Social Media from the Frontline: Tara Berry

By Rob McNair

Here we are with another Social Media from the Frontline, and we’re hopping into the passenger seat to chat with Tara Berry – Honda UK’s social media and PR communications executive. She talks about her social media dos and don’ts… and life in the PR fast lane.

Name: Tara Berry

Company: Honda (UK)

Role: Social Media and PR Communications Executive

LinkedIn: http://uk.linkedin.com/in/taraberry

Website: www.honda.co.uk

Tell us about yourself:

I have been at Honda (UK) for just over two years now, and with my third role in the company I’ve definitely found ‘my place’. I’m responsible for completely reshaping, invigorating and implementing the new social strategy and it’s a really exciting time for me. The next few months, accompanied by my blank canvas, will be fun, hard work and certainly enlightening. Working across cars, motorcycles and power products (marine, ATVs, energy and lawn & garden), there’s never a dull moment and I’ve been lucky enough to experience a range of pretty awesome events!

What do you like about social media?

There’s always something new – whether that’s a platform, monitoring or engagement tool or just the people. Social continuously gives you the opportunity to learn, and social media can help to change perceptions, especially of a brand. I’m not saying this is necessarily always a positive change, but an example of a brand that it has worked well for is Old Spice. It’s been injected with personality, and no longer has the immediate connotation of an older person’s brand. I’m personally a fan of Twitter and Instagram. Twitter more so for the real-time updates, conversation and insight, and Instagram for the visual and the playful. I like being able to make a simple image a little edgier. Also, Mashable! Simple as that.

What don’t you like about social media?

The so-called ‘experts’ of social media. I’m not a big fan of the word anyway, but in such a new and evolving field I think it’s more a matter of being on the ball, inquisitive and responsive –’expert’ is just a nonsense claim. Constant sales calls and emails from companies offering you all kinds of services to help with social media. Obviously these services are useful, but I think I’ve been approached so much now that it’s becoming a dislike of mine.

Do you have any social media tips you’d like to pass on to our readers?

Use social media to listen and respond to your audience. It’s not about one way conversations, it’s about two-way conversation that holds their interest and allows you to talk to them about material they want to hear about. Where possible include images and video. These are much more interactive and engaging, and also provide entertainment. Lastly is integration. For those establishments where this is relevant, integration between key business areas is a must – it will give more succinct messaging and add to the user experience elsewhere in digital and offline.

Where do you think social media is going? Any predictions?

It’s just going to get bigger. I think Pinterest is still one to keep an eye on, especially as some of the retail brands are starting to gain traction.

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This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.