Social Media Marketing – My Experience

Learning social media marketing improved my career and life

It’s been a little over a year since my last post, so this will be a bit of a departure from my previous entries. The past year has been one of personal and professional growth for me. I took on a six month social media management contract for a friend. Shortly after I wrapped up the contract, I landed my first full-time marketing gig from a Facebook group. This was nothing short of poetic justice. I say that because I’ve been working my ass off in my spare time since early 2008 to learn everything I can about social media marketing. I’ve done a ton of volunteer, pro bono work, etc, and read countless blogs, feeds, gone to conferences on my own dime, that allowed me to form friendships with notable marketing professionals locally and around the world.

Gary Vaynerchuk‘s new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World speaks to me on many levels. Gary preaches you must first offer value to your audience and be willing to give it away by jabbing at least three times before you hit your audience with a right hook when you ask them to buy what you’re selling. I jabbed from 2008 until 2012 when I stopped giving away content and started getting paid for my contributions.

I owe a lot of it to Estes because he gave me my first shot on a professional level back in 2011. I linked up with Estes after I came across talklaun.ch on tumblr one night.  I wrote a few blog entries until Estes tapped me to handle a national account in April 2012. Estes even invited me to fly out to Denver to attend the Talklaunch kick off party at Dazzle Jazz.

In February of 2012, I managed to snag my first paid contract locally, after a job interview turned into what can you do for our company to improve our reach in the social media space. From there I felt like the sky was the limit. Preceding my experience with the aforementioned, I took it upon myself to establish the digital footprint for my father’s business. My father is an old school guy who just recently bought his first smart phone, an iPhone 4S. I can only imagine what the conversation between the cell phone rep and my father must have been like. When the economic downturn happened, his calls dried up. His idea of advertising in 2008 was a half page phone book ad and word of mouth. I took it upon myself to change that for him. I also set out to learn the social media channels while doing it. My father’s business did pick up but he could never tell me where his calls originated from. I didn’t opt to set up analytics for the accounts I managed. I didn’t feel it was necessary because my goal was simply to get his company name out in the digital space along with the specialty and his phone number in order to generate phone calls. I was never chasing followers and customer interaction.

I have learned a great deal about the ups and down of social media marketing. I’ve managed to apply everything I’ve learned to how I do things now.

Have an individual voice on each social media channel you manage. Refrain from pushing the same content to each channel.

Contests are tricky and can be better managed using a service like rafflecopter.com

Do not project the car salesman vibe, and allow interaction with your fans to be organic.

I feel my experiences have made me into a well rounded social media marketer. I’m excited for the future and what 2014 holds.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!