The marketing industry is one that is developing like no other, meaning the need to keep up to speed with the latest trends and developments is vital in order to succeed and confidently navigate your way around the minefield that is social media marketing.
Here at KC Communications, we try to get stuck into as many learning opportunities as possible, albeit full qualifications, online courses, networking events or webinars. Yesterday morning, armed with our cappuccinos, two of us hooked up to the Hootsuite Social Breakfast, eager to hear the talks and discussions around social media in 2017.
Kicking off was Rob Coyne who outlined some key predictions for the coming year. Rob discussed how social commerce platforms are to evolve in-app buying, how social will catch up with search discovery and the inevitable take-off of video within social advertising.
Something that Rob particularly focused on was dark social. Dark social means that links from social which are shared via email, text or any other external platform are unable to be measured by analytics programmes. Meaning whilst you can see that your tweet has 1,000 retweets, you cannot account for the links sent externally and therefore cannot measure the exact reach.
70% of all global sharing is estimated to be dark social meaning the need for metrics where possible is crucial. With 85% of mobile traffic coming from dark social, Rob highlighted how keeping track of metrics across all social media platforms can provide you with guidance and insight throughout your social media strategy.
While the dark social puts some boulders in our way when it comes to metrics, taking as much control as possible and using analytics to your advantage certainly will not do any harm.
Getting ahead of the game
Moving onto the discussions, Jeremy Waite (IBM) provided us with a quote from Wadah Khanfar, ex Al Jazeera TV Executive that highlighted something all of us are trying to do… ultimately getting ahead of the game and identify problems before they occur.
“CEO’s used to be judged by how well they act in a crisis but today they’re judged by how well they can predict one.”
Working with multiple clients across a variety of sectors, identifying possible problems and ensuring a sturdy crisis management plan is in place for each client is something we have learnt to do with our eyes closed.
Knowing how to deal with a crisis, particularly online is old news and something that everyone is expected to know. Now the aim of the game is to prevent these issues occurring, if you can do that, then you’re already one step ahead.
Likes don’t pay bills
We are all aware of companies, bloggers etc. buying followers and likes on their social media platforms, whether we agree with this practice or not, there’s still plenty of people out there doing it. This opened up an interesting discussion between two panellists with opposing views, Sid Mankour and Jeremy Waite.
Sid Mankour, working in advertising, tech and business development at Facebook expressed how purchasing followers and likes is frowned upon and seen as bad practice, whilst Jeremy, an IBM Evangelist challenged this popular ideology.
While Sid stresses the fact that likes don’t pay bills, company growth and development does, Jeremy brings to our attention that if the purchasing of such followers and/or likes enables you to work towards and achieve such goals, resulting in company growth then should it be seen as a negative business move to make?
When looking at company growth, whilst a huge chunk is focused online and on social do we forget about the traditional channels? TV, radio, print, radio? Jeremy stated that the number one marketing channel in Sweden is direct mail. I know, we were shocked too!
What can we take away from the session?
Whilst the session was jam packed with insightful statistics and opinions, one quote stood out as the bottom line of social in 2017. “We’ve got to create thumb stopping moments.”
Being the top of the leader board for spending the most money on digital, and with 65% of marketers set to focus on video advertising on Facebook this is only set to rise.
So can we create these thumb stopping moments everyone needs and is there method to the madness that is social media marketing or as Jay Bear said: “Everyone says social media is some kind of unicorn, but maybe it’s just a horse.”