#15: Social Media Marketing with Shopify Performance Marketer Brent Stirling

Hosted by Josh Gonsalves
1 HR 36 MIN
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Episode Description

Brent Stirling runs social media performance marketing at Shopify. He's experienced in all forms of paid and organic social, as well as multi-channel strategy building for a number of verticals and industries that include SaaS (Software as a Service), tech startups, direct to consumer brands, hospitality and politics.

Connect with Brent on Twitter:

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  • Brent runs Performance Marketing at Shopify
  • Shopify grew like crazy during the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Twitter thread about taking a family farming business online and growing the business
  • Josh believes a major opportunity will be Urban vertical farming in unused commercial buildings
  • Shopify announced the company would be digital by default / a permanently remote company
  • Shopify gave each employee $1000 to setup a home office
  • Shopify just built a new office in Toronto and Ottawa before the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • The person who designed Disneyland also designed Facebook Headquarters
  • Googleplex
  • Brent's experience working from home with a four-year-old son
  • Brent says he's working at about 30-40% productivity
  • Brent talks about his experience and tips for parenting during the pandemic
  • Shopify is an avenue to learn about Entrepreneurship
  • Brent and his wife have a History Degree and don't do work that has anything directly to do with that
  • Brent taught high school English in Japan for four years through the Jet program
  • Brent got into social media by building a community in Japan to party with people he met
  • Fukushima Earthquake in 2011
  • Brent got really into social media to spread awareness about the Fukushima disaster
  • Brent started his own company to help his friends set up websites and social media for their businesses
  • Brent was an organizer with HackerNest and worked with many Toronto Startups
  • Brent ran the DMZ social media
  • Brent ran Navdeen Baines election campaign in 2011
  • Brent applied to Shopify through Snapchat Stories, which turned out to be a growth hack for them
  • Brent told Josh to design the first Toronto Snapchat Geofilter
  • Brent started by doing organic social at Shopify
  • Brent sees a "share" as the best possible metric for social media
  • What makes people share a post is when they see something that reflects a piece of their own identity
  • Shopify has an in-house data science team to support the social media team
  • DTC vs. SaaS paid social media
  • Brent is always trying make the cost per lead and cost per customer go down
  • Brent's strategy is to educate potential new users about Shopify to become successful and continue using it
  • Shopify's mission statement is "Make commerce better for everyone"
  • All new hires at Shopify need to build their own store to get knowledge about the product
  • Brent started a Vegan Organic Deodorant shopify store
  • Brent lost $1000 by running Facebook ads for his store without optimizing his Facebook Pixel on his site first
  • Brent's current Shopify store is
  • Brent built the landing page and ads for print on demand with Shopify and Printful
  • Brent explains what Print-on-demand is
  • Amazon FBA
  • Brent says paid ads is kind of like gambling
  • Brent says the paid search team spends way more than the social media team at Shopify
  • Brent talks about the semi-competitive culture at Shopify to keep crushing goals
  • Hybrid E-commerce model where some products are dropshipped, others are print-on-demand, then some are completely custom
  • Every organization has fires that need to be put out all the time
  • Brent tells a story about how he accidentally posted one of his restaurant client's menu on Shopify's Facebook page
  • Brent's advice for Freelancing is to take on fewer clients that pay more than take on lots of clients that pay less
  • Brent was turned down by Sodastream because his price was too cheap
  • Brent's advice on how to optimize your OpenGraph images on your website
  • Brent teaches at BizStart in Toronto
  • Brent says to NEVER use the "boost post" button on Facebook or Instagram. It's a complete waste of money
  • Learn how to run ads from Facebook Ads Manager
  • Learn about Pixels for running ads
  • Your social media strategy is your goals, your target segments, and how your content themes
  • Brent goes in depth on how to build out your social media strategy
  • Brent explains Facebook Pixel tracking and how you get followed on the internet by ads
  • TikTok as a social platform
  • Traditional TV ads with absolutely no tracking or metrics vs. digital ads
  • Privacy as it relates to digital marketing
  • If you don't want to be tracked on the Internet, use an Incognito or Tor browser
  • You can opt-out of Facebook Pixels
  • There's a section in the Facebook settings to see how you've been tracked and the profile Facebook has built on you
  • Use the Pixel Helper Chrome Extension to see the Pixels on every website. You can use this as a user and to spy on competitiors
  • UTM links to track where you came from on the internet
  • Brent shares some resources and tips for SaaS marketers
  • Check out the Shopify blog
  • Unmarketing book by Scott Stratin
  • Jab Jab Jab Right Hook book by Gary Vee
  • No More Hustle Porn article by Nat Eliason
  • Hooked book by Nir Eiyal
  • Follow Brent on Twitter and check out his Following list for great marketers on Twitter
  • Follow Corey Dobbin, David Hermin and Matt Cobach (D2C marketers) on Twitter
  • Brent suggests sharing tweets and posts to LinkedIn for lots of views

Thanks for coming this far! if you're reading this, it is no accident. The universe brought you to this corner of the internet for a reason, and you're on the right track. I already know that you're an amazing person and I can't wait to connect with you!

— Josh

Episode Transcript

Josh Gonsalves
Mind Meld Podcast Host

Hi, I'm Josh Gonsalves, the host and producer of Mind Meld. I'm also a Canadian Academy Award-nominated director and Co-founder of Contraverse, an immersive media company. I'm a multi-media experience designer living and working in Toronto, operating at the intersection of design and exponential technologies to develop solutions that change the world for the better.

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