Embracing Marketing Mistakes

How to Master Your Social Media Strategy in 2024

May 28, 2024 Prohibition PR Season 1 Episode 35
How to Master Your Social Media Strategy in 2024
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
More Info
Embracing Marketing Mistakes
How to Master Your Social Media Strategy in 2024
May 28, 2024 Season 1 Episode 35
Prohibition PR

Unlock the secrets to a dynamic social media strategy that keeps you ahead of the curve. This week, in a slightly different sounding pod we're handing over the playbook from a recent webinar that we held with more than 300 marketing professionals. Prepare to sharpen your skills in real-time strategy adaptation, steer clear of the creativity trap, and align every post with your brand's long-term vision.

Dive deep into the world of marketing insights with us, where setting SMART objectives isn't just smart—it's essential. We'll reveal how to transform raw data into golden nuggets of actionable strategy, ensuring that your content not only lands with a splash but also ripples through your audience's world. From social listening tools to audience behaviour analysis, you'll learn how to position your content just where it needs to be for maximum impact.

Finally, balance is everything in content strategy and community engagement, and we've got the formula. Discover the right mix of original and shared content, and learn how to turn your social media followers into a thriving community. We even take a page from C4 Energy's book to show you how to leverage platforms like TikTok and Threads. Plus, we wrap up with strategic measurement insights and tools that promise to elevate your social media game to championship levels. Join us and equip yourself with the expertise to navigate the bustling social media landscape like a proper professional.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

Follow Chris Norton:
X
TikTok
LinkedIn

Follow Will Ockenden:
X
LinkedIn

Follow The Show:
X
TikTok
YouTube

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Unlock the secrets to a dynamic social media strategy that keeps you ahead of the curve. This week, in a slightly different sounding pod we're handing over the playbook from a recent webinar that we held with more than 300 marketing professionals. Prepare to sharpen your skills in real-time strategy adaptation, steer clear of the creativity trap, and align every post with your brand's long-term vision.

Dive deep into the world of marketing insights with us, where setting SMART objectives isn't just smart—it's essential. We'll reveal how to transform raw data into golden nuggets of actionable strategy, ensuring that your content not only lands with a splash but also ripples through your audience's world. From social listening tools to audience behaviour analysis, you'll learn how to position your content just where it needs to be for maximum impact.

Finally, balance is everything in content strategy and community engagement, and we've got the formula. Discover the right mix of original and shared content, and learn how to turn your social media followers into a thriving community. We even take a page from C4 Energy's book to show you how to leverage platforms like TikTok and Threads. Plus, we wrap up with strategic measurement insights and tools that promise to elevate your social media game to championship levels. Join us and equip yourself with the expertise to navigate the bustling social media landscape like a proper professional.

Would you like to know if your social media and content strategy is perfect for this year? Book a free 15-minute brand discovery call here with Chris, and we will help you grow your brand today. And if you like the show, please leave us a review, or even just a thumbs up. It is very much appreciated - we want your feedback.

Follow Chris Norton:
X
TikTok
LinkedIn

Follow Will Ockenden:
X
LinkedIn

Follow The Show:
X
TikTok
YouTube

Speaker 1:

Hi everybody, welcome back to Socially Inacceptable. This week is slightly different to a normal podcast because this week, will and I are going through a webinar that we delivered to about 300 marketers. For those of you that don't know, we do webinars regularly. We've done them for the last three or four years since the pandemic. We used to do seminars in the real world for the last 10 years, and this particular webinar is all about social media mastery and how to craft your winning social media strategy. So it will sound slightly different to normal, but Will and I go through quite a lot of stuff. We cover a lot of ground using various examples. We'd love to hear what you think and what you're doing with your social media strategy. So what did you make of this webinar, william?

Speaker 2:

Well, it's one of our more detailed sessions, isn't it? It's certainly one. I think that's one of our most popular each year that we do. What was quite interesting, actually talking about strategy pre-pandemic and we cover this in the podcast pre-pandemic, people weren't really updating their strategies very often, were they, and it was something like once a year and we always used to say if your strategy is older than a year, you haven't got a strategy. But we did a number of polls in the session and people are actually updating their strategies much more often, aren't they, which is the right approach quarterly in some cases they were saying that they're updating their strategy once every sort of three months.

Speaker 1:

Are you updating your social media strategy once every three months? I don't think most people are. A lot of the people that are coming on our webinars are senior people in social media. So if you haven't come to our webinars before, make your way to prohibitionprcouk slash events. There's an events page we've got there. They're all free. We do in-house training and things like that to people that if you've got a big marketing team, yes, yes, yes, we can sell you in-house training. But the the webinars that we deliver. We deliver them every month and they're free. So we felt we'll bring one of them to you to show you what what sort of experience it is. So, as I say, this session is slightly different. Sit back, relax and enjoy. We're going to walk you through how to go through a social media strategy and how to apply it to your brand strategy for us is is the interesting work.

Speaker 2:

You know it's really. It's it's very kind of nuanced um, and I think chris and I love delivering and developing social media strategies um, you know, this session is is naturally it's going to be quite detailed, chris, I think isn't it? But yeah, really valuable I think, and and it's so important to to get this piece right.

Speaker 1:

You know, this is the foundations really for anything, anything you do in social media or in comms as a whole yeah, and I think what we're going to do today is with the whole process of this webinar, is to walk you through the process of how to how to do your strategy. What I've been quite impressed with is how often people are updating their social media strategies now, and the process is always quite similar, but there is new channels, new integrations, new tools to use to help you get your strategy more accurate and better. So this is what we'll be covering today. Why is strategy important? Why should you be using it? Our prohibition strategy or strategic process that we use and we take all of our clients through when we're working with them, and then we'll look at the process. We'll go further through the process. You'll see it's a several stage process and we'll take you further through that, and then we'll talk about a little bit about further support. So then let's get into social media strategy. So why is strategy so important? Well, a strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.

Speaker 1:

So there are the risks of no social media strategy. Well, you'll know this if you didn't have one for a while. But, as I said, I was quite impressed by the polls that we've been doing recently. People seem to be updating their social media strategies much more than they used to do. So it used to be maybe once a year. It seems to be once every three to six months, which is good. If you don't have a social media strategy, you'll get ineffective results, you'll be wasting time and effort. In other words, you'll be having no focus. You'll be trying to do everything on all the channels and you can waste your team's time and your time when, in actual fact, if you've got a strategy and you're measuring the right things, then you're going to know where to focus your time and effort and save yourself money, and time's the one resource that we haven't got endless pounds of. So, yeah, a tendency to firefight if you've got no strategy, just doing things for doing things sake and you've got the risk of just jumping on a social media channel without a strategy can cause an. It can expose you to negativity. So what I mean by that is like if you, you can expose you to negativity. So what I mean by that is like if you you know, I've met a lot of B2B brands recently and they've all heard about the huge growth in TikTok in the last two years and they all want to know whether they should be on TikTok. Well, it means to make sure that there's a brand, a social media strategy and this channel strategy if you're going to do that before you just start creating crazy wacky videos on TikTok.

Speaker 1:

So strategy terminology, then A goal this is the broad primary outcome. So you heard, when I said strategy, it was a long-term thing, so a goal is sort of like your broad primary outcome. I'm going to explain what I mean by that. The strategy is the approach to achieving that goal. So how are we going to get there? This is what we need to do. So how are we going to get there? This is what we need to do. This is how we're going to get there.

Speaker 1:

The objective is the shorter term sort of things that you've got to achieve, defining measurable actions required to achieve the overall goal and deliver your strategy. And then tactic is the tools that you use in pursuing the objective associated with the overall strategy. So let's bring that to life. If you were launching a new protein bar which we've done we launch new health products and food products all the time Maybe your goal is to make your new protein bar a category leader in sales revenue by 25, 26 financial year.

Speaker 1:

So your strategy, then, would be to position the protein bar as the best in class, maybe by flavor or whatever, by educating the key audiences and associating with leading retailers who can sell your product. The objective, then, is more short-term. It might be increased sales by 20%, year-on-year inbound links to the e-commerce site to boost Google exposure. And then finally, finally, the tactic might be secure media exposure and online advocacy from digital influencers in the I don't know health food space. So, yeah, that sort of brings it to life, and we're going to bring this process to life as we go through things strategies can sound a bit confusing and scary, can't they a lot of the time?

Speaker 2:

yeah, all this terminology and all these processes, and often people just think it's too complicated, too scary to even think about. So I think it's really important to to kind of dispel that myth. Really it doesn't need to be complicated, and it can be, and you'll see through this session.

Speaker 1:

Really it can be quite a straightforward process yeah, and often we'll do um, when we're doing an overall social media strategy, we'll do something, yeah, quite detailed and and good quality so a client can understand it, but we might have a channel strategy on a page. We do all the time, don't we? Well?

Speaker 2:

yeah, absolutely, and I'll talk about that later on, actually. But yeah, I mean, strategies don't need to be 50 pages long, because you know what that means you never read it. Nobody ever reads it. You know, if you can do a strategy that's one or two pages long, brilliant, everyone's going to use it and it's going to be much, much more effective so I said we're going to talk about the process.

Speaker 1:

So this is a process. We've developed a prohibition. This is the process that we go through with our social media or pr client. Well, social media and content marketing clients, um, so, as, as I said, established goals and objectives right at the very beginning. This is the the step I'm going to walk you through Will's going to walk you through the final three stages, but I'll just explain. So you've got established goals and objectives.

Speaker 1:

Our second bit is the insight and audience understanding. Obviously, you've got to understand your audience and what's the insight from that audience? What do they like, what do they don't like, et cetera, et cetera. We'll go into more detail on that. Then you've got your content and platform strategy. So, what sort of content am I going to put on this channel? What sort of content am I going to put on that channel? Then you've got your engagement and distribution strategy. How do we get this content out there? Because once you've published a video on YouTube, that's used to be it. Let's put a brand video out there. That's not a strategy, that's just a tactic. You're putting a video out there. How are you going to distribute that? Who's it going to? Who's it getting engaged with? How are people going to see it? What is the video? What's the goal of the video, even? And then metrics for success. Well, it certainly won't be YouTube views. It might be sales from that video or whatever it is.

Speaker 1:

So let's go through the process then. So setting great objectives, so setting great objectives, so setting objectives. We need to think smart, so smart and we've put it in here specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. So some examples. So a good example of objectives is drive inquiries from social media. So that could be an objective that we get in a brief at Provision all the time. Can you drive sales or drive inquiries through social media? Better would be drive inquiries for let's use the protein brand product I don't know, snickers protein. Drive inquiries for Snickers protein through YouTube. And then best would be drive 25% of all Snickers protein inquiries through organic YouTube activity by the end of quarter two. So, as you can see, that's much smarter and more specific at the end there.

Speaker 1:

So second phase, and there's a quote from Brian Massey, who's a conversation scientist, and he said in five years, marketers will be prized for their insight, not their creativity, and I bet he wasn't even thinking about AI when he looked at that. Because, yeah, the insights is what you need first before you come up with the ideas, and then you can base your ideas around the insight. So, yeah, insight first, creativity second. So why bother with insight? Then let's look at that.

Speaker 1:

You can create a genuine cut through understanding what makes your audience tick. What do they like, what don't they like? Where do they go? Um, what, what media do they consume? We can do, we can produce like a 25 page persona report on a particular audience, say which facebook groups and social media they should, shouldn't, shouldn't be engaging with. Um, what, what media are they reading? Whether they even read media if it's Gen Z, that's another question for another day.

Speaker 1:

Focus your efforts, your channels. Are you on the right channels? If you've got the insight, that will definitely help to decide actually, why the hell are we on LinkedIn if we're a B2C brand, for instance, content and engagements and then find your content white space. So where's the perfect place to put your content? That's going to be different to everybody else's, and the principles of insight are this. So you can see here, this is just an example of something that we've been using at Prohibition for years.

Speaker 1:

So we've got various. I think we've got about three different social listening tools, We've got content marketing listening tools and, obviously, various, various bits of kit. But the point is you use all these different things to pull in, collect lots of different data points. So we've got here podcasts, a big thing that we're banging on in the trends. If you came to the trends webinar, don't worry if you missed it. If you missed the trends webinar, which we finished delivering last month. It's now on demand. But podcasts is a big trend for 2023 and 2024. They've had a reemergence basically because of TikTok and the discovery element of TikTok and YouTube Shorts.

Speaker 1:

But yeah, so you're collecting podcast data, blog data, news coverage, media exposure from public relations or whatever trade site references. So other places that mention your brand, media coverage in the press, people talking about your brand on public pages on social networks, review sites such as Trustpilot, the holiday review section, whatever. And then forums where people discuss if you've got a product that you manufacture, people discussing you in forums and can you get engaged with that. That's all collected, processed more and more by AI now, and then you get lots of shiny graphs that produce lots of analysis and from that analysis, it's not just about the graphs. It's about the final bit, which is insight, which tells you what you should be looking at. So the essential insights toolkit, because that's the key element. So, social listening this helps companies understand the conversations surrounding their brand and their products and the services that you're offering. It provides valuable consumer data that companies can use to gauge brand awareness and improve your products and services. Secondly, there's social media insights, so that's the analytic sections of each of the channels and Meta's got that. That provides you a deep understanding of your current audience. So often we'll work with a client and they'll say this is our core audience. And then we'll work with a client and they'll say this is our core audience. And then we'll do a social strategy analysis of their audience and actually go and compare the two who they're aiming for and who they've actually got and often it's different. So it's a good thing to look at your current audience anyway and maybe even survey that audience if you've not done it in the last three years to ask them what they think of your content, and then you can figure out what their online behaviors are and how they're already consuming your content.

Speaker 1:

Google Analytics the new Google Analytics. I was an advanced user of Google Analytics and then they launched a new version, which nobody likes. The point is, you can still have dashboards built. You can still see where the traffic's coming from, what source it came from and where you're getting your ROI from your campaigns from, based on your Google Analytics. And then, finally, you've got third-party data and reports. So this will be like your CRM, so it could be like we use HubSpot. It could be.

Speaker 1:

There's various ones, there's Salesforce, et cetera, et cetera, and this allows brands to capture customer data from all your different platforms, monitor conversations and engage with customers in a more proactive manner. So you can see where customers came from, what they're doing and why. But don't mistake information for insight. This is where the value is. So you collect all your data. You collect all your various data points. You've probably got tons. You pump them, all your data. You collect all your various data points. You've probably got tons. You pump them all into a piece of kit and out of there you pull your insights, your graphics, your insights. What is this telling us? Review that and spot the trends and from that we can execute a campaign and we can look at key learnings to inform which platforms you should be on, what content is working and how to engage with your particular audience. So basing that on, if we think about this. So Insight Insight is important and it can help you deliver a campaign that is hugely, hugely effective.

Speaker 1:

And that brings me to Insight for a campaign, which I mean. What's a better example of how to use insight as a campaign than spec savers, who use insight and humor, and I thought this was quite a good example of insight. Those of you that are connected to me on LinkedIn will have seen that I shared this a couple of weeks ago. It says 3,017 people are putting the wrong fuel in their cars. They should have gone to Specsavers Brilliant, brilliant, clever execution. And it was shared online and stuff. So a great execution. Cheap, simple execution, but clever, based on the fact that people are putting the wrong fuel in their cars. So eyesight, wrong fuel. They've got the insight, so they've used it at the point of sale, which I thought was really clever every brand will have insight, you know, and your spot consumer behaviors.

Speaker 2:

It might be questions that you get to customer services that everybody asks, you know, and there's insights everywhere and and there's, so you know.

Speaker 1:

If you can get that right, then a campaign will absolutely resonate with with your audience yeah, so create, uh, brand personas, right, okay, so those of you who have been marketing a while will yeah, you'll have heard all about brand personas, but it's important to talk about them because brand personas years ago so we've done loads of persona work for various brands and what you do is you create a persona of your ideal customer so the name, the job title where they work, details about their role, so you can see you should understand how old they are. This is your perfect customer really the gender, the salary, the location, their education, the family goals and challenges. So what they value. What do they fear? What social platforms are they on which we've already sort of touched on, I think, on their age demographic, that can be interesting. Social behavior are they, on which we've already sort of touched on, I think, on their age demographic, that can be interesting. Social behavior Are they information seeker? Are they a fan? Are they an influencer? Are they a detractor? Yeah, that gives you a lot of input as to your perfect customer and your perfect consumer, whether it be to B2C or B2C, and who to target. And the great thing about that is you can use that to then craft your content to target that ideal consumer.

Speaker 1:

So creating a persona, then you can review sales and lead data. So if you haven't got this is if you haven't got personas already. Maybe you're just marketing to everybody. Trust me, quite a lot of people do that because they think their product is for everybody, but actually you'll find that often, yeah, if you drill down into the data, you'll find your ideal persona. Your ideal persona might be slightly different to who's your current customer, so that's quite interesting as well. So you can review your sales and lead data. You can survey your customers. I just talked about surveying them on different social media channels. You can do different surveys on your different channels to find out why they follow you, what they follow you about what they find interesting, what they don't find interesting.

Speaker 1:

Three look at broader audience insights so you can look at other things. Four you can analyse their social behaviour. So what do they do, where do they go and why do they do it. Five you can divide the results into different persona their social behavior. So what do they do, where do they go and why do they do it. Five you could divide the results into different persona buckets. Now you might have three personas, you might have five personas, you might have 10. And six. You can then edit, edit limit to the right number that you want and then you can make them personal and detailed, so you can start naming them and giving them yeah, making them really, really personal.

Speaker 1:

The great thing about it one thing I will say is you can use ChatGPT or Claude or Gemini to help you with personas.

Speaker 1:

Once you've got your persona down, you can then, once you've created a persona, you can then say what would then run the persona through and start testing ideas on that audience, which is a really, really interesting way of using AI.

Speaker 1:

But you have to create the persona first, and it would be good to do that from your own data, because then you've got an ideal picture. So what will personas tell you? Well, it's pretty obvious. They're going to tell you because if you've not looked at this data, you will have looked at it, but if you've not looked at it recently, they will tell you what channels they're on, how to target them and what content's going to work with them. But a whole lot more and there's various tools you can use out there to pay for they're not cheap for persona marketing as well. That will start identifying media like groups and all sorts of things which we use here. But um, having um several personas, whether it's three or five, will really help you with your content strategy, your social strategy, moving forward so, okay, let's push on in further on into the process.

Speaker 2:

I'm now going to talk about content and platform strategy. So content, I mean what? What it is you're posting? What are you actually going to post on social media? And platform strategy, which is, what platforms do you actually use? And clearly you don't want to be on every platform. So, if we talk about platforms, first of all, the most important thing you can do, following the insight and persona work, is to understand where your audience are, and what you need to do is match your channels to your audience. Where your audience are, and what you need to do is match your channels to your audience. So it would be crazy to try and be.

Speaker 2:

You know, we used to see brands doing this all the time, trying to be on every single platform and they're spreading their time over six, seven, eight different platforms, and all that means is you're not really doing anything very well at all. It's much better to really focus in on those core platforms where your core audience are, um, are hanging out, basically, and the point here is, I mean, we've not listed every social network, but, um, each social network has a different kind of demographic. So you know, we've, we've drawn, you know, most social networks of a certain scale have most people on them, but there's always kind of trends. So with for facebook, for example, believe it or not, it's very good for reaching older age groups. So nearly 40% of Facebook users are now 45 plus, and if you want to reach the 60 plus age group, it's even better. So broader audiences and older groups are very good on Facebook and it obviously has that scale. At the other side of the spectrum, something like TikTok is absolutely the de facto platform for Gen Z. So one in four of tiktok users are under 20. Equally, if we want to reach a professional audience that's slightly older and slightly male skewed, then you've got to be looking at linkedin. But, like I say, the point is be smart about how you use your time and really focus in on the channels where your audience are already hanging out.

Speaker 2:

Quick example of this we had this challenge with C4. So C4 is an energy and sports performance drink company that we've worked with for the last two to three years. Now, in the last six or so months, they have been doing a lot of kind of new product development work and looking at launching, you know, smaller servings, things like pre-workout shots, more lifestyle focused drinks with different kind of imagery on the servings, things like pre-workout shots. More lifestyle focused drinks with different kind of um imagery on the cans and things like that. Now, we did a whole load of kind of persona work around this to try and understand, okay, who is the target audience for this? Where do they hang out? What we actually found was almost exclusively the audience that would resonate with this product were on t. They weren't really on Instagram, they weren't really on Facebook, which was the core channels that we used. So, essentially, in order to engage our audience and market this new product, we went down the TikTok route and our use of TikTok is very nuanced. You know, there's no duplication between what we share on TikTok and what we share on the other channels, and it's a really good example of. You know, we've done our due diligence with the persona work and we've realized this core audience is on this platform. So let's just double down on this. But the whole approach is completely different. It's all about entertainment, it's all about comedy, it's all about the hard sell.

Speaker 2:

The second piece is to choose our content types. So you know, we don't just want to be publishing the same type of content constantly and this is a really interesting study from Sprout Social that actually shows this is from last year, actually it shows the types of content that consumers like to see from brands that they follow on social and this shows you the kind of mix that you can potentially look at. So just over half like hosts highlighting their product or service. So essentially, people are following, and this is consumer brands and b2b brands combined, I believe. Um, now, you know, this shows that people follow brands to hear about brands. So it is appropriate to sell and to talk about products, but not all the time. Equally, customer testimonials and customer demonstrations 40 of content, which, which is quite high, and then posts highlighting the brand's personality, authentic, less produced, you know, promotions. But the point is there's a whole range of different content types that we can experiment with and it would depend on who your audience is, what they want from you, the type of questions they ask.

Speaker 2:

And this kind of leads me on to the second point, which is video, of course. Now, um, you know, it's uh, safe to say video really is the best performing as a whole. It's the best performing content type across most social networks in general. If you post a short video, it's going to do really well on social media, because you know that's, that's, that's the way things are going. A few statistics half of 18 to 43 year olds don't know how they'd get like through life with that video. That makes me laugh at a bit a bit of an exaggeration perhaps, but yeah, I mean that's, that's a sign of the times. Six out of ten people prefer watching online videos to television. So the traditional tv show is show is gradually in decline and 93% of marketers have gained new customers from video marketing. So, in our view, the case for video is really compelling. Not only are the social networks promoting it, but there's direct audience and commercial benefits in doing that as well.

Speaker 2:

And, of course, with video, the point is there's no one size fits all, and you're starting to see this theme. Just as you need a nuanced channel strategy, um, you know each piece of content needs to, needs to behave slightly differently on on your different social networks. So clearly, um, youtube is a long format really when it comes to video 5 to 15 minutes. But then you might look at tiktok and and you know the average is 24 to 31 seconds. That works best on that platform. You can do a three-second video on TikTok. So no one size fits all. With video or indeed with any type of content that you publish on different social networks and this underlines the point as well. As I mentioned earlier you can't be everywhere. Imagine the time you're going to burn if you're trying to be on 10 different channels. You're just going to be the average of everything. You're much better focusing on two or three key channels and doing them really really well and really kind of engaging with your audiences.

Speaker 2:

Now, this is a really interesting point to us and this is certainly sort of in line with our experience of delivering content for our clients. Now, it's not just a marketing concern. I think marketers often think it all falls on me to do content. Everything's got to come from me. Actually, when researching some of the larger corporates around the world, this actually shows where their social media content comes from and the inputs into their social strategy. So the majority is customer service. So over half of organizations customer service teams actually input into a social strategy, and that kind of rings true, doesn't it? If you think about Q&As or stock responses or crisis management or customer service issues. Corporate teams input a lot. Product teams do human resources, which is probably more of a B2B concern in terms of building the employer brand, research and development and 3% other. So the point is it's absolutely a good idea, as a marketer, to involve the whole company in social media marketing efforts and borrowing the expertise from these different teams and even, in some cases, involving them in social media directly themselves.

Speaker 2:

If you're talking about customer service, so we work with Sealy, the bed manufacturer.

Speaker 2:

They're one of our longstanding clients that we've worked with for the last 10 or 12 years Now.

Speaker 2:

One of the big differentiators for Sealy is the we call it the science behind sleep, so the fact that their mattresses and their beds are super high tech, and for us that's an interesting story. So over the last few years we've spent an awful lot of time with their innovation teams and their research and development teams and we actually use them as a route to getting really engaging content. We constantly lean into the kind of the science angle, the technology within the mattress, all of this stuff, and kind of break it down in a really easy to understand and digestible way. And just before this session, actually, I was looking at some of our social stats and research and development over the last year has outperformed every other type of content for the brand. So just an example of how that can kind of play out in reality. And, to be quite honest, that's where all the exciting stuff happens, isn't it, chris? You know, when you have the R&D labs for a client, you know that's the exciting bit and the interesting bit and there's a real story to tell there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, you can spot, yeah, the key things that they're working on. I mean, everybody wants to talk about the latest big thing.

Speaker 2:

It makes the PR's job the dream, doesn't it? Yeah, absolutely. Um, optimal posting frequency. We thought we'd kind of cover this just because we're asked about it all the time. I mean a slight caveat it depends on your audience. And again, it comes back to effectively measuring, it comes back to understanding who our audience are. But, broadly speaking, we need to make sure we're posting about the right times per day in order to kind of maximize engagement and get the most from our content. And again, this shows you how each channel is so nuanced.

Speaker 2:

So, um, and actually meeting these requirements can be quite a struggle. I mean, three to five times a week on tiktok, um. Two to three tweets a day on x or z, should I say? Um, you know, once they're done linkedin, ultimately you may struggle to kind of meet these volumes. These are industry averages based on kind of recommendations from the platform, but for us, really, it's about consistency and quality. So you should never fall into the trap of posting for the sake of posting, because all you're going to do is kind of disengage your audience. So if you can only manage, um, you know, two insta stories a week rather than 14 a week, then fine, but make sure you stick to it and keep it consistent. So the the kind of the structural bit.

Speaker 2:

Um, you ultimately need to put all this together. So, um, we would recommend, as as a rule, um, for you know, as a brand, you need to have a number of content pillars. Um, now, content pillars are themes that you regularly talk about. So one of them might be new product development, one of them about. So one of them might be new product development. One of them might be sales. One of them might be customer service. One of them might be case studies. So, based on your insight, agree four to five content pillars and probably test them for a quarter. You can't just jump around week by week and talk about lots of different. You need to give them enough time to kind of bed in. We'd recommend putting together monthly content plans so you know what you're going to be talking about, and that will make your life incredibly easy. But measure, refine constantly ultimately. So, yeah, you always need to kind of measure, certainly on a monthly or quarterly basis, how well your content themes are doing. You know are four doing brilliantly and one's doing terribly. You know, if that's the case, switch it up and try something new, and it's always kind of learning from the data that's going to give you that incremental, uh, in performance in social media.

Speaker 2:

Now, something we're asked a lot actually, you know to what degree should we pre-plan content and to what degree should we be reactive? And we would probably say you know about 80 of what you do can be pre-planned, but always try to be reactive. So you know, responding to something in the news agenda, for example, is a really great way to drive engagement and make you seem relevant. So have those kind of processes in place where you can get quick sign off on some reactive copy. You've got those kind of pre-written statements in the bank that you can potentially draw upon. And then finally, on the right hand side, you don't have to do all of this yourself as well, which is a good thing.

Speaker 2:

So we talk about created versus curated. So created content is content that you original, content that you create. It might be a blog post, it might be a video or an image or some commentary. So about 40% of your content and again this varies brand to brand, but these are averages and from our experience, about 40 of what you post can be created and then about 60 can be curated. So that's things like reshares of other people's content. It might be repurposing somebody else's blog post, it might be, um, it might be, you know, uh, it might be user generated content, so or even sharing a link to a relevant article. So not everything falls on you to have to create it originally, and having a bit of a mix is quite a good way of you know, quite an effective way of running an engaged social media community.

Speaker 2:

Okay, two stages to go. This bit is really, really important actually is engagement and distribution. So you know, know, let's say you've got amazing goals. They're smart goals, very, very specific. You've got the best insight in the world you've, you've, you know, you've focused your efforts, you're posting great content. Unless you're getting engagement, the whole thing falls down and engagement's a two-way street.

Speaker 2:

Really, um, you know, too many people think about social media as a broadcasting medium where they just publish great content and they shout at their audience, and that's missing the whole. Think about social media as a broadcasting medium where they just publish great content and they shout at their audience, and that's missing the whole point of social media, which is the fact that it should be a two-way conversation and it should be a living, breathing community. So what I'm saying is most people do this the channel strategy and the content strategy we've talked about but most people don't do this. So another part of the strategy to consider is how am I actually going to turn my audience into a community, you know, how am I going to actually turn it into a living, breathing community? And there are certain things you can do to encourage that.

Speaker 2:

A few hygiene factors. We obviously need to monitor brand conversations. We need to understand what people are saying about us on and off platform, and you can do that through using the social networks. You can do it through social media listening tools. You then want to be engaging in conversations about your brand. So, rather than just letting these brand conversations happen without you, you need to kind of insert yourself into those conversations in an engaging and authentic way. You need to moderate comments so you can't just let any conversations positive or negative happen about your brand. You need certain rules in place to maintain that quality of conversation.

Speaker 2:

And then you need to know what to measure. So you need to measure feedback on engagement, on sentiment and how people perceive you and adjust your approach accordingly. And this is again, this is a theme measure everything and and learn from that and ultimately it comes down to a combination of pre-planned content, which is fine, and we've talked about that, but then proactive conversations and engagement. So you might have five posts a week on instagram, but why not also build in five proactive interactions on instagram where you seek out conversations or you deliberately respond to comments or whatever it may be? Quick case study um, c4 energy again, um, we launched on threads, um, like many brands, um, and we used it as a bit of an experimental platform. Threads Threads is a whole different conversation, actually, and we're seeing some really exciting developments on Threads at the moment. And watch this space, I think, is our message, isn't it? It's certainly heading towards becoming the new home for text-based content.

Speaker 1:

I was sharing this. I was running a social media workshop with Manchester Met University's marketing team on Monday and I was saying that I've noticed that threads lots of people. I asked to uphold like 30 40 people in the room and, um, yeah, everyone jumped on it and then everyone bogged off after two weeks because it was just people slagging off Twitter. However, threads conversations have got much, much better in the last sort of couple of weeks. The content seems to be getting much, much um more like what Twitter used to be, um, but obviously removing the hate, which is good. So it's definitely getting better. And there's more organic reach. Because it's a new platform, they're giving it a lot of organic reach. So if you want to make a bit of a splash now, it could be the time to start looking at threads as part of your strategy.

Speaker 2:

Pro tip for you there. So what we did with threads this you've probably heard of a threat, of a trend on social called unhinged social media, which is basically where, as a brand, you just go for it, you don't, you just have fun. You just you just have a bit of fun and start conversations in a bit of a crazy way. So this is just a just a fairly small example, but you know that this is the point of where you can start directly engaging people in conversations. People answer back and you then string that conversation out. So you know, we, we did this loads and loads of times for loads of different um you know, and had loads and loads of conversations and it is quite time consuming, but in terms of really driving that engagement and that conversation, it can be really really effective. And a big trend on social now is brands talking to other brands. So classic example being the um the heinz, um, the heinz baked bean and weetabix stunt, um, which which um we we're talking to somebody about that. You came up with a concept um, uh, from weetabix on our podcast, but the point is about 50 to 100 other brands jumped in on it and then everybody started talking to everybody and this is this is a real trend, this kind of these bursts of conversation. So absolutely kind of try to nurture that kind of conversation and that's just going to get your content seen by a much broader audience. And that kind of leads me to here.

Speaker 2:

So why should we bother with this? This is there's obviously a time cost with it. It humanizes your brand. It supercharges your reach, sentiment and engagement. It's a really great way to strengthen customer relationships, providing you do it right, of course, and it provides you this kind of softer insight about your customers. You know, you're going to be ultimately having lots of conversations at scale and you're going to be learning more about your customers and using things like on instagram, you can now do polls within the comments, you know, and that's another way. If you've got a really big issue being talked about, run a few polls and it's really valuable customer insight. There is a time cost associated with it, but equally um, again, it comes down to consistency rather than quantity. You don't have to spend five days a week doing this. You might just have an engagement, 10 minutes every single day, and as long as you stick with that for a year, then you're doing loads more than probably most of your competitors.

Speaker 2:

This is the time issue. So how much time does it take? I mean, this is kind of best practice, but ultimately you need somebody to be doing this and some of the biggest companies have community managers or whole teams of community managers. You know, a brand like coca-cola's probably got about 10 or 15 community managers just doing this. So, on an hourly basis, it's about monitoring the feeds and listening. On a daily basis, at the least it's responding to messages or comments. Weekly you might have bursts of this kind of proactive off-platform engagement, ie people talking about you but not to you and initiating proactive conversations and then monthly you might be looking at reporting and analysis and all of those learnings going into the next month to improve and to be better. But the point is you know somebody needs to have the time to do. This is the most important thing Now.

Speaker 2:

Final point metrics for success, and this is the kind of the conclusion of the strategy. Really, you know we've established our goals, we know what it is we want to do specifically. We've got our insight. So we know how we're going to get cut through and we know what our audience are going to care about. We're saying the right things on the right platforms to the right people and we're engaging with them and we're properly distributing our content. We also need to measure what we're doing against our goals, and chris talked about smart goals.

Speaker 2:

The importance of them being smart is that they're so specific, and the more specific they are, the easier they are to measure. If our goal is really vague, like get some, get, get referrals from social media, how are we going to measure that? We don't really know whether we're winning or we're losing. But the more specific we can be, the easier it is to measure against. It's a really good way of just demonstrating return on investment. The better we can make a case that what we're doing is working, we'll free up more budget from the board.

Speaker 2:

From our experience, the moment you can go into that board meeting and say you know this, 50 grand we've spent on this social media activation has returned threefold in value and straight away you will get more budget, hopefully. So it's a really good way of doing that. It's a great way of learning more about your audience and getting closer to your audience. And then the final point which we're obsessed with at Prohibition is continual improvement. So by constantly obsessing over the measurement, we can incrementally improve every single day what we're doing and that will mean in a year's time your marketing will be way better than it was a year ago, and and you can improve and improve and improve. And that's really, really important. Now, how to do this. We're not going to talk in loads of detail about measurement, but really something we're pushing at prohibition is the amec measurement framework.

Speaker 1:

So for anybody that doesn't know, the amec measurement framework is a um, a kind of industry best practice worldwide framework, that um based on the barcelona principles and um which of measurement and on the pso model which is paid, earned, shared and owned, and how to use that for measuring business impact yeah, exactly, and it's um, that's a.

Speaker 2:

That's a succinct explanation there, which I was struggling with I presented it on monday, so yeah, and and we've really been pushing this we've actually developed a product called amec pro insights, which I'll talk about. And again, I'm not going to go through this in detail. But essentially, at the earliest planning stages of a kind of a, of a, of a project, it's really important to look at the amec framework and you can basically plan it in terms of okay, what are your organizational objectives? You know what's the commercial case here. Is it share of of market? Is it sales? Is it whatever it might be?

Speaker 2:

You then map in communication objectives, define your target audiences, and then you map in your tactics and then you map in your outputs. So what do people see as a result of communication? So if your tactic is press release, people would then see it appearing in a newspaper, they would see coverage. The problem with existing PR measurement is that people tend to stop at the tactics and the outputs and they might say, look, we've issued 10 press releases this month. We've, you know, we've done 20 social media posts, but that has absolutely nothing to do with your organizational objectives, which is what the board are interested in.

Speaker 2:

So WAMAC goes further and then it looks at outtakes. So what do people think as a result of seeing that output of the tactic. We then look at outcomes and then we look at impact, and this is the interesting bit. So we eventually map every tactic against a commercial impact which links right back to our organizational objectives. So the theory of this is we can start to demonstrate meaningful business impacts from everything we're doing from a comms perspective and typically you would deliver this as a bit of a workshop at the beginning of a project and it's time well spent as far as. As far as we're concerned, and only by measuring can we ever improve and can we ever um, can we ever work out if it's working or not yeah, and I think I think it's important to say that there's only two.

Speaker 1:

I believe there's two agencies in the north of the uk that do that use the amec principles, um, the barcelona principles on the amec together uh, there's about four or five in london, but it's completely best practice and cutting edge uh way of measuring so you can all demonstrate impact of what you've been doing. So it's's really really powerful if done correctly.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely An awful lot of information there. I think the key things for us is don't overcomplicate it when it comes to a strategy and Chris earlier on talked about the kind of the jargon buster. We talk about goals and objectives and strategy and tactics. I think you can get really caught up with that and we shouldn't strive to do a 50-page strategy document. Just by going through some of these stages you know, defining our audiences, looking at the insight, having really clear goals just by doing that, you're going to be in a better place than you probably were before. So don't over complicate it.

Speaker 2:

But any strategy is better than none and it looks like a lot of you are doing this process anyway, so we hope you found that useful. There's a ton of detail there, remember. If you want to see the slides, head to the Prohibition website and look at the webinars on demand, and you can actually see a bit more detail on that. Something worth mentioning we've actually got a product called the Prohibition Social 360, which is a strategy in a box. Essentially, we will audit your social media channels. We'll look at what your competitors are doing. We'll conduct some social media listening. We'll put a lot of what we've just talked to you about into action. So if you're interested in understanding how that can work for you, do get in touch.

Speaker 1:

And we know we've reached over 50,000 downloads for this podcast. I want to thank each and every one of you for listening to us, but please, for God's sake, get in contact with us.

Speaker 2:

As ever, we really want to hear your feedback, so do get in touch. Do leave a review for our podcast, and we're running a special offer for the best comment, question or review. You can win some exclusive and I'm going to big this up some exclusive, socially unacceptable merchandise Nice, exclusive, and I'm going to pick this up some exclusive, socially unacceptable merchandise. Now, I'm not going to tell you what that is. It's going to be very exciting, so do get in touch do leave a review and we'd love to hear your feedback.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, please get in touch. We read each and every one of your comments and reviews, and thanks for listening and we'll see you in a normal version of the podcast next week.

Crafting a Winning Social Media Strategy
Understanding and Using Marketing Insights
Social Media Strategy and Content Planning
Content Strategy & Community Engagement
Strategic Measurement and Improvement Framework