The Necessity of Tailoring a Message for Various Social Media Platforms

How can businesses successfully target online and social media users through digital marketing? It starts with knowing the audience, and how it differs according to what online platform you’re reaching them on.

In our marketing team competition, we noticed a wide variety of engagement levels and responses based on how we presented our content. Below are our discoveries, which provide some insight on how to target users on various platforms.

Twitter & Instagram

The social media meccas for millennials. When posting content to these social media platforms, it’s important to realize that these audiences are looking for relatable posts or products, and not a jargon-laden or cookie cutter advertisement. Influencers on these platforms find success by showing their personality and being real with their followers. When our team posted content on these platforms, it was essential to write captions in a personal tone, add interesting text and visual appeal, and use highly searched hashtags to draw interest from people other than current followers.

We also discovered that specifically, Twitter is a difficult platform to post business related content on. Twitter seems to lend itself to allowing users to showcase their personality (i.e. Wendy’s and Netflix humorous and witty content) rather than promote specific products. Instead, Twitter better serves to deepen connections with users. Leave product and service promotion to LinkedIn and Facebook, where users aren’t looking for the same level of personality to be showcased.

Facebook

With about two billion users, Facebook is a social medial platform that is hard to ignore. While our team’s initial content sparked views solely based on our “inner circles” of friends, moving beyond this group to a more general audience proved more difficult. Additionally, many readers didn’t spend as much time reading business related articles as they did sharing memes. Facebook does have business-related groups and product pages that allow for interaction with users. These groups seem to be an ideal place to post our content, but it was difficult to find success with this strategy, as posts need to be created specifically for different types of groups.

As with Twitter and Instagram, Facebook users look for a personal touch to shine through in posted content. By quickly responding to users who comment on posts, our team could build engagement and nurture additional interactions, which is highly valued on this platform.

LinkedIn

Business related content is best positioned on LinkedIn, as users navigate there to actively seek out useful professional material. LinkedIn’s versatility is evident through the various forms of material that can be posted, from written posts to videos, which are known to significantly increase user engagement and brand awareness. One feature in particular that makes LinkedIn an ideal marketing platform for business content is the Groups feature, a hub that serves as a place to search business related content, post and view jobs, find answers to relevant topics, establish business contacts, and where users can establish themselves as industry experts. This platform serves as a crucial medium for businesses to engage professionals for a variety of purposes, serving as a highly effective marketing tool. On LinkedIn, posts were more successful if they took a professional tone, used hashtags, and mentioned specific companies, as seen below. This drew attention from professionals in the industry, increasing post interactions.

Email Marketing

With the popularity and growth of social media platforms providing access to millions, or in Facebook’s case billions, of users where segmentation and targeting is easier than ever, it’s not hard to forget about email marketing.

While email may not be the shiny new platform or network, it is our opinion if the campaign is well crafted, email remains one of the most effective tools for a wide variety of content. Based on our experience, email marketing works especially well for content with potentially valuable insight or where opportunities are shared. This information can come in many different forms, but common examples are newsletters, offers and promotions, and renewals. Often these messages can feel more personal, as if that letter, offer, or reminder is being shared just with the receiver, and not a larger audience.

More importantly though is having the right permissions, design, and call to action. Once you as a marketer have the necessary permissions you can run A/B tests on your design and call to action to refine your message, and analytics will provide insight into the engagement and quality of the message, making email marketing a still relevant tool for marketers in a social media world.

Final Thoughts

Given the number of platforms and the differences in each, to be successful in the digital media space, marketers must know their audience and consider where and how content will be shared. While many of the social media platforms share users, where we choose to connect with users can change their willingness to engage. For example, an individual that is receptive to a listicle via email, LinkedIn, and Facebook, may not be as interested in the same content on Instagram or Twitter. Furthermore, how the content is shared must also adapt to the platform. Each channel has its limitations and strengths when sharing content. Make sure to play to the strengths of the channel or platform to generate intrigue with your audience. In summary, define the audience you are trying to target, determine where they will be most receptive to the content, and shape that content to the platform being used to reach the audience.

See more content like this:

Charity Miles App Review: Good for Runners, Companies, & the Community

 

Pizza Anyone? Ok Google, talk to Domino’s!

With the growth in digital marketing and the impact of social media on everyday life, today’s businesses need to keep pace with the ever changing influence of technology if they want to expand their product sales. Pizza is no exception and Domino’s has strategically invested in this space as they saw the opportunity to increase sales via digital channels.

Some of us remember the days of calling the pizza place, being put on hold, providing your order, sometimes twice – the same one you normally put in once a week – repeating your address another two times and finally confirming the price and the estimated 30 minute delivery time. An hour later, you’re calling the pizza place again for an update on when that delivery is going to show up.

Domino’s solved this problem by allowing customers to save their address, payment info and their Easy Order under their enhanced online ordering platform. The Easy Order was a bundle of information including payment, address, delivery or carry-out order type and preferred store location. The days of agonizing phone orders were gone as customers could reference their pizza profile and place an order in a handful of clicks or within 30 seconds. This was soon followed by the Domino’s Tracker that gave you visibility to where your order was in the overall process.

This groundwork was the foundation for Domino’s AnyWare which was an expanded suite of ordering technology focused on getting more people to order online via the devices and platforms that they use everyday.

Over the last three years, we have seen an increase in innovative options for ordering Domino’s pizza which include:

  • Talking to Dom, an order-taking expert living in the Domino’s app, for those that still want to hear a voice on the other end
  • Sending a pizza emoji via text message
  • Tweeting #EasyOrder to @Dominos
  • Using the Domino’s app on your Samsung Smart TV to place and track an order without missing your favorite show
  • Opening the Domino’s Zero Click app and your Easy Order is placed in 10 seconds
  • Talking to your Google Home or Amazon Alexa devices to place your order
  • Ordering via Facebook Messenger
  • Leveraging Slack to place an order for the team
  • Ordering from your car if you have a Ford with SYNC® AppLink
  • Turning over your wrist and placing that order via your smart watch

The focus on technology and connecting with customers’ daily routines has allowed Domino’s to generate over half of its sales via digital channels and stay ahead of the competition. It has definitely piqued my interest and I look forward to continuing to test out the various options for ordering my pizza.

By now you must be hungry, so why not give it shot and try one of the various options to order a pizza. While you wait for your delivery, click below for our other blog posts.

Lizard People and the Internet…

All the Cool People Make These…

Charity Miles App Review: Good for Runners, Companies, & the Community

As a runner and a not-for-profit professional, I thought that the Charity Miles App seemed too good to be true. I quickly realized that it was an innovative platform that lived up to its mission. 

How it Works

By downloading the Charity Miles App, individuals can track their running, walking, or biking activity and convert mileage into donations to their favorite charities. The app allows for individuals to choose from over 40 charities, which will receive $0.25 per mile run or walked, and $0.10 per mile biked. Individuals select their activity type, enable location services for the app to track activity, and start their workout. When finished, it’s as simple as clicking the finish button, which leads to a workout summary which includes mileage, activity time, and the amount donated to charity. Users can even take a photo of their workout, which will generate an image to promote the apps and activity through social media.

The Positives

  1. Easy to use: it only took a couple of minutes to create a user profile and figure out how to log miles.
  2. It’s a win-win-win: everyone benefits- users, who get to contribute to social causes, companies who get high-impact advertising space, and charities, who receive money from every mile logged.

The Negatives

  1. Lack of functionality: The app won’t be replacing your GPS watch anytime soon. Mileage wasn’t incredibly accurate, and I was unable to pause my activity when at a stoplight.
  2. Missed promotional opportunities: If you plan to share your activity mileage via social media, you can only so right after you’ve finished the activity. This removes opportunities for users to advertise the app and it’s sponsors.

An Innovative Digital Marketing Medium for Companies

Charity Miles touts the ability for sponsors to maintain a captive audience due to the structure of the app/sponsor/user setup. By sponsoring the app, companies can advertise their charitable giving through the agreement to donate $X per each mile logged in the app. Companies can expose app users to a variety of sponsored content, including blog posts, product discounts, and free trials. This structure melds corporate giving and advertising, as sponsorships fund the donations.

Will I Continue Using Charity Miles?

In short, yes. The app is easy to use and is a low commitment option in giving to social causes. As long as you can get past the amount of sponsored content (hey, they are donating money on your behalf) I recommend that you try it on your next walk, run, or bike ride too.

 

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The Necessity of Tailoring a Message for Various Social Media Platforms

Gen Z: Why Social Marketing is Going to Be Even More Important

Move over Baby Boomers and Millennials because a new generation – Gen Z – is taking over the world. But seriously. Never heard of Gen Z? Well, they’re the generation born between 1996 and 2010 and currently are ages 7 to 21 years old. They’ve never known a pre-9/11 America. They’ve never known what it’s like to not have Internet. They may not even know how to use a phone book – or maybe that a phone book isn’t the contacts list on their iPhones.

The U.S. Gen Z population is 63 million strong and growing due to immigration. Gen Z is expected to influence 60% of U.S. revenue by 2025. Although this may seem significant, we should really be looking at China.

In China, Gen Z includes for 247 million children and young adults. And China’s Gen Z is going to a whopping 16% of total global income. That said, this generation has a lot of power, and they don’t even yet have university degrees. So, what makes Gen Z unique? We found four traits that should make organizations think twice about their long-term marketing plans.

  1. Their operating system is technology.

Gen Z-ers are always connected. An electronic device must be in their hand at all times – whether it’s a mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. The more mobile the better as they’re always on the go, but maintain connected. They spend at least 9 hours per day digitally engaged – whether in school or at home. This time is spent gaming, browsing, socializing (such as Instagram and GroupMe), listening to music (think iTunes or Spotify), watching TV (think Netflix or YouTube). Some also spend time creating their owndigital content (such as musical.ly). Additionally, they only use a few apps on their phone.

  1. They are more diverse than ever before.

In the U.S., the majority of Gen Z are non-white as a result of immigration. It is likely that a Gen Z kid has a mom who’s Indonesian and a dad who’s Irish. The kid is interested in not just one activity, but multiple. They don’t just see themselves as a dancer, a chemist, or musician. They have their hands in many cookie jars, so to speak, which makes them feel fulfilled and creative. It’s also likely they will pursue multiple divergent degrees such as biochemistry and theater.

When it comes to marriage, 66% back marriage equality, research firm 747 Insights confirms, and only 80% are currently interested in getting marriage. They’ll follow the path of millennials by not following traditional ideals such as getting married and having multiple kids before the age of 30. Gen Z seems to be the most independent of all generations and seek multiple experiences – such as dating and traveling – before tying the knot with a significant other.

  1. They’re more authentic and care deeply.

This generation seeks to purchase goods and services from brands that “do good” for the world and their communities. They’ve grown up in the war on terror and multiple wars such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. They care even more about social justice issues than millennials, who tend to focus on globalization issues and social responsibility.

Gen Z-ers will fight for themselves, their loves ones, their friends, and others if they see them treated unfairly due to gender, sexuality, race, pay, and environmental issues – just to name a few. This generation wants to be a change agent and truly believe they can make a positive impact. They can use their digital savviness and self-assured mindsets to influence via social media channels such as YouTube, Instagram, and Kickstarter.

Technology allows this generation to influence at a global scale virtually, rather than traveling around the world. They are able to create their own personal brands and form their online communities, which have very low barriers to entry. There are no boundaries, rules, or fees (only to the extent of what their content channels allow, of course).

  1. They value relationships over transactions.

Gen Z seeks a personalized shopping experience. As discussed above, they believe brands play an important role in society and are responsible for making it better. Just as this generation create its own content online and inspires others, they expect the same in return from brands they purchase from. They’re also likely promote a brand (particularly online) as a result of a positive customer experience. About half of all Gen Z purchases include a digital element – either through their product search or actual purchase. They are likely to use online product reviews from people they follow and trust online – especially celebrities. They are also likely to participate more in member-only events and loyalty programs that reward them for frequent purchasing.

If you thought Amazon was just a fad, think again. Online shopping is here to stay and grow, funded by Generation Z. Brands should pay special attention to this generation’s purchase patterns as they continue to grow older and become a larger part of our global economy.

Is VR becoming hot?

What image does your mind conjure upon hearing Virtual Reality (VR)?

If you thought 20-something nerds in a basement with crazy goggles hooked into a computer, playing a souped up Sims or D&D game where they get to make believe they are someone much cooler … you may want to reconsider your characterizations.

Unlike standard PC gaming systems, VR truly immerses the participants in its make-believe environment.  This aspects has gained VR some niche applications across a variety of disciplines: military, police, medical professionals, space researchers to name a few.  This allows training in uncharted environments for threatening or dangerous experiences without any physical risks (mostly!).

From a marketing perspective, just how mainstream is the VR technology?  It sure has its fair share of innovators and early adopters but is the technology ready to jump over ‘the chasm’ for adoption by majority of the masses?

Similar to other emerging technologies, mass-adoption of VR applications was initially hindered by the high price.  When the Oculus Rift came out as a consumer product, it started at $600 with touch controllers costing $199. Pair that with a powerful enough PC needed and one could be forking out over $1500 for a fully functional gaming system … and still be wired to the PC.  Other brands have since entered into this market – HTC (Vive), Playstation (headset), Samsung (Gear – from Oculus) and Google (Daydream and Cardboard), few of the big-brand names.  Many of these are mobile; Google has just created the ability for their phones (itself priced at ~ $800) to be turned into VR headsets.  It’s been 4 years since Rift was released as a development kit, and over the past 2 years they have been selling to a broader customer base.

The evolution of VR hardware is also benefiting from the growth of streaming media and introduction of 3D broadcasting – even NFL is broadcasting some football games in 3D.  The movie and TV show streaming giant, Netflix is now providing content for VR in addition to games being created specifically for it.  And now Oculus has the Go, a wireless system with a single controller.  The target for this product is wireless gaming and media immersion. Imagine sitting in an airplane with your headset and fully immersing yourself into a movie instead of watching it on that tiny screen on the back of the seat that keeps leaning closer and yet not close enough to block out the stranger in the seat next to you.  Accepted, similar to the initial reaction to a person talking with a Bluetooth headset, you may freak others around you for laughing and crying to yourself with a funky device over your eyes (and some are definitely worth watching!).

But is the customized personal experience worth it?  I say, yes.  I believe we are nearing a major turning point for VR technology. Wireless is one step in the right direction, ease of use for personal appeal and social comfort with watching the streaming media may be others.  As Oculus moves past developers to targeting the wider market, who would be better to sell them to the masses than our favorite movie and music stars.  All the stars are indeed closer in VR!

For more interesting or offbeat content, check out all our fun links:

Is VR becoming hot?

 

7 Reasons to use Poodles for Marketing

Everyone is looking for the best way to appeal to the perfect audience for their products.  Kick you marketing campaign into high gear with Poodles! Here are 7 reasons to use a poodle to drive your internet traffic.

1.  Perceived Wealth:  Poodles have been used as status symbol by the wealthy for generations due to their elegant features and elite intelligence. Use them to increase the perceived value of your product.

2. Emotional Appeal: Dog Food Marketing is the term used when users of the product are not the decision makers. Using poodles for advertising your products appeals to those decision makers emotional instincts with a relatable hook.

3. Play up the Stakes: Poodles are one of the smartest dog breeds and can be trained to do just about anything.  Draw in your target audience with poodles in offbeat action too wild for anyone to forget!

4. Diversity: Poodles come in all sizes & colors and are equally loved by diverse communities around the world. Build brand loyalty with your favorite groups. Poodle pride!

5. Ruffle some Feathers: Poodles can be easily tailored to bring out undeniable sassy attitudes unlike any other dog breed.  Throw shade at your competition by humiliating them. Complaining will only turn your audience away so turn up the heat by throwing in some laughter at their expense.

6. Feminism: Poodles have a lot of feminine appeal…Establish better engagement with your female clientele by demonstrating all that female power. Just don’t take it too far, otherwise you might creep them out.

7. Masculinity: Poodles are hunting dogs.  Use them to highlight the masculinity and agility of your product (Warning: Graphic content from real hunting scenes!).

 Just put a poodle on it!

Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and the IV Vitamin Drip: The Celebrity Effect on Social Media Marketing

What if there was a product that could offer a quick fix for the common cold, cure the dreaded hangover after a long night out, give you an energy boost after pulling an all-nighter on your presentation, or just generally help you feel better and younger?

Sounds too good to believe, right? Then, add the celebrity endorsement power of Rihanna, Madonna, Adele, Kim Kardashian, Simon Cowell, along with many other talented athletes and artists who have been seen using these products and espousing their benefits on social media, and these factors combine to create a powerful strategy for IV vitamin therapy companies to promote their services.

Why does it matter if celebrities are seen on social media using your products? Let’s explore the celebrity effect upon companies.  

Image result for IV vitamin therapy photos

Photo Credit

What is IV Vitamin Therapy?

First off, what the heck is the IV Vitamin Therapy? Intravenous (IV) therapy delivers liquid substances into a vein and is the fastest way to deliver medication, vitamins and fluids throughout the body. IV therapy began in the 1830’s and became widely used in the healthcare industry after the 1950s. IV vitamin therapy is also referred to as vitamin drips. Typically, only 40% of over-the-counter vitamins ingested orally is absorbed into your body while vitamins administered intravenously will absorb at 99.9%.

Over the last few decades, companies have begun to offer IV vitamin therapy at spas specifically designed to provide these services and with mobile services at homes or concerts. Originally marketed as a hangover cure, these companies have now expanded the appeal of their product to include remedies for allergies, anxiety, depression, fatigue, colds and flu, along with being heralded as one of next big beauty treatments.

Incredible, right? These are amazing claims, but alas, scientific research has not quite caught up to validate these claims or to evaluate the safety of regularly receiving these treatments. You should consult a medical provider prior to jumping on the Kardashian IV Therapy bandwagon.

Image result for mobile iv therapy

Photo Credit

The Celebrity Effect

Does seeing a celebrity using a product affect a consumer’s purchasing decision? Yes, it does. One Taiwanese study showed that consumers remembered products associated with a celebrity better than other products. If you happen to be a fan of that celebrity, you’re more likely to place a higher value on that product. Your subconscious suggests to you that using the product is a way to emulate that celebrity’s desirable traits.

Does this mean that I’m going to run to the store to get one of the newest endorsed product by Ryan Reynolds, Aviation Gin? Not necessarily. Seeing your product used on social media by a celebrity mainly builds consumer confidence, preference and brand awareness through social media — especially when your target may include the social media savvy Generation Zers and Millennials.

Image result for ryan reynolds aviation gin

Photo Credit

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows. Remember Rihanna’s backlash at Snap Chat on Instagram? Stock prices dipped after the backlash but the company regained its losses later that week.  While this only had short term effect, it does not help the company’s image in the court of public opinion, especially with losing support of an influential celebrity in Snap Chat’s targeted market segment.

Does it work?

Yes, celebrity social media endorsements do contribute to the perceived value of a product or service. According to a report from Marketwatch, a simple brand signing of a celebrity or athlete can increase sales by an average of 4%. The social media presence of a celebrity using a product contributes to consumers’ trust and brand awareness, and promotes your product while influencing consumer purchase intentions.

Is this another Kardashian endorsed prepaid credit card? Will we see a resurgence in Trump Steaks and be happily grilling them over Labor Day weekend? Or brushing our teeth with a Justin Beiber singing toothbrush with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen AquaFresh toothpaste? Hold on… having a celebrity endorsement does not guarantee your product or marketing strategy is successful.

Image result for justin bieber toothbrush singingImage result for kardashian prepaid card

Photo Credit 

Keep in mind that celebrity endorsements are not enough to guarantee success in attracting new consumers or gaining acceptance in an emerging market. Gaining the endorsement of Justin Beiber or Rihanna may not necessarily matter to the consumers in your targeted market segment.  Companies must continue to demonstrate their value to consumers and show them how they’re providing benefits and value in real and tangible ways.

5 Best Marketing Tools of 2018

(from the opinion of a couple of Willamette MBA students)

Looking for a way to make your company stand out?  How do you know if you are reaching the right customer base? Confused with all of the tools and software programs available?

Well go no further! We have reviewed some marketing tools that will help you gain the market intelligence, analysis, awe-inspiring content creation, and social media management you’re craving.

Here are our top 5 picks:

Pardot 

This marketing tool powerhouse, focuses on Marketing Automation, allowing your sales & marketing team to work smarter, not harder.  Enjoy the ease of Advanced Email Marketing and formulated Lead Nurturing that helps you stay in touch with your prospect and move them to the Happy Customer Stage.  Pardot truly is an all-in-one marketing solution. Other features include:

  • Blended Lead Scoring & Grading
  • Prospect Activity Tracking
  • Forms & Landing Pages
  • Closed-loop reporting

SocialBakers

Ready to turn on the artificial intelligence?  Check out the AI-Powered Social Media Marketing Suite from SocialBakers.  Be a Master Marketer with Content Intelligence that provides details on A/B campaigns and what your consumers & prospects prefer.  Check out the full suite of features:

  • Audience Personas
  • Social Media Management
  • Social Media Monitoring
  • Community Management

Emma

Focused on the personal element for your company’s marketing?  Emma’s Content Creation is an easy to use interface that provides a personal but professional email campaign as a result.  With seamless integration with various CRM systems, Emma is the service you need to create beautiful emails that provide great ROI.  Also included in Emma’s services: 

  • Marketing Automation
  • Personalized triggers & follow up emails (tracking the journey of the customer)
  • Ease of use (speed & design) Email Editor
  • Email Analytics

    Google Trends

    Need to know if people are searching for your product or service online?  Well go to the source, Google Trends.  Explore what the world is searching to help narrow down your customer locale with global heat maps and compare keywords to see which provide better results.  Use the Historical Search Database to see what is trending in searches, and use the analysis feature to find related topics and queries.  Click the link below to take a short Google Lesson on how to effectively use Google Trends. 

LESSON: https://newsinitiative.withgoogle.com/training/lessons?tool=Google%20Trends&image=trends

AppAnnie 

Going Mobile?  Who isn’t now a-days?  Take AppAnnie for a spin and see how your business ranks in the app market with data & analytics. How much should you charge for access to your app? How can I ensure my app is driving engagement & targeting the right audience?  AppAnnie knows it all, and can provide a lot of knowledge for a little.  Check out AppAnnie:

We know there is a plethora of great software, knowledge base, and tools in the marketing game today.  We hope you enjoyed the tools we use to help make our marketing efforts successful.

Check back this week for more exciting insight into the brave new world of Marketing!

What do you think about the tools of the Digital Marketing Trade?  Give us your thoughts and feedback by clicking the survey link below!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3ZR7TXZ

Help us win the weekly vote!

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The Future of Paid Social Media Marketing: Kinda Creepy, but Also Smart

Professional Development Series

Interview Spotlight:

Nick Footer: Founder and CEO of Intuitive Digital 

We had the pleasure of interviewing Willamette MBA alumni Nick Footer about the continuously emerging market of paid social media advertising, how he got to where he is and where he thinks it’s going.

Tell us about your previous work experience and how you got to where you are at today.

So, way back in the day – by this I mean 2006 – when I was in college, Facebook was the new shiny object. I just geeked out on it; I thought it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Along with a few other networks you might have heard about, like Myspace, I spent as much time trying to figure out and learn how a business could use these networks to get in front of consumers. Obviously, during that time the networks weren’t designed or optimized for this, but I still did a bunch of my undergrad work on social media, then went to agencies and did everything I could there.

Advertising really started on a lot of the channels like Facebook when they realized they’d need to make money to go public. They started focusing on ad capabilities and all of it was terrible. FB ripped off the same model forum sites had been using, just a bunch of banner ads down the side. The entire strategy was: get a bunch of eyeballs and people will pay. Paid advertising was pretty shitty when it started. It’s gotten better, but in large part, all they’ve done is a better job of hiding the fact you’re looking at an ad, coupled with better targeting. Actually, Facebook has bought a bunch of different companies just to feed in consumer data to improve targeting accuracy. It’s kinda creepy, but also smart.

Like IBM did by buying insurance companies to feed the health records data to Watson? Yes, exactly like that.

What’s changed from an agency perspective?

Five or six years ago, I wouldn’t recommend paid social to any of our clients. But I was also working with small businesses with small budgets so there were better places to spend their marketing dollars. Today I recommend paid social to almost all our clients. It still has problems, but with the additional targeting capabilities, you can get a good return on investment.

When would you not use paid social?

Facebook sometimes isn’t the best for super B2B. LinkedIn has gotten better but you need a large target audience both geographically and in volume to eventually get to the right people.

What challenges do you face in posting quality content within your field?

The biggest challenge is what used to work 6 months ago doesn’t work today and what’s working today won’t work in 6 months. The industry is evolving faster than it ever has and I think this will continue for at least the next couple of years.

Can you give us an example of this?

Sure, let’s stick with Facebook as an example. Content posts where you’re just sharing linked content with a blurb to drive web traffic specifically is dying.

What’s working now is content that’s literally engaging with or trying to get responses with your audience. So actual comments back and forth. This increases its edge rank and helps it show up organically in people’s feeds.

Does that work when you’re asking consumers to engage with a brand?

 It’s definitely more difficult as a brand. We’ve seen some success with letting people know who the social team behind the brand are. It’s not faceless IBM, it’s these three people managing IBM’s Facebook account.

Other than the obvious mechanic differences, what other important ways do you think paid social differ from organic?

The difference for us is that is that we do all our testing organically. Once we find the most engaging content, that’s the stuff we then use in our paid campaigns. This has a lower cost for our clients because we’re cherry picking the best.

Also, you always need to think about who you’re targeting. Targeting your potential customers is what paid content is for. With organic, you’re targeting people who’ve already liked your page.

Let’s talk about the difference in B2B and B2C.

In B2C providing specific offers, usually, a discount code or coupon continues to work well. We have an online pet store that’s just murdered it on Facebook. In large part, it’s because they’re offering 10% discounts to people who’ve liked their page.

B2B isn’t rocket science either. It’s normally trying to provide thought leadership and content. We’ve done a lot of white papers and also had great success with getting people signed up for video drip campaigns. You’ve got to make it easy to engage with the content. We make sure we have a really low risk for signing up; all that’s required is an email and these are short videos, 90 seconds and you’re out. We’re also doing Youtube and other remarketing based on them.

 What do you think is coming with paid social?

For me, I hate interruption marketing, but that’s still really the only way that we’ve been able to do it. I see a continuation of that through in-stream video, specifically geotargeted and very specific to content. So, if someone snaps a video and says, “I’m outside of this club!”, people who open that up will get a specific ad from that club. It’s going to get creepier in terms of AI knowing what we’re saying, where we are and who’s viewing it through crawling the voice content or the image. To me that’s really going to get pushed is our line of privacy.

Obviously, there are also other smaller platforms. If you have a specific demographic or psychographic which aligns, these can be really effective. There’s probably going to be more of those as Facebook trends down. This opens up some places in the future.

What’s your favorite thing about social media marketing?

What I love most about social media is the ability to communicate directly with your end consumer. Prior to social, you had to pay hundreds of thousands (if not more) to have the type of communication you can now have organically through the internet.

If you liked Nick’s Q&A Interview Check Out Other Posts in the Series: 

Q&A with Andrew Hickey: Ten Top Tips on Linkedin Marketing