5 practical learnings from working on Social Media campaigns

I have been working at The Population for just over 9 months now, In this time I have worked on a number of campaigns. I learn something every project I do. The following are six learnings from working on these campaigns;

The best conversations occur in online forums
We looked after the Al Bino - Beautiful Day for Cancer online properties, what we found was that the best conversation around the topic were occuring in forums. Blogs and Twitter are rarely as engaging as forums.

News Portals still break and hold most news stories
People who say that they will only read blogs in the future are joking, what we found when doing the online audit for Listerine after the Cancer scare was that all the chatter was occuring around the major news portals, people would just repost the stores on their blog or twitter links to the stories. No one was actually discussing the matter except on the news sites.

Facebook Pages work after the transaction.
Working on the My Year Without Sex fanpage, we saw that it was very hard to get people to become a fan of the page before they had seen the movie, people needed to see the movie then become a fan.

In online publicity it is all about the subject line
Doing the blogger outreach with Dosh Wallets and Skins we found that we needed to get straight to the point, long emails will get no response, you need to get your information across in one paragraph.

Getting video content into newsportals will significantly boost your audience
We created the video content '5 things that stop sex' for the movie My Year Without Sex, when it was picked up by Fairfax blogger 'Ask Sam' we saw a dramatic increase in views.

The most important lesson of all is;
Social Media does not work on its own it needs to work as part of an overall digital strategy

Have you had an learnings from working in social media? I would be interested to hear them.


Kruppy said...

Nice post Jules. It's great that the industry is now growing in Australia in such a way that we can actually analyse some trends!

In my experience at MySpace what I learned was that users are more likely to participate in a social media campaign(ie give their opinions on something / interact with a brand)if there is an incentive. ie a prize component.

walter.adamson said...

Julian, loved this post - great hardcore practical advice from the street.

I've "noted" all lessons because each and every one of your points rings bells for me. I'm also compelled to be self-serving and say that the overarching theme of the teaching of our Social Media Academy is your conclusion - SM is a part of a bigger strategy and picture.

Walter Adamson @g2m
and Social Media Academy, Australia

Kate Richardson said...

Nice one Jules,

One I would add is that the title of your video content is really really important (a bit like your point on subject heading and also demonstrated by the pick up of Year without sex).

Unknown said...

HI Jules,

I don't get the last point on your list - Social Media does not work on its own it needs to work as part of an overall digital strategy.

I have previously assumed that most companies will have a digital strategy encompassing all communication channels (e.g. email, web, mobile,etc), and that social media campaigns will utilise these channels where appropriate.

Are you saying that this is not the case ?


Zac Martin said...

@ Kate Richardson

Could you elaborate a bit more on the importance of a title for video content?

I would think it was possibly one of the least important things? If you content is being spread around, then surely all people are seeing is the URL? And if the content is being directly accessed, then it would be the thumbnail/preview image?


Great post Jules, this is the kind of insight I'm not gonna find elsewhere! ;]

Kate Richardson said...

Hi Zac,

It's based on the experience of Sprite Truth Hunters campaign. We had 12 odd short format comedic videos.

The number of views was in part determined by how catchy/controversial/interesting the title was.

Our strategy meant that it wasn't always the URL (in this case Youtube channel) we were promoting/seeding/sharing, but more often the individual video and its accompanying title.

It's no different really to the way a headline pulls in a reader. Our experience was it was one of the most important elements.

Anonymous said...

Regarding your prior post on social media marketing for films, the Facebook page for My Year Without Sex might have gained more fans if a few choice scenes were available as online video. The film has a few poignant, familiar and funny scenes that would work as standalone video. Worked for Borat and Cloverfield...

I agree with Kate, the title is important. I've recommended online video to people in conversations bereft of online access. Keywords in the title are usually the only way for them to later find the video. The Danny MacAskill video is easy to find just by searching his name in YouTube after a watercooler conversation.

Ben Shepherd said...

my experience around this area has been

- these initiatives generally need an ATL spark to build momentum
- none really work in isolation or in a silo
- generally deeper measurement is needed to evaluate the value of these interactions. Often the measurement is too shallow and based on quant not qual.
- thought is needed around SEO and SEM from day 1. The old 'just put in on Facebook' and it'll go viral (eurgh) is pretty naive.

Con Frantzeskos said...

Good solid stuff Julian.

I agree 100% with your claim about forums > blogs. I thought it was my little secret while the rest of the industry wasted resources on over the top blogger outreach!

From my 7-Eleven Slurpee Day work, to Woolworths Drought Action Day, to many other social media campaigns I've designed for Shell, Qantas and others, forums have been the key to their success.

The secret is out: http://www.smartcompany.com.au/Premium-Articles/Top-Story/20081124-Australias-best-online-forums.html

Kate Kendall said...

This is the best post you've done in ages Jules! Thanks for the insights. Some great points and extremely practical. A perfect 'how' and not just 'what' post.

Paul Den said...

Hi Julian. Hope you are well. Very interesting post. Your comments about the Facebook page for My Year Without Sex. Working on UPI, we have had some pretty amazing results from a response perspective for Fast and Furious, an established and well liked franchise, definitely an easier task.

Would have potentially been quite challenging given that most distributors make their big money up front so WOM screenings would be crucial if people were only joining after they had seen the film. Was it a challenging exercise in social media?

Paul Den said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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