“Influencers Who Inspire” Our Latest Interview With Jason Miller Of Marketo

Jason Miller serves as senior manager, social media strategy at Marketo. He leads the company’s social media efforts, focusing on optimizing social for lead generation and driving revenue. He is a regular contributor to leading marketing blogs, such as Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today and Marketing Profs.

JasonMillerMarketo

Pick one: Beer, Wine, Soda, Juice, Coffee, Tea  or Water?

I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Stella.

In addition to your social media strategist position by day, you are also a rock music photographer by night. What is the one band you haven’t seen live yet that you would love to photograph?

I have been fortunate enough to photograph many of my favorites including The Cult, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Keane, etc. But I am missing one, and that would be Cheap Trick. Their management company has ignored my requests for some reason, but there are two shows coming up here in The Bay Area that I will be attending so I am hoping they respond accordingly this time. It’s free PR for them, so I am very surprised to see them pass up the opportunity.

What parallels in skill sets can you draw from photographer & entertainment writer to the social media magic maker you are today?

Creativity, striving for perfection and the freedom to try new things. Social media marketing is all about how creative you can get while selling to your customers and prospects without selling. There’s a great quote from marketing mastermind Gene Simmons that I always go back to: “We need the people to like what we do. The more they like us, the more they will buy.” That’s been his philosophy regarding KISS and their worldwide domination, but it also applies very well to a company’s social media strategy. The mentality of ‘always be closing,’ needs to change to ‘always be helping.’

In your recent AMA webinar on the topic of Social Media for Lead generation you spoke about “getting out there and trying things.” What ‘things’ do you recommend trying first to increase engagement?

By ‘things’ I essentially mean trial and error. Social channels are simply another touch point between you and your customers and prospects. They move in real time and what works for one business may not work for the other. The idea here is to find success stories and strategies, then make them your own by adjusting the tactics to your audience. Many of your early social campaigns will indeed fail, and that’s ok. The key here is patience and not giving up too early.

How do you keep up with all of your different social networks ? What processes or tools do you have in place to make it easier?

It is challenging, to say the least. Hootsuite is essential for managing multiple social networks, but I really love reading blogs. With the looming death of Google Reader, I have switched over to Feedly to aggregate and read the blogs that I love. Flipboard is also a great option when I want a fully-integrated social feed in a magazine-style format, the only problem there is the filtering. But they are getting much better.

You talked a bit about LinkedIn as a critical social tool for lead generation, and it has certainly improved in the recent months. What do you see as the most valuable way for a business to use LinkedIn?

The most valuable way businesses can use LinkedIn right now is for prospecting, listening and building credibility. There is a cornucopia of insights within the platform, if you know how to set up saved searched-around keywords. There is also a tremendous opportunity to engage with super relevant conversations within the newsfeed and LI groups. I am really excited to see the new products that will be coming from LinkedIn for marketers in the coming months, as I believe they are just getting started.

You also mentioned Facebook as being an important lead generation tool no matter the kind of business you are in. Can you explain why that is the case?

The bottom line here is that if your business or brand, regardless of the niche you are in, doesn’t have a presence on Facebook, you are simply missing opportunities. There are more than one billion people on Facebook; if you think your customers, prospects and decision makers are not there, you are wrong. The important thing to remember is that in the world of B2B marketing, your customers and prospects are not on social to be sold to. Entertain them, tell them a story, give them something to share, help them along the way, and when it comes time for them to purchase, your company will likely be top of mind.

Measuring success is always important to any marketing initiative and tying our work with social back to lead generation is no different. For a small business that may not be able to afford a Radian6 or Marketo right now, what metrics do you recommend looking at beyond likes, shares and follows to determine campaign success. Are there any good free tools that go beyond the average vanity measurements?

That’s a great question. For a small business or anyone just getting started, I would recommend something simple but super effective such as Sprout Social. It’s a pretty decent all-around social tool and provides a nice foundation for anyone looking for a quick snapshot of the social-sphere around their business. Once you begin to get a bit more serious around your social measurement of lead gen opportunities, then you need to start tracking social as a lead source, along with referring traffic and conversions from social. You can do that with Google Analytics. The main thing to keep in mind is that when you start seeing leads come in from social, they are almost never ready to buy. You need to have a lead nurturing process in place, and that’s where marketing automation really shines.

We work some amazing and dynamic marketers and CEOs with fantastic ideas, but sometimes best intentions for writing don’t seem to happen. What is your best tip for inspiring busy executives to crank out the blog posts?

Easy. Go to lunch with them and ask them questions. Record the conversation, then have it transcribed via TranscriptionStar or a similar service. You can extrapolate from there and possibly even have two or three posts from one conversation.

As an aspiring comedian, would you please share the funniest social media update you ever posted or remember seeing across your networks? 

I don’t know if it’s as funny as it is disturbing, but I once tweeted that I woke up one morning still unable to forgive George Lucas for introducing Jar Jar Binks to the world. Somehow it got retweeted tens of thousands of times, and I ranked as the number one influencer for Jar Jar Binks on Klout.

Interested in learning more? Please leave any questions or comments for Jason below.  You can also catch up with him on the Marketo blog or follow him on Twitter.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 04/04/11

Chrysler TweetThe 7 Worst Twitter PR Fails
The Huffington Post‘s Catharine Smith compiles an entertaining list of the top Twitter-based PR blunders to-date. Prepare to cringe and learn!

Managing elephant-sized social media blunders
Reuters small business writer Deborah Cohen shares an informative Q&A with global brand strategist Jonathan Salem Baker that contains helpful tips on managing social media blunders like this week’s “elephant hunting” video released by GoDaddy CEO Bob Parsons.

Top Companies Still Bashful About Social Media Presence
Frank Reed, managing editor for the Marketing Pilgrim, starts off a new blog series with this entry that highlights a recent Ad Age report that revealed less than half of Fortune 50 companies promote their social presence on their corporate homepage.

Report: Social Media Worth the Time
There’s no doubt that executing a well thought out social media strategy takes time. However, you need to stick with it and be consistent in order to reap the rewards. Inc.com‘s contributing editor Courtney Rubin shares some interesting stats around this topic and small business.

Getting real about social media budgeting
This post from Rich Karpinski on BtoBOnline suggests that Salesforce.com‘s recently announced acquisition of Radian6 might be a turning point for marketing teams to really focus on their social spending, and he provides highlights of last year’s Altimeter survey from Jeremiah Owyang to show what an aggressive social budget looks like.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 05/10/10

Making Time For Evolution
There are plenty of excuses for not integrating social media into your marketing strategy, but more often than not it comes down to resources or time. Amber Naslund from Radian6 urges readers to “harness their potential” and “embrace the unknown” in this motivational post.

The Metrics of Social Media
This post by Danny Brown expands on social media metrics and the importance of clearly identifying what you want to achieve, how long you want to spend achieving it and actually doing the measuring. He also suggests a variety of metrics to consider when getting started.

Social Media for Business (to Business)
Dave Evans from 2020Social provides several examples of how B2B organizations have adopted social media strategies into their organizations.

Taking the First Steps in Social Marketing
Gary Halliwell explains why tying social media profiles to your CRM records is a great first step in the right direction for getting started with Social Marketing.

5 Easy Ways to Drive Social Media Fans to Action
Building a large online community is great, but driving them to action is essential for the bottom line. Peter Wylie from SocialMediaExaminer shares these practical examples to help increase your community engagement.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 03/29/10

Artwork: Chip Taylor10 Signs You’re a Social Media Addict
CIO.com’s Kristin Burnham shares the results of a recent Retrevo Gadgetology survey that shows how addicted people are to their online social communities. She also provides some additional survey questions of her own to help determine how addicted you are.

9 social media topics that need to die
This Ragan.com guest post by Amber Naslund from Radian6 debunks nine  ideas in social media that we’ve all heard repeated – and that at one time were practically touted as gospel. The post provides a nice wake-up call for those still new to the social media space.

Attacks Exploit Growing Use of Social Media
Michael Cheek highlights findings from the “Blue Coat Web Security Report for 2009” which shows that cyber criminals are migrating to social networks as fast as the rest of us.

Dating Advice for PR Pros
This post on Jeremy Porter’s Journalistics blog provides an entertaining read that compares media relations to the process of dating. Don’t miss this one!

What Makes Videos Go Viral – And Should Marketers Even Care?
While there’s no magic formula for creating a successful viral video, the most popular ones do share a few common characteristics. This MarketingVox post shares some of those as well as the success that Coca-Cola had with their recent vending machine viral campaign.

- Artwork: Chip Taylor

Social CRM Rocks

Chris Brogan Social CRM RockstarYou have to admit that we social media types really like to rock out. At the recent Rockstars of Social CRM event hosted by Chris Brogan and produced by Radian6, some of the “rockstars” of CRM were definitely in the house including Frank Eliason of @ComcastCares. What we learned, or I should say, what we were reminded of, is that customer service comes down to basics – connecting with your customers.

But now it’s called “Social CRM” which was defined by the Rock Star Panelists as a return to basics. The philosophy is good relationships = good sales.

This is not a new concept. Back in the days before Sprawlmarts, we had what some lovingly referred to as “The Mom and Pop shops” where the owner actually knew his customers and interacted with them personally. This resulted in customer loyalty and repeat business. My family has owned and operated its own party & novelty store, Ballard’s, for the past 30 years. My father still greets his customers and helps each and every one of them personally – you can’t get that at a big box store anymore.

While we are getting down to basics, the tools in which we use to do so are very different. Rather than that face-to-face interaction you might have received at a Mom and Pop shop, businesses are engaging in the same type of interaction, but using social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to make those connections – no matter where their customers are. It has revolutionized the way in which companies do customer service, and if done right, is extremely powerful. Look at Zappos. They refer to themselves as a customer service company that sells footwear and clothing. Zappos is doing customer service right and leveraging online tools to do so. Any business, large or small can do the same.

What companies do you engage with whom you feel are doing it right? And, more importantly, what is your favorite Rock Band song to rock out to?

Cross-posted from http://www.christine-major.com