David Sloly Social media expert interview for Sendible Insights

Short description of you and your company

My name is David Sloly and my agency, HarveyDavid, creates business stories, strategies and technology solutions that enable our customers to attract and nurture prospects and close leads.

How and why did you get started in social media?

I started life as a journalist, then as a producer working in radio, television and later moved into advertising. I watched companies spend millions attracting audiences through traditional channels, so when social media reared its head I could see the value right away of free-to-use channels. It took some time for me to evaluate and test, but like all good things, a simple, human approach to social media is what pays dividends.

What do you believe are the benefits of using social media for business?

Business is based on trust and trust is built through relationships. Social media gives any person in business the opportunity to build a relationship with anyone else that is using social media. I believe that to be a compelling reason to engage.

What are the common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness through social media?

Some people are guilty of pushing their deals and offers ahead of offering some kind of useful engagement. I don’t think that is the best way to build a relationship.

What qualities do you think social media managers should have?

  • Storytelling
  • Strategic thinking
  • Organisational skills.

How do business owners know if their social media campaign is working?

They first need to establish what ‘working’ looks like for them, only then, they will have something to measure against. For example:

  • Building your audience
  • Nurturing prospects
  • Closing sales

How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years…what do you hope to see?

We moved from text and photo messages about an experience we had, to video that displays what we are experiencing in leak-time. The natural progression is to what we are all hearing about now, including virtual reality that brings that experience to life.

What do you think are some of the consequences of not getting on-board with social media?

There are many, including missing out on changes in your industry and the chances to engage with key prospects. Businesses also miss out on influencing, networking, learning, and sharing what they are passionate about and, of course, trading with others.

What are your thoughts on social media versus more traditional marketing activities?

There is still place for traditional media. Powerful marketing requires a blended mix of media that is born from a solid strategy. Only then can you really touch people in meaningful way. You are unlikely to change the world with a single tweet, but if you create the right amount of content and add a mix of traditional marketing, paid advertising and social, you can give a massive uplift to your business.

Which one best practice would you recommend about using social media to grow a business?

Over forty years ago, the UK government ran a TV campaign to educate kids on road safety. They called it the Green Cross Code and the memorable strapline was simply ‘Stop, Look and Listen’. I believe that this strapline perfectly articulates what business owners should consider as they venture into social media.

  • Stop before you do or say something you may later regret.
  • Look at what successful people with lots of followers are doing.
  • Listen to what your peers are saying before you join the conversation.

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Veronika Baranovska

I'm a content marketer at Sendible. Into social media and blogging for more than six years and well-versed in all digital marketing channels. My biggest daily driver is creating useful content that helps others grow and saves their time, so if it does for you, let me know on Twitter or Linkedin!

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