Mike Saunders and I go back to 2004, where we were both involved in the production team of the annual Just Jesus Music Festival held over each new year. Mike also played drums and percussion for the track Can’t Wait To See You on my first solo album Better Days. In recent years Mike has moved his marketing expertise into the online realm, and helps businesses get to grips with social networking.
Name: Mike Saunders
Family: Married to the beautiful Elizabeth Saunders
What’s the big deal about social media?
Have you ever tried to SMS/Phone everyone who is interested in you every time you had something cool happen? The answer is probably no, because it would be way too expensive to do so. Social media helps your conveniently keep everyone up to date with your life. The other bonus is that you can track your ‘friends’ life without investing too much time in the relationship. In other words, we get to stay up to date with the social news without having to get into a long conversation every time.
So it’s more convenient, more useful and more fun. Thats what makes it so BIG!
Have the principles of marketing changed with the increasing popularity of social networks, or are they the same?
Not really, the principles are much the same but the methods in the use of technology have changed. To market effectively in social media you need a balance of technical and marketing knowledge.
You work with a range of different size businesses. What’s the one thing they’re all lacking when it comes to social media and what’s the best way to address it?
Time! People are so busy and to add a time consuming social media campaign to the list does not help. The best way to address this is to set aside the right amount of time based on your expected return on investment. Then develop a process that helps you maintain focus and avoid social media overload. I have written about combating social media overload here.
For anyone who is interested in learning more about applying social media to their field, what are the three most important things to bear in mind?
1) Be creative and interesting
2) Listen and respond to your fans
3) Measure your reactions to find the area’s in your campaign that generate the best return
What does a typical working week consist of for Mike Saunders?
I get up at about 5am and aim to have most of my work done in the morning before about 10am. I then usually have a few meetings to get to that take up the rest of the day. Get some exercise in at the end of the day, drive home and spend time with the family.
Well thats the dream!!
In reality I work from 5am to about 7pm (or 11pm) every day and throw a few gym sessions/ squash games, about four meetings a day and end up squeezing work out of every available second (or delegating it to my administration team). In amongst that I travel around South Africa presenting on Social Media a few times a month.
I try to read as much as possible and get enough sleep every night!
I work most Saturdays and take every Sunday off work to spend with family and friends.
Who or what is the most important thing to you?
Success. Measured by God and not the people around me. In my experience God has always placed the highest expectations on my life and the reward is always greater than I can imagine.
When last did you bang a drum kit?
Crumbs… I havent played seriously since I played for a band called Plainsite. I seriously miss playing music at festivals and concerts. I lived for that!!
I still play at our church on occasion but my musical efforts are now more focused on leading worship at my local church.
Describe your ideal weekend.
NO WORK!! Spending time with Liz, catching up on reading, a game of squash, fishing, ultimate frisbee, drinking coke light, pizza and laughing at or with good friends. I am a sucker for a good steak on a braai! Oh, and never having to check my email!!
To find out more about Mike, check his website here.