All our clients have a special place in our hearts. It is through getting to know them, their businesses and goals that we form relationships that last years and years. Marc Vaillancourt has been a vital part of Vivid Image, first as an employee and good friend, and later as a client of Vivid Image. We’ve watched with admiration as he embarked on a journey to achieve his personal and professional goals using technology. Marc followed the principle that “Through Conversation, Life Happens and Finds Meaning”, and The Conversation Hub was born. One hundred and eleven podcasts later, Marc has had public conversations with a wide range of people from comedians and philanthropists to authors and musicians, including famous people like Chris Brogan, Jason Gray, and Steve Farber. And while Marc always finds a way to dig into a compelling conversation with everyone he interviews, Marc strongly believes everyone has an interesting story to tell and life experiences to share that make for colorful podcasts regardless of fame and fortune.
So what role does social media play in Marc’s goals? We asked Marc to share a little insight into his use of social media to achieve his goals.
What do you think is the biggest advantage to using Facebook for The Conversation Hub?
“For me, the biggest advantage to Facebook is the community that gathers around that platform. For The Conversation Hub, it’s been a great way to slowly expand the reach of our podcast. Whether I post a link to an episode on my personal profile or on the The Conversation Hub Fan Page, others can quickly share the episode with people in their network.” As we all know, it’s important to meet people where they are already at, and with a wide-range of topics highlighted on The Conversation Hub, Marc is able to consistently find people who are very passionate and excited to see familiar content featured.
If you could change one thing about Facebook that would make an impact on the success of The Conversation Hub what would it be?
“I would love for them to bring back the ability to play an episode directly from the The Conversation Hub Fan Page. You used to be able to do that, but now Facebook simply shows the link.” The music feature was a popular feature that allowed people to click and listen, that was discontinued with the changes made to accommodate Facebook Timeline.
Can you share a story or success from using Twitter?
“Twitter has been a great tool for The Conversation Hub. I’ve reached out to complete strangers to invite them to be a guest on our show, and it’s worked every time. What makes it (Twitter) even better is that I’ve been able to build long lasting relationships with several guests as a result. The other thing that has worked great for The Conversation Hub on Twitter is the wonderful RT (retweet) function. New people are introduced to our podcasts because of this, and it’s directly responsible for the fact that several episodes have a ‘long tail’.”
How do you see your followers on Twitter and Facebook differing?
“The majority of the fans of The Conversation Hub on Facebook are friends of mine. Each week we increase our reach, but it’s still dominated by people who are directly connected to me. On Twitter it (audience and reach) appears to be broader and more organic. I tweet using @bassclefmusic but also have @conversationhub. The latter is connected to my RSS and feeds links to my blog/podcast posts.”
You’ve posted over a hundred podcasts available on iTunes and promoted across several social media sites. What do you think makes a podcast stand out, get shared and become your most listened to?
“All of our episodes are available on iTunes and on Stitcher Radio. There is no — at least I haven’t figure it out yet — secret recipe as to which episode will get more listens. If I continue to refine my interview skills and continue to have interesting guests, I firmly believe we’ll continue to have success. Bottom line — interesting people, interesting subject — make our episodes successful.” Marc’s sentiments really lend credibility to the power of quality content! So what are some of Marc’s most popular podcasts that have peeked the most interest and listens? The top podcasts are #67: Remembering 9/11 with T.J. Mannix, #96: Roman Mars, Host of the 99% Invisible Podcast, and #35: In Conversation with Michael Bungay Stanier, Author of Do More Great Work.
How has integrating your social media sites with your WordPress blog helped in the success of The Conversation Hub?
“We do no formal advertising and depend heavily on word-of-mouth. Integrating social media sites/platform in our distribution channels helps us grow the audience and introduce our show to people who would not necessarily know about us.”
Would you be able to do what you do without social media?
“No. Social media is directly responsible for the success we’ve enjoyed at The Conversation Hub. I would never have the time, energy and resources to do what needs to be done to get the show noticed. Social media makes all of that easier!”
What is a goal you have for The Conversation Hub in 2012?
“We just achieved one of them recently — post episode #100. We want to continue to produce episodes that are interesting and meaningful, but we do need to figure out “what we want to be when we grow up!” I also want to continue to grow our listener base!”
What tools have been instrumental in helping you manage multiple social media sites, your blog and producing a podcast a week and sharing it?
“Hootsuite is a life saver! My little black book of notes and ideas is a cornerstone to the show and blog. My hosting partners and the folks at Vivid Image. They make it so I don’t have to worry about the “back of the office.”
This isn’t even the end of the story! Marc recently launched a new project called “No Passport Required” that features places in the United States to visit. No Passport Required: Discover the World Around You is his new monthly segment on The Conversation Hub, and has its own Facebook presence, No Passport Required.
A special thanks to Marc for his help with this post and sharing his insight. If you haven’t listened to any of the conversations on The Conversation Hub yet, we encourage you to start. You can use the search bar on his site to search for topics or people, or simply start at Episode 1 and work your way through!