Interview: “Social Media: Insights from an In-house Specialist”

Alan BelniakMarketing, Social Media2 Comments

The wonderful Barbara Bix  (you may know her as a principal over at BB Marketing Plus) was kind enough to publish  an interview with me on her blog a little while back.  I’ve selected a few excerpts and re-posted them here.  Use the links above to jump to the full article if you like.

What does PTC hope you’ll achieve?

Better engagement with customers.  People that participate online tend to be more engaged than those that don’t.

Engagement is the name of the game.  Engagement equals a valuable brand.  Valuable brands attract more customers.

My job is helping PTC marketers determine where to spend time and how to spend it.  The key is figuring out how to create and promote good content.  If you pump out seven blogs in a week, you run the risk of overwhelming your audience.

What are your primary responsibilities as Director of Social Media Marketing?

My primary responsibility is to help the company leverage social media in its marketing efforts.  I consult with marketers about how they can integrate social media into campaigns they are planning, and how they can put more power behind existing programs.

I also monitor social communications, “separating the signal from the noise”, to identify opportunities for PTC to take a more active role.  For example, I look for mentions of PTC, our products, and keywords, such as “PLM software” (product lifecycle management) that relate to our business.

Because we’re a global company, I also determine what tools to use in other countries by reviewing third-party research, interviewing local marketing experts, and traveling to other countries to learn more about what people are using there. Different cultures consume information in different ways.  For example, some countries, such as Germany, place a different value on face-to-face conversations than others.  If online activity doesn’t influence the conversation, then it doesn’t make sense to invest heavily in social media in those places.

We’ve covered a lot of ground about your perspectives on social media.  What else should we cover?

I’m glad that you asked about listening platforms earlier.  That’s where it starts.

One of the greatest challenges is getting people to listen before acting.  I wrote a fairly comprehensive strategy from scratch.  You need to figure out what you want to accomplish first. Else, the first time you fail, someone will ask, “Why did you do that?  It doesn’t make sense.”

My own research shows that people who want a social media strategy often want to jump into interaction.  If you don’t know what’s important to your customers, prospects, or users, or where the conversations are happening, how can you have an impact?

I liken this to a cocktail party…You don’t show up at someone’s house and say, “buy my stuff”.  You show up, survey the landscape, and maybe find someone you know.  You listen in on a few conversations before you add a comment or two.  As the evening progresses, in addition to adding comments into conversations, you strike up your own conversation.  Before the night is over, people are joining your conversations and looking to you for what you have to say.

To read the entire interview, click here.   Have something to say?  Leave a comment below.