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TSA: As a ‘newcomer’ to The Search Agency, could you please tell us a little bit about how you found your way to search marketing, and specifically how you become a social media ‘guru?’
Josh: Well, I started with a little startup company and we had no budget for marketing and so it became my job to figure out how to market with no money. That’s when I started researching SEO and social networks. I began looking at how they worked, and how one could use them to market a product and began formulating plans on how to do just that. Long story short the startup never got the funding it needed and it went under.
From there I started helping friends with their side projects and businesses and started getting referrals to help their friends and grew my business like that. Since then I’ve co-authored a book (Twittfaced), worked with Fortune 500 companies like Symantec, and have spoken to groups like the PRSA and visiting dignitaries from the Ukraine about social media.
TSA: What is your role at The Search Agency? What new projects are you most excited about?
Josh: Right now I’m the social media whipping boy. Just kidding. Right now my role here is varied. I have a lot of duties, one of which is helping to define the social product and what social media means to TSA. I think this is the most important duty I have right now, because it will set the tone for the next couple of years… or at least until this social media fad wears off.
TSA: You and Grant Simmons are panelists in a webinar with MarketingSherpa this Thursday on Search and Social Marketing Integration. What are the benefits for marketers in approaching search and social holistically?
Josh: The major search engines have admitted that when ranking sites they take into consideration all of the major social sites. They are including more every day and are giving them more weight. They are also looking at social circles and how they affect what we click on and how we rate content. Approaching both holistically is not only good for your search rankings, but it’s also helping your customers engage with your company or brand.
TSA: For marketers who are just beginning to experiment with social media or for those who are looking to optimize their current approach, what are the most vital elements to keep in mind for an effective search and social marketing strategy?
Josh: Keywords in your titles! Both Google and Bing look at the content surrounding the links so formulating the right titles, names, etc. helps for both SEO and SMO. Also, engage your customers on a regular basis. It’s no good to just DO social by pushing links out into the ether, no one will care. When you stop DOing social and start BEing social you build a community so that you have 1,000 voices shouting your message and not just 1 lonely Twitter account hoping to be seen. It’s all connected and it’s going to get even more so in the coming months and years.
TSA: Moving away from the exciting world of social marketing, what are some of your interests outside of the office?
Josh: I drink. Actually, I’m a whiskey aficionado. I have 40+ different bottles in my collection (most of which are in storage right now). I’m a voracious reader, an aspiring cook, comic book addict, sloppy artist, avid fan of Settlers of Catan, and intense music appreciator.
I live with my lovely wife and our dogs in Monrovia and I’ve recently discovered a love for skydiving thanks to her. I’m not much into sports other than MMA, and I try my hardest to not miss a UFC fight. As soon as my house in SLC gets sold and I can move to Santa Monica I’ll start Krav Maga and Brazilian Jujitsu training a few blocks away from TSA.
Other than that I’m a pretty boring guy.