BLAB Queen: Interview with Hilary Steel

Why is blab a platform businesses should be adopting? Blab is a live streaming platform where businesses can accelerate their ‘social’ interaction with their consumers. It is linked to your twitter profile meaning that part of your twitter strategy should be to feed your audience to your live streaming Blabs. As an industry expert, you can demonstrate your excellence in real time by hosting focused discussions and encouraging people to join you in one of the three remaining ‘hot seats’ that they platform offers. I don’t see Blab as a direct selling platform, it’s definitely about the engagement and relationship building, which can definitely be done at a super-fast pace. If you aren’t afraid of representing your brand in real time then Blab should, without a doubt, be included as part of your growth strategy.

You also run a business magazine and events portfolio for women in business, how do you engage with your readers? Any specific social networks that work better than others for you?

We actively use Social Media to engage with our audience as well as hosting events that increase the power of the network as a whole. For us it isn’t just about posting links and driving traffic to a certain webpage, it’s about listening to people and using what they tell us to ensure we provide the right content, both online and offline. Our readers are able to contact us directly, which maintains the personal feel to our whole business operation. Twitter, Facebook and Blab work the best for us. We have tried other platforms but we are directed by where our audience hangs out!

Have you embedded a social media strategy into your businesses to help them grow?, what are most important steps to take when considering a strategy for social media?

Having a plan for your social media activity is vital for two reasons, 1) so you have a clear vision about what it is you want to achieve and 2) you can measure your activity and find out what’s working and what isn’t. Our social media plan is as important as our business plan and it is a living plan, one that we regularly update and evaluate. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it has to be clear!

Have you been impressed with a Social media campaign, which one and why?

We recently ran a campaign that directed our twitter followers to a specific series of live streaming business growth Blabs that we were hosting. The audience we reached was literally worldwide and as a result a new ‘branch’ of our business was created to meet the demand and needs of this new found audience.

Some of our readers are starting out, not only as Social media managers, but as start-ups, any tips to help them grow?

Again, start with a plan. If you feel as though you are fish out of water watch what other people are doing and get a feel for the various platforms. Not all suit all, and the only way you will know for sure is to test them out. I like to think of all social media networks as an extension to my offline marketing strategy and all activities are entwined and not stand alone processes.

Any pet hates or practices you see that drive you mad?

I personally am not a fan of auto direct messaging on Twitter. When I follow someone and then receive a message telling me to use a discount code to buy from them or telling me to like their Facebook page. A HUGE step in the building relationship process has been skipped and instead of engaging me, they have instantly alienated me.

We are launching a Raising Standards of Social Media campaign, anything you would like to see included in the charter?

Social Media isn’t an anonymous world, far from it. The only difference between engaging with people offline and online is that your online words will always be out there in the public domain. I think people should be made aware of the potential impact their online footprint can have on them further down the line. I think that creating a ‘best practices’ guide could help people maintain their online ‘persona’ in a positive light!

Hilary Steel is speaking about Blab on Social Day and has since launched a magazine called 'the livestreamer' - We can't wait to hear about it!