Q&A with a Corporate Blogger: Nick Ayres, The Home Depot

A good way to learn about a vital word of mouth tool — social media — is from the executives that run the blogs at the world’s biggest corporations. This week, we’re sitting down with them to get their thoughts about the broader issues and landscape of social media at the corporate level.

nick ayres


Nick Ayres, Interactive Marketing Manager for The Home Depot

Describe the key social media efforts at The Home Depot

Simply put, social media is a growing part of what we call our "digital orange apron." The big idea is that social media gives us the opportunity to not only recapture some of the ground we’ve lost in the minds of some of our customers, it also gives us the opportunity to engage with an entirely new set of customers in a way that can really differentiate our brand in the market place.

What do you love most about your job?

It’s a bit cliché but it really is something new every day. That’s true at The Home Depot, and is even more true in this space. I never really know what you’re going to walk in to. I also love the people I work with, and I love that at the end of the day we are offering products and services to help our customers make more of their homes. And honestly – it’s a lot of fun (though admittedly sometimes frustrating) to be in the middle of the social media storm at a company like The Home Depot.

What is the biggest challenge you face with social media?

I’ve had a hand in most of the "toe in" social media efforts we’ve undertaken in the last 18 months, and I’m part of a small group that is helping to craft the overall social computing / social media strategy for The Home Depot. We are currently engaged in or have done a series of "test the water" initiatives, including product ratings and reviews on homedepot.com, our Twitter presence, viral video contests, social bookmarking, video syndication to places like YouTube and Howcast, etc.

What advice do you have for marketers just beginning to utilize social media?

1. Find others at your company who are already passionate about the space and get them evangelizing.

2. Find a way to get some small wins, and use those those small wins to capture the imagination of an executive champion.

3. Don’t allow social media to be treated as a "campaign". The worst thing you can do is launch a social media "campaign" and then have your peers think you can walk away from it the way you might a TV or print ad. Social media is about building relationships, which takes time, energy and effort.

What are your three favorite blogs?

Hmmm, tough one. I really like Mashable. I like Mark Cuban’s blog for his candor… and Jeremiah Owyang’s blog is always a can’t miss. I’m also always on the look out for great new music, so I’m always looking for suggestions from the blogosphere.

BlogWell - How Big Companies Use Social Media - San Jose, CA - October 28th Meet Nick at BlogWell on October 28 in San Jose, where he will be presenting the case study: "You Can Do It. We Can (Still) Help: The Impact of Social Media for The Home Depot."

Get practical, how-to advice, a lesson in disclosure and corporate social media responsibility, and loads of ideas and examples – all for $200.

BlogWell is presented by GasPedal and the Blog Council.


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