Right now, at this very moment, the world of social media is as busy as its ever been. To no surprise, the increasingly large volume of posts, tweets, pins and stories brings with it a lot of clutter and noise. In an effort to help others find the real value and connect with those creating it, Social Report put together an interview series featuring today's top marketing influencers that are actually making an impact and consistently bringing value to the table.
This week's featured interview is Carmen Lascu of Carmen Lascu & Partners—a social media management expert, empowering blogger and a name that seems to reappear on every social media news outlet's list of top digital marketing influencers, year after year. Let's get into it.
Social Report: Hi Carmen! Let's kick this off with an easy one. What exactly do you do for a living and how long have you been working in that space?
Carmen Lascu: In a nutshell, I help other business owners be successful online. At the moment I do social media management for a few businesses, but I also provide branding and digital marketing consultancy services. I update my social media & digital marketing blog regularly and write business-related books which are available on Amazon worldwide. I have been doing this since September 2016.
SR: And what’s hands-down your favorite thing about your job and the world you work in?
CL: Honestly? The analytics. I love seeing results—more followers, more engagement, more visits to the website and more sales. The biggest satisfaction is to see my customers happy with the service I provide—consultancy or hands-on digital marketing.
SR: Quick memory jog: Can you recall the absolute best piece of marketing advice you’ve ever received (and from who)?
CL: I want to share an advice for life and for business—love God and love other people. We should all love our customers and do what is best for them.
"The biggest satisfaction is to see my customers happy with the service I provide—consultancy or hands-on digital marketing."
SR: On the flip side, can you remember the biggest lesson you had to learn the hard way early on in your career?
CL: Not everyone is honest so make sure you receive payment upfront or have a good agreement in place.
SR: It feels like now more than ever, we’re seeing brands coming out of their shells and doing really awesome things across social media. What’s been your favorite brand to follow on social media in 2017?
CL: Dove. I like that they focus on celebrating real stories from real women. If we are referring to business-related brands, I would like to mention Social Media Examiner. It’s a fantastic blog that shares positive articles about what works on social media and how businesses could benefit from the content shared.
SR: What about your favorite person or individual to follow?
CL: I have a few... Richard Brandson and Elon Musk as business leaders and Todd White, Shawn Bolz and Bill Johnson as Christians pastors and evangelists who teach, through other things, how to love and receive from God.
SR: I know you normally get paid to speak on this next matter, so I hope it’s not too much if I ask for one freebie. What’s one thing that you currently see a lot of brands doing social media every day that you think would be better off left behind or forgotten?
CL: They talk too much about themselves without thinking at their customers. I believe their audience is more interested to find out how you can solve their problems instead of telling them how good you are. I think social media will become more customer-orientated and the brands should focus on how to meet their customers’ expectations during their journey from the moment they find out about your brand until after selling.
"Brands should focus on how to meet their customers’ expectations during their journey from the moment they find out about your brand"
SR: Almost forgot to ask this—do you have a podcast your currently listen to and enjoy each week, business-related or otherwise?
CL: I enjoy listening to Keith Keller’s podcasts. We follow each other on Twitter and come up with suggestions to help each other. He’s talking about social media in general and Twitter in particular. I also enjoy listening to church podcasts (Greater Life Church and Bethel) which motivate and empower me.
SR: Alright. We’re closing out 2017 pretty soon here and most brands are planning and strategizing for the year ahead. Which social platform do you personally think businesses will benefit from focusing on the most in 2018?
CL: Facebook remains the number one network but I think other networks that use video and live streaming will also grow in popularity, like Twitter and Instagram.
SR: And we’ve made it to the finish line. Appreciate you taking the time—know you’re busy. Last question: What do you have going on these days? Any big things on the Carmen Lascu horizon that the people should know about?
CL: I am planning to focus more on business consultancy to empower and help start-ups and small business owners grow their business online. I also want to develop my blog and offer more useful resources for those who want to figure out how to promote their business themselves. My blog is entered into the UK Blog Awards 2018 so please vote for me! I was a finalist of 2017 awards but I want to win this time.