Meet #UMBSocial Speaker – Brian Gladstein

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1.  Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I have an 18-year background in B2B software, working primarily at startups with a couple larger companies mixed in there. I started out as a developer but quickly moved into product management and marketing functions as I realized that I enjoyed talking to customers. For the past few years I’ve been running my own business called Explorics which helps companies become champions of their customers, promoting them and in turn encouraging acts of loyalty and advocacy – something really important in today’s buying process.

2.  When did you start to work in social media?

Social media became a big part of my career in 2008 when I launched my first company called Ticklr, which was like a news feed for your professional address book before those features were incorporated into LinkedIn. We were an unfortunate casualty of the Great Recession, but the work we did there has been hugely important to my career ever since.

3.  How does a typical work day of you look like?bmg-event-photo-e1359064564318_1

As a business owner my days vary immensely. I run all our sales and marketing – so I’m often networking with potential clients or speaking at events like Social Media Days. Other days I’m deep in our clients’ projects, making sure things are on track and we are exceeding expectations. The highlights of my days are working with the fantastic team at Explorics.

4. Do you have a role model in social media. Someone who inspires you?

I’ve always been inspired by Seth Godin – specifically the way he communicates such meaningful information in small, digestible amounts. I could go on, but that would violate the whole point of this answer.

5. What is the hardest thing about social media?

Social media – especially for business – works best when there is dialog involved. Keeping that dialog alive, relevant, and personal across a broad base of connections – especially when there are a million other things to do – can be incredibly challenging.

6. What do you see as some up-and-coming trend in social media?

Video. Vine is just the beginning, but short bursts of video will become more and more common over the next 12-24 months.

7. Can you name us a brand or company that you admire for their great social media strategy/execution?

I really like BostInno – I find their articles are tweetable and shareable, especially in the local Boston context. It’s a great source of engagement.

boston inno

8. Did you make any social media mistakes in the past or is there anything you would avoid in future?

I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t done anything egregious, but the biggest mistake I make, especially when I get busy, is ignoring my social media relationships for a long time. Fortunately you can always come back to social media and pick up where you left off. You’ll have lost momentum, but people have short memories and it doesn’t take long to get back in the swing of things.

9. To be successful in social media, you need to ….?

Know your audience ­­– collectively and individually.

10. What is your favorite book and why?

I’d probably go with Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. While I may not agree with everything stated in the book, I find Diamond’s logic about how environment influences society to be extremely compelling.

11.  What is your favorite quote?

“87% of statistics are made up on the spot.” I have no idea who said it first, but it always gets a laugh and proves a point: just because someone presents data, doesn’t mean you have to trust it!

12.  What is your favorite movie and why?

There was a time I knew every line to Ghostbusters. Every. Single. Line.

13.  Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

When it comes to social media, understand what your objective is. Choose your social networks, forums, and strategy based on something that is meaningful to you – because that’s the best way to ensure that you will keep it going. For example, don’t feel that you have to be all over Pinterest just because it’s there. If your audience is there, get involved. If not, focus your efforts somewhere else.

14.  Where can we find more about you and you work?

Come visit our blog at http://www.explorics.com/blog, and follow @explorics on Twitter.

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If you would like to register for the May 14th UMB Social, please visit this link.  Seats are limited, and they are selling out quickly.

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