10 Questions with Social Shake-Up Speaker Jon Chang, of NYU and IBM Watson
By: Colleen Lutolf
January 14, 2019
Named to Forbes’ 2019 30 Under 30 in marketing and advertising, Jon Chang is a product marketer at IBM Watson Marketing and adjunct faculty of social media and web analytics at New York University. We recently caught up with Jon to ask him 10 questions on social media in 2019, including career advice for social media marketers, the podcasts he thinks you should be listening to, and why the Zuckerberg trial showed the “true nature of Facebook.” You can catch Jon on Day 1 of The Social Shake-Up, on May 7, in Atlanta, when he leads the session, “Email Marketing and Lead Gen for the Social Media Generation.”
1. From a speaker’s perspective, what about Social Shake-Up is unique? What can you expect and what did you like most about participating in this particular conference?
The most unique part of Social Shake-Up is the panel sessions. These panel sessions bring together several speakers aligned on the same subject matter, which seems standard on first glance. Here’s how it’s different: Each speaker gives a short presentation that complements one another to provide the audience a holistic understanding of the subject matter. This helps the audience dive very deep into a particular subject.
2. What is your favorite tool or piece of software could you not live without?
- Trello. Both my personal and professional life falls apart when my Trello Board is disorganized.
- Calendly is how I organize my office hours for charity. It’s really great.
3. What platform is your most used and useful platform for your brand and why? What about for you personally?
I personally use Twitter and LinkedIn as my main personal brand channels. Instagram is also great, but not where I post most of my professional content.
4. What are your Top 3 predictions for social media in 2019?
Here’s a 2019 trends report I helped write at IBM. I wrote #1 and #9. Here are some others that aren’t in the report:
- The growth of micro influencers will accelerate, which will cause the boutique influencer agencies to consolidate. It’ll also force micro influencers to be more transparent and intentional about communicating and tracking performance metrics.
- The U.S. 2020 presidential campaigns will dominate Twitter, making political content even more ubiquitous and drive up Twitter ad revenue to historic highs.
- Instagram will have user traction in a shopping marketplace by the end of the year.
- Social media IPOs will lead to re-investment in social media startups.
5. Conversely, what WON’T happen in social in 2019, as in: What may have been hot in 2018, but you predict will become irrelevant or drop off in 2019?
- LinkedIn Ads will stay about the same. Semi-related: LinkedIn made great progress with LinkedIn Learning in 2018, though, which will continue in 2019.
- Messaging advertisements (Whatsapp, etc.) will grow, but stay about the same. Advertisers will rush in without fully understanding the nuances of community management and online conversations, which will result in a mid-year messaging ads hiatus.
6. Have you, do you or will you recruit your colleagues or employees as brand advocates in the New Year? How did or will you do that? How did you start or how will you start that process?
Ideally, it’d be a combined approach like the programs at companies like Intel: technology to enable frictionless social brand advocating and formal internal training to make employees feel confident and fully enabled.
7. What was your favorite social media moment last year, any platform. Was there a particular campaign you thought was done well, successful, inspiring, surprised you, pushed the limits of what social could do or be? Or maybe it was a single tweet or Instagram post that stood out.
The Zuckerberg trial, because it really showed the true nature of Facebook and the utter ignorance of the overall body of Congress. This is the tension necessary to eventually drive a closer relationship between governmental organizations and social media companies–unearthing the underlying tension is part of the process to change things.
8. What is a piece of career advice you would (or do) give to people starting out in social media?
Have a strong genuine POV (don’t be afraid to be yourself), find people like you online (establishing your core collaborators will take you far), don’t fall for the BS (hashtag stuffing, follow backs, etc.), and don’t ignore the haters (understand why they’re haters before you dismiss them).
9. What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
One of my first managers, Columbia Business School digital marketing professor Jeremy Kagan, told me about a concept he calls “The Karma Boomerang.” It essentially means that being a good person will eventually come back around–a twist on the sometimes toxic give-and-receive professional culture. I think of it often when I prioritize my schedule, because I don’t want to only take meetings that have a clear and concrete return for my life.
10. What are your Top 3 favorite podcasts and why?
- The Daily by The New York Times to be an informed citizen.
- Binge Mode: Harry Potter to geek out about my favorite wizards.
- Leads2Scale by Social Media Week to hear stories from marketing leaders.
Follow Jon: @Changahroo
Follow Colleen: @colleenlutolf