It's Q&A time with my friend and colleague, Kristen Newsom! Kristen and her husband Kyle own Sonoma County-based Wildly Simple Productions. Kristen is a photographer, blogger and mommy to new puppy, Seamus.
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Q: Given your prior experience as the social media manager for a large winery, what is your favorite social network?
A: My favorite social network depends on my mood and I can be quite moody! However, the channel I spend the most time exploring is Pinterest. It's a rabbit hole of visual hoarding, a huge treat for the creative eye.
Q: What do you think is the most interesting thing about social media?
A: The most interesting thing about social media is being able to 'geek out' on topics that I feel passionate about, like photography and design. While I sometimes bore many of my friends living close to home about these topics (because I have a tendency to go on and on about things I really love), it's fun to know that I can continue the conversation online with people who are just as geeky as me.
Q: How do you think brands can benefit from social media?
A: In most cases, when brands use traditional advertising methods, they insert themselves as interruptions, at times when the message isn't appropriate or welcome. Social media gives brands the opportunity to be a part of the natural flow of a conversation.
Q: Do you have any national social media campaigns that you like or liked?
A: Yes. Last year, the Sonoma County Tourism Bureau ran a SONOMADS contest, where contestants were asked to submit a video or photo/essay on why they should be selected as the next SONOMADS (i.e. people who enjoy the wanderlust of Sonoma County).
My husband and I were so excited that we entered the contest with a 30 second video and, to our surprise, were selected as two of the six winners! Our prize? A three day Sonoma County adventure that included a hot air balloon ride, a trip to the spa, wine tastings and more. It was magical. Months later, it was announced that we made it to the cover of the new Sonoma County Visitor's Guide, truly the cherry on top of an already unforgettable experience.
Q: What are your thoughts on content marketing?
A: When most businesses approach social media, they tend to rattle off numerous facts and figures, of which most people could care less about. In most cases, it's the meaning (the story) behind the facts and figures that resonates with people the most. Content marketing is a brand's story, one that's told over time and not in a single paragraph.
Q: What's one tip you would give social media managers?
A: Keep your personal accounts separate from your business accounts. Sure, at times, there might be crossover but make sure you have permission from your company and that everything is in writing and agreed upon in advance.
Q: Twitter, it's like cilantro. People either love it or hate it. Your thoughts?
A: First, let me say that I love, love, love cilantro. Twitter; however, has had to grow on me. The good news is that the recent updates to the platform have made it a much more visual experience which has lead me to enjoy the channel more. Of all the channels, it remains to be my least favorite.