Program vs Always-On Social Content

When discussing content from a marketing perspective we must be focused on what is supposed to do. And let’s be clear, it is marketing so we are trying to sell something – an idea, product or service.

The biggest problem with that statement is that we must not look at every piece of content as “selling” content. There is a time and a place to use the platforms and content to drive and offer and work as low in the sales funnel as possible. I call them “programs”. Others call them campaigns. This is an effort surrounding one theme, product or event. Usually they have their own budgets and expected outcomes.

But there needs to be content in your calendar that allows followers to fall in love with your brand. This is not possible in the selling phase. Too much to ask. But the best brands do this. Nike, Starbucks and Wendy’s to name a few. (Full disclosure – Wendy’s is a client) They create always-on content that gives the consumer or potential consumer time to relax and relate to the brand. To enjoy each other and become “friends”. This content can be funny. It can also be educational or time saving. Look at it more as brand building.

It’s a fact in the social landscape that clicks and actions are not the only viable metric. I could argue that they are not even a good metric. That’s another post. But now platforms are measuring impressions. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do this. And they have proven, with brand-lift studies and the like that these impressions are impacting the way a consumer thinks about your brand.

Lots to consider here. But the takeaway should be to lighten up on the sales talk in your social efforts. Even just a little. And when you need to run ads in here, do it, and when you can just engage and show a softer side, do that. There is no 8-step process here.

As always, please let me know if this makes sense or if you have a different though on the subject.

Program vs Always-On Social Content

#TakeFlight

I am happy to say VML offices around the country are deep into Twitter Flight School, their online education platform designed to help agencies make the most of marketing on Twitter.

One can choose from 4 tailored Flight Paths that are designed for your role inside the agency and specific team. The paths are: Implementation & Optimization, Planning, Account Leadership and Agency Leadership. When you arrive to the system you will be asked to choose one. Don’t overthink this step. Twitter has done a great job in grouping the education for these paths. Depending the path the amount of detail is appropriate to the role that person has in the system.

This is great way to get a lot of people easily and quickly far more educated on Twitter from the paid, organic and media strategy angles. To those in the weeds daily with social and planning there will be times where it seems remedial. However, there are many tips, tricks and reminders that add up to this being worth their time, too.

As you roll it out consider how you can motivate the team to participate. Twitter provides an overview video, poster files to print and some email support. At VML, we have organized work sessions where we supply pizza and beer to bring people together to make it easier to complete. There are some days off, museum tickets and other incentives we are putting in to help gamify the process.

And there is a way for you to keep track of activity. In the Flight School, Twitter has provided a dashboard. A few admins on the agency side can keep track of who has started, when they started and how far along they are. You also track the overall situation against the goal of getting the total number of people from the agency to complete and achieve the Certification.

Twitter Certification is the motivation they added to the process. If a large percentage of your agency employees complete the training within the agreed time frame it will become Twitter Certified. Certification is absolutely a brag point one can use to separate your agency from others. Having a platform give you the stamp of approval is a big deal. Twitter mandates the training is completed within 30 days of beginning.

Twitter is in the process of translating and localizing the experience to ensure relevance across key global markets. The localized versions are slated to launch in Q2 2015, at which time VML will introduce it to the other 20 offices we have globally with the goal of having as many of the 2000 employees as possible participate.

In the end I know as well as anyone it is difficult to get a large number of people to be motivated for something like this. But it is worth it. Make the effort and let Twitter help you. It is in both of you best interest to go through the training.

#TakeFlight