Episode #36: How We Approach Social Media

On this week’s podcast, Russ and Mika are talking about a topic that is not just a major part of their professional lives, but their personal lives as well: social media.  Social Media has become a hot button issue recently, with questions of privacy concerns being raised as these platforms become increasingly more entangled...

Social Media has become a hot button issue recently, with questions of privacy concerns being raised as these platforms become increasingly more entangled into our everyday lives.

Russ and Mika are all too familiar with this. Social media has become not only a huge part of their personal lives but a necessity for their careers as entrepreneurs. As parents of young children, social media also poses some difficult family questions for them to consider as well.

On today’s episode, they are discussing how they approach social media from a business perspective and how they approach it from a personal perspective. You’ll also hear some of their philosophies on social media in general, as well as some tips on how to use social media as a benefit in your life, rather than a distraction.


In this episode, you will learn:

• The positive ways that we can use social media as a tool.
• How social media can turn into a distraction.
• What our social media feeds look like and what we use them for now.
• Our history with social media and how we think it will fit into our lives in the future.


Mentioned in this episode:

Russ Perry on Instagram
Mika Perry on Instagram
The Sober Entrepreneur by Russ Perry
The Russ Perry Show
Prayer Journals by Val Marie Paper
How I Built This – Soulcycle
Old Navy Vests
Maître Gims – Est-Ce Que Tu M’aimes?
Quest Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookies
Robin Arzon
Deep Work by Cal Newport
Google Photos
Hydraulic Press Channel

Do you have questions, comments or suggestions for this show? Send us an email at Hello@GoodtoBeHomePodcast.com!



Russ Perry: I’m Russ Perry.

Mika Perry: And I’m Mika Perry, and you’re listening to Good To Be Home.

Russ Perry: Good To Be Home is a weekly exploration of entrepreneurship, family, marriage, sobriety, and how we balance our business and life.

Mika Perry: From our family to yours, thanks for joining us and welcome to our home.

Russ Perry: Everyone, welcome to another episode of Good To Be Home. I am your cohost Russ Perry.

Mika Perry: And I am Mika Perry.

Russ Perry: We are excited to be back here again as always in your years, right ears?

Mika Perry: Headphones.

Russ Perry: Headphones.

Mika Perry: Car, a lot of people listen to this on their drives.

Russ Perry: I used to listen to podcasts working out, but then I would just stop and I would be doing nothing other than listening to the workout or listening to the podcasts and I would just like get my workout with double in length.

Mika Perry: Totally, I can only do it during cardio.

Russ Perry: Don’t listen to comedy podcasts also while working out because it’s totally disruptive.

Mika Perry: You’re the weird guy laughing to himself.

Russ Perry: I’m like coughing and laughing. Anyway, we’re here today talking about a hot topic I think especially in 2018. Social media just got blasted and we’re going to dive into the topic of social media both from a personal but also professional perspective. We have young kids who are really wanting to be on it, we are you are on it, our businesses are on it, so we’ll see what we cover during that journey.

Mika Perry: And it’s 2019 right now.

Russ Perry: I know.

Mika Perry: How it was talk last year.

Russ Perry: Were you not reading all the New York Times that were delivered about the hearings and the privacy concerns?

Mika Perry: Oh, that’s what you mean got with Mark Zuckerberg. Yes, yes, I see what you’re saying.

Russ Perry: I know what year it is anyway, but before we get to that, let’s jump into our reading, listening, eating and loving list. Mika, I think you should start today.

Mika Perry: Oh, thanks so for reading. This is a bit, I know I stretched the reading.

Russ Perry: Like my horoscope.

Mika Perry: I know I stretched the topic here, but it is in a book form and it’s on paper, so I think it counts. It is my new prayer journal-

Russ Perry: Oh, that totally count.

Mika Perry: From Val Marie Paper. How I got connected to this is her sister commented on an Instagram post and said, “You should check out my sister’s company Val Marie Paper, she does prayer journals.” And she jumped onto you and said, “Hey, we’d love for you to check it out.” Well, I started following them and then they had a giveaway where they asked for suggestions for 2020 planner covers. I was instantly drawn by the design of these simple, beautiful quality and they have prompts inside that isn’t just about like write down three gratitude or what’s your prayer today. It’s what are the things in the community praying for, for people you love for the world, for the nation and it took it as such a scope that I respected.
Anyways, in this giveaway they said, “Help us come up with three colors, comment below.” I said, “French blue, olive and cream. This is a color you’ll notice through my Instagram feed I think it just colors I really love. Anyways, I want it. I want the giveaway.” I never enter giveaways and this one I won and so I now have that journal. And just started it and I’m really, really appreciative and loving it.

Russ Perry: French olive, you can’t lose.

Mika Perry: No French blue.

Russ Perry: Oh, French blue. Sorry, lost track.

Mika Perry: French olive, I’d love to know what color that is. All right, listening. I love the podcast, how I built this, it’s an NPR one guy Ross or Razz, Ross?

Russ Perry: Guy Razz.

Mika Perry: Razz, I dunno. Anyways, a listener, a podcast listener here from good to be home if you’re listening thank you so much. She messaged me on Instagram saying, “Hey, I don’t know if you’ve heard this already maybe you did, but SoulCycle was just on there.” And knowing that I’m a fan of soul cycle, she suggested it and I just listened to it and loved it. I love hearing about successful business owners, CEOs, how they built it, that’s why that podcast is so popular. It’s fascinating to hear how it started and SoulCycle was, it’s two women who lived in New York and literally just like made it happen so fast because they were so convicted that it was a good idea. They just knew it and just ran for it and I respected that.
Eating, I love Costco and they have this chicken burger made with Kale and Mozzarella that our whole family enjoys and as a mother that cooks for her family, that is pure gold. To have a-

Russ Perry: It’s like the Venn diagram of perfection.

Mika Perry: Yes, yes, for everyone to eat it so I would suggest this and you can find it just in the refrigerated meat section.

Russ Perry: I ate three of them last night, getting home late just with my hands out of the container from the fridge. I was like, what is this? This is so good.

Mika Perry: I had grilled them but anyway, love them. They’re super healthy and delicious. Finally loving, I’m on my third day of wearing my favorite old navy vests. Lately I’ve been getting questions on it because I’ll be on my Instagram stories and like, “Love your vest, what is it?” I actually had suggested it as one of my gift guide items for the holidays, it’s a super economical budget piece and it’s so warm and every year I buy more colors because they have it consistently. Today and actually the last three days I’ve thrown it over a Lulu lemon long sleeve top. Today I have white, I have a white hat on, white shoes.

Russ Perry: Do you have one in French blue?

Mika Perry: No, I have an olive.

Russ Perry: Oh, nice. French olive is trending.

Mika Perry: French olive, old navy who knew, they’re great.

Russ Perry: It’s not on my list, but I will add on. I got the guys one and I love it too, like just practical warm vest, kind of not super critical for warm clothes in Arizona and Scottsdale, but it’s like the right level of item to have for the early mornings or evenings.

Mika Perry: Exactly.

Russ Perry: All right, well, Mika, great job.

Mika Perry: Thanks.

Russ Perry: You do a good job on that every week. Now let’s dive into mine, what am I reading? I’m reading the manuscript of my new book.

Mika Perry: Oh really?

Russ Perry: Yeah.

Mika Perry: I can’t wait to see it.

Russ Perry: The working title, we’re working on, is called creation is your liberation and it’s all about how creative entrepreneurs can leverage daily acts of creation to create the life of their dreams.

Mika Perry: Wait, this is huge. I can’t believe you’re sharing this on here.

Russ Perry: Yeah.

Mika Perry: I love it.

Russ Perry: I’ve been working with Laura Hanley who is my editor/co-writer/most patient woman ever because she is just … I did a lot at the end of the last year that kinda got me delayed, but she also was helping me with sober entrepreneur so we’re really excited about this. Could be more of like a business book, but still with a lot of lifestyle habits and how to really leverage that daily system into just creation and pushing forward into whatever it is next for you. So really excited about that, great manuscript if I do say so myself. Mika, I want you to read what I’m listening to. I think it’s French, but I want you to.

Mika Perry: Gosh, okay.

Russ Perry: It’s in the box.

Mika Perry: I see, there is no way may, [Foreign language].

Russ Perry: Is that it?

Mika Perry: Nope. I don’t know French, Russ.

Russ Perry: Well, [Foreign language].

Mika Perry: We sound like we’re speaking Spanish.

Russ Perry: I know, but I think it’s a French wrapper and it is so awesome. I heard it on Apple music of course, and it’s like I’ll have to send a screenshot of this to our editor to link it correctly, but it is like French rap is like the craziest thing ever. Have you listened to much French rap?

Mika Perry: Can’t say that I have.

Russ Perry: French is like very like poetic and lots of heavy accented words and then you rap it, it’s just like this whole next level. Anyway, great tune. What am I eating? Will thanks to your social influence, I find occasionally boxes of Quest items coming into our house and I consume them probably faster than anything.

Mika Perry: They’re gone already.

Russ Perry: Quest has a new flavor of chocolate peanut butter cookies, protein cookies that is just ridiculous.

Mika Perry: Quote unquote.

Russ Perry: It’s kind of my guilty late night dessert during the week and I love it though. It’s like chocolate peanut butter cookies which are just like all my favorite things in one.

Mika Perry: Yeah, Quest does a good job.

Russ Perry: Then what am I loving? What could be the SoulCycle killer, Peloton bikes your Christmas present I have been using and it is awesome and specifically, I love my new best friend Robin Ozone or Azon, who is one of the lead cycle trainers, I think she’s a vice president at Peloton and she is freaking awesome. I think just from Philadelphia and she has hip hop classes. All of her classes begin with very motivational sayings like hustling earned you the right and all these hustle variants and also this ride is explicit, so put on your headphones. I’m blown away by this brand more so than the exercise because it’s a bike ride, whatever, you’re pumped up. I’m blown like I want to do a whole analysis of the Peloton brand, what they’re doing.
I think they’re going to go public and they’re going to crush because you get this experience that you’re in a group but you’re just in your room and it’s very, very real and dynamic and there’s gamifications and points and rankings and the quality is out of control.

Mika Perry: I’m going to keep an eye out for them being on how I built this.

Russ Perry: Yeah, oh yeah, it’s there. I do think that’s going to really disrupt fitness because the gyms and the places where we would have to go to access that kind of experience, it’s not exact obviously I’m just in my room quietly huffing and puffing with my headphones on, but I do feel motivated when they’re like don’t let up or they’re talking like I’m like really engaging and interacting with it. That’s ultimately the reason why I go to the gyms or work with someone live. It’s not to be buddies with people, it’s to have accountability. So we’ll see, and they just recently rolled out their mobile app where you could like do workouts and stuff just from your phone. You don’t even need one of their bikes or treadmills.

Mika Perry: Very cool.

Russ Perry: Very cool, science and technology all combined in one. All right, Mika, big topic today. Where do we want to begin because I think social media could be a thing where we just talk about it for our family for the whole hour so how do you want to navigate this? I don’t like it.

Mika Perry: Well, and there’s our episode, hi Guys. I think, yes, you we can talk for ever on this episodes and episodes and I actually pulled my Instagram followers on social media to ask what are some questions you had about social media that we can talk about today. I got so many responses that said I have so many questions about it but can’t wait to hear what you guys say, there are just too many questions. So I think it is such a big evolving, huge good and bad thing.

Russ Perry: Maybe we start there like I have a very clear opinion on this because actually I read a lot of people who are way smarter than me on the psychological impact of social media, Cal Newport with his book deep work in his blog is just a phenomenal blog about how it can damage us so I think I can cut it down to a very simple category. Social media is great when it’s used as a tool, social media is awful when it’s used as a distraction or sedation. What do you think?

Mika Perry: I agree. I think it can be all of those, all those can be applied for both personal and business and I think for the first conversation we’re having here on the podcast about social media specifically, I think we’d like to share both of the personal and the business tools and how we use that as a tool, and also how it has been distracting or negative in our lives in both of those respects.

Russ Perry: You want me to go first, or you want to tackle it?

Mika Perry: you go for it.

Russ Perry: All right, I think the thing I’ve seen with social media is really in the two big channels that we all consume, not we all but a lot of people, Facebook and Instagram, now they’re one company. And I noticed what was interesting was that Facebook came out burst. Actually I was one of the college students that was able to get Facebook before it was publicly available and we really had no clue how to manage it. It was like except every friend requests, like everything, we could poke people on Facebook, whatever that was. Then Instagram came along and I felt like it had more maturity with the tool in the sense that I knew how to curate it and you had to manage it. I had a brief stint with Snapchat and I got it and I realized that that’s just like pure distraction, there’s not much tools for me to use that on.

If I’m mark, I’m a marketer, I’m for sure going to be using it because you can advertise the heck out of stuff to a younger demographic but the Facebook entering my life versus Instagram was this like big gap in time. I found that I have more mature habits when it comes to Instagram, I don’t accept every person request. I curate my content stream on their. Facebook is just bankrupt for me, I don’t even all through other tools like buffer or my team post on Facebook but it’s like my business mailbox. I don’t know really what comes into my business mailbox. And if something important comes in-

Mika Perry: Like a physical mailbox.

Russ Perry: Yeah, my physical mailbox, something boring comes in, then my team figures out a way to get to me. But I don’t see the catalogs, I don’t see the notices, the credit card applications, all this stuff that comes in even though it exists.

Mika Perry: Junk mail?

Russ Perry: Yeah, junk. On one hand it’s so hard because we still get a lot of sales on the business side through both channels. Google not necessarily social media to all of the truth, we call it a search or purchase intent tool, I need to know something so I use that. That has attempted to go social at times with epic failures, Google plus was there big fail on that. But I do think that there’s been enough time now where there’s these habits of social media to be able to use it appropriately. And the downside is that I don’t feel like that’s well known. People are not talking about that, there’s definitely not enough conversations with youth on around that and it becomes this escapism tool even from a young age.

That’s I know the one thing we’re struggling with now in the family, and I know we’re not going go into the family side too much, but it’s helpful and it’s like I’m torn on the inside. We wouldn’t have this business design pickle today if it wasn’t for social media advertising and people consuming it. I don’t know how to navigate that feeling because I don’t want to be one of those people, but at the same time I used the tool to harvest clients.

Mika Perry: Well don’t be a bad advisor because I think everyone is figuring it out as we go and to not even help that is the fact that Instagram and social media channels are constantly changing and evolving. They’re always almost like one step ahead of us in a way and dragging us to, I say dragging maybe that was like a Freudian slip there, but down paths that are becoming unhealthier and more encouraging towards addiction of media, of consumption, of being tied to our phones. The plus side is that I do feel like there are conversations on intentionality. Social media breaks our usual thing now, I’ve even taken those and I recently, I want to say in the past couple of months, have noticed people just kind of stepping off without a big announcement of I’m taking a social media break or being afraid of it.
I think more people are much more comfortable not being posting whether you do it personally for business but not being as active. It’s being a little bit people kind of turning themselves as a collective group towards Instagram and Facebook as an ad-driven entity and saying hey, we kind of want to take our power back in a way. I like seeing that.

Russ Perry: Two thoughts, one, I do actually have to say I’m an optimist for sure. I want to believe even though they’re publicly traded company and the stock price is the number one thing, that they know, the only way they can sustain as a business and ad-driven business is if they become very relevant and deliver the right kind of stuff. I actually don’t mind advertising if it’s smart, if it’s well targeted and I find things like consumerism is a healthy part of our economy and improves our lives. There’s lots of benefits to it, benefit of the United States living here in this economy, but it could be taken too far.

I think there has to be conversations in those companies to say, you know what, we need to make sure we don’t become the late night infomercial that is just hocking whatever, whenever just to the lowest better. Now the other thing, the more philosophical, and I want to pose this question to you, do you think that our human nature is always just seeking the distraction and that social media is our parents’ TV, which was dare grandparents’ radio, which was like the variety mime show of the great-grandparents?

Mika Perry: 100% I think so, the difference is that we can all participate in it and create it.

Russ Perry: Oh, I see, there’s a democratized?

Mika Perry: Democratization.

Russ Perry: Democratified.

Mika Perry: Audience is now participating and I think it’s important to remember that it’s called social media. It’s the first media that has that participative social aspect. I want to highlight the fact that it is good, there are good things that come of it and we have our own … we’re kind of focus on Instagram because as far as social media, I think that’s really where you and I lived the most. I don’t even do Facebook, I do have an account only because there’s a neighborhood group that posts information. They’re like, “Oh, did you see it on city of all-stars?” Whatever but I don’t like Facebook reason why I got off of it was everyone is being negative and there’s just too many complainers.

Russ Perry: Too much fake news.

Mika Perry: The feeling I got when I was on it was negative, whereas Instagram, I felt more positive. I like the voice of Instagram and what people were doing there and creating. I got much more value out of being on Instagram so that’s why I shifted that way.

Russ Perry: I was looking at it like Facebook, now here’s an analogy, Facebook’s kind of like Am radio. Do you ever listen to AM radio?

Mika Perry: No, but I know it’s there.

Russ Perry: It’s like talk shows and conspiracy theorists and all this stuff and then Instagram is like my magazine subscriptions. I can subscribe to the National Geographic, I can subscribe to this person, I can get the content that I’m really into and it’s displayed in a way whereas Facebook is just like here on talk radio.

Mika Perry: That’s a great analogy, let’s talk a little bit about our own feeds, @russperry, @mikaperry, what is your history on it, what’s your intention going forward, some information you can give your followers about what’s happening on your feed and all that?

Russ Perry: Well, I’m super embarrassed. If you go through my feet, it’s like someone who has like a personality disorder or something. Currently, I’m not posting on my feed only on stories and I’m struggling with how to be relevant because I’m very mentally conscious of this whole conversation. I had a very markety hypey phase for a while and that didn’t sit well and then before that it was just the average guy photos from my life and that didn’t sit well and I’ve done professional photos I haven’t. Most recently is like a well-designed sort of congruent feed where if you go to my profile, Russ Perry, you’ll see it’s all interrelated between the photos and looks a little real slick.
I think the problem is I’ve just fallen out of step with creating content and what I was doing was actually writing microblogs and having them broken up into three parts and each part can be on its own, but then taking that microblog and reposting it on my website as a blog and having it all be in sync.

Mika Perry: Microblogging kind of means that you are almost creating a mini blog post in your caption.

Russ Perry: Yeah, and then I’ll take three posts and stitch it together on russperry.co and that is a way for me to do writing and use it in multiple ways. I think I’m going to continue with that and for me the two things I just need to do is to carve out time in my calendar to write which actually have on Wednesdays, the days we’re now recording our podcast. Then I have a very clear vision for my business and design pickle and we’re launching a new podcast at design pickle, so I think I’m just gonna Kinda roll all that together. So you’re gonna get a tidbit of what we’re talking about in either this podcast or are more business one design pickle podcast.
My Instagram will just basically be a tip of an iceberg to go then go find something else. Is that okay, I don’t know.

Mika Perry: Yeah, and I think for you, you’re an example of how Instagram is just a supplementation to your whole marketing and business plan while offering a little bit of a personal side, but yours is not like a personal Instagram.

Russ Perry: Right, and I just want people to say I think it’s also like validation, if they’re maybe going to sign up for coaching, sign up for design pickle, they can go in and be like, oh, this is a real person, a real company, I can check some stuff out and then they go off and buy or subscribe or whatever. I don’t consider people like following my Instagram because I’m so amazing.

Mika Perry: I think that brings up a good point in that if you don’t have Instagram, if you’re not active on it but you’re running a business, any sort, it is now standard for people to go on Instagram. If your target demographic of clients and customers is between say like in the 20s and 40s, 50s, they’re going to go on Instagram and check you out. Even if they don’t have an Instagram account, they can go google you and your Instagram account will pull up so if you have a public. We both have public Instagram accounts, I really don’t feel … Someone asked me recently about how much do you choose to share about your kids and your personal life? She said, thank you for sharing it. It’s valuable and informative, but how much do you choose?
For me, I’m not afraid of safety as much on it, I choose what I put on there based on just my instinctual comfort level. I don’t like to share where the kids go to school, I don’t know if you guys noticed I don’t post locations, so that’s really the only security thing. Also, I hope no one knows exactly where we live.

Russ Perry: They could find out.

Mika Perry: That’s the thing, people and just find out. So rather than being fearful of it, I am just being smart about it and I’m letting the rest just go.

Russ Perry: That’s why I bought a flame thrower.

Mika Perry: For security?

Russ Perry: Yeah.

Mika Perry: Cool.

Russ Perry: Just in case.

Mika Perry: Just light them on fire.

Russ Perry: Which you could have found in my Instagram stories.

Mika Perry: I think you just have to be smart and pause for a minute and think about that aspect of privacy.

Russ Perry: Mika, I’m going to volley the question back to you, what is your Instagram all about, @mikaperry?

Mika Perry: @mikaperry is curated collection of images that are informative and inspiring and connect with the people who value the same things I do.

Russ Perry: The one thing we’re subscribed to that I’d love are these chat books, which is a auto ship printed collection of your Instagram posts that come out every I think 60 posts or so every couple months and it’s like our new modern day family photo album. It has a picture, has location, the caption and it’s very, very cool and I know you agree not much to talk about it in that, but I actually have a philosophical question. Do you feel like it’s too filtered, the pictures and the staging and the professional photographer that we’re missing out on those moments that are a little more raw and real and not capturing those?

Mika Perry: That’s a great question, I think that … someone had asked me also in the questions, a curated feed, is that good or is that bad, what’s your take on it? My take is especially if you have a business or you’re just trying to grow in some way, maybe you’re just a personal blog, whatever, having a curated and maybe not curating might not be the best word, but just have it visually look nice because it’s-

Russ Perry: Designed.

Mika Perry: Designed and thoughtful shows that you care. When you throw things out there that aren’t too much, if you do that to me, I wouldn’t want to follow someone like that. I like it when it looks pretty and catches my eye and I don’t think that’s fake or too curated. To me, that shows that you’ve taken the time to find the best way to visually show and tell the story that you’re wanting to tell. I can grab the attention of people with a picture that is thoughtful and thoughtfully created much better than one that I just snapped randomly, but stories is providing that deeper personal, more of the moment opportunity to share that.
Stories now has lots of ways that you can also visually curated, but I think the authenticity or, I’m kind of over that word, the genuineness of your story can still be there. Even if you have a really pretty feed or your stories obviously you put time into it, what matters most is it’s called stories for a reason, it’s the story that you tell and if you’re a visual person, which I am, go ahead and invest in that.

Russ Perry: Back to the family legacy curation thing, something Mika and I both have is we have our Google accounts and the photo Google App can auto upload, it’s like unlimited free storage, photos and stories are automatically saved to your camera roll. What I always think about too with Instagram specifically, especially from posting stories and having fun and creating things, is that I am creating this legacy of content that one day I can just go to photos.google.com and log in and I have years of … I mean all the things you’d want to delete too like the blurry photo, the photo of your bank statement you had to send to the tax person, but it’s all there and I have tons of time gone in and like, what was 2014 this month and I can go and I can find all the candid stuff.
I think social media, you can have your curated piece, but if you’re just creating your own private social media, aka photos on your phone, videos on your phone habit synced somewhere because those are going to be a little treasured nuggets that you go back and you find the Christmas morning photo that’s sort of chaotic and crazy that didn’t make it onto an Instagram feed but still had an energy or a moment to it.

Mika Perry: Yeah, and the chatbooks page the other day was like for your own family and your kids, you probably wouldn’t be documenting and taking as many pictures if you weren’t also posting on social media.

Russ Perry: Good point, of the everyday stuff.

Mika Perry: The everyday stuff, this morning I took a picture of muffins I was making and then Paige eating them and tips and tricks or whatever. I wouldn’t have taken pictures of that had I not had the intent to share it with my audience and so I have that and my chatbooks page has pictures of her like in all sort of and she’s like, “Mom, mom, look it’s baby page, baby page,” from a couple of years ago. The fact that we have that historical record of our family, our day to day life is awesome. Whether it’s curated or not, at least it’s there.

Russ Perry: I will say for you, you really dived into it to be clear, you have a very clear intent for your social media channels that is supporting your ever-evolving business. We have a plan for you and your business, we’re not going to get into it today, but I think that you’re doing a great job keeping clear on the reason and the focus for this tool. I as a husband, I have to admit I struggled for a long time with the mass annoyance of you being on your phone too much with Instagram and Instagram stories. One of the awesome things that shifted my mind is when I got that first chatbook and I was like, oh wow, actually this is amazing and there’s like a lot of storytelling and thought in here and we’re going to really treasure these things. But then as you’ve gotten clear on your business strategy, I’ve felt more comfortable with time on Instagram because it’s not mindless sedation. It’s clear strategy to build audience and create value for your audience for future plans or what you’re working on.

Mika Perry: That’s really been my focus, I’m not there to push ads and sponsors. The only time I really work with other brands is when I find something that I love and I reach out to them and say, “Hey, do you want to work together to either do a giveaway or a promo code or something like that.” And it’s very few and far between, but it all starts at me just finding a service or product that I love, that I know that people who are following me would also appreciate knowing about because likewise when someone does that to me, people I follow and I like their viewpoint, then if they recommend something I’m like, oh thanks. It’s a time saver for me so I’m just giving that back too.
When people have shared like, oh go follow Mika, she’s my favorite, which by the way, thank you guys for doing that. I hate promoting that part, but I am saying that but I really appreciate that, but I’m referred to as a influencer/blogger/Instagramer because that’s kind of the general perception.

Russ Perry: Or the next Martha Stewart.

Mika Perry: Oh Gosh, stop. But I don’t view myself as an influencer. I am kind of a blogger. I am an Instagrammer because I’m on it but my endpoint does not end with social media.

Russ Perry: What is it, wat are you? I know.

Mika Perry: What would you say I am?

Russ Perry: You’re a businesswoman.

Mika Perry: Yeah, and this is part of my strategy. It’s not all clear to everyone, but it doesn’t end at Instagram. Some people, that is their main business is being an influencer to work with brands and have ads, sponsor.

Russ Perry: They are a billboard.

Mika Perry: It’s a billboard and that’s fine, that’s what they do and that’s a great platform for that. That’s just not my strategy, that’s just not what I’m doing. Also, I think there’s something to be said for it being a place to be creative, I kept it going after I did start kind of shifting it more to my professional organizing when I did it. After that was gone, I kept it around and I just used it as a place for creation. That may sound like why would you waste your time on that to some people, but for someone who is a creative, who gets value, personal value of taking photos, of thinking about topics, of sharing with words. It’s like writers and artists. This is just a different medium for that.
For me, I get personal value for myself to put it out there regardless of who sees it or not. I think that kind of is a good segue into the question about followers and audience and follower count because that’s something I get asked and I think that’s a huge thing and a distraction for business owners building an online brand, follower accounts and how do you get followers and all that. Whether you like it or not, I think it’s just inevitable that follower account does matter in that people are … when they go to your page, everyone looks at the follower account, most people, most people do. I know I do.
If I’m looking for a business and a service, local whatever, and I go to their Instagram page, I do look a split second to see what their follower count is and it does mean something to me. I would be lying if I said it didn’t, it does. Whether it’s true or not, if those are true authentic followers or not because we’ll get that in a minute, but it does matter. That gives me some sort of a validation, it says something to me. It says something to me and we would all be like putting a veil over our eyes if we said it didn’t.

Russ Perry: You’re right, it does. But I know that 10,000 authentic followers that you got organic, like all your followers you’ve got organically. You haven’t bought any, you haven’t gotten any weird India click follow firms or anything like that. Your engagement is through the roof, like on stuff, your comments, your audience. That is to me what matters, is like you can have a 10,000 person following, it’s just like our past episode on emails that we just did. If you have 10,000 real email addresses, that’s way more valuable than 100,000 email address you just bought online.

Mika Perry: Totally, totally. And both instant people who are on Instagram consuming and brands and businesses on there, everyone is pretty much onboard with that. That you’d rather have someone with a hundred loyal, amazing followers that engage, that you personally talked to and you build a community with is way better than 100,000, two thirds of which you never engage with and have topically no connection with you.

Russ Perry: I would argue that the point of social media in a business brand building context is to gain enough trust with your audience that you can make a connection with them off the platform i.e get their email address or have them come to an event or something.

Mika Perry: Absolutely.

Russ Perry: If you don’t have that next step in mind, you are setting yourself up for dangerous, dangerous proposition because if you’re the Instagram model billboard person that only does it on there, never say never, everyone thought Myspace was the best thing ever and it crashed. People could leave it, it could become filled with just nonsense, it’s going to be saturated.

Mika Perry: It already is.

Russ Perry: You can have a great run right now promoting Jiffy Lube and bud light or whatever, but you could get to … if you can’t get them off that platform into your own network of an email list or something that you own and curate, then you’re sunk, you’re always going to be at the mercy of the ad dollars of the algorithms that someone else controls.

Mika Perry: The smart people are stepping outside of that and recognizing that.

Russ Perry: It’s just the pathway to get there.

Mika Perry: I had a question about followers counts because everyone wants to, not everyone, sorry I keep on saying generalities here, so I don’t want to assume anyone, but many people want to grow their following, whether that’s for just personal reach, they want to meet more people or for their business, they want to grow their potential customer base. Someone asked, how have you grown your followers? And they said, I noticed like you started small and then you had a big jump and then he had another jump, why? I thought it was so interesting that someone out there has their eye on my follower count, like back to what I was saying, people look at it. I even recognized it when I got to 10,000 followers because, like I went all my stories and said thank you, because I can now do the swipe up. Instagram set whatever random number.

Russ Perry: What’s the swipe up?

Mika Perry: On stories now I can link products, a blog post, a website and you can swipe up to find out more whereas before I had to put it into my bio link or I’d say DM if you want this recipe. Like this morning I posted a recipe, I can just say swipe up so it makes it easier for everyone, I don’t have to personally respond.

Russ Perry: You unlocked the next level.

Mika Perry: Correct, by getting 10,000 followers and that’s why that was important to me.

Russ Perry: Functionality.

Mika Perry: The only reason I just wanted to make life easier, functionality. Pass that, nothing changes for me. Back to answering that question for followers, I started investing time into Instagram beyond just a place I put my baby’s pictures in 2015 is when I really started so really three years. I started at like 400 followers because that’s my personal network of people.

Russ Perry: What you synced from Facebook or something.

Mika Perry: Or something, and then I remember the one day and I was like, I’m at 600 followers because it started growing. Then slowly it’s grown and honestly, like you said, I haven’t done any of the buying followers or anything like that. It just takes time and-

Russ Perry: It takes time and awareness.

Mika Perry: It takes time and awareness and again, it really matters the quality of your followers. I would suggest do not go for those quick follower tactics and brands reaching out all the time asking, we can help you get more followers and it’s authentic and all that, they’ll be in your DMs. Don’t do that, and the way that I have had those jumps of followers that you may see that I’ve had is by reposts brands, reposting, people sharing on stories now, that’s been huge. When a bigger account reposts mine, I get followers. That used to be a bigger strategy earlier and Instagram where people would tag, you tag your post, your photo with all the brands that you hoped would repost your photo just so you know you can get in front of their audience too.

That’s kind of fallen by the wayside, that doesn’t work anymore, but if you put valuable information out there that people apply to their own lives and then they share it on their stories and tag you, you are now connecting to the trust that that person has built with their audience and plugging into that. They have now been vouched for you as a reliable source of information or whatever or someone with style or someone who has great recipes or someone who talks about the hard stuff and has really great conversations. There’s this one girl on Instagram, I don’t know how she started, but she had videos, she’s a nurse ER nurse and posted videos of how to help your kids when they’re choking, toddler choking and baby choking.

Her Instagram exploded because someone reposted and then that network reposted and said, “Hey, look at this.” That’s how, it’s the nature of social media which is sharing, so if you get shared, that’s when it grows and that’s what happened in the past. Like just even the week, I was like, why am I getting all these followers all of a sudden? It’s just people sharing.

Russ Perry: I want to get more specific because I think that’s common sense, I share something and people are gonna follow me. It makes sense, but what you hit on, but I want to really hammer home is it has to be something worth sharing and don’t assume, this is what I make the mistake of, I sell fed it and I self-critique what I’m creating all the time and I assume that just because I don’t think it’s the best thing it’s not worth sharing. I know for a fact that there are so many different interests in people and I laugh all the time when you do something or post something and it has this mini-viral moment over the most random thing, like the alarm clock.

Or I post a picture of you and you’re like, that’s the worst picture ever, and then I get like a flood of comments. We’re our own worst critics, but the value out there is often in the eyes of the audiences and it’s creating a consistent enough amount of value variety and then if you’re wanting to leverage this specific social media tool, you just have to get more eyeballs on your stuff to be able to grow the impact.

Mika Perry: We’ve said value a lot on here and you might be wondering, well, how do I create value, what do you mean? I think you just have to think about long time, not a long time ago, but someone shared, are you going to be inspirational, educational, aspirational? What’s your standpoint on that, what’s the purpose? I think in anything you do in life, you have to think how this connects to your own purpose. For Instagram, even for this podcast, the purpose, it’s there. We’re doing it to help others, we’re doing it as a connection for you and I, personally value as well and seeing how it starts to flow and encourage and speed up the train of the other things that we’re doing, it all connects

Russ Perry: I will say to the listener out there who’s not running a business, who doesn’t have this social influencer or follower count kind of vernacular in their daily conversations like Mika and I, your purpose could be the modern day family album and that’s great. Sync it up to chatbook, boom, you’re done. The social media tools have to mean something to you and you have to have a clear outcome with them, that’s when they have the value, that’s when they can become useful.

Mika Perry: Real quick, we’ve talked a lot about the good things about social media. What to you, Russ has been negative? You’ve talked about how before I used to be on it a lot, you didn’t like how that ate into our own personal family time, what are some other things that you feel is negative, whether it’s applied to you personally or as a general rule?

Russ Perry: I think just the keeping up with the Joneses Syndrome is just amplified and magnified inside of all these things. I am not going to name any names but I’ve actually unfollowed a lot of people because I would be envious or I would have these feelings of nice freaking vacation jerk, I want to go on a vacation or whatever. I caught myself doing that and these were like awesome, cool people who I love and so I just was like, you know what? I’m going to eliminate that. I think it’s really easy to get caught up in that rat race kind of phenomenon. Also, as a content producer, I think it’s easy to get caught up in the latest scheme, hype version of ways to post, how to post, do you do the tag thing like you said, if I hire a social media consultant and you can go to my feed and you can see my hypey hustler phase that I had.

Mika Perry: I think that is one difference between you and I is that you have changed as Instagram offered more capabilities. I have kind of stayed the same.

Russ Perry: Yeah, you are steady.

Mika Perry: I am. I’m proud of that, but it also just … that’s what feels natural to me and I think it’s super important that you come back to what feels best for you. There is no right way. Some people can excel and do wonderfully at incorporating those new features and ways people are doing it. I don’t like getting a keeping up with the Joneses as you said, of like how you present stories or how you do things. I kind of just stick to my own style and I think there’s something to be said for consistency so that I hope that when my story pops up or my picture, the goal is that you’ll know immediately it’s me because it’s my style.

Russ Perry: I just posted some pictures of my parking spot this morning.

Mika Perry: I saw that.

Russ Perry: They’re cool, they got design.

Mika Perry: I loved it, I love it.

Russ Perry: I think I get distracted in how to create and what to create and I’m just on that journey and I think I’m getting better. I think at times I over emphasize the importance of it and I always ground myself with the like look the best, most successful people that I respect, just if they’re on Instagram. Richard Branson posts a gnarly photo of him working out, actually honest Peloton bike and it’s not curated, there’s not a credit over caption, there’s no funny designs are tagged strategies, but he’s successful because of what he’s done offline. That is my mantra, my sub mantra of social media for 2019 is I want a big ass following on Instagram because of what I’ve done not on Instagram. That’s what I’m going to be focused on.

Mika Perry: I love that. For me, negative things that I’ve had is how it eats away at my time. It is so easy to get sucked in Instagram. I love that and I put the notification on is that you can get a notification now how long you’ve been on it every day so it’s like a timer, like a limit. When I clean my house I like to set timers for myself. I do really well with deadlines and a framework like that so I have a set timer. I have it set for two hours, I think that was the default and I was like oh I kinda like that, so that’s my limit. I also now have been taking Sundays off social media, I don’t post anything on Sundays.

It’s great because I realize now that how can I get more time, eliminate some things and social media can be a huge time suck so I can count on Sundays not having a post, not getting sucked in, not reading other peoples. I will say though I’ve had to change notifications on it so I wouldn’t get sucked into it on Sundays. Also, I realized how much information I share in DMs that I refer to, I’ve gone on Instagram on Sundays to find a message to get back to a friend of mine who are talking on DM instead of text messaging. That would be negative because then I would be like, oh an instantly I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m on my feed or I’m doing something.

Or one thing is that I plan directly on Instagram, I upload my upcoming posts on there, so I would do that on Sundays and start working for the week ahead on Sunday and then I realized that a DM notification comes in on the top of the scream and then I would click on it and then here we go I’m sucked into it again. They make it really easy to get sucked in so I have to have with intentionality, not get sucked in.

Russ Perry: They just want to show you ads.

Mika Perry: Not just ads, but just they make it easy to get into the things you’re interested in and that really-

Russ Perry: They do want to show you ads.

Mika Perry: They do.

Russ Perry: That’s the number one-

Mika Perry: I know, but I’m not looking at ads, but yeah, I see what you’re saying. If you’re feeling like you’re spending too much time on social media set, that notification also at general notifications on your phone. I don’t get the notification of when someone DMs me or comments, I’ve turned all of that off and it’s pretty crazy when you go into that setting, how many notifications they have enabled if you don’t go in and physically disable it.

Russ Perry: While we’re on tips, avoid the magnifying glass button on Instagram, the search button that then just recommends random things because you will go deep down the hole. I had a brief stint where Instagram was recommending to me these amazing African dance flash mobs that were so cool and I would just be watching them and then I look at it and it knows what you watch and then I just look and it’s just like all of these African dancers of all-

Mika Perry: That’s your explore page.

Russ Perry: The explore page, don’t go there.

Mika Perry: That’s so true because I think I have now developed a discipline within myself that I don’t go in the feed too much. The downside is that I miss a lot of my friends posts and things that I am truly interested in, but I try to focus on my own creation in my posts and content, but I have late at night gone on the explore page and want to know what’s online, I get so into it. It’s Meghan Markle and the royal family sheer videos and diamond rings.

Russ Perry: I’m just actually pulling mine up, I have African dance videos. I have things getting crushed in hydraulic presses, which is actually one of my new top Instagram recommendations.

Mika Perry: Look at mine right now, I’m showing it to Russ right now.

Russ Perry: Sheer, diamonds, diamonds. I would say-

Mika Perry: Prince William.

Russ Perry: Prince William. Wow, that’s because you’re so royal.

Mika Perry: I’m just anyone.

Russ Perry: I will say though, the best Instagram account you should follow is the hydraulic press channel. It’s basically this hydraulic press machine or multiple machines crushing things like golf balls. You have to see it. It’s so incredible, super distracting.

Mika Perry: I think Instagram, even right now when is pulling up the explorers like I have some messages I clicked on it.

Russ Perry: I lose you, I’ll be in convos with you and it’s like you’ll just like a robot.

Mika Perry: I’m trying to work on the sense of urgency of getting back to people, it’s important to me tip on engagement. I’ve had questions about like what’s the best way to engage with your audience, how do you develop that engagement, is to personally engage with them and that’s what it takes. It takes commenting back, responding back to questions, I personally respond to all the DMS, I’m not like that big of a person but that takes time and I think that’s something I’m trying to be more aware of is that the sense of urgency is not there or it shouldn’t be there, that sense of urgency.

Russ Perry: We started this episode I think with a bit of a broader scope of social media and we definitely took it down a niche. We could talk for hours on this so Mika, I think we need a part two, definitely diving into the family side of all of this. That will get scheduled because it’s a deep topic and we explored the business, the best case use case, pros and cons, today really talked a lot about Instagram. I would just end with this is just to say it’s all about intentionality. You used that word first and I love that word, it’s all about the intentionality.
If you’re picking up your phone, you’re going on your computer, you don’t have an intention for what you’re about to do, that’s a red flag. That’s where you should look at how you can interrupt that habit and create a new one because it could be a fantastic tool to build your audience, to create family memories, to share information with your families, which I know all parents use it for, but it has to have an intention otherwise you’re just turned into a zombie watching African dance videos, Prince William and hydraulic presses.

Mika Perry: As always, if you have any questions this time on social media, send an email to hello@goodtobehomepodcast.com. I respond to those and I will respond not immediately because sense of urgency there, I need to be respectful of my time and intention, but in a timely matter, we will respond back and we’ll love to hear from you.

Russ Perry: And don’t forget all past episodes over @goodtobehomepodcast.com. You can get information on what we’re doing, links to where we’re at, as well as subscribe and review to the show and share it with your friends on social media please.

Mika Perry: Honestly, I’ve had so many people sharing on the podcast and messages from people saying, “Hey, I found you through someone else.” I love that, that’s the positive of social media.

Russ Perry: Here’s the first ever listener challenge, I want everyone to have the intention to share our podcast with 10 people this week on social media, please.

Mika Perry: You know what I want to do sometime?

Russ Perry: What’s that?

Mika Perry: Is to have a little like thank you giveaway for shares, so that’s coming up. I’m going to do that.

Russ Perry: You can get your entries in this week by sharing our podcast with 10 people, but thanks so much everyone. We appreciate you being here, we’ll see you next week.

Mika Perry: All right, bye.

Russ Perry: Thanks for listening to this episode of Good To Be Home.

Mika Perry: And don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and give us a rating.

Russ Perry: See you next time.