Social media pioneers share best practice
Industry experts from Cancer Research UK, Historic Royal Palaces, Blue Rubicon and the NSPCC came together this month to share knowledge and advice, as well as to discuss some of the most talked about social media campaigns of the past year.
The event, hosted by leading communications recruitment consultancy VMA Group, featured some of the people behind hashtags such as #TowerPoppies, #ThisGirlCan, #RaceForLife and #ShareAware.
Hottest tips on the evening included:
Have a clear objective – Don’t simply pursue high levels of followers. Ensure that you are working towards solid and measurable goals, whether that is driving traffic to a particular location (on or off-line), boosting sales, or increasing donations.
Invite interaction – Place high levels of importance on encouraging two-way dialogue with consumers by responding in a timely and personable manner. Cancer Research UK’s feed, along with many others, is manned between the hours of 09:00 – 23:00 to ensure continued engagement. Likewise, the success of Historic Royal Palaces’ campaign to promote the poppy installation at the Tower of London was driven by sharing consistent photographic, video and visitor feedback across its channels.
Be creative with content – You do not have to have a huge budget to create powerful content. Cancer Research UK has found that some of the most effective posts from the last year were photographs of staff members holding hand-written ‘thank you’ banners to recognise donations. Similarly, Historic Royal Palaces introduced its poppy campaign by posting photographs from the factory where the flowers were being manufactured, inviting consumers in to experience the installation from the very beginning.
Harness the power of video – Every minute 72 hours of footage is uploaded onto YouTube, so how can you cut through the noise? Remember that everything you create must be credible, educational and impactful. Blue Rubicon advises that video should be less ‘Spielberg’ and more ‘human’. The use of high profile vlogger ‘Sprinkle of Glitter’ for Adidas’ This Girl Can campaign succeeded in immediately opening up communication with the target audience by using a spokesperson they believe in and listen too. Equally, The NSPCC’s ‘I saw your willy’ video – designed to advise on the dangers of sharing photos online – has had over a million views online since it was uploaded last month by addressing a topic many parents find hard to broach in a humourous and approachable way.
Don’t underestimate social media channels – The iconic #NoMakeUpSelfie hashtag took Cancer Research UK completely by surprise – raising 8 million in support for the charity in the process. However as we all are aware social channels can be unpredictable, therefore communications professionals must continue to respect the audience and continue to learn to be agile and responsive.
Lucinda Moores, Practice Director of External & Marketing Communications at VMA Group comments:
“The advent and growth of social and digital channels continues to transform how brands and businesses interact with consumers. We are in an era where these platforms are not simply a ‘nice to have’ but rather form a crucial part of the overall communications mix. Consequently professionals in this space must constantly evolve and develop in order to keep up with the pace of change. The high level of attendance on the evening was a testament to the importance professionals place on social platforms and the eagerness to learn more about how to utilise these tools to their full capacity.
“I am proud that we were able to offer people the opportunity to hear from industry experts and encourage conversation around some of the most impactful, engaging and successful campaigns of late. We hope that this provided inspiration for new ideas.”
Notes to journalists:
* Amanda Azeez -Head of Communications, Children’s Services and Campaigns at NSPCC
* Louise Vaughan -Director of Digital at Blue Rubicon
* John Shevlin -Digital Media Manager at Historic Royal Palaces
* Charlotte Beaty-Pownall – Social Media Manager at Cancer Research UK
Since its inception in 1978, VMA Group has grown to be the leading global provider of corporate and marketing communications recruitment and training services. Specialist practices cover internal communications, external communications, digital, financial services, investor relations, healthcare, public affairs and marketing communications.
With a truly global reach, VMA Group has offices across the UK, Mainland Europe and Asia-Pacific as well as an affiliate partner covering North America.
VMA Group has also become the leader in contemporary analysis and data for the communications profession and regularly publishes studies on the disciplines and markets in which it specialises which have become invaluable resources for the communications industry in planning and decision-making.
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