PerkettPR’s “Influencers Who Inspire” Series Continues with Jason Falls

This week’s “Influencer Who Inspires” is Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer.  We admire Jason for his honest approach to social media and we are avid readers of his very popular site, Social Media Explorer.  Jason, who resides in Louisville, KY,  is an author, keynote speaker and CEO of Social Media Explorer.  He continues to be a name that surfaces at or near the top of conversations and lists of thought leaders and top thinkers in the emerging world of social media marketing.

 

How would you describe what you do for a living?

I do one primary thing in about three different ways. SME Digital, my agency, helps companies develop digital and social marketing strategies, execute them and measure/optimize results to drive business (unit sales, revenue or costs). My information products add the other two components: Explore Events helps anyone who wants to attend a two-day, intensive digital marketing strategy event and The Conversation Report analyzes online conversations and reports insights around specific industries (or clients for custom reports) to help businesses make smarter decisions about their social marketing.  In a nutshell, – Agency – Events – Research – is what I do.

 

You recently tweeted to PR folks about how they approach you and that you are “one of them” – what prompted that and how do you handle being on both sides of the PR equation?

It was likely prompted by me being critical of public relations professionals, then having them attack me for it. Those that are easily put on the defensive about the PR craft tend to point fingers at me and infer that I don’t know PR, that I’m just a “social media consultant.” But I spent 20 years as a PR and journalism professional before social media marketing ever happened. So I was probably saying, “I am one. Thus, I’m qualified to point the finger a bit.” The way I handle it is by just trying to coach and teach and perhaps lead by example. ‘Lots of public relations professionals still assume that “spray and pray” and spamming people works best. I only hope to educate them that there might be a better way to approach outreach. Quality outreach is far better than quantity, and you can sleep at night knowing you’re not a spammer.

 

What’s next in PR now that social media is a given?

I think PR is the new journalism. With all the noise out there in the media world and declining numbers in usage and revenues in traditional mediums, public relations professionals (and current journalists who will become them) have the opportunity to become the media. Those that do so in compelling ways will have better public relations programs because they’ll become a direct conduit to their publics.

 

What’s the best social media campaign you’ve seen (besides your own) in 2012?

H&R Block’s Stache Act is by far the most compelling. To have a stoic, conservative brand like H&R Block get behind a silly tax incentive for mustached Americans and stage a Million Mustache March on Washington, etc., just gave the brand personality and showed that they could reach beyond the tried and true “Let us do your taxes” messaging, in order to reach a new audience.

That, and Charmin‘s Twitter account. Holy cripes, they’re funny.

 

How did you initially get your “feet wet” in social media?

I spent 8-10 years blogging and exploring social networks and forums for personal entertainment. My old humor blog actually gained a bit of traction when I moved it to MySpace in about 2003. I learned how to build an audience, promote my content and connect influencers to what I was doing. Then in 2006, I started from scratch with an arsenal of experience in the business segment rather than the one focused on telling dirty jokes and made up tales of drunken debauchery. Heh.

 

Can you tell us a bit about your book “No Bullshit Social Media” and why someone would want to purchase it?

Aside from the crafty title, the book’s real appeal is that it’s a blueprint for social media strategy. We walk you through the seven reasons (goals) your business might implement social media tactics and coach you through the process of developing a sound, strategic approach to using social that will drive measurable results.

 

As the Founder and CEO of Social Media Explorer, your approach with SME Digital involves Full Frontal ROI methodolgy, can you explain how this is unique to the industry?

The Full Frontal ROI methodology, which was developed by my partner, Nichole Kelly, essentially places social media marketing squarely in the crosshairs of business strategy. Everything we do is focused on real business metrics — unit sales, revenues and costs — rather than soft metrics. Sure, we can help you drive more fans and followers, but we know we’re ultimately judged on your bottom line and how social media and digital marketing contribute to it. So that’s what we focus on. It’s unique to the industry because most other social media agencies or digital marketing shops focus on the fluff metrics and Kumbaya of social media. We know it’s about business or it’s a hobby. And how many business owners out there consider what they spend time and money on to be a hobby?

 

What is next for you for the remainder of the year heading into 2013?

Two more Explore events (Orange County, Calif., this week; Portland (Ore.) in November), another The Conversation Report, this one on the restaurant industry, and continuing to help our clients kick ass. And I fully expect 2013 will be much of the same. That’s what we do.

 

Brand Haiku for You

I was invited by my industry colleague and friend, Aaron Strout of Powered Inc., to participate in a fun experiment this morning. He asked me and a handful of other amazing marketing folks to share a brand haiku based on a recent experience we’ve had – good or bad. (Remember, a haiku is: 5 syllables, 7 syllables 5 syllables.)

Well, if you follow me on Twitter and were on this weekend, you likely heard about my recent experience with Toyota and specifically, McGee Toyota in Hanover, MA. It wasn’t pretty. So here’s my haiku for you based on my weekend – if you’d like the full story, read my blog post about the experience – and why it’s crucial for your sales team to understand that customer relationships are way more valuable than customer deals.

Toyota was wrong
Happy customers tell friends
Angry ones tell all

Now that the negative one is out of the way, here are two positive ones – because happy customers should share loudly, too.

Jet Blue I love you
Thanks for TVs and smiles
You get customers

Ideeli is cool
They sell lovely things to me
And they engage me

Follow the brand haiku to Bryan Person and his tribute to Nike, and see more haikus from those amazing marketers by watching Twitter for the hashtag #brandhaiku.

Thanks for the fun, creative and great idea – and invitation – Aaron! Readers, if you have a brand haiku, please play along in the comment section and on Twitter.

 

Persuasive Picks for the week of 09/27/10

Social Media: In-House or Outsourced
Companies often find it challenging to secure internal resources for handling the daily tasks of social customer engagement. Many turn to outsourcing those tasks as a way to get going more quickly. While a qualified and reputable agency or consultant can help out in most cases, it’s still very important to have internal champions with their finger on the pulse of the customer experience. This post from Maria Ogneva covers many of the reasons why.

3 Social Media Measurement Tips From #TechChat With Andrew Spoeth
This MPDailyFix post from Megan Leap offers up three great social measurement tips from last week’s #TechChat – a weekly Twitter chat sponsored by @MarketingProfs – for those who happened to miss it.

95% of Companies Have Tried Social Media; 40% Didn’t Inhale!
Marketing Pilgrim‘s Andy Beal highlights three of the many interesting findings from the recent Social Media and Online PR Report from Econsultancy and bigmouthmedia.

Understanding That Viral Isn’t Really Social Media
This Clickz.com post from Liana Evans suggests that “going viral is more akin to “word-of-mouth than social media” and takes a look at some key differences between viral marketing and social media marketing.

How to stay focused and not go app crazy
Shashi Bellamkonda from Network Solutions shares Jason Falls‘ insight on social media and business via this Q&A guest post on the Washington Business Journal.

Image Credit: Matt Hamm

Persuasive Picks for the week of 08/23/10

Do You Want To Succeed At Social Media Or Social Media Marketing?
Do you know the difference between social media and social media marketing? This post from Forrester‘s Augie Ray separates one from the other by providing real-world examples of each.

How To Integrate Social Media, Marketing and Business Intelligence
This CIO.com post focuses on the various ways Social Media affects a businesses marketing efforts and can lead to “increasingly powerful, actionable and immediate access to consumer sentiment” when paired with business intelligence.

The Problem With Empowering The Customer
SocialMediaExplorer.com‘s Jason Falls provides this thought provoking (and entertaining) post on how encouraging customers to use social media platforms to provide feedback might not always be the ideal channel for collecting such feedback.

Are You Using Social Media as Social Proof?
Corbett Barr visits the long standing concept of “social proof” and explains how effective social media can be when used as social proof in this post on SocialMediaExplorer.com.

What’s Next: After Social Media
This MediaBullseye post from Wayne Kurtzman explains that the next evolution of “social” just might be all about gaming and influence.

Photo Credit: popculturegeek.com

Persuasive Picks for the week of 01/04/10

group hug by massdistraction.What Is Engagement And How Do We Measure It?
Jason Falls helps readers maximize their social media success by understanding the importance of defining “engagement” before applying it to their social strategies.

Women Warm Up to Brands on Social Sites
EMarketer.com highlights some very interesting statistics from the recent SheSpeaks “Annual Social Media Study” – showing a large increase in brand activity among females across online social networks.

SEO tips for smarter social media
Geary Interactive CEO, Andreas Roell, explains how social media efforts and SEO go hand-in-hand, while providing some tips to make sure you are maximizing your efforts.

Is 2010 Your Year for a Mobile App?
Interactive Media Strategist, Tessa Wegert, shares statistics and examples of why 2010 just might usher in a trend of mobile-focused marketing campaigns.

Seven Tools to Better Manage Your Social Networks
CIO Staff Writer, Kristin Burnham, shares this list of seven tools to help you streamline your social media interactions. This post gets my vote for introducing me to five new tools I wasn’t aware of yet!