Social Media Week: The Best Of The Best Tips, Thoughts, And Insights
Social Media Week London featured a mixture of major brands, agencies, and tech companies holding events to discuss the latest trends, practices, and campaigns in social media. We even held one of our own. Now that we’ve recovered from an action-packed week of sessions, we’ve rounded together some of the best ideas or points that grabbed our attention during the week and encouraged us to think about the industry, social media strategy, or Twitter marketing in a different way.
The Need For Specialist Software Will Increase
As pressure on digital marketers grows to demonstrate ROI on their social campaigns, more will adopt cutting edge tools to ensure that they can meet their KPIs and continuously execute highly engaged campaigns with the right audience. A specialist approach will be needed, as wider marketing suites may not allow for the in-depth level of analysis, targeting, and campaign executions. For more on the future of paid social campaigns, read our piece here.
“Specialist software will be required for certain social media channels to execute strategies that go far beyond what both the channels’ advertising platforms and more broad marketing suites already offer. Brands who make use of advanced platform-specific tools will be ahead of their competitors and capable of delivering better performing campaigns.”
The Misfit Economy: Use Social To Innovate From The Fringes
An unlikely source, but Alexa Clay’s ‘The Misfit Economy’ gave us a new way to look at how to innovate on social. Brands shouldn’t be afraid of experimenting with different kinds of content on various social networks. When Mecca decided to debut on Snapchat and Edward Snowden wrote his first Tweet and decided to only follow the NSA, the public greeted them with great surprise. Both pushed buttons, and weren’t afraid to go outside their expected boundaries.
Use Social Content To Reinforce The Purpose Of The Brand
Video can help show purpose of brand, driving an emotional connection with audience that helps to build affinity and loyalty. You can create social content that is tailored to suit each channel, but it needs to demonstrate how your brand actively aspires to achieve their purpose. A social advocacy program can help to demonstrate how employees on the ground level are buying into the brand’s core values.
“People ask themselves questions like ‘what do I believe in,’ and ‘what do I stand for?’ It helps define who we are. Brands can go on the same journey, and have the ability to communicate it to their audience to help engage with them. At a small company such as a start-up or a microbrewery it’s easier to get everyone at the company on board with your ideal. At a larger corporation, getting more people to buy in to the company’s ideal is harder, but still possible and still important. Showing this combined purpose via your social content will help people outside the company believe in what your company aims to do.”
Look At Behaviours, Not Just Demographics
People generally don’t describe themselves as a ‘22-34 year-old professional female’. While it may be a useful bracket to start with, taking a deeper look will give you a much clearer idea on who your audience are, and give you a far more accurate persona for your targeting. Solely looking at outdated demographics was one of the main data road bumps that Ogilvy’s Karin Robinson identified in her talk,read our piece for more insight on the matter.
“When looking at your data, go past the basic demographics and try to build a more fleshed-out, realistic image of the customer. You should routinely be layering in behavioural and interest-based targets that can have the added benefit of sweeping up customers with a proven purchase intent who would have been left out by a straightforward demographic sweep. After all, unless you’re marketing jock straps or tampons, you shouldn’t market your product only to one gender.”
Virtual Reality Could Become Part Of Your Social Strategy
Since 2012, Virtual Reality has been reemerged as a leading technology to invest in and many brands are queueing up to get involved. It’s currently being used for a wide variety of experiential marketing purposes (such as Thomas Cook, Audi, and Kasabian). But as consumer uptake in the technology increases, it could be as vital in your social strategy as video, images, and shareable content.
“Virtual Reality is not a widely used consumer product at the moment, but there is expected to be around 11 million headsets sold by the end of 2016. So the possibilities for brands and social marketers to utilise this technology is definitely growing. Brands like Apple and YouTube are already experimenting with 360 video, this will get people used to creating content that works with VR headsets ahead of their more widespread adoption.”
Integrate Mystique Into Your Campaigns
Curiosity is a powerful sensation. Sometimes, if we’re told everything right away then we don’t experience the same intrigue as if we’d only been aware of a few things. Mystique and brevity of availability encourage people to be intrigued by a campaign. This was shown by the#FollowTheFairies campaign by M&S last Christmas, which built up a significant amount of buzz ahead of M&S’ involvement becoming clear.
“Secrets and mystique help make things meaningful for people. Secret Cinema became so popular because people liked the feeling of being part of something different, unique, and fleeting. Utilising these aspects in your marketing can help large, algorithmic marketing efforts retain their humanity.”
Tim Leberecht, Author of ‘The Business Romantic’
User-Generated Content From Augmented Reality Can Drive Engagement
Through gamification, or custom-made branded content, Augmented Reality can provide consumers with both a deeper connection to a brand and an opportunity to connect with a wider community who are also interacting with the brand. Not only do campaigns like this provide an ample amount of earned media, using SocialBro’s Personality Insights powered by IBM Watsonyou can discover the characteristics of people who get involved in these campaigns. This will give you insights into the type of people buying your products, which can influence future marketing efforts. Read more about using augmented reality with social media here.
“AR can allow brands to deepen interactions and continue the conversation with content attached to their products. Lucky Charms used AR to turn the cover on the box into a snowboarding-style game that kept kids (and adults) connected with the brand long after their breakfast was over.”
Make Faster, More Targeted Content
Andy Warhol brought about the concept of ‘fifteen minutes of fame’ in 1968. Decades later, his prophecy has come true in the form of social media. Brands are aware that content needs to be clever to truly capture their audience’s eyes and ears. Being in the moment on social networks can be a great boon for brands who want to creative in their content. This can be done through audience analysis, determining what topics resonate with your target audience and building content around it.
“Be in the moment. Embrace mindfulness and sometimes mindlessness. Make the viewer (of your content) an active participant.”
Think Big, Start Small
Launching a big idea on social can be daunting. A new channel or profile, a new series of content, or even something internally to deal with customer service or data analysis. Unilever have a practice of implementing innovation into their business despite being a large brand. Their approach can be switched to social media too.
“Big visions give rise to big ideas, but big ideas always start small. The great thing about startups is that they were born through a series of small, iterative pilots. By bringing this approach back to your own organisation, you’ll learn faster, de-risk quicker, and avoid the crippling issue of having to mobilise significant resources behind an unvalidated opportunity. Importantly, starting small simply means you fail faster and cheaper. In a world where the only way to win is to double your failure rate, it’s vital that we create frameworks for failure. Culturally, this also requires that we not only embrace but also celebrate failure. For example, at Ben & Jerry’s we have a ‘flavour graveyard’ which showcases flavours that are no longer available. By creating that environment we enable our organisation to experiment, learn and scale truly innovative opportunities.”
Cats Are Not Your Social Saviour
Are people over them? Not at all, plenty of people still love them, and there will inevitably be plenty more successful campaigns in the future that utilise them. But it appears that not everyone understands why they can work and why they don’t. This was summed up in two quotes.
“It’s not the cat per se that gets people sharing, it’s how the cat makes them feel.”
“Look for passion points within your audience, this should inspire you to create premium content that speaks to the real person you’re trying to reach. We’ve found that that’s what they’ll connect with, that’s what they want to show their friends, and it’s what they’ll happily watch a 49 minute documentary on. A pirate cat on a skateboard probably ain’t it.”