Geek Speak: Guacira Naves, vice president of Social Media Club Vancouver

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      Guacira Naves develops what she calls “holistic on-line marketing strategies”. So, it’s fitting that she’s helping get the word out about the new Vancouver chapter of Social Media Club as its vice president of promotions.

      Born in Sí£o Paulo, Brazil, Naves moved to Vancouver in 2006, after living in Canada since 1993. With 12 years of Internet-marketing experience, the 36-year-old formed her own company, the Online Strategy House, in November 2009.

      Launched last month, Social Media Club Vancouver held its first board meeting on January 14. SMCYVR is a trade association that focuses on helping professionals learn about the use of social media in business. Its first event is coming in March.

      The Georgia Straight reached Naves on her mobile phone at her home office in Mount Pleasant.

      What, to you, is social media?

      Social media is, in some aspects, what the Internet was really born to be. It’s the Internet reaching its full potential. It’s a way for people to really become more social on-line and really explore everything that the Internet has to offer, in terms of forging connections with other people, with other businesses, and at the same time giving everyone a voice. That, for me, is what social media is.

      Why was the Social Media Club Vancouver formed?

      The Social Media Club in Vancouver was formed out of an opportunity that we see here because of the level of engagement that Vancouver already has in terms of the social-media industry. There have been quite a few success stories with the Social Media Club in Seattle, for example, and we thought it was just fitting to basically have a branch or chapter of the Social Media Club here in Vancouver.

      We already have a very engaged community in social-media circles here, and the goal is to present people with an opportunity to come to the events and actually get practical insights as to how they can apply social media to their business. There are a number of tweetups that anyone can go to if you’re in Vancouver. But often that kind of event ends up being geared towards the networking part of social media. So, one void, so to speak, that we’ll like to see bridged is to actually offer concrete perspectives on how someone can capitalize on social media for business and come out of the meetings with points that they can actually put in practice.

      What activities are the club planning?

      We’re planning on having presenters—people who have a lot of knowledge to share about how their companies have introduced social media and have been able to take advantage of social media for business purposes. These events will be an opportunity to for people to learn more, to share more. So, those are the type of events that we have planned. Obviously, as time permits, we’ll also like to have events where people can join just for a social reason, without having any other goal in mind other than just getting together with a bunch of people who already get along on Twitter and Facebook and have a good time.

      How does your business use social media?

      The way my business uses social media, there are two aspects to it. First, I use social media to obviously promote my own company, the Online Strategy House. But also the main core is to actually apply social media to benefit my clients. The way I see it, social media is not the answer to all on-line marketing woes. It’s a big piece of the puzzle.

      So, what I do is I look at a client, and I see how social media can be employed to meet their short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. So, for any particular company, that could be, for example, devising a LinkedIn strategy; it could be maybe putting together a Facebook page, where people can become fans; or it can be coming up with a really strong strategy to have their presence established on Twitter.

      What’s one tip you might have for a businessperson wanting to start using Twitter?

      My first advice would be—obviously other than creating their own profile—to listen to the conversation first, give some thought to how you would like to be perceived, and then jump in and make sure that you have a good balance between valuable content that pertains to your industry but also personable content that defines you from everyone else. You know, it’s important in social media to always have that kind of personal tone to the conversations that you engage in. So, those are some of the tips I can give to someone who’s just starting.

      The B.C. government has announced a tax credit for digital media. Do you think there should be similar economic incentives for social media?

      I think so. I think it would be something that would really benefit companies here in Vancouver and in B.C. We have some very strong players in Vancouver, as it stands. We have HootSuite, which is just absolutely amazing. These are companies that have been able to achieve a lot without a whole lot of governmental support. So, if government were to come on board and add onto the fire that already exists here, I think it could only be a good thing and give support to people who already have the ideas and have the knowledge and have the know-how but don’t necessarily have the financial backup to put them into practice.

      What’s a major trend in social media that you expect to see this year?

      I actually expect to see a couple. One trend that I really expect to see burgeoning would be the conjunction of search-engine optimization and social media. This is something that Google has already started to do. The way I see this playing is that the lines between what’s good for SEO and what’s good for social media will start to blend more and more. So, that’s one big trend that I can definitely see coming.

      Another trend that I’m 100-percent sure is going to happen is an increase in location-based marketing and increase in the use of geolocation features to enhance social networking. So, for example, the joining of forces of services similar to Foursquare and, for example, Yelp that have a fairly new geolocation feature with other social-networking applications. For me, that’s something that’s going to grow.

      Last but not least, I think that video will continue to grow and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, in terms of on-line video-sharing sites and on-line video production and the employment of video not only to attract audiences through social-media channels but also to help a company’s search-engine-optimization efforts.

      Every Friday, Geek Speak catches up with someone in Vancouver’s technology sector, video-game industry, or social-media scene. Who should we interview next? Tell Stephen Hui on Twitter at twitter.com/stephenhui.

      Comments

      2 Comments

      Tanya Roberts

      Feb 16, 2010 at 6:24pm

      Congrats, Guacira! Great post Stephen.

      Guess who

      Sep 10, 2010 at 4:10pm

      Guacira, I experienced first hand how well you were able to use internet to get ahead in life, even back in 1992. Congratulations!