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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Chris Tompkins

Chris TompkinsChrist Tompkins is the founder of Go! Media International, an online marketing company, who’s team focuses on building successful social media marketing strategies for its clients. Chris has spoken at many national and international events recently sharing the dais with heads of Google and YouTube. You can follow Chris on Twitter or Facebook

G: Describe yourself in five words?

C: Me in five words? I would say energetic, focused, creative, honest and driven.

G: What’s your favourite hobby?

C: My favourite thing to do when not online is to be cooking gourmet meals in my kitchen. It is a bit of an addiction and I tend to have a least two dinner parties per month for groups of twenty. When I am not doing that, I am reading and learning everything I can about techniques. I am so passionate about it that I brought both of my passions (cooking and social media marketing) together on my blog. You can check it out here: http://www.servedfreshmedia.com – social media tips and recipes combined!

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

C: I have been doing social media for quite a few years, actually starting with Myspace promotions when I worked as the Marketing Director for a private music college in London, UK. From that point, the social media world intrigued me and I began to learn how to harness the power of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and all the rest. As for the why? I have always had an intense love for the art of marketing as well as a great love of people and culture. The social media sphere is a perfect fit for my passions and talent. Also, by finding out the best way to market using social media, I was able to create and launch my own social media marketing firm, Go! Media International – and since then I have helped my clients reach their full potential online. It is amazingly rewarding.


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

C: It’s entertaining, educational and enlightening to be a real Social Media Citizen. I am extremely lucky to have the honour. Since my firm specialises in social media marketing campaigns for our clients, I tend to be online all day, either working on their campaigns or catching up with my own personal one. In my case, it tends to be a case of the shoemaker’s children going without shoes: when it comes to my own marketing I am constantly trying to catch up – my clients always come first.

With that said, there is a plan for every client every day (as well as for my own campaign). There is a strict schedule that we stick to for updates, mass messages, links and loads more. In any given day, I handle (personally) over 1,000 different unique communications while my firm as a whole deals with nearly 4,000+. Some months the total can go over a million. My tip is to build your own schedule (when you will do Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) and be as consistent with your activity as possible.

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

C: Personally, my number one love at the moment is LinkedIn. While the other sites are wonderful for personal and professional networking, I find that I enjoy the conversations and debates on LinkedIn more. Every time that I’m on the site, I learn something new and connect with more interesting people. Plus for marketing purposes the “Groups” and “Answers” sections are phenomenal.

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

C: Three letters: RSS. I’m a total Apple lover and my wonderful Macs (yes I have more than 1…4 to be exact) have a built in function where my RSS feeds go directly into my email inbox. So every morning, I grab a cup of coffee and scan through all of the latest posts from the sites I subscribed to. There are quite a bit of them to go through, but if the title captures my interest – I’ll click and read. If it is exceptionally good, I will share it with my online network. It’s a great way to keep abreast without having to purchase magazines or dealing with subscriptions. It takes a minute to subscribe and the rest is automatic.

G: How would you define a  Social Media Citizen?

C: In my opinion, I think a Social Media Citizen is someone who helps new and existing users of social media to reach their full potential through education, advice, guidance and leading by example.  Personally, I take this very serious and always try to reach out and help anyone that I see is making detrimental mistakes.  Without people trying to help out others, the social media space would be a utter mess.

G: What are your favourite Social Media Citizens?

C: When it comes to social media citizens, there are a couple of people that I like. I tend to be interested in the people that are making strides to help educate people rather than reporting about the latest Twitter tool that can automatically get your followers in the tens of thousands in ten minutes. These tend to be flash in the pan “experts.” With that said, I enjoy the approach of David Meerman Scott and the company HubSpot. These are two straight talking (and entertaining) sources for social media news and strategy. Also enjoy Mashable.com – although it can be a bit technical for the average reader from time to time.

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

C: I have two: TweetDeck and BlogTalkRadio.com. First off, TweetDeck let’s you use Twitter in a way that Twitter.com fails to do. It offers many new ways to search, follow,monitor trends and more. It is a free download, just Google it and you are on your way! Also, I love BlogTalkRadio.com. It is a wonderful PR tool that helps you host your own radio show, online, for free! Even better? You can download the audio, share with your friends, add to your website and blog….and so much more. I believe that if you are engaging with people online through the social media sites, sharing audio and video of yourself enhances the level of engagement that your audience has with your message. So sites like BlogTalkRadio.com and YouTube.com give you the opportunity to do it for free, without lots of costly equipment. And it’s quick!

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

C: My top three secrets of social media marketing are not necessarily secrets, but are the obvious ones that are right in front of our face that we constantly forget. In order to have a successful social media marketing campaign you first need to have:

1. A Marketing Plan’;

2. Already Researched the Social Sites You Want to Use and

3. Created a Social Media Marketing Schedule

I firmly believe that without a marketing plan, social media marketing will not bring in sales or help you meet your goals. A plan is crucial to success, or you will end up wasting money, time and your resources. Also, don’t put all of our hopes in social media marketing. It is ONE ASPECT of a successful marketing campaign….not the WHOLE marketing campaign. Right there is the secret: integrating all of your marketing activities together to create a dynamic powerhouse of a whole.

G: How did social media change your life?

C: Social media has allowed me the freedom to follow my dream and help my clients connect and grow their businesses in ways they have never knew of. It has also opened the door for me to teach, speak, write and travel. It has changed my life positively in many ways.

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

C: I really don’t like negativity online and it is something I see all the time – it really upsets me. Some people don’t understand that your own online activity is part of your overall “online reputation.” So if you are going around badmouthing or challenging every person you disagree with to a battle, your target market will be able to find and see this behaviour. I think many people need to revisit the topics of ethics before engaging fully with their online community.

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

C: How about the most unexpected! After launching my company, I did a heavy social media marketing campaign for myself (the same one I do for my clients). Within one month, I was asked to speak at a national MBA conference in the USA. I was honoured to be able to join the panel and was very excited to get involved. Well the day I was to join the panel, I entered into the room and saw who I was going to be sitting in between on the dais – high level executives from Google and YouTube! It totally made my day. After the panel, the students were able to come and speak to the panellists and ask questions. I was even more thrilled that I had a line of students out the door and the two high level executives were left chatting with one another. Totally made my day – it always feels good when the little guy makes an impact.

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

C: I see a huge increase in live video and audio. Since Skype has become a commonly used service, I think there is going to be more of these elements included in our current social media sites. It could be a little distracting at first, but I believe with proper education and guidelines, it will help people engage on a higher level.

***

A big Thank You to Chris for his great insights!! You can find the rest of the interviews with the Social Media Citizens at Social Media interviews category.

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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 Socialemailmarketing.eu. 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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