Welcome to this week’s 12 Questions Podcast! This week, we have a special guest for you! All the way from Los Angeles, California – meet one of the ‘Yes’ men himself – Co-Founder of Yes Theory, Matt Dajer.
Ready to listen? Just say ‘Yes’! Because this week’s interviewee did, and ‘Yes’ has taken him and his friends all over the world, as top social media influencers!
Listen in or read along here:
So for those not so familiar, why don’t we kick things off by you telling us a bit about ‘Yes Theory’ and how you guys rose to the top of the social media influencer game?
So, we are called Yes Theory. We’re a multi-platform media company based in Los Angeles. The theme of our videos and content is “getting out of your comfort zone.” So, everything we do revolves around the idea of getting uncomfortable, because that’s when you grow the most. So, we started two years ago in Canada. We’re from four different countries. There are four of us in the group, and we pretty much travel the world making content. The first social media platform we used was YouTube. And from then onward, we expanded into Instagram, Facebook and the others. Then, we sold our show to Snapchat Discover a little over a year ago.
(Check out their first ever episode here!)
How did I – personally – get into social media? Well, my generation was introduced AIM online chat when I was about 13, and it just kind of snowballed from there. I began playing with other platforms, and consuming content on a cross-channel basis. And like most, that started with Youtube and Facebook at the age of 16/17. Then, as more platforms came to market, I adapted and played with them as well. i.e. Instagram and Snapchat. But social media for me, is really all about communication.
About Social Media In General.
1. What is your favourite social media platform?
For me personally, I would say Instagram. It is my biggest addiction to be honest. They really figured out how to hook me completely. Just because it’s the people you want to see and talk to, all organized in a great digestible way. Whereas the others, like Snapchat, are a little harder to use and less comfortable.
2. What is the platform used most by Yes Theory?
Well, YouTube is where we started, and where one of our biggest audiences live. Every video we make is initially made for YouTube and then repurposed for other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. But in terms of where our absolute biggest audience lies… it’s on Snapchat. Our Snapchat Discover show, while we only post every few months, we drive around six to eight million views per episode; On YouTube, we get on average 200k per episode.
So YouTube is our second biggest, and then after that it’s Instagram. We’ve really been pushing Instagram quite a lot lately, and really growing that channel because the platform hosts A LOT of engagement. With all our travelling, it lends itself really well to Instagram.
Check out how they make use of Instagram Stories.
3. In your opinion, what is the future of social media and what platform will lead the way?
I think to be honest, it’s not even in the US. I think where the domination is, is Asia. Look at WeChat and Line. They are absolutely dominating every other social media platforms. It’s all-encompassing. I think the problem with the major social media platforms is that they all have their niche purpose – i.e. we see the younger audiences connecting more with Snapchat and YouTube, millennials taking on Instagram and Facebook. WeChat encompasses everybody in Asia. You can literally do everything on the platform. So, I think either a platform like WeChat develops in North America, or WeChat enters the game – but social media platforms beware! If WeChat makes an entrance, it’s game over.
Find out why he thinks Facebook might be doomed at 6:29.
About Great Social Media Campaigns
4. Tell us about a social media campaign you liked most this year.
So, I guess this may come off kind of politically motivated, but I think if you can get the President of the United States’s attention, that’s a great indicator of success. I’m going to avoid disclosing an opinion on this next bit, but the statement US NFL football players made by taking a knee during the national anthem, became a social media phenomenon.
Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
I just loved how the conversation went both on and offline, but always found its place on social media. When things like this become a national conversation I just find it fascinating. The whole conversation was sparked by how African-Americans are treated in this country. And the fact that the bulk of the conversation was hosted on Twitter with a back and forth between the players, the NFL, the fans and the President, was so interesting.
When everyone is talking about it, that’s when you know you have been successful. So, objectively speaking, for me that has been the most interesting one.
All this talk of Twitter even brought up its once suspected demise. And the truth about sharing your opinions on social media. Find out more here: 8:57.
5. What about the latest project Yes Theory has been working on?
Actually, we just got back from filming one that we’re tentatively calling ‘Yes Profiles.’ Like I said, it’s based on saying ‘yes,’ and taking risks. It’s mostly been about us four travelling and taking all these risks, but more and more we’re realizing we want Yes Theory to be a movement of especially young people gaining the courage to take risks.
We meet incredible people all the time, who are up to amazing things, taking huge leaps. Some have event been disowned by their families because they dropped out of school to start a business, or because they are going after their dreams. So, we want to reveal these people and their amazing stories to our audiences.
Once a week, starting in December, we’re going to be documenting three to five minutes of a person who fascinates us with their crazy story, and who has had a massive ‘Yes’ in their lives. It’s going to be all about the conviction to make a difference.
Learn about previous podcast guest, Steve O’Dell from Tenzo Tea and his dream of one day leading the colony on Mars… no joke! It’s a must listen at: 11:11.
That’s our campaign right now – and we’re working on starting in December – as is revealing those really really cool stories and people.
6. What is the most important thing people need to remember when it comes to creating social media content?
The rule we live by: always be authentic. You’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to hurt people when you’re honest. But it’s all about accepting that you’re not going to please everybody. You’re going to win over a much stronger audience if you just speak your mind. For us, we’ve spoken our mind on political issues or on certain tragedies, and each time it’s brought us a new stronger audience. The people who don’t like it or hate us for it just move away. So while engagement is good, building a tribe is better.
Learn how Matt think’s Taylor Swift’s political game compares to Eminem’s here at 13:11.
7. In your opinion, how do you measure the success of content through KPIs?
I think there are several. There’s obviously the subscribers and views that come from the content, but I think we track success a bit differently. We measure our success based on the e-mails we receive from people. How many people are contacting us to let us know we’ve impacted their lives. I think it is the biggest measurement, because that’s what we’re aiming for. We want people to connect with us on a deeper level through their experiences and their hardships. So we’d say, a good week of content is when we get several hundred emails.
About the Future of Social Media Marketing
8. How will the role of social media content transition in the future?
I think it’s going to keep getting more dynamic. It’s so hard to predict. Even on YouTube, what does well as content is changing every month. So, we need to stay on top of what people are looking for. For example, a few years ago it was all about Vine and those 6-second clips, and now kids are watching 20 minute long videos of ex-Viners on YouTube.
I think the major thing that every single tech executive at a TV company or traditional media should be worried about, is the fact that 99% of people under the age of 18 don’t watch television. They are watching streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Black Pills.
I think in terms of the masses of content, it could really go two ways: either the bubble will burst, and content will all of a sudden become centralized in one location, or it’s just going to keep growing and expanding. One thing is for sure if you’re a content creator. It is literally the best time in history to be a content creator.
We sold our show to Snapchat within four months! And now, we are on a platform in front of tens of millions of people. From that, we realized there is no future in creating the next YouTube or social media platform. The future is in content, and the need for quality content will never die!
9. What do you think is the biggest obstacle of social media?
I think the biggest obstacle, and where most people drop out, is early on. So when you’re first setting up and starting on social media, trying to build an audience is the hardest thing in the world – simply because you have no reputation at that point. No subscribers. No followers. The initial growth is definitely a tough one.
So many content creators give up after six months because they were expecting like 100,000 subscribers in six months – and they have a thousand. And they’re like: ‘Jesus Christ, how do I grow an audience?!’ But one important fact they don’t realise is it’s literally the best time to take the biggest risks with your content, and try new things. See what works, see what your audience likes and then once you hit on a few things, that’s how you grow. The same is true for any business – you have to treat social media the same way.
10. What would be the one piece of advice you would have for future content creators?
Find a team. We are friends with many really successful young content creators, who suffer because they’re one person; coming up with all the ideas, implementing them, engaging with fans, etc. It’s a lot of pressure. And so many people tend to crack under that pressure. Obviously, there are some abnormal people, like Logan and Jake Paul who are just on another level of work ethic, and are able to withstand the pressure. But to be honest, our success is the fact that we have each other. Once four, now seven, I know I wouldn’t have been able to make it alone for six months. It’s a full-time job, and then some more.
11. In your opinion then, what is the future of the social media ad format?
I think if you look at the ads of the past 20 years, the biggest ad campaigns that once featured the well-known actors, actresses or personalities – they are starting to dwindle to an extent. Just look at the biggest influencers now; 18-year-olds and younger have much more different idols and celebrities. So much has changed. Their social media influencers are people like us!
Facebook is an incredible tool for lots of products and companies. I won’t deny that. But what I do think is that in order to create a brand that people trust and have an affinity to, you have to attach yourself to some sort of personality, and not be fake. Be genuine.
*Find out what it means to nab Yes Theory as an influencer and the precautions they take when jumping in with a brand at: 25:22.
12. Finally, tell us one thing someone would not be able to find out about you, from your social media profiles.
I would say that I have about a thousand pages worth of notes on business books! So, as much as my title is Co-Founder of ‘Yes Theory’ and ‘social media personality’ or whatever, I consider myself much more of an entrepreneur, and want to create a business out of social media.