In the second of series of articles on social strategy, Andrew Murray and Aleesha Tully, from TBWA\Dublin delve into the importance of creating human-centred social and content strategies.
If you’re a CMO, Marketing Director or Brand Manager… we’ve got some quickfire questions for you.
- What’s your social & content strategy?
- What’s social & content’s role in your overall marketing mix?
- How does it ladder up to overall brand platform and business objectives?
- Do you have objectives for your multiple social audiences – and have you outlined how you intend to capture their attention and prompt action?
- What’s your campaign and always-on approach?
- Have you got a specific social platform strategy for Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.?
- Have you a defined content strategy with pillars that will ignite or unlock brand building and tactical communications?
- Have you got a proactive community management strategy and guidelines in place? What’s your plan to distribute, optimise and maximise (‘sweat’) all content created?
- What are your KPIs for social and content – ones that show real business impact?
- Do you have a slide that distils your full social & content strategy down to one page – one that you can print off and stick on the wall?
And is your social and content strategy based on communicating with real humans, not manipulating algorithms?
If you’re not sure of the answer, or the answer is “no” to many of the above questions, go have a chat with your digital marketing manager or agency. Stat.
Having insight into what the audience wants is naturally key to creating great social and content strategies, but often these strategies are led by the somewhat unnatural: data-led digital insights. We’ve been working on changing the method by which these strategies are formed, strengthening the process: building stronger links between the strategy department and the social & content department (which sadly can end up siloed in agencies that don’t embrace true integration).
Our strategies now begin with human-centred research from the strategy department, underpinned by Design Thinking methods – which now influences all projects across TBWA, not just our social campaigns.
By using Design Thinking investigations to get under the skin of our digital audiences, we’re treating them like real humans: talking with them about what they need, what they experience during their daily lives and how to solve their problems – or just discovering how to create something that’s going to disrupt and engage them. We’re creating social and content strategies that are human at the centre, rather than algorithmic at the core.
The process is flexible so that we can answer to a range of client objectives, keeping our audiences at the centre. For example, when we created a new social and content strategy for the National Transport Authority, we could see that our audiences were open to being more entertained and feeling more like active stakeholders in their public transport system: the result? Proactive community management and an always-on UGC strategy that strengthens the relationship between transport users and those who provide it.
For Creative Ireland, Ireland’s national programme unlocking creative potential in people and communities, one of our key objectives was careful and thoughtful curation of content from the fantastic creative communities around Ireland, while ensuring the programme was accessible and visible to all. The result has been an always-on stream of creative content showcasing the variety and depth of Ireland’s creative communities, culminating in the hugely successful online day of creativity – Cruinniú na nÓg – earlier this month, within which our coordination of social content was vital in the lead up and throughout the day.
Finally in a completely different objective set for one of the world’s largest brands, Burger King, we have just completed a strategy to localise their global social media approach to the Irish Market, coming at the project from a completely human-centred point of view. Our 100 Voices Research Panel during the Covid-19 Crisis has been integral in understanding what our audiences need at this time, as well as assessing what tonal permissions we have as a brand. And our core Burger King audience want fun, and a little boldness after some tough times.
For many brands and organisations, the potential of social and content remains untapped. They know they need to be stronger in this area, but there’s a lack of knowledge and a little fear in investing and changing the marketing mix from ‘what’s always worked’. Even still. In 2020.
No brands are at step one on the journey. Most are at step five or six. To complete step seven to ten… go update your social and content strategy. Or go get one. And you may as well make it human and disruptive while you’re at it.
Andrew Murray is Director of Social Media & Content & Aleesha Tull is Strategy Director of TBWA\Dublin
To read the first installment in the series click HERE