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Social Success Comes from Individuality

Authors: Jess Ostroff Jess Ostroff
Posted Under: Social Media
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social-pros-iconApril’s guests on the Social Pros Podcast brought in expertise from all different industries, with guests including, the global non-profit that aims to bring safe water to all; Bob Pfeifer, who used social media to find his kidnapped son across the world; Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, authors of the new book The Power of Visual Storytelling; and software innovator VMware

An interesting theme arose with the Social Pros in April: everyone ended up talking about how important individualization is in social media. Some of them were talking about creating a wonderful individualized experience for customers, while others emphasized tailoring a social experience based on the individual strengths of the brand. We pulled out some of the insights from each show: Chief Community Officer, Mike McCamon

Mike McCamon, @mccamon
Mike McCamon,

Mike’s team has distinguished their work at through creative partnerships. They tapped into Zynga’s massive audience by partnering to create gameplay for charity. “They already had an expertise, they already had a built-in audience, and all I had to do was basically carve out a little bit of that oxygen and play.”

These kinds of creative partnerships are essential for spreading brand awareness, and they add value for everyone involved. Zynga gets good publicity, their audience gets to play a fun game, makes some money and creates awareness, and the recipients of that money get clean water and a better quality of life.

Mike is a big fan of Seth Godin’s concept of the “purple cow,” which he publicized in his book a few years ago: transform your business by being remarkable.

If you look and sound like everyone else, no one will be able to find you. “Figure out what it is to be different, and make sure to do that.”

Click the play button to listen here:


Read on for the full highlights: Creator, Bob Pfeifer

Bob Pfeifer, @bringjerryhome
Bob Pfeifer

In 2012 when Bob’s son Jerry didn’t return from a trip to Central Europe, Bob knew nothing about social media. His first post on Facebook appealed to his friends asking for help, and it soon became clear that social media was a great way to find information.

Bob used the social media tools and strategies he learned to make contacts across the world and ultimately brought Jerry home.

Bob found very little resistance to his efforts. Even though he and his followers were engaging in aggressive awareness tactics like “post-bombing” – finding a small company or band on Facebook located somewhere they thought Jerry could be and then using that page to tell Jerry’s story – very few people responded negatively.

In fact, most people were excited to get involved.

By giving people the opportunity to connect with each other for a greater cause, “Jerry’s Army” slowly and steadily gained traction and finally achieved its goal of reuniting Jerry with his father.

Bob’s advice to budding social pros is to always engage individually. Even as they were reaching out to larger organizations, and even as his cause grew, success always came from the individual connections he was able to make.

Click the play button to listen here:


Read on for the full highlights:

Authors, Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio

The Power of Visual Storytelling, Jessica Gioglio and Ekaterina Walter
Jessica Gioglio, @savvybostonian
Ekaterina Walter, @ekaterina

How can your brand effectively tell its story in today’s changing media landscape?

Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio‘s new book, The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visual, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand, will lay it out for you.

Not surprising for our regular Social Pros readers, the advice varies depending on the brand. Big businesses have the edge with hiring the best talent to stay on top of the curve. Smaller businesses have their fingers on the pulses of their local communities and can tap into that.

But there are more similarities than differences when it comes to strategy. The key, they say, is a strong writing background. It’s not just about creating good content anymore; now, it’s about planning for the content throughout its lifecycle. This is the only way to stand out from the noise.

Jessica advises social pros to find a brand they can stand behind. It’s infinitely easier to advocate for a brand you truly believe in.

Ekaterina recommends that social pros never stop learning. “Never assume that you know everything,” in the constantly changing landscape of new media. There is always something new to learn.

Click the play button to listen here:


Read the full show highlights here:

VMware Director and Social Media Evangelist, John Mark Troyer

John Mark Troyer @jtroyer
John Mark Troyer, VMware

VMware’s community has come a long way since its first incarnation as a 2003 forum. Appropriately for the social team of a software company, John’s team’s background is in technology, so they build most of their social tools themselves.

Perhaps one of the most interesting facets of the community is the vExpert program. This program honors about 750 of VMware’s most important influencers by giving them access to beta tests and the product support teams.

John’s team highly values the feedback they get from these influencers, most of whom are experts in their software fields. And they can also ask the vExperts to blog about new products or share new releases with their social circles.

John’s tip for becoming a social pro is counterintuitive: don’t get a job in social media. As social media becomes more of a skill than a job description, other skills that support social media (like writing or coding) will become more significant in turn.

Click the play button to listen here:


Read the full show highlights here:

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