By @SimonCocking. Delighted to bring you this interview with social media thought leader Melonie Dodaro, LinkedIn Expert | Keynote Speaker | Social Selling Speaker & Evangelist | Author of #1 Bestseller The LinkedIn Code | CEO, Top Dog Social Media.

Brief background about you?

For years I studied everything I could about online marketing and social media. Over time I became the “Go-To” leading authority on social media and more specifically with LinkedIn. This inspired me to start my digital marketing agency Top Dog Social Media, a company that helps businesses, professionals and sale & marketing pros get results from social media.

I’m the author of The LinkedIn Code which became an international #1 bestseller, topping the charts as #1 in 12 categories in Canada, USA & UK.

I’m passionate about sharing my knowledge of LinkedIn and social selling as a powerful lead generation tool to grow your business.

What inspired you to speak at the Social Media Summit event?

Besides the fact that this summit is in Dublin, which I have always wanted to visit, it gives me the chance to meet in real life many of my community members and to reconnect in person with some of my great friends and colleagues. I was also very impressed with Samantha Kelly’s desire to put on a premier event in Dublin and am honoured to be speaking at it.

Why it will be helpful for people to attend. What will they get out of it?

Digital marketing and social media are always changing so it’s important for businesses to stay up to date on what’s working and what’s not. The business community in Dublin will get to hear from digital marketing experts from around the world and learn top strategies of what is working in 2016.

Why is social media so important for businesses?

People buy from people that they know, like and trust.

Social media is a fantastic tool for businesses to find, connect and build relationships with their ideal clients.

It allows businesses to be where their target market is and to listen to the conversations they are having about their needs and challenges, their success and how they feel about their products or services.

It also provides a place for them to have conversations, build relationships and create a community, which is vital for their market to know, like and trust them.

Your tips for people looking to do well on social media?

Have a plan.

Your plan should include:

  • your goals and objectives
  • a set amount of time each day that you are willing to put aside
  • the metrics that will define your success
  • knowledge of which social media platforms your market uses
  • a daily task list to keep you on track
  • message scripts you can use and modify to save time
  • tools to help you implement your checklist and measure your metrics
  • and a strategy which pulls this all together

Most people fail to produce the results on social media because they use social media without a plan or fail to follow through with their plan consistently.

Without naming names, what avoidable mistakes have you seen companies make with their social media strategy?

Many of the biggest mistakes on social media come from businesses that fail to treat social media like a (very public) conversation.

Broadcasting: You will often see stories about companies that have gotten themselves into hot water or ruined their business on social media. You have companies that are broadcasting their sales and marketing info, like social media is just another channel to blast it at their target market. This is never effective.

Complaints & Negative Reviews: You also have companies which disregard the negative experience of a single customer as unimportant to the big picture and the well being of their business. There are also companies which will argue or bad mouth others on their social media or review sites.

Complaints aren’t actually something you have to hide from, they are a perfect way for you to show your community how you deal with these situations. I’m sure you’ve heard the story of Amy’s Baking Company and how they completely destroyed their business by not dealing with this properly.

Treat each of your community members like they matter and are important to you, look for ways to resolve situations positively, absolutely DO NOT get in to a debate or argument and don’t be afraid to take the matter offline to deal with it further.

Running your own business is also tough, how do you manage the work /life, online / offline balance?

It can be tough. Until I met my husband a couple of years ago, I was an unapologetic workaholic.

These days I am working very hard to find a better balance. That is not to say that I don’t still work the occasional evening or weekend, but I put family first.

One of the best ways to do this is by working set hours most days and taking a lunch and small breaks throughout the day. It is also important to have a plan for the day, know what goals need to be accomplished and complete each according to their importance and when they are due.

Who has inspired you?

Recently I have found the work of Simon Sinek and Brene Brown to be very inspiring! I am currently reading all of Brene’s books, one by one.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked you?

I am looking very forward to meeting and engaging with the Dublin business community on my first trip to Ireland. I’m beyond excited!

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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