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March 7, 2012

SMM Strategy and Facebook Engagement at SMX West: Interview with Akvile Harlow

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Estimated viewing time:
2.5 minutes

Audience:
Community Managers and Facebook Marketers

Top takeaways:
• Questions about happenings in the real world, like where to meet or how to dress, are good conversation starters in a Facebook group.
• Giving group members enhanced access not available to non-members, like asking questions of speakers, encourages community membership.
• Akvile speaks on behalf of the brand but infuses her personality into everything she says for a personal touch.

Our first video from SMX West is ready for its close-up! And as you’ll see, I mean real close up! I interviewed Akvile Harlow, @Hyph_En, Internet Marketing & Ad Operations Manager at Third Door Media. If you’re a fan of SMX on Facebook or follow Search Engine Land or Marketing Land on Twitter, you’re familiar with Akvile’s work. She’s the voice of the brand’s social media marketing, and in the weeks leading up to the conference in San Jose, Akvile’s stewardship of the attendee community on Facebook had me taking notes.
SMX West logo

So I wanted to know, what was she thinking as she performed her role as brand rep? What was it about her community engagement that amplified my anticipation in a way that seemed so natural, with never a hint of business-minded motivations? From our quick convo I think you’ll see that finding the right match for a brand’s personality plays a large part. A transcript of our interview follows.

VN: What’s your official role at SMX?

AH: I primarily do their paid search and their social media marketing for Third Door Media in promoting our SMX shows.

VN: I’ve seen you a lot on Facebook. I joined a private group, and what have you found as far as the engagement and participation on that channel?

AH: In the private group, it’s for attendees that register with an All Access Pass to our shows and it’s a great way of getting everybody connected before the show, during the show and after the show. If they want to post any questions about what they should wear, what they should bring, and just kind of get everybody excited for the show and answer any questions and build a little community out of it.

VN: It’s been really fun and people are totally leaving questions about like where do you want to meet up and that kind of thing. Sometimes when I’m doing my company’s social media I’ll throw out a question to get a discussion going. Have you found that certain questions are more inducing conversation than others?

AH: Yes, very much so, especially asking about what sessions people are excited about, whether it’s SEO, PPC or social media and asking what everybody’s looking forward to or if anyone has any questions for any speakers because speakers join the group as well and it’s a nice way to get the conversation flowing.

VN: When you’re a brand representative in social media, do you go about it with anything on your mind about staying consistent with the brand and messaging or is it more of a natural thing, maybe finding a good fit between a brand rep and a brand?

AH: I think it’s a fit between both. You have to be human enough to – I try to portray my own personality into our posts but keep it professional and keep you a little excited and seem like we’re not robotic online. I think that gets people a lot more excited and engaged.

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One response to “SMM Strategy and Facebook Engagement at SMX West: Interview with Akvile Harlow”

  1. Akvile Harlow writes:

    Thank you so very much for chatting and hosting me on your blog this week! Always a pleasure to see you and your team, Virginia. Hope you all enjoyed SMX West. Your workshop was tactic packed, your speakers did a fantastic job at their sessions, and your booth looked great! I look forward to seeing you again soon, perhaps at SMX Advanced? :)



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