Tell me about your role at tag.
I lead the social media department at tag. My team develops ongoing annual social strategies that can be augmented and tweaked in order to align with brand strategy and exist on an ongoing basis for multi-year campaigns. We develop paid social media strategies and content strategies to manage communication with brand fan bases and beyond. We also provide insights to the creative team to create content that is exciting and relevant to the end consumer.
Where does social media strategy fit into the advertising ecosystem?
Social media started as a bit of an enigma – nobody really knew where it came from or quite how to leverage it as a business tool. It’s grown to over 80% of Canadians using it on a monthly basis. It’s a critical part of the marketing mix because it provides the opportunity for one-to-one communication as well as widespread brand communication. It combines the opportunity for a brand to drill down on audiences through targeted messaging that is dedicated to archetypes of end consumers and tailored to where they are in the buyers journey.
There are many social platforms today. Does a business have to be on every one?
Great question. A brand doesn’t have to be on all platforms. Each platform has a uniquely-defined user base. Each platform offers different opportunities for creating content and reaching consumers. There’s no one-size-fits-all for social media.
For example, if you’re looking to reach an older demographic, you likely won’t find them on Snapchat or Instagram; they will be on Facebook. If you’re looking to reach consumers who are interested in current events, Twitter might provide the best solution, particularly in terms of the way content is disseminated and consumed.
At tag, we start with a businesses’ marketing goals and tailor a solution that includes platform selection, content development, community management and paid advertising that will most effectively accomplish marketing objectives. You have to consider what response or action you want consumers to take and provide effective ways to encourage them to give that response.
What are the relevant metrics for measuring ROI on social media?
Finding a distinct ROI depends on the business objective. For example, if your goal is to incite trial and direct people to a website to download a coupon, your metrics are click-throughs and conversions. If you are trying to increase brand awareness, important metrics are reach and frequency. If you’re a well-established brand, it’s about creating engagement and increasing your fan base so you can build brand affinity and brand advocacy.
How do you deal with negative comments or a brand reputation crisis?
Preparation. When developing a social media program with a new client, we assemble a Brand Playbook that takes into consideration potential comments that could reflect negative brand experiences that we may receive from fans and otherwise. Through a combination of experience and imagination, we proactively plan for potential incidents so, if and when they happen, we have a clear, effective and immediate course of action.
What do you see as the biggest misconception about social media?
The way that you personally engage on social media is the way a brand should engage on social media. Branded pages are an extension of the brand. It’s how the brand acts and communicates in public. If someone is responding on behalf of a brand, it doesn’t mean they can stray from the brand voice. The brand experience – online and offline – needs to be authentic, seamless and consistent.
What is the best type of content? I.e. What content sees the highest level of engagement?
Are you asking me to give away my secrets? You gotta pay for that. I can say that we’ve seen a preference by social platforms for video and live content.
Should I pay to advertise on social media?
Yes. If you want to reach your target market, paid advertising offers you advantages of enhanced targeting and extending reach outside your fan base.
What are the advantages of outsourcing social media efforts to an agency, versus managing in-house?
Great question. Companies have gone both ways. Initially, (8-10 years ago) it was common for agencies to manage social. Then we saw a shift to in-house. However, as social media has evolved, companies quickly realized this was getting expensive and time-consuming and the ROI became blurred.
A successful social media strategy requires a team of experts. You don’t just need someone to manage the platform. You need someone to develop the strategy, produce the content in various formats (images, infographics, video, etc), manage the paid media, manage the community….all requiring different talents. An expensive team to staff full-time, in-house.
The value of using an agency is higher than ever. At tag, we have a team that can take care of your entire social media ecosystem from media planners and buyers, designers, art directors, strategists, content developers, community managers and copywriters that all work can work together to make sure that content is engaging, delivered to the right audience, managed effectively and tactically efficient for the right platform, all for a fraction of the cost of hiringall the talent required for an in-house team of specialists.
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