Seven key learnings about social media from the cma content breakfast

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For the May Content Breakfast, the CMA took as its theme ‘Social Media’ and lined up no fewer than five presenters, each with a differing perspective and experience of social platforms.

Nevertheless, in spite of the diversity of the presenters’ backgrounds several points emerged which the panel seemed to agree upon. They often came from one speaker, were validated by another and then agreed on by others.

Here then are seven of those points.

1. It’s all about the data 

Every presenter at the event referenced data and how essential it is to brands working with social media. Harvesting data helps companies to learn more about their audience, work out what their preferences and tastes are and gives brands an opportunity to experiment and discover the best way to approach them. Andrew Ko CEO of Personalyze, an AI-driven analytics company, continually spoke about data in his presentation. He stressed how engagement is the key for brands on social media, and the way to maximise engagement from both paid and organic social content is via a process of analysing data and then acting on it.

2. Organic growth on social media is not dead

Over the last few years, social platforms have become much more revenue focused and have pivoted to pay to play systems for brands. Does this mean though that organic growth on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are dead? Not so according to our panel. Will Pyne Chief Creative Officer of Brave Bison spoke about how his company has organically built a significant audience for their video content through organic means. While Andy Barr, owner of digital agency 10 Yetis underlined how his agency often uses paid social to kick off campaigns and then they see it move forward organically after the initial paid for boost.

3. Leveraging communities can get you off to a good start 

No matter how you are using social media, one way to ensure that in the early stages your content gets that organic lift is by harnessing groups. Several speakers spoke about using everything from WhatsApp groups to secret Facebook communities to encourage their friends and colleagues to like, engage and comment on content. Too often the power of small groups is underestimated.

4. Purpose is a great social content driver

One of the many interesting case studies presented during the event came from the Brave Bison team who spoke about Nike SpAir Max Day. The company worked with a Nike obsessed influencer to harvest spare pairs of trainers which were then given away to charity. The campaign and its video was a huge success and once again underlines the appeal that ‘purpose’ has to consumers in social media campaigns. If handled sensitively, and it is appropriate for the brand, it can work very effectively.

5. Think about your social crises before they happen

It seems that almost every week there is a social media disaster where one brand comes unstuck through their inappropriate, or misinterpreted (sometimes deliberately) posts. The most recent one referenced by several speakers at the event mentioned the US Army which asked its followers how the army had impacted their lives and ended up with many responses that spoke of PTSD, death and injury  – not what they were expecting. The panel agreed that brands need to think in advance about a proper strategic response to when social goes wrong, that they can activate if things go awry.

6. UGC can challenge brands in a good way

Lisa Targett the UK General Manager of Tribe, which works with social media influencers, spoke about how the content her company’s community creates for brands can often get them to think about their products. By using communities brands can see how their customers really see their brands. Lisa reported that in the past this has sometimes lead to brands having a re-think about their approach, their messaging and sometimes even their products.

7. Don’t obsess about new followers. Make sure you cater for your existing ones

Another theme that several presenters referenced was the importance of not neglecting existing audiences in favour of chasing new ones. Ed Marriage, Digital Strategy Director of Wonderly, spoke about how football clubs, in particular, produced superb social media as they are laser focused on the expectations of their existing fans. He also cited Greggs as a brand that knows and nurtures its audience with superb content. 

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