BBDO’s Sr Digital Strategist Talks About Social Trends And Best Practices For Businesses
Shareablee sat down with Felipe Reyes, Sr Digital Strategist at BBDO, who shared his thoughts about social media trends, measurement metrics and the importance for businesses to not fall behind.
Trends & Strategies
Q: What are some current social media trends driving our industry?
Social trends, in general, are a great opportunity to participate in conversations and connect with consumers at several different levels, from trending music to political movements. However, just like every other conversation, you never want to be interruptive. As a brand, you jump on a specific trend because you have solid arguments, a congruent point of view, and most importantly, a message that will add value to that conversation. Many times, as brands/agencies we want to participate in every possible trend just for the sake of gaining exposure and creating sympathy. However, participating in every trend would cause you to risk your overall image, message, and a possibility that your brand will get diluted.
Q: What are the best social media strategies today? How does Shareablee help with it?
After 2016 election, the entire game has changed as the country started to mistrust social media. Fake news, fake information about brands and even politics is all over the web and on social media platforms. With this new negative trend, the best strategy that brands can implement is to show transparency, congruency and honesty to both the brands and the consumers. However, consumers will always need to be entertained and this has to be done through truthful information and content.
With Shareablee, we can use the affinity tool to not only measure congruence with a media partner but also understand the mindset of the consumers. With these information, we can create creative campaigns with marketing personas that will appeal to the target customer group. If you don’t maintain congruence, it will not create resonance within your target market.
We also use affinity tool to help confirm the personas of our brands as people usually think much more highly of their own personas.
Q: Where do you see the social media industry going this year?
Social media has evolved from being a “place to connect with friends” to becoming a media and news outlet, and we all knew that at some point. However, a major trend that has just started, is the opportunity for brands to connect with consumers via “Dark Social” (private messaging and media apps like WeChat, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Line, etc). According to a recent study by RadiumOne, over 84% of the total content shared in the US happens within these platforms. And the three major players in dark social combined have more users than the rest of the social networks altogether.
In this sense, it is worth mentioning two things: Facebook owns two of the three major global players (WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger), and as of April of this year, Facebook started to allow ads on its Messenger. Not only will this open a huge opportunity for brands to participate in these platforms, but it will also be one of the major paths that the industries will follow (along with ephemeral content).
Trends tend to occur towards where the money is coming from: Facebook, who currently owns roughly 85% of the social audience in the US with apps such as Instagram and Whatsapp, has dark social as its second line of investment, just after video development.
Q: What are your thoughts on Co-Branded Strategies?
Co-branded is a great way to add legitimacy. However, the trend is going towards influencers. Influencers are growing much faster than co-branding between brands but everyone still tends to forget that influencers are brands too. Influencers are main assets when getting trends and generating traction but they are not an authority in opinions.
However, co-branding with influencers has their challenges too. You have to be careful as influencers have the ability to cannibalize the brand if they are way more powerful and influential than the brand itself.
Q: What is the biggest challenge brands face right now on social media?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge that we are facing right now is the incipient apathy that social media evokes on its current and emerging users. After the Presidential Elections last year, people in social media woke up to sort of a “media hangover” driven by alleged fake news, increasing privacy concerns, and a general sense of discord and distrust among brands and consumers. Challenges, such as short attention span or low reach can be solved with a compelling creative campaign and media support. But you can’t force consumers to gain confidence and sympathy again in a whole communication channel.
Performance Measurement & Metrics
Q: On the reporting side, what are the particular metrics that you feel are important to your business?
Being a creative shop, we always look for typical KPIs such as Impressions, engagement, reach, etc. However, we place a particular emphasis on earned media, which can be measured as “shares”, “retweets”, “repins”, etc. We also use it as a benchmark to know when our content is good and that it has been worthy enough to be shared on our audiences’ board, profile, timeline, etc. Additionally, these metrics are also the most valuable social currency. Aside from reaching more eyeballs, these metric tend to improve your overall ranking in the algorithm of many social platforms which rewards you for producing good content. Bottomline “shares” or “repins” is one of the many ways for the algorithm to know if your content is “good or not”.
Q: How do you evaluate performance of a creative campaign on social media?
Not all campaigns are the same. Therefore, every performance evaluation and report should be different. The best way to evaluate the success of a campaign is to relate it to business goals from the very beginning (increase brand awareness, purchase intent, etc.) and define what each campaign will achieve, beyond just creating buzz around a brand. Then, define specific KPIs for the creative efforts and executions, such as: Sign ups, follower’s growth, brand sentiment, downloads, etc. Lastly, you will measure the results on an ongoing basis to test, learn and optimize. This way, you are not only ensuring that you’re assessing the success of each campaign, but also making sure you’re creating value along the way.