The scoop on flavorful approaches to social media
ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
NAME: Julie Farman
COMPANY: Not Applicable, LLC
Julie Farman is a respected, longtime entertainment industry executive. She was an independent and major label publicist, an early dot com employee, and the talent executive for music at a tabloid TV network. Currently Farman consults senior executives, artists and entrepreneurs in music, film, media, and technology on branding and marketing strategies. She has been a storyteller for hire since 2010, is the author of Live From The Grayish Carpet, a popular blog about life after sex, drugs, and rock and roll, edits Wikipedia obsessively and posts relentlessly on Facebook, particularly during Awards season.
SOCIAL MEDIA URLs:
FACEBOOK: Julie Farman on Facebook
LINKED IN: Julie Farman on Linked In
Q: We have access to so much news on a daily basis. What kinds of information do you consume at the start of your day?
A: Most of my news comes from Facebook, because the major stories of the day turn up in my news feed. From there I’ll Google the headlines, particularly now – there’s a lack of diversity among my Facebook friends. 95% of us think of Donald Trump as a short fingered vulgarian, which signifies both our age (it’s a phrase popularized by Spy Magazine in 1988) and the similarity of our perspectives. I’m not saying that my opinion changes – that’s rare – but I don’t want my understanding of what’s going on in the world to be built on a filter provided by people who think exactly the same way as I do. So yeah, I read the New York Times, but I also read the Wall Street Journal and the National Review. And the Onion. I also listen to the NPR Hourly Newscast and “All Things Considered.” I use the web mainly, and my content is curated via Flipboard. When I can, I read hard copies of the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. I listen to audio content through Stitcher.
Q: How do you use social media?
A: I use social media to feel less isolated. I use it to feel popular! And witty. I use it for inspiration. I use it because I can be inconspicuously nosy. For the most part, I don’t use social media as a professional tool. If anything, it helps me to understand what I should be writing about on my blog – what resonates – but my blog doesn’t generate any income. I write it mainly to entertain myself.
Q: How has social media changed your life?
A: I work alone and I live alone. Without social media my interaction with the world would mainly be limited to my interactions with Kenny and Walter. Kenny and Walter are dogs.
Q: Do you think social media has enhanced or diminished our personal relationships?
A: Both. I wouldn’t be able to keep in touch with a lot of friends without Facebook, but at the same time, I confuse online relationships with actual friendship, and there’s a huge difference between the two.
Q: What organizations, brands or personalities do you follow? What makes them worth following?
A: I don’t follow any personalities, which I interpret as celebrities. There are a few writers – Ann Lamott and Lorrie Moore, most notably – and I keep my eye on their Facebook pages. Brands are pretty useless to me because I don’t want to be marketed to, at least not conspicuously, and Facebook’s algorithm is so dead on that most of what I’m interested in product-wise will show up as sponsored content on Facebook. (The one exception is Airfare Watchdog; I actually pay attention to their tweets because they’re time sensitive. I still brag about getting a $150 round trip LA – Boston airfare that was available for about six seconds because I happened to be on Twitter when Airfare Watchdog sent out a tweet about it.)
Q: What kinds of posts spark your interest?
A: I’m interested in authenticity. Also vulnerability — I respond to posts that are revealing. I’m completely over the humblebrags and look-at-me posts, although I love the look-at-me posts that celebrate milestones. Or involve dogs.
I read the blogs that people share, mostly when it’s a blog I’m unfamiliar with. I’ll listen to music if it’s posted by a friend whose taste I respect. I’ll watch videos and click through links if they’re not accompanied by headlines that say “This is the best thing you’ll see all day” or “#4 Brought Me to Tears,” etc.
Q: What is/are your favorite social media platform/s and why?
A: Facebook. I find it hard to engage on Twitter; there’s a learning curve, and I don’t like the platform enough to devote the time to it. My tweets go completely unacknowledged, for the most part, and I end up feeling like a huge loser. That said, I have a friend with a massive following, and when he re-tweets my blog posts I get a ridiculous amount of traffic.
I like Facebook because it’s easy. It forces me to be succinct, but it doesn’t limit me. I love the immediacy. I love that my friends crack me up.
Q: Favorite hashtag or one you’d like to see?
Q: What advice would you give to a brand about how to get started with a social media program or make their existing one more effective?
A: Be authentic. Be informative. Always be honest. Cultivate trust. Engage with anyone who engages with you. Be bold. Make sure that everything you post, Instagram, tweet or re-tweet reinforces your corporate identity. Also, read everything that Jennifer Aaker has ever written; watch her videos and interviews. She’s a marketing professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the author of landmark studies on brand personality. She’s got a magical ability to fuse the art of marketing with the art of living.
Q: If you could follow any historical figure on social media, who would it be?
A: David Foster Wallace but only on Twitter. I’d love to see how he deals with 140 characters.
Q: Cone, cup, or straight from the container?
A: All of the above, although usually straight from the container because it’s the most efficient way to eat a gallon, and if there’s a gallon in the vicinity, I must eat all of it.
Q: Favorite flavor?
A: Baskin and Robbins German Chocolate Cake circa 1978.
Have something to add or share? Please leave a comment in the section below. Feel free to like and share on social media. And be sure to join us next week when our guest on Ice Cream Social is: Michael Solomon, managing partner of 10x Management, the world’s first tech talent agency, and co-founder of Brick Wall, an artist management and entertainment consulting firm.