Tag Archive | "social media interview"

Interview with Community Manager: Joel Windels from Brandwatch


Joel is Community Manager at Brandwatch, Europe’s leading social media monitoring tool. As well as spending much of his time in the social media sphere, Joel’s background has been in the computer games industry, spanning development, usability, marketing, journalism and community management. He is currently based in Brighton, UK. You can follow Joel on  Twitter or LinkedIn.

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Interview with Community Manager: Philip Wride at Zmags

social media citizen philPhilip is Community Manager at Zmags. Previously, he was community manager of  FIFA UK at Electronic Arts and Digital Producer at The Walt Disney Company. You can Follow Phil on Twitter and his blog.
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Interview with Community Manager: Ben Bateman from Square Enix


Ben Bateman is community manager from Square Enix. An energetic and highly talented gaming specialist interested in all aspects of game development. A Currently Community Manager for Codemasters, supporting all boxed titles including DiRT 3, Operation Flashpoint Red River, F1 2011, and Bodycount. You can follow Ben on Twitter, Linkedin or Facebook.com Read the full story

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CEO Today: Interview with the co-founder of Flip.to – Brian J. Kent

Brian_Flip-toBrian is the co-founder and product lead of Flip.to. He’s been breathing life into web products for over 10 years as a hybrid developer/designer. As a Brooklyn-born, engineer by schooling, world traveler by preference, visionary by self-proclamation, Brian is a proponent of social media, travel and new technology bridging the two. You can follow Brian on Twitter and Linkedin.

G: Tell us a little about your start-up?

B: Flip.to is a platform that helps hotels & restaurants earn new guests by turning their current guests into a huge team of trusted advocates.

Here’s an example of how it works for hotels. After a guest books a room, Flip.to incentivizes them to spread the word about their upcoming trip and where they’ll be staying. So if you’ve just booked a room at The James Chicago, you’ll earn a complimentary room upgrade certificate in all of two clicks. And the hotel just reached all of your friends, family & followers in a really natural way- boosting brand awareness and deepening their pool of potential future guests.

Just as Flip.to engages hotel guests at convenient touch points (like at time of booking, suggestions when they arrive, a quick review after their stay), Flip.to engages restaurant guests right from their table on their own mobile device. Restaurants learn who their guests are, incentivize happy ones to spread the word, make a personalized connection with their friends and get negative reviews turned into real-time alerts for staff- all in a few swipes and taps.

G: What were the biggest obstacles launching the start-up and how did you overcome them?

B: Like most start-ups, our biggest challenge was getting past that initial inertia when you’re sitting there with only a glimmer of a product and zero customers. Because once the ball is rolling (when you have customers), it becomes easier to build on that traction- both in terms of landing new customers and figuring out what the product should grow up to be.

We started talking to folks in the hospitality industry really early on in the product development process to get their take on what we were doing. It helped validate the direction Flip.to was headed, build some excitement and it’s how we landed one of our very first proponents, who is now heading up our business development. Even before Flip.to was ready to go live, we had signed our first (paying!) beta client.

G: Where should social media be integrated by start-ups? (marketing, customer service and etc)? What are the best ways to do that?

B: Every company needs to take a good look at what their goals are and then match those up to how social media can help- there’s no one-fit solution. For start-ups, doing that is especially important because resources are scarce.

For consumer-oriented start-ups, social media makes sense for customer service provided you can be responsive. But if you’re going to make public the good and the bad about what your customers are saying, you better be on top of it. People don’t expect perfection, things happen, but you can lose credibility if it looks like you’re being unresponsive to issues. For B2B, you should respond directly and give your beta clients direct access to the team.

Using social media for marketing makes lots of sense. Only in the past few years, has it been amazingly easy to reach a large number of people. And social media becomes particularly potent, when folks are pushing out messages about your product or service on their own existing social networks. Flip.to is all about this- the hotels and restaurants using it can reach far beyond their own network by tapping into their guests’ networks, which collectively becomes massively bigger. And hearing something from a friend is always going to be more trusted than from a PR or marketing person.

G: Which social media sites do bring the most value to your start-up?

B: At Flip.to, we’ve found that Facebook has been the most popular place for our hotel’s guests to post about their upcoming trip. It has also generated the most traffic back to the hotel’s site, in terms of visitors and real action. Twitter isn’t far behind, followed by LinkedIn.

G: What are your favourite social media campaigns created by start-ups?

B: You’ll always get my attention if you can make me laugh out loud. Betabrand is a young online clothing company that is proving hilarious, well-written copy is sometimes all you need to get people buzzing. Their “privates” underwear that “promises to block TSA employees from seeing your scanned junk” is a good example of that.

The best social media campaigns feel authentic and for me personally, a little wit goes a long way.


G: What is the funniest/most unexpected thing that happened while developing your startup?

B: The very first incarnation of Flip.to (pre-beta) was to help companies spread the word about new products or services with the help of their employees and customers. We got lots of interesting feedback but as we were kicking ideas around, it felt far more natural for folks to talk about their travel experiences. Plus the marketing budgets for boutique hotels and destination restaurants were hurting after the downturn- helping them turn their guests into advocates just made sense.


A big Thank You to Brian for his great insights!! You can find the rest of the CEO Today interviews  at Social Media interviews category.

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Joe Pulizzi

joe pulizzinJoe Pulizzi is the Founder of Z Squared Media, a content marketing firm specializing in best practices, strategy, and execution planning. Joe’s blog, the Junta42 blog: Content Marketing Revolution, is recognized as one of the leading blogs on business content creation, marketing and distribution. Joe currently serves as a board member of the Custom Publishing Council and was voted as the “Custom Media Innovator of the Year” by American Business Media. Joe is also co-author of the book “Get Content. Get Customers”. You can follow Joe on Twitter or Linkedin. Read the full story

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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. Read the full story

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: David Siteman Garland

DavidDavid Siteman Garland is the Founder of The Rise To The Top, the web show for entrepreneurs, forward-thinkers, business owners and marketers, as well as The Rise To The Top TV show on ABC. David contributes as a writer and business/entrepreneurial commentator to CNN, CBS Bnet, Small Biz Trends and Personal Branding Blog.  David is also the author of upcoming book – Smarter, Faster, Cheaper: Non-Boring, Fluff-free Strategies for Marketing and Promoting Your Business. You can follow David on Twitter or Facebook. Read the full story

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Interview with Social Media Citizen

Microphones At Press Conference

It’s been a while since my last post, mainly because I was feeling a bit exhausted reading about the same stuff written over and over again – “top lists ” “twitter this” , twitter that”, “how to” and etc. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s brilliant that social media is finally getting the attention it fully deserves and the questioning about it being a fad almost gone, but sometimes I just get bored from reading the same stuff. I bet you understand.

I think that at these times, when you are feeling a bit tired it’s always good to go back and think why you’ve started doing what you are doing. I’ve decided to go back to the routes of my social media journey and write again about things I really care and intended to write about. Why I’ve started this blog? I always wanted to take a bit different approach in analyzing social media and analyze not the tools, channels or applications but the people in this environment – the people who make it happen, who live and breathe social media, who enjoy doing it just for the sake of doing it, people who explore and see not so many problems but the opportunities in our changing society, people that I call – Social Media Citizens.

Maybe it’s not going to be 100 % original stuff that you haven’t seen anywhere before, but I will try to keep it unique, personal and hopefully quite funny by answering some simple questions like:

  • Who are the Top Social Media Citizens?
  • Why and how they are staying engaged all the time?
  • What are the daily routine of Social Media Citizen?
  • How social media is changing the lives and behaviour?

It is quite specific environment and I want to hear different stories, from different part of the world, compare them and learn from them. Everyone is saying that social media is about people, so I want to ask “The People” what is it about?;)

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Mary McKnight

Mary McKnight is the Consumer Marketing Director at Where.com, one of the leading location based applications which helps three million users to discover the world around them. She is also an editor of Sacrilicious Marketing, the blog which has a bit different approach to social media. You can follow Mary on Twiter or  Facebook Fan Page.

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

M: I don’t really consider myself “in the social media” business. I’ve worked as a marketer since the mid nineties and regard social media as a new tool to add to my marketing bag of tricks. Social media and social commerce are most interesting when they can be leveraged to reach and engage an audience more personally in a brand or product. Those are the primary reasons I use social media in my marketing campaigns.

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

M: Consistency is key! But being consistent on social media is often at odds with being productive in my life and job. I don’t plan my life around Twitter or Facebook or Foursquare or any other social networks… I use smart technologies like Ping.fm and Friendfeed that take the information they aggregate from my entire social lifestream of Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, blogs, Foursquare, Last.fm etc and push it to my other social profiles so I can easily and automatically share what I am doing or find interesting at that specific moment. That helps me be consistent on each network while being efficient and effective at sharing. I would never plan my life around social media – social media just becomes a part of what I am doing at the moment and the technologies I use simply assist in sharing those moments.

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Interview with Social Media Citizen: Jo Porritt

JoJo Porritt is communications specialist whose career has spanned the evolution of marketing, from traditional – to digital – to social. She is the Managing Director of BrandGuardian , a social media agency based in UK which prides itself on education, engagement and forward thinking strategy that can be applied to any business sector; from start-ups to global brands. You can follow Jo on Twitter – @BrandGuardian.

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

J: How? I was previously an Account Director with a web development company, managing brands online presence. The shift a few years ago to Web 2.0 and the whole concept of “Read, Write, Share” meant is was impossible to ignore! Why? Because way before social media was coined as a buzz-word, I worked on the same principles that underpin social i.e. open, transparent, collaborative, high integrity, no smoke and mirrors. I yearned for the time when businesses could see how much value there was in “participation” and not just “broadcast”. Essentially, those ethics are in my blood – it was a very natural progression from my personal life to my working life. I guess with the advent of social and my experience to date, I finally feel like things are now aligned.

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

J: Being a Social Media Citizen is basically easy for me! As described above, it has been how I have worked with clients and brands for many years. But now that this has become “mainstream” I plan my day by making sure I start it with a quick review of the news across all of the SM sites. I also plan ahead for both clients and my own social media personal branding projects. I try to weave a thread of consistency by posting on certain topics, interspersed with the organic, real time nature social now gives us. In truth, every day is different. I am constantly learning. For me, everything we do as professionals within this industry is always in beta. Being flexible and learning when to stop are also very important strategies.

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