Mario Sundar's Speakeasy

Spero Ventures. Early LinkedIn, Twitter. These are my thoughts on tech, brand, marketing and community.

In the News: Why Quora? Why Now?

Another month passes, and here are a couple more leading publications – Mashable and Ragan – who quoted some of my thoughts on social media, both of which came about through my participation on Quora.

So, if you’re serious about building your expertise online and sharing that with the rest of the world. Start sharing on Quora or start a blog. But I digress…

1. Ragan Communications / Matt Wilson: The Big Quora Question – What’s it good for?

Matt Wilson from Ragan, reached out to me after reading my answer on five stages of Quora adoption for professionals.

Most of my quotes revolve around my usage of Quora and my thoughts on it being a disruptive force. I truly think Quora is the alpha-information network and frankly, I have an upcoming post on how it poses a competitive threat to a whole slew of information based companies. In the meanwhile, dig this…

Still, a growing group of social media experts and communicators say Quora is and will be as useful as Twitter.

“I think those who ignore it as a flash in the pan are rather short-sighted and unfortunately don’t see the big picture,” says Mario Sundar, senior social media manager for LinkedIn, who blogged about how to get into using Quora. “They’re also probably the same folks who doubted Twitter when it came out first.”

Check out the entire article here.

2. Mashable / Erica Swallow: The Future of the Social Media Strategist

Interestingly, this was quite an amalgam of a post that Erica Swallow mined from Twitter, Quora and Mashable’s own social media community to posit three possible avenues for the social media strategist. Interestingly, this jumped off a paper written by Jeremiah a while ago for his agency, Altimeter.

Erica quoted from my Quora answer, on one of three potential career trajectories for social media strategists:

In large organizations, the need for an executive-level social media strategist who defines the role across different functional areas will become the norm… Kind of like what my good friends Frank Eliason (formerly at Comcast and currently SVP of Social for Citigroup) and Scott Monty (head of social media at Ford) do at their respective large organizations. Their cross-functional role helps define social media across the organization as it’s integrated more closely with all functional areas, projects, etc.

“This will become the career trajectory for social media expertise in much the same way a marketing manager evolves into a VP of marketing.

That and other awesomeness can be found in the post here.

Filed under: In the News, Quora

In the News: Being a Trust Agent

As LinkedIn’s social media guy and given my experience around community marketing, I get quoted on social media themed articles or blog posts. Here are the three most recent quotes that appeared in some of my favorite blogs and magazines – Inc. Magazine, Mashable and Chris Brogan’s blog – where I talk about social media best practices.

1. How to write a social media policy by Tiffany Black

Inc Magazine compiled a HOW-TO post for those social media marketers who are trying to put together a set of  social media guidelines for their employees who are active on social media sites. I’ve warned of the dangers of not having a social media policy and if your company doesn’t have one, this article should probably set you straight.

“I’d say there are two broad reasons for having a social media set of guidelines for every company: crisis management or brand opportunity,” says Mario Sundar, community evangelist at LinkedIn.  “Social media may be a huge opportunity for your employees to help build your company’s brand, but let’s not forget that there also exists a tremendous risk for individual employees to inadvertently damage the company’s brand and by defining a set of guidelines you help mitigate that risk.”

Sharing my tips on writing an effective social media policy on Inc Magazine

I’d also recommend your check out my other posts on Social Media Policy that I’ve written these past few years. They contain tips and tricks, pros and cons and even how to actually get it written.

2. 10 Tips for Aspiring Community Managers by Vadim Lavrusik

This is the most recent post I was quoted on. Thrilled to find that this post was trending on Mashable over the weekend. Vadim Lavrusik asked me and 5 other community managers – from Foursquare, Howcast, Meetup, Sears and Read Write Web  – to share our tips for aspiring community managers. A couple of my thoughts made its way to the post.

For anyone looking for a job (especially one in the social media space), I’d highly recommend your investing time in a career blog.

Sundar also got help from blogging. He said he found his job for LinkedIn because of blogging and believes taking an hour a day to blog on social media topics will help you stand out from the rest of the social media crowd.

“I’m constantly surprised by how few of those aspiring community managers actually spend time to manage a career blog where they share tips and tricks on what works and what doesn’t,” he said. “Everyone has a LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter account, but career blogs are few and far in between. Build a brand for yourself with your blog before you actually get paid to manage one.”

Mashable's post quoting Mario Sundar on Community Management

Here are posts I’ve written in the past months on Community Marketing. Feel free to bookmark for later reference.

3. Mario Sundar at LinkedIn is a Trust Agent by Chris Brogan

This is the most personal of the three blog posts but is thematically very similar to Mashable’s recent post, since it covers one of the most important traits for a community manager – earning the trust of your community. Chris is a dear old friend whom I’ve known for many years and I’ve often talked to Chris over the years about LinkedIn, what some of his pain points were and what would make his LinkedIn experience better.

This past month I had one such conversation and was happy to introduce him to two of my colleagues from LinkedIn product & design regarding some feedback he had for us. I’ve had similar conversations with numerous other folks on a regular basis, but Chris was kind enough to make the following observations:

What did Mario do for LinkedIn by listening to my thoughts about the service, and/or bringing in the appropriate team members to help me? He made me love the brand more. That love results in this post. It results in more conversations about how a company is doing it right when I’m on stage in front of thousands of people (tens of thousands if I talk about it over a year). He built more positive brand awareness via my channels than any ad will ever build.

Thanks, Chris! This truly made my day and so did the numerous other tweets that came in from people I respect and admire greatly – here, here and here (for e.g).

That's the picture Chris took of me while hanging out in Boston 3 years ago

That’s it for the past few weeks. Stay tuned for more and thanks for reading! Thanks to Tiffany, Vadim and Chris for reaching out to me. If you’d like to pick my brain on all things social media for an article you’re writing or a speaking engagement, feel free to contact me via LinkedIn.

So, here are the tweets from my peeps at LinkedIn whom I respect and admire greatly. Thanks, guys!

LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, on Mario Sundar

Thanks, Jeff!


That's from Kay, my former boss at LinkedIn, mentor and friend


And, that's Robby who's such a blast to work with...

Regular blogging will resume shortly.

If you like similar content you should subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter!

Filed under: In the News