In this decade social media is constantly booming in the workplace. Peter DeMichele is a prime example of someone who has worked with social media throughout his life through past and present work involvement. He has worked with GOJO Industries, Inc. for over 3.5 years working around mobile sales and now transitioning to the companies newly created digital marketing team. In this area of work he helps develop and implement GOJO’s social media marketing strategy.
Before his position at GOJO he had gained knowledge in the field from past experience form leading a social media start up inside a digital advertising agency. Here he created and managed social media accounts. This then developed a blogger outreach network to drive content development across blogs and social networks. His passion for digital marketing and social media struck light to his side project of being co-founder of the T-shirt company, Erie Apparel. Erie Apparel is almost exclusively an online business primarily using social media to share content and spread awareness. Social media has implemented an increase in their customer engagement.
After hearing DeMichele’s background in the related areas of digital marketing and social media, I asked a few questions about how social media correlates in his work:
A: What is one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring social media professional?
PD: I learn best by doing and think that’s my one piece of advice. If you’re interested in advancing in social media it really helps to get fully immersed in the platforms. While some social networks might have a greater affinity to some topic areas, it’s fair to say whether you’re into crafting projects you’re probably going to spend many hours on Pinterest, while if your into building YouTube How-to’s might be where you spend the most of your time. I think there is a misconception that to use social media you have to post content. I think for the most part, listening, viewing, reading and downloading content is a great starting point. Find your passion and start following top influencers or news sources your familiar with.
A: Why do you think social media is important to build consumer engagement?
PD: For some people and brands, social media levels the playing field especially with start up businesses that do not have large advertising budget to be on TV or run massive ad campaigns. Social media is critical because it’s a platform that gives people an outlet to share their opinions and reviews of products and services and do so in a community environment. People look to their friends, family and connections when making a purchase decisions both online and offline. Social media amplifies word-of-mouth in the digital space. With my t-shirt business we encourage our customers to post photos and tag us on their social network, which not only increases our reach, but also provides us with a third-party endorsement. It’s not our brand message, the message becomes more authentic when it’s coming from a customer and shared with their friends and family members.
A: What do you think is the most important upcoming trend in social media and why is that trend important?
PD: Really so many to choose from, there are probably three that I am most interested in which include video, mobile and social advertising.
- Video is important because social networks like Snapchat, which is relatively new, has over 7 billion video views daily, Facebook has 9 billion. Video is entertaining, informative and continues to drive greater engagement.
- Mobile is big because today over 70% of the US adult population has a smart phone, with millennial’s only driving greater adoption. Facebook, through its native app, Facebook Messenger and Instagram now dominates smart phone time spent with app users spending a whopping 26 minutes on average per day in the social network.
- Social advertising is interesting because in some cases like Facebook, the only way to reach your brand’s fans/followers is through boosted posts and Facebook ads. A brand’s normal Facebook post is no longer enough to drive the engagement it once had. Additionally, in platforms like LinkedIN, it gives users incredible targeting capabilities. It’s also worth mentioning in paid is social commerce shown in the new Pinterest buy buttons and the Instagram ad platforms enabling a more direct, buy now experience for advertisers.
A: How do you use social media as a tool for customer service?
PD: For the t-shirt business, we have found that often people are more inclined to share positive or negative feedback or just ask questions with us on Facebook or Instagram instead of submitting comments on our website or trying to email us. We strive to response as quickly as possible to help improve our brand perception and their experience with our brand.
PD: At GOJO, our social media, PR and customer service teams are very connected and share resources and documentation to best answer questions and concerns shared by customers. Customers expect immediate responses on social networks. As an FDA-regulated company, we have to be very careful how we craft our responses.
A: What social media platform do you use the most and why?
PD: For my T-shirt business Instagram as it best portrays our business of selling shirts. I think there is a lot less clutter and find it incredibly engaging. With the new social advertising rolling out, we are very excited to expand our reach to more directly drive sales through this network.
PD: For GOJO I would say LinkedIN because of the ability to view decision makers and target them by title, company, company size and more. With over 80% of executives using social media to influence their purchase decisions, LinkedIN is the platform of choice.
A: Do you think social media has made your job easier/more difficult and why
PD: Both. It makes my job easier as it gives me a greater ability to monitor trends and keep current with business news. It’s more difficult because there is always more you can be reading and evaluating. At some point you have to get started and embrace the ever-changing environment brought on by the digital revolution.
After interviewing Peter, I realized how social media can expand ones company reaching all different types of platforms. I agree that social media is crucial for monitoring trends and staying up to date with current events, but like I said, media is constantly booming and can be hard to keep up with. Being people in this decade, we engage with social media daily becoming products of our environment when adapting to new ways. I was lucky enough to interview someone with the connections and back round in the area of digital marketing and social media.