Social Media From The Frontline: Ben Thompson

By Rob McNair

Welcome to the latest “Social Media from the Frontline”. This time, we hear from Ben who is a Digital Communication Manager at Johnson Matthey. If you fancy getting involved in our next Frontline drop us a tweet @mycleveragency.

NAME: Ben Thompson

COMPANY: Johnson Matthey

ROLE: Digital Communications Manager

TWITTER HANDLE: Work: @johnson_matthey  Personal: @ben_thomp


Tell us about yourself:

My life in digital began in the noughties as web editor of online travel guide CoventGardenLife, a pioneering dot-com start-up still going strong today. A switch to the not-for-profit sector followed and I had a rewarding time using digital to help make a real difference to people’s lives – from campaigning for the rights of disabled people to lobbying the Government for more social housing. Now back in the private sector I’m enjoying the challenge of reaching new audiences and taking advantage of the new technologies that have emerged over the last decade.

What do you like about social media?

Social media gives your customers the kind of a voice they never had before and listening to what they have to say can only be good for business.

What don’t you like on social media?

Cutting through the noise can sometimes be difficult and it takes time and effort to stay on top of things. That said, the random moments are often what makes it most worthwhile.

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

A challenge for a lot of in-house digital teams is identifying the right channels for your audiences. There can be a pressure from above to use the big social media brands just because they’re there. So the high profile of social media – everyone’s heard of Facebook – can be both an advantage and make managing expectations tricky. The key is to have a strategy rather than jumping straight in.

Where do you think social media is going? Do you have any predictions?

We’re already beginning to treat social media as just another form of communication and it will continue to move into the mainstream. I think objections to social media use in the workplace will be dropped as employers recognise the benefits of having a more connected workforce.

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.