All posts by Rich Malachy

No More LIKES!?

Instagram has recently reported that it will be beginning to test the removal of the “Like” numbers as soon as this week. With Australia being one of the countries to have already undergone this test, it seems like the IG update is testing well.

Why is not seeing the number of likes on posts of other people such an important differentiator? Well, lets explore:

CONS:

  1. Many influencers use their number of likes to showcase their market value to sponsors and potential business partners.

  2. “Like” counts are a form of social proofing. If a post has more likes, it is more likely to compound into even more attention, simply because it is human nature to look for the approval of others when deciding whether or not we like something. It’s essentially mini testimonials.

  3. Those who worked hard to build their IG community based on likes will have to find new forms of analytics to showcase in order to prove their value.

PROS:

  1. Although you will not be able to see the amount of likes on other peoples posts, you will still be able to see your own in the analytics menu. This, of course, is a relief to many online creators, since they will still be able to screenshot this and send it to potential sponsors or brand partners.

  2. You will also still see the names of the people you follow under each post if they too have liked that image/video. This still allows for some social proof, even if there isn’t a number attached.

  3. Forcing users to decided on what to like simply based on the quality of the post sets all users back at a level playing field for growth. If your post is good, it will get traction.

How does this relate to food equipment?

Since this industry has been on Instagram for under two years, it is difficult to gain rapid growth. With this change, the chances are raised simply because the content is now being judged by individual users strictly based on value or quality. As long as we prioritize making good content, we should see an uptick in our IG numbers.

However, this doesn’t mean we should post less..On the contrary, for us to separate ourselves from the noise of social media, we will have to create twice as much. We will have to carve out our own corner of the internet.

That in a nutshell is what we are aiming to do with the FEDD group. We are aiming to heighten awareness and usefulness of the internet in hopes to make the relationships between channel partners stronger and more efficient. Thus, making us all more money!

The New Show!

As we enter our second week of The Rich and Angel show, we are hoping that this series/segment on YouTube will become an entertaining place for you to listen to or hear about industry news. The more of our industry gets online, the more relevant this show will be to what is actually happening inside the Food Equipment world.

You might be thinking: “How are these two gonna know about everything in the industry?” Fair question. We are looking to you as industry leaders and long time experienced people to help tell us what’s important to you.

Next week we will be going LIVE on YouTube with this show in hopes that we can have you call in and talk about all things commercial kitchen!

We hope that you are as excited about this as we are, since this is really a new level of content that we are aiming to reach!

If you have any recommendation on what we should cover, or would like to be a call-in guest on the show, just shoot us a message! We love hearing from you!

New Instagram Features

2019 has been a big year for instagram updates. From new algorithm changes to new rules being implemented, theres a lot to cover. However, let’s just discuss some of the key features that will help you better connect with your audience. Here goes.

LIVESTREAM Q & A

Livestream Q&A on Instagram
  1. Open up your instagram camera.

  2. Slide over to “Live”.

  3. Announce that you will be doing a Q&A

  4. Let your audience send you questions!

Shop Tags

Shop Tags On Instagram

If you have a product to sell (Ideally reps/dealers/manufacturers) then the instagram shop tag feature is perfect for you.

Link your instagram to your store page and when you “tag” your picture, you will be able to tag any products in the image with a clickable link that will take people to your website.

COUNTDOWN STICKER

Countdown Feature

Use the countdown sticker found in your story to keep your audience engaged with important milestones your business will hit.

I hope these three features are helpful! Use the best possible feature for your kind of business and be unique and creative with it.

Not Your Competition

After our return from the CFESA national convention, which was delightful and incredibly productive, Rich and I thought it would be a great idea to further clarify our vision for the Food Equipment Digital Disruptors.

Coming from the world of Digital Marketing, it has become clear that there could be some confusion about where the FEDD would fall into place as an entity. Rich and I don’t envision another additional Association. We envision a business that hosts events which help any of the 5 families learn and implement the digital tools to build an online presence. This may take many different forms depending on what your business does. For example:

It may not be the best idea to create a vlog if you are a massive manufacturer, however if you are a service company with 1-50 employees, then a vlog may be right up your alley. The raw and honest nature of the vlogging tool may be the best way to portray the message you want to your potential customers, accounts and even future employees.

If you are a larger business with a precision marketing budget then a video podcast might be more your speed. Start by interviewing influential people within your network and offering your audience some entertainment value. Interview series are great because you can edit for content and time, while keeping a professional image that may not happen with vlogs. You are also empowering the narrative of your own company by making sure the right message is associated with you.

If you are a rep/dealer, then there might be some interesting ways of doing direct to camera videos and even incorporating your equipment with creativity. Bring a chef on to use the equipment; something like that.

In essence, our goal as the FEDD is not to compete with or take away from any of the channel partners, it is in fact to empower all of them to deliver their messages in the most effective way possible for a modern era.

Our main goal is to find, curate and translate any digital marketing trends into principles that will directly benefit the food equipment industry.

With this, we hope that you will enjoy the hard work and detailed planning we are putting into this conference to make it something spectacular and beneficial. If you have any questions, please feel free to message Rich or me.

As smart as a ‘bot?

The biggest bank in the U.S. – JPMorgan Chase – took a chance on an artificial intelligence machine called Persado (call me paranoid, but if you say that out loud it sounds similar to persuade-o, as in, “Let me persuade-o you to buy something.”). The bank pitted Persado against human copywriters and Persado won. Even bigger news, in my opinion, is that Persado won using words that humans should be using.

The product is home equity loans. Here’s what a human wrote for an online ad:

“Access cash from the equity in your home.” = an average of 25 clicks per week.

And Persado? Things got a little more personal with Persado:

“It’s true – you can unlock cash from the equity in your home.” = an average of 47 clicks per week, almost twice as many clicks.

I’ve been talking a lot of digital media and how important it is for businesses to jump in. You might think this article is about “beyond digital” and jumping on AI. Nope. This article is about humanizing the way you do business. Because that’s exactly what Persado is doing. It’s a virtual gold miner, digging up word nuggets that make messages more appealing because they are more conversational, more personal, more human.

It took a robot to remind us that our customers are people who want to be treated like people. Not annoyances, not interruptions, not dollar signs. People.

I say it all the time: We’re in the people business. We need people to operate our business and we need people to buy what we’re selling. Somewhere along the line, though, too many of us decided treating people with dignity, respect and care was a personal or business expense that could/should be reduced.

I’m not sure which came first in this scenario, the chicken or the egg. Who started this downward spiral of bad behavior – the customer or the people in business? Trying to live by “the customer is always right” can be challenging. Appreciation for doing it right the first time is rare. Too often my employees get screamed at (not exaggerating) over the phone and even in person for situations out of their control. At the same time, I’ve been on the customer end of a phone call where my concerns are addressed by someone reading a script that resembles a “Who’s on first” routine.

Pointing fingers doesn’t benefit anyone. Being a decent human being first benefits everyone. If a ‘bot can figure out how to woo people into taking the next step in the sales sequence almost twice as much as a human, maybe we need to learn from the ‘bots. That’s exactly how artificial intelligence improves, by learning from humans.

Turning the tables and learning from AI is a game changer. Try connecting with customers on a human level and see if you aren’t naturally smarter than a ‘bot.

Consistent Video

One of the biggest issues in getting started with social media is “how often should i post?”

This is a great example of a hurdle that is far less important than we may think. It’s easy to say that you should be posting every day, six times a day…however, I realize that is not feasible for most.

My recommendation is to begin with Linked In.

  1. Pick one day of the week to shoot and create a 5-10 minute video. This doesn’t have to be a huge production. Simply shoot 5-10 videos over the course of 3 hours in order to have a “batch” of content.

  2. Pick another day during that week to post one of the videos you shot earlier in the week. After editing it, post it directly to Linked In only.

  3. If it is a 5-10 minute video as I recommended; clip a small one minute segment from that video and post it to your Facebook or Instagram page. Since your video is at least 5 minutes long, you can repeat this for about a week without having to shoot more videos.

  4. Use the InShot app to create some headers in order to put your 1 minute clips into context as rich does on his personal IG constantly.

  5. You can repeat this with the other 4 videos you shot for nearly the rest of the month.

Some highlights:

This process allows you to only take one day to shoot, yet still have enough content to post consistently, every day on 3 platforms. A large key to making this work is making your captions incredibly relevant, insightful and useful. Ask questions in your caption, ask for comments, write stories. Make sure to use good hashtags (not too specific but not too broad).

You might be thinking that only posting once to LinkedIn a week may seem underwhelming. Well, here are some ideas of what you can post to linked in and won’t require much.

  • A cell phone photo of what your day is like.

  • Ask a well thought out question in only text.

  • Share creative and interesting posts that you see on other pages.

  • Write a LinkedIn article.

If you follow these steps, they will take up less than 5% of your work day and you will see a significant increase in your engagement in 2 months.

Let us know if this helps you out and if you try it, be sure to tag us or share your results with us!

It’s Not Worth It!

If it’s easy, it’s not worth doing

Right now I’m so far out of my comfort zone that if the title of this article is true (and I hope to prove to you that it is), what I’m doing is worth all the gold in Fort Knox.

I can talk to a camera, I can (and did) talk to Gary Vee on his show and I can post on social media. What I didn’t think I could do is stand on a stage and talk to people about disruption in the food equipment industry. And yet, that’s exactly what I’m traveling across the country to do this summer.

My mind is blown that I said yes to this challenge. If I would have been offered this opportunity even two years ago I would have said, “You’re crazy,” and then I would have run home, locked my door and hid. So, obviously, I’m not doing this because it’s easy. I said yes because I know how hard it will be. To become the person I want to be, the person who lives a rewarding life, I have to push through what’s difficult to learn and grow.

NASA plans to send humans to the moon again as the beginning of efforts to send humans to Mars. President John F. Kennedy introduced the idea of space travel to the moon in a 1962 speech in which he said,

“We choose to go to the moon…not because [it] is easy, but because [it] is hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one we are willing to accept…”

Every time we accept a challenge, we make the best part of ourselves stronger. We learn from every stumble and improve every piece of who we are. The process is incredibly frustrating and it’s natural to consider quitting. This is where the concept of “winners never quit and quitters never win” comes to play. Be confident that the will to succeed is more powerful than the voice in everybody’s head that whispers in a seductive voice, “Quitting is easy. Go ahead, quit.”


In the food equipment industry, digital marketing is mainly about two things. 1. Consistency and 2. Authenticity.

The will to succeed comes from somewhere deeper than where voices of doubt reside. You’re whole body is involved in succeeding. There’s a shared energy that connects us to the Australian lizard that fans its neck out and the gorilla that beats its chest – both animals physically showing they aren’t afraid. When you are committed to taking on a difficult task you pull from that shared energy to enter the same zone world-class athletes often inhabit.

Embrace challenges as if they are foolproof health supplements. Success and victory improve your life in more ways than probiotics or 10,000 steps ever will. Accept imperfection as the best teacher you’ll ever know. Try again. Try 20 more times if you have to. Find a way over, under, around or through every roadblock. Don’t stop trying until you achieve your goal.

After that, look around, because your next challenge is waiting for you. But, then, so is the reward.

Likes Are Leaving!

There has been an internal argument among the instagram community about whether the company’s experiment to end the “like” counter is a good idea. I’d like to offer some perspective on the pro’s and con’s of the situation.

THE CON’S

The Wall St. Journal writes that this trial testing began in Canada and has expanded to numerous other countries including Sweden, Japan and Australia. This may be a big change for most instagram users.

A common misconception about the change is that it will remove your ability to “like” a post completely. This isn’t true, you will still be able to like other people’s posts however, you will not be able to see how many other people have liked it as well.

Some say that this is a small vanity metric change that really isn’t a good enough solution for the mental health problems social media is causing. They argue that this only puts a band-aid on the actual problem.

This is what a new instagram post would look like:

THE PRO’S

A major concern has been how this will effect marketing and your ability to thrive as a business. Most major influencers like Carlos Gil and even Gary Vee argue that this should not effect a well thought out, creative and authentic marketing campaign.

I would like to go as far as to say it would benefit those who are already doing well on social media. Why?

There is a human condition called “FOMO” by millenials. Where we do something simply because we have a “Fear of Missing Out”. This is what a lot of popular posts are like on instagram.

We follow, like and comment because we don’t want to miss out, not necessarily because we genuinely enjoy or are entertained by the content.

A hidden like counter will remove that from the equation, making users engage on one basic instinct…”Do I enjoy this or not?” In my opinion, this will help up and coming influencers who are genuinely talented to gain even more traction, and it will help companies sponsor influencers not based on vanity metrics but based on the quality of their content.

What do you think? Should Instagram remove the “likes” counter? Or should we keep things as they are?

Content is king

Let’s sit back and enjoy a few words of wisdom from Uncle Bill (Gates):

“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting…But the broad opportunities for most companies involve supplying information or entertainment. No company is too small to participate.”

In 1996, when Bill Gates first offered this opinion, he was considered quite bold and most people – especially members of traditional media like newspapers, television and radio – thought he was wrong. Fast forward 23 years and Gates’ words from so long ago are like a prophecy.

At the time Gates even acknowledged that audio and video (in their online infancy in 1996) might be part of the content revolution. He guessed that to fully engage a customer, audio and video had to be part of the content offered.


What Gates didn’t predict in 1996 was that all businesses needed to 1) have an online presence and 2) offer worthy content. In 1996, with an internet so basic that Atari’s Pong (Google it) looked high tech in comparison, Gates called that year’s online advertising revenue of $30 million “zero.” Here’s why $30 million might seem like zero: 2018 paid online advertising revenue for just the United States was $100 billion (with a B). And that’s just counting paid revenue. Earned revenue – attention through unpaid posts on social media – is estimated to be at least four times paid revenue.

What am I always saying? You need to get digital. You have to be part of what’s happening now. I know there are more digital choices than a plastic pumpkin full of Halloween candy; so many options and conflicting opinions on which one is the best. My best advice is to go with the truth that content is king and just start.

The first step is always the hardest, right? You’re probably making it even more difficult by overthinking. Let go of “I’ll do it after I [fill in the blank],” and just do it. Progress is always better than perfection. You can’t improve or fix something that doesn’t exist yet. There will never be a perfect time. The time is now.

Just start and be consistent. What is your message? Imagine you’re in room with a hundred people who want what you’re selling and you have all the confidence in the world. What would you say to that group? What are the information points that you can fall back on every time?

  • I’m selling X.
  • X is the best because…
  • X can solve your problem in this way…
  • X makes your life better by…

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling time in your recording studio, engineering know-how, installation of a commercial dishwasher or the next fidget spinner. Develop your message, stick to the message and jump into the digital world. Use all your energy for just that and stop wasting it on overthinking.

Nobody’s ever 100% ready. If you don’t have opening night or wedding day or grand opening or product launch jitters, then you’re not fully engaged. Embrace all of it – King Content, the digital kingdom, your place in it and the success that’s waiting for you.

It’s not selling out, it’s buying in

Like the founders of Silicon Valley’s Intuit, my dad started Malachy Parts and Service in a kitchen. In our case it was the kitchen of our little New Jersey apartment that also served as our office. My mom would play “office sounds” on a tape recorder in the background when she answered the phone with, “Malachy Mechanical,” to create the perception of a busy office. And we all know that a busy office is a successful office, right?

The paradox of business is that you must work hard every day even though it’s often customer perception that determines success. Too many businesses are knocked to their feet with an online review that says something like, “I didn’t feel like she cared if she got my business or not,” or “He didn’t seem to take my questions seriously.”

Yeah, in addition to investing in the best employees, state-of-the-art equipment, focused marketing and excellent customer service, you have to attempt to control customer perception. And remember, your perception of excellent customer service might not be your customer’s perception of excellent customer service.

Managing perception is no easy task. A single person’s perception is based on his or her individual experiences. Fortunately, no business has “everyone” as a customer. If you haven’t realized that yet, I’m sorry to be the one who broke your heart. The sooner you embrace that truth, though, the sooner you can hyper focus your perception management efforts on the people who are your customers.


Even more good news: the people who are your customers generally have shared experiences. Let’s say that, in general, your customers’ favorite boy band was N’Sync, they’d rather eat fast food than anything off the menu of a four-star restaurant and they’re happy with digital – they don’t need paper checks or confirmations and they’ve never purchased a vinyl record, 8-track tape or CD. Not the easiest base to work from, but stick with me as you create a perception that could win them over.

Fortunately, you won’t need to play busy office sounds when your phones are answered. But if you were given choices for on-hold music, choose music from an era that reminds your customer of happy times. You will also want to make sure your customers can access communications on their phone or laptop. When they call to check on an order, they will need to flip through their emails to find the confirmation number. They will not be able to find it on a document you sent to them because I guarantee they don’t know where that document is.

Researching your customer is a first step and I know that wasn’t everybody’s favorite part of sixth grade. But this digital tool called Google (by the way, happy 21st birthday, Google) makes it pretty easy. The payoff for doing your homework is big, though. You can be both the company you think you are and manage your customers’ perceptions to be the company they want you to be.

You’re not selling out if you invest time in managing your customers’ perception of you. Call your efforts branding, use your marketing budget or label it customer service if you need to manage your own perception. But buy in to the idea that perception is reality and managing perception can lead to faster and greater success.