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How I use social media for my business - Interview with Viv Oyolu

Who are you and what is your business all about

My name is Viv Oyolu and I’m a radio presenter of my own show called Dream Corner. Dream Corner is dedicated to inspiring women of all ages to follow their dreams and passion. On the show I interview female entrepreneurs and leaders in the City.

Tell us about Dream Corner – how did it come about and what have the milestones been?

Right the from the age of 12/13, I’d wanted to be a radio presenter, but never pursued that dream or told anyone about it. I went to university and got a degree in Marketing, gained some business experience and then went on to do an MBA at Durham University Business School. I worked at a few Blue chip companies such as Thames Water, Walt Disney, RBS, Barclaycard, and BMW before I took a sabbatical and went off in 2005 to New York for 5 months to volunteer with an organisation that works with inner city children and young adults. Came back, set up my Social Enterprise, but in 2011, when I lost a much needed contract to keep the business going, I was devastated and two chance conversations with friends led me to an opportunity to fulfill my 30 year old dream. I sent in a proposal to the then OnFM Radio who were looking for non-experienced wanna-be radio presenters.
My proposal was to present Dream Corner (I had given the show a name from the start); they loved it and asked me to come to do a live test run, and as soon as I spoke into the microphone, I knew I’d come home! When we got off air 20 minutes later, the lady said I was a natural and asked when I wanted to start. I started the next week and haven’t looked back! My 2nd anniversary is on June 8th.
One milestone was being featured in the Sunday Telegraph in July last year. Made me realise how far I’d come – truly a great moment. Another one was hitting the 200 interview mark! So many special women have opened up to me and shared their journeys – their remarkable stories. I’m a very lucky girl!

Who else works with you in your team?

At the moment I work alone.

What are the main social media channels you use and how do you use them?

I use the major ones – Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. I use them to share my interviews. These days I don’t necessarily share the same interview on the same platforms. A blog I wrote the other day got a lot of responses through Google+ and Twitter which was brilliant. I still haven’t shared it on Facebook.

Do you get help with social media or do you do it yourself?

At the moment I do all my social media myself, but would be looking to outsource that hopefully soon.

What technology / tools are you using in your business (studio, recording equipment, blog, productivity tools)

When OnFM went off air last year, I had to find another way to keep Dream Corner alive – my dream of being a radio presenter alive. I was advised to get a Zoom H2n recorder which is fantastic! Portable and records very well. I don’t have a studio anymore, but found the Royal Festival Hall to be a great place to interview. I’ve learnt how to manage background noises. I’m there every week – much to the annoyance of some people who I have to tell to keep their voice down which I’m interviewing!
Dropbox is invaluable to me! Can’t believe I survived without it!
I use Wavepad to edit my interviews; it maybe a bit basic, but it does the job excellently!
I notice you have been quite active on Google Plus – tell us your experiences with that?
I love Google+! It is by far the best social media for me and Dream Corner! I haven’t been on any training yet, and have learnt everything I know now, by reading about it – I use that term ‘reading’ very loosely because I usually stumble upon articles and then I read. I’ve learnt how to create circles and how to use them. I have 4 main circles – My Dream Corner friends (guests or people I think would be interested in knowing who I interview on the show!), Google Buddies (who I’ve met and like on Google +, and possibly have me in their circles), acquaintances and people I follow – like organisations. I use the DM sometimes (not too often, so I don’t annoy them!) to those in the Dream Corner circles and just send to the others.
The beauty is something called ‘extended circles’, which Google has (not sure how that works really – yet!), but my posts reach a good number of people each time I send out something; and I think it’s because extended circles is everyone else’s circles.

What results for your business have social media brought you?

Social media has been a great help for me! Twitter is very useful to find and be found. On Google+, I find that I’m averaging 2-3 people adding me into their circles a day, and that extends my reach further.
The Google+ audience is very different from Twitter and Facebook I find; they are more engaging and responsive which is brilliant for me. I pick and choose what I think they would like or respond to. Not every post gets a ‘+1’, but most do. Some people ‘RT’ my tweets, but you just never know who’s listening and watching. It’s only when you bump into people in real life, you get a glimpse. I was at an event and someone heard my voice, turned round and tapped me on my shoulder saying I know you from somewhere! It turned out she had listened to one of my interviews with a friend of hers!

What are your plans for this year for your marketing and how do they interlink with your business goals?

Marketing will be central to everything I’m doing, especially during the transition Dream Corner is going through. It is no longer a free service, so that’d change they way I’d market it. To date, I haven’t done any kind of marketing for the show – my guests have been my best advocates – they are fantastic, and I’m grateful to them! They are constantly recommending other fab women for me to interview – just this week a guest has taken the time to email me details of 3 women she thinks would be great for the show! I use the social media tools to share the interviews which is great for those who want to share them amongst their own online communities.

What’s next for you and your business?

As I mentioned Dream Corner is no longer free, but that’s not going to stop me expanding. I’d be looking to interview female entrepreneurs for my Across Borders series which would be starting in the coming months.
Also I have set up another venture called Audio Byte where I provide audio interviews and podcasts for authors, businesses and event organisers.

How has your use of social media affected the way you do business?

I can honestly say social media has helped me and Dream Corner grow to where we are now – without a doubt! The barriers are broken down with social media! People are more receptive – well most people are, to being approached. I don’t take it personally if people don’t because I know someone else will. I have made many great connections on social media, and they in turn introduce me and or mention me to other people they think would be useful and helpful. Also social media allows to me to say what I want (within reason of course!), but to broadcast what I think is relevant to me, my business and online communities.

Can you see any trends/patterns from the activity you have seen from your social media? (interactions/reactions/conversations)

On Facebook, I notice that my audience really like and respond to quotes I put out. They get shared and my insights show how far they reach. Not so much with the interviews, so I post interviews less and less on Facebook, but use Google+ and Twitter for them. I find that I spend more time on Google+ these days because of the quality of posts that people share and the way it is laid out. Think Google have a hit with it and the integration with my email contacts is brilliant. Having said that I still love Twitter and will not give it up because it is easier to follow people within my area of business and to be seen by people who could be great business contacts. There are certain businesses that are not on Google+ yet, but on Twitter, so I will always use it to make those connections.

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