Q&A: Tejal Patel, head of social commerce and performance, Nokia

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A former e-commerce guru, Tejal Patel now applies her performance marketing and accountability smarts to Nokia's social campaigns.

Q: What app are you most addicted to?

A: Probably 4th & Mayor, which is a Foursquare app that allows me to check in. Everyone thinks I'm really obsessed with checking in. I really like City Lens…. It allows me to see what's around me and find interesting places to go.

Q: If you weren't doing your job now, what do you think you would be doing?

A: My background is in e-commerce, so I'd probably still be doing something related to that.

Q: Is that how you got into the mobile and social space?

A: My whole background's been in the entire performance marketing side. E-commerce is of course about marketing. When I joined Nokia, I was in a slightly more broad, more strategic role. When the global-social team started coming together and getting new people in, I was brought in specifically because I have an e-commerce background. I don't have a social background. What I could bring was the performance element, the accountability side, the measurement side. How can you bring all those principals of e-commerce into social? It's about bringing a bit more science into social. I think that's really important. That's what 2013 is about I think for everyone who works in social: How do you bring a bit of science to it? Yes it's about creativity and we keep that going and measure it, but you've got to balance that with a bit of science.

Q: What's the secret science formula to social?

A: Social CRM is a big thing, and the companies that get that right will be successful. But the next thing is social optimization. How do you know what posts, at what time of day, with what kind of words are the most exceptional for you versus something else?  What is the information that you have in what social channels displayed in what kind of way will give you the best kind of conversion. Those are the types of conversations you need to have internally as a social team to really get the full value social has…. We know what the levers are. Now, it's what do we need to turn up [and] turn down to get the results?

Q: What social channel are you most addicted to?

A: Twitter. I don't use Facebook that much. I'm more of an observer on Facebook. I'm more of a participator on Twitter.

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