Personal Branding Interview: Amber MacArthur

Today, I spoke to Amber MacArthur, who is a new media host/producer, strategist, speaker, and author of Power Friending. In this interview, Amber talks about her new book, how to stand out, how to show ROI in social media, and more.

What is “Power Friending” and how did you get the idea for the name?

I got the idea of “Power Friending” when I was thinking about how the Internet has changed the definition of a friend and how important it was for businesses to learn more about this changing definition.  When practicing social media, it’s key to work hard and push the boundaries, so I think the “Power” reference is significant.

What makes you stand out amongst the new media crowd? What do you recommend to others who are having difficulty standing out?

I’ve been participating in social media for most of my career. As far as having trouble standing out, I think it’s important to communicate in the social media space on a regular basis.  Consistency is the only way you will see results.  Think of practicing social media like going to the gym; if you only go once a week, chances are you won’t get the body you want.

Why are so many people having trouble showing real business value when it comes to social media?

I think a lot of businesses are looking for a return on investment in the form of money, but the reality is that social media is simply another way to market and it’s difficult to calculate direct ROI.  However, there is definitely return on engagement.  In other words, you can build community and loyalty, which leads to sales.

What success stories have you seen for personal and corporate brands?

Zappos is perhaps one of best examples of social media done well, so I encourage everyone online to learn from them.  From listing employee tweets on their website to their CEO’s active online life, Zappos has grown from the inside out.  They’ve made social media a priority inside the company, so it’s been easier to build community externally.

How have you developed your own personal brand and turn it into a book deal with Portfolio?

I’ve always tried to have a strong presence online and respond to emails, messages, tweets, etc. with a personal touch. As for my book deal with Portfolio, the timing was right for me since I have turned my new media expertise into a career on the speaking circuit and a book is a natural fit.  Portfolio represents many great authors in the digital space, so I’m honored that they signed me on.

Amber MacArthur is a new media host/producer, strategist, and speaker. She is the author of Power Friending. Most recently Amber worked at Citytv as its New Media Specialist in 2006, reporting on new media and interactive news and trends on a national news program and hosting/producing Webnation, a half-hour current affairs program about internet culture. Prior to Citytv, Amber spent two years working as a TV host/producer with tech guru Leo Laporte at G4techTV, a national television channel entirely devoted to technology. Amber also developed “commandN,” a popular video podcast that covers online and offline technology trends. Aside from experience in the broadcast industry, Amber spent four years as a web strategist at Razorfish and software start-up HigherMarkets, both in San Francisco. She also worked as a web strategy manager for Microsoft Canada, but she is a Mac fan at heart.