Social Pros Say Passion, Fun, and Understanding are Key to Social Success

Social Pros Podcast

Even though their job titles and descriptions sound the same, many of our esteemed pros on the Social Pros Podcast have differing views on how best to be social and backgrounds that got them where they are today. We’re lucky to have them share their valuable insights and experiences.

March saw guests from WestJet, crowd-pleasing Canadian airline; PwC Consulting, the world’s second largest professional services firm; and, marketing resource for realtors across the country; and content marketing giant Copyblogger.

What does it take to be a successful social media professional in each of these different fields? We pulled out the most interesting insights:

WestJet Emerging Media Advisor, Greg Hounslow

Greg Hounslow, WestJet

Greg Hounslow, WestJet

Greg tells us all about how WestJet aims not just to improve communication through social but also to genuinely delight its customers. They create content from fun April Fool’s videos to heart-warming Christmas miracles videos and surround that content with extensive strategy to make sure the word gets out there. This strategy, he explains, has gotten them measurable ROI over the years.

He also has one of the cooler Twitter photos I’ve seen from our Social Pros.

Greg’s advice for an aspiring Social Pro? Get as much experience as you can. “If you can’t get experience with a big or small company, volunteer your time with a not-for-profit to learn how social media works within the structure of an organization.”

It’s a saturated environment these days, and hands-on experience within an organization is the best way to distinguish yourself.

Click the play button to listen here: [podcast][/podcast]

Read on for the full highlights:

PwC Director of Social Media, Becky Carroll

Becky Carroll, PwC @bcarroll7

Becky Carroll, PwC

Becky and her team really focus on designing and delivering a positive customer experience through social media. They help the companies who consult with them to transition their social strategy from broadcasting to experimenting to engaging.

What’s her one piece of advice for the aspiring social pro?

Forget about trying to be on top of the next hot social trend. Unless your customers are flocking there in droves, it has no business being your priority. Instead, really listen to where your customers are talking about you, talking about the things that are important to your brand, and asking to engage with you. Then, make sure that’s where you’re joining the conversation.

Social listening tools can help you figure this out, but they’re not the only way. The more old-fashioned way to do it, which Becky recommends, is to ask them! The technology can make us forget the basics sometimes, but beware of overcomplicating social.

Click the play button to listen here: [podcast][/podcast]

Read on for the full highlights: Director of Social Media, Erica Campbell Byrum

Erica Campbell Byrum

Erica Campbell Byrum,

Erica’s team at Dominion Homes Media runs social for and and offers social resources to help realtors across the country enhance their web presence.

She creates content realtors can share and also educates them with boot camps and webinar series. Monthly newsletters keep realtors, who are otherwise too busy to keep up to date with changes in new media, apprised of what they should be doing in social media.

When hiring, Erica looks for passion: for storytelling, for engaging socially, for expressing themselves. The fundamentals she can teach, but passion is either there or it isn’t.

Erica is very appreciative of the senior leadership at her company. They have been very willing to adopt the ever-evolving space of social media, which has allowed her team to position them as a thought leader within that space.

Click the play button to listen here: [podcast][/podcast]

Read the full show highlights here:

Copyblogger Founder, Brian Clark

Brian Clark, Copyblogger

Brian Clark, Copyblogger

When Brian Clark founded Copyblogger in 2006, no one was talking about using blogs to sell anything. Now, no one talks about blogs as if they’re made for anything else.

In the podcast, Brian discusses Copyblogger’s recent decision to disable comments on its blog within the context of the larger shifts in blogging, “the original social media.” With multi-author blogs, staying in tune with the audience is critical, and comments were simply not where the conversations were happening.

“When I see a great piece of content,” Brian says, “I want to share it, not comment.” That sharing has become a status symbol, where the greatest content curators become the most popular and most valued.

To that end, his recommendation for the aspiring social pro is simple: create social objects. Make content that looks good, that people want to share, that adds value for people. As long as you’re making content that is inherently shareable, you’re on the right track.

Click the play button to listen here: [podcast][/podcast]

Read the full show highlights here:

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