Taking Control In Social Media

Words such as ‘ninja’ and ‘guru’ are still occasionally used to describe Social Media professionals, but it’s becoming less common. We thought we’d catch up with Fred Williams at Human Digital, the Community Manager for the Get Ahead of the Games twitter feed (@GAOTG) to chew the fat. And here’s what he had to say…

“There can be an uncomfortable silence (or an even more uncomfortable noise) when it comes to discussing Social Media with clients. And it’s understandable. Quantifying the unknown, in an online arena which doesn’t promise full control – and which can be quite ruinous at the drop of a hat – isn’t easily broached.

Horror stories are available for anyone wishing to Google them. Try ‘Social Media disasters’ or ‘Social Media goes wrong’. Far fewer are the perilous tales of a media buying campaign gone wrong, or a 24-hour SEO nightmare.

But the truth is, the success of social media comes down not to one ‘Guru’ and an army of followers and fans, but rather to the collaboration between the communications teams acting across channels. Things tend to tick most smoothly when those teams are firmly aligned – and there is a solid/genuine understanding of the followers and fans with whom we are talking.

The running of social media accounts has matured significantly over the last year, even. We now have the tools and people to analyse the participation of individuals and communities in social media, and can better understand the behaviour and motivation of specified target audiences. We can trend that behaviour over time to deliver a unique understanding of those groups, via weekly and monthly bespoke reporting.

A big part of my job is working alongside Analysts and Strategists to look at their online findings and share mine with them to help show the client where things are going, and what actions need to be taken. For Get Ahead of the Games, I have the added bonus of sitting with the M&C Saatchi CSU, which works on the same campaign across other channels. Active/Close collaboration and constant communication allows our overall messaging to be effectively synchronised.

Human Digital can keep me aware of the hard online data, M&C Saatchi PR are able to arrange a live Tweet chat with Peter Hendy or a photo op with the Women’s GB Beach volleyball team…. The Ad team are never far away to correct the tone of my messaging to ensure it’s consistent with theirs, and the strategists can shed light on and react to various KPI’s, to come up with new ways of messaging to our audience.

You can’t get full control when engaging in the realms of social media. That’s the nature of the beast, and perhaps even the best-laid plans can be upset. But nowadays, with great tools and real collaboration, clients can give themselves a brilliant channel for their messaging. It’s no longer feasible to delegate everything to one person and demand to know how many ‘likes’ there were at the end of each week. Getting the most from a Social Media budget relies on the community in every sense of the word.”

M&C Saatchi Performance is an forward-thinking performance marketing and paid social agency focused on driving measurable results for organisations in all industries. Feel free to get in touch with us about your new project.