In an attempt to better understand the industry and what lies ahead for students like myself, Ryan Goff kindly took the time to answer a few of my questions about the industry and give us some tips along the way.
Mr. Goff is Senior Vice President, Social Media Marketing Director at MGH, a prestigious advertising agency based in Baltimore, MD.
Here’s a copy of the interview’s transcript:
NabilSays.com: What led you to advertising?
Ryan Goff: I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior, and the tactics that marketers use to alter that behavior.
NS.com: Personally, what platform do you prefer: Google+ or Facebook? Why?
RG: Facebook. I rarely even visit my Google+ profile. It’s a dead social network as of right now. No one is posting, whereas Facebook offers a constant stream of activity.
NS.com: What are important skills required for a social media professional?
RG: The ability to solve problems. This job requires that people interact one-on-one with consumers, and they need to be able to adapt to situations quickly.
NS.com: Do social media professionals have set schedules or do they work flexible hours?
RG: I work from 9AM until 5:30PM every day. But my job doesn’t end when I go home. I’m constantly checking our clients’ social media accounts and responding to comments.
NS.com: What are the demands and frustrations that accompany the job of a social media professional?
RG: People on the Internet can be harsh. You need to have thick skin to work in this industry.
NS.com: Many wrongly said the birth of the TV would mark the death of radio. With the internet allowing users to watch shows and movies online, what will happen to the TV?
RG: TV isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Rather, TV will find better ways to merge with the online experience. We’re already seeing this with web-based TVs.
Networks are also adapting to the changing times. HBO, for example, allows its customers to stream any of its shows from its HBO GO app. Their customers are no longer tethered to their TVs.
People on the Internet can be harsh. You need to have thick skin to work in this industry.
NS.com: Recently a Forrester blog post said that companies overestimate the use of social media to drive profits up. Does social media have a part in every advertising campaign or would some brands still do better solely using more “common” media like print, TV and radio?
RG: Social media should be part of a marketing mix. Using social tactics alone rarely drives results. It should offer support to other tactics.
NS.com: Are businesses doing enough to recognise the importance of new media?
RG: I think so. Some companies use social better than others, but we’re in a much better spot today than we were 5 years ago. At that time, no one understood what was going on.
NS.com: Has the common business model most companies were using a mere 10 years ago expired?
RG: Absolutely. We can’t market like we used to because it’s so much harder to reach consumers. Media is too fragmented.
NS.com: In a field now very much dominated by what Brian Solis and many others call “Digital Darwinism”, what should we expect to be the next big thing after social media?
RG: Not sure I know the answer to this one. Hard to predict what will happen down the line.
NS.com: What tips would you give to advertising students interested in social media?
RG: Get your personal brand under control. Hide your dirty photos and posts. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your grandma to see. Also, never underestimate the value of an internship with an ad agency. Not only will you gain experience, but it’ll be much easier to get an interview if you have an agency name on your resume.
My thanks once again to Mr. Goff for giving up his time and insight for this piece.