I’ll always admire the people that have a vision for what they want to do in life and work to make that happen. Marty and Misty McPadden are two people that did exactly that. Last week I featured Misty and this week it’s Marty’s turn. If you ever get a chance to interact with Marty in person, you’ll immediately notice how calm and collected he is. And if you ever get the chance to work with him (as I have), you’ll notice how calm and collected he is even under stress. Marty’s a down to earth kind of guy that’s easy to talk to and is always positive. AND he’s always willing to help. Another thing that I’ve noticed in my friendship with Marty is that he is appreciative of everything and looks at things in a realistic manner. What I mean is that while he’s a motivated guy with big goals, he’s also realistic in his expectations, and that attitude carries through when you work with him. I admire Marty for being able to put a good plan into action, and with hard work and dedication create the business and career he wanted. And speaking of business, if you’re looking to incorporate video as part of your brand’s social media strategy, definitely speak to Marty! Marty is someone that I highly recommend connecting with on social media, and with all of the projects he’s working on I’m happy that he was able to answer a few questions that I had:
Me: When and How did you get started in Social Media?
Marty McPadden: My first real experience with social media came in 2007 when I signed up for Twitter. For the first year or so I was cautious and didn’t post much. I spent most of those early months learning and getting used to the new world of social. At the beginning of 2009, I made the decision to jump in with both feet and haven’t looked back. It’s been a wonderful and rewarding experience. I’ve made a ton of wonderful friends and business relationships I would not have if it wasn’t for social media. While it hasn’t been all positive, the good has far outweighed the negative.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is your relationships are EVERYTHING! The social networking tools available today enable everyone to reach out on a global scale. In business, it’s not money but your network that is your most valuable asset.
Me: You and Misty started VideoChatOnAir.com and have worked on some really cool projects. What were some of the challenges that you guys faced when starting it?
Marty McPadden: VideoChatOnAir.com happened by accident. We had started producing the weekly VZWBuzz Recap shows with Online Mom Media for Verizon Wireless and needed to create a custom landing page for the show. That got me thinking about creating a dedicated site and Video Chat On Air was born. We really didn’t face any major challenges creating the site. We have kept it simple using WordPress as our platform. We recently worked with Sony Professional to produce a series to live video shows on location at NAB in Las Vegas this past April. It was our first multi-camera live video production utilizing the Sony Anycast portable video switcher. This was a first for Sony Professional and we were able to generate significant engagement online as well as with a live audience at the show. I expect VideoChatOnAir to evolve significantly over time as we build our production services.
Me: So VideoChatOnAir.com helps to bring brands and their fans closer with social media interaction through video. Why do you think video is such an important part fan engagement and do you think all brands should look to adopt video as part of their social strategy?
Marty McPadden: Video allows you to humanize your brand. Relationships in business are everything and using video allows the people behind the brand to engage directly with their fans and customers. We have seen this first hand working with clients such as Online Mom Media and Verizon Wireless producing a weekly live online video show. Monica Vila came to us with the idea to produce a show that could supplement the weekly #VZWBuzz Twitter chat with a recap of topics covered during the chat. Using video would also allow her to demo the latest in mobile gear and online products and services offered by Verizon Wireless. The main objective of the show is to offer helpful and useful information about the mobile lifestyle and creating a true community of loyal fans. The key with using video is to offer information your community will find useful and is worthy of their time. This also encourages the community members to engage with each other. All of this helps to humanize your brand.
I believe most brands can benefit significantly using video as part of their social mix. Consumers are sophisticated and know when they are being sold to. By adopting a more transparent marketing strategy and actually engaging directly with your customers, you build trust and true advocates for your brand. This includes taking the good with the bad and addressing any negative customer experiences directly instead of hiding behind a canned brand message. In the long run, you build a more engaged and loyal community which will translate into increased sales and revenue for your business.