Johan Ronnestam is a former snowboard professional turned out to be a digital marketing genius. He was a co-founder of Foreign, the digital marketing agency which won multiple awards in the Cannes Lions, D&AD, New York Festivals, London International Advertising Awards, and many other award shows around the world. In September 2008 Johan started Ronnestam Innovative Communication, with the blog Ronnestam.com which was voted Sweden’s first blog on innovation, future trends and digital communication. You can follow Johan on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.
G: How and why did you get into social media business?
J: I wouldn’t say I’m in the social media business. I’m more into business development, advertising and communication with an extended knowledge how social media effects those areas. Social media is not important in itself. It’s extremely important though to know how it affects your business.
G: What is it like to be a real Social Media Citizen?
J: I don’t plan social activities. It’s just a part of my life. I usually wake up at 6 and check Twitter, Facebook, blogging stats and my Netvibes dashboard before leaving bed. Then I’m online all day via my iPad, Macbook Pro and iPhone until I go to bed. During the day I consume information, keep in touch with friends, work through cloud-based services such as Delicious, Dropbox, Netvibes, Mail and more.
G: What are your favourite social media hang out sites?
J: I’d say twitter from a business perspective and Facebook from a personal perspective. However I do spend most time reading up on 2-300 blogs through Netvibes to keep myself up to date.
G: How are you keeping up-to-date with social media environment ?
J: Primarily through my Netvibes account as stated above. I’ve written about it before in detail so if you want to find out more go here: http://www.ronnestam.com/varsagod-here-are-my-netvibes-feeds/ – (G: Superb collection of sorted TOP RSS feeds, it takes a LOT of time to nurture this kind of list, so if you haven’t done it yet here is your chance get it without any effort:)
G: How would you define a Social Media Citizen?
J: Just someone who have transferred their social behaviour from the offline world to the online.
G: What are your favourite Social Media Citizens?
J: Oh, I’m not gonna give you that. I think it changes from day to day. I’m more into reading tons of information from many different people. It’s really risky to get stuck following a few people instead you have to make sure you get new insights everyday from areas you would not expect to get insights from.
G: What are your favourite social media campaigns?
J: Apple. How they constantly make people blog like crazy about their products. They show that creating buzz in social media is all about product and service development. If you want me to give you another more typical example I’d say – Dell Ideastorm. So, these two are not campaigns, and that’s because I don’t think you should get into social media for the short run.
G: What are your Top 3 secrets of social media marketing?
J: Redefining your business so that you gain effects in social media. I don’t believe that we should PR things – they should PR themselves. I’ve often said Apple is the best social media established company out there. They don’t do Twitter, they don’t do Facebook, but they create great products that other people blog, tweet and facebook about. My Top 3 tips:
- Sharing is key.
- Don’t expect to gain trust if you don’t start by creating value yourselves.
- Get in it for the long run. You will see effect over time but not ASAP.
G: What do you see in the future for the social media?
J: Social media in 5 years. That’s a big question. Personally I think we’ll see more people establishing their own platforms. Meaning getting their own domains, their own blogs, their own hosting of images and videos. Today most people stick their content to Facebook.
G: Describe yourself in five words?
J: Creative Director, Strategist, Blogger, and Speaker.
G: What’s your favourite hobby?
G: How did social media change your life?
J: I’ve got tons of colleagues that I speak to every day without actually having any ‘real’ colleagues.
G: What don’t you like about social media?
J: The fact that it will change how kids and teenagers are being bullied.
G: What is the funniest/most unexpected thing that happened due to social media?
J: The other week I got connected with a girl I was dating 21 years ago. We split up in a bar and she was sort of drunk at the time. So she invited me on Facebook with the message: "Hey Johan, do you remember me? Last time we saw each other I got thrown out for being drunk by the bouncers at this bar where we split up. Well now it wouldn’t happen cause I’ve gotten quite big over the years" (G: Well it’s definitely the funniest story so far:) )
A big Thank You to Johan for his great insights!! You can find the rest of the interviews with the Social Media Citizens at Social Media interviews category.