We are joined by social media guru and CEO of Maximise Your Social, Neal Schaffer. We talked about the rise of the Snapchat business model, the amount of content travelling through social media and how your brand can capitalise on the action.
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Rakhal Ebeli: The thing that we’ve got to remember with all of these platforms is, it’s rented land. You’re talking about the decline of Twitter. A year ago, I had people on my podcast, who were Twitter experts or are Twitter experts. They’ve spent and invested so much time in building that audience. Then all of a sudden, we’ve got to now migrate everyone across to Snapchat and then they’ve got to start thinking about, what’s next and how do they create that content that’s suitable [for] that platform?
There are shifting sands in all of this. I guess, there’s got to be an element of future pacing around, what is the most appropriate channel for our brand? I know that that’s difficult for you to provide advice on, given that we’ve got so many different marketers out there, who tune in. Overall, what’s the overarching strategy when it comes to this? If you’re a marketer and you put your hat on and you say, “Okay, I’m going to sit down and look at opening all these different accounts.” Where do you start and what’s the best advice in terms of getting bang for your buck with your audience?
Neal Schaffer: I like to think of it very, very simplistic. It is impossible, unless you have a huge infrastructure budget, unless you are both, a newspaper and a TV company, to be on all these platforms and be doing them the right way. At some point, you have to understand that you need to be able to engage with content. What type of content is the easiest for your organization to engage with? Is it blog content? Is it video content? Is it audio content? Is it photos?
I think that in part is, going to help you decide which social networks to be on. You also have to understand obviously, who your target market is? Which platforms they’re using, and how they use it? What they would want of you, if you were on that platform, most importantly. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Why are they using the social networks? They don’t necessarily want to engage with brands on them, they want to engage with friends.
I think that’s another thing you need to understand. I think it’s about choosing a few networks very, very selectively, not using all of them. If you’ve read Maximize your Social or if you haven’t, I talk about the concept of PDCA, of Plan-Do-Check-Action. If you’re on, even if it’s 2 networks or 3 networks or 4 networks and you’re constantly monitoring and you’re measuring your activities. You have your KPIs set up and you’re constantly measuring them, I think that the data should lead you, as to what social networks that you need to unplug from because they’re not delivering benefit to you. As well as, those platforms that you hear about in the news, that you may not be on that, you may want to consider being on.
I still get, Facebook is still, what we call, the white pages, here in the United States. Everybody’s on it. I think that almost every company should be on Facebook, in one way or another. Yes, you have to pay, to play, but you know what? Snapchat’s no different. In fact, none of these social networks are any different. At least, you get to micro-target those people that obviously, you want to attract to your presence.
I still think Twitter is very, very strong. It might not have the same number of active monthly users, but it’s still a huge community. They give marketers the option to do a number of things, similar to Facebook. It’s a logical place to be. Instagram as well, although Instagram becomes to be a little bit more challenging, if you really want to be effective at it, from a marketing perspective. If you’re B2B, LinkedIn.
Start with those 4 networks and a blog. If you do video, obviously you have the option of Facebook, live streaming, Periscope are starting to be integrated into Twitter, and you have YouTube. Often, you can repurpose your content to Livestream, then upload to YouTube. Simultaneously Livestream on Periscope and Facebook, and then upload to YouTube. You’ve got a lot of options there. That’s what I think, it comes down to, is the medium that is going to be the most natural for your organization to operate in, in lieu of your own culture, brand, history of creating content. The sort of content that your target users want to consume and where they are. Just stick with, at max, 4, and do A/B testing.
My client that I’m working with right now, the reason why I launched this agency, we’re only on 2 networks and we’re A/B testing. It becomes very clear that Twitter, from a cost per conversion, is actually cheaper than Facebook right now. That’s where you need to take it. It’s not a matter of what network you want to be on, it’s what do you want to achieve on that network? What’s the KPI? What are you going to measure? What’s the process going to look like? Then, let the data be the talking. I often have this picture of the Statue of Liberty in one of my slides. I say, “In data we trust.” That’s what it is.
I think that, I am now, an agency. Agencies have that infrastructure. That’s what they’ve been doing since day 1. They know how to measure. They have processes in place. Systems in place. A lot of brands are trying to leapfrog that, trying to create their own. It’s not easy. Often, they’re doing social for the wrong reasons and they’re not measuring. If you have [an] unlimited budget, that’s awesome. As social media spend begins to take up 15, 20, a few years from now, 25% of a marketing budget, I think there’s going to be a lot of accountability issues that are going to come up in the future as to, why we are spending this much? What are we getting out of it? Especially, as people change, management changes and the users are going to change as well, and they’re going to move on to different platforms.
Social media is a never-ending experiment and that’s why, the only way to figure it out is, to be measuring, experimenting and always optimizing.