Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
About: John is a creative thinker who has achieved significant accomplishments in science, medicine, marketing, and the creative arts. He has been published in the American Heart Association and The American Journal of Physiology and has lectured at Harvard Medical School and The Fashion Institute of Technology. John blogs at http://www.johnnosta.com/ and is an Executive Vice President at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide
1. How did you get started in social media?
My involvement in social media was a very deliberate choice on my part. As a Chief Creative Officer for a large advertising agency, the digital writing was on the wall and it was essential that I embraced these changes. There were two key drivers. First off, it allowed my competence to grow and become more conversant in new media. Additionally, my involvement gave me a “stronger voice” in the advertising community and resulted in a direct increase in my value in the marketplace. The second driver was the business itself. My clients all were asking about web sites, Twitter, smart phones and alike and I felt that my responses were somewhat removed from the reality of the media–my replies were often canned and not based on direct experience. It became obvious to me that I needed to walk the walk and tweet the tweet. Finally, healthcare was a dynamic and growing part of our economy and business. It was a perfect market where ground-breaking innovations could provide powerful interactions and tools to save lives!
2. What does influence mean to you? Who influences you the most online?
Influence, for me, is the unspoken volume of your communication. And by volume, I mean the “intellectual loudness”. It’s the respect that you’ve earned by providing great content and value over time. And that’s important because the perception of WHO you are can be as important as WHAT you say. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there…is analogous to a brilliant blog post or tweet that no one reads!
I’m influenced by a lot of people and engagement peaks my interest right away. People who retweet or comment on my posts / blogs always get my undivided attention. It might spark a relationship or just fade, but you have to “be there” and “be social”. I’m also greatly influenced by “thought-leaders” in various areas. These are the big thinkers and have the established equity that draws me in. And the secret here is that I don’t limit these personal influencers to a specific topic or category. I get great ideas from physics, art and news—all applied to my area of healthcare communications. The real magic for me is when I make a connection with a thought-leader and build a new relationship. And marketing tells us that the most powerful influencer is one in your specific social network. That’s certainly true for me! Today, I have a robust relationship with physicians, patients, scientists, creative thinkers to names a few. And this makes me a much more informed healthcare marketer.
3. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their online presence to the next level?
Taking your online presence to the next level is all about building your own personal brand! And branding is something we actually do every day. From the clothes we wear to the words we voice–it all builds a personality that we project into the world. In traditional brand-building, typography is sometimes referred to as the “voice of the brand”. The type face becomes the deep and credible voice of a news reporter or the light and airy tone of a small child. Each word strikes a creative cord that defines us. After all, different people can utter the exact phrase yet articulate completely different messages! Now today, we see the emergence of the e-brand–an electronic personality that establishes you (and your brand) in the e-world…and by extension, the real world (if there really is any difference!). Twitter is your speaking voice, in real-time and broken up in short conversations. It’s not your college essay, it’s not your carefully worded press-release, it’s your short burst of personality.
Connect with John on Twitter at @JohnNosta