Today, we are happy to have Eric Vidal participate in our Q&A series surrounding social media. Eris is the Director of Product Marketing for Unisfair, and Intercall Company.
1. How did you get your start in the industry?
I have been in marketing for over 15 years. I started my transition from traditional marketing to social and online marketing around 2000. It’s at this same time that I started to interrupt less and interact more with my target audiences by using video, discussion threads, online communities, social media and webcasts. I really expanded my integration of social and engagement technologies such as webcasts and virtual events when I started to work for WebEx in 2004, and now even more so with my current position at InterCall.
2. What is the biggest challenge facing your industry?
My industry is creating virtual environments businesses can use to market, recruit and train. Virtual environments integrate all the best “social” has to offer as they are viral, interactive and always on. The biggest challenge facing my industry is making it easier for people to create, edit and customize their environments. In the past, this has taken a team of people and some solid development time. Things are moving the way of self-service which is good for everyone.
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3. What is the secret to your social media success?
The secret to my success with Virtual Environments is engagement and interaction on an individual level. Yes, we use social media tools like FaceBook, Twitter and blogs inside the environment, but we find many people post but don’t always interact or engage in a “real conversation” using these tools. In Virtual Environments we actively engage our audiences by soliciting and answering questions in real time and even place subject matter experts in Virtual Rooms and Networking Lounges inside the Virtual Environment so attendees can interact directly with them.
4. What do you think is the future of social media?
I think in the short term people will have more options or choices of how they want to connect and collaborate with others – Google + is a great example of a new kid on the block that is already picking up steam. The other trend I see in social media inside of B2B is the ability to create sophisticated virtual business cards and easily connect with others using detailed “interest matching” tools.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Don’t be too “salesy” – be real and authentic with your audience.
6. Where can we find you on the web/on Twitter/Facebook/etc.?