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“I knew it was powerful all the way back during the AOL days in the mid-90’s.”

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Nick Robinson is the Director of Client Services for Social Media HQ. He has a strong background in web development, marketing, and entrepreneurship. His professional experience with the web dates back to 1997 when he coded his first Geocities website. When not burning the midnight oil, you can find him on the lacrosse field, playing or coaching.

Social Media HQ, based just outside of Philadelphia, PA, is a full service social media marketing company, offering social media solutions for working professionals, nonprofits, government agencies, and businesses of all sizes. Social Media HQ offers creative solutions to help business owners and agencies gain a strong Web presence through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other Web sites and mobile applications.

Nick Robinson, Social Media HQ - Director of Client Services

MO: How and why did you get into social media business?

Nick: I have been involved in online communications for half my life both personally and professionally. Having worked in multiple areas of web marketing, I saw an opportunity to take that knowledge and apply it to social media in measureable ways. It’s interesting that people even call it a new name like “social media” when in fact social media has been around since the first time people were communicating through computers. I think it is beginning to catch on now because technology is more accessible and costs are declining.

MO: When did you first realize the innate true power of social media as a marketing tool?

Nick: I knew it was powerful all the back during the AOL days in the mid-90’s. I could literally communicate with people half way across the world! I collaborated on web projects with people in California. Granted this was during the Geocities days, still it was exhilarating!

MO: What are the most common mistakes you see companies making when trying to integrate social media into their marketing plan?

Nick: I think the biggest mistake is thinking of community building like a direct marketing exercise. Many clients think that blogging and posting pictures to social networks is adding an extra step in the buying process. When in fact the companies that are performing these activities are building long term sustainability for their businesses. The hardest part about this is coming up with the proper forecasting process for measuring lift in revenue, decreased in costs, or increased satisfaction.

MO: How do you think expansion of social media into all aspects of inbound marketing will affect the way we do business?

Nick: I actually attended a webinar by HubSpot last week that demonstrated this very point. Inbound marketing is a very powerful weapon within the marketing mix. Essentially, social media is the butane that ignites the content fire within inbound marketing. Another example worth talking about is Mike Stelzner’s “Elevation Principle”. The formula is (Content + Other People – Marketing Messages) = Growth. The “other people” variable within this formula is directly related to social media. Grow relationships, and you grow the reach of your content, thus driving more people to your business.

MO: What are 3 social media trends that you’re excited by?

Nick: The first trend is integration. People are realizing that social media does not live on an island. Social media enhances ever marketing tactic within the buying process. The second trend is reporting. Software providers are getting better at tying social data into their systems. This allows companies to better gauge social media’s affect on the bottom line. The last trend is mobile obviously. Not only are mobile operating systems and applications making it easier for prospects and customers to engage with companies, but these same platforms are making it easier for companies to manage and interact while “on the go”.

MO: Is there anything you dislike or are frustrated by within the social media industry?

Nick: I really dislike snake oil, period. The barrier to entry in this industry is lower than I would like, and it proved to be a challenge when first starting this business. There are too many people selling silver bullet solutions, and it dilutes the offerings of agencies that provide long term value for clients.

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