Socialpreneur Deborah Anderson interviews MavSocial Founder & CEO Matt Holden on WebToolsTV
Web Tools TV is a no-holds-barred live program via Google Hangouts and interviews founders of tools and tech bloggers.
Deborah Anderson: Welcome everybody to WebTools TV. This is our third episode. But that’s not what really matters tonight; what matters is our guest, Matthew Holden. Welcome, your coming to us from MavSocial.
Matthew: Hi Deb, hello everybody; great to be here with you.
Deborah Anderson: Great to have you. I want to start with an industry question, so put you on the spot. But at least I gave you warning via Skype – oh wait, I said Skype on a Google platform. But anyway, I’m curious about images, so go ahead and introduce first of all MavSocial, what it is, and then let us know industry-wise, why MavSocial exists, kind of what need that fills.
Matthew: I’m the CEO and the founder of the company called MavSocial, and we’re a visual content and social media publishing platform.
What MavSocial does is we provide a software tool and work with companies, we help companies being able to manage all their visual content, which are photos, videos, and audio files in one central location so that they can then publish them out to all the various social networks.
What we’ve been seeing is, images are absolutely everything across social media now and that’s one of the reasons why we have MavSocial, because it’s that centralized type visual content platform to be able to help marketers to get their messages out, to be able to really participate.
So it’s a pretty exciting space when it talks about images and videos at the moment.
Deborah Anderson: It is; I love video. I wish there were 48-hour day so I could spend more time making videos, because there’s never enough time to do it all.
But, you’re saving time for people, because now when they spend 23 hours creating it and they can sleep for 45 minutes, they can spend, what, 5-minutes and get it out there.
Matthew: Well anybody who’s in video knows how challenging it is. It’s a very challenging medium and anybody who thinks they can easily get into it they need to really revisit and really understand it in more detail.
Video is so powerful. I’m so excited about what it can do. The quality’s changing, gear is getting cheaper, people have got great ideas. And various platforms have opened themselves up now to enabling you to directly post video and audio content to those networks.
Deborah: Now Facebook has it’s own videos, not just posting to YouTube.
Matthew: That’s one of the real – I won’t say game-changer just yet, because the jury’s out. But without doubt what Facebook have done, and also Twitter, have been able to have video publishing instream directly through their networks, is something that marketers are going to be waking up to see how powerful that is.
That’s one of the reasons why MavSocial was born, because I love the ability for marketers to be able to share and tell their stories. And I think video and audio is such a fabulous medium in which to do that, over and above really good content and images.
That’s one of the reasons why MavSocial really has come into being.
MavSocial is a tool to do it. I’m mesmerized
Deborah Anderson: You said ‘story’. I’m interrupting myself now to say I would love to hear the story of MavSocial, and I’d love to hear Matt’s story. So how did this come to be?
Matthew: It’s almost now ten years since I created my first Podcast. I was in Asia and I started the first Podcast back then. I saw the first iPod, which had the hard drive in it; it was a 20-gigabyte and there was a 40-gigabyte little mini hard drive.
I’ve still got it – it’s like an iPod generation 2 and 3. And when the color version came out with an incredibly small screen I could see the power of what this was, and of course I didn’t envisage anything of what was happening with the iPad and what it was actually going to become.
But I had seen an Apple Newton many years ago, and I saw what that was capable of doing; and then HP came out with various models, and then of course the iPod I thought was one of the real big areas of change. And ten years ago I said, I’ll start doing my own Podcast, which was purely audio.
I did 100 episodes of a program called PodAsia, which was a travel program which, because I was traveling as an executive of business back then, I wanted to be able to share with listeners who were traveling to Asia what you should do, what you shouldn’t do, to be able to make the journey more efficient.
It was ten years ago; I’m just about to re-release all 100 episodes – I stopped at 100 – to the market. And the other thing is, I stopped for a while but always at the back of my mind was the impetus of being able to – I remember the power of PodAsia, and that was purely audio; and once video came along, and to do that back in those days was very hard, it was very inefficient, there was no really good encoding software.
But times have totally changed, and now it’s still a challenge, and there’s those who will do it really well and can get the message out., and now there’s tools such as Google Hangout etc., to be able to communicate far more efficiently and more easily.
That’s essentially where I really wanted to have that platform, where marketers could use a centralized repository where they could store all their videos and store all their audio files and all their photos in one location so that they can participate in social media, because social media is hard work.
It’s time consuming, it’s constantly changing, and you’ve got to keep up with it. I come from IT, an information technology background and I saw there was a great opportunity to be able to do it, and that’s what we’re attempting to do now with MavSocial, to be able to participate in that area.
To date it’s been an incredibly exciting journey; but like any business you’ve got growth ahead of you.
Deborah Anderson: You’re really innovative. You took us through a history lesson here; when we chatted a few weeks ago, you said something – I don’t know if I’m allowed to say this so you can smack me if I’m not – but the Hootsuite for images and video, and we all know Hootsuite has done a good job of establishing themselves, so we know what it is, but you go so much further than that. Not just because you’re there for images and videos but you mentioned just now a content repository.
Matthew: Without a doubt Hootsuite is one of the first companies to the market in what I call the social publishing arena, and part of our platform competes directly with Hootsuite, and we cater to a different audience.
But what we also have is, the one component that Hootsuite doesn’t – is visual content and there’s many companies in this space; I’ve given up counting how many platforms there are. After 150 I gave up; they’re everywhere, because quite frankly it’s relatively easy to publish software to Facebook.
We look at a global market and we’re developing – we can publish into Renren in China, Mixi in Japan, but of course the North American, Western, highly dominant social media networks, and the real advantage we have is that you need to have all your content, you need to have your publishing in one place and no single platform out there combines the two efficiently except for what our platform, what MavSocial, does, and delivers.
So it’s been an interesting area. Hootsuite without doubt is the real benchmark within the business, but this year there’s going to be significant changes I foresee in the social media arena. We can already see that happening. And of course there’s opportunity in that type of sector because marketers, we all demand new solutions, the ability to be able to do things faster and more efficiently. Marketers budgets are not increasing, they’ve got to do more with less, and that’s the gap we solve.
Deborah Anderson: Demands are increasing but the money is not increasing necessarily?
Matthew: That’s the one thing I can tell you. Across the board, all industry verticals, their money and their budgets are not increasing.
Deborah Anderson: But they have to have that edge, because for some marketers that could be the difference between eating and not eating.
Matthew: That’s exactly right.
Deborah: This is probably a little thing, because I do produce videos and I’ve had to change hard drives; I pick up just a random 4 terabyte hard drive on the side just to store the stuff; I have to keep moving it to the archives.
It’s like disc space is always an issue, not matter how big the drive is. I have a closet with just the hard drives. Now, that’s something right there. If you’re loading it to MavSocial, right there that’s a benefit; it’s that much less space that you [need].
Matthew: I hear you. Who our audience are, but let’s talk as easily as we possibly can so everybody can understand.
We all know and we’ve heard of that phrase called HD, which is high definition. As a video producer, you can look at something on YouTube which is a scaled-down version of your master file. You could have a really large file at 40 gigabytes, and what we encourage you to do is upload the master file into the MavSocial Visual Content management.
You upload the master. It will then be automatically re-encoded, is the phrase we use, to about 100 different formats, so that if you’re watching this on an Android device, or an iPad, or it’s being streamed to Web, or published direct to Facebook, MavSocial visual content will publish the optimal video content for that platform.
Deborah: That’s worth $99 a month, or whatever the price is what your biggest one is but right there, what you just described is a huge saving.
Matthew: We want to take the pain away and that’s what MavSocial does. We take the pain away for visual content marketers. That is a market opportunity, and this year, 2015, is going to be even more challenging.
Deborah: I don’t think people realize that.
Matthew: No, they don’t. Right now, at this stage, there’s 700 videos shared per minute on Twitter! 700 per minute; that’s almost a million shares of video content on the Twitter platform per day. Think about that – it’s a million shares.
Now, if I was a marketer and I was talking to an industry, whether it’s a B2C, or a specialist area, I’d be really adopting video as a fantastic communications platform, because it is; you can get so much more messaging into a short period of time with video, and it’s a great way to be able to communicate.
Deborah: And it’s a fast way to really capture the emotion, which is a really key issue for us marketing.
If you’ve cute kiddies, or someone cry – not that they’d be crying, but I mean, whatever it is, the picture is worth a thousand words but video gives you that opportunity to really connect.
Matthew: Absolutely right. Imaging is still a very key component of visual content right now there’s a great deal of evidence to support that your text posts, if you have an image, and a compelling image at that, a year and a half ago we could get away with shooting with an iPhone and that blurry type image; you could get by.
Now you need the more professional and the more engaging the quality of the image will also dictate the sharing and capability, the stopping, the pausing, and the instream, and people will see, depending upon the image.
We’ve been doing a lot of research; in fact I did a study. I got some students to do a study and they were on public transport, on a train and a bus, and I was with a couple of them and I was watching what people were doing; I was looking at them, watching them. And you could see them scroll down – we all do it, we get our phone and we scroll down; we see a picture and we stop.
But you’ll stream past – think about it, you’ll remember our conversation Deb; everyone will remember this now – you stream down, and if it’s just text you’ll pass it; if there’s a link you will stop. But if there’s an image you will most likely, if it’s compelling, you will stop and pause for microseconds.
Then you will either engage or continue to stream. And now with video it’s happening all over again, so there’s a big change. And that’s one of the things I’ve done, what the team have done, with MavSocial, is you need content; you need imaging.
So one of the things that we’ve brought into the platform is, we’ve partnered with Getty Images, which is one of the world’s largest stock image libraries; we’ve got Bigstock, which is another stock image library; and we’ve got a number of other image libraries available that you can access within the platform. So when you’re creating a post and you want to have something which you think might be engaging, that reinforces your message, within MavSocial – we’re not here to talk about how you do it right now – but within MavSocial you can then access all of these global libraries, and we license them specifically for social media, and then you can download.
Some are free, some are paid; you can get subscriptions; there’s all different models. But there’s a lot of free images there; there’s almost 200 million images available through the platform that users can then access for imaging to add to their post to get that engagement factor.
Deborah: I think what people need to realize is the cost of the time. We can say that we can talk math up, and I love math but most people don’t want to hear the math behind the time factor; but when you’re on a deadline and you have to get something out and you’ve got 30 seconds, that’s where even finding Getty Image for a few bucks or whatever, is so worth it to be able to meet that deadline.
Matthew: It’s all about time. And now the frequency; that’s the other thing. You’ve got to have frequency, you’ve got to have re-posting capabilities.
The game has changed from just 12 short months ago. And if we’re in social, all of us listening right now, if we think what we were doing a year and a half ago is valid today, think again, because it’s not. 2015 is the year of video, the year of imaging, and of course audio communications.
Instream again, with Twitter for arguments sake. We’re going to see a lot of change happening; there’s going to be a lot of change in vendors; there’s a lot of acquisitions happening. It’s just an incredibly dynamic and wonderful sector to be in at the moment.
Deborah: And fortunately for those of you watching it’s not too late, even though we’re a month into 2015; it’s not too late for you. But that window is rather small; people are catching on that this is really the wave, and if someone wants to be an authority and be known, and to get on all those lists, these people that send out great videos via Twitter, this is the time you need to do it.
Matthew: Yes, without a doubt. Without a doubt.
Deborah: MavSocial is a tool to do it. I’m convinced, just the whole geeky side, and I know this probably bores most people watching this, but I’m sure there are a few of you watching that say, my videos are fine, I’ve got it all figured out, I upload to YouTube and it works.
But you know what? Check again, because many times we think that they…but then we’re sitting here waiting for it to buffer for 15 minutes; the people are not watching.
So maybe it’ll show up as a view but they’ve only made it 30 seconds in; they’ve got tired of waiting for video. So listen to what Matt is saying; this whole quality thing is really big.
Coming from a video producer, coming from the guy who founded this innovative MavSocial, we know what we’re talking about.
Matthew: I’m with you Deb. It’s a challenge without a doubt. It’s a challenge for marketers; they’ve got to grapple with it.
Just last year Facebook had a 30-fold increase in video viewing within their platform. It’s increased by 30 times!
Deborah: And that was when it was YouTube. Now they’ve got their own Facebook video.
Matthew: Exactly. And they’re now moving ahead, certainly of the YouTube channel.
It’s just starting to equalize out there now, and marketers have to rearrange and [re-test? 00:18:51) how they’re going to do this. You still have to have YouTube channel, without a doubt; it’s still the predominant channel, it’s a fantastic way to market, without a doubt. But there’s competition out there; there’s new mediums, there’s new platforms.
As a company we see that as opportunity to be able to solve marketers problems because with creating a single post within our platform, my view has always been, create once, publish many, so that when you create one post you should be able to post that to YouTube and to Facebook and to Twitter at the same time, instead of what we all do today – we all have to go in there and then we have to go into another account, then we have to upload a photo, then we have to link the photo, then we’ve got to search it.
And then, oh, that photo is on someone else’s computer, or that hard drive that you talked about, where was that – we take all of that stuff away, and that’s what we do at MavSocial; we are web contributing to help marketers hang in to this incredible business.
Deborah: And right there I think the cost – again, I don’t have a price, I’m just quoting, like, $99 a month or something, but you’d pay a VA to do some of this.
You’re saving money right and left. If you want to have that edge, again, you’re not making more money but got to have the edge to try and bring in more clients, whatever; and $99 is nothing.
Matthew: Pricing-wise I think MavSocial’s really competitively priced. I see downward pressure on pricing for 2015 in this entire sector.
There’s a real divide happening within the entire business. All of the various competitors are changing in their pricing models without a doubt, and I see downward pressure.
For us, we’re a new player in some respects but thankfully our team is more experienced. We’ve been in information technology and media for many years so I believe we can actually have a real competitive offering in the market; and I think price-wise, for what we deliver, it’s incredibly competitive and very compelling for people to participate.
At the end of the day you can have a free tool, you can be paying $99, you can be paying $10,000 a month; unless that tool is going to help take that pain away, help you become more efficient, you can have all the tools in the world.
There is no single tool on the market, there never will be, but they’ve got to be able to contribute and help you do a better job; that’s the most important thing that people really need to be able to address and really understand, because that’s important.
Deborah: I’m mesmerized. It’s like the Googoo [ph] web of video publishing or something. That quote’s good, that quote’s [good]. I’m going to ask if I can borrow a couple of those for an article title. You said so many valuable things. I do have a question though: Free trial, or it’s free for Facebook and Twitter, is that correct?
Matthew: That’s correct. You must try these things out. We actually have a free trial account. Go to MavSocial dot com, there’s a thing called ‘sign-up’, click the ‘sign-up’ and a couple of fields, and a trial account.
I always encourage people to do that because it’s an introduction type product; it’s not an App, it’s for businesses to be able to use. We don’t sell to the husbands and the wives of the world to be able to communicate, or the teenage market.
We’re a business-to-business platform. So if you’re in business, regardless of whether it’s small – our market is that SME-type level – then it’s a great way to trial it.
Almost all our clients have always signed up for a free trial and we say, it might not be the addition that you’re wanting because obviously the more you pay the more features you’ll get, but it’s going to give you a flavor; and that’s a great thing in which to be able to learn these types of tools, and again, assess whether it’s going to be the best tool for you. I think it will be.
Matthew: For the free trial? For the moment it’s perpetual. So if you only need a Facebook channel with limited publishing, at this stage you can theoretically stay with the platform.
We do have quite a few clients who’ve stayed with literally a free trial, because all they’re really doing is Facebook; they’re small practices, or sole practitioners; they want to share information. And for them Facebook is a great channel.
However, the market is changing with Facebook, with organic reach and being able to increase your markets. So this is the dynamic changing that’s happening across the entire sector.
Deborah: Excellent. Did you caught it or didn’t, but you froze for a moment there. But that’s okay because we can find you on the net.
So with that, thank you, Matthew, for everything you’ve shared. You’ve got me so curious I’m going to go check and see what kind of account I have and try it out, especially this thing where it changes the video to all the different platforms. So you know where I’ll be in five minutes.
Matthew: Go get a video file, you upload it, and an audio file – mp3, it’ll encode it, mainly mp3 is by far the more preferred format, certainly for Podcasting.
And of course we as a business also have a lot of elements or features that are in development at the moment; some I can’t really say just yet because we haven’t really released them at the moment, but you will be the first to know, I’ll let you know that.
We also keep up with what’s actually happening, so get your video file uploaded, see how it works, and try out some of those photos, because now there’s a lot of free images; you just select the actual images that you want, the library that you want to use and see how that goes.
Deborah: Excellent, I’m going to go do that. Before I leave how about a tweet-sized tip. And I think we know where to find you but go ahead, tell us again.
Matthew: Be Social, be MavSocial! Best place to go is go to the Home page, which is MavSocial dot com, and we’ll put the link on the notes a little later on.
But if you just go there there’s a thing called ‘sign-up’, fill in your usual first name, create a password, and then you’re in the application. And then there’s video tutorial, video all the way through the application.
My goal there is to have – I’m not sure about you but not many people actually go through right now and read all the help and manuals and stuff like that; I don’t have time for that! I want a video, the answer right now. So every page to have a video, and of course it’s something we’re working towards improving as well.
Go to MavSocial dot com, that’s where you can get a free sign-up; trial that out and if you like that one then of course you just simply can upgrade to a pro. $30 a month; Pro-plus is $99 a month, and then of course the much larger enterprises have a slightly different offering.
Deborah: Excellent. Thank you so much Matt Holden for joining us tonight on Webtools TV. We’ve enjoyed chatting with you.
And ladies and gentlemen, again, Matthew Holden, aka Matt Holden, MavSocial; go visit MavSocial dot com. You can also find them on Twitter, Facebook, everywhere, forward slash MavSocial. Don’t forget to visit Webtools wiki, this is their show, and Webtools TV, which is next week, same time, same place, for another interview.
And, also look up the MavSocial page on Webtools wiki for some more information. And Matthew you’re welcome to help us with that to make sure that it shows everything that it should be showing and gets people over to your site.
Matthew: Love to be able to do it. Thanks Deb, thanks for the opportunity; I hope I’ve been able to also share with the viewers some facts from our side of the fence as well. Great to be with you.
Deborah: Thank you. See you all next week.
Deborah Anderson is the host of Social Web Cafe Podcast and her website. Subscribe to Social Web Cafe Podcast here. Deborah’s an incredibly vibrant personality, accomplished Los Angeles Jazz singer and technology guru. Her mantra “because the web should be fun”