apart of a big family. You create the rules in your group like, "no self promoting", "no complaining or negativity", "treat each other like family". All of the content is relevant to what I enjoy (Airbnb) and the people I see every day in the group are typically like-minded.
Andrew: Do you have any advice on how small businesses can better leverage social media?
Julian: Find out what you enjoy doing. I hate Twitter. Never used it, never liked it. I find myself more drawn to YouTube and Facebook groups because of the closeness you feel to your community. But if you are more drawn towards a particular social media platform and can figure out a way to reach your clients go for it. Maybe you are a car mechanic and that means creating a local Facebook group for car enthusiasts where you can capture their emails upon entry in exchange for giving them information about the latest and greatest car stuff. Maybe you are real estate agent and you create a YouTube channel for your particular city/town where you highlight fun things to do for people who are searching the area. You have limitless potential and if you aren't utilizing social media and your still not growing your business then i'd start giving it a shot.
Special thanks to Julian Sage for the interview!
Edited by: Andrew C. Belton