We are excited to welcome Laura Donovan to our Expert Interview series today! Laura is the President of The Word Pro, a national digital marketing company. She has managed Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages for small and medium-sized companies since 2008.

As an inbound marketing specialist, Laura’s focus is on helping small businesses leverage their presence on social sites to attract more customers and increase their bottom line. She also writes extensively for her blog and is a speaker / trainer on all things “Social.”

7 Questions on Social Media With Laura Donovan

1. How did you get your start in the industry?

While my degree was in Organizational Communications, I was recruited while still in college for a position in the Human Resources Department of a tech company. In 2008, after working as the Human Resources Manager for several large companies, including Sharp Electronics, Home Depot and Mary Kay Cosmetics, I was offered the opportunity to join The Word Pro as the Social Media Marketing Specialist. The company owner believed that Social Network Marketing would be “the next big thing,” and I agreed. I began by growing the Facebook Business Pages for 17 regional insurance agents, and have never looked back. 

2. What is the biggest challenge facing your industry?

While the obvious answer is the changing face of marketing today, including the new technologies, new social sites, and the ever-changing rules of those sites, I think one of our biggest challenges is to make business owners understand how important it is for them to have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy – including a functional website, a strong social presence, and a blog (or some sort of content creation vehicle). Many small business owners are still struggling to understand how and IF this new form of marketing will work for them.

3. What is the method to your blogging success? What inspires your blogs?

My blogs are almost always conceived as a way of answering questions I believe our customers (and others) might ask – or alerting them to things I believe they should know. They are often suggested by posts on some of the Facebook Pages I manage or suggested by other blogs or articles I read. Keeping up with what is going on in the marketing industry in general and in the digital media marketing area specifically, as well as advances in technology, is important to me. Helping my readers understand not only what is going on, but also how it might impact them and their businesses is a top priority and fuels most of my blog posts. 

4. What do you think is the future of social media?

Customers today want to interact with companies they do business with. Social Media gives them that chance. I don’t see that dynamic changing any time soon. Whether that interaction remains on existing social sites like Facebook and Twitter is unclear. Change is inevitable, and new technologies may change the face of the Social Media, but I do believe that Inbound Marketing, including some form of Social Media, will have a place for some time to come.

5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

When I started in Social Media Marketing, Facebook had only recently introduced Business Pages. Since then there have been so many changes to the site and its rules, it’s hard to keep track. My best advice to anyone starting out is to read extensively, stay up-to-date on new rules, platform changes and technologies as they emerge, and then stay flexible and be proactive. What you learn today will probably change tomorrow – and that is the fun part!

6. Where can we find you on the web/on Twitter/Facebook/etc.?

FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedInBlogWebsite

7. What do you think is the most important takeaway from your session?

I would like business owners to fully realize the value of having an active Business Page on Facebook. I would like them to understand how to create the page, optimize it for SEO, and how to run a successful marketing campaign. In other words, how they can use Facebook to grow their businesses.

You can hear from Laura and other great presenters at our virtual event from November 11th – 22nd. Please visit the #LEARNDigital page for more information. Click here to read more interviews from our presenters.