Spotlight Series ~ Jason Dominy

Monday, January 27, 2014

Jason Dominy

My Spotlight Series continues with today's post highlighting Jason Dominy and focusing on his impressions, insights, and experiences encountered thus far within the world of Social Media. Jason has been influential to me as a small business owner in really recognizing the valuable component Social Media plays in developing customer relationships & growing a brand. Plus, his infectious energy and entrepreneurial spirit continues to inspire all that cross his path.

We first became connected through a Scout Mob Deal offering a tour of Batdorf & Bronson, a coffee roasting company located on the Westside of Atlanta (read more here). At the time, Jason served as a sort of Social Media conduit for B&B, establishing their presence on an assortment of platforms to connect with the community, while also spreading his passion for great coffee. He has since transitioned to the role of Social Engagement Manager at Engauge....   Read my Q&A below for more details....

For someone who is unfamiliar with the concept, how would you define Social Media?

Social media is a platform for sharing a voice, whether it be from a person or a brand, company or organization. I’ve written up a great blogpost on what it is and isn’t here.

When did you first find yourself accessing Social Media?

I first started using social media working for a small, regional coffee roaster in Charlotte that had no marketing budget, but lots of marketing needs. One of the main challenges they had was that not a lot of people knew who they were, what they did, or that they did it right there in Charlotte. Social media was in it’s infancy and I immediately saw the potential for social media to amplify the brand’s voice to a much larger audience. I created a social channels map of what channels we’d use and what message we’d use for each channel, making sure that the purpose of each channel was different. I was extremely successful at using social media to increase growth for the brand, and helping the brand engage with their customers and fans in a way they’d never been able to capture before.

Would you share the details behind implementing a Social Media network for Batdorf & Bronson.

When I arrived at B&B, they had no social presence, so I basically was able to do the same thing there I’d done at my previous coffee roaster. Create a social presence, establish channel voice and tones, as well as purposes. We used social media, and they still use it, for connecting with existing fans, creating new ones, and talking about new coffees and initiatives. Through B&B’s social media, I was able to better connect with our B2B customers and support them and their businesses, as well as our B2C customers through providing a voice for the brand. They’re a great coffee brand, and the coffee tells one part of the story, their social efforts tell the other part.

You currently work for Engauge.  Could you describe your position and what sort of role of Social Media plays in it.

My current position is Social Engagement Manager, which means I currently create content, calendars, strategy and implementation for five clients within two of the largest brands in the country. Social is still a very important tool for brands to connect with their fans in new and relevant ways, as well as encouraging a genuine connection between brands and fans. And part of my role is helping create that conversation and engaging in it, which increases loyalty.

What forms of Social Media do you use daily.....  And is there one form that you particularly like better?

I use TwitterFacebookTumblrInstagramLinkedInFoursquareYelpUntappd. Each platform has a different purpose, and I try and keep them separate as much as possible. There’s not one I like better, since I use them all for different reasons. It’s like having 8 kids, ya know?

From your experience, what is the level of importance for business owners to use Social Media. 

It is vital that businesses utilize social media. Why? It’s where their fans are everyday. And because so many people are using mobile than desktop, it’s important that fans can connect with businesses as many ways as possible, as easy as possible. If your fans are on social media everyday, don’t you think your business should be? Many fans totally bypass a brand’s website, heading straight to their social media sites to gain the information they need. Also, from a customer service perspective, many of our brands fans reach out to the brand directly through their social media channels, and it’s important for brands to connect with their customers and handle customer service issues as quickly as possible on social media. This builds loyalty and increases positive sentiment around the brand.

Do you see Social Media going away anytime soon?  Or maybe certain forms (Facebook, etc...) becoming unpopular with users?

I do not. It’s the way we communicate in this day and age. We’ve all become content creators, website builders and voices much bigger than they were 10-15 years ago. Certain platforms will diminish in time for certain age groups, as we’re seeing with Facebook and the number of teens using Facebook decreasing, but it will be balanced out by other age brackets and other platforms will increase. So, they overall usage of social media will continue, but there will be a different distribution of fans per platform.

Are there any new Social Media platforms developing on the horizon that you like?

I have no idea what the future will look like for social, honestly. Current platforms are starting to copy one another, taking on each other’s functions and purposes, so that water is becoming very muddy. Other things on the horizon like wearable tech and augmented reality are just around the corner and will even more redefine what social media and marketing looks like for consumers and brands. I’m really hoping there’s a shift towards making social media more social, like with theProject #2Dto3D I started last year. Using it to create real relationships with people and brands.  

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