Socialights’ One-on-One with Coralie D’Souza

12 Nov

Socialights got the opportunity to speak with social media guru, communications advisor and strategist Coralie D’Souza. Coralie, Communications Director of the G(irls)20 Summit and published writer, reveals her tricks and outlook on social media and how to keep it under your belt.

Prior to her role in the G(irls)20 Summit, Coralie has spent 10 years working in politics (at the municipal, provincial, as well as federal levels) as a press

secretary, communications advisor, and strategist in response to diverse political leaders, cabinet ministers, and influential figures. Additionally, Coralie has worked on four general elections with responsibilities regarding planning as well as conducting multilingual communications strategies. Coralie’s commitment to the advancement of women is apparent from her work at the 2011 G(irls)20 Summit in Paris, France where she executed the social media strategy communicating the Summit’s ongoings around the globe (http://www.girls20summit.com/about/staff/coralie-dsouza/). When Carolie is not working on the G(irls)20 Summit, she is a Hired-Gun Publicist who works with numerous clients varying in size, on issues regarding girls, women, social issues, diversity and multiculturalism.

Check out Coralie’s full biography on the G(irls)20 Summit website: http://www.girls20summit.com 

Q&A:

1. Describe the importance of social media. How has it become a key part in marketing and reaching consumers? 

Our relationship with social media is constantly evolving – but it’s a more direct way to get to consumers.  It began as quite direct, when there were fewer people on it who were using it quite actively and paying attention.  It was a way to get directly in touch with “influencers” and thought-leaders.  It was also a way for high profile people to connect with their fans (and subsequently, consumers).  As it becomes more and more popular, it too is being overrun with advertising.

2. What social media platforms, or workflows, do you use? How do you manage them?

I am a fan of HootSuite. It allows for many people on the same team to manage identical accounts and to work together. On occasion, I do us Klout to view how widespread my clients’ reach is. Additionally, social mention is helpful for tracking and trolling social media for key words and messages.

3. On average, how many times a day do you use social platforms? For instance, how many Tweets do you compose per day?

I am on these platforms almost constantly. For example, I’ve always got hootsuite open on my desktop.  Each client tweets approximately 6 times a day, both scheduled and spontaneous tweets.

 4. When do you find the prime times are to use social media? 

According to research I have come across, just after lunch – throughout the hours of 1 and 3 pm. Also, HootSuite has a helpful mechanism to detect the prime time for your tweets and automatically sends them out for you.

5. How do you effectively target consumers via social media?

I respond instantly if I can. Furthermore, I keep my content fresh and interesting so that people remain interested and look forward to what I am tweeting next. Also, I try to come out with content first, in other words, information nobody else has. For example, who resigns from Cabinet in advance of the Liberal Leadership Race.

6. Are there any downfalls when using social media? For instance, is it time consuming, not producing the expected results, and so on.

It’s time consuming. Coming up with fresh and interesting content is sometimes time consuming too.  Additionally, you must take precaution in what you say – what you say never really dies. If you say the wrong thing, it can be forever tracked.

7. What do you believe is the most valuable lesson you have learned through your experience with social media?

Definitely analytics.  The ability to prove one’s reach – via click through and analytics.

8. In your opinion, what program was the most difficult to become familiar with?

They’re all pretty intuitive.  I found Google ads to be difficult to adjust to (considering there are companies dedicated to just managing that).

9. Why do you find social media so effective for your line of business?

It’s a great way of keeping my clients and projects fresh in people’s minds.

10. How did you promote yourself via Twitter and Facebook in the starting-out stages?

I am naturally friendly in person.  This has translated to about 2,800 Facebook friends that I actually know.

In terms of clients, I have developed strategies which involve tweeting at the suitable times, releasing the correct content and following the right people. With assistance from media and partner organizations, in terms of the G(irls)20 Summit, I’ve built a network of just over 12,000 Facebook friends & 6, 000 Twitter followers.

11. Did you have any assistance with social media or did you teach yourself?

I am self-taught. I have always been a social person, so social media was quite natural.

12. Do you have tips about what you shouldn’t do with your Facebook?

I recommend that businesses determine whether they need a Facebook account or not, as it is not an effective tool for everyone.  If they choose the Facebook route, I think posting photos of relevant products and linking to Pinterest is an effective way to cross-promote.

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