Jeff Bullas – An Interview With My Social Media Expert
Every day I see tweets from Jeff Bullas linking to his Social Media and Online Marketing blog posts – and they are all an excellent read. He knows his stuff and conveys it to his audience in an engaging way. Being listed in the Forbes Top 50 Social Media Influencers is just one of his many achievements. So you can imagine my delight when Jeff agreed to me interviewing him. He tells me about the young Jeff Bullas, his background and how he got involved in Social Media, even giving us some tips too.
Tell me about the “teenage” Jeff Bullas – did you know what you wanted to do with your life then?
The “teenage” Jeff was passionate about sport. This included middle distance running and cross country. Water skiing with friends was what we did every weekend during summer. I was also a keen reader and spent a lot of time reading rather than watching television. Achieving a good education was also important to me. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but ended up starting and finishing a teaching degree.
Who would be your role model in business and why?
Steve Jobs is my role model when it comes to business which stems from his passion, creativity and unrelenting persistence.
What did you do before becoming a consultant and coach on Social Media (to put your bio simply)?
I started out as a teacher and then moved into the personal computer industry in the sales and marketing area. I discovered the web in the mid 1990’s and then social media caught my eye about 10 years later. The blog started from the synergies of learning, technology and marketing that had been part of my career path since the beginning.
When did you start using Social Media yourself? Did you dive straight in, go slowly or go strategically?
I was invited to Join Facebook in 2008 by a friend and slowly started using it followed by Twitter about 6 months later. I didn’t dive in but slowly immersed myself and started to notice the impact of the medium and the obsession that people engaged with on social media.
Your blogs are brilliant and have been officially recognised. Did you have any formal training in writing or does it just come naturally?
If you read my first articles on my blog you would see that I am not a formally trained writer (they are almost too embarrassing to go back and read). I read other blogs on writing such as copyblogger.com and discovered that people seemed to enjoy my writing. So maybe I have a natural but cultivated skill for writing.
The list of achievements on your bio is very impressive – Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner 2012 by Social Media Examiner, Blog read in 190 countries worldwide and much much more. What do you consider your greatest achievement and why?
I don’t know if I have any achievements that I would consider “great” but I am pleased to be building an accumulation of recognition and achievement. If there is one thing that I am proud of, it is self-publishing my first book on Amazon “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media”. This was a journey of blood, sweat and tears.
If you were to give advice to a company just starting on Social Media in 5 bullet points what would they be?
1. Work out the goals you want to achieve
2. Understand who are the people and audience you want to communicate with
3. Create unique contagious content in a variety of media (such as video, ebooks and articles) that those people want to read, view and engage with.
4. Build a global tribe of followers on as many social networks such as Facebook and Twitter that time and resources allow.
5. Persist in continuing to create content that you publish and promote to those social networks and be patient as it takes time.
Which Social Media channel do you believe works best for B2B models and why; or should there be a mix of all?
I think the blog is the most important channel as it is your hub and portal especially for B2B. This is where you publish first. It is also important as it is a digital asset that you “own”. Then the others that should be in the mix are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Slideshare (publish and market your content on these social networks). These are your outposts where your ambassadors and fans hang out and will crowd-source your marketing for you. They can create more stories online through sharing and retweeting than you could ever buy or create on your own. That is where the true power of social media lies. Fans and followers amplifying your content.
And finally a fan of yours, my blogging colleague, Amanda Webb of Spiderworking.com wanted me to ask you this – Do you have any timesaving tips that would make life easier for small businesses using Social Media?
Automate your tasks and crowd source your content for as many of your social media activities as possible so that you don’t burn yourself out, as social media is resource intensive. Technology platforms are starting to emerge that will make it easier for you to do “social at scale”.
I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much as I enjoyed doing it and that you have learnt a bit more about the great Jeff Bullas. His Social Media tips are always handy – do you have any you’d like to add in the comments below?