CEO of Wobuzz social media agency is a sociologist, social media expert, activist, speaker, businesswoman and a best-selling author. She became a key opinion leader on social media crises after her first book ‘Managing Crises in Social Media’ sold out soon after publication. We talk managing brand image on social media, keeping social media social and the future – with one of the most prominent Postfity users – Monika Czaplicka.
How did you end up turning social media into your career?
By a coincidence. I started working as social media manager for an agency first, managing a few social media profiles. As an activist, I saw social media become an important tool for voicing public opinions, on all levels, so I became genuinely interested in them.
After a big food brand had a brand image crisis after one of its customers discovered a dead mouse in the package of baby food, I launched a Facebook group ‘Crises in Social Media happen during the weekend‘ which soon became extremely popular and I was becoming more and more recognised as a social media expert.
Then, I was giving a presentation at a conference about internet trolls, which caught the eye of Michał Sadowski, CEO of Brand24, a social media monitoring tool. He really liked the presentation and chatted me up at a networking session afterwards. We stayed in touch and then he sent me a signed copy of his book. So when I was ready to publish mine, he gave me a contact to his publisher. That helped a lot. My book ‘Managing Crises in Social Media’ got published and I was soon able to leverage that publicity to start my own social media agency.
A bit different question…how do you do your own marketing, as a social media agency? Services, especially B2B, are infamously difficult to market on social media – unlike physical, tangible B2C products, especially lifestyle products, that lend themselves well to showcasing on Facebook or Instagram. Would you say LinkedIn is the best place to promote an agency business? Do you have any ‘silver bullets’?
Actually, there is no silver bullet. I found that it’s best to leverage your personal brand when marketing your agency. Your clients don’t do business with a company, they want to do business with a person – know your expertise, trust you and understand you as a person. For that same reason, I think that brands should not hide behind their ‘corporate veil’ – they should invest more in branding their employees as people.
“You don’t do business with a business, you do business with people”
Would you say personal branding is more important than growing your brand as a business?
It’s not mutually exclusive. On the contrary – if you use your employees to front your business – not only the marketing staff, but also customer care specialists, IT people – anyone who works with you in the business really – people will develop more personal relationships with them and associate the brand with the people.
“Using the personal brand of your employees, showing the humans behind the brand is the best way to avoid crises in social media”
You are a ‘crisis expert’ and are sometimes referred to by your nickname as ‘the crisis fiance’. Can you tell us how to avoid crises in social media?
Crises are to some extent unavoidable – you can take due care, but something will always ‘happen’ at some point. So – in a nutshell – it’s a case of ‘hope for the best, prepare for the worst’. Managing social media crises is all about how you respond to them.
If you’ve screwed up, but you take the blame, you respond to the crisis promptly, respond to all the comments and concerns – people are going to be a lot more understanding towards you. That’s where tools that will help you manage the comments really help. Also – if you have invested in employee personal branding and your customers see you as a team of real people – not just a soulless brand – you are going to get a lot more understanding as well.
So, how did you find out about Postfity?
I really enjoy testing new things and looking for alternative tools. I wasn’t quite happy with the social media schedulers I found at first, so I kept looking and finally stumbled upon Postfity. I’m not sure what made me like it more – was it the very simple user interface? The warm orange of your brand colours? It simply ‘stuck with’ me most and I kept at it :)
How do you use Postfity in your business?
I use it mainly to schedule posts for my clients – instead of switching between different platforms, I can schedule posts for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to go out automatically. That saves a ton of time.
What is the future of social media? Will Facebook be still around in 10 years?
Yes, I believe it will. Maybe the technology will change, but we won’t change that much. The fundamental human psychology will be the same. We will still want to communicate with our friends and stay in the loop. Whatever technology facilitates that, it will be around as long as it stays relevant. Facebook does a ton of things to stay relevant so I belive it will be there. But whatever happens to Facebook, social media will still be around one way or another. The key to understanding social media is the word ‘social’. Again, it’s all about people, not technology.
“Social media marketing is about people, not technology”