Sunday, March 17, 2013

#SMPro Social Media Spotlight: Interview with Dan Polley

As part of the #SMPro Expert Spotlight Blog Series, this blog post highlights Dan Polley, a social media marketer for his personal brand, polleydan, as well as his food blog, A Duo of Chefs. He works for a newspaper for his daytime job.
Dan Polley blogs at mansquees from polleydan about business, social media and other things that make him go squee. And you can always find him tweeting, photographing and sharing food and recipes at A Duo of Chefs and on his social networks.

Below, Dan Polley discusses his background, provides some tips and offers opinion and insight into the landscape of the social media industry. 

1. Where did your interest in social media marketing originate, how has it developed  
    and what role does it play in your professional life now?
   My interest originated with my wife, who would come home and tell me about      
   information she heard on Twitter. It was always information I had not heard before, so  
   after a while, I broke down and decided to join Twitter.

   Now I use social media in my day job and for my personal brand and food blog to market   
   and curate content. But the most important aspect I find is the ability to facilitate   
   making personal connections, including with other members of this #SMPro group.

2. Who do you read, follow or pay attention to in order to stay ahead of the curve in  
    social media?
    Brogan have taught me a lot.

    But I got my start in social media in Milwaukee, and there are a few people locally who  
    deserve recognition, too. Phil Gerbyshak, Sara Santiago, Jim Raffel and Joe Sorge are  
    all people I respect and admire.

3. What do you believe to be the biggest misconception some businesses still have 
    with social media?
    I think the biggest misconception is that social media is free. It’s not.

    Social media takes time, both in learning about how to use networks correctly and to  
    their potential, and in conceiving and implementing a marketing effort. Certainly it 
    takes a lot of work to make sure any social media efforts yield success, but it also takes  
    a lot of time, a lot of monitoring and a lot of testing. You have to constantly measure  
    your efforts and refine them if something isn’t working.

4. A lot of businesses steer clear of social media due to the potential ramifications of  
    making a mistake in such a public environment. What would your response be to  
    that concern?
    Businesses are going to make mistakes in all aspects of their business. Social media is  
    one area that they can use to manage those mistakes and interact with customers. In 
    that respect, it’s tremendously worthwhile.

5. With the rapid evolution of internet marketing, are offline marketing channels now 
    a waste of time? Or is it all still valuable?
    As long as people still live their lives offline and interact with each other offline, there  
    will be opportunities for offline marketing.

    Frankly, I don’t think online and offline marketing are much different in that when 
    implementing marketing efforts, people and businesses need to be aware of how they 
    will affect people and think about the user experience. If you can do that and create 
    something worthwhile instead of just creating something for the sake of creating 
    something, your efforts should pay off.

6. How have you integrated social media effectively into your (or your clients)   
    business strategies? How are you proving a return on investment?
    One thing that is difficult to measure is the strengths of my connections. But making and  
    strengthening those connections means that people are more likely to interact with my 

    In terms of measureables, income from affiliates is huge, and an important way to see 
    that people are interacting with content.

    For my day job, click-throughs are a huge part of what we want, and measuring that 
    data helps us see what readers want.

7. What sort of marketing advice would you give to a person who said that their  
    business simply does not fit with social media?
    I would say they are wrong. There are lots of networks out there, and certainly lots of  
    niche ones, so there should be something that a business can grab onto and use. It’s just  
    a matter of researching networks and brainstorming ways to use them.

8. If you had to give up all but one social network, which one would you keep and  
    Twitter, you have me. With the open network, I’m managed to make connections 
    online and parlay them into offline relationships. There are lots of other networks that I 
    love, but Twitter is the biggest and the best to meet people.

9. How do you deal with the 24/7 aspect of social media marketing? Do you ever step 
    away from it all and recharge?
    I used to do poorly with this, checking my networks often and every day. But then I got 
    burned out in 2012, and I adjusted my schedule and what I do.

    Now there are two ways I handle with the everyday wear and tear of social media 
    I take most of the weekend as time to recharge. I post photos and tweet and spend  
    some time on Facebook, but not as much as during the week. And at nights, I try to 
    make sure I keep off of my smartphone for about an hour before I go to bed. That way I 
    don’t go to bed feeling like I’ve been online all day.

10. One of the most exciting aspects of social media is that it’s always changing,  
     evolving and progressing. What changes do you expect to see in social media over  
     the next 12 months?
     Niche social marketing. I think that will be a big thing going forward as business seek 
     to maximize their time and return on investment.

     And in the wake of Google’s announcement about Google Reader, I think email 
     marketing will see a huge impact. I think there’s a big opportunity there for businesses 
     to engage their customers, and I’ll be watching that particularly closely in the coming  

You can find Dan Polley online here:

What is #SMPro?

#SMPro is a group of professional social media and digital marketers who have made a simple agreement to support, assist and promote each other via social media. With member backgrounds spanning the marketing industry, PR, sales and beyond, #SMPro has become a vibrant, engaging environment where questions are answered, hot topics are discussed and everyone is always learning.

Interested in participating? Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.