Interviewer’s Note: Over the months of interviewing people, it’s interesting to note how many of them describe how their businesses significantly evolved, especially since the rise of social media. This is especially so in companies or services that started in the 90′s or earlier, but it’s remarkable to think that social media, while driving the rapid transformation, may be easing the evolution by allowing us all to exchange and communicate with one another, so that we can all survive together.
Hello Mardy, welcome to the Pluggio Blog! How do you describe your business?
Bumblebee is a design and marketing company serving small to mid sized firms and organizations with creative and cost effective solutions to help them reach their goals. We specialize in web design and development, along with traditional and digital marketing.
How did you get started?
I actually started in 1993 providing newsletters for small companies and not for profits – design, copy, print, mail – complete turnkey newsletter service.
What role does Twitter play in your business?
Twitter plays many roles from a research tool, a listening aid to keep up with what is going on in the world at large, within my industry the changes are rapid and this is a great place to keep in touch – and for our clients – listening to their industry buzz. Twitter also helps us to connect with individuals who are interesting, supportive and helpful – joining a true community.
What impact or change have you seen due to Twitter/social marketing?
Everything has changed – customer relations, sales and marketing, news, relationship building – it is all the speed of a tweet now and resonates around the world.
Are there any of your accomplishments with social marketing that you are particularly proud of?
Helping my clients break certain barriers and connect with prospects that they would not have otherwise had the chance to meet. Staying top of mind and improving how they are perceived by prospects.
How did you build your following? What kinds of people/businesses are they?
Slowly – I’ve been on Twitter for several years and I primarily connect with people that I meet at events and when I conduct workshops. There are hundreds of others too that I’ve connected with usually by having stumbled on something they wrote that I commented on or shared, and using #s to connect with people who are interested in the same topics as I am. The people I am connected with are a diverse group of professionals that cross many industries.
How will you choose who you will follow? What do you look for in a follower?
The perfect person to follow is one who is engaging with others – helping others and doing something more than just marketing. I follow most people – not all – who are genuine about what they are doing and of course I follow some people who are the known experts and news sources.
What strategies did you use for social marketing (either online or offline)?
To be successful in social media at all, there has to be continuity, so just hitting the ground with a campaign isn’t sustainable. The basic strategy is to start with who you want to connect with and around what topics do you want to share and engage. I always start my clients out with who they already know as a base. Then move onto who they want to know. The other aspect is a building a content strategy – deciding what are you going to share, where are you going to get the material and who do you want to promote by sharing their material.
What worked for you?
Worked? – I’m still at it – I can’t say it worked, like any relationship building – it is a work in progress.
What didn’t work for you?
A lot of trial and error over the years – the only thing that really didn’t work was trying to be everything always to everyone. I finally had to give in to our own limitations and be true to that. I no longer do endless streams of tweets and some days it might only be a few. I know some believe that you have to tweet nonstop but I would rather share a few good things, have a few chats and call it a good day.
If you could go back to when you first began using social media, what is one thing you would have done differently?
I started off just ‘giving it a try’ – maybe I should have been more organized when I started but overall I find it a very forgiving environment and so what mistakes I made are done and we’ve all moved on from there.
What does Twitter do for you that nothing else can do?
Twitter has momentum – I like that – when a chat is going on or a stream of information is moving through – the speed, depth and breadth is unmatched. Best newsroom in the world!
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