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SOCIAL MEDIA BEYOND THE BASICS – YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

By Jo Petroccia     

We’re getting an amazing response to our Lockdown & Learn series of webinars and workshops. It’s great see so many of you getting involved. One of the upshots of this is that we ran out of time to take all your questions on the recent webinar: Social Media Beyond The Basics.

However, that doesn’t mean we’ve left them unanswered. So, if you attended the webinar and we weren’t able to take your question on the day, read on to see Jamie’s answers ….

Q: Social media marketing has been popular for quite a few years now. do you think SM marketing is here to stay or will it die down eventually?

A: I think users are hyper sophisticated on social and they know the role that brands can and should play in their social feed. As long as brands and marketers are smart about the ways that brands can play in the space then it’s far too powerful a tool to be going anywhere soon.

Q: Are influencers still THAT important to people’s marketing plans?

A: It’s true that a few years ago every single brief we received asked for a breakdown of our approach to influencers. The massive entities have now costed themselves out of a lot of marketing. However, there’s no denying that there is still value in influencer marketing – if it’s done right. It has to be authentic, it has to be the right influencer and the right brand, there’s also levels of influencers. Think about working with multiple micro influencers who connect your brand to audiences rather than one big paid post.

Q: Do you think there are certain industries that benefit more from influencer marketing than others?

I think that the health and fitness industry is an ideal fit because the use-case for the audience is about sharing stories. I also think the parent market is a great space to play with personalities for exactly the same reason. I think it depends on the influencer and the strategy – we’re far beyond the need to invite every youtuber to a premierre, If that’s part of your strategy do something interesting with them that will engage their audience.

Q: What are your thoughts on how brands behaved in social media in relation to #blackouttuesday – the good the bad?

I think the good examples show the importance of listening – knowing when it’s your turn to speak. The conversation around the use of the BLM hashtag was fascinating – people flooding the feed with black squares when the hashtag needed to be used for sharing resources and helping. I think in these situations it’s no longer enough to pay lip service and share a black square and say no more – users see right through that in an instance. It’s in action and going beyond ‘thoughts and prayers’ style platitudes that matter. So Tuesday was interesting but people will be waiting to see what those brands say and do next Tuesday and beyond.

Q: What’s your view on the saturation of posts we’ve seen related to COVID-19 from brands, and how do you think they could have harnessed social better in response to the pandemic?

A: Funny you should ask! We produced a couple of resources recently about exactly this. Some brands have done an exceptional job at pivoting in the crisis – in particular sports brands. For me the main takeaway in the pandemic is to stop the selling – people are using social to connect with loved ones and hear about the latest news, they don’t then want brands shoving products in their faces. The brands that have done this well understand their audience and have shifted the ratio so that the majority of comms have been about community building. The phrase I keep using is ‘helping is selling’ getting the balance right now will keep you front of mind in the future when we’re all allowed out again.

Q: Why shouldn’t you post the same copy and content on all your social accounts?

A: Firstly, the audiences expect different things on different channels. Secondly the platforms all offer value in different areas (FB for community, TW for conversation, IG for inspiration). I’m not suggesting it ALL has to be radically different but it’s about the approach. A valuable strategy will take these things into consideration.

Q: If you have a really broad audience do you HAVE to segment them all across platforms? How do you reach them all?

A: I would suggest that to try and reach everyone you may end up reaching no one. However, if you have a broad audience and you ARE reaching them all on all of your platforms – then great. I’d ask how successful that reach is and would like to discuss what success actually looks like. I’d also want to dig into what the objective of your social is – is it to sell product? Therefore, I’d like to look at how effective it is. There’s no silver bullet – no one way of winning on social but there are definitely ways to make good social better.

Q: For a brand that is launching ( no awareness or presence ) how would you suggest we go about it , harnessing social media ? What role can social media play .

A: Certainly starting from a standing start is hard. My first advice would be to go incrementally – pick one channel (the one your audience are on) and start there. Dependent on the brand it’s unlikely that Twitter will be the right fit – it requires LOADS of resource. Facebook is great for selling and building community (the ad tools are unparalleled) and Instagram is great for inspiration. I think it’s about getting people through the phases – building awareness first, then engaging the fans and getting them to consider your brand and only then pushing for sales or conversion of any kind.

Q: What if your brand is a glazing company – how do you think like a fan of something really dull?

A: That’s a really tricky one. As an agency we try and go after brands that we’re already passionate about (I know that’s not always possible). In the case of glazing it’s a really good point and I’d probably swerve the question by saying that this then comes down to the strategy. What value would you get from being on Facebook or Instagram as a glazing company? You then need to think like a fan and consider what those people are doing on those platforms and how the values of the brand and the objectives of the business can be met by fitting into the lives of those users.

Q: People follow people – how does that help brands who AREN’T people?

A: What I’m talking about is a mindset or a strategy. As mentioned, people are searching for brands on social so why shouldn’t they follow them? The reason you WOULDN’T follow them is if you’re constantly sold to or they don’t say anything that makes them care.

Q: What if agility is not within the budget?

A: It’s true that being on social ALL THE TIME tracking for trends and conversations requires a lot of resource. There are ways to ‘plan’ agility – looking for times of the year (seasonal, based around events) where you can get your reactions worked out ahead of time. There’s also a wider conversation about what is important as a brand and potentially being on top of trending topics is not a consideration. If that’s the case, then there’s a conversation about where you put resource. Down-weight Twitter or don’t focus on the platform at all. Surely it’s better to hone the message and get fewer platforms right than try and run every platform and do none of them particularly well.

Q: How are brands agile?

A: Massive brands like Dominoes and Burger King – for example – are able to be agile because the brands believe in the value of it and allocate resource. They have clearly worked out the quickest sign-off route, they have resource on standby, they are monitoring for the news stories that they can jump on. They have got their tone of voice locked down (think of the Burger King tweet responding to Kanye West) and whoever is on the frontline is either in-house or that agency is embedded with the client.

Q: Is running competitions always a bad idea?

A: Absolutely not – but relying on them for spikes of engagement is.

Q: What tools do you recommend using?

A: Sprout, Sysomos, Brandwatch, Infegy, buffer, pulsar. Some good, some not. It’s worth looking into them and doing some research to make sure they’re right for you and your needs. Ultimately though, there’s no better tool than human insight. It doesn’t matter how good the data is if you’re interpreting it wrong.

Q: What are the roles and responsibilities of social teams for these things?

A: The way we work we don’t have an account team. All of the guys from strategy, paid and creative have contact and input on the clients – we want the person with the answers to our clients’ questions to be the ones to talk to them. However, there are certainly clear delineations. When it comes to mapping out a long-term strategy this should be done by the strategists in collaboration with the client. We need to find the ways that we can deliver against client objectives using the tools on social.

Q: What are the best ways to test the approach?

A: We report weekly on post-performance, monthly on channel performance and quarterly on strategy performance – that doesn’t mean we wait 3 months to change things. We’re constantly tracking and shifting to make sure things are work. Like I said – 21 days to form a habit so be patient but don’t wait to make tweaks. With paid we will give an ad about 24 hours to run and gather results and then make adjustments and optimise.

Keep learning – look out for our upcoming social media workshops

In the coming weeks, we’ll be announcing dates for a series of half-day online interactive workshops that explore this fascinating subject further.

Social Media Beyond the Basics: We will talk through the principles of conscious social communication. Attendees will leave well-versed at the nuances of social media. Alongside social insight we’ve identified a range of theories around the drivers for human behaviours and intentions. Combining the two gives us the tools we need to connect with audiences in authentic and personable ways.

Social audience and platform analysis: This session has one main aim and that is to help you make the right decisions in terms of platform strategy for your respective audiences. In order to get there, we’re going to take you through the key platforms, a range of approaches for each one and most importantly which ones you should invest in depending on your target audience.

Making an impact with paid media: A strong paid media strategy doesn’t talk to everybody. It talks to somebody. And that somebody can be hard to find. We will help you to interrogate your paid social media approach and performance and help you find the right people, increase your impact and make the money you spend work harder for you.

Creative and content best practice: What is the difference between creative and content? Marketers, social media managers and even creatives sometimes seem to refer to the same thing in the social media space but we’d like to make a clear distinction. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In the world of social, a picture can be a video, a GIF, a Story or a group of images in a carousel. But the quote still holds true – your creative content builds conversations through unspoken words. And if these unspoken words communicate the right message, they build trust. And do you know what customer trust brings? Revenue.

Dates and further information coming soon.

Finally a big thanks to Jamie Maple and Wilderness Agency for joining us to bring you these workshops.