Jason Keath is the Founder and CEO of Social Fresh, the social media education company. He curates some of the smartest voices in online marketing. He works as a social media speaker, analyst, and has consulted with Fortune 100 and Inc 5000 companies on social media strategy and development.
I was fortunate enough to be able to catch up with Jason at a recent conference and he took the time to answer some very important questions facing social marketing professionals on a daily basis.
M: Do you think that marketers are paying enough attention to mobile in their social strategies?
Jason: Mobile in social strategies is very interesting because most of the social networks aren’t really even getting it right yet. So marketers realize “Okay the platform doesn’t have it figured out: Facebook is still testing things, Twitter is based on mobile so they’ve got it down, Pinterest has got a new app out for iPad.” Some of the social networks are still testing things so I think it’s important for marketers to always be doing the same. One of the best ways to do that is to have links that are tracking all of your mobile strategies through social networks. Have analytics that can track when traffic is coming from mobile and when it’s not, and see what the change in behavior is. Then you want to have campaigns that try to account for that change in behavior. So if you’re targeting people when they’re on the go or at a certain time of day, take into account how people are reacting and then try to target that change in behavior and adopt some strategy for that.
M: What are your thoughts on the rise of visual content marketing and where do you think it’s heading?
Jason: I think the biggest thing people need to think about with images is that it’s a different economy when it comes to social media; it’s a visual economy. Words become less important, text becomes less important, search is harder, and monitoring who’s talking about your product becomes more difficult because consumers are sharing an image of your product. For instance, there are services like Curulate for Pinterest that does tracking for images. These types of services can take an image of a shoe from Zappos and find everyone that has shared a particular image of that shoe on Pinterest. Then they provide analytics for that product and let Zappos know that these 90 people shared it, on these days, and it gained this much traffic. So the visual medium in social media is changing a lot of how you’re able to track things and how consumers are actually going to mention and talk about your brand.
M: How can businesses best utilize Pinterest for driving engagement, awareness, and sales?
Jason: Pinterest is really interesting because it has that visual element to it so search becomes less impactful for brands that are trying to look for mentions. Another big part of Pinterest that most people don’t realize is that 80% of brand mentions have nothing to do with your brand account on Pinterest. There are just people going to your website, pinning things from your website, going to blogs, going to tumblr, pinning images of your products, and you’re never going to see those if you don’t have a good analytics system built on top of Pinterest. And the bad part is, since Pinterest is so new, people don’t know any of the tools that can do that. There’s Pinfluencer, there’s Curulate, there are a few software solutions out there but there’s not a great API so it’s kind of a Wild West right now. But if you’re serious about Pinterest and if you’re a retail brand or an e-commerce brand, you should be, look to these services that are offering tracking methodologies specifically for Pinterest. Otherwise you’re missing 80% of the consumer activity around your brand on the platform.
M: How do you spend your day in order to maximize the time you put into social?
Jason: I’m probably less on social media than people would expect. I used to be a lot more but as soon as you start a business, you start spending less time tweeting about things and you start spending more time on building solutions for your customers. We automate a lot of stuff. Our Social Fresh account has a lot of different algorithms in place that bring great content to the front without it always being curated. It’s all based on a lot of work that we’ve done. I start my day by knocking out big projects. I don’t go onto blogs to read about what the news is, I don’t go onto Twitter at the beginning of the day, and I don’t go into email at the beginning of the day. I have a to-do list, I knock out stuff, then I go onto writing and editing blog posts for Social Fresh. Then I move onto a little social media activity, reading blogs, news, and trying to catch up with the trends in the industry.
M: What is your focus for the rest of 2012 and what can we expect from Social Fresh in 2013?
Jason: 2012 has been interesting for Social Fresh because we moved online. We moved from our conference education mindset to taking that educational product and bringing it online where we can scale it. We realize a lot of our audience is global. 40% of our audience is outside of the US so they can’t always come to our conferences. We offer a lot of training products online and launched a new directory at SocialFresh.com. It has all of our training products, mostly free, some paid, and we’re expanding that into a full library covering every social network. We’re bringing ebooks, webinars, and long-form online conferences to our customers in a new format. It’s very exciting and we’re looking forward to partnering with a lot of interesting people.
Check out SocialFresh.com for more info on social media training and best practices.