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Interview with Social Media Influencer: Trey Pennington

­Trey Pennington is a marketing pro, business connector, and storyteller for business who’s passion is helping people uncover their hidden treasures and put them to work. He uses social media to connect with audiences around the globe. HubSpot ranks his Facebook profile as one of the most influential in the world and his Twitter profile in the top 0.01%. Trey helped start ten Social Media Clubs in the US, UK, and Australia and routinely speaks to groups about using social media to make connections and have conversations that lead to commerce.  You can follow Trey on Twitter or Linkedin.

G: I know that you will be speaking at Fusion Marketing Experience event organized by our friends at Social Marketing Forum. Can you give us a sneak preview of your presentation at Fusion Marketing Experience?

T: The explosive growth of social media affords the commercial world unprecedented opportunity. The opportunity is not where people expect it, though. Many are looking at increasing ROI and profits through efficiency. The real opportunity is more fundamental and we’ll explore it’s unexpected source.

G:  Why do many marketers still fail to integrate social media successfully into their broader marketing strategies?

T: Much of commercial communications comes from established professional disciplines like public relations, advertising, or marketing. Those branches of communication developed over long periods of time, have generations of experienced practitioners, and have developed substantial, documented bodies of knowledge to support their on-going practice. Social media popped onto the scene from a different source—it bubbled up from kids. The grown ups saw social media as kids’ stuff. Instead of embracing social media and applying disciplined thinking to incorporating the new media into marketing programs, the professionals let social media evangelist develop independent strategies for each emerging platform. The tide seems to be changing. Now each established discipline seems to be embracing social media and experimenting with it to see how it supports business objectives.  I’m hesitant to label the experiments as “right” or “wrong,” however, I do suggest those who see social media as a free broadcast medium will tend to have less fulfilling experiences with it!

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