Interview with Joshua March by Adam Fraser
This is a text transcript of this podcast interview with Joshua March of Conversocial.
Adam: I’m delighted to welcome Joshua March to the EchoJunction Podcast. Joshua is co-founder and CEO of Conversocial, a cloud solution that helps businesses to efficiently and securely manage customer service on social media at a large scale. Conversocial parallel social customer service for hundreds of brands worldwide including Hertz, Tesco, Barclaycard, and Audi just to name a few. Previously, Josh co-founded iPlatform, a social application agency that was one of the first world Facebook Preferred Developers that was acquired by Betapond in September 2012. Josh hails from the U.K. like myself, but is now living in New York, driving Conversocial’s global business. Josh, a big welcome to the EchoJunction Podcast.
Joshua: Thanks, Adam, great to be here.
Adam: Great stuff. Thanks for being here. Look, Josh, I touched on a few points in your background in the intro, but maybe just talk the listeners through your backstory and how you came to found Conversocial.
Joshua: Sure. Thanks for the introduction. You did to get a great job with it.
Joshua: The only thing right before that was that I had a failed e-commerce start up, which was my first venture, which was painful, but I learned lots and lots of lessons. It was actually a lot of those experiences and lessons which got me really interested in online marketing and online engagement, which led me into social media. That’s what, over a couple of years and in 2007, led me found iPlatform, which as you said became one of the world’s first Facebook Preferred Developers, which made me look officially recommended by Facebook as one of the only companies who could build applications, promotions, marketing campaigns, for the big brands on top of the Facebook platform.
There was just very few people really getting into the Facebook application world and the social media was in 2007. It was something that I really believed in and really believed could transform how companies were interacting and engaging with their customers, but the time was very, very early and so I was able to make a name for myself and start work with a lot of big companies very early on.
That business drew very quickly as more and more companies just moved into the social world, but although that was a really exciting business and it grew very, very quickly, we were doing these applications and these marketing campaigns on top of the Facebook platform. I didn’t really believe that that was the future of the Internet. I thought that social media was extremely exciting that just doing the core of it that excited me the most was really about how it’s transforming communication. It’s about how it’s transforming how people were communication with each other and how companies were communicating with their customer and vice versa. It was that communication which really excited me, not just the building of these apps and competitions on top of them.
That was what really led to the birth of Conversocial was going to help me really help companies that manage that communication and manage the changes that are coming.
Adam: Great. Look, it’s interesting to hear you talk about an early e-commerce failure. I look at that as that’s actually ticking a box when private equity investors look to your business, it seems something of a sort of almost expected badge of honor with people like yourself that have gone onto build successful businesses; but look Josh we want to dive into all things Conversocial and then the broader social customer service markets. Just set the scene if you could for the listeners about, just took through maybe some of the key features of the Conversocial product to maybe how it’s evolved since you launched in 2010.
Joshua: Sure. It definitely evolved a lot. Our vision is that we’re really building the next generation, the enterprise customer service platform. As communication just shifts whole scale into be it mobile and social media, then I really believe that traditional communication or customer service channels like e-mail, chat and such are going to die. We’re really building a comprehensive platform to doing large-scale customer service, but meeting the need or the unique elements of these new channels. And so the core platform is really the agent desktop. Some of our customers have got hundreds of customer service agents using our software.
We’ve integrated deeply of all of your social network platforms out there. We have very close, direct relationships with most of them. It was a certified product for Twitter, with Facebook BMD [SP], whitelisted on Instagram, etc. We have direct API inspirations, which pull in all the conversations and engagement that you’re having with your customers on those platforms. Then we do …
We have a few key things that we do that differentiate us. First of all, we look at this chaos of conversations in social media can be chaotic. You can have this mix of public messages, private messages, multiple people in a conversation. We do a lot of stuff, so first of all, thread those conversations together, so you can create real conversations or your tickets from case management/ customer service point of view, where you might have a conversation with a customer that starts with them tweeting without even using your brand name, then has a public view, back and forth, then goes to a private PM, so you all thread those together and create that into a single conversation that you can assign to people, get analytics around, etc.
We then have a machine learning system that tries to identify if it’s a customer service issue or not and how to prioritize it above the general noise of just chitchat and engagement you get on social. Then we have a system called PLAY, which is basically a social, your ACB in the traditional call center world handles automatic distribution. You can have 100 agents online and hundreds of thousands of content coming in, and it manages the resourcing and the workflow and ensures that every agent just has their own queue of items to deal with and all the rules for dealing with that.
Then behind that, or on top of that, we also have all the real time analytics dashboards for managers, that allow them to track your real customer service metrics — average handling times, response times, productivity of the agents. That’s the crux of it is also more in that, but it’s really about unable companies to deliver the very real time, highly efficient customer service at a really large scale through these channels.
Adam: Look great. Look, I’m all on board on the importance of social customer service. It’s one of the most important use cases to me of how enterprises should be using social media. I’ve blogged extensively on that topic. Look, it’s interesting thinking about your business being founded back in 2010, and even now in 2015, sadly, we still see the remnants of brands treating social just as a broadcast channel to shout down and ram their message down.
Yet, I guess, two aspects to this question, how was that conversation back in 2010, when it was quite forward thinking for brands to even be thinking about doing customer service on social and have attitudes changed noticeably now, whether the door’s open and people … Most businesses are now Acknowledging the expectations and the importance of offering service via social?
Joshua: Yeah. I mean, it’s changed dramatically through that time. When we started, there were a small number of innovators who, actually even Tesco was one of them, very early company who said, “You know what? Our customers are using social media as a customer service channel and we need to take that into our contact center and have real customer service agents responding and dealing with those. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to really provide real resolution.”
There were a small number of innovators and we’re lucky to work with a number of them in those very early years, but for the vast majority of companies, social was a marketing channel. Even if they understood that they have to be responding to customers, and the value of those one on one interactions, it was still deeper in the marketing who were handling it. There were people who, as much as they wanted to, they weren’t really plugged into the contact centre infrastructure and could really offer real resolution. Really, they could do as best as they could, but they couldn’t really help the customers in the same way that a customer service agent could.
Fast forward to now and it’s really the vast majority of companies have realized that they need real customer service agents in the contact centre, handling all inbound socials. There’s actually a great survey and study that I read from Aberdeen Group that just looked at this time period, between 2010 and 2014, how many contact centres? What percentage of contact centres we’re actually providing service through social media? In 2010, those numbers were 12%, but 2014, 58%. It’s really now becoming a majority consciousness of that’s how you need to do things. Rarely is that a show stopper when we speak with companies now.
Adam: Look, that’s interesting stats to show how the markets’ grown. I mean, Josh, I’m interested some, rightly or wrongly, may have a vision that it’s just funky young millennial that expect customer service on social. I expect that’s not the case and that’s a broad generalization. Have you go to any metrics for the size of the market or maybe the percentage of customers across the board that now seek and expect service via social?
Joshua: Yeah. For some of our customers, I’m talking about big companies. The contacts, customer contacts via social have now overtaken e-mail. We’re seeing a social some take up 10% even 20% of inbound customer contacts into the call center, and growing much more rapidly than anything else. If you look at the demographics of social media itself, it really is across the board. It’s not just millennials. It’s very age range and every type of demography. It’s just becoming the default way that people communicate.
Now, I would say that although it’s across the board, it is absolutely even stronger for the younger you go, the bigger this is. If you look at the youngest generations, they are, the way that they communicate is mobile only, almost all social media and mobile messaging. You have text-based communication, images, over the top messaging like WhatsApp. This is really just the way that the next generation interact. Even e-mail, phone calls, and SMS, have kind of fallen off for them. Right now, it is across the board. In 5 years, in 10 years, it isn’t going to be 10% or 20%. It’s going to be 80% or 90%.
Adam: That’s interesting. It’s funny to hear you…E-mail definitely being, even SMS, now being old school for certain demographic. Josh, Conversocial produced an excellent guide, which I will link up to in the show notes, the definitive guide, excuse me, to social customer service, the 2015 edition. Some great observations and analysis in there, but maybe could just summarize some of the key differences for brands and enterprises delivering customer service and social versus traditional channels such as phone and email. What are the attributes of best practice in social and do they differ from most traditional channels?
Joshua: Yeah. They definitely do differ. They differ to the extent that almost every company we work with has set up a dedicated team within the contact center who are trained on social media, have new processes creative social media and their own way of working and analytic. They want to roll up to the wider context and processes and analytics, but they need a lot of unique ways to how they deliver services on social for it to be affective.
Now, the biggest one of those is the public nature. That certainly is one of the biggest that causes a real impact on how agents have to communicate, the processes they go through, the training they need, but there’s also just a lot of specific knowledge around these social platforms. The traditional platforms are all on technologies controlled by the company and they specify when they’re open, when they operate, and how they work in a way that just fits their processes and their mold.
With these new channels, whether it’s social media, whether it’s mobile messaging, they’re third party platforms you have to interact with. They have their own rules, their own way of working, that’s both from a process and technology perspective. But as well as being a third party, they’res also controlled by the consumer, whether it’s Twitter, or its Facebook Messenger or it’s WhatsApp, whatever it is, the customer can contact you by the channels wherever and whenever they want and you have to be ready to deal with that. That’s one of the biggest changes. It’s also one of the biggest opportunities, because it’s a really amazing chance to interact with the customer in the moments, at the point of sale, while they’re in an experience and a chance to fix it or remedy that, upsell, whatever it is, right there and then, which is something that a lot of other channels lack.
Adam: It sounds like, Josh, do you almost recommend, it sounds like, a dedicated team just for social rather than having people that may be doing some social then jumping to e-mail then jumping to phone. It’s sort of that specialized?
Joshua: A hundred percent and we actually have customers who, because of the specific type knowledge that you need to interact with the platforms, we actually find that their agents are the most efficient if they’re in one particular shift, they’re just dealing with Twitter or just dealing with Facebook. We really see that you do not want an agent doing private e-mail, private public tweet, which can be seen by millions of people. The norms are different. The processes are different. Should your agency multi-disciplined? Yes, they absolutely can be, but in any particular shift should an agent be mixing social and traditional channels? We don’t see that working. Can you just give social to any one of your agents? No, that’s a recipe for disaster. There needs to be a team who are trained and understand the nuances of social media. It actually needs to be a dedicated team or teams. You have an agent who, in any one shift, are focused on social.
Adam: Look, that’s interesting. And Josh, in your answer you’ve touched on a couple of things I just want to draw out. You mentioned obviously the efficiency side and the business process side of managing a customer service via social, but you also talked about the ability to almost surprise and delight and really add to the experience and build value via this mechanism. I’m interested when you see brands exploring an implementation like a Conversocial, whether the business case tends to or the language tends to be on, “Oh, this is a cost saving. This is cheaper than having a phone center,” or they’re very much the more proactive brand building, value adds aspect of providing exceptional customer service.
Joshua: It really depends. It depends on the company and where they’re at, but I would say that for the majority right now, it’s about saying they don’t have a choice. Their customers are there and the customers requiring service on those channels often in a public way, and they have to deliver it and you’re taking on top of my Conversocial, they’re also able to do that much more efficiently and deliver much better customer experience than they could otherwise.
Now, looking at social in a more wider context, not just Conversocial, but should we be investing in it, should we be telling our customers to do it? There is partly absolutely the cost saving over digital communication, much cheaper than doing it on phone. There’s also an increasing body of evidence suggesting that social is actually cheaper than even other traditional channels like e-mail, because of the short form factor. You’re forcing people to be have short message and that kind of thing.
One of the new biggest ROI benefit is that it enables you to deliver this very real time, authentic level of service to a customer who is multi-platform, mobile, and social; it allows you to drive engagement with that, essentially younger generation. Similarly, live chat doesn’t really work very well on a mobile, it’s not cross platform. Your e-mail is kind of slow and everyone hates it. Whereas someone can be right there at the point of sale tweeting, and you can instantly get back to them and engage with them publicly, engage with them privately. They can move from your mobile to desktop, if you need or vice versa. And so, social is actually becoming one of the most powerful ways to deliver service to a consumer today. If you use the right processed and the right team and the right technology, then it’s just as efficient or if not more efficient than any of the other channels.
Adam: Look and it’s interesting to hear you talk, yet the challenge of even say within Twitter where you can go public to multi people involved to private DM, and then maybe they jump across to Facebook, so there’s clearly many challenges in one view of the customer even within social. Josh, talk to me about the broader challenge. For the one view of the customer, if you think about the big banks or the telcos or the insurance companies and trying to have one view of all of your communications, your past customer purchases, and so forth, how does Conversocial play with other customer service tools, whether that’s phone and email and then more broadly into if I’m an existing customer, the CRM integration side of things?
Joshua: Yeah. We think it’s fundamental, right. If the customer has an issue and they speak to someone in store and then they tweet at you on their phone and they tweet whatever it is, they don’t care they channel. They just care they’re trying to get help. It’s a really terrible customer experience that those things are completely disjointed. This is one of the reasons that we think having a platform that’s completely focused on the customer service side and how social is integrated into that makes so much more sense than trying to just be the social tool for everything, where you’re looking at social across the marketing, PR, sales, and customer service, because it’s about integrating those different touchpoints that becomes so valuable.
We think it’s absolutely essential to have a platform perspective. We have API layer. We have integrations with CRM systems. We have inspection of the case management systems. I’m not saying that we really can’t work hard with all of our customers to get towards that someone tweets at you, you’re instantly seeing his information about that customers from the CRM system is the phone conversation, notes on the phone conversation that was had last week and vice versa.
We think those kinds of integrations are essential. They’re not easy. It does require work, especially from the big companies that we deal with. Most of them aren’t just using some kind of out of the box CRM system. It’s the thing that’s been heavily customized and maybe spoke to their needs and so, integration isn’t always super straightforward and requires not just us to have a platform and we have an integration team as well, but it also acquires work on their side, but the value when you do it is so huge that we really think it’s a key strategy that every company should be should be pursuing.
Adam: Now look, agreed. Do you observe the purchase of your software triggers a broader change management or business process review, because as average, really about the pure technologies, the strategy in a business process. Is that something you’re observing? I guess related, is that something as a business, you try to get involved with in terms of add-on services or you try … Do you just stick to the technology side?
Joshua: I wouldn’t necessarily say that buying Conversocial triggers that process, but I would say that we’re often bought as part of a change process that’s happening and we often help companies manage that process. There’s a couple of processes that companies go through. The first one, which I mentioned earlier and we’ve done a lot of over the years is, is helping move social into the contact center. Where social is being primarily a marketing activity. Maybe a team in the marketing, you have to manage that, and they are setting up a real social customer service operation in the contact center. Often they need help understanding the right process. How do they hire the agents? How do they train the agents? How to oversee it? What happens if there’s a crisis? How the marketing customer service works together? We’ll help companies with all of those things. Create the playbook, train the agents.
A lot of companies that are at the stage now, which is awesome, and the real shift we’re now helping companies do is this shift, what we call a social first approach to service. It was just, as I touched on earlier, more and more companies are recognizing that social is one of the most important, most powerful ways to really engage and deliver this real time service to its customer that’s mobile first. Helping them shift from doing social is just something we have to do. We’ll have a team in the contact center next, that we have to be there, to an approach where you go, well, actually, social should be the first place our customers come to when they have a question or an issue. How do we tell our customers that? How do we resource for it correctly? How do we really make social customer service become our competitive differentiator for us as a company? That’s something that we’re working with a lot of companies to go through at the moment.
Adam: Great. Look, are there any quick examples, Josh, you’ve got of companies in the U.K. and the U.S. that you think are managing this particularly effectively?
Joshua: Sure, I mean, two of our customers, I think, Sprint in the U.S., we have one of the biggest telcos, they’re really taking the social first approach to customer service, where they will offer full resolution of any issue over social media and Twitter. They’re really committed to having a super-fast response time, resolving real issues as quick as they can, and having this a core part of their offering as a brand, which is just really, really amazing. Sprint is always worth taking a look at.
In the U.K., you already mentioned Tesco being a real innovator in this space since the very early days, and similarly, have just been committed to delivering real resolution, real service, responding to every customer who reaches out to them. The other thing that’s been really great with Tesco, just aside from the normal day to day, is Tesco have had their share of crises and issues and things that have blown up. You’re aware there’s a lot of companies where you’re trying to batten down the hatches in those times and go silent. Tesco has never taken that approach. Whatever the crisis, whatever the issue, they’ve been very open. They’ve engaged with people who are even the trolls that are kind of going crazy at them. They’ve tried to respond to everyone who they could, and the results would be really amazing.
When you look at the data when crisis have hit them, they’ve really turned around the sentiment of a lot of those issues, when it comes to social media just by being there, being open and engaging. And that’s been really powerful to watch.
Adam: Good stuff, and look at Jay Baer on Episode 2 of this podcast. He’s talking about his new book called Hug Your Haters. It’s absolutely about that theme — turning the complainers into advocates and I guess taking those issues head on. That’s useful to get those case studies, Josh. I might link up to some of the social handles in the show notes so people can jump on and have a look at what those brands are doing. Look, for the final part of the interview, Josh, I just want to shift gears a little bit and talk more about the broader, the marketplace.
If we just talk about the platforms and the ever changing nature of what’s happening within the social platforms, I mean your website at the moment refers to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and You Tube as being your primary focus, two sub-questions, where do you observe clients are most focused? I may have a view that it’s Twitter. I’d be interested to know whether Facebook is more dominant. And then secondly, in terms of other platforms, Linked-In, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram. Just talk me through what your roadmap looks like and do you plan on bringing further platforms on board.
Joshua: Sure. We’re actually doing integrating Instagram at the moment as well. I’d say that Facebook and Twitter are definitely the dominant platforms, especially for people who work in technology. They were so focused on Twitter or that’s the majority of that we see. And for a lot of brands, Twitter does make up the majority of service. But there’s a huge part of the world… Twitter is an amazing platform. And it has extremely high usage among a certain percentage of the population, but if you often just go into the general mainstream, small feeds inside America or the U.K., Australia, around the world, Facebook is dominant.
For a lot of brands, if you move into just mainstream retail for example, then a lot of the majority of their service interactions are coming through Facebook page. New Facebook pages have got huge, huge followers and huge amounts of engagement interaction. We really see roughly equal levels of service coming through Facebook and Twitter. They really do make up the vast majority.
I’m now seeing that Instagram, we’ve seen, growing really a lot, especially over the last 12 months and especially with e-commerce. New e-commerce clients, that’s been saying that we really watch is a trend. We keep an eye on all the others. We don’t have recent current plans for LinkedIn, but mainly because we’re just very focused on the needs of large scale B2 C companies. We don’t really work with on B2B, so it doesn’t come up as much.
Other things that we are, I think, or some of the things I’m most excited about next is in the mobile messaging platforms — Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat in Asia. I think that they have the real potential to completely replace live chat over the next couple of years. I see communication, the vast majority of all communication being mobile-based in a couple of years. The mobile messaging platforms are the natural heir to all communication almost. We have plans coming up with most of those platforms.
Adam: Okay. That’s interesting. We read a lot about WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger in particular, and I know Facebook, at recent developer conference, seemed to open the door a little bit in terms of their messenger platform. What’s the time horizon where you think that’s sort of feasible and real where companies like yourself can build on top of those messenger platforms and use them within business?
Joshua: Yeah. We’ll hopefully have announcements we can make them at over the next three months or so. It’s something that’s a very active concern for us right now. It’s something we’re really, really excited about.
Adam: Okay. Interesting. Josh, in terms of the, I guess, the social media software market, you’re clearly what’s called the best of breed specialist tool. There’s obviously other tools that may work adjacent to you or even end-to-end tools that will try and cover a whole range of social media functions. What’s your view on, I guess, that discussion of best of breed verticals versus an end-to-end platform that can try and do everything?
Joshua: Yeah. I’ve always had the same vision, which is that customer service and communication is changing. The needs of a large-scale enterprise contact center operation are very unique and very specific and very big, and that a platform that’s created to do marketing is never going to meet the needs of that large scale enterprise contact center environment. You never think to have, to try and use and get an e-mail marketing tool and use the same tool to enable thousands of customer service agents to do one on one e-mail customer service. It just doesn’t make any sense.
As I said earlier, with just philosophically, the value…I don’t believe it makes sense to have a social tool that does everything social, because the value in having a social tool that different departments are using is dwarfed by the value of having social deeply integrated into any of those other business units. For our perspective, that means it’s really integrating social intellect contact center environment and contact center stat, getting towards that single view of the customer here so that you can manage the interaction across the different channels, reaching the same levels of age and efficiency as other channels so you can really invest in social service heavily and promote as a primary support channel. Those are things that can really drive business value.
The same can apply on marketing. Social does not exist in any vacuum. It’s the most important thing is a marketing campaign. It’s the product you’re launching and it’s the combination of that campaign across the TV media, social. You have the e-mails you’re going out. You see companies like Percolate who are really doing an amazing job building this marketing system of record, which social is a deeply integrated part of that, and I really believe in that vision.
Our approach is to go: there are providers like that who can provide different parts of the stack and what makes sense is that for a company is to choose the best in cost vendor in those different areas. We’ve always been banging the drum of vision for years. But when social is fully just owned by marketing, it gave a chance for these all in one vendors who are doing everything social to ready blossom. But now companies are realizing that it doesn’t make sense for a department to own social. That’s like a department owning the phone. It’s a communication channel and it needs to be owned by each department and they need software that really meets their needs.
In the latest Forrester Wave, they came out clearly saying the best in class approach is the best approach and it’s the one that drives the most satisfaction for companies. We’re really feeling vindicated at the moment as the market is just waking up and realizing that our best in class approach makes the most sense.
Adam: Sure. Look, that’s interesting, Josh, understand the perspective. Look, final couple of questions, Josh, before we wrap up, very central to the whole customer service and social customer service. One of the many buzzwords going around here, you hear a lot about community. Seth Godin obviously wrote the book called Tribes, groups of people with a common interest, that may be problem solving with a brand or just a passion.
Obviously, you’re involved, yet associated with that in terms of the public social networks. Are you also observing a trend for some of that to migrate back to maybe a home base, whether that’s on the company’s our website or even, you think back to the original forums and chat rooms? What’s your sense of where the market’s going for that broad topic?
Joshua: Yes. I didn’t mention this earlier, but we’ve actually just released another product, our new product called CROWDS, which is all around enabling peer-to-peer service on top of social media. I really believe in the power of community to help decrease your overall customer service costs and increase customer satisfaction. If you can tap into your brand advocates and brand experts to help other customers, it’s an amazingly powerful model. But so far that model is only really existed on forums, which we talked about with a kind of snigger. “Oh, forums are this is archaic technology. Who uses forums anymore?” There are people who use them, but it’s decreasing.
If you do look at the younger generation, and we’ve actually done our own direct consumer research on this, they’re much more likely to take an issue to a social media site, which is on their mobile, it’s real time, than they are to go to a forum. If you think about it, there’s been this big change which is continuing in how people use the internet. You used to have this pool model, where you have to go and search for, find the information, find the answer that you needed. You searched for a forum, go to a forum, it’s register account, post the thing, hope someone will answer, whereas we’ve been gradually shifting to this push model of the internet, where the answers are coming to you.
Our vision is that we can bring the community to the people. Get your community of experts and rather than having the people have to come and find them and ask them, let’s find the people who are tweeting the questions or posting the issues, and bring your community back close to them and have them answer them. You can just go and tweet about the issue you’re having with your products or whatever, and a peer who’s an expert on that product will come and answer your question within minutes, without you having to go and search them out. That’s what really, I believe, is the future, is helping them move that same model, the power of a community, by taking them to that mobile, social era, and bring the community to the people.
Adam: Great. Look, pulling, I guess, all of the above together, Josh, as we move to the wrap up, what are the key trends you’re seeing, I suppose, within the Conversocial business and the broader social media customer service marketplace?
Joshua: Yeah. I think we’ve just touched on the two biggest ones, which is mobile messaging. I’m super excited by this. I really believe that over the next few years, social media and mobile messaging together will completely replace the amount of live chat as a service channel. As a result, they’ll also change the nature of customer service — more customers focused, at the time the customers need it. It forces service to be a really distinctive part of a company’s brand because it becomes so visible, and no company can hide behind it anymore. I’m super excited by this overall just shift in mobile, which social’s actually part of that, mobile messaging is part of that, and I really think they’re going to become the biggest service channels. And then towards that, I’m most excited about this wider part of community and peer-to-peer service, and how that’s also going to move into this social and mobile era. That’s two of the biggest.
Adam: Great stuff. Josh, I feel like, as ever, we’ve only scratched the surface on some really important and deep topics. I’d love to keep going, but I want to just be respectful of your time. Thank you very much for your perspectives. Before I let you go, we do like to lighten things up a little bit at the end of the EchoJunction podcast. Are you all set and ready for the quick fire round?
Joshua: I am. Let’s go.
Adam: Hang on to your hats. Josh March, founder and CEO of Conversocial, if you could only use one social network for any purpose for the next 30 days, which would you choose and why?
Joshua: I thought about this and it’s going to be Twitter. It’s really one of the most important or the most important source for me of industry news and information. A lot of my colleagues or friends are on it who I think I engage with, I can even share my funny photos on there, for one. The only issue I have with it is that my mum won’t see my updates. She’s will be upset.
Adam: Which could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the update. Thanks. Question 2, Josh, what is the most influential an impactful business book you’ve ever read?
Joshua: Again, I have to really think hard about this. There’s so many, but I want to say Innovator’s Dilemma. The reason for that is that it gives a really strong intellectual framework, so deciding whether you should start a business or not, and which industry and how you go after it. It really provided the framework for how I started Conversocial.
Adam: Okay, that’s interesting. Sorry, the author of that book, Josh?
Joshua: Christenten, I’ll send you a link. I can talk into detail about it, but it’s a highly recommend book for any, yeah, Clayton Christensen.
Adam: Okay, I’ll link that up in the show notes. That’s interesting and that’s was really the trigger for what you’ve gone on to doing in Conversocial. It’s obviously an important book in your journey. Final question, Josh, question 3, you mentioned on Twitter, you’re using it for a number of purposes, but who is some of the top influences you personally follow on social media?
Joshua: Yes. I choose Elon Musk is one of my favor entrepreneurs and really building the future. Dan Primack is a journalist from Fortune, who’s really the kind of go to all of the deals of financings that are happening in tech. Benedict Evans, who is an analyst and venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz, a really great VC firm and also someone I actually knew personally from my time in London and who just has some of the best insight into the changing nature of tech in mobile.
Adam: Fantastic, look again. Great recommendations, I’ll link those up in the show notes. Look, Josh, thank you once again for your time. I’ve really enjoyed the chat and really appreciate it. Before I let you go, just let people know where they can best find about your activities online and the Conversocial business.
Joshua: Yeah, absolutely. Best place, obviously, is come to our website, conversocial.com. Follow us on Twitter @conversational and @joshuamarch.
Adam: Great stuff. Thanks for being with me, Josh.
Joshua: No problem. Thanks, Adam, great speak.
Adam: There we go, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Joshua March, founder and CEO of Conversational. I hope you enjoyed the interview and took a lot of learnings out of it. I know I certainly did. It was great to chat to Josh and as of… we’ve touched on in previous podcast and I’ve certainly blogged about I do think customer service is absolutely an increasingly important point of focus, and yet, within the marketing function and certainly in terms of enterprise use cases for social media. We’re certainly seeing that trend growing in the markets. It’ll be interesting to see what Josh talked about, in terms of messenger platforms and how the social customer service space evolves in the coming months.
Check out the show notes for this interview with Joshua March of Conversocial.