In your three years of experience with social media, what has changed the most for social media?
I feel like a lot in social is still technically “new” right now. But the biggest industry change I’ve seen from three years ago is that social is definitely now a “must-have.” Two or three years ago, a lot of companies were mostly just tinkering with it. If brands were heavily engaged and successful with social three years ago—especially B2B brands—they were way ahead of the curve. Today, I’m reading stats like “B2B companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month on average than non-blogging companies.” The B2B social space has grown enormously. In short, if you’re not doing social today…what are you thinking?
The other interesting shift I’ve seen in social is that it’s created dozens of new industry positions that never existed three years ago or were just beginning. Today, companies are hiring skilled professionals to manage specific areas of their social media: content specialists, community managers, listening officers are all integral parts of a social media marketing team. Along with this, the tools and data available to social professionals are astounding. The availability of these tools makes it critical to have team members that can analyze and understand social data and how to show its value to clients.
You work on numerous clients across numerous industries on multiple social channels. What is the most challenging part of your job right now?
At a small agency, I like that I get to dabble in a bit of everything. But across all of our B2B clients, I’m talking to a very different audience about very specific, technical products and services. In this sense, it can be challenging to develop a unique “voice” for each brand. In order to develop this voice, I always have to be monitoring news and challenging myself to dive deeper in my understanding of each brand and the industries they work in and clients they work for. I have to immerse myself in one, then exit, and dive into another, hour to hour. But that’s what’s so great about social, I’m always learning new things. Basically I like to think of all of my social accounts as my children…I like to keep checking on them constantly to make sure they succeed, but it’s difficult to have eyes on everything at all times!
If a B2B brand could only pick ONE social platform to engage with right now, which should it choose?
Well, let me start by saying because more and more people are consuming multiscreen & multichannel daily, I don’t think a brand or company can be extremely successful on social with only one channel; you need an integrated strategy and presence across multiple channels. You are going to reach different audiences at different touchpoints always. But if I could only pick one for a B2B company to start with, I’d say LinkedIn is really stepping things up right now. You can effectively reach a targeted, professional audience with LinkedIn—whereas Twitter and Facebook have more general audiences who can tend to talk about more personal topics. It’s also difficult to sift through audiences on these channels and get deep information on them. Some of the biggest updates I’m seeing on LinkedIn are their revamped company pages, targeted status updates and expanded group profiles & stats. LinkedIn also recently acquired SlideShare, a tool for companies to upload and share presentations. I’m very interested to see how they utilize the tool.
Onto the important stuff…what are you dressing up as for Halloween this year?
Don’t get me started…I’m literally the only person who hates Halloween*. Me and Ryan Mannion. Too much pressure, everything’s been done, and who wants to be the one with the stupid costume? I’d rather live vicariously through my friends. I do enjoy people watching though…perhaps I’ll just do that this year! (*We find this surprising, since Elyse is one of the liveliest personalities in the office!)
You love to travel…where to next?
My friends and I try to hit a different U.S city each year. But since I’ve never been to the West Coast… I’d love to plan a trip to Napa. Take in the sights, great food & drinks. But if I were to look outside the U.S…I think Ireland is definitely next on my list!