Bloomberg on how to integrate social media into a traditional organisation at #SMWF

On Nov 1 -2 at the Javits Center, Robert Harles, Global Head of Social Media for Bloomberg will be discussing how to integrate social media into a traditional organisation. We caught up with Robert to ask him a few social media based questions:

1. How did you get your start in the industry?

A road less traveled…I started in consulting with McKinsey & Co. I did two start ups including comScore where I learned how to build customer communities, from there I was asked tojoin Sears Holdings to build and run their social media program five years ago. We created the community which now has over 1M registered members and drives Millions of $ in direct revenue. That gave me a lot of solid experience: dos/don’ts, building capabilities, moderation and measurement, developing and executing social strategy, integrating these activities within a business.

2. What is the biggest challenge facing your industry?

Seeing social media as a separate activity with limited or no real ROI. If social media is going to have value, it has to have a direct connection to driving real business objectives. (see my recent comments here)

3. What is the method to your blogging success?

What inspires your blogs? Be honest, think about what would interest your audience. If you wouldn’t read it, why would others? Understand that we are moving from a publication/broadcast model to one where successful stories live on beyond their publications dates. One needs to keep the story going and involve readers in the process of developing that story.

4. What’s your view on how social media will evolve?

It’s not just a conversation. As social media becomes more widely adopted in business, it should simply become part of the business communication toolkit. The real value comes from building digital relationships that can be ultimately monetized

5. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out?

Don’t think of social media as just twitter and Facebook…an activity or thing; think of social media instead as the digital representation of making friends and building relationships in the real world – the essentials of business 101. In this sense, your personal brand and the brand of an institution you may represent merge. If you are not honest, engaging, responsive…that is what will color customers’ image of the company also. On the flip side, social media enables the individual to have a real impact on the company and its customers: shaping the brand, breaking down barriers (internally and externally) and driving insight, innovation, and loyalty

6. Where can we find you on the web/on Twitter/Facebook/etc.?

You can find on twitter at @robharles

Hear more from Robert at this year’s Social Media World Forum N. America, to find out more about this year’s speakers and book your place at this year’s event please click here.

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