This week for my Interview Series, we have Andrew Tran, a Social Media Specialist from Vodafone Australia, who has had a ton of experience working with online platforms, managing communities and running social media channels. Andrew also manages his own blog where he writes about social media and how brands can incorporate it into their business objectives. For this interview, Andrew talks about his career path, his current role at Vodafone, blogging for business and the evolution of content creators. Enjoy!
1. You’ve worked in a lot of interesting roles – community producer, sales specialist, social media producer – can you tell us a little about your career path? How sort of steps did you take to end up where you are now?
Starting from sales I got my break working in eCommerce which gave me a good platform to learn a bit of online sales through SEO and some analytical exposure as well.
After 3 Mobile merged with Vodafone, I was given an opportunity to broaden my skill set in digital with, the intention to come back to the social media realm. I’m very fortunate to have been given the time and space to be on some amazing projects/campaigns, make mistakes and then learn from my mistakes – I think that’s very important in any career path you take.
Nothing beats hard work and dedication in any career you want to be in.
2. What’s your role as a social media specialist at Vodafone like? What type of things do you get up during a typical day?
Essentially we support the business in all things social related. From campaigns, brand exercises to customer care and major projects. My typical day envolves a bit of production work on our blog (http://blog.vodafone.com.au), community handling and, working with my other colleagues to find opportunities to either promote, listen and/or engage with our customers.
3. What sort of strategy do you have to ensure that the Vodafone blog always has fresh and interesting content for the readers?
It’s mostly about looking at the numbers, gathering insights from the data you extract and talking to various parts of the business to ensure that your content is up to date and, relevant to your audience.
Time is also important as you need to experiment and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
The key is to gather as much experience as you can but, the funny thing is experience is derived from mistakes you make.
4. In addition to your work with Vodafone, you also manage your own blog. What sort of content do you post on there?
My blog (http://andrewtran.asia) was firstly about anything I saw that was cool and interesting online.
However, over the last 8-10 months, I really wanted to focus on a particular subject, in this case it was social media.
So now the majority of my site features posts that I find relevant for either small businesses and/or students studying this field, but from time to time I’ll still post content that’s can be totally irrelevant to social media but I believe my audience will like.
5. How important do you think a blog is to a business these days?
Blogging has come a long way over the past 4 years. Businesses both big and small need to understand what the power blogging can do and, how it connects with the whole social ecosystem.
6. With the growth of social media platforms and accessibility to powerful tools, how do you think the role of content creators and producers will evolve?
Definitely, you’re going to see more and more people create content but have an analytical side as well. Understanding why you produce a particular content relative to your audience and then being able to back this up is very important.
7. You’ve developed a wide range of skills during your career, from copywriting to community management to video blogging. What sort of skills do you think will become increasingly important, especially in the marketing and communication fields?
Analytics and the ability to understand and provide relevant insights to improve the engagement you have with your audience.
In addition, psychology of your industry will also become important as social media evolves from building and audience to identifying which conversations to engage in and, to be effective in those conversations as well.
8. And lastly, any tips for anyone wanting to start their own blog?
Be clear on what you want to write about, understand who would read it, then tailor what your writing to your audience and, constantly try to look at ways to change it up be it your writing style or the types of content.
***To get in touch with Andrew, check out his blog or say hi on Twitter @iamayetee***