Page Banner

Expert Interview #1 :: Bobby Rettew

Bobby Rettew, Storyteller“Expert Interview” is a new series of posts I am planning to do over the coming year. My plan is to ask the same questions of industry experts I come in contact with and see how the answers evolve with each person and as time passes.

Today marks the start of this project and I could not think of anyone better to help me kick it off than my good friend and new dad, Bobby Rettew


Name: Bobby Rettew
Title: Storyteller
Twitter: @BobbyRettew

Q: So tell me a bit about your background. How did you find yourself dealing with social media and new technologies on a regular basis?

I am a documentary storyteller where I work with groups to find and tell stories using video. Back in 2006, I was working with Greenville Hospital System (GHS) delivering targeted video messages via email. We were creating 90 second messages delivered via email with a link in the email which launched a landing page that held the video. This allowed us to track email open rates, click throughs, and the amount of time a video was watched.

When Twitter was emerging in 2007 & 2008, I created a few twitter accounts based on locations in upstate of South Carolina (@greenville_info, @anderson_info where Greenville and Anderson are cities). I started building a community of followers providing RSS feeds of information from local newspapers into the respective accounts. Then, when we would release a video message via email from GHS, where it pertained to one of these locations, I would tweet the message to one of these accounts. At the time, we were getting roughly a 35% open rate via emails yet the number of hits from the Twitter feeds to these video messages far exceeded the email clicks. So, I took this information to GHS and we started working together on a Social Media strategy for Twitter and Facebook.

Q: In your field what has been the biggest win for social media and new technologies?

Using YouTube and blogs together. Telling rich video stories then writing great blog posts about these videos is huge win. This provides a rich area to share your story, leverage the SEO from YouTube, and engage in a rich conversation around the blog post.

Q: As a follow up what is the next hurdle?

You have to be willing to find, create, and share rich stories via video. It is more that picking up a camera and shooting something, this content has to provide a rich experience. So you not only have to invest in the video content, but building a great blog platform with consistent content. If you can do this consistently over time….the sky is the limit when it comes to building a community.

Q: A year from now how do you hope social media has changed your job?

Mobile platforms are changing the way we do business. We have to be able to deliver quality content via mobile devices and do it in a way that still builds a community effort. Augmented Reality is going to be interesting, using mobile devices to share information in a new way is going to change the face of how we do business…it is the social space in real time using a visual medium. Combine augmented reality with the new 4G speeds…the sky is the limit…especially given the type of bandwidth necessary to share content.

Q: Finally, what is your favorite new app or device?

Love my iPhone4 and iPad…can’t wait for the new iPhone5? to come out next month.


What to be a part of the project? Drop me a line on Twitter and let me know!

– Reed

Author Info

Reed Smith