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By Izi Singleton | @DigitalLead_Iz

In an effort to get to know my colleagues at DLA better, I have decided to interview them and give you all an insight into their thinking. 

This week, the spotlight is on our co-founder Adam Gray. 

Adam is one of the best in the biz – a published author (buy his book ‘Brilliant Social Media’ here) and with years of experience in the industry, this man knows his stuff. In fact, before I met him, his book was in pole position on my bookshelf and something I frequently referred to. 

When we eventually met, I was delighted to find him to be as nice as he is clever. I know you’ll like him too. 

IS: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

AG: Oddly I trained originally as a concert violinist, but after an injury I needed to get a proper job, and like so many others, I kind of just “ended up” in marketing. I’ve been there ever since. The last 10 years or so I’ve focussed solely on Social Media and it certainly is an exciting place to be.

IS: Why do you think there are still companies that are scared to use social?

AG: I think because they are afraid of losing control. With all of their traditional marketing, and indeed communications, they are responsible for what’s said and it can be crafted and shaped by their brand or marketing department to convey the “corporate message” but clearly with social media this isn’t the case. With social media you have vested control of what’s said it’s clearly in the audience’s power to say whatever they want. The irony is that if as an organisation you’re not on social it doesn’t stop your audience saying these things about you…it just stop you hearing them!

IS: Why do you consider social to be a great marketing tool?

AG: Because it’s where people are choosing to be. with over a billion people every day logging on to Facebook to not be there seems like suicide to me. Many larger companies thin that because they are “big and successful they don’t need to worry about these new ways of doing business or engaging with their clients, but history show us that this simply isn’t the case.

IS: You wrote a very popular article about corporate re-sharing and how you wanted it to stop. Is there something to employee advocacy programmes and what is the best way to approach them?

AG: Absolutely! The voice of your 500 staff will invariably be more personal, more powerful and louder than the one corporate voice, to fail to get your staff onboard says that you as a company don’t value their audiences and what they have to say about your brand.

IS: What would you say are the top 3 things to consider when implementing a social marketing strategy?

AG: Vision – you must have a clear objective and long-term goal. Plan – you need to have a granular executable plan where everyone involved is aligned and clear about what they need to do and when. Test – well, less test and more “be prepared to be wrong” because with the best planning in the world you have to acknowledge that YOU are not YOUR AUDIENCE and consequently the things that you may think are a dead-cert…may not be.

IS: What would you personally consider to be success?

AG: Success is where my (and Tim’s) company is synonymous with our client’s success in embracing social media. “If you want the best chance of success…you need to choose DLA”

IS: What would you personally consider to be failure?

AG: If our company simply becomes “another vanilla agency” doing the same thing as all of the others out there!

IS: If you could invite 5 people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be and what would you talk about?

AG: The Dalai Lama, JK Rowling, Stephen Fry/Graham Norton, Tim Hughes…my father. The Dalai Lama is the most inspirational and calm human being and just “shooting the breeze’ with him would be wonderful, Rowling has the most amazing generosity with her wealth, her power and her wit and she’s never afraid to tackle a bully. Stephen Fry is one of the cleverest and funniest people I’ve ever seen or Graham Norton would be compare and host as he does that better than anyone else. Tim, because we are so aligned in beliefs, goals and ethics…and he ALWAYS challenges me to try just a bit harder. And finally my father, he died last year and not a day goes past when I don’t think of him, he was by no means perfect but nobody has had a more supportive, generous or loving father in their life.

We are a Social Media Agency. We do three things: Social Media Strategy,Social Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation. 

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