Most people know him as Nick Mastodon on Vine, but at The Social Lights he’s known as Nick, the Community Manager Training Program (CMTP) student who played iPad accordion on day one and continued to entertain and impress throughout the course.
Born and raised in Minnesota, Nick’s popularity in the social media world has grown tenfold since the establishment of Vine earlier this year. Despite his personal success on social media platforms like Vine and Twitter, Nick will be the first to admit that there always was – and always is – a lot to learn, specifically if managing a brand’s digital presence.
“It felt like I came into it with a good amount of knowledge of social media just from my experience with my own brand, but there was and still is a lot to learn,” he said. “As far as the analytics piece of it, that seems like my biggest area of opportunity. And just how much personality you can bring to a brand to make it shine.”
“I learned a ton and it opened my eyes to what’s possible in social. It gave me a sense of direction in what I want to do.”
Nick says that his own personality and common sense in utilizing social media can translate into the role of a Community Manager, someone who is the voice of a brand on multiple platforms. Although it is easier to represent one’s own brand on social, the skills Nick learned in CMTP taught him about speaking on behalf of a brand. Among the major things learned were communication, content creation/curation, strategy, and analysis – all of which, he says, he will use in his social media career.
But for Nick personally, communication is key:
“I feel like I’m better at communicating, reaching out, engaging with my fans. I do that a lot now. I’ll actually reply to comments because it’s a lot more beneficial since it instills loyalty. They’re taking the time to say something nice, and they don’t have to do that. Even something as simple as favoriting tweets. I favorited a guy’s tweet to me yesterday and he made a Vine about it. It’s very flattering. But I always go back to, I’m just a guy who makes videos in my parents’ basement, and to have that kind of effect on people is pretty remarkable.”
He also mentioned the importance of responding to any and all comments:
“Another thing I learned from the program was how to be clever about things, and tactful, not to bring negative attention to things. You need to have an understanding that just because one person is being negative doesn’t mean your content is bad. It’s just that one negative comment has a lot more weight than 10 positive ones. And I think it’s important for a Community Manager to have that understanding.”
Nick says that for any brand – whether personal or on behalf of a company – social media success is not necessarily about fan/follower count. For any Community Manager, a social media presence is about showing appreciation for followers and instilling loyalty among them. It’s making a brand’s audience not only like it, but trust it.
“Whether it’s responding to a tweet or an issue, you’re the forefront of customer service,” he explained. “One thing I really enjoyed was looking for people talking about a brand, finding those conversations, and acknowledging them. Because then people see that you’re listening.”
One of his favorite parts of the course, he says, was seeing what everyone brought to the table in the beginning and how they grew as Community Managers over eight weeks. Watching a group of 16 people grow professionally and expand their skill sets was not only interesting; it inspired him.
A visual enthusiast, Nick believes that our society appreciates visual aesthetics because we try to expose ourselves to as much as possible in the least amount of time.
“A lot of people want to just hit as many pieces of information as they can without being bogged down and reading an entire article,” he added,
“I don’t read all of the tweets in my feed; it just is what I see right then. It’s like fishing – if it happens to be there, it’s something you catch.”
But while video platforms like Vine may be entertaining, Nick says they won’t work for all brands. In order for companies to effectively utilize Vine, they need to understand the platform. However, because of Vine’s rapidly growing popularity, he thinks it’s likely that more brands will get on board to increase their online exposure.
Nick says his dream job is somewhere in the realm of social media, because for him, connecting with people is both smart and enjoyable.
“One of my favorite parts about social media is being able to connect with people, and that’s always been the case,” he said. “I love to make connections. My dream job would be working as a talent scout or at an agency, connecting the dots for people.”
And he’s off to a good start. Through Vine, Nick met Carly Faulkes, who you may know as the T-Mobile girl. Well, Nick thinks she’s #cute, and she thinks he’s #cute, and they plan to meet in person soon.
“She’s gorgeous, she’s beautiful, stunning,” he said, blushing. “We’ve been face-timing everyday and night. She’s coming out here for my cousin’s wedding.”
Social media: good for brands, good for business, good for friends, good for romance.
What would we do without it?