For many people, working with social media can feel like driving a rental car: they understand the basics, but feel mystified about how to take things to the next level. On October 23, I joined a Philadelphia Public Relations Association panel discussion on how to unleash the hidden powers of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. There, we explored the real advantages of social media – including lead generation, strategic recruitment, and content marketing. If you missed the event, here are a few learnings that can apply to any marketer.
THE LINES BETWEEN PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL ARE BLURRED
Thanks to the internet, our schedules, communication methods, networking opportunities, and more have transformed in new ways, giving us more flexibility and visibility than ever before. With that comes a conundrum: with nearly everyone being reachable and researchable, how do we find a balance between the personal and the professional online? For many of us, the answer is simply that the lines are irrevocably blurred because our personal and professional worlds are so tightly interconnected. "I hate the phrase 'work-life balance," said Sarah Dudzic, a fellow panelist and head of Cigna's social media center of excellence. "It's just your life!" Sure, perhaps religious and political leanings don't have a place on your LinkedIn profile, but for some, daily social interactions (both online and off) revolve around those controversial topics. There's no reason to not be yourself on social media – especially when privacy settings can take care of some of hard work on those party pictures you forgot to untag in 2009.
STRATEGY DEPENDS ON PLATFORM
Across social channels, there's truly a place for everyone: gamers tap into Twitch, while news junkies flock to Twitter and planners pin their hearts out on Pinterest. For that reason, all of our panelists (including yours truly) emphasized the importance of having a platform-dependent approach to each facet of a social campaign. One-size-fits-all social is just not a realistic plan for success now. A few platform-specific considerations and opportunities came through loud and clear in our discussion.
Building, Sharing, and Measuring Branded Content on Facebook and Instagram
As brands continue to rely on influencers and partners to break through the noise on social media, new tools for sharing content and evaluating partners have become more critical for marketers. In mid-2016, Facebook unveiled its Branded Content Tool, a publishing tool that allows brands, publishers, and influencers to share content developed in partnership with others. To ensure that Facebook users can clearly identify branded content posts, these posts include tags to their partners and the word "Paid" to reflect "an exchange of value between the publisher and a third party" next to the timestamp of each post, according to a Facebook blog post. Through this tool, partners can also gain valuable insights into the performance of their branded content and the true value of their partnership by sharing access to post-level data for each piece of branded content. This is especially valuable for brands looking to better understand the value of influencer partnerships and determine the types of branded content to deliver in the future.
Capturing the Spirit of Events with Twitter Moments
For hosted events, live-tweeting helps to transport the on-site experience to the screen. But what about what happens after the event is over? Twitter allows brands to capture the excitement and engagement using Moments, a feature that allows a user to curate and aggregate related tweets to recap what happened in a particular time and place. In fact, we use Moments for each and every talk we hold for CreativeMornings Philadelphia, the breakfast lecture series I host for the creative community every month.
Understanding the Context of Snapchat Geofilters
For Snapchat users, every walk through a brick-and-mortar establishment is a chance to find a new geofilter to play with – and a new opportunity to spread the word about the stores, restaurants, and businesses they love. But while brands see this as a marketing ploy, it's important to bear in mind how, when, where, and why users are sharing Snaps in-store: What kind of experience are they having? Will they be consuming or using your product on-site, or do they have to wait until they get home (far away from the filter you worked so hard on)? What would a user actually want to share with his or her friends? For Snapchat success, being self-aware as a brand is just as important as building brand awareness.
We had a great conversation with the PPRA community. If you want to check out their upcoming events, head to ppra.net!