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Social Influencer Series | CMO Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist. Keynote Speaker

Social Influencer Series | CMO Ted Rubin, Social Media Strategist. Keynote Speaker

I had the honor of connecting recently with one of the most connected voices in social media, Ted Rubin.  Ted is a leading Social Marketing Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Brand Evangelist, and Acting CMO of Brand Innovators. His extensive social influence dates back to the frontier days of the digital age, where he began his social journey working with Seth Godin at Yoyodyne. In 2009, he started publicly using and evangelizing the term ROR: Return on Relationship™a concept he believes is the cornerstone for building an engaged, multi-million member database that can activated as vocal advocates for a brand.

Many people in the social media world know Ted for his enthusiastic, energetic and undeniably personal connection to people. Ted is the most followed CMO on Twitter according to Social Media Marketing Magazine; one of the most interesting CMOs on Twitter according to Say Media and is #13 on Forbes Top 50 Social Media Power Influencers.

He is the also the author of two important books on social influence - Return on Relationship and How to Look People in the Eye Digitally. This is the first of a two-part interview with the incomparable Ted Rubin:

What advice would you give a modern day CMO of a fortune-1000 company that has yet to discover its "social" self?

Remember the power of storytelling, and use it in your communications. People can’t resist a good story. It’s an emotional connection bridge that is built into our human DNA. Social enhances it by allowing more consumers to share more stories about more of the products they see, buy and use. Another thing to remember about stories is that people are already having conversations about your brand, and you can’t necessarily control that. Companies who try to stem the tide of a bad story by trying to control the message find this out the hard way. However, you can INFLUENCE the kind of stories that are told about you by being involved in the conversation, transparent in your use of social media, and responsive to the needs of your customers, both online and offline.

Your book and mantra Return On Relationship, offers a formula for leveraging social value. ROR = ROI. For companies that are having a hard time quantifying the value of their social efforts to business metrics, how does ROR apply?


ROR: Return on Relationship™, #RonR… simply put the value that is accrued by a person or brand due to nurturing a relationship. ROI is simple $’s and cents. ROR is the value (both perceived and real) that will accrue over time through connection, trust, loyalty, recommendations and sharing.

A brand that steps up its engagement game could not only protect its organic reach, but also find a significant competitive advantage. We all love when someone listens to us. When your fans hear from you, their excitement will spread along with your reach and reputation. Fight quantity (clutter & filters) with quality (content & engagement). With every post, update and comment ask yourself, “Is it adding something meaningful or simply adding to the noise?” 

ROR (#RonR) is measured through organic engagement, community management, sentiment monitoring and so much more. It all comes down to one word: Value. How do your social media efforts create value for you, as a brand, and for your audience? What prompts that viewer to come back to your social channel(s) and to any other place you are looking to drive them to? Social marketing is less about driving traffic, and much more about attracting traffic. Social marketing has evolved from seeing who could gather the most likes to seeing who has the most "on target" fan base. A simple quality over quantity shift. Measuring the Return on Relationship is not easy, as it involves not only analyzing connection growth, but also measuring the overall sentiment of your consumers voice in relation to your brand. This includes measuring the organic sharing rates of your content and your channel return rates. 

ROR (#RonR) > ROI.. since ROI will match a fixed period of time, or perhaps be income related.. whereas ROR will have a 'halo' effect.. e.g. two projects can have same ROI, whereas one was done with better relationship management... so it has the added benefit of a 'satisfied' customer or relationship. It's like one + compassion.

When asked, "what's the ROI of Social," I like to ask back... What's the ROI of Trust, what's the ROI of Loyalty? 

What is one brand that you see today that is getting it right? A truly "social" brand.

jetBlue does a great job creating a culture that puts the customer first. And from a social perspective they not only respond and engage with anyone who reaches out and engages with them digitally, they empower their employees to do the same when face-to-face. Kudos to EVP, Marty St. George for creating the environment that allows this to happen and Manager of Corporate Communications, Morgan Johnston who is on the front lines executing. 

Looking ahead as the digital transformation takes hold and changes the way that brands deliver Customer Experience, how do you see mobile impacting the future of brand? Or other big trends? 

Simply put the silos Mobile and Social will soon disappear. Everything is mobile, no matter where or when, and everything will be socialized, even if not by the brand. 

We will download the second half of this interview with Ted Rubin in next week's Social Influencer Series.

About the interviewer:

Mark Keaney is a Husband, Dad, Coach, Mentor and Leader. With over 20 years of experience in the media industry and a wild ride in the world of tech start-up & social - Mark is helping brands deliver world class CX at Lithium Technologies, where he is the Regional Vice President of Sales for the East and Central. His mantra is - Brand Globally. Market Locally. 

e: markkeaney8@gmail.com or t: @markkeaney2pt0


Social Influencer Series | CMO Ted Rubin (Part 2)

Social Influencer Series | CMO Ted Rubin (Part 2)

Social Influencer Series | CRO Heather Monahan, Beasley Broadcast Group

Social Influencer Series | CRO Heather Monahan, Beasley Broadcast Group