A little while back, I sent out a request via Twitter asking if anyone would be interested in being interviewed for a discussion on social media. With the medium meaning so many different things to so many people, as well as how it can be used, I was interested to hear the views of the people I connect with.
My original plan was to run a “round table” style of blog post – raise the questions and then have a mix of views as the responses. However, the answers I received back were all excellent, and showed why social media is the mix of interesting people and views that it is. So, I decided individual posts would be far more effective in an on-going series of interviews.
First up is Eric Guerin, co-founder of SmartMarket Movie, offering marketing tools via the medium of online video. My sincere thanks to Eric for taking the time to reply and share his views. To connect with Eric, or find out more about him, please visit his profile at SmartMarket Movie.
If someone was to ask you for your definition of social media, what would it be?
Social media for me are tools, interfaces & websites where you as an individual can seek to achieve branding and marketing communication goals through the participation in various social media networks.
What is your reason for using social media?
I own a small virtual business creating online marketing videos. Participation in various social media communities allows me:
a. The ability to promote my business through social media community engagement
b. Extend the reach of my business outside of my local region to compete on a national level
c. The ability to promote my customers products or services to people who trust my opinion
Do you feel that social media is being used to its maximum effect?
No, I feel that there are a select few people who understand the opportunities for engagement by using social media and how to go about utilizing it correctly. I think with time more and more businesses will begin to see what prospects are available by taking part in social media.
What social media tools or applications do you use? Why these ones in particular?
I have tried many different social media tools. The ones I have settled on were largely because they were the ones I was the most comfortable with and the tools where I saw the majority of my potential customers engaging. I utilize Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, Furl and Reddit for social bookmarking but am really only active and engaging with people on Digg. As a video producer I am active and launching videos weekly on almost all of the video sharing sites including YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo! Video, Revver, Viddler, Metacafe, AOL Video and Dailymotion. For everyday tools I blog, comment on other blogs and I use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Where do you see the future of social media, both in general and for you?
I think as more and more people start to utilize social media in their daily lives it will become more and more effective and accepted by the main stream masses.
Right now there are a select group who are utilizing what it has to offer but as that group starts spreading the word the acceptance of social media will grow. As for me, my usage of social media will definitely grow and refine as I see more and more applications for what I do and opportunities to engage in communities.
Are businesses effectively using social media? If not, what can they do to improve?
As I mentioned earlier, I don’t feel most businesses are effectively using social media. Most jump in like they would with an advertising plug and without looking to connect with the community first. Then they assume that social media doesn’t work so they abandon it.
What do you feel are the best and worst features/uses of social media?
The best features of social media are the opportunities for engagement in various ways across all of the different social media websites/applications. People feel like they get to know you on a somewhat more personal level by reading your updates, watching your videos, etc. So, as a business, they are more apt to remember what you do, particularly when you allow your personality to shine through in your social media involvement.
My pet peeves with social media are when I get direct message sales pitches through Twitter or get invited to some online game that gets passed around on Facebook because “if you invite 5 friends you get a new ____” so people just choose 5 friends, or all their friends, and just forward it on.
People need to know and understand who they are communicating with first before they start sending invitations to games some of their Friends are probably not interested in or sending direct sales pitches to people they don’t even know. One thing I know for sure is that cold-calling DOES NOT work in social media.
- You can find more “Discussing Social Media with…” interviews here.
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