“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 week of 5/6/13

toolsBehind every successful social media marketer is an arsenal of marketing tools that help to ideate, implement, and track the success of a social media campaign. But social media tools are a dime a dozen, and keeping up with the latest offerings can be an overwhelming and frustrating process. Fortunately for us, Social Media Strategist Rebecca Debono has posted her Top 5 hottest social media tools on iMediaConnection.

As a marketer, brand manager, PR practitioner, or executive you have likely figured out that in this new, content-driven, multichannel environment your brand is now, among other things, a content publisher. With more than half of US consumers using smartphones, it is now time to plan your mobile content strategy. MarketingProfs‘ Frank Sinton gives some helpful tips to get you started in Seven Steps You Can Take to Capitalize on the Mobile Video Viewing Shift

Traffic to your websiteIf you are looking at LinkedIn as your next digital marketing project, then don’t forget to spend a decent amount of time focusing on your ‘company page’. If you are looking for some guidance, then check out LinkedIn Tips and Advice Part 2 – Company Page Optimisation for some sound recommendations provided by Business2Community contributor Kerry Dye.

Social media is 24/7. Someone is always tweeting, posting on Facebook, or uploading a new picture to Instagram. However, for social media managers and businesses alike, this can be quite a challenge. Brianna Smith at Social Media Today explains that there are a couple different ways to determine when your audience is online, and points to an insightful infographic to help you determine the Best Times to Post on Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC].

Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/21/11

nofacebook2 Four Reasons Your Brand Should Avoid Facebook
Here we find some great considerations from Small Business Trends for small businesses on the marketing value of Facebook. Make sure you do your homework first and have a purpose for being there. Lisa Barone shares insight on the top questions to ask yourself before leaping into building a presence on Facebook (or any social media marketing channel for that matter).

The Less-Tangible ROI of Social Media
We all want to ensure our social marketing efforts are matching up to the boss’s expectations for the investment, so it can help to set goals and be tracking the less obvious benefits to your brand. Danny Wong shares his thoughts with the Huffington Post about the hidden ways we are making an impact that will demonstrate campaign value to the C-Suite and build a better understanding of its potential.

Brands That Have Mastered Content Marketing
Are you infusing your marketing strategy with content? What kind of content are you producing, and how does this tie into your marketing strategy? In one of this week’s iMediaConnection posts, Rob Rose shares his insight and explores best practices from content marketers including Kodak and Hubspot. He stresses the importance of thinking of content not as a tactic, but as a new way of shaping your entire strategy.

Does Social Media Transparency Matter in the Real World?
Before you decide on your social media transparency strategy, take a look at the questions Debra Ellis proposes on Social Media Today the real value of transparency. Are you guilty of over-sharing? Will sharing too much information take away from your competitive advantage? Does it help to leave some things to the imagination?

Seven Common PR Sins to Avoid At All Costs
Seems like simple PR 101, but some PR reps still break the rules of engagement with the journalists they try to pitch. For those starting out in their careers, Ragan.com offers a good checklist from Amanda Marsh to keep by your desk — and a good refresher for the rest of us.

Persuasive Picks for the week of 06/16/08

O'reilly's Graphing Social Patterns ConferenceGSP East moves Social Media forward
Shiv Singh from the Going Social Now blog shares 5 takeaways from the “Advertising versus Appvertising” panel at O’Reilly’s recent Graphing Social Patterns East Conference. Each takeaway presents an interesting twist on today’s typical social media engagement philosophy and potentially points to the next evolution in Social Media Marketing. Thoughtful perspectives like this make me agree with Shiv on attending the next Graphing Social Patterns conference!

Dave Balter on Word-of-Mouth
John Moore from the Brand Autopsy blog shares his thoughts on Dave Balter’s (of BzzAgent) new manifesto entitled “The Word of Mouth Manual.” While a hard-bound version is available on Amazon, John links readers over to the PDF version for a free read.

How the Red Cross is using Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, RSS and WordPress.com in their disaster response efforts
RexBlog.com shares how the Red Cross is utilizing new media to aid in times of disaster. They’ve been using a wide variety of online tools for a while now and this list is good starting point for building the full picture of the Red Cross’s social and new media efforts.

Now You Can Have a Great Facebook Profile and Have Fun Too!
Ok…you caught me. Technically this post came out last week, but questions about mixing personal and business networking with a single Facebook account continue to be at the top of the list with clients and employees alike. Phil Rosenberg from the reCareered blog lends another perspective on how to reach that happy medium.

Large Firm Getting into Facebook Apps – Many Eyes from IBM
Bill Ives shares some incite and links about IBM’s “Many Eyes” project in the social media software space. Registered members of SocialMediaToday.com might also find IBM’s social media case study white paper useful. A link to it is located on the right column of the SMT.com home page after signing in.

Bonus Pick!

Why I’m Blue
Boston’s own Scott Monty recently announced that he’ll be leaving us here in the east to head up social media for the Ford Motor Company out in Dearborn, Michigan! Obviously, this is an amazing opportunity for Scott and his presence in the Boston social media circle will truly be missed! Congratulations Scott, and we’ll be looking forward to using your future accomplishments at Ford as case studies for how social media in the enterprise is done right! Cheers!