Daphne Kwon, ExpoTV (Podcast and Interview Transcript)

Mike McGrath: I am. Hi Daphne. I am Mike McGrath, I am a social media consultant and I know that’s a really suspicious term to tow around these days. But I am curious about two things. Earlier you made a statement that sounded like 1994, you said it’s the Internet and there are no rules. I mean there is a great body of best practices and I think you would agree, I mean you even talked about that a bit in terms of how companies and people disclose information represent themselves online. But my real question is I have been reading a book called Now Is Gone by Geoff Livingston and Brian Solis and they contend that companies and their approach to social media really depends on the corporate culture. You know to take a very extreme example on one hand, the CIA is all about secrecy and they are not about maybe they share information internally but they don’t reach out to people; on the other hand Nike, a great brand, really wants to engage their audience. So I am wondering if in the work you have done and with your site, you have seen some companies that are much more attuned to using your platform and either learning from it or engaging with those people and what kind of companies really that you have seen can take advantage of social media?

Daphne Kwon: It’s a great question I think and thanks for asking Mike. Just on the rules thing I just wanted to clarify; Internet has rules not for companies but rather for users, users will totally figure out ways around rules; you know Web1.0 or 100.0 they are going to be rule-less. But on the corporate culture setting, I think that’s right and one thing I am noticing when we talk to advertisers now that we are going out doing that, there seems to be like two types of brands that I am starting to classify. One of them is very self-aware, they understand what people are saying about them, they understand their brands very, very deeply, they understand the way that people see them and that’s a Nike, right so they are very self aware. The other set of brands I am finding I am talking to are very, I am going to say self-delusional, they don’t necessarily understand the way that their brand is seen, the way that their products are used, the negatives that may be out there about their product and so they deny it and they don’t want to hear about it. We were talking to one manufacturer who, we had a whole slew of, they are about a children’s product, they had a whole slew of teens using their products and they asked us to take down a number of them because the teens weren’t using the product properly, they were using it the way the teens wanted to use it which you can imagine is very improper. And so we were saying, but there is a whole bunch of people buying your products that are using it that way, you want us to take it down? And then I just realized you are probably not a company that we can work with in the long term and really embed you in our social network because you are so afraid of the way that your brand is seen or the way that your brand is portrayed, is actually used by people who are paying you. And so that I think is your tie between corporate culture and your ability to get into a social network do you understand your brand, can you be authentic with the people who are spending money on your products, can you really be authentic with them, do you really know who they are, do you really know what they are saying with your brand, are you unafraid of letting them speak, and that’s two totally different cultures.

Lisa Padilla: Right, they are different cultures. And ExpoTV can both work for the brand and work against it but I think they are closer to that we did to hearing everybody’s opinion and letting the community push away or give precedence the stories that they just like or like, it’s very powerful.

Daphne Kwon: Yeah, I think you get obsolete. I think you are right, ExpoTV can work for a brand or against it but the way that I would say that Lisa is ExpoTV’s members and community can work against a product that they were working against in their everyday lives anyway. And so we are just a platform, we don’t editorialize, we don’t celebrate a specific viewpoint unless it’s very clear that that’s what the community is saying and so for us again, you should listen to what our community members are saying; it’s not ExpoTV, it’s the people who are buying and who have spent their hard-earned money on your products.

Lisa Padilla: That’s a strong message. Mike’s got a follow question here. Mike are you still with us?

Mike McGrath: Oh yeah and I will take my answer off here but Daphne, Guy Kawasaki and this may be a result of him working at Apple in his early formative years, he contends that great brands polarize audiences.

Lisa Padilla: Sorry Mike, repeat that last sentence.

Mike McGrath: So I want to hear you take on that whether or not that’s really true. I mean there are things like the post office that we all use, it is a big brand but gosh, you have to use it so nobody loves it or hates it, it’s neutral or hate. But something like Macintosh you know people love it or hate it and that has been part of Apple’s success. So I would like to hear your comment on that and I will take off air.

Lisa Padilla: Great, thanks a lot Mike.

Mike McGrath: Sure thanks, bye.

Daphne Kwon: Yeah Mike a very interesting question, you are clearly very well plugged into what’s going on.

Lisa Padilla: He’s in the social media class, what do you expect?

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3 thoughts on “Daphne Kwon, ExpoTV (Podcast and Interview Transcript)

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