As our in house Social Media Architect, Kaila Strong and our Internet Marketing Specialists Abby Gilmore and Kristi Hines prepare for this month’s webinar, Developing Social Media Strategies for Cross Platform Branding on November 11th at 8:30 am PST (10:30am CST, 11:30am EST) I’ll be (virtually) sitting down with some of the best and brightest in the social media world.
This week, I had the great pleasure of asking a few questions to one of my personal favorite social media strategists Jay Baer. He’s an author and an amazing speaker as well as the President of the consultancy Convince & Convert. Founder of five companies, he has worked with over 700 brands since 1994, including 25 of the Fortune 1000. His Convince & Convert blog is ranked among the world’s top marketing resources. He’s the co-author of the forthcoming book The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter, and More Social.
Elise Redlin-Cook: Can you describe what you do in 140 characters or less?
Jay Baer: I’m a hype-free social media strategist, author, and speaker.
Elise: Nice answer! So, just how important is an understanding of psychology or sociology?
Jay: More and more important every day. Understanding why customers want to interact with brands, and what they hope to take away from that relationship is a major component of social success – especially as it gets increasingly competitive.
Elise: Do you think that social media adoption is affecting human consciousness? How?
Jay: Sure. We are clearly replacing some of our deeper, real-world relationships with a larger number of shallower, digital connections. Part of that is the continuing time crunch under which we all seem to live. Part of it is the pure convenience of keeping in touch with friends with just a few keystrokes, while wearing a bathrobe.
Elise: What are some of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions that you see novices consistently make?
Jay: Focusing on how to do social, instead of how to be social. Forgetting that the goal isn’t to be good at social media, but rather to be good at business because of social media.
Jay: It was a natural extension of the work I’ve done in Web strategy and online marketing since 1994.
Elise: What is one of the biggest myths you’re seeing perpetuated about social media?
Jay: That social media is somehow going to kill email. Tough to do when you have to have an email address to sign up for any social site, and all your social alerts are delivered via email.
Elise: Can you share a some tips on how companies can decide where to start in social media marketing?
Jay: The most important question to ask, is “Why are we doing this?” Know very clearly what your company hopes to accomplish, and how you’ll know success when you see it. If you can do that, the rest is comparatively easy.
Elise: I’m sure you love what you do, but what is one thing do you dislike about the social media industry?
Jay: The snarkiness and the egos. It’s all very high school sometimes.
Elise: I can’t find enough hours in the day, how do you find the time and more importantly manage it to stay active with social media?
Jay: It’s a bit easier for me to justify the time because being active in social media is my job. But as I say a lot in my presentations, social media actually makes it easier – not harder. I built my original network of friends and colleagues the old school way, by going to industry networking events. I went to an average of 3 business networking events per week for 10 years. I built my connections with Bud Light and chicken appetizers. So for me, to be able to connect with people from a hand-held device in just a few seconds is actually a breeze.
That’s a great point for Jay Baer! What other than business networking has social media made easier in your life?