Ty Downing is one guy who walks the walk when it comes to nearly every aspect of social media. That’s because he runs a business that manages it all. With that in his back pocket, his involvement in Social Fresh Tampa will be one of the highlights for me.
Mark Regan: Tell me a little about your background and how you came into your current role as CEO of SayItSocial.
Ty Downing: Well, I have been involved with internet marketing, and digital advertising going on 8 years now. I cut my teeth on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) obsessing over Google’s algorithms by sitting at the feet of Matt Cutts, and Danny Sullivan (Creator of SMX), thus slowly developing my other company “Perspective Internet Marketing” into a full-service internet marketing agency focusing on SEO, PPC,
local search, analytics & measuring site behaviors.
You could say I was an early adopter of social media in a field that mostly despised, or didn’t believe in social media (SEO’s), but I forged ahead, and in 2009 I co-founded SayItSocial, a social media consulting firm focused on corporate social media education & training, Facebook applications, social media strategy, conversation monitoring, and reputation management.
Mark Regan: Your time at events/conferences must expose you to ideas and trends long before they hit the mainstream. How have you taken advantage of that?
Ty Downing: I utilize what I gain at these events by implementing them with our clients. The only way I can keep my clients as well as SayItSocial’s reputation as a leader, we must act fast with implementation. Our field and client needs change rapidly as well as, so we take full advantage of these events.
Additionally, our team are thought leaders in social media, so we also bring new ideas to these events, for example in advance of Social Fresh, we are unveiling version 1.2 of Epicenter, a Facebook marketing CMS designed to create engaging custom Facebook landing pages with contests, lead generation, viral marketing, and loyalty programs. It’s a complete Facebook application with cutting edge technology and simplicity. We want to totally get this into mainstream quickly, it’s such an awesome tool that can help business leverage social media so much better, and measure ROI much easier.
Mark Regan: What new topic has become more frequent over the past 2-3 months?
Ty Downing: Facebook custom applications and Facebook consulting.
Mark Regan: How has your experience in the business world helped you master your own personal brand marketing?
Ty Downing: That’s a good question. I think for me it’s been opposite? I say this because social media has empowered personal brands exponentially. Because of being an early adopter in social media, I mean one of the first subscribers to Twitter even, I was extremely active in marketing my personal brand with social networks, and personal videos that enabled people to “see the CEO”.
When people think of “Ty Downing” they think of SayItSocial & SEO. Obviously this is my own opinion, but I do feel this has been my personal experience.
Break It Down
Mark Regan: How do respond to clients who are jazzed about setting up their social media presence, but haven’t done some of the basics in online marketing well or at all?
Ty Downing: It’s like a golf swing. I tell them we will be “re-training” their swing, but not let them worry, that’s why they came to us in the first place. I (we) teach them simple basics before a strategy and profile building. Which tools should I use? Do I have staff & resources to have an active social media presence? So basically I ask a lot of questions, and then listen a lot!
Mark Regan: What is your favorite online marketing/social media toy of the day?
Ty Downing: Epicenter custom Facebook applications tool!
Mark Regan: Bonus: Any fun plans while you’re here in Tampa?
Ty Downing: Mark, please…please tell me the good places to eat? Any of your readers, please tell me what to see in Tampa!
UPDATE: OK Ty, here you go.
- Cuban – Hugo’s (get the cuban sandwich).
- Barbeque – Jimbo’s.
- Deli – Datz.
- Sushi/Seafood – Island Way Grill (worth the hike!).
- Trendy Mexican – Taco Bus.
- Steak/Old Tampa Tradition – Bern’s Steakhouse.
Don’t forget to invite me.
Mark Regan: Thanks Ty! I’m excited to welcome you to Tampa on February 22nd as part of Social Fresh Tampa. How can people find out more you and connect with you?