Meet one of my favorite social media, SEO, Search Marketing — you name it all around super star marketing ladies. Drum roll please for Joanna Lord!
Meeting and following Joanna through Twitter has been incredibly inspiring. You will find her attitude to be positive, upbeat and—my favorite—genuine.
For the past two years Joanna has been an internet marketing consultant while launching her own site at YourJobStop.com, a job board for job seekers trying to gain an advantage through using social media. Recently she has taken a job as the Director of Customer Acquisition and Engagement at SEOmoz.org, a Seattle-based SEO software company.
I asked Joanna to share her thoughts on a variety of topics and she was kind enough write the responses you’ll find below.
A big thank you to Joanna for this excellent interview.
Connect with Joanna
The Pros & Cons of Twitter:
Ha. I could go on for hours about this to be honest, but when you really nail it down I think the pro of Twitter is the con of Twitter. It is a new form of communication that enables you to connect at all hours of the day with as many people as you choose to connect with. The motivations behind that are what make Twitter either a great resource or a complete drain on your time. For me Twitter is an amazing marketing tool. I have always said it is above all a visibility engine. You can use it to push links, to drive traffic, to draw attention to a cause, or to get user generated feedback. On the negative side I do believe Twitter has saturated the value of the opportunities listed above. Anytime a new tool is discovered there will be a subset of people that abuse its value. Twitter has enabled certain people, companies, and brands to spam us, insincerely engage, and inflate their value with little to sustain certain claims. Just like any tool before it I believe Twitter holds an unprecedented value for those that use it correctly, and can be a dangerous advantage for those that abuse it. But for my uses I see Twitter as nothing but a great way to research things, learn new things, share what I’ve learned, and connect with others in an informal yet personal way.
Social Media Helping Professionally:
Like many of my marketing counterparts I have to admit that there are FEW ways it hasn’t helped me professionally. Marketers have the unique opportunity to use social media in two very important ways– to assist us in building other brands while also building our own brand. Social media has helped me broaden my professional network and strengthen my personal safety net of friends. I also use social networks as search engines throughout the day. These networks are key resources when it comes to competitive research, audience segmentation, not to mention they are a focal point in all of my press relation initiatives for brands or clients. I look at social media as an old rolodex on steroids, and if used correctly it can take anyone’s career and help them rebrand, revamp, and succeed in ways previously untouched.
Advice to Those Interested in Entering into Online Marketing
I actually get asked this one a lot and over the years my answer has stayed the same for the most part—learn as much as you can from wherever you can. Absorb it all. Read blogs, books, watch videos, attend conferences—do whatever your budget allows for. The more you expose yourself to, the more you understand the trends, the underlying strategies, and the foundational components to online marketing. As much and as quickly as it changes, some pieces really stay the same and by constantly exposing yourself to new information you can begin to gain a marketer’s perspective that will allow you to adapt as online marketing continues to evolve.
Dealing with Negative Engagement
I am going to be honest here and say that I don’t have as much experience in handling negative comments on a blog as I do in handling just negative brand attention in general. I think everyone needs to know their answer to this question “Where do I stand on transparency?” For me personally I believe in engaging when the outcome could add a value that has yet to be explored. There are times on Twitter where I may get negative backlash on a personal statement, or on a client’s account and I don’t engage unless the discussion is a worthy one. Some people would say well if I am deciding what is worthy isn’t that bias? Maybe. However I really focus as much of my online efforts as I can on one thing—return. I see every discussion, exchange, conversation online as some sort of spend—time, information, energy, money, etc. What kind of return comes out of a negative exchange of personal opinions that send readers in circles? Not much. Now if they have a valuable point and exploring it in a public arena can shed light on a topic…that is a return. A great return. I handle them when they need handling in a professional manner, and I don’t engage where I feel it would offer no value for me, them, or the online community.
Ha. It’s hard right?! Our industry more than any other is constantly moving, changing, shifting, combining, and on and on…for me reading blogs and attending conferences has been a huge advantage by staying up-to-date on this industry. I also take great interest in the entrepreneurial community. If you actually look at the people I follow on Twitter or the people I exchange with daily you will be surprised to see that it’s not as many big names as you would think. I am always amazed by what newbies are doing, what they are trying, and what is working. They have a fresh perspective to the space that has loads to offer. So for me I really think it’s a matter of staying involved with your space now while keeping an eye on the new sites, networks, ideas, and technologies that are gaining momentum.
Top 2 Twitter Inspirations
Oh wow just two huh? Okay so…Ian Lurie (@portentint) has got to be one of them. He is a marketing consultant and the primary over at Conversation Marketing. Ian’s tweet stream is an exact replica of the man himself—it is full of amazing industry insights, great data from specific applications of complex marketing initiatives, and laced in there is a humor you will come to depend on. He has a unique ability to make me laugh in 6 words or less. He also offers up his moments of personal frustration which remind me that we are all in this together just doing what we can, trying our hardest. I definitely suggest following him. Second one would be Mack Collier (@mackcollier). He is a social media consultant for both small and large companies. His blog has been a favorite of mine for some time. Mack’s stream is a great example of what it means to really dedicate yourself to the potential of Twitter. He not only sends out great information keeping a personal voice, but heads up Sunday night #blogchat on Twitter which is a group conversation via Twitter on rotating topics related to online marketing, content, and social media. He is dedicated to bringing the community together in hopes of combining great brainpower. Mack has been an inspiration to me and many others for years.
Overcoming Objections to Social Media Marketing?
There are so many different objections to social media marketing. Whereas before people questioned if it had value, now they question can the value be quantified. I have a sneaky suspicion that the next argument will be in the form of backlash—has the industry swayed too far toward social and cannibalized the other channels at a detriment? Whatever the latest objection is I usually just take it with a grain of salt. For clients I do the usual competitive analysis and show them where they are missing out on conversations, action potential, and return. To the actual people who pose a question, like at a conference or over a glass of wine (yes that happens), I usually just blanket statement them with “well it has a lot of value; you can either explore it or ignore it.” I am a believer that social media holds value for anyone simply because it’s another way to hold a conversation, and from all my experience in interpersonal communication and marketing I can honestly say—communicating will always be more valuable than being silent. Silence is a key ingredient in chaos—chaos personally, chaos for a brand, etc. Social media is just another tool to help brands and users break the silence.
You Are a Superhero Marketing, PPC and Social Media Wonder Woman! Who is Joanna offline?
Okay I almost didn’t answer this because I in NO WAY am a superhero of marketing. But I will admit that I am a busy lady online. Offline…I think it really depends when you catch me. Some days I am kind of a nut—way too sarcastic, way too caffeinated, and way too curious. Other days—I sleep in, wander quietly, and just take it all in. I’m still trying to find the balance in it all…just like everyone else I suspect.
What keeps you inspired?
Finally an easy one! My family. My mom and dad raised us to know we can do anything if we work hard enough, my two brothers remind me to stay grounded and enjoy simple things, and my sister…well she is perhaps the best friend anyone could ever ask for. Anytime life gets crazy online all I have to do is call her and none of it matters. Everything online just stays online, and I am transported to some place with no inboxes, deadlines, or ROIs. Family for sure…best inspiration out there.
Connect with Joanna