In our past conversations with Sales and Client Services, members of our team shared some marketing best practices, as well as some great advice on how to get started with developing a digital presence.
I was curious to hear from the Social Media team, so I sat down with them for a two-part roundtable discussion. In this first installment, the team covers everything from content marketing to the ways in which the social media landscape continues to evolve.
Deana LaFauci: Let’s dive right in. We’ve seen a lot of changes in the social media landscape in the last few years, from the rise of visual social networks like Instagram to a new focus on video content. What are you most excited about?
Megan Cadigan: I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for SnapChat! I’m excited to see more and more companies utilizing this app. I think it’s fun and youthful.
Deana: I love SnapChat too! It’s such an addictive and fun way to keep in touch with people, and I can’t wait to see what big brands ultimately do with the network.
Meg McDevitt: Pinterest! I know people are using it typically for a recipe finder – guilty as charged! [Group laughs] But, what has really excited me is a lot of brands are using it. J. Crew had a very successful run with it last fall with their 2013 Fall fashion line and Peugeot’s Panama got creative using Pinterest as a puzzle for a contest.
Deana: Absolutely – I actually wrote about that J. Crew campaign for our blog. That was a very innovative strategy.
Kristin Provencher: I agree! I’m loving the increase in use of graphic-based platforms, especially Pinterest. The world is finally seeing the value in it – people aren’t just collecting pretty pictures, they are making decisions on purchases and getting driven externally to their websites.
Alexandra Santilli: On that same note, I love the increased use of Instagram for businesses. Instagram allows business owners to tell a story through images. One of my favorite stores, Anthropologie, is a great example of how a company successfully uses images to increase brand awareness and engagement. They have a mix of fun posts, like puppies, as well as posts showing their products.
Deana: Alexandra, I love what Anthropologie does with their Instagram! Let’s chat about the buzz surrounding content marketing right now. Content marketing can be interpreted in so many different ways. What does “content marketing” mean to you?
Megan: Content marketing is creating and sharing your brand to get your name out there, interact with your followers, get brand recognition, gain more followers, and, most importantly, to give your brand a personality.
Alexandra: I agree. Content marketing is engagement through all types of media. It’s sharing news, photos, infographics, videos, etc. with your current and prospective customers. It’s a way to inform and connect with your audience in a meaningful way.
John Leary: It’s also about relevant content, not bombarding potential customers on social media with hard sells. Post an interesting but relevant article, opinion, or perspective that fits your business’ personality. It’s all about personality.
Kristin: I agree, John. Content marketing helps a business project the brand’s personality now more than ever, which was not as easy to do with traditional marketing. It allows brands to connect with their customers and develop a more human-like persona.
Meg: Like Kristin said, it allows brands to connect with their customers. Content marketing is your digital voice. How are you positioning yourself to your audience in a digital setting? Your message and level of expertise in your industry should be reflected in all corners of your marketing and there shouldn’t be a disconnect between traditional and nontraditional content marketing.
Deana: Absolutely – it’s all about keeping traditional and nontraditional content (and strategy!) in sync so that they compliment each other, not detract from each other. I want to hear about how you like to spend your time online – what’s your favorite social network? Be honest!
Meg: Twitter. I need news fast and right at my finger tips! I’m guilty of reading my feed first thing in the morning while brushing my teeth.
Deana: I agree, Meg – I find myself checking Twitter and Instagram on my phone constantly. Their apps are fast to load and easy to use – and that makes them very addictive!
Kristin: For me it has to be Pinterest, because it is not just seeing what people are doing, it is seeing what types of things people like, and you can choose to follow exactly what interests you.
Alexandra: I definitely would have to agree with Kristin and say Pinterest. I enjoy the visual aspect of Pinterest rather than Twitter, for example, which is more focused on text.
Kristin: Pinterest is very useful in collecting links to articles, DIY projects, recipes, and more that you really want to have, but would have lost or forgotten about otherwise. It can help with planning a party, researching for your business, or just collecting photos for inspiration when you need it, all in an organized way so you can find what you are looking for when you are ready for it.
Alexandra: Definitely. Pinterest is useful for a variety of things, especially since you can easily organize and save pins for later use. It’s also great for businesses, retail specifically. I have often clicked on a picture of clothing or jewelry, been directed to the company’s website and actually purchased the item on the spot.
Deana: Me too, Alexandra! We’ll continue our roundtable installment next week with a conversation focused on best practices for clients. See you all then!
Join us next week for the final installment of our two-part roundtable on social media best practices with the Social Media team. And be sure to check out the previous installments of the “Conversations with Propel” series.