The Journey of a Social Media Marketer: Q&A with Dhariana
Here at SMT, we're always thinking about how to put the social in Social Media Today. From our #SMTLive Twitter chats, social media groups, and other interactive social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) we get that social media is at its best when it brings people together.
Being that our influencers are one of our very favorite parts of our community, we decided sharing their stories, tips of the trade, and advice with you would be a fun (and very social) task. They’re the leaders of our SMT contributors, and they’re excited to share their perspectives with you.
This is the second in our series of interviews with our Social Media Today influencers.
Most recently, we sat down with Social Media Today influencer, agency owner, and social media consultant Dhariana Lozano. Her self-written SMT bio reads, “Dhariana Lozano has been in the social media and digital marketing world for over 7 years. She is the co-founder of Supremacy Marketing, a boutique social media marketing firm based in New York City who manages the social media presence of clients in hospitality, publishing, B2B and personalities. Her experience ranges in creating social media strategies and consulting for both B2C and B2B brands to help them stand out and break through digital walls for ongoing success. She blogs at DhariLo.com where she provides social media tips, resources and courses. You can see her work published in Social Media Week, Social Media Today, and the AgoraPulse blog. You can connect with Dhariana by sending her a tweet @DhariLo or following her on Instagram @Dharilo.”
Impressed yet? We certainly were. Let’s get started.
Social Media Today: How (and when) did you get started in the social media marketing world?
Dhariana Lozano: I started in the world of social media marketing about 9 years ago. It happened by accident. I wanted to produce large scale events or go into traditional advertising. I saw that a lot of people were using social media and simply asked to run social media at the companies I was interning/working [for]. Now this is before brand pages, so it was all just a gut feeling and using regular profiles to drive business. I got results and I thought “there’s something here” and just ran with it. A few years ago I co-founded my agency and got more into consulting. I made the jump because I was tired of social media being an afterthought at the companies I worked in.
SMT: What major impacts has social media had on your career and the marketing industry in general?
DL: Social media is my entire career. It’s been amazing to see it evolve and change. Smart companies are looking at social media as a more integrated part of the whole business as opposed to just a silo of marketing. Social media is the first point of contact with customers, so there is so much insight that you can dive into there for business success both internally and externally.
SMT: What do you believe is the most challenging part of working in social media?
DL: Where can I start? I guess there’s a big misconception that anyone can “do” social media, or just because you’ve built a big following you have the ability to do it correctly for someone else. I won’t discredit those that have built up large followings because I know it can be A LOT of hard work, but social media is more than just posting a photo and witty caption. There’s psychology, analytics, timing, branding and much more involved in creating a truly successful social media presence across different channels. Social media also changes a lot and that can be a lot to keep up with but it’s part of the job! Last thing I will mention here is that people also see social media as a quick fix, as if one post will sell out an event or drive tons of traffic - and social media is more of a marathon than a sprint. People need to see things about 7 times before they take any action - so please keep that in mind! It’s all about consistency.
SMT: What are the best parts of working in social media?
DL: One of the most rewarding parts of social media and the path I’ve taken is that I get to help others make their dreams come true. It’s great to work with all kinds of businesses and see the strategies I help them implement work.
SMT: How do you expect social media to evolve in the business world over the next 10-20 years?
DL: This is such a good question! I would hope that B2B brands embrace social media a little more. Often more traditional industries don’t see the value in being active online. I’m sure there will be very different social media networks [popping] up in 10-20 years based on how people are consuming content. When I first started in social media, brands were afraid to have personal views because some people may not like it - which I never understood, but now brands stand behind social causes, and beliefs - so I’m sure we’ll see even more of that. There will be a bunch of little microcosms of brands and consumers.
SMT: What’s your favorite social media platform today and how do you expect that platform to evolve over time?
DL: This may be an unpopular opinion but I do love Twitter. In general it’s a fast paced social media network which makes it easy to start and join conversations, make true meaningful connections, grow and participate in communities, and of course news breaks on Twitter way before traditional outlets get a hold of it. There are more opportunities to drive traffic, you can be so creative in the way you tweet and there are so many dynamic built in tools to help you with that. I would hope that people stop being lazy and just learn to use the network - it’s so valuable and so underrated.
SMT: What’s the best advice you would share with someone new to the field?
DL: My best advice to someone new in the field is to look beyond the marketing side of social. Learn analytics, learn how to read an audience, and what makes people tick. I also advise them to not be scared to try new things and take risks. I think in general people are afraid to make mistakes, and mistakes [are] how you learn. Remember that social media is social, it deals with people, and people can be a little unpredictable. Learn the rules but learn to play within and outside of those parameters.
SMT: What’s your favorite article that you’ve written for SMT and why?
DL: Another amazing question! That’s so hard to answer, but I think I’ll go with 8 Things People Don't Tell You About Social Media Marketing. I love the article because I think it helped people see a little bit of the side of social people don’t think about. I got a lot of responses from other marketers saying “Thank you!”