A new feature of SERPd is our member interviews! Today we are speaking with Marcus Taylor, a social media expert from SEOptimise.com.
Marcus has recently released his own book on social marketing but he was kind enough to take some time out of his busy day to sit and answer some questions from the staff of SERPd. Below is our conversation…
SERPd – As we all know, most people don’t grow up thinking about one day becoming and SEO or internet marketer, and as such I’m always fascinated how people get into this business. Would you care to talk a bit about your history and how you found your way into the SEO/blogging business?
Marcus – You’re totally right – and my entrance into the online marketing world was as unusual as most! I got into Internet marketing after spending the good part of two years running a record label. I was fascinated by music marketing, which as you can imagine in this day and age is largely online-based through social media channels. I became so passionate about online marketing that I stopped running the record label to start working in online marketing with SEOptimise full-time.
SERPd – And how did you come to work for SEOptimise? What’s it like working for them?
Marcus - When I finished running the record label, I planned to set up my own online marketing agency. I e-mailed hundreds of companies around Oxfordshire and one of those companies forwarded my e-mail onto their current agency, SEOptimise. I was then contacted by SEOptimise, asking if I’d be interested in joining the agency, which was too good an opportunity to turn down. Working at SEOptimise is pretty awesome. Over the past two years working at the agency I’ve had the pleasure to speak at numerous conferences, travel abroad to run training workshops for Fortune 100 companies, and work with some incredibly interesting clients. The team at SEOptimise are amazing to work with and I can’t imagine myself being anywhere near where I currently am without their support and motivation.
SERPd – How Did You Initially Hear about SERPd? What drove you to become a member of the site?
Marcus – I’ve known SERP’d since day 1! I remember seeing tweets about the launch of the site back in 2010, which is when I signed up. I’ve never been a fan of Sphinn, so the idea of a new online marketing news aggregator was quite exciting.
SERPd – So are you a blogger, networker or SEO at heart? Why?
Marcus – At heart, I’m a blogger and a social media guy. These days I’m blogging three or four times a week and I absolutely love it. SEO and networking are both things that I enjoy learning about, but they’re not things that I live and breathe 24 hours a day. At the core of everything I do is a passion for the psychology and sociology behind what makes people share information and network, which is what I love about social media and the opportunities the social web presents.
SERPd – Do you work with U.S. Client or mainly clients in your own Country? What are the differences?
Marcus – We have quite a mixture of clients at SEOptimise, ranging from local companies, all the way up to international brands like Miele, Goodman, Reed Elsevier, and Tetley. The main difference in creating a social media strategies for a large company vs. a small company is that in a large company you usually have to work from the bottom up to convince the C-level executives that social media is a valuable investment for the company, whereas in smaller companies the trend tends to work in the opposite direction. That said, the variation in clients is very refreshing and it just means that no two days in the office are the same.
SERPd – Do you think social voting still has a place on the web?
Marcus – Yes – although I think the ‘voting’ part of the process is becoming increasingly covert. I think news aggregators will always use the wisdom of the masses to rate and order content by relevancy and quality, but the vote will eventually be triggered by an ‘event’, rather than the click of a button. I also think that social voting will be used in more and more interesting ways over time – for example, social-rating sites like Findings.com (a social rating network of quotes from eBooks) will be used to help people rate and organize more than just content, but real world products and services.
SERPd – As an expert in the psychology of social sharing, what are your thoughts on Google’s Google Plus platform? Do you see this being a Facebook Killer or another Google project that will ultimately be discontinued?
Marcus – I think the success of Google+ as a social network now depends on whether they can retain the masse’s attention on the news feed. As it stands, Google are not doing enough to drive traffic to the network (in my opinion). If Google were to further integrate people’s news feeds into Gmail and other Google services I can see it having the same ‘distraction’ effect that Facebook have, thus taking people to a point of ‘no return’ when they rely on it as a means of communication.
I think Google+ has the potential to be a successful social network and I think Google still have a lot of cards up their sleeves. That said, I am not entirely sure what’s holding them back from driving more and more people over to Google+.
SERPd – Which social media platforms do you feel are best for someone trying to break into social marketing to get some exposure and gain a reputation for themselves on?
Marcus – Twitter is the most powerful platform at this moment for networking with the social marketing crowd. But it’s not about the tool or the platform you use – it’s how you use it. In my opinion, Twitter provides the best opportunities for listening and engaging with social marketers due to its usage amongst the industry.
SERPd – Where do you see the future of Social Media being at the end of the year? How about in five years?
Marcus – At its core I don’t think anything will change – sure, the tools we use will be different, the platforms we connect on may have changed, but the sociology that drives the technology will be the same as it is today. People will still share content, people will still use social networks to connect and build relationships, and social objects will still transfer across the social web, as it does today. New tools and platforms will emerge to make those processes more efficient and powerful for brands and people, but those tools only represent a tiny proportion of what social media is.
SERPd – You just wrote a book called “Get Noticed”. Can you tell me what led you to write your own book and how it has affected your career?
Marcus – Get Noticed began as a blog post on different techniques for getting people’s attention. When I began writing it I couldn’t stop and before I knew it the blog post was several thousand words long and nowhere near completion, after meeting up with my good friend Rob and talking about it I realised the potential that this had to be a book.
It’s still early days as far as affecting my career, but the lessons I’ve learnt in writing it have been incredibly valuable in improving my understanding of social network theory, how people meet and the benefit of communication skills, which will inevitably help me along my way when it comes to meeting the right people.
SERPd – Can you give SERPd users maybe three tips from the book that they can use to help them become better online marketers?
Marcus – The first tip, which is one that I’d recommend to anyone trying to build a personal brand, is to know that your brand can never be bigger than you are. Invest in your own people skills and make yourself amazing at networking, because it’s who you know that will determine how successful everything you do becomes. Without people, your potential is compromised, so identify what stops you from expanding your social circle and rectify it.
Secondly, be in the right place at the right time. If in order to be a great online marketer you need a network of bloggers in your niche, work out where those bloggers spend their time both virtually and geographically and align yourselves with them – attend their conferences, write for the blogs they read, scour meetup.com for groups to join, search for communities on Twitter to tap into – do whatever it takes to truly be in the right place at the right time, all the time.
Finally, utilise your current network to expand your network of bloggers or contacts within your industry. The quickest way to grow your social circle is to ask someone in your existing social network to introduce you to their friends. Build a habit of asking for introductions – it’s a great way of expanding your network, and your friends will enjoy helping you (providing you are able to return the favour if they ever need something from you).
SERPd – How can people looking to buy your book get a copy?
Marcus – The book is currently available to buy in hardback or eBook format from www.wegetnoticed.com. It will also be available from Amazon in two weeks time.
SERPd – Any parting thoughts or words of wisdom you care to share with our SERPd audience?
Marcus – Get Noticed is all about raising awareness or yourself in a busy space, whether that’s building your personal brand in a certain niche, or getting your story, music, or product noticed by a whole industry. I’d really like to talk to any creative or aspirational types reading this who want to develop their personal brand or raise awareness of themselves, so if you’d like to chat, drop me an e-mail and lets set up a Skype call and get noticed!
If you want to be featured in a SERPd user interview, contact us and lets get connected!