Ep. 103 – A special episode from the SMMW19 conference in San Diego with Bea Pole-Bokor – from a professional diplomat working in UNESCO to a social media successful entrepreneur

Bea Pole-Bokor Show Notes

Bea Pole-Bokor is the Owner & Founder of B!Social

A professional diplomat by training, Bea has been successfully branding and promoting a country at top levels in the international scene before going digital and establishing B!Social.

She’s worked at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, as well as with marketing giant L’Oréal prior to moving to New Zealand.

With over 10 years of experience in communication, content creation, and events, she is now on a mission to share her passion for all things social.

Bea is an official LinkedIn Local host, a member of the Organizing Committee, and a speaker at the Social Media Conference New Zealand 2019.

Most Passionate About Today

  • I consider myself as a very social person. This was the reason I started my business, B!Social, which is all about social media and beyond. I help businesses leverage the power of social media to grow. I love it because it’s all about people. I used to be a diplomat before and that’s all about social networking, so I’m passionate about people, relationships, getting together and sharing our knowledge, inspiring each other, and growing together.

Social Media: Lonely vs. Social

  • I’m struggling with this question because I think everything has two sides, the pros and the cons. I see social media as an opportunity for businesses to leverage, to reach people, to talk to and with the people who matter to them the most. I feel this is a wonderful platform to create community and help people get together, but I’m also very much aware of the dark side of social, so to say.
  • In this world of digitalization, when we are always behind our screens and phones, I feel there is a massive disconnect, a process that’s happening with all of us; we’re getting over digitalized and less connected because everyone is using their devices and on the internet and it’s terrifying to see sometimes people chatting next to each other on their phones without really talking to each other.
  • So, as much as social media is a wonderful platform to connect people, and to get social, it also has the cons, which include really isolating people. So, it’s really about finding the balance and knowing how to use these platforms in a mature and responsible way, as a business and user.

Why did you make the switch to social media?

  • I think I tapped into something really deep in myself, what I really love, what I’m really good at, and what I would like to do. I saw an opportunity and said, I love social media, I’m always hanging out on social media, I keep in touch with my family and friends, I’m observing the trends and I said, there’s a need for this. There’s a need for people to understand how it really works and amazing opportunities for businesses, so I created my own business, and that’s the story of B!Social.

Who are you working with today? Who are your customers?

  • I started focusing on the local environment first because that’s where I wanted to connect with the people and that’s where I saw there’s a need for this kind of service, so I started locally and over time as the business grew, I’ve been expanding past the local region going more into the national and international scene. Social media is typically a thing that you can do all around the world because it’s digital, you can Skype, you can Zoom, you can Facetime, you can messenger call whatever you want, you can connect on different platforms, but I really enjoy working with local communities and real people, that’s what I love: working with people, in person, in real life.

How did you hear about SMMW?

  • I think I found out about SMMW on Facebook. I’m an avid believer of lifelong learning; I think there’s always something new to learn. I wanted to be in the place in the world where you can learn about this industry. I wanted to come and soak up the knowledge, be surrounded by experts who are living and breathing social media. They know what this space is about, they’ve been doing it for a long time and they’re happy to share their experience and knowledge and I wanted to be here and learn from the best so that I can take that back with me and give the best of my knowledge to the clients I serve.

What would be your best advice to entrepreneurs in regards to social media?

  • My best advice would be, and it’s very much connected to social media because in social media these days, you have the ability to shine your personality through and many of the presenters during the conference talked about overused words of authenticity, vulnerability, and also talking about, even if you’re a personal brand or a bigger company, your employees represent the brand. There’s always a face to the brand, the people behind it. There’s an opportunity to shine through and show who you really are.
  • Consumers are becoming more and more educated and aware. They can find out anything about you on the internet. They will check you out on social media. So, my number one tip is to really show what you have to offer, don’t fake it, don’t Photoshop it, don’t make it look different; be genuine in what you’re selling or offering and people who resonate with it will come to you, they will find you, they will love you for what you do.

What did you take from this conference?

  • I will take back with me that it’s all about relationships; it’s all about the people. Relationships matter a lot and right now, we’re using social media as an excellent tool. Those businesses that are not using social media right now, I encourage you to look at opportunities because it’s an excellent way to reach and spread your messages and communicate how you can make people’s lives better, richer, happier, and more comfortable, or whatever your product or service allows you to.
  • It’s really about the people. You really want to communicate with those people, not talk at them, but talk with them, engage with them, involve them, create a little community around your business; it’s not even about the numbers, it’s about the quality of those relationships because if you really connect with the right people, and know who you’re talking to and then speak the language they speak and you can have a dialog together, not a monologue.
  • There was a lot of talking about privacy this year, related to social media. I think it’s really important, and myself coming from a diplomatic background, where all information is confidential basically and you really have to know what you’re talking about, you need to take care of your customers and their privacy. You need to be transparent, you need to respect privacy and social media and privacy is a big question mark these days so I think that this is something I want to look at more when dealing with my own customers and also, I loved the human part of social media. A lot of people were emphasizing on that. As Mark Schaefer said: be more human, and the most human company will win.

What is Your Key Success Factor?

  • What enables me to succeed is really tapping into who I am and knowing myself. When I was able to tap into what I need, what I feel good with, how I can enjoy myself; it’s a constant journey, of course. But when I really realized who I am, and I was able to own myself, I think that helped me succeed because I could own who I am and I can really show the world who I am and not be shy or scared to show myself. It’s about over coming my personal fears that I could really be myself. I think that’s the success for me that I can share my knowledge without fear that I know that this is who I am and you see what you get. If you don’t like it, you’ll find someone else and we will just have fun with those who resonate with the tribe.

Bea’s Mountain

Since we believe that the best way for entrepreneurs to get a fast, big, and sustainable success is by leading your (new) market category, and the entire entrepreneurial journey reminds me of mountaineering, or conquering the mountain; I want to ask you if there is a mountain you dream of climbing or a mountain you have already climbed?

  • In New Zealand, people often, when they introduce themselves, they say that they have a mountain. I’m originally from Hungary, but I live in New Zealand now, and this somehow had such a strong affect on me because when we moved to New Zealand, New Zealand has a lot of volcanoes, and there’s this beautiful volcano called Rangitoto in Auckland and it’s scary but it looks exactly like a volcano in Hungary, by a lake where I used to spend my summer holidays and then there was this amazing link between the two volcanoes, both dormant now, that look basically exactly the same, so that’s one of my mountain stories because it’s related to me and I feel these both are my mountains, and climbing a mountain is also connected to volcanoes, I like climbing and one of the craziest adventures I’ve ever had was climbing Mt. Rangitoto in New Zealand, which was also featured in The Lord of the Rings, so I climbed Mt. Doom! It was an amazing experience and I recommend it to everyone who visits New Zealand.

The best way to connect with Bea

More resources for Entrepreneurs

  1. Don’t Miss – Customer Focus Strategy & Execution: Market Analysis for Fundraising
  2. Hayut Yogev’s Latest postSocial media can grow entrepreneurs’ success rate by hundreds percents
  3. Former interview: Entrepreneur Magazine put Josh Steimle on their 50 Inspirational Entrepreneurs to Watch and Forbes recognized him as one of 25 Marketing Influencers To Watch In 2017, And yet he says “If I’ve had any success, I’ve had 10 times as many failures”

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