On Wednesday 8th, a gaggle of (intellectually) hungry people descended on the Like Minds club to hear Martin Harrison, Head of Social Media at TMW, speak on the topic of ‘Content Marketing and the role of the Social Editor’ at idio’s first business breakfast.
Martin’s talk covered a wide-range of areas but some of the most pertinent points are below:
The first difficulty of running a social media campaign, Martin identified, was developing a ‘brand voice’ that was broad enough to be able to talk about a wide-range of topics across social media channels, without significantly diluting the brand’ historic identity.
Fortunately for TMW, some of their clients include ‘Lynx’ and ‘Guinness’ – brands with a lot of leeway when it comes to creating an engaging and unrestrictive social media persona.
The second problem was:
Having developed and refined that tricky ‘brand voice’, how do we then find enough things to talk about?
With social media increasing the opportunities people to fruitfully converse, create and share, user-generated content is being produced all the time.
Content can be aggregated by brands for many practical reasons including:
- Creating a content hub quickly for new sites
- For customer intelligence and insight purposes.
Not only does this aggregation of UGC material create ‘social buy-in’ from an audience who find their creative efforts validated by a brand, but it also:
- Increases inbound traffic from profiled users and their audiences
- Increases opportunities for the brand site to be ‘shared’ across social networks by fans.
In advance of a Rugby World Cup 2011 campaign, TMW have started to aggregate a rich repository of material – including community blogs, Flickr photos and Youtube videos – relating to fixtures, locations and players. Now they have a populated hub of material to draw upon and appeal to every type of rugby fan that they might engage with on their social channels.
Indiscriminate aggregation may serve well if you are just trying to build a high-volume of material, however, to truly make your content valuable to the end-user, it needs to be curated to add context, meaning and utility.
This is the role of the discerning ‘Social Editor’:
To wade through the content and order it.
To make it easy to find.
To get it delivered to the right segment of your audience, in the right channel, at the right time.
From campaign to conversation
Martin ended the morning by touching upon the ideological shift amongst the more progressive brand clients and agencies, who have recognised the need to shift from a short-term, campaign-focussed treatment of the customer, to a long-term relationship where brands are providing informative and relevant content to their customers at all times, and not just during ‘campaign mode’.
The conclusion of the morning was that developing a brand’s social media profile was only piece of the puzzle, and that it must be supported by a strong content marketing strategy as well.
idio would like to thank Martin for his time Wednesday and to thank everyone who came along. The responses have been entirely positive and we look forward to running another breakfast in the near future!