Dimple Thakkar began her career at a social media agency in New York as the Executive Director of Promotions. During Dimple’s time at the agency, she supervised social media marketing campaigns for top brands, influential Web 2.0 companies such as Photobucket, meebo, NING and over 50 artists including Kanye West, 50 Cent, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears. Additionally, Dimple worked in the talent management division within the same company as the Vice-President of New Media and Online Marketing, serving on the management team for a Grammy-nominated and global touring artist, as well as other Billboard charting rock and pop artists.
Currently, Dimple owns and operates SYNHERGY MARKETING which offers all types of online marketing and consulting with a focus in social media. Within their first year of establishment, SYNHERGY MARKETING was nominated top social media agency of 2009 on Mashable.com, one of the world’s largest blogging and news websites.
MO: What inspired you to launch SYNHERGY instead of working for an established marketing firm?
Dimple: I kept ending up at jobs with incompetent bosses. There’s a huge problem (and opportunity!) when you realize your boss can’t keep up with you and is getting all of the credit for your hard work. I started my business to break free from the status quo. I saved up enough money. I knew my competition was far behind in my industry. I knew I could do it better. I had the time, the intellect and the ability to make an impact. With all of the resources on the Internet, there was never a better time to start a business. My secret weapon was this: I wanted to focus on business – not office drama, worrying about my salary, a raise or other meaningless distractions. I also understood that starting small was an advantage. To me, the “small” in “small business” meant moving faster than any bigger or better-funded competitor. And most importantly, I wasn’t afraid of failure — I welcomed it.
MO: Why do you think that social media is so important to any marketing strategy?
Dimple: Companies often forget this VERY important notion: the social media presence of a business is probably the MOST visible aspect of your business aside from your website. With that said, I can’t understand why companies half-ass their social media and hire interns to handle it. It’s not about hiring experts, it’s about hiring the professionals. Social media is a form of marketing that connects people. We are a part of the greatest shifts in our generation. The news doesn’t break anymore, it tweets. The social media revolution has changed the way we live our lives and conduct our business. It has changed the way we look for jobs, shop, and communicate. Whether our goal is to promote an important cause or sell a product, social media is behind it. Word of mouth is on digital steroids and the only thing that separates people are a few clicks of a button. For us, it’s not just about posting tweets, but creating remarkable experiences, fueling the economy, or impacting our online/offline behavior.
MO: What are some tips on dealing with negative remarks or reviews when it comes to social media?
Dimple: The secret is to respond quickly and with a consistent message. Apologizing is a good idea, especially if you were in the wrong. If possible, provide a solution to the problem in a timely fashion as well. Social media relationships aren’t very different from real-life relationships. You have to care more, respond more and listen more, especially if you want to out-do your competitors. Research shows that replacing a dissatisfied customer costs six to seven times as much as retaining a satisfied one. In other words, you definitely want to stay off a customer’s shit list and handle any damage-control well.
MO: What is the biggest challenge facing your industry?
Dimple: Over-saturation. Everyone and their mother are claiming to be a social media expert nowadays. I understand that hiring social media professionals can be expensive, but hiring amateurs can cost a fortune. Bring in the pros right away and it will be a better long-term investment for your company.
MO: What tips would you give to a company who is in need of a social media strategy but feels intimidated or overwhelmed by the ever changing landscape?
Dimple: I know I keep repeating myself here, but find the real social media professionals. Do your due diligence — ask for case studies, a list of referrals and an overview of reporting tactics so you can measure ROI intelligently. The beautiful thing about an “ever-changing landscape” is that whenever a market or technology actually changes, there is a huge opportunity for new business! You just can’t win at social media if you’re not in social media. Also remember, almost no business is profitable on its very first day. Once you find the right social media agency, they will be your missile and the weapon you can aim after you’ve launched it — they will adjust the flight along the way.
MO: What tips can you give our readers for creating great website content that captivates and motivates potential customers?
Dimple: They say content is king on the Internet, but that’s not true when your content sucks. How do you know when your content sucks? Well, if your brand has a large number of “likes” on Facebook, but nobody is talking about you (i.e. the “People Talking About This” stat is low) then you’re doing social media wrong. Work with social media professionals, graphic designers and copywriters to create an amazing communications strategy that is funny, witty, edgy and contains eye-catching images. As you’re circulating the content online, the numbers will tell you whether the content is captivating and engaging. If not, re-strategize and re-analyze your approach until you make yourself irresistible to demanding customers.
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