In today’s episode, Daniel Parscale talks with Keith Kunis, Group Manager of Community Insights at Swift. Keith shares tips for managing your daily social media programs (evergreen content) vs campaigns, as well as explains why you, as the business owner, should really be leaning on your social media team!
Read the transcript:
How are you doing today, Keith?
I’m doing fantastic. How are you today, Dan?
I’m good. Thank you. I really appreciate you coming in for the show today. I’ve been looking forward to having you on for a long time because you have a really interesting and unique background in terms of marketing, that’s both DIY and kind of major player style, right?
Well, so, what I’ve got you here today to talk about is– I want to talk about social media because we want to really dive into defining these things and getting an idea for people who are listening. Like, how are they supposed to understand this and then how are they supposed to go about figuring out how they’re going to use it?
Because a lot of people, I would guess, are thinking about social media and the first thing that comes to mind is, I’ve got to get a Facebook page. I’ve got to post pictures of kittens and puppies and then everybody’s going to like it and I’m going to make a billion dollars. But it’s a little bit more complex than that, right?
Yeah, that’s one way to do it. Some people have made millions of dollars off the posting kittens and puppies. And you know what, it worked perfectly because they had a really tight brand. And that was a big part of it. I mean, everyone posts those images. But yeah, there are ways to actually make money doing that. But for most people that’s not going to work.
Well, you and I can talk about our new business scheme for doing just that after this show.
Because I don’t want to give away our trade secrets.
Podcast puppies and kittens coming soon.
Yeah, we’re going to launch that one next. OK, so let’s talk about like the real basics. So we’re going to talk about social media in terms of marketing. What are some of the general techniques that we’re going to be looking at with this? And by the way, maybe we should first talk about what actual social media platforms we’re going to be talking about so that people are aware of everything. We already mentioned Facebook. I don’t think that needs too much of an introduction. What are some of the others platforms that you would consider are important for this?
I mean, it really depends on the brand and who the business is and where they’re going to be and exists within social. A lot of brands right now are really hot on Snapchat and they want to be a part of that. Some of the drawbacks to that are that there is not a lot in the analytics. And they also don’t work with brands super well right now only because there trying to stay super organic and friendly to the user. But they are making concessions and they’re getting brands in there which is great.
We’ve done some really fun shoots at Swift for Snapchat. And they’ve come out fantastic. I can’t believe what you can do with a cellphone these days. Agencies are so used to doing these really, really polished imagery for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and those channels, but what we’re doing with mobile phones on Snapchat is amazing, because it is still a very raw format– social channel.
Beyond that, we’ve talked about Facebook. There’s Twitter. If you’re not looking into them, you might want to start looking into them– they might not make sense for you, but messaging apps are really, really big right now, especially with millennials and a younger audience. We’re talking about WeChat, Line, things just like that. They’re great little apps that are taking social to a whole another level. It’s very private but brands are starting to get into them as well. So they’re definitely something to look at.
With Facebook and Twitter, those are the parents of social. They still have huge audiences. Twitter has a huge audience. It doesn’t have the most active audience. Facebook, everybody thought was going away, but it’s definitely still here. And your audience might be there. And if that’s where your audience is, I never tell a company to shy away from Facebook. Because if you have paid media and you’re on Facebook, you’re going to hit a lot of people. So the potential there for just link clicks and views and all those different analytics that people love– Facebook is a really good one for that.
Absolutely. Well let’s start with those parent companies a little bit because I think those are going to be the ones that most people might be the most familiar with, at least from experience. What are some of the kinds of general techniques that you would talk about doing? Aside from just posting puppy and kitty pictures, what are some of the things that– like we were talking before the show about what you called evergreen posting and then campaign posting. Maybe you can talk about thinking about how you’re actually developing things from that context.
Evergreen’s really about your day to day social. So when you find out where your fans are and what you’re going to be presenting to them, you might think about the day to day Twitter and Facebook and what you’re going to actually do as far as relationship building with them. And I think that’s a really, really important aspect to all of this, is that for your day to day, your evergreen content, you really need to be thinking about your organic audience.
Typically, you’re not putting any paid media behind your evergreen. So you’re going to be hitting that organic audience– the people who follow you because they love you or because they’re interested in your brand. So that’s what you need to be really thinking about when you’re producing this content.
The difference, or the other aspect of posting on social really comes down to campaign. And those are your big product launches or brand campaigns that you’re trying to get out that might last three to six months, potentially longer, potentially shorter. So a lot of brands that have big product releases throughout the year. Say they’re coming out in June with a brand new product, they might run the campaign a month beforehand to a month after, and then they want to sustain that for a while longer.
Now this is where it gets a little tricky, but your day to day evergreen content can tie into your campaign work, and it should to an extent.
Yeah, you want to have consistency in your messaging.
Absolutely. You want it to exist within the same realm. Not to get all nights and castles with you, but yeah, you want it to exist in the same realm, because the voice of the brand needs to be consistent across the board. Where brands trip up and they get confused and they confuse their audience really is, they’re putting out a campaign that’s about being like really cool and awesome and look at us, we have kittens and puppies everywhere.
But then their day to day content is like, here’s our new products. Here’s what we’re coming out with. This is happening. But what you’re going with a campaign is you’re typically putting media behind that and you’re putting dollars behind it, so you’re hitting new audiences. Those new audiences are going to come back to your channel and they’re going to look at the content that you’re producing daily and they’re going to say, this doesn’t align with what brought me here.
Yeah. Yeah. Because they came for something special.
Yeah. The campaign was cool, but what you’re doing day to day does not intrigue me.
So let’s maybe like come up with either a fictional company or a company that you want to talk about and just like come up with a super basic version of this. Because of what I’m thinking in my head is I’m thinking– you’re a sneaker guy. Let’s talk about some sneakers.
Your evergreen might be just– if you’re a super-small company, it might even just be like, here’s pictures of sneakers. And you’re just posting pictures of sneakers every day and be like, we got this for this lifestyle and here’s how we’re branding it with that. And don’t you like this and share it with your friends or whatever it is.
And then your campaign is going to be like, coming 2016, we’re going to be launching this incredible new sneaker that’s made of solid gold or something and here’s all this other stuff that’s on top of it. It’s in the same voice but it’s a whole differently image and thought process, right?
Sure. So a really good example actually of this, and I tell everyone that they should always go and check out their work is what Nike’s doing. They’re really fantastic on social. They’re so integrated across the board. They have several different channels. All their different product lines and everything have different channels. So there’s Nike running, there’s at Nike, there’s Nike store, et cetera. It keeps going. And a lot of the sneaker brands are actually doing really well right now and they’re looking into getting into this kind of same strategy.
But what they do a lot with their campaign work is, they do a lot of branding in there as well. Like it’s a lot of brand work and describing like who they are as a brand and who the customer is as well, with showcasing the product and the shoes a little bit. But that ties in perfectly with their evergreen, their day to day content, because that right there– like, if you look at Nike running for example, their day to day content is inspirational.
It’s getting people out there to run and be a part of the community. And that’s what they want to do. They want to build these relationships with the community. And they want them all to work together and work with Nike and say, like, yeah, we’re going to do this. We’re going to knock out this 5K. We’re going to go run this half marathon. We’re going to set up all the training systems with you. And they do that sort of stuff in their social day to day. And then they overlay it with a campaign for the new Nike LunarGlide 7.
Is that a real shoe?
Dang, that sounds cool. I got to get that.
Yeah. And what that is, is it’s typically tied to an entire pack that aligns with it, and whether it’s the same shoe or it might be something like their flash pack. So that’s going to be all their nighttime gear. So what they start doing is they start putting out this campaign that showcases the jackets, the shoes, and everything, in these real beautiful ways, but they’re still inspiring and they’re still engaging. And all their day to day content is aligning with it as well.
So we have to have– before even doing this, we’re going way, way back. We’re talking about, we need to have– first of all we have to have channel. In this case we’re talking about Facebook. We have to have that understanding of what your brand is so that you can keep your evergreen, evergreen, right? So it’s consistent across everything.
And then you’re also going to be talking about planning ahead for what is it that you’re planning to do that’s very important to you, your company, so that you can make something that layers on top of that. It’s an extra level of your consistent image, just like hyper-focused on a particular product or event or something special.
And that is across the board, whether you’re a small do it yourself little social channel, versus a giant company. We need to be thinking about all of those things. You’re not necessarily going to be able to do all of those things. Some companies, some businesses, they can’t do the campaign work. They can’t do the digital campaign work. What they might do is try and take their larger campaign, their outdoor campaign work, and how do we bring that into digital? How do we bring that into social? And they might try and fit it in there. It doesn’t always necessarily fit.
What we’re seeing a lot right now in the industry is a lot of people are starting to go digital social first, and then move that into outdoor and above the line work. Because that makes more sense, because digital and social is so much more integrated, and there’s so much more you have to think about when you’re building that strategy around it. And then once you get up to the higher level, to that outdoor, to the television ads even, that can come from digital no problem.
OK, so this makes a lot more sense to me now. But we’re also talking about applying this to all kinds of different businesses. And I kind of what to bring it back to our core of super-small businesses. And I think that your experience with Trillblazin is a great example of that. So maybe you can talk a little bit about how you operate with that? I mean, I know the brand but maybe describe it a little bit and then tell me like, how your marketing. Because you’re very grassroots with your social marketing, or social media on this.
Yeah. So kind of as my hobby offshoot job that I do late at night and on the weekends, I do this thing called Trillblazin, and it’s a social platform that’s really about sports satire, mainly focused on the Trail Blazers. I’m a big Blazers fan, lived in Portland all my life and I loved what some people call the worst era in Blazer history which is the Jail-Blazer era. I grew up with that. I love it. All my favorite players are from that team. So my best friend and I, we started some social channels, Twitter and Instagram, and we just showcased some of our favorite players. And we did really funny copy lines for them. Well, I think they’re really funny. Most people probably don’t.
And we started this because of our love for the Blazers and just for sports and for comedy. And so we got that going. That started on Instagram and we parlayed into Twitter where we found that we could be funny more often because well, we can do as many 140 character tweets as we want. So we focused on both of those channels and growing those channels. And it happened really fast. People like funny content. So we kept growing them.
And we started thinking about like, well, why don’t we do some product for this and make funny street-wear shirts and different products that people would want or wouldn’t even think about in having like a sports satire feel to them. So we built that as a part of the brand. And we kept the same voice that we have in the social channels, we actually brought that voice over into the product as well. So you’ll see things on there, on our shirts that say, Zero Chill or Trillard, and those represent Damian Lillard who is the starting point on the Trail Blazers.
So we’ve been growing this brand for about two years. Really it’s still rooted in social. We live tweet every single Blazer game. We post Instagrams every day still. That’s something that we started doing from the very get go, and we’ve maintained it. And I think that’s actually really important to note is that, when you build your brand, you need to maintain your voice. You need to be consistent throughout, always and forever.
Yeah, in this case it sounds like your voice was actually there before the product was even there, and you kind of made one after the other.
Yeah, absolutely. We went the opposite direction that most businesses or companies go and it worked out really well for us. And in fact, I think a lot of people should do that.
Can you think of anybody that– like an example of a brand that had a fail with their social direction.
I think everybody learns on social. Everyone’s constantly learning. To say you can do without having any mistakes is just a bold faced lie. I think people make mistakes every single day in social and there’s not any one brand that hasn’t made a mistake somewhere. I think some of the bigger ones you see out in the world on blogs and different articles and things are when brands make mistakes of posting to a channel when they should be posting to their personal channel.
That’s a funny mistake which I’ve done once or twice. But luckily, you have the tools, you catch those things early on. I know I personally, for every brand that I help manage, I personally get tweets sent to my phone immediately whenever they post an outbound tweet, so one that’s getting publish out in the world. I get that sent to phone immediately so that I can double-check it and read it and make sure that everything is OK. So that’s definitely a very big problem. I’ve seen really funny ones with people talking about their abs coming from a tech company.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense to the audience.
And you can catch it within 30 seconds, but when you’re speaking to millions of people, you can count on that screen shots were taken, even within 30 seconds. So just being really vigilant during those times is really important. We’ve seen some bigger ones that are even worse when people have said things degrading towards other people, or even racism coming out of companies because their social media person was supposed to send it to their personal channel. I mean, even then, they shouldn’t be doing that, but it goes out to the ether, out into the real world, sometimes to millions of people, maybe 100,000 people, maybe only 10,000 people. But it can affect a brand’s image big time if you don’t react accordingly.
If you’re thinking about just like, brands who are doing stuff wrong, I always go back to, again, like, just being in a channel to be there– I think that’s wrong. Just because Snapchat’s really hot right now and people are really digging Snapchat. And just out in the general world they’re digging Snapchat, and companies are like, ah, I got to be there because that’s where all the kids are and the millennials and all the buying power’s there, I got to be there. It doesn’t mean you actually have to be there. I wish certain brands would think about that stuff a lot more– if it makes sense for them to be there or not. If there’s any relevance for them there.
Well, so, we already talked about like, seeking out your demographic and are they actually present there, which makes sense. That’s an obvious one. But there are some other things that you need to take into consideration too. The first thing that comes to mind for a small business for me is resources. How many of these can you actually distribute yourself out over. And then there’s another one too of– we touched base on this with Instagram a second ago, like the capabilities of that particular platform and how does it feed into your goals?
You definitely have to think about the capabilities of a platform and what you can do and everything you just said are some of the biggest things you have to think about. But there’s a lot of brands out there that are not thinking about those things, and they’re just jumping into every single channel. So they have a Twitter. They have a Tumblr. They have an Instagram. They have a Facebook. They have a Snapchat.
I’ve seen brands who state, oh, we’re done with Facebook. We’re not doing that anymore. And then they closed down their Facebook and they go to focus on Twitter and Tumblr or something. Sometimes those brands shut that stuff down premature. And that’s not good. That’s not good for your brand. I mean, they’re just thinking about– what ends up happening a lot is a lot of people read Mashable articles. They read a lot of tech articles and blogs and things about social and marketing articles across the web, and they say, oh, Facebook is not as popular anymore. A lot of people are jumping ship. And they see that article and they react right away.
You got to do some digging. You got to do some research into that and see if it makes sense or not. And you can’t just base that on an article. You have to look at your personal set up, the way that your business is set up on there, and does it make sense for them to be there?
Yeah, demographics on all platforms are changing. Some are growing. Some are shrinking. But what that just means is that that the niches are what you need to really be paying attention to. Like if it’s going to affect your brand and your business, right?
Right. And when we’re talking about something bigger like Facebook, some real facts are that they’re organic reach is not nearly as good as it used to be. So you’re looking at like– I think it’s 2% now, is what it’s down to, it’s organic reach. So you have 100 people following you, two people might engage or see that content.
That’s tough for some people– especially if there’s a small brand and they’re just starting to get on to Facebook, there’s that first climb where you’re really trying to get anybody to like your page too. And to hear that can be really defeating. And that makes sense too. But the object then is like, OK, maybe I’ve got a different goal then just having everybody see what I’m posting out there. Like, what is the value of the content? Or like, what’s my actual direction with this?
Right. No, go ahead.
I was going to say, so what do you think about that perspective? What do you say to somebody who’s going through that consideration of, like, is this really right? Am I getting anything out of this? How do they measure it? Answer all of those questions.
I mean, if we’re talking about measurement and analytics, I mean, that’s a whole beast into itself. Just like big social campaigns and even evergreen have entire teams around it, there’s entire analytics teams based around accounts as well. The best analytics teams out there are doing a combination of qualitative and quantitative research.
So they’re getting and taking in all the information at a native level through Facebook and through Twitter– let’s just use those as examples– and they’re taking all the information that they’re providing, pulling that into an Excel sheet and building out these quantitative stats and figures that really showcase exactly what’s going on in your channels. But then they pair that with the qualitative as well to give context to those numbers. Because really, I mean, it’s not enough just to see the numbers, not in social.
So you need to look at that and then you need to get that context as well. It’s like, OK, but what’s really happening? What’s really working? Because you might have a post that doesn’t do as well as others, but say the goal of that post was to get comments. And so it didn’t have as many likes, it didn’t have as many shares, but you had more comments than you’ve ever had, that post outperformed everything else, you know? It did great. You have to add a weight to your measurement and what you need. And most of that’s goal-based really.
Again, I always make the statement that goals are so important. It’s one of the first things you need to think about. And it’s not just, what channel I need to be in, you need to think about what your goal is of each post and everything you’re doing along the way.
All right, Keith, so we’re at the point of the show where we want to start to wrap things up with your top three take-aways. What are the three things you think are most important for listeners to remember for your interview today?
Have a goal is my number one. I really think it’s important for you to have a goal when you’re choosing what channels you’re going to plan, when you’re choosing what type of content you’re going to do, and really important if you’re going to have a campaign on social.
The second take-away would be, know your audience. And that’s going to tie into actually all the previous things I just mentioned. Because where are you going to actually play? Where’s your campaign going to exist? How are you speak to them day to day?
And then lastly, my big takeaway is, know your brand. Or have the social people understand your brand and know your brand backwards and forwards. In my experience, people who know the brand the most are typically social media managers. And they might be the most underpaid. But they know it better than a lot of people do and that’s because they really become experts.
One of the things I always like to say about social media and in community management in particular, when you’re actually taking care of your community, this organic audience that you’re built on social, is that whoever is the community manager and whoever’s posting and publishing and responding to people, they need to know the brand. They need to know the voice of the brand. So they represent the voice of the brand, and they represent the voice of the community. They know both sides of it. And you’re going to really want to utilize them for insights into your brand.
Keith, this has been a really awesome conversation. I know, as always, we could always go a lot deeper. But I really appreciate you sharing your expertise with us here today. You’ve given a really great picture of social media 101. Yeah. Thank you so much for joining us Reach today.