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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Chris Hall

ChrisHall Chris Hall is the head ‘Bell Ringer’ at Cow Bell, the digital marketing agency in UK which is predominantly focusing on social media, and how it integrates into an organisation’s overall marketing plan. Chris’s aim is to ‘rethink marketing in the digital age’ , to educate and inform whilst developing clear strategies that bring results. You can follow Chris on Twitter – (@Chris_Hall1)

G: How and why did you get into social media business?

C: I have always been in communications across the on and offline worlds and at the beginning of 2009 I started to feel and see the impact that Twitter was having around me. Although it’s impact was relatively small, as a marketer I just felt I had to get inside it and see for myself what it was all about. From that day in January I spent focussed on listening and understanding rather than too much direct engagement. I quickly saw the power and potential of social media as a communications tool and from that started to integrate it into my working day.

G: What is it like to be a real Social Media Citizen?

C: The reason so many are using the social networks are exactly that – to be ‘social’ and to ‘network’ – whether that’s personal or business. It feels like the right place to be for all those reasons, but it must be controlled and managed. I’m sure we’ve all suffered from those times where we realised we’ve been in too long and there’s our jobs to be done. I like to wake up and engage with my friends/followers and then as and when time allows across the day. I like to think of social media as my coffee break or water cooler sometimes. Being social and making connections are what I love to do. It was an easy transition (if at all).

G: What are your favourite social media hang out sites?

C: Twitter (Tweetdeck) is my favourite because of its immediacy. I can hold conversation and listen to what’s going on right now. It also in some ways can manage time too. I can decide after DM’s or replies whether to take the conversation to another place like telephone or Skype.

G: How are you keeping up-to-date with social media environment ?

C: For me it’s about a trusted network (something everyone should have) of Twitter followers and then also my invaluable RSS links. My top sites include:

My days include time in Tweetdeck, Social Mention, Google Reader and visits to LinkedIn and Facebook.

G: How would you define a Social Media Citizen?

C: A Social Media Citizen is an open minded individual looking to engage and collaborate across the digital sphere. They will give more than they take and always look to develop themselves and their relationships.

G: What are your favourite Social Media Citizens?

C: There are many; because I’ve been able to connect with some great people, but they include:

  • Mark Jennings (@markofrespect) for his friendship, knowledge and outlook on all things,
  • Gemma Went (@gemmawent) for her incisive thinking & clean approach across the on & offline marketing world,
  • Ande Gregson (@andegregson) for his drive and passion surrounding media140 and
  • Joanne Jacobs (@joannejacobs) for keeping it real with a cutting edge.

G: What are your favourite Marketing/PR tools on social media?

C: I’ll try and keep it short:

G: What are your Top 3 secrets of social media marketing?

C: My Top 3 would be:

  • Be yourself…and not who others want you to be.
  • Listen more than you talk.
  • Engage & collaborate with people. Make them feel special.

G: How did social media change your life?

C: Some of my best friends, and strongest working relationships have now come from this world. That shouldn’t be taken for granted or dismissed; it should highlight that real and strong relationships are formed across the networks. To me social media is the handshake. It’s what we do with that introduction that will be our the legacy of our digital footprint. I also started #themeet140 with Mark Jennings (@markofrespect) and these meet-ups transcend more than just people getting together, they actually seem to make a difference to those who come along. All we wanted was for people to get together socially but we got much more than that.

G: What don’t you like about social media?

C: People who fill the streams of content with just links or top tips for this, that and the other. We all want something tangible to grab hold of. If you can’t form relationships or hold conversation then it isn’t for you. This doesn’t mean you need to be brash or arrogant – just yourself, and when it suits you. It’s not about the numbers it’s about the relationships. I also get unhappy when people don’t reply to you or send automated Direct Messages in Twitter – Why act like that? Drop by, say hello and then we can see where the conversation goes.

G: What is the funniest/most unexpected thing that happened due to social media?

C: The most unexpected: a complete change in direction in my business thinking and plans. A new venture I’d never have thought of…and all because of the connections made.

G: What do you see in the future for the social media?

C: It needs more credibility. To get this it’ll be all about the ROI and the measurement. There’s also no doubt that mobile devices are where it’s going to be at. They’re with us at all times when we’re alone or with others – perfect for the social networks to exploit. We’ll probably eventually lose the term social media and it will just become another part of general communications.The rest…we’ll just have to wait and see.


Big thanks for Chris for his great insights!! You can find the rest of the interviews with the Social Media Citizens at Social Media interviews category.

This post was written by:

- who has written 111 posts on Social Media Citizens – Interviews with social media influencers from around the world.

Giedrius Ivanauskas is the founder/editor of Social Media Citizens and co-founder of Social Marketing Forum. He also blogs on Social Media Today and Giedrius is a managing partner at Nearby Digital - location focused social media marketing agency and is passionate explorer of Augmented Reality, Startups and anatomy of Inspiration. He curates inspiration database - Inspirisimo.You can follow Giedrius on Facebook or Twitter

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3 Responses to “Interview with Social Media Citizen: Chris Hall”

  1. Teresa Basich says:

    “To me social media is the handshake. It’s what we do with that introduction that will be our the legacy of our digital footprint.” <– That's just it. Great line, and great interview! And thank you, Chris, for putting Radian6 on your list of favorite social media tools! We're proud to be a part of it.



    Teresa Basich
    Community Manager, Radian6

  2. tonyfish says:

    Digital Footprints are about what we say about ourselves and also what others say about us, but would also like to add that the value of the digital footprint is the data that comes from TV, Mobile and Web and is not data that is 'legacy' as in what we read. The true value of the digital footprint is that it describes you from what you have done, who you have done it with, where and when you did it…

    good interview though

    Tony @ my digital footprint

  3. Thanks Teresa for your interest in the interview:)




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