Jonny Erazo , the social media coordinator at New Era talks about why we will see social media more and more connect with the ‘real’ world and how there could be a stuggle with some social networks from competition
Name: Jonny Erazo
Company: New Era
Job Role: Social Media Coordinator
Follow Jonny on Twitter: @jonnyldn
What is a usual day like for you?
Although conversation looks fairly natural and spontaneous on a Facebook page, behind the scenes there is often a lot of planning. It’s important that I keep connected to all areas of the company: retail, key accounts, marketing, creative and everything in-between. I was sent to our HQ in New York early on to connect with the US team – who I tend to speak to daily.
Alongside social media, I also seed – reaching out to blogs. This often involves meeting people and building relationships – so each day can be very different. I’m at an interesting stage where I can cover new ground and be creative. Everything needs to have an end goal though and the challenge is in being able to demonstrate the impact of my initiatives.
How did you get your role at New Era?
I studied Visual Communications at Leeds College of Art & Design. Towards the end of my course I designed and marketed a range of T-shirts. It was during this time that I got my first taste of social media: using MySpace and building contacts through product placement, press, radio and television advertising with limited budget. It was then that I started gaining more of an interest in marketing. Although, it’s very different to art and design – I found it equally creative.
Whilst trying to find work I decided to bring together contacts I had made to create an online platform to promote ourselves. I also took a course in marketing. What started as a hobby between four friends grew into an online publication with a team of 20. We expanded: organising events and collaborating with brands. This helped me get my first digital role – the fact I had the initiative to create something independently I think gave me a great boost. It was a steep learning curve making the transition into the professional world but one that proved invaluable. When I started at New Era, I was able to transfer many of the skills and contacts that I had gained through my website and previous role.
What do you believe you have brought to New Era in your role as Social Media Coordinator? How have you implemented this and made their social media presence stronger/more successful?
When I joined New Era (Europe, Middle East and Africa) we had a Facebook page but no focused social media strategy. My initial task was to engage and build our fans and following. I was keen to expand numbers and create measurable results. With a concentrated effort I was able to increase our average weekly fan growth by 300%. Whilst growth is positive, I was keen to demonstrate to the team that this growth could also convert into sales. I was able to launch a social media incentive that resulted in all time record for weekly sales on neweracap.co.uk, which hopefully went some way to illustrate the potential of what could be achieved. The next step now is to expand our social networks. I’m working on a number of projects with the US team and connecting more with retail to extend our social media presence further with location based platforms.
What is going to be the next big thing within social media?
Over the next few years, I think we’ll begin to see social media connecting more and more with the ‘real’ world. New technology such as augmented reality and GPS platforms such as Foursquare are already starting to close this gap significantly. We’re going to see social media integrate itself more and more into our everyday lives. It’s the future of marketing and day-to-day communication.
Are there any social media networks that you think will face more competition and maybe struggle?
I guess one of the main topics of debate right now is Facebook vs. Google+. Facebook boasts over 750 million users, 50% of whom log on daily. People gravitate towards social networks that their friends are using frequently and for this reason Facebook already has a massive edge. Recent reports suggest that despite its rapid growth, Google+ will remain niche. It will be interesting to see how this develops. On the plus side the growth in social media platforms over the last few years has forced healthy competition and resulted in fast development. Social network aggregation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_network_aggregation) has also allowed many platforms to coexist and compliment one another.
What is the best advice you can give someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
People’s first response when I tell them what I do is usually: “great, you get to sit on Facebook all day talking to people!” But really social media is more than that. It’s an extension of existing disciplines such as marketing, advertising,PR and the same rules apply. Understanding consumer behaviour, measuring, evaluating and reporting are key.
Brands aren’t just focusing on social media as a ‘trend’, they realise that social media is a means to an end. The more arsenal you have to create and report measurable results the better. Read up on advertising, study marketing and apply those skills to social media. Social media is simply a tool, a way of communicating. The key is being able to use it effectively to reach your goals. Focus on an area you’re interested in. If you’re going to be talking about a brand or product daily in an authentic way, it helps if it’s something you understand and feel passionate about. The job market is very tough right now so don’t be afraid to take risks, start projects – you never know where things lead!
To find out more about Jonny you can reach him on his linkedin.
Before Christmas I interviewed Richard Etienne, a Copyright Licensing Executive at Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) and he told me about:
- In what way he thinks social media will develop and change
- How MySpace and JumpOff TV helped developed his passion for social media
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