It was a pleasure to talk to Jason Yormark for this installment of the Business 2 Community Expert Interview Series. Jason is a regular contributor to
Business 2 Community, and is also occasionally featured on Social
Media Today. He is currently the Vice President of Marketing & Social Media at Strategies 360, a marketing & communications firm based out of Seattle, WA. Prior to S360, Jason spent 5 years at Microsoft working on community engagement and social media programs for Microsoft Advertising and the Office products.
6 Questions on Social Media With Jason Yormark
1. How did you get your start in the industry?
Well, way back in ’99 I had the fortune of landing at a small agency focusing on SEO which really gave me my first taste of digital marketing. Then of course I immediately got my first taste of the dot com bust and was laid off. Fortunately for me, I had built up a nice little knowledge base and parlayed that into my own business which I ran for about 5 years before packing up and taking my talents to Microsoft and working with Microsoft adCenter.
2. What is the biggest challenge facing your industry?
There are quite a few challenges these days, but the one I find lately surfacing quite a bit is continuously fighting the battle of legitimizing the value of social media as a viable method to contribute significantly to overall business goals. There’s so much misinformation and fly by the night “gurus” that it can be challenging when doing client pitches. I’ve found that most of the new business we try to drive involves quite a bit of education tied to it, which quite frankly I love. Those in the know and with real world experience will always rise to the top, but it doesn’t come without a lot of hard work. The social media landscape is changing almost daily with new tools, metrics, and strategies that it’s important to always stay on top to ensure clients get the best approach they can.
3. What is the method to your blogging success? What inspires your blogs?
Well, I would say I’ve had some mild success. The biggest key to any success that I’ve had is around the premise of always writing from a place of helpfulness. I always try to write posts that I think will help others in some way. Whether it’s reviews, strategies, or recaps of experiences I’ve had, I always try to take a useful approach. I also like to write authentically and transparently. I rarely have anything to hide when it comes to what has worked for me (and often what hasn’t), and by sharing those stories, it seems to resonate well with those that read my blog.
4. What do you think is the future of social media?
The tech for social media is exploding and it’s almost hard to keep up with it every day. I think the future is tied around how technology is becoming more integrated with our everyday lives. I think you’ll start to see our digital lives available to us whenever and wherever we are. Mobile, automobiles, in the kitchen…all of these places will be digitally connected/online, and inherently our social connections will be available to us. For example in the car we’ll be able to connect with our networks to listen to music in new ways, find new places based on where your friends currently are. In the kitchen you’ll be able to find a recipe a friend loved and your refrigerator will easily identify the ingredients and send a shopping list to your mobile device. It’s these sorts of tech advances combined with social integration that I think will blow up over the next 10 years. And inherently, these advances will provide a variety of opportunities for businesses to reach new potential customers.
5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?
Build a home base first. Create a blog using a variety of free tools out there to establish yourself as a thought leader on the subject matter that pertains to you. Use this home base to create compelling and useful content, and use that content to fuel your social media channels. Then populate those channels with a combination of your content and other great content you find online. No matter what you sell, always try to avoid being too sales-y, and approach your social interactions with a genuine interest in helping others first. It will go a long way in building trust and influence, which will always result in new customers.
6. Where can we find you on the web/on Twitter/Facebook/etc.?
I blog regularly at Jason Yormark, and on Twitter @jasonyormark. You can also find me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
For more Business 2 Community Expert Interviews, please visit our archive.