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Have you ever noticed how many bloggers and social media marketers just tell people that they should go out try social media? How you shouldn’t worry about learning social it? That you’ll learn it on the fly and everything will be fine.

Well, I’m not one of those. It’s absolutely in your best interest to learn the basics of social media before risking your time and money.

Jumping into social media without at least learning the basics could be a major disaster. It probably won’t ruin your company. It probably won’t ruin you. But it will be a waste of time.

Why do I say that? Well an understanding of social media theory and fundamentals makes your strategy better. How, you ask? Well…

1. It Helps You Create a Starting and End Point

Taking the time to learn social media fundamentals gives you a starting point. It helps you decide where you are and hopefully where you should go.

If you don’t learn what the marketing technique is, how will you know what it’s capable of? How can you create goals and work towards them?

Taking the time to explore social media and soak up as much information as possible gives you a better understanding of what social media can do and how to create a plan.

On social media, a misstep can spread just as fast as a good campaign and consumers can be less than forgiving. Learning how to interact and promote a business shouldn’t endanger the brand.

Start with baby steps. Minimize the likelihood of something to go wrong. Learn as much as you can about web culture and online customer service.

Online consumers expect something much different than offline customers. You should know how to deliver it.

3. Experience Comes With Time – Who Has the Time?

Remember the common phrase, “don’t reinvent the wheel?” – Well don’t do it.

Marketers have been testing and exploring social media theories and sharing them online. Why would you want to go through that powerful information and have to learn it on your own?

You can test and explore and research your content, but we know that more often than not list posts go viral. There’s no need for you to take the time to test and explore that.

4. Learning Keeps You From Getting Frustrated

Think back to your childhood. If you’re anything like me, than math class was a horror. I’d sit there trying to do a problem and just not knowing how. After a few minutes of trying, I’d get frustrated and give up. It wasn’t until someone taught me what to do and explained to me why it is that way that I began to enjoy math.

Social media is the same way. There are fundamentals and there are strategies that you should know and understand. Don’t allow frustration lead to you giving up. We know social media is a powerful marketing tool. Don’t let it go.

5. How Are You Investing In Something You Know Little About?

It all comes down to money. How are you supposed to decide how much to invest in social media if you don’t know what it can do?

Learn what you’ll need to invest, both time and money, before throwing resources at it. Have a plan and create a budget. This will help increase the likelihood of success.

Information is key. To have a positive social media strategy you need to know as much as possible. That means both in regards to social media knowledge as well as strategies and fundamentals.

How are others in your industry doing? Why did their campaigns work? How can you recreate their success without copying them verbatim? Is social media for you?

I’d love to know what you think. How are you learning social media? Where do you go for research and strategies? Are you learning from example or creating your own ideas?

Check out Samir Balwani’s new social media guide at Training Social, a resource for anyone interested in learning social media marketing.

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How Social Media Helps Seo

Most businesses know the importance of being active on different social media platforms. However, some might think of social media as an independent entity rather than something that impacts the rest of their digital marketing efforts.

Social media provides many great benefits on its own but also aids other areas of your digital marketing efforts – including SEO.

Understanding the relationship between social media and SEO can be a little tricky, though.

History of Social Media & SEO

While we can confidently say that a website’s social profiles do not directly and causally influence that site’s rankings, there’s actually a bit more to it than that.

The history of social media and SEO provides a look into the gray area of this subject.

No one outside of Google is ever going to know exactly what the search algorithm does and does not do; we have to rely on public announcements for that.

But here’s the scoop. Back in 2010, Danny Sullivan reported that Google had “social signals” that helped it rank organic results. That sounds sort of definitive.

In fact, Matt Cutts, who formerly led Google’s webspam team, later confirmed the “social pages as ranking signals” claim.

But the story doesn’t end there.

In 2014, Cutts modified his statements by saying that Google did not treat social media profiles as ranking signals, but rather as their own organic search results.

Two years later, Google Webmaster Trends analyst Gary Illyes confirmed Cutts’s 2014 take.

What we can say with confidence today is that social signals have a relationship with organic rankings, but they do not directly influence those rankings.

It’s just that the websites that will tend to be ranked at the top of the SERPs will probably have strong social presences with content shared across all their platforms.

So, yes, Google will rank websites with robust social profiles, but those profiles aren’t directly influencing those rankings. Those websites as a whole have to perform well to rank highly.

How Social Media Helps SEO

Social media isn’t a ranking factor, so it won’t directly help your rankings. While there’s no direct ranking correlation between the two, the benefits of social media do feed into SEO.

And if you’re trying to improve your SEO, it is especially important for you to invest in social.

Here’s why.

1. You Can Boost Your Content Performance

If you haven’t been using social media to share your content, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Social platforms are important places to share any type of content your business produces.

When you post content on your website and don’t go through the extra steps of sharing it anywhere, it’s just going to sit there.

You likely put a lot of work into creating it. Not sharing it is a waste.

Social gives you access to a much wider audience than you’d have on your website alone.

Ultimately, the more people visiting and engaging with your site’s content, the more those positive user signals and benefit your search rankings. The impact is indirect, but it’s there.

2. There Are More Opportunities to Gain Backlinks

Bringing in more traffic to your content isn’t the only reason to share it on social media. With more eyes on your content, you increase the chances of someone linking to it.

Backlinks are a huge part of SEO. They show search engines that other people find the content on your website valuable. Content can get ranked higher if it’s beneficial to users.

You might have amazing content that’s worthy of backlinks, but you won’t get them if it goes unnoticed.

And if these people who discovered your content through social thought it was valuable, some of them might want to share it for others to enjoy, too.

Content can spread easily through social media, even if you don’t have a large number of followers. All it takes is one person linking back to you for even more people to see it, and social media is a great place to get this started.

3. Social Profiles Can Rank for Search Terms

While how your website ranks might be a big concern for your business, you might not have put any thought into how your social profiles rank. When people look up your company using branded search terms, your social profiles have a chance of ranking along with your website.

If you have additional opportunities to rank for branded searches, why not?

People are searching for your brand, so they’re already interested in what you have to offer.

While most people searching for your brand will want to go to your website, there are also many who want to see what you have on social media. Your social media profiles can give a different view of your business than your website alone and provide additional information for those who want it.

For those who are still on the fence and trying to decide, having active and engaging social media profiles come up when they’re trying to do research could be the push they need.

4. You’ll Bring More Traffic to Your Website

The ultimate goal in SEO is usually to increase visibility and bring more visitors to your website. However, increasing your website’s rank isn’t the only way of bringing more traffic to your website.

By staying active on social media and posting the content your audience wants to see, you can bring in a lot more traffic to your website.

With so many people on social media today, you can guarantee that your target audience is there somewhere. These are people who may not have found out about your business through search results alone but can benefit from your products or services.

If you’re only just getting started with SEO, social media can also help attract visitors sooner than search engines.

SEO can take months to start working and while it’s worth the wait, you might not be getting the traffic you need right in the beginning.

For businesses struggling to bring visitors to their website, learning how to use social media to attract visitors could be the boost you need.

5. Good Social Profiles Build Trust

One reason to invest in SEO is to build trust among your audience.

Today, consumers have an overwhelming number of options available to them. While having more than enough businesses to choose from can be a great thing, it also makes things harder on consumers looking to make the best choice.

There are many businesses out there that aren’t reliable and won’t provide consumers with anything, so people are very cautious of the businesses they choose to engage with.

Most businesses have social media profiles now, and people expect to see legitimate businesses there. Poor or nonexistent social media can be a red flag to consumers.

If you’ve been using SEO to help build trust with your audience and boost your online reputation, social media can be a huge asset.

It gives you a chance to humanize your brand, too. You can share what sets you apart and easily engage with those interested in learning more.

Conclusion

Everything you do to build your business online should work together. SEO and social media both have their own benefits for businesses, but they’re even more effective when they support one another.

Simply having social media profiles for your business might not automatically do anything for your SEO, but keep at it and you’ll see how they work better together.

More Resources:

Social Media Marketing Online Training Course

Social Media Marketing Learning Path Use a strategic, data-driven approach to improve the effectiveness of your social media marketing activities How will this Learning Path help me and my business?

This structured e-learning activity will help you or your team use a more structured approach to managing and optimizing social media as a strategic communications technique. Examples and benchmarks are discussed from the main social networks including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.

What is a Learning Path?

Smart Insight’s Learning Paths are our unique interactive online training courses which explain concepts, give examples and test understanding.

We appreciate finding time for skills development is a challenge, and so Learning Paths enables training to be bite-sized, engaging and results orientated since they integrate with our templates to plan, manage and optimize your marketing.

Unlike many online e-learning courses, each module is self-contained, so you can rapidly/quickly access guidance to improve the effectiveness of the marketing activities you are working on right now. Common modules are shared between Learning Paths to avoid duplication of learning material. You can also complete the full Learning Path to earn a CPDSO certification.

As you work through each topic, we recommend and explain the most relevant member resources, so you can download templates to plan, manage and optimize improvements to your website.

Accredited learning activities with the Continuing Professional Development Standards Office (CPDSO)

Each Smart Insights Learning Path has been independently assessed and accredited by the CPD Standards Office, so you can be confident that the quality of the learning and assessment experience has been audited and recognized for its quality.

Development Objective

Members who successfully complete this Learning Path have the ability to manage and optimize the strategic implementation of social media platforms for marketing communications.

Once you have completed a Learning Path, send an email to [email protected] to request your CPD certificate.

Learning Objectives

Identify the benefits of a more planned approach to social media marketing then design and implement a social media plan.

Review the effectiveness of your social media marketing against benchmarks and other organizations then identify improvements to how your social media marketing is managed.

Structure a social media strategy to improve customer lifecycle communications that translates into practical actions and improves your goals.

Review the requirements and features of tools for social listening and put in place a reputation management process to respond to complaints or customer service requests.

Identify how to improve your approach to optimizing the effectiveness of your social platforms, both organic and paid, by reviewing your company page to enhance its effectiveness and defining methods to increase follower engagement through optimizing content for each social channel.

Understand different types of insights you can present in a monthly social media report including the business contribution of social media using reports available in Google Analytics including comparing the follower growth and engagement for your company pages on different social networks

How is the Learning Path structured?

The Learning Path is separated into these topics and modules:

Topic 1 – Discover social media opportunities

A planned approach to social media marketing

Audit social media marketing activities

Learn the latest social media developments

Set social media goals

Topic 2 – Planning and governance of social media

Create a social media strategy

Social listening

Customer service and success

Influencer marketing

Topic 3 – Practical social media marketing

Optimize your organic TikTok marketing

Optimize your organic Instagram marketing

Optimize your organic Facebook marketing

Optimize your organic LinkedIn marketing

Using social media to support a marketing campaign

Using social media to amplify linkbait

Optimizing paid social media activity

Reporting on social media effectiveness

Roles who will find this Learning Path useful

Company owners and directors working for smaller businesses

Digital marketing managers, marketing executives or specialists responsible for social media marketing

Consultants or agency account managers

So Organisieren Sie Ein Social Media

Manchmal lohnt es sich, seinen Social Media-Account von jemand anderem übernehmen zu lassen. Wir zeigen, wie Sie das Social Media-Takeover richtig organisieren.

Wenn ein anderer zeitweise Ihren Job übernehmen soll, ist das immer eine Herausforderung. Sie wollen schließlich sichergehen, dass der- oder diejenige Ihre gute Arbeit nicht torpediert. Das (oder die) Social Media-Profil(e) Ihres Unternehmens auch mal durch jemand anderen betreuen zu lassen kann sich aber durchaus lohnen. 

Ja, Sie haben Monate – oder sogar Jahre – in Ihre Twitter-, Instagram-, Facebook- oder Snapchat-Profile investiert. Sie haben in harter Arbeit Ihre Content-Strategie verfeinert, Ihre Markenbotschaft perfektioniert und Beziehungen zu Ihren Followern aufgebaut.

Und dann komme ich und schlage Ihnen vor, dass Sie all das jemand anderem anvertrauen.

Natürlich nicht für immer. Wir sprechen von einem Social Media-Takeover, also der Einladung an eine andere Person, Ihren Account für einen bestimmten Zeitraum zu übernehmen. In diesem Beitrag erfahren Sie, wie Sie von einer gut organisierten Übernahme profitieren können und dafür sorgen, dass der ganze Vorgang so reibungslos (und sicher) wie möglich gelingt.

Die Vorteile eines Social Media-Takeovers

Erreichen Sie neue Zielgruppen:

Ein Social Media-Takeover ist immer eine gemeinsame und kooperative Initiative. Beide Seiten bringen ihre eigenen Zielgruppen mit; die Zusammenarbeit kann die Anzahl der Follower für beide Parteien steigern.

Erhöhen Sie die Anzahl der Interaktionen:

Ob Sie nun eine Frage/Antwort-Aktion auf Twitter durchführen oder eine Fotoserie auf Instagram posten – bei einem Social Media-Takeover geht es immer darum, qualitativ hochwertige Inhalte bereitzustellen, mit denen Ihre Zielgruppe interagieren kann.

Pflegen Sie Ihre Marke:

Betrachten Sie das Social Media-Takeover als die bestmögliche Anerkennung und damit Bewerbung Ihrer Marke durch Dritte. Wenn Sie beispielsweise eine (prominente) Person, die Ihre Marke bestens versteht und erklären kann, zu einer Übernahme Ihrer Social Media-Profile einladen, gestalten Sie dadurch Ihre Social Media-Präsenz menschlicher.

Steigern Sie Ihren Website-Traffic:

Machen Sie sich die öffentliche Aufmerksamkeit für ein Social Media-Takeover zunutze, und lotsen Sie Besucher von Ihren Social Media-Accounts auf Ihre Website.

Wie man ein Social Media-Takeover plant und durchführt 1. Setzen Sie sich ein konkretes Ziel

Wer sich kein Ziel für das Takeover-Projekt setzt, gibt die Kontrolle über das betreffende Social Media-Profil grundlos aus der Hand. Und das ist keine gute Idee. Ihr Unternehmen kann von einer Social Media-Übernahme nur dann profitieren, wenn Sie vor dem Hintergrund eines konkreten Ziels geplant und durchgeführt wird. Die oben angeführten Vorteile sind durchwegs brauchbare Ziele. Suchen Sie sich eines (oder zwei) davon aus und planen Sie Ihr Takeover entsprechend. Stellen Sie sicher, dass die Person oder Institution, der Sie Ihr Social Media-Profil übergeben, Ihre Ziele kennt und weiß, was von ihr erwartet wird.

2. Suchen Sie nach dem passenden Moderator

Ein Social Media-Takeover ist immer nur so gut wie der Moderator, der Ihre Konten für eine gewisse Zeit übernimmt. Hier bieten sich unabhängig von der Größe Ihres Unternehmens zahlreiche Möglichkeiten an – zum Beispiel:

Promi-Takeover

Prominente haben meist sehr viele Social Media-Follower und auch im realen Leben starken Einfluss – daher sind sie oft die beste Wahl für ein Social Media-Takeover. Der Musik-Streaming-Dienst Tidal übergab seinen Twitter-Account vor Kurzem dem Rapper Pusha T.

Twitter Takeover with @TidalHiFi at 2pm ET on 6/6. Send me your questions now! #TidalPushaT

— King Push (@PUSHA_T) June 4, 2024

Pusha T. hatte neue Titel zu bewerben, die exklusiv auf Tidal erschienen waren, also profitierten beide Parteien von der Übergabe. Und auch die Fans hatten etwas davon, weil der Künstler ihre Fragen beantwortete und direkt mit ihnen interagierte (was er auf seinem persönlichen Twitter-Account nur selten tut).

Influencer-Takeover

Wenn Sie für Ihre Marke keinen Star als Moderator gewinnen können (oder Prominente für Ihre Produkte bzw. Dienstleistungen einfach nicht relevant sind), dann übergeben Sie Ihre Social Media-Accounts doch mal an einen Menschen mit vielen Social Media-Followern, dem Ihre Zielgruppe vertraut oder den sie bewundert (mit anderen Worten: einen „Influencer“). Bei einem Influencer handelt es sich um Personen, die in den sozialen Medien mehr direkte Beziehungen aufgebaut haben als Top-Prominente mit ihren Massen an Followern – daher ist ihr Einfluss auf bestimmte Zielgruppen auch größer.

Der Autoverleih Sixt Deutschland entschied sich für einen Instagram Takeover und gab seinen Account 2 Tage lang in die Hände professioneller Fotografen. Die Inhalte des Takeovers sind Unter dem Hashtag #sixtmoments aufzufinden. Jeder Takeover durch diese Influencer zahlt auf die Marke ein, weil er die visuellen Botschaften des Unternehmens an die richtige, weil interessierte, Zielgruppe vermittelt.

Mitarbeiter-Takeover

Sie müssen Ihre Social Media-Posts nicht unbedingt in externe Hände geben. Lassen Sie einfach einmal einen Ihrer Mitarbeiter für ein, zwei Stunden ans Steuer. Ihre Personalabteilung könnte doch mal Ihren Twitter-Account moderieren und sich dort mit Interessenten über aktuelle Stellenangebote unterhalten.

Das in Chicago beheimatete Unternehmen “Flowers for Dreams” verkauft und liefert wunderschöne Blumensträuße und spendet ein Viertel seines Gewinns an örtliche Wohltätigkeitsorganisationen. Vor Kurzem übernahm der Mitgründer und CEO das Snapchat-Profil der Firma, um allen Besuchern zu zeigen, wie ein durchschnittlicher Arbeitstag bei “Flowers for Dreams” abläuft. Die Follower wurden zudem aufgefordert, Fragen einzusenden, die dann via Snapchat beantwortet wurden.

Kunden- oder Follower-Takeover

Der Konkurrenzkampf mit anderen Marken, die auch nach Prominenten oder Influencers fahnden, kann anstrengend sein. Bieten Sie die Rolle des Social Media-Moderators mal einem Ihrer Kunden oder Follower an. Auf diese Art erhalten Sie nutzergenerierte Inhalte, und Ihre Follower haben Gelegenheit, ihre Fotos, Gedanken oder Ansichten mit mehr Menschen zu teilen, als sie sonst erreichen.

Die jährlich stattfindende Landwirtschaftsausstellung “Calgary Stampede” hat ihre Instagram-Follower gerade eingeladen, Bilder mit dem Hashtag #InstaStampede zu posten. Die Gewinner des Fotowettbewerbs dürfen während der zehntägigen Veranstaltung jeweils einen Tag lang den offiziellen Instagram-Account der Stampede übernehmen. On Top gibt es kostenlose Eintrittskarten zu allen Events der Stampede sowie Geschenkgutscheine, die während der Ausstellung einzulösen sind. Das dürfte eine Menge Stoff für Instagram liefern, die die Gewinner während ihres Takeovers veröffentlichen können.

— Calgary Stampede (@calgarystampede) June 10, 2024

3. Wählen Sie das richtige Format

Das Format Ihres Social Media-Takeovers (und natürlich auch das soziale Netzwerk, auf dem Sie die Übernahme inszenieren) sollte in einem direkten Zusammenhang mit den angestrebten Zielen stehen. Hier haben wir ein paar Ideen für Sie:

Twitter-Takeover

: Mit einer Q&A-Session lässt sich ein Twitter-Takeover am effektivsten nutzen; außerdem eignet sich diese Taktik hervorragend, um die Anzahl der Interaktionen zu steigern und neue Follower zu gewinnen. Erstellen Sie einen speziellen Hashtag für die Übernahme und regen Sie Ihre Follower dazu an, ihre Fragen mit diesem Hashtag zu stellen. Ihr Moderator sollte jeden Frage-Tweet zitieren und bei allen Antworten auch den Hashtag verwenden.

Facebook-Takeover:

Organisieren Sie die Übergabe via

Facebook Live

, und lassen Sie dort Ihren Prominenten, Influencer oder Experten in Echtzeit auf die Fragen Ihrer Facebook-Fans antworten. Ein Moderator, der live über Video in Erscheinung tritt, motiviert Ihr Zielpublikum außerordentlich, sich einzuschalten und zu interagieren.

Snapchat-Takeover:

Gestalten Sie Ihre Social Media-Präsenz noch etwas kreativer, indem Sie jemand anderen einladen, auf Snapchat ein Ereignis oder einen typischen Tag in seinem/ihrem Leben zu dokumentieren. Snapchat ist eine spontane, witzige und ungezwungene Plattform – und daher ideal dazu geeignet, die Kontrolle für einige Zeit an einen anderen Moderator zu übergeben.

Gleichgültig, für welches Format oder soziale Netzwerk Sie sich entscheiden: Sie sollten sich überlegen, ob Sie Ihr Social Media-Takeover durch ein Wettbewerbselement nicht noch attraktiver machen könnten. Wenn es am Ende des Takeovers etwas für Ihre Fans zu gewinnen gibt, wecken Sie dadurch Aufmerksamkeit und motivieren die Leute zur Teilnahme.

Best Practices und Sicherheitstipps

Sie haben sich also ein Ziel gesetzt, einen Gastmoderator gefunden und ein Format ausgewählt. Bevor Sie aber jemand anderem die Kontrolle überlassen, sollten Sie einiges beachten:

Sorgen Sie dafür, dass die Aktion beiden Seiten zum Vorteil gereicht.

Sie werden jemanden darum bitten, seine/ihre persönliche Marke mit Ihrem Unternehmen zu verknüpfen. Was hat Ihr Gastmoderator davon? Wird das zeitweilige Takeover Ihres Accounts ihm dabei helfen, neue Publikumsschichten zu erreichen? Kann er dabei für etwas Eigenes werben – oder dieses Produkt als Preis bei einem Gewinnspiel anbieten? Informieren Sie Ihren Moderator darüber, wie er davon profitieren kann, wenn Sie ihm Ihr Social Media-Konto überlassen; dadurch erhöhen Sie seine Motivation.

Stellen Sie Ihre Erwartungen von vornherein klar.

Sorgen Sie dafür, dass Ihr Gastmoderator genau weiß, was Sie von ihm erwarten. Teilen Sie ihm Ihre Zeitpläne, Richtlinien und Ziele schon vorab mit, und stehen Sie ihm für eventuelle Fragen zur Verfügung.

Werben Sie auf allen Profilen.

Setzen Sie auch Instagram oder Facebook dazu ein, Ihren Twitter- oder Snapchat-Takeover zu promoten – und umgekehrt. Bitten Sie Ihren Gastmoderator darum, vor Beginn der Übernahme auch auf seinem Account die Trommel zu schlagen, damit möglichst viele User auf Ihr Profil gelockt werden.

Lernen Sie, loszulassen.

Eine Social Media-Übernahme hat überhaupt keinen Sinn, wenn Sie sich selbst um jedes einzelne Detail kümmern. Lassen Sie Ihren Gastmoderator die Beiträge veröffentlichen, die er/sie veröffentlichen will. Wenn Sie jemand Vertrauenswürdigen ausgewählt haben, der Ihre Marke verkörpert, und diese Person über Ihre Ziele für die Aktion informiert haben, dann lehnen Sie sich einfach zurück, und warten Sie ab, was passiert.

Beobachten Sie genau.

Richten Sie es nach Möglichkeit so ein, dass Sie sich physisch am selben Ort aufhalten wie Ihr Gastmoderator. Fotografieren Sie seine Ankunft und posten Sie die Fotos, um die Spannung zu steigern. Wenn während des Takeovers Fragen an Sie persönlich gerichtet werden, können Sie sie gleich live beantworten. Ob Sie nun am selben Ort sind oder woanders: Mit Hootsuite kooperieren alle Beteiligten problemlos, und die Übernahme lässt sich auf einem zentralen Dashboard beobachten und überwachen.

Achten Sie auf Ihre Sicherheit.

Sie verringern die möglichen Risiken eines Social Media-Takeovers, wenn Sie Ihrem Gastmoderator via Hootsuite Zugang zu Ihren Konten geben, weil Sie auf diese Weise keine Passwörter verraten müssen. Damit sind aber noch nicht alle Gefahrenquellen beseitigt. Ihr Gast kann immer noch posten, was er oder sie will. Wenn Sie die Aktion mit Hootsuite überwachen, sehen Sie jedoch sehr schnell, ob Ihr Moderator von den vereinbarten Regeln abweicht; in diesem Fall können Sie seinen Zugang sperren und anstößige Inhalte sofort löschen.

Mit Hootsuite managen Sie Ihren Social Media-Auftritt – einschließlich Takeovers – einfach, effektiv und sicher.

Hier erfahren Sie mehr

Dieser Beitrag stammt ursprünglich von Sarah Dawley und wurde unter dem Titel “The key to smart, safe, and successful social media takeovers” auf unserem internationalen Blog veröffentlicht.

Social Media Week London 2023 Recap

Catch up on whats been happening at Social Media Week London 2023 and learn social media trends for 2023

Social Media Week London is a three-day conference that focuses on the latest trends in communication, engagement, VR, Mobile, influencer marketing, and of course social media. SMW London holds over 50 sessions and workshops, with brands such as Buzzfeed, Facebook, and ITV.

Over the next three days, I will be keeping you all updated on what’s happen and the key take aways from each talk. Check back each day for an overview of the day’s talks and trends.

Day 1 The Speed of Feed, Facebook

The day kicked off with Kat Hahn, from Facebook who focused on ‘The Speed of Feed’. She first pointed out that we scroll through 300 feet of content per day. How can brands start building ideas that work for the speed of feed? She suggested there are three modes of consumption on social media and what captivates them:

‘On the go’ – 70% – Like immediate content. Short and snappy content that consumers would view but not be too invested in

‘Lean forward’ 20% – Like interactive content where consumers are looking for something to watch and something captures their attention.

‘Lean back’ 10% – Like immersive content, longer and goes into detail. Consumers are willing to watch something for a long period of time

They estimate that 70% of people are on-the-go and looking for immediate content compared to 10% in lean- back mode.

Key take away: Not doing short video is not an option

Masters of Storytelling: How NatGeo Engages 350 Million Fans on Social, National Geographic

When you think of National Geographic, best social media performance doesn’t typically come to mind. But National Geographic is one of the most engaged with brands on Instagram with 107.2M followers and receives thousands of engagements per day. Nadine Heggie, VP of Brand Partnership talked through their social strategy and key to success.

How do you get people to stop? ‘By staying true to your brand, being timely with content, using the power of wow and wonder, and embracing new technologies to tell stories.’ She believes that collaboration is one part of their success story, by finding the right story tellers to represent their brand.

Key take away: The future of social is through visual storytelling and that social is always ‘on’.

Don’t Be Socially Awkward, Havas

Key take away: If you’re going to shout about your brand on social media, shout about it in a meaningful way

How Data Driven Creativity Will Be The Key To BuzzFeed’s Future Success, BuzzFeed

In less than a decade BuzzFeed has become a global network for news and entertainment, that generates nine billion content views per month. Richard Alan Reid, Executive Creative Director at Buzzfeed gave his insight on how they do this. He first spoke about how they test and mold their content until they found the best option, and this was a lengthy process of trial and error. Once they found the best option for their new content they would focus on tone. He quoted ‘We obsess with the local tone of the market so we can adapt our content based on the data from that area’.

Key take away: You don’t want to interrupt the content people love. You want to be the content people love

Creating Social Gold: The Art of Platform Specificity, That Lot

‘The average person spends 1 hour 16 minutes on social platforms and in this time you have to try and stop that thumb’. In order to stop the thumb, David Schneider and David Levin Creative Directors of That Lot offered a few key tactics. They focused on four platforms and suggested the following:

Facebook

Make sure your content is relatable – they post short videos and gain thousands of organic views.

Use short and humorous video to gain organic views

Your content should work in isolation not just the fans of the brand

Instagram

‘Design for sound off, delight with sound on’ – more people are starting to watch with the sound on, it’s still valuable.

Use more video on Instagram, the number of videos produced on Instagram is growing by 4x YoY

There are 250 million stories everyday, make yours count. Create a strategy around your story and invest time and thought.

The more personality your content has, the better it is

Twitter

Shorter tweets under 100 character often perform better

Users love human truths and authenticity. Don’t be afraid of humor, he gave a great example from Nandos

Snapchat

Snapchat doesn’t require your content to be as polished as other platforms

Experiment with geo filters and stories – If you’re wanting to reach a millennial audience this is the place you need to be

Try using a film series, offer something your followers can tune into and create stories users can get invested in

Key take away: Don’t be afraid to be more human on social media

“Alexa, What Does the Future of Marketing Look Like?”: How Brands Can Leverage Audio to Reach Consumers, VaynerMedia

Throughout the day, I noticed one topic that was popping up- voice search. I decided to attend Patrick Givens, Head of Smart Innovations talk on the audience on the other side of voice search. He believes your brand could be having a conversation with millions of consumers right from their own homes via a smart device. As more homes introduce Amazon Echos, Google Homes, and Apple HomePods, brands need to start to look at what this means for them.

Givens provides two examples of how these devices could be used by brands in the home. The first was a Johnnie Walker Digital Mentor and the second GE’s Labracadabra science experiment assistant.

Key take away: He left us with a question – ‘Will you be ready to respond?’

Day 2 LADbible’s Approach to Meaningful Campaigns, LADbible

LADbible Group’s Co-Founder, Arian Kalantari spoke about the importance of listening to the youth audience and how they create relatable campaigns on subjects like mental health and politics to have a positive impact and drive social change.

They realized that people listened to them and that they could have a positive impact by reaching an audience who many find hard to reach. Their audiences are becoming more open to the harder topics such as mental health and politics. LADbible is looking at how they can facilitate those conversations among their community.

Key take away: Users are now looking for authenticity and meaning from brands

Telling Impactful Stories with Social Video, Adaptly

The key focus of this talk is that we live in a mobile first culture and video is our main consumption. The way we consume video is changing. Sean O’Neal the president of Adaptly covered the following points:

Mobile video is the number one fastest growing ad format in the world and has been doubling YoY

38% of brand recall is driven by video impressions shorter than 2 seconds. The challenge is making that content stick

Vertical formats are on the rise – 70% of people won’t turn their phone to view a horizontal video ad

It’s all about video by 2023, it will make up 80% of all online consumer internet traffic

60% of marketers use video in their campaigns

social media is stealing Ad dollars

Video is about storytelling, it is the closest you will get to a face to face conversation with your audience

4x as many consumers prefer watching videos about products than actually reading about them

He interviewed two guest speakers. The first was Angela Bertram, Social Media and Content Manager at Carphone Warehouse. She said that 90% of the content they share is video. Their biggest challenge is capturing their audience’s attention in the first 3 seconds and fitting in all the points they need to make. She also recommended changing your content for each platform. For example, what you do for Facebook will not work for Instagram. Make something different for each platform and you need to be very impactful with your visuals.

Secondly, he interviewed David Wilding, Head of Planning at Twitter. His key point was that  ‘Video isn’t a strategy it’s a tactic’.  It’s important before you dive into video you need a strategy behind what you’re doing. Make clear objectives, don’t just use video for the sake of it. He also believes Twitter isn’t about ‘look at me’ but more’ look at that’.

They summarised by making predictions for 2023 in social media.:

Brands will need to be better planned

We need to learn and develop our video making skills as this will soon be an essential skill in digital

As video content increases so will quality, invest time and money into making professional high-quality video content

Key take away: The way we consume video is changing, soon almost all the content we consume will be video

Understanding the World of Influence, Ogilvy

It is more important than ever to define a new, strategic approach to finding influencers. Oglivy’s Victoria Partridge and Chris Walt’s look at the influencer landscape and how brands can create clear strategic plans to pinpoint the right influencers. For me, this was the most informative session of the day.

Due to the vast majority of marketers wanting to tap into the influencer market, there are far more challenges faced by agencies and brands. They pointed out the following challenges:

Half of the UK are bombarded with irrelevant marketing, with so many influencers promoting brands it’s hard to know who to trust

93% of consumers wouldn’t care if a brand didn’t exist anyone. This number was 73% in 2014

They also looked at how the role of the influencer has changed:

It’s not a new thing anymore

Tiers of influencer continue to evolve and grow

More brands are increasing investment spending more than ever on influencer marketing

They suggested brands need to start evolving their thinking. Influencer partnerships should be based on two sets of criteria:

Clear business objectives that seek to deliver the best ROI

Don’t just work with an influencer for the sake of it

They believe the future of influencer marketing will be brands turning to real experts.  This is due to too many brands wanting to work with influencers and their opinions no longer being trusted. People are starting to look for authentic over perfection and fake reviews.

Key take away: Brands must focus on fostering cultural relevance if they want to survive.

Love Island: How to Handle a Hit, ITV

As a big Love Island fan, I was pretty excited to hear how they made the show such a hit. Disappointingly, it was not as informative as I hoped. The panel featured:

Paul Kanareck, Group Director of Online, ITV plc

Montana Brown, Reality Star, Love Island

Tom Gould, Executive Producer, ITV plc

Claire Heys Director of Commercial Brand Partnerships, ITV

Janine Smith, Head of Digital Entertainment, ITV plc

They used integration and partnerships with Ministry of Sound and Superdrug

If you’re a Love Island fan you will have seen (and probably ordered) a water bottle. These water bottles were held by the islanders on the show. In the first week, they sold 110,000 bottles in the first five days of sale. After this, they were selling around 7,500 per night via their app

They collaborated with Primark and designed T-shirts with slogans from the show on. In total, they sold 197,000

The most tweets they received in one minute was 9,000 tweets

Why VR Will Be the Most Social of All Media, UNIT9

Henry Cowling, Executive Creative Director of UNIT9, spoke about how social media will become more social because of VR. He believes VR will no longer be an unknown platform but a shared social experience. You’ll be able to connect with friends and re-live memories. Cowling quotes ‘So we’ll have to shape entire worlds for users, making them physical and shareable’.

The most import step is in the user journey is convincing users to put the head set on. He believes as VR grows ‘Virtual FOMO’ will be a reality. People will start to feel like they are missing out on this new world and want to become part of it. Social help VR go mainstream according to Cowling.

Do jump on the band wagon – be digital forward don’t wait for everyone else to catch up

Make and embrace animojis

Your face will become your billboard as you build your network, this is already happening with the launch of the iPhone x and 8. With the rise of face scanning in smart devices.

Day 3 Give the people what they didn’t know they wanted, Pinterest

Think outside the box and mould your content to fit trends of the moment

“Arrive early!” Xmas shoppers are looking as early as July!

Content on Pinterest has a +115% CTR and a +170% Check out Rate if the product is shown in a real-life setting

Copy matters more than pictures. If you tell people what to do with an item and help them make decisions on what the content is

Key take away: Give people what they want, before they want it

Capitalising on the micro moment economy, Iris

Head of Platforms & Distribution at Iris, Digby Lewis, spoke through micro-moment mobile strategies that are transforming the way brands communicate with consumers. He made the following points:

79% of smartphone owners check their device within 15 mins of waking

The rate of change today is faster than we can even comprehend

Micro-moment drivers, there is an opportunity to drive conversion mobile is 13% faster compared to desktop

Lewis believes messengers are the way forward they now account for 3 of the top used apps.

Platforms are battling for our time and looking for new ways for us to spend time with them. They are trying to build habit forming products for us to become addicted to them

He gave four key principles for Facebook Ads:

Plan for sound off

Optimise your screen

Fight the feed

Rethink story telling

Powering the human connection, HootSuite

HootSuite Industry Principal, Adrian Cockle spoke about how we can transform social marketing strategy simply by putting Humans first. He believes the key to digital transformation is to be more human.

Why do so many brands struggle with digital Transformation? Cockle gave three reasons:

Rewiring legacy ways of doing things

Too many strategic choices

They focus on short term results rather than long term vision

He gave four simple rules to follow to simplify your social strategy:

Put Humans first always

Humanity isn’t a trend

Embrace social evolution

Fall in love with customer problems

He quoted ‘Human nature stays constant. But the way we communicate does change. It’s our job as marketers to adapt these shifting behaviors’. Customers want to speak to people, not brands.

Key take away: Technology is not the core of digital transformation, humans are.

Stop The Media Death Watch: How The Publisher-as-Platform Model Will Save Us All, Dailymotion

In this session, Claudia Page, VP of Partner and Product Development at Dailymotion covered the platform-as-publisher model. We all know newspapers and print and declining and online publishers are struggling too. This is because users will go to social media to catch up with news and media. Consumers attention is now spread across various platforms and channels it is becoming more challenging to grab their attention.

There is also a significant increase in competition making it hard for publishers to build and grow their audience. She believes in order for publishers to survive the platform as publisher model is the way forward and will be the only way to command your audiences attention.

How do we fix this problem?

Orginal content is a key trend at the moment, look at how you can write more of your own content to drive traffic

Publishers need to act more like platforms, it means you can focus more on mass verticles and niche audiences

Look at how you can introduce video into this model

Focus on one subject and own that subject – this will give you an edge

Premium content brands are still king

Trusted content is the best way to ensure brand safety

She left us with a formula for success in the publishing world. In order to succeed you need niche content and credible sources.

Key take away: All media starts broad and becomes channelized over time

ChatBots and the social commerce revolution 2023, We are social

86% of millennials agree that brands should use chatbots to promote deals, discounts, and offers. We are social covered 2 case studies Domino’s, and Skyscanner.

Create a character first

Design a conversation based on order

Chat bots have feelings, copy first, not code

Don’t let the internet beat you

Keep them hooked

Don’t make it too complicated

Don’t expect people to just use it because it’s new. Give users a reason to use it

Epic fails can happen to bots and Humans

People are now communicating mainly on Messenger apps, 6 of the top 10 apps are messaging apps. We need to be focusing our strategy on these apps in the future!

Key take away: When developing chatbots aim for a more human conversation with customers and focus on the copy before the code

If I could summarise what I learnt in three points, it would be:

Look to be more human and authentic when speaking to customers

Embrace VR and consider how you could integrate it into your marketing strategy

Stop interrupting your users feed by shouting irrelevant information at them. Instead, focus on meaningful content that you users actually want to see and start from there.

Overall SMW London was a fantastic conference, packed with informative and insightful strategies to take back to the office. If you work in or love social media I would definitely recommend attending in 2023.

Social Media Advertising: Twitter’s Advertising Platform

I have been waiting to play with Twitter’s self-serve ad platform for some time now. In fact, I wrote a post here about Twitter Advertising Strategy on December 15, 2011. Three days ago, I was checking out my Twitter profile and saw the words that I’ve been waiting for: “Twitter Ads.”

Promoted Account

Ads from the “promoted accounts” will appear in a few different areas on Twitter users’ profiles.

Who to Follow Area: This appears when you are on your Twitter profile.

Similar to xxx (Rand Fishkin) Area: This appears when you are on someone else’s profile.

Yep, that’s it. This is all the power that Twitter is giving me. The idea of innovative Twitter marketing just ran out the door.

How much do you want to spend per day?

How much do you want to bid per follower?

This you can expect!

In my mind, my social following has already been supercharged to superstar status, but the campaign ended before it started. But what the hell! Let’s throw a few hundred dollars at the campaign and see what happens.

Twitter says I can expect 57 to 84 new followers per day. Sweet! So, in five days, I can add a few hundred additional followers to my following. Even without the control that I want, this is cool, and I can’t wait to see the results.

Campaign Launch 

Starting September 9, with a $30-per-day budget, expecting 57 to 84 new followers per day, I received four followers and spent $7.57. Ouch! Another dream killer. I have no control over optimizing the campaign other than increasing the cost per following that I am bidding. Now, in all fairness, I started the bid at $1.50; Twitter recommended I adjust it to $2 per follower, so I did. Now, with the lack of results, Twitter recommends I adjust the bid to $8+ per follower, so I did (fingers crossed).

I hope you can see my growing frustration here—no control over ad serving, results were overpromised and under-delivered. However, I’ve always considered myself a very understanding guy. I own a small content marketing startup company in Seattle and currently have a few programs in Beta testing, so I know what the learning curve is like.

Also, with Twitter coming out and saying HELP US and take this short survey, all I really want to do here is help and get my voice heard.

What better way to do that than go to Search Engine Journal and write about it, exposing my theory to tens of thousands of marketers! I hope someone from Twitter is listening…

Quick Recap:

My campaign testing is still going on.

I’m disappointed in the results so far.

I’m disappointed in the amount of control I have over the campaign.

I’m upping my bids and budget to give the Twitter Ad Platform another chance.

My Uber Creative Twitter Advertising Idea (Cry for Help)

I’d like the ability to select what profiles my promoted account is placed on. Give me the option to search for movers and shakers by industry and what type of following they have. Also, I love to be able to identify my target demographic market then have the Twitter users, who influence them, pop up. Then, I can target them and their following within my ad campaigns.

Additionally, I’d love the option to select groups of influencers by their engagement power. Selecting groups will allow me to target a greater audience and limit the amount of research I need to do before a campaign starts. Also, I’d love the ability to pick and choose individuals out of groups and add them to my list.

As an SEO, I would pay top dollar to make sure that every time someone follows Rand Fishkin, Melissa Fach, or Ian Laurie, my pretty face pops up with a “You should check this guy out, too.” right next to it. Talk about an ego booster.

Future conversations with my clients might sound something like this:

“Your blog post Product Design for the Next Billion was very well written and has evidence of thought leadership all over it. Over the next three months, let’s build your Twitter following so we can broadcast your content to the masses. I did some research and found that Brian Lam is the editorial director of Gizmodo, and he has 16,000 Twitter followers.

“Gizmodo is a technology-focused blog that features a lot of product innovations—it’s right up your ally. Let’s make sure then, whenever someone follows Brian, that your brand is exposed and they follow you, too. Also, let’s find 20 other industry influencers to execute this strategy on…”

I fear this conversation will never take place.

Come on, Twitter, GIVE ME THIS POWER!

More to come on Twitter Advertising as my tests continue. I hope we are just getting started!

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