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Archive for October 1st, 2009

olivier blanchard

I had the privilege yesterday of being interviewed by Jason Baer (@jaybaer). If you aren’t familiar with Jason, he’s a frequent contributor on Marketing Profs’ Daily Fix blog as well as the mastermind behind Convince & Convert – the Arizona-based social media and email consultancy. I’ve been a fan of his Twitter interviews for quite some time, so it was a real treat to be invited to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Ann Handley, David Alston, Scott Monty, Joseph Jaffe, Valeria Maltoni and Danny Brown to name but a few. (Yeah, I am officially in very good company now.)

Jay’s Twitter 20 format is very simple: 20 questions with typically 3 tweets to respond. Easy enough, right? Wrong. Most of his questions are so on the money that they deserve chapter length answers… So coming up with an appropriate response in 420 characters or less is quite the exercise in reverse-elaboration.

Now I can’t wait to be on a panel with Jay so we can address some of the topics covered in this Twitter 20 in a slightly longer format. At any rate, if you didn’t get a chance to join our #twt20 discussion, you can get a cleaned up transcript of it by clicking right here.

Here are several of my favorite topics from the interview:

1. @jaybaer: How has the rise of social media changed the way you build brands? (h/t @nazgulk)

The approach has definitely changed. Brands now have to think about real engagement instead of just pushing messaging.

Also, brands have to completely rethink the way they look at communications. The old PR funnel is definitely eroding.

And there are also new issues of transparency and personal accountability to manage for most organizations.

6. @jaybaer: People come to social from all over. What are the core skills needed for a career in social media?

First, you have to look at social media as a multi-disciplinary field. Not all social media roles are the same.

Social Media roles can be strategic (management and development), tactical (execution) or analytical (measurement).

Within the tactical type of role, you may need some people to have cust. service skills or community building skills.

So… the skills really depend on what the specific role within a social media program will require.

Experience working in the social media space is definitely a huge requirement in my opinion. ;)

11. @jaybaer: Are you suggesting that prospective customers engaged with the company in social will close at a higher rate?

Yes. social media (used properly, that is, not as a push channel) is mostly opt-in. People who participate choose to.

Aside from an increased frequency of interactions, more mindshare, more exposure, more information about products, customers who become members of a brand’s community are much more likely to transact with that brand more often.

They may not “close” faster, but they should see high transaction rates in terms of frequency and yield. And, these customers should also produce more recommendations/positive WOM (helping bring more customers to the table).

19. @jaybaer: You were in the French Marines – the only #twt20 guest who was. Takeaways from that experience you use now?

1) In that type of culture, you learn really fast that bullsh*t has a life expectancy of exactly zero minutes. :D

2) You also learn very quickly that excuses have an effective range of exactly zero meters. ;D

3) It was my first job, my first management role, and it was tough as hell. I learned that adaptation is critical.

All in all, my experience as an officer in the Fusiliers Marins very much shaped my professional style and values.

Go check out the entire interview here.

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