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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Paul Dunay

Paul DunayPaul Dunay is Global Managing Director of Services and Social Marketing for Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications, and author of 3 Dummies books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies, Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies and Facebook Advertising for Dummies. Paul’s blog Buzz Marketing for Technology  has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs”. You can follow Paul on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

G: Describe yourself in five tags?

P: Passionate, Innovative, B2B, Technology, Marketer

G: What’s your favourite hobby?

P: Boating in all forms. I love being on the water whether it is in a motorboat, racing a sailboat to Bermuda or racing a small one man boat like a Laser or Dyer against other racing enthusiasts. So far I raced over 1000 nautical miles this year. Now my whole family is into sailing and racing so its hard to keep up with us.

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

P: I was an early adopter of podcasting back in 2005. I had worked in a speech technology firm back in 2003 creating MP3 files of our applications – which were really just me and a tech guy recording our voice and mimicking what our speech application would say. So when I read in June 2005 that Apple was accepting MP3 files (or podcasts as they became named) I remember telling my wife I was going to be the first guy to get something up there in my field. And in fact I was, by August 2005 I had my first podcast series up and running ahead of anyone in my firm or any of our competitors. So early that many in my firm called me the podcast kid (which I frankly didn’t like). And this was mainly to promote my firms services and solutions. I then decided to start sharing this knowledge in the form of a blog which I started in Feb 2006 called Buzz Marketing for Technology and this blog is still with my today – over 400 blog posts and about 100 podcasts (on the blog) later I am still growing and sharing every idea I can come up with on how to use technology to create buzz for your company.

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

P: Well thanks for calling me that – it beats the podcast kid moniker! (G: 🙂 ) My day starts early at 5:30 am (sleeping is over rated) where I clean out my inbox from the night before (yes I am a “go to zero” inbox guy) then I start cruising my Google reader where I have organized my 300 plus blogs that I follow – reading learning and tweeting out what I find. I consider myself a “bird dog” since I read so much that if you follow me you get a pretty clean stream of good material I found useful. Then I hit Facebook and start interacting with my pages, and my profile as well as I always recognize my followers on their birthdays (just a pet thing that I believe in). Then I usually workout and get to work. I am social support for Avaya so I monitor the term Avaya for people who sound like they need help and respond as quickly as I can to get them up and running again. When I get home I spend time with the family then clean out my inbox, check my reader and respond to comments before going to bed and the whole thing starts over again the next day. Weekends are for blogging and writing books. I don’t do my podcast series any more so this allows me more time to do what I think is higher value social activity like the blog or a new book.

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

P: I always feel like I use to many tools but my love of technology gets in my way sometimes and I over extend myself trying new tools and then pairing that back

  • Tweetdeck – is my first line of defence – it’s my dashboard for all Twitter accounts and topics – as well as competitive terms and scheduling tweets. (I am considering a move to HootSuite now that a recent update from Tweetdeck messed up my iphone app and my desktop – which I managed to wrestle back into order)
  • Radian6 – is my safety net since it catches any mention of our company in blogs, microblogs, social networks and forums and creates a stream of social data about your company
  • Sysomos – is my new tool that I like for insights into social data with a linkage to news (from Marketwire) – I am playing with this one and really liking the interface and the functionality
  • Networked Insights – is my favourite tool for social insights like sentiment, share of voice etc – this can be by company name, product name or even conversation – pretty cool
  • Google Reader for any other forms of media
  • Facebook for all the pages we update and groups that we keep up. I like SocialRSS for automatically feeding certain pages with RSS feeds (like Shared items on Google Reader) – its very helpful if you want to curate content on your page as you build you fan base.
  • YouTube of course for our own branded channel of videos that you can pipe into any page as well as other “enabling” technologies like SlideShare and Flickr.

And we are experimenting with web.Alive for virtual meetings in a collaboration space – this is worth checking out if you haven’t seen it.

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

P: The secret to social media marketing is just 3 words – Social Customer Support. This is the single best place to get an ROI from social media. Trust me – I have tried them all. Delighting your existing customers is ALWAYS a good strategy. And delighted customers tend to do 4 good things:

  • they buy more (on average 10% more!);
  • they give good word of mouth (isn’t that why you use social media in the first place!);
  • they tend to stick with your company longer meaning;
  • they are more profitable long term.

That’s 4 very good things in my opinion. We need more social media gurus to focus on this. Right now when I hear “we cant measure social medias impact on our company” from people it tells me they have the wrong approach – move to social customer support and I guarantee you get results. To get started with it – just do a search on – for your company name and look for someone who needs help. Then print that out and walk it into the head of your customer support department and ask who is supporting this customer. Be careful about this strategy – because you may end up like me – becoming the person who supports your customers socially – but then again that wouldn’t be a bad thing!

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

P: I reconnected with an old college buddy of mine Rich Krueger on Facebook one day and he sent me a note saying “hey I am in New York working in Interactive Marketing – what are you up to?” so I wrote him back saying “hey I am in New York working in an Interactive Marketing role – lets talk!”. We got back together after years of not having seen each other and found out we were doing very similar work – he was doing more B2C interactive marketing on the agency side and I was doing more B2B interactive marketing on the client side. We thought somehow we would collaborate someday as many people often say but rarely do. Within a month or 2 I got an email from someone right off my blog looking for me to write a book and I decided to do that with Rich and 3 years later we have written 2 books – Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009) and Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) !

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

P: First off social media is not a trend – I get upset at people who think this whole thing is going to just blow over and if they stick their head in the sand long enough it will disappear. Fact is social media has transformed the way firms are operating and this is only the beginning. Companies act more transparent and open in their communications and are being social with their customers – do they think we are just going to stop this behaviour and just revert back to being anti social?? Social media has the power to transform the entire organization and help it get cantered around the customer – I liken it to Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) it has that type of power. I see it taking a tour of my firm already in places like IT, Corporate Communications, Interactive. But also now Customer Support, HR, Recruiting, Product Development, R&D and even Finance and Billing (yes I have gotten finance and billing tweets!) So what’s left after that? Not much if you add the CEO’s blog right. So I think we will be talking about Social for a long time to come. Marketers have a great gift in their hands but it’s up to them to use it!


A big Thank You to Paul 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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