I read and read and read blogs. I comment, tweet and ultimately connect with a variety of incredibly talented, insightful PR/Marketing/Digital professionals. Today, I’m starting a hopefully regular feature post called People You Should Know. The intent of these posts will be to introduce or connect readers with someone that is contributing great content and helping us all blaze a path in the digital space.
I only recently connected with Jeff Woelker, a Senior Digital Strategist at Slack Barshinger – a B2B marketing agency in Chicago. Jeff was kind enough to take some time out of his busy day to provide some insight on his background and social media at large.
How long have you had your feet wet in social media?
JW: Well, I’ve been blogging regularly for two years now. The reason I started blogging was because I would regularly send around 5-10 emails per day of “Hey – check this link out” or “How do you think we could use this website”? That got old pretty fast for many of my friends and colleagues, so I decided to put all that knowledge I found each day into one place, namely my blog. Over time, it transformed from my interests, to business uses and finally to future uses or tools I’d like to see in the future. As for regularly engaging in social media, I was on Friendster when it first came out, then I moved to Facebook and now I can’t even keep track of all the websites I’ve signed up for. You can see a few of them here: http://www.jeffwoelker.com/about/.
What do you like best about helping clients understand the digital space?
JW: It’s really helping them make sense of the insanity which can be the digital landscape. When a client can come to me and say “we have this problem” and I can throw out three or four tactics without even blinking that can solve their problem, that’s when I know I’m really on top of my job. That’s not to say that I never have a problem that I don’t have an answer to, but in those cases, I usually know the right people to ask or the right places to look for a solution as well.
What’s the biggest social media trend you’re seeing?
JW: Information openness and sharing. I’m looking forward to the day when I can share my contacts and information across platforms without the need for constant data duplication. More and more social networks are incorporating OpenID and allowing for more and information to escape their “walled gardens,” but we’re not there yet.
What’s your recommendation for social media newbies?
JW: I’d suggest taking a look at the applications that Friendfeed ties into. Friendfeed is a social media aggregator that pulls information from many other applications into one “lifestream” so that you can monitor yours and other of your friends and colleagues information in one place. The guys working on it seem to be pretty on top of things, so if a new application or website takes shape, they usually incorporate it pretty quickly. This should give you a good idea of where to start.
Once you’ve decided which websites to check out, set up an account and see who’s there. If you find that your friends or customers aren’t already there, check other networks to see if they are there. If you have the influence, try and push them all to one or the other, so it’s easier to manage. If not, you’ll just have to keep track of a few different communities at once to ensure you don’t miss anything, but there are a growing number of tools to do that as well.