In an exclusive interview with Hillel Fuld, an accomplished and well-known blogger for Tech ‘N Marketing and contributing author to Mashable, Google News, and AppBoy, Hillel shares his input on the trends of social media and tips for staying up to par with changes in the online social networks.
1. What are your predictions for the future trends of social media?
The newest trends as well as the expert predictions in both the social and mobile spaces point to the fact that location is going to be the name of the game this year. Foursquare, GoWalla, and Twitter’s new location API—these are just the first signs of this new trend. In addition, social media in general shows no signs of slowing down, and corporations that once dismissed it as a passing phase are now taking an active part in the online dialog. I think social media is the future of the web.
2. What advice do you have for information-overloaded entrepreneurs who don’t have a workforce to tweet, Facebook, or blog on behalf of their company?
My advice is to make time or hire someone. The results that social media brings to companies across the globe are unparalleled. Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, social media can help you achieve results faster and more efficiently than traditional media and marketing tools.
3. What tricks do you have to reduce the time you spend on social media but increase business productivity at the same time?
Twitter and the other social platforms are exactly that: platforms. They have developed an entire surrounding ecosystem of software to enhance your productivity. They all have an API for third-party software, and heavy social users should almost never use the web interface. If we are talking Twitter, then there are some amazing applications out there such as Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, and many more. These programs minimize the time you need to spend doing the “dirty” work, while maximizing the results and potential these platforms offer.
4. What tools do you use to track social media efforts? Is it important to track these efforts?
Once again, there are endless tools that can help you track results and ROI. To give names would be irrelevant since it very much depends on the type of user and that user’s goals. If you are after traffic, Google Analytics works; if you are after links, there are sites like Topsy.com that show exactly how many people tweeted your link. Alternatively, if it is an online presence you are after, sites like Twitter.grader.com and many others will give you a clear picture of just how effective your online network has become.
5. Many “social media gurus” suggest that businesses on social media platforms need to start a dialogue with people, and not look at them as consumers. What is it that makes this shift in focus the key to building valuable relationships? And for that matter, how do you shift them back to the consumer in order to sell your product?
For starters, there is nothing I disagree more with than the term “social media guru.” The reason I do not like that term is essentially the answer to your question. What do you have to do to qualify as a “social media guru”? If you are a social person and understand people, then in my book, you are a “social media guru.” It is called social media because it is intended to provide a social platform, not a promotional one. Yes, the various social platforms are excellent tools when it comes to promoting products, but that is not done in the traditional way. For traditional promotion, we have traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and TV. When it comes to social media, it is all about two-way dialog. No more one-way emails with a no-reply address. Now companies can communicate directly with their customers. This is great for feedback, customer support, and many others. If a company does that well, the sales and numbers will come. To play on one of the all time classics, “If you build it (the ongoing customer relationship), they (the sales) will come.”
Ranked the number one online influencer in Israel, Hillel Fuld is an accomplished and well-known blogger with a prominent presence on twitter and LinkedIn, among other platforms. Hillel brings a technical-writing past to contemporary fruiting as contributing author to Mashable, Google News, and AppBoy, in addition to his own highly respected and widely read blog Tech ‘N Marketing with 50,000 to 100,000 readers per month. Hillel is behind the social media marketing efforts of DailyForex and works on various projects with Kodak, HP, Nokia, Samsung, Dell, and others, including start-ups at the forefront of mobile and technology innovation. Hillel has about 11,500 followers on Twitter including some of the network’s most influential people with millions of collective followers.
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