Michelle Quillin talks Social Media Strategy

Probably THE most charismatic guest on the show so far!

Are you relatively new to digital marketing ? Do you struggle to either see the point in social media or recognize what it could do for your business ?

Michelle Quillin, one half of NewEngland MultiMedia, joins the show this week to share her expertise, experience and enthusiasm and gives you actionable tips to take away and get your business social.

We discuss:

  • the benefit of targeting local businesses on Twitter
  • the best way to keep track of everything
  • some practical ways “mom and pop” businesses can also use social media.

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I’ve become a massive fan of Erik J Fischer’s podcast Beyond the ToDo List. Please check it out. I know you’re going to love it.

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PS ! Many thanks to Scott Quillin for help with the audio this week !


  1. Hey Jon!
    In the last two episodes you mentioned events. Yesterday I came across a good post with tips for event organisers on how to best use social media to build a community around an event.

    My experience shows that the events that get most attentions through social channels are the ones that deal with communication, marketing (though not always) and the like but I think it’s worth reminding organisers of other trade events to at least pay attention to the social media sphere. One tip I’d add to the list is the one coming from your conversation with Andy Bargery – displaying a Twitter stream with the event’s handle next to or behind the person appearing on stage is not always right as it might impact the quality of the presentation. You need to find balance.

    Here’s the link to the post http://www.pammarketingnut.com/2012/10/24-tips-to-increase-conference-and-event-roi-by-integrating-social-media/

    • Brilliant ! Thanks so much for sharing.

      I agree about Twitter steams at live conferences. They can be incredibly distracting and actually quite snarky. Personally, I wouldn’t really want to do that.

  2. Jon, this was so much fun, and listening back, you did a remarkable job of getting my Twitter story! Scott, an audio engineer, was cringing at the audio on my end. I didn’t tell him what I was up to beforehand, or he would’ve set me up in his recording studio. But like you said, the content is valuable despite the noise.

    Are you a fan of Andrew Warner’s of Mixergy? He’s a very well-known and popular interviewer who focuses on entrepreneurs, getting them to tell their “How I Did It” stories. You’re absolutely in his league! As an interviewer and host, you set me at ease, asked all the right questions, and pulled out the story of how I use Twitter to find and build relationships with members of our target audience. I have a list of “pay it forward” tips we didn’t get to, but anyone who listens to this podcast should be able to figure it out on their own. ;)

    Thank-you for being my first-ever Skype call (ha!), my first-ever interview, my first-ever podcast, and my first-ever international conversation! I’m so glad it was YOU!

    • Michelle, it was such a pleasure. I think there was a lot of good material in there for people to benefit from. I’ve already had some very positive DMs. You are a natural interviewee :=)

      The biggest take away for me was the idea of using private Lists for local Twitter. That’s such a smart move. I think my own problem is working in a multi-lingual environment. I try not to put too many tweets out in Swedish but that means my Swedish connections tend to be through other channels.

    • Oh, and PS: No, I haven’t heard of Andrew Warner. I’ll check it out.

  3. Great conversation. Michelle is really got her strategy down. Great value here for me. I do have a question and wonder if either you or @michellequillin:disqus want to tackle.

    Michelle’s grass roots approach to building her list is wonderful but I am wondering how you would scale that to attract attention on a national basis or does it even matter from a scale perspective?

    I work as a volunteer for a national non-profit in the real estate sector that is seeking to build its membership. They provide fantastic educational programs, events and support to the industry but the reach for growth is currently word of mouth from the existing membership and driving traffic to their robust information rich website is something that has yet to be a serious focus to attract new members. Our ability to communicate with existing membership to keep them informed on upcoming programs is working well but enticing new members continues to be a struggle. We have target markets (education, professional associations, etc) but I am not clear on the best way to engage these markets to build awareness.

    Their current use of social media is sporadic and I am looking at ways to strengthen their involvement in various platforms primarily Twitter, LinkedIn and You Tube to entice conversation. Twitter seems to be the right place to focus effort out of the gate.

    From a social media perspective any simple or straight forward suggestions to get the ball rolling?

    • That’s a great topic, Ralph. I hope Michelle ways in with an answer too :=)
      I think my initial response would be to figure out what actions do you want newbies to take ? It’s all very well having a target market, but it takes small steps to a big change. How do you get them from where they are online now to doing what you want them to do online now ?
      Then I’d start looking at where your target audience are online. And what are they talking about ?
      I don’t think there’s any point just trying to start a conversation, say on Twitter or LinkedIn, with folks already talking about something else. It can be a bit like that sort of awkward silence at a party and then everyone carries on without you.
      Personally, I’d build a platform that facilitates discussion first and build discussion around the topic there. For example, I don’t think anyone ever thought of Old Spice as interesting until they got people along to their YouTube channel to start talking. Same goes for what Swedish Felix are doing with Ketchup here in Sweden. Through entertainment or provocative thinking (Can you eat ketchup with pancakes!) conversations and awareness kicked off.
      I would be very wary about jumping on any channel just yet unless you’ve got your thinking sorted out first.
      I guess I’d need to look at the site and think through the goals you’re looking to achieve before I could give any really cogent kind of answer.
      What do you think Michelle ?

      • Hi, Ralph and Jon! Forgive me for the delay in getting back to this question.

        Without knowing who the target audience is for the nonprofit, or what the goals are (awareness? donors? education? all of the above?), I can’t offer professional advice, but my initial advice, always, is that you start by defining those goals, and then defining the target audience for each of those goals — because they may be different.

        From there, begin building your Twitter lists, naming them according to your goals. Make them private, just to avoid misunderstanding as people are added to them. I wouldn’t want to be on a list called “Potential Donors,” “Influencers,” or “Need to Educate”! (I had a list called “Favorite Follows” that was private, so folks wouldn’t be offended for NOT being included.)

        One of the ways I’ve found targeted Tweeters, and we didn’t cover this in the podcast, is by looking at and following members of the lists others have put together. I recently advised a local pet supply business to follow two of my lists: “RI-Tweeters-1″ and “RI-Tweeters-2.” There are nearly 1,000 Tweeters between those two lists. That’s a great place for him to start.

        To find lists, look at some of the Twitter profiles of other nonprofits, especially those in your “mission field.” You may find some real gems! I did that when I was first starting out. When I found a New England business using Twitter, I’d go straight to their Twitter lists and see if they had any good lists of other New England businesses. I’d also scan their Twitter feed to see who they were talking to, click on profiles, and follow/list accordingly.

        Second, according to your goals, you’ll need to think strategically about the content on the nonprofit’s website, or the content you share on Twitter. What will be of interest to your target audience(s), while staying brand-focused? Hopefully you’ll have or be able to write content that will, when shared, prompt folks in your target audience to click and read back on-site, where your marketing message awaits. If not, you can share other people’s content (but always, always staying “on brand”), and then several times a day, Tweet out something that sends people to the nonprofit’s website to do what you want them to do (“Read this,” “Donate here,” “Did you know…?” and so on).

        When it comes to relationship-building conversations with members of your target audience(s), going off-brand is fine (caveat: stay away from anything and everything divisive) — you’re building relationships that matter. But when it comes to sharing content — the nonprofit’s or content shared by others — STAY ON BRAND. For example, if I’m the Rhode Island Blood Center, I’m not sharing content about vacation tips, no matter how much I love the article and think my audience would, too. But if I see a member of my audience talking about THEIR vacation, I’m asking, “How was your vacation?” or “Be sure to go to such-and-such restaurant while you’re there!” On the other hand, if I’m the RIBC, I am sharing content about health, accident prevention, etc..

        There’s some info to get you started, Ralph!

        • Michelle, that’s more than I could have hoped for. Thank you so much. I can see you are excited about your progress and I am excited by it. This will help us immensely to shore up and build on an already established brand and bring them better exposure.


          • Yes, it was an awesome comment from Michelle. Very generous to contribute so much to the show and here. Thanks Michelle.

  4. You guys #RockHot for including me here! Great interview; “village mentality and exchange of pleasantries.” You’re so right, Jon. And, you’re also right about Michelle and her success on Facebook. So, glad she has moved into the world of podcasting with you. Michelle, I think you really should explore this medium for NE Multimedia! It would be so cool for you! You’re a natural!

    • Thanks Jayme. Both you and Michelle have brought a real vibrancy to the show. It’s a privilege to have had both of you on the show.

    • It was so much fun, Jayme! But I give all the credit to Jon, who set me right at ease, gave me time to relax, and then asked the right questions, and in a conversational, non-stuffy style. He’s a great interviewer. I felt like we were just hanging out at a local bar, having a couple of beers, talking about Twitter as friends. If I’d had business secrets, he would’ve gotten them out of me — and I would never have noticed until later!

  5. You’re so cute…nope, I didn’t coin “The Echo Chamber!”

  6. I can attest to Michelle’s ability to develop rapport online. I hired New England Multimedia in January 2012 after several years of developing a trusted relationship with Michelle and watching her engagement. I didn’t need to vet their work because I knew her spirit, truth, character, and more. I knew she was the real deal.

    Social media provides that ability to see the transparency inside the authority and genuine nature.

    You guys…thanks for all the love here! Goodness; makes me feel warm and fuzzy.

    That’s another point…the relationships we’ve built are solid. I’ve never met Jon or Michelle IRL; but no matter, we’re friends for life.

    • Nicely put Jayme :=) It’s good to feel the warmth across the Atlantic despite the cold !

    • Jayme, thank-you so much for the kind words. They are certainly reciprocated!

      Something I didn’t talk about in this podcast is the way those of us who use social media to build relationships with our target audience and potential customers are also able to use those same platforms to vet who WE want to work with — and who we would be foolish to take on as customers. (Now there’s a blog post!)

      When we get a phone call, email, or DM/private message seeking WordPress and other internet marketing services, I already know a lot about that potential customer based on my own interactions with them, or on their interactions with others, and I pass the info on to Scott. You got a glowing recommendation from me!

      Wouldn’t it be fun to take a trip to Sweden together to see Jon?

  7. Well done. I very much enjoyed it.

  8. Hi to every single one, it’s actually a nice for me to go to see thhis site, it
    consists of useful Information.


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    Michelle Quillin talks Social Media Strategy

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