Membership Monday: Meet SMCHI Pro, Jason Seaborn

Our Pro membership is comprised of digital professionals, innovators, and leaders from a wide array of (some unexpected) disciplines. To showcase this diversity, each month we’ll introduce you to one of our Pro members and share their insights on social media. Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future month? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.

jason_seabornJason Seaborn is a Social Media and Communications professional based on the North Shore of O’ahu. His philosophy? #LiveAloha:  “I think if people conduct themselves with the ‘pay it forward’ mindset, it ends up benefiting them greatly in the long run. I try to incorporate that same mindset in all the work I do as a social media pro as well, and it’s served me well thus far!

Jason has lived on O’ahu for the past 12+ years with his wife and two children, and has an older daughter who lives on the Big Island. His career spans from editor positions in professional computing magazines and major metropolitan newspapers, to social media management, strategy, and advisement for clients in an array of sectors, including retail, nonprofit, and political.

How are you currently using social media in your job?

Social media comprises the bulk of the services I currently provide to clients on O’ahu, including:  Papa John’s Hawai’i, Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican Restaurant in Haleiwa, and Hawai’i Polo Club in Mokuleia. It is an incredibly powerful, effective, and dynamic tool for businesses; it’s like pouring gasoline on their marketing fire. I use it for building customer relationships, expanding brand awareness, traditional marketing and promotions, and complementing businesses’ overall marketing plans.

Describe a challenge you faced in your use of social media and how you overcame it.

There have been a handful of instances where I overcame technical obstacles to achieve my desired goal. As one example, I noticed that plain link sharing on Facebook was not generating the type of engagement I was seeking. So instead, I found that by pulling in an image associated with the link and uploading that as a Facebook picture, I could include a link to the destination in the photo caption and increase engagement.

A more significant aspect to overcoming challenges with social media exists in the day-to-day:

  • Converting the irate customer to a brand advocate as a result of dedicated, careful, thoughtful responses from the social media team
  • Increasing engagement and strengthening the Edgerank among a brand’s Facebook fans through timely answers and strategic interactions 
  • Accurately and creatively expressing a brand message in ways that yield a positive response and capture a larger segment of the potential audience

These are the challenges that I seek to address with effective social media practices every day.

What’s one social media tool or platform you couldn’t live without?

Probably Facebook. I recognize it’s not always the best choice, and oftentimes it’s lampooned and the butt of satire for all of its shortcomings. But it is the undeniable beast that drives all other aspects of social media and to which all other social media platforms are looking to take their cues from.

Name a mistake businesses make with social media.

Not caring enough to respond to their customers in a polite, friendly, engaging tone of voice. It’s easy to just copy and paste a link in response to a question from a customer. But to give that personal, human touch in the wording can lead to additional interactions, which should be the goal of any social media program.

Can you name a local example of a successful use of social media?

Cutter Chevrolet in Honolulu. I have complimented them on their page for their work and have no idea who manages it, but they are doing an excellent job. Creative content, attention to detail, timely and thoughtful responses. And it shows in the engagement numbers of their page. They’re on it.

Where do you see social media headed in Hawai‘i?

I think it will continue to grow and become more of a natural social dynamic. It will be even more second nature to people – possibly to the point of us forgetting it’s even there. As smart phones become more ubiquitous among a larger segment of the population, we’ll see business take advantage of all the permutations of this development: geo-targeted special deals, more apps, stronger engagement, etc.

What exciting initiatives are you working on and can share with us?

No, but I sure am excited about! :-)

What emerging social media networks or tools are you monitoring most closely?

As alluded to above, I’m going to be paying attention closely to Surrounds.Me. I think it’s something that will be incredibly useful to people like me, and small businesses who want to take hold of their social media and execute it on their own.

What do you do offline to help you stay current and connected online?

I make it my business to be familiar with all aspects of the North Shore, from community rumblings, events, and developments, to issues, people, and new businesses. I love the North Shore, the people, and it helps me be a more effective social media pro for my clients who are located here when I’m most familiar with the area.

What made you join Social Media Club Hawai‘i?

The people and the cause. I have made great friendships, acquaintances, and connections, and I love the thought of contributing to a larger goal of improving social media use in Hawai’i. I also gain an incredible amount of knowledge being around people I consider to be excellent examples of how social media should be executed, and I honestly just try to soak up as much as possible from them!

Are you a SMCHI Pro interested to be profiled in a future edition of Membership Monday? Contact Jen Barrett to learn more.