Meet #umbsocial Speaker – Julia Campbell

Posted on Updated on

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


I have always loved social causes and social media – and now I get to do both, which is amazing. I received my B.S. degree in Journalism & Communications from Boston University and earned a Master in Public Administration from Old Dominion University as well as a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Tidewater Community College.

I’m from Beverly, MA; I’m a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Senegal 2000-2002), a mother and a social media marketing specialist. In my professional life, I help nonprofits connect with supporters by effectively harnessing the power and potential of online marketing and social media tools.

My clients include small community-based nonprofits and large universities. I also offer one-on-one coaching sessions, group seminars and college courses. I’m pleased to say that my blog was named one of the Top 150 Nonprofit Blogs in the world and I am included in the Top 40 Digital Strategists in Marketing for 2014.

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

I’ve been on each social media site since the year it was born – I’ve always loved connecting with people and sharing resources, information and photos, so channels like Facebook just came naturally to me. After 10 years in the nonprofit sector as a development director and marketing coordinator, I founded J Campbell Social Marketing, a boutique digital marketing agency based in Beverly, MA.

3. How does a typical work day of you look like?

There is really no typical day of work, which is a big reason I like being an entrepreneur! After I get my kids to day care and on the bus, and my husband leaves for work, I get my coffee and sit down at my desk and write down my 3 big goals of the day. I batch schedule my day to maximize my use of time. There are phone calls, coffee meetings. I try to block out at least 2 hours per day with no distractions to write blog posts or work on my upcoming book about social media, storytelling and nonprofits. I also love spin class and there is a local studio in Beverly – I try to get in a spin class 5 times per week.

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

John Haydon and Debra Askanase are my two role models. They have become personal friends and mentors, because they are so accessible, friendly and helpful. I devour their work and their writing and have learned so much from them! Beth Kanter is my nonprofit tech hero and one of my favorite authors.

5. What is the hardest thing about social media?

The hardest thing is to balance what is important for you and your community with what is popular and trendy. It is so hard not to compare yourself with others – for example, people with thousands of Twitter followers or blog readers. It’s a slow and steady uphill battle, but consistency and thoughtfulness win in the end!

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

I see many more niche communities developing, and marketers creating content catering to those specific niches. I firmly agree with Seth Godin’s mantra of finding your tribe. If you try to appeal to everyone, you will appeal to no one.

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

I absolutely love what Real Simple magazine and Sephora do on Pinterest! They have the advantage of having great visual products, but they also know their audience and really give them what they want, not necessarily what is on their brand agenda. For nonprofits, charity:water is the gold standard in social media and storytelling, but some small nonprofits also do a fantastic job, such as Black Cat Rescue in Boston and The Ellie Fund in Needham.

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

Social media involves a lot of trial and error. I haven’t committed any egregious mistakes, but I have gone two weeks in a row without posting on my blog!

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

Be unique and interesting. It’s the only way to stand out. Authenticity is incredibly important also.

10. What is your favorite book and why?

My favorite novel is A Prayer for Owen Meany – I love how everything has meaning and comes together in the end. I have way too many favorite business books. One that I’m reading right now that I’m loving is Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. It’s absolutely a must-read for marketers, sales people, nonprofits professionals, pretty much anyone!

Another favorite book of mine is my own, of course – Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits. You can get a free chapter at my website:

11. What is your favorite quote?

Anything by Seth Godin – I always reference him and quote him on my Facebook page!

12. What is your favorite movie and why?

The Nightmare Before Christmas – I love Tim Burton and Danny Elfman, it’s such a creative movie, dark without being too macabre, great for Halloween and Christmas. Perfection.

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

Get a free chapter of my new book, Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Guide for Nonprofits, at my website –

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

My blog is at and I am very active on Twitter at @JuliaCSocial

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *