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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Richard Sedley

Richard-Sedley-Half-PortraitRichard Sedley is the Director of Customer Engagement unit at cScape, an experienced digital agency that delivers highly successful solutions for the clients like Microsoft, Sony, Barclays and Peugeot. Richard is also the Course Director for Social Media at the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He is the co-author of “Winners and Losers in a troubled economy” and blogs at Loopstatic.You can follow Richard on Twitter or Linkedin.

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

R: Back at the turn of the century I worked with a number of clients developing online customer communities. My focus was on adoption and the psychology of customer-to-customer, and customer-to-brand interactions. It was really from there that we developed our approach to engagement. If you’re interested in communities I still think that Design for Community by Derek Powazek is one of the best books published.

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

R: Mmm. Interesting question. I used to think about social media a lot, now I don’t. I guess it’s just integrated into the fabric of everyday life. I check Twitter before I do my email, I manage my public profile online like I think about what I’m going to wear in the morning and everything I discuss with clients starts from a Social Media perspective. Customer centricity for my clients means ‘digital by default’. (Not everything ends up centred on Social Media but it certainly starts there with research etc.)

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

R: I love Twitter and could spend hours just hanging out reading and conversing but I’ve started to be more disciplined over the last year. I try to use Pomorodo Cycles to maintain productivity at work. Twitter has changed the sentiment of the web for me. It’s made it a much nicer place to hang out. Twitter is my coffee bar where I can meet, greet, exchange and over-hear.

The site that has delivered me the most value over the longest period of time has to be Delicious. I use it to fill the gaps in my memory, as a search engine, as a collaboration tool, to create bespoke RSS feeds, to find potential clients and in loads of other ways as well. You’re welcome to follow the links I save at Delicious

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

R:  Twitter is my primary source of useful content but I have recently revived my use of RSS readers. (I had stopped using them a few years back preferring to rely on the serendipity of Twitter). Instapaper is a must have to allow me to read later what might distract me at the time.

My favourite RSS readers are:

G: How would you define a  Social Media Citizen?

R: ‘Someone who contributes to the value of the Social Media space.’ This is really more to do with the nature of the social objects they share in the space rather than the connections they have.

G: What are your favourite Social Media Citizens?

R: I generally only follow people I get value from so you can find them here:!/richardsedley/following

These are four of my friends in the social space who I recommend:

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

R: I really like Facebook’s ad platform. The targeting capacity and insights you can gain make it one of the most power tools we have. Let me give you an example:

I worked with Diabetes UK and they were creating ads to A/B test copy and value propositions that would be used offline. For a couple of hundred pounds they were able to show ideas to thousands upon thousands of their target audience and work out how to optimise some expensive print material – brilliant.

G: What are your favourite social media campaigns?

R: No question the best is still Greenpeace’s Green My Apple campaign. It used the social space almost perfectly. Greenpeace wanted to put pressure on Apple Computers to improve their environmental credentials. But having a pop at Apple can be difficult because there are so many Apple evangelists ready to stand up and pop back. So instead Greenpeace said they really loved Apple computers but that they’d love them even more if their computers were greener – turning evangelism into an amplifier for the campaign. They called on all Apple fans to share a video, photo or audio clip that echoed this Greenpeace ‘call-to-action’ and to upload it to any social media with the tag #greenmyapple. Content with this tag was then pulled into the site. This has become a technique we see used a lot now by various campaigns, but rarely with as much humour, sophistication and commitment as in the Green My Apple campaign.

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

R: I don’t really think there is a secret to social media marketing – just hard work, attention to details and delivering value. If I were to share an insight into networking it would have to be you need to like people. People trust people that like them because they feel safe. Many just start from a default position of mistrust and these individuals will always struggle in the social space.

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

R: The future of social media really rests inside the enterprise. If it is to profoundly change the way we do business the tools and associated behaviours need to impact how we manage people, innovate and organise – not just market and communicate.

G: Describe yourself in five tags?

R: Bald, Enthusiastic, Friendly, Persuasive, Political

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

R: I think I sometimes feel a need to perform in order to maintain a consistent persona and as I mentioned before it can be distracting.

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

R: I genuinely thought I had an online storker. My role as Course Director for Social Media at the Chartered Institute of Marketing means that I try to join and try out as many different networks and tools as possible. For about six months someone was ‘friending’ me everywhere. Then out of the blue I received an invite to present at an event in Barcelona. He was just checking me out as part of an event he was programming. We are now real friends and he has given me speaking gigs all over the Europe.

G: How did social media change your life?

R: I think it just touches everything I do to a greater or lesser extent. My appreciation of my football team is increased through conversations I have online, my friends and family get to experience my kids, even my Saturday nights are bearable as I tune into Twitter to laugh at the Xfactor contestants.


A big Thank You to Richard 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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