Who Should Own Social Media?

Once companies dive into the social media pool, there are some important nitty gritties that demand a lot of attention. One of them is which department should own social media? Is social media messaging, monitoring and responding a part of marketing and communication teams or is there a need for cross department integration?

At this moment, companies are still testing waters. But 5 years from now, the question is what does social media bring to the table? Would it just be limited to conversations and standardized strategies that first movers will start with, and later would be adopted by others in the industry, or would it entail more than just discussions and promotions? Would functions like PR be totally neglected and be restricted to traditional media?

When looking for relevant discussions around this topic, I came across a really interesting interview of Matthew Harrington, President & CEO of Edelman U.S for PR Daily. Greater part of the discussion was focused on the future of PR, but Harrington does bring out some interesting points about the structure of social media in companies in the coming years. Also, in this interview, he talks about how it is one of the most exciting times for social media PR than ever before.

Social Media and PR

One of the most interesting things he said in the interview, which I truly agree with, is that PR is about connecting with another individual around a message and so is social media. Therefore, social media is just the right fit for PR. Social media just opens up the world for us, because it helps us take the communication with our stakeholders to a different level. So, I too would like add my thoughts here to say that since social media facilitates dialogue on so many easily accessible platforms, information here can be easily retrieved and searched, so which other avenue could be better than this to engage in PR?

Looking forward to the age of hyper integration:

Description, processing, monitoring of social media activities and alignment with the business goal is very critical. Therefore, it is good to find people who can ensure that both your business and your social media efforts are in sync.

Harrington says that it is still an early stage for social media. Companies are still trying to figure out if marketing and communication should have the whole pie or if it should be shared. And which departments should be represented in the social media team.

Another point made by him is that social media requires representatives from all facets of the company: HR, legal, operations along with marketing and communication partners.

The logic behind this is that since social media is an open platform and attracts all sorts of queries like job openings, service issues as well as complaints, it is good to have representatives, who can solve relevant queries.Therefore for a company’s social media efforts to be successful and prompt, there is a need for hyper integration.

So what do you think, we would love to take this discussion further based on your thoughts 🙂

Clickbait: Information overload! How can brands cut-through all the noise?

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 10.11.34You won’t believe the hidden message in this blog post! Or rather – there isn’t one, I just wanted you to click through and read this. But bear with me – I’m about to suggest something incredibly controversial – a never-heard-before admission by a social agency!*

As much as clickbait is the emotional catnip of our online experience and can drive consistent traffic for publishers like The Daily Mail and Huff Post who churn out multiple stories each day, it’s still hugely annoying to discover you’ve been duped by an over-excited headline promising to give you all the feels. For brands, adopting the same practice can negatively affect perception and ultimately – sales. So how can brands cut through all the sensational copy and deliver successful results without falling prey to creating clickbait themselves? How do they beat them rather than join them?

 

Platform crackdown

In the early days of social, Facebook optimised content based on engagement, meaning that if users clicked on a piece of content, it received a higher ranking in newsfeeds. In 2014 Facebook took steps to try and crack down on those gaming this ranking using clickbait, and in February this year it introduced an update based not just on what users engaged with in their feed, but what they wanted to see. Facebook’s advice is that Pages should avoid encouraging people to take action (such as encouraging lots of clicks), because this will likely only cause temporary spikes in metrics that might then be rebalanced by feed’s ranking over time – meaning the latest ranking favours content that users naturally engage with rather than content that users click on through coercion.

 

Last month Instagram followed suit and announced it would alter user’s feeds to optimise the content users “care about the most”, and Twitter has also adopted a similar change (although users can opt-out and revert back to the chronological feed). The changes will hopefully make it harder for clickbaiters to game feeds with meaningless content, but the real aim for the platforms hosting is to surface more engaging content more frequently so users return often and stay longer.

 

The same goes for brands on social. If the content they produce is consistently engaging, then users will interact more frequently, leading others to discover it through preferred ranking. Ultimately, these new newsfeed algorithms exist to generate more meaningful engagement, driving not just clicks, but conversations via comments, and shares.

 

Learn and adapt

Meaningful engagement begins with relevant content that creates value for the user and the brand. While an insight-driven content strategy is key to delivering this, brands should also adapt stories and messages based on the emotional needs and behavior of their audience. This is more than just a case of ‘test and learn’ or refining what has already been done. Brands must also evolve their approach in line with new behaviors, platforms, competitors and rankings or risk being left behind by those who do.

 

A good example of a brand that does this well is Buzzfeed, who’s CEO recently shared their new strategic thinking, revealing how their objective has changed from getting users to click through to their main site to view stories, to allowing content to be consumed directly on other platforms. The new direction was prompted by analysing which content generated clicks and discovering that users prefer to consume some types of content within the platform they are already on. The company also found a discernable difference between user interactions with the same content on different platforms, demonstrating how content demand and consumption vary across sites. What spreads like wildfire on Facebook might fail miserably elsewhere.

 

Relevance is key

For brands looking to use social content to drive click-through to their site, it’s important to balance the goal of the company (clicks to eyeballs, or conversions to sales, for example) with the desire and behavior of users on different sites, and monitor response over time. Relevance is key to interaction, and brands that think like publishers will know that relevance is an ever-changing chameleon. While users are bombarded with meaningless clickbait, there is ample opportunity for brands to channel the social zeitgeist by delivering valuable content that meets audience needs in the format, time and platform that suits them. If they get this right, they won’t need clickbait.

 

At Mindjumpers we help companies and brands to think as publishers and provide end-to-end social media management across multiple markets, encompassing full social strategy, planned and reactive content creation, analysis and reporting.

 

If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

 

*Don’t be naughty and scroll to the last paragraph – I’ve hidden the controversial part somewhere to optimize your dwell time in finding it!