Interview with Leo Morejon
Today we had the pleasure of talking to social media, world-record-breaking legend, Leo Morejon! Not only is he famous for groundbreaking posts, but he is a marketing guru and professional public speaker.
Nicole Scott: Thank you so much for chatting with us Leo about your amazing impacts on social media and marketing. Let’s dive right in and get to what is potentially your most globally recognized achievement. Everyone knows you for your world-record-setting Oreo tweet during the Superbowl. Did you expect the reaction it received? Do you believe this catapulted you into more interesting social projects or was it just a pleasant surprise?
Leo Morejon: It’s my pleasure to be chatting with you and it’s always an honor to be asked. I don’t think there will be a day I’ll get used to this! It’s a fortunate place to be for sure. The Oreo Super Bowl Blackout Tweet was certainly a team effort and I know none of us expected it to get the reaction it did, so certainly a pleasant surprise, and it has opened up so many doors for a lot of us.
Fun Fact: That one technically didn’t set any official records that I know of. About three years before the Blackout Tweet we did get the first-ever Guinness World Record for social media. It was for “Most Likes on a Facebook Post” within 24 hours. I’ll send you a picture of when we received the certificate. What’s funny is I’m still friends with the officiator. He’s in the picture giving the award to Stufy, the Oreo mascot. I gave him a ride home in my car from Nabisco’s HQ in NJ, and we haven’t lost touch.
I also still have the plaque hanging on my wall.
NS: Do you wonder where you would be or how your path would have developed had this accomplishment not occurred? Or, do you think you would have achieved your goals regardless, having perhaps set another social media world record instead?
LM: I’ve never really thought about how my life would be different, to be honest. I’d like to think I would still be able to do the things I’ve done or am doing, it would just not have been as fast. This reminds me of how fortunate I’ve been.
NS: Since most people are aware of your work with Oreo, tell our readers some of the other work you’ve been involved in you’re most proud of. In your opinion, what are the facets of Leo Morejon people don’t see nearly enough?
LM: I will forever love talking about and working in social media. That said, I consider myself a business person and team-leader more than anything else.
I ran large teams at 360i and other places. I’ve been part of early-stage technology companies, the most notable one being the social media management tool we used at 360i to manage Oreo, Hot Wheels, Coca-Cola, and other major brands (Expion, which was purchased by Sysomos and then Meltwater). I also was responsible for that partnership while at 360i, co-selling, building new features, and more.
As a member of the leadership team running Client Strategy at Expion, I did everything from sales, training and change management to launching and staffing our London office. It’s work that I am very proud.
NS: You aren’t just a social media and marketing guru, you’re also a speaker, from everything to motivational to entertaining. How do you translate your marketing and social media expertise into public speaking? What part of the translation from one medium (the computer) to another (the stage) do you find most rewarding?
LM: At JWT and 360i I had a joke I would tell co-workers, “I’m too social for social media,” so to me I think it’s really the opposite. I translate my love for connecting with people, entertaining, and building relationships in the “real world” into the online world. In both worlds it’s all about connecting with people and inspiring them, and this translates into my duties as a podcast host, too.
NS: If you weren’t already an accomplished marketer with a thick resume of accomplishments, educator is also on that list--being an instructor at West Virginia University and Iowa State. What have your students taught you about your work?
LM: Students teach me so much… maybe too much? Haha – I joke because I find myself learning something from them daily, and I’m like, “Wait a second, these students probably think I don’t know anything!” It’s always a fun experience.
To answer your question, teaching students has cemented my belief in learning and understanding the fundamentals. Of course new platforms are ever-changing and the features on those platforms are evolving, but teaching how to pick the right platforms, how to develop strategies, planning, and so on, those are the things you can pass along that are vital skills.
NS: As someone deeply embedded into social media and marketing, you know the trends. You’ve seen the changes happen. What do you expect to happen in the future? What do you hope will happen?
LM: Social networks and communities are becoming more niche. Meaning, instead of having a platform where people are connecting because they know one another for any reason, they’re connecting because of a specific reason: they like the same sports team, car, or have the same hobby. This has been happening for a long time and it’s only growing. Think Facebook Groups, public Slack channels, and so on.
NS: To close us out, let’s dream big: what is a social media or marketing world record, existing or not, you want to champion?
LM: I want to see records broken where social media is being used for a social or political good – whatever that may be. Social media is a powerful tool, it has the power to connect, unite, and help us become better as people across the world.