I first found out about Beverley while writing a post for the Social Media Camp blog. We met in person after her talk at the event and pretty much follow each other on every social media platform, except SnapChat because I don’t really use SnapChat even though I have an account.
Her interview is the first of three in this mini Social Media Series.
1. How did you get started with social media consulting and did you encounter any struggles when you first started?
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was actually building a personal brand on social media and becoming well known for social media marketing in my city. One of the province’s largest agencies reached out to me and I started the social media offering there. I was still able to freelance and take contracts on the side and eventually clients would start contacting the agency because they wanted to work with me directly. I figured what better time to test the waters and work for myself!
There weren’t any real struggles I came across. I learned SO much working on the agency side and it translates well when dealing with clients 1:1 now.
2. If you had to choose, what is your favourite social media platform and why?
Hands down, TWITTER! Twitter will always be my first love, it represents, or at least for myself, everything social media should be. People jumping in on conversations, engaging with people you wouldn’t necessarily be able to talk with in real life and just being yourself. I feel at home on Twitter after using it for 10 years and I’m comfortable there speaking my mind.
3. What is one common misconception business owners have with respect to using social media for their business?
In terms of social media management, and I know many other social media professionals will agree, business owners think you can just post off the cuff and not have a plan or strategy. Then seeing the business owner get too overwhelmed and stressed out and eventually stopping any sort of social media marketing for their business altogether.
It’s not an overnight thing.
Or they don’t take it seriously enough so the just get “a young person” they know to handle it. It’s important to remember that a company’s social media presence will f*** your company up if it’s not managed correctly. We’ve all seen the “social media fails”, it’s just brutal knowing that businesses haven’t learned that trusting the mouthpiece of their brand to someone inexperienced is a bad idea.
Many times you see “social media management” rolled into a random job description like Administrative Assistant or even Sales Manager.
There’s a HUGE difference running social for personal use vs business use.
And to trust your business online with someone just because they’re “young” or because you need to fill in time within your employee’s day, that’s a mistake that’s hard to recover from should something go wrong.
4. What are some of your favourite brands that do social media well and why?
I love, love, love WestJet on social media. They are killer. Their response time is so quick and they monitor untagged mentions on Twitter. Their campaigns are so creative and their team seems to have a solid understanding of the WestJet brand persona and how to use social media for customer service.
5. What are some of your predictions for social media and emerging trends in the next 5-10 years?
Wow, I’ll be so old in 10 years, who knows. Seriously. There will be some new popular social media platform in 5-10 years that has a strong, dedicated user base. I’m really digging the Facebook Messenger bots and video marketing. I’m sure that video will still be a leader in content creation unless there is a brand new type of media that’s invented.
6. There are many people who love social media and embrace it. Whereas there are other people who have this great fear and overwhelm towards it. What are your thoughts on this?
It’s just a matter of education and experience. I see it a lot in some clients I’ve worked with in the past, they come to me super confused not knowing where to start. After chatting with them and showing them how to manage their social media marketing strategically, they feel more confident. Seriously, if you’re overwhelmed by social media, taking the first steps to learn each platform, the demographics of the users on those platforms and what type of content works, you’ll be on the path to owning your sh*t on social media in no time! (But, it’s also your responsibility to EXECUTE what you’ve learned.
Regarding the “fear”, most businesses I talk to say they are scared of creating company accounts because they think it’s opening up the opportunity for people to speak negatively about them. But, seriously, people are most likely already talking about your company and having the accounts and the means to respond is imperative.
Whether your business has social media profiles or not, people will still talk about you online.
7. What are some of your favourite social media tools for analytics and monitoring?
I love, love, love Sprout Social, Keyhole.io, Iconosquare and in-platform, and the native analytic tools like Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc.
8. In your opinion, do you feel that social media is making us more anti-social or the opposite?
I honestly get asked this a lot and I want to punch myself in the face whenever I get asked about this. It just doesn’t make sense a tool that people use to communicate with other people with would make them anti-social, in the end, they’re socializing, it’s no different from face to face! If you mean, does social media make us anti-social in real life, it depends on the person. I prefer communication digitally and always have, whether it’s through text, email or video conferencing.
Because it’s more convenient and sometimes I don’t want to talk to someone face to face or waste time out of our busy schedules to sit down for a coffee.
9. If you could an Instagram takeover for any brand/influencer or celebrity, who would it be for and why?
Surprisingly I’d want to do 7-Eleven Canada’s Instagram. Mostly because they have an account and they have no content on it at all. Taco Bell killed it their Snapchat account and did all these funny, entertaining campaigns, I’d like to see 7-Eleven step up and do something like Taco Bell did.
10. What makes a social media strategy successful?
Having clear and measurable goals written down somewhere! I can’t stress how important this is. If you have these in place, you won’t have to second guess the type of content you’re sharing and it saves a significant amount of time! Also, using a calendar/scheduling tool to plan out your posts when you have a moment should be a priority for every business.
Often times I hear people complain they don’t have time to do social media for their business. But you’re telling me, during that one hour you’re sitting in front of Netflix, you can’t pull out your laptop and plan for the upcoming week?