Batman, Khaled El-Ahmad, A Human Mind With a Coaching Superpower!

Tactix - Khaled El-Ahmad Blog Interview about Social Media

Is social media a revolution?

Yes, it has definitely revolutionized the way we interact and do business. Before social media happened, we would turn on the evening news, read the newspaper or tune into a radio show. Nowadays, all those channels have been replaced with the growing social media trend.

I greatly welcome the new way of communicating as we “the people” have the knowledge & the tools to generate our own content and this is becoming more credible as time pass by, for example when you want to travel you search for Reviews (User Generated Content) and would not care much for Ads (Brand Content).
They say “online content is the new democracy.” – and its right!

What’s your favorite social media platform?

At first it was Twitter but now I’m more interested in Facebook as it is more confined environment

What are your strengths and weaknesses in social media?

I am not a good social media community manager in terms of outsource nor do I have the time to be one. However, I do have a talent in teaching individuals how to properly manage a Facebook page in a clear and simple way.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in social media? How did you solve it?

One day I came across a group making anti comments about an international event held in Jordan. They considered themselves to be more creative; I made a few jokes about the self-proclaimed choice of the term creative but they didn’t share my sense of humor and the matter escalated. Maybe I should have been more careful about what I tweeted, but it was funny at that time, in fact, it still is!

If I had dealt with it in-person and not via online hashtags, I’m sure it would have been easier to resolve. Which gave me a great lesson to learn, avoid sharing / posting / tweeting negative content as it would not look good later on.

How do you manage being online all the time? Does it affect your personal life?

It became a way of life for me! I’m online even when I’m asleep!

Since you consider yourself a social media guru, what is the next big thing?

The next big thing is the Internet of Things (IoT). It is about adding all our offline data online, and giving it a personal touch. In turn, all ads will be customized to meet users specific interests.

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How do you handle criticism?

Oh I love it! as long as it’s constructive. I am constantly on an inward journey of improvement, so criticism is always welcome.

What kind of event can you not say “no” to?

I would have to say the New Think Festival.

Will we one day be able to attend an event for a company and then another day an event for their competitor?

This depends on how many factors are at play. First of all, if both corporations rely heavily on social media, then it would not be appropriate to go to the second event if it was their first tweetup.
If both companies are using social media to raise brand awareness, , then of course there would be conflict.
Although, I honestly don’t blame the “tweeps” but rather I blame the companies for not doing their homework.

Who is managing their social media presence the right way?

There is a 17-year-old named Abood Al Omari on Vine, that I really enjoy following. He produces comic vine videos and is skilful in videography. Not too long ago, he made a video that went viral on Twitter in a matter of days. I see great potential in the guy but I sincerely advise him not sell his videos for a low price with the aim of attaining commercial publicity.

What do you think of people who pay to get more followers?

It is a dying trend. Nowadays, it’s obvious that it is a strategy that tends to backfire.

How do you measure success on social media?

Engagement! Engagement!

How can you tell that a social media campaign has failed?

It all depends on the type of the campaign. For instance, if it’s a sales campaign, we would have to determine if the campaign’s primary objectives were met, if not, it obviously failed.

How is it different working for the Prime Minister than it is for Zain?

Let’s start from the beginning. Back in 2009 I was approached by a certain company for employment but it never worked out because my salary expectations were too high. Shortly afterwards, the prime minister’s office contacted me requesting an interview. They were impressed with my extensive knowledge of social media and I was hired on the spot as their Digital Media Director.

At that time the prime minister was Samer Al Rifaie. He was very enthusiastic about the social media boom and I was delighted to be working with him. But shortly after he left, things began to lose their momentum.

After a time of freelance consultations, I decided one random night to email the CEO of Zain to chitchat about Social Media and I wrote about the present state of social media at Zain and the potential progress and how can I be of value to the organization. A year later destiny was on my side and I was interviewing for a job at Zain to lead their new in-house social media department.

Describe your relationship with Zain?

The boss man truly believes in me.
He expects top results and that is what I continue to promise.
I’m blessed with a passionate team.

Who is Zain’s main competitor on Social Media?

None! We have a team of dedicated social media experts who create highly engaging content for both online and offline distribution.  Plus, we have an outstanding CEO who continues to inspire us and a true believer in the power of Social Media.

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Are you afraid that someday someone might come and take your place and job in Social Media?

Being a social media specialist is not a personal ambition, but I’d love to see more people pursuing careers in social media the right one.

Everyone will eventually have his own piece of the cake.

In your opinion, who is a good social media trainer?

Jawdat Shamas is a good trainer and very technical.

Social media trainers should always be generous in sharing the information.

How annoying is it that everybody knows you?

Very. I get tons of messages asking me to help promote a certain project or campaign, but no matter how tiresome it gets, I always try to remain polite and respond and help everyone.

What skills you should have to be online “influencer” ?

I would have to say influencers because they have found their true passion and work to help others. People are always seeking their advice and looking to benefit from their many years of experience.

Is success depends on the content or the technology?

In terms of content creation, one should make sure that s/he has a real interest in it and always look to add value.

Do you regret starting “tweetup” events here in Jordan?

Not at all. I know I started it at the right time.

The first two tweetups that I did for Zain were very successful, I still hear people talking about them from time to time. We wanted to add a human touch to the brand so I came up with about 20 tweeps doing so.
We wanted to amaze people in every way possible.  We placed SM logos and stickers all around Zain and gave guests the grand tour. They learned about all departments and their precise functionalities and even had the chance to take customer calls.

The 2nd tweetup that took place in Wadi Rum was a huge success as well about tourism.

In your opinion, should companies hire based on pervious experience or based on education?

To be a successful community manger you need to have one of two skills: either you’re good at creating content or passionate about design, but you must choose one.

Sadly, some active social media experts tend to be preoccupied with their own brand that they fail to look elsewhere for inspiration.

Do you follow your kids’ accounts?

Yes, and I have specific rules that they must abide by.

First, they are not allowed to add anyone on Facebook without reporting to me unless it’s a classmate.

Secondly, they are only allowed to be online for no longer than two hours on weekends.

They have also agreed to give me their password to check their accounts whenever I wish to.

Lastly, no personal pictures are to be shared without informing me first.

What do you have to say about users stealing content?

It used to really irk me, but not anymore. Now, I try to advise people to make sure that the content is at least credible before posting.

What organization do you support and why?

I’ve been following the King Hussein Cancer Centre’s activities as well as Tkiyet Um Ali, and they’re both maintaining great online presence. I am proud to be an avid supporter of both organizations as they continue to improve the lives of many.

What and accounts do you follow?

I am a huge fan of the Gary Vee Show and am very impressed with AlMarai’s Instagram account.