Welcome to #TheSocialInfluencer

Six Social Champions from across Europe will share their tips, tricks and expertise, battling to be crowned #TheSocialInfluencer.
Discover our team's insights on the blog and engage with our content.


the social influencer

Encourage consumers to engage with your brand by creating social media storytelling.

Welcome to the “Create” phase, the second stage in our “Listen, Create, Publish, Influence” methodology for social media engagement. Read on to find out what we think the key considerations are for creating successful social media content.

Our #TheSocialInfluencer campaign is now in full swing... Have you met our Social Champions yet? Make sure to keep on coming back to our microsite over the next month to read insights from our team and Social Champions on the “Create” phase. And don't forget to add comments, vote for your favourite content and tweet what you think #TheSocialInfluencer!

Big Data drama

Analyze this, analyze that; marketing seems to be all about data these days. You could be forgiven for thinking a marketer needs to be an analyst first, a creative second. But, without great content, all you've got are fancy-pants numbers that don't actually help you engage with consumers.

By bringing data and great content together, though, you can unleash automated marketing campaigns that connect with customers wherever they are on their “buyer's journey” – and instantly address their needs.

And How Do I Do That Exactly?

Savvy marketers know the best way to engage a customer with their brand is via “storytelling”; a story has the potential to fire their imaginations and inspire them to sit up and take notice wherever the customer is on their journey.

To figure out how to create the perfect examples of social media storytelling, you need to draft content plans which track that buyer's journey in the first instance – from research and analysis of your social media listening data to ensuring that communication channels are open between team members and, most importantly, between your departments...

Why? Am I Doing Something Wrong?
If your marketing team is separate from your digital marketing team, then yes – welcome to silo purgatory, a banging hangover from the early 21st Century that is the antithesis of social media because it's, well, antisocial.

To flourish in the social media space, departments must be brought together – software can help achieve this – so you can effectively plan and coordinate your content deployment across all platforms from social media content, blogs and brochures to TV and radio advertising.

But Come on, How do I Write Content for so Many Different Platforms?
First things first – a consistent brand message is king here, whatever platform you're publishing your marketing missive on. That doesn't mean that you simply spam the same content across all social outlets though – it needs to be adapted and tuned for each particular channel while retaining your core brand message.

And when targeting specific markets across multiple channels, you'll need to plan, schedule and manage the engagement – and you’ll need software to do this effectively.

What Can I Learn About Social Media Storytelling from a Goldfish?
Great question – no, really. See, our attention spans are shrinking, from 12 seconds in 2000 to a mere eight seconds in 2013. To put that in perspective, a goldfish has an attention span of nine seconds.

Now factor in that the human mind processes visuals 60,000 times quicker than text and you can understand why social media is going “snackable”; where visually-driven content is being used to snare our oh-so-fickle attentions:

It's also essential to keep track of popular content formats – those that are emerging and gaining traction, and those that are falling from grace. Take Facebook; it may still be the king of social media but younger people see it as “dead and buried”, with 11 million of them leaving Facebook since 2011.

So if you are aiming your messaging at the youth market, such a decline needs to be taken into consideration – could you be deploying your social messaging and using your social spend on more relevant platforms to appeal to your target market?

Get Fat
While “skinny” visual content is the predominant form in social, there are times when “full-fat” content is essential to attracting the demand generation (think LinkedIn) so don't get cold feet if your content dares to breach the 250-word mark. As long as you're adding genuine value for your targeted audience, meaty content remains vital. After all, you're still reading this and we're past the 700-word mark here, people...

What Other Pragmatic Steps can I Take to Ensure my Social Media Storytelling Isn't Wasted?
Know what you're doing – and why you're doing it...
Really, why are you doing this? Why are you taking on social media? Decide on your goal, your reason for bothering in the first place. Social media might be a new medium but like “old-skool” magazines or whitepapers, you need to know why you're embracing it to make sure that your strategy is successful. Have a game plan, a long-term strategy for your content – don't live post by post, or you risk losing your brand's voice.

There is no “right way” to create content...

Social media platforms are constantly evolving and updating – witness Twitter and LinkedIn's recent updates. So you need to be constantly measuring success and adapting your content plans accordingly. Stay ahead of the curve by testing everything – the number of characters on different platforms, display issues on mobiles and tablets, and more. Be an analysis nerd – or hire someone with the nerd gene to do it for you.

Speak the right language...

Social content should lead to landing pages in the same language. That might sound like a lesson in stating the obvious, but we know it's never that simple, right? In Germany, for instance, many people use English for business.

Be up front...

Ensure whenever you make an offer that you actually deliver on what you're promising – in other words, “free” should mean exactly that, and not require an irritating give from the consumer before they can enjoy their supposedly “free” stuff.

“How cool is this!?!”

Be wary of sharing cool content that is copyrighted – while you may simply want to share, say, a great infographic, you could be in effect piggybacking off someone else's hard work to boost your own presence online. Not good. Instead, how about creating your own cool content? Just a thought...

Don't spam...

Consumers will hate you if you constantly bang out posts or updates. Instead, use software to schedule and line-up your messaging so it is posted at relevant times and intervals – and it can help you take a load off by ensuring you don't manually need to post a social media missive at two a.m. to hit a different time zone…

  • Draft content plans which track your buyer’s journey, to create social media storytelling.
  • Use software to plan and deploy your content across all platforms, while keeping your core brand message consistent.
  • Use visually-driven content to snare attention.
To discover just how socially enabled your business really is, click here and take part in #TheSocialInfluencer survey 2014.


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