For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in rural North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my undergraduate education. I graduated in 2002 and worked briefly in IT before joining up with Bronto Software. I was the company’s first employee and part of the senior management team for 4+ years.
I left Bronto in 2007 to get an MBA at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. I graduated in May 2009, spent a few months traveling and goofing off, and then launched Argyle with Adam Covati toward the end of last year.
My wife Kelly and I live in Durham. We have a dog Tyler that can jump through hoops. 🙂
Can you tell us a little about Argyle Social and what it does?
Argyle Social is a software-as-a-services platform that helps businesses measure and optimize their social media marketing activities. We make it easy for marketers and marketing teams to publish social content, interact with their audience, and measure outcomes – all from a single easy-to-use platform.
Why is it so important for business to have a tool like Argyle social
Consumers are spending TONS of time on social platforms and consequently businesses are making big-time investments to find customers and drive engagement through social media. So it follows naturally that a business making significant investments in social will eventually need a professional tool set that helps manage work flow, organize content, measure outcomes, etc.
Should small business worry about having a social media presence, even if they are a local retailer?
I think that social media is a no-brainer for small business – especially retail. Personal relationships drive small businesses, so it makes a lot of sense to extend existing relationships and cultivate new relationships online.
How much time should a business spend on its social media efforts?
As much as warranted. Some businesses will find little success with social media marketing efforts, while others will create company-changing impact. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
How do you feel that social media is affecting social communications?
Social media has had a few obvious impacts to social relationships – more interaction happens online with a larger set of “friends”. Facebook in particular makes it very easy to maintain relationships – albeit very superficially – with friends around the word.
One potentially negative Facebook by-product that I’ve tried to manage is the thinking that reading someone’s updates and peeping their picture constitutes a relationship…because it doesn’t. So I go out of my way to re-affirm online relationships in real life. For example, I make a point to call close friends on their birthday – especially those that I haven’t spoken to in a while.
Why is measurement so important?
One can only manage what one measures. Measurement gives context – how do you know if you’re succeeding or failing if you don’t have goals or benchmarks?
Social media marketers have gotten a bad rap for the “it’s about the relationships” line. I think the market is getting much more pragmatic when it comes to measurement. At the end of the day the social relationships need to create some measurable outcome for the organization.
Can you briefly describe how a business can measure its ROI with social media?
I can try – that’s a pretty tough question!
In my opinion, the most important thing a company to do to calculate a social media ROI is to set up mechanisms to programatically measure the inputs and outputs of its social media programs. By inputs I mean investments like people, time, salary, consultants, tools, etc. By outputs I mean business goals like leads, revenue, registrations, donations, etc.
If you can keep track of inputs and outputs, you can get an ROI number with some quick math. More importantly, you can test and learn to drive optimal value.
How do you stay informed of trends and changes with the industry online?
Twitter, of course! I find the following a handful of great curators makes the content fire hose much easier to manage. Instead of trying to read every blog on the planet, I follow guys like Jason Falls (@jasonfalls), Tom Webster (@webby2001), and Jim Tobin (read a WCB interview with Jim) (@jtobin) – they tend to surface everything that is worth reading.
What advice can you give our trainees when thinking about their social media endeavors?
Measure everything. Test and learn.
Web Courses Bangkok would like to thank Eric for taking the time to participate in our Q&A .
If you would like to keep up with Eric and Argyle Social follow him on
Twitter or on his blog