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{PODCAST} In-Ear Insights: 2020 Social Media Strategy, Live at Talkwalker

In this week’s In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris share takeaways and insights from the live webinar and on-site event at Talkwalker Inc.’s US headquarters. Listen as they reveal statistics that surprised them (such as the number of brands with no YouTube strategy), how to stay current on social media news, and much more. Watch the video from the session below.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.

Christopher Penn
In this episode of In-Ear Insights, we are live again at this time in a different place. We’re at talk Walker headquarters here in midtown Manhattan, the 48th Street is still Midtown. Just finished up a webinar on social networks. 2020 which, if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a little while and you haven’t downloaded the paper, please go download it at Trust insights.ai slash social 2020 paper.

Katie Robbert
So Chris Alban Alban’s from talk Walker? What did you guys sort of so Chris, obviously, you ran the original research. But what were some of your key findings? And then I’ll ask you sort of the same question, Alvin.

Unknown Speaker
Sounds good.

Christopher Penn
The thing that surprised me the most was digging into like, one of the surprises was YouTube. I’m like this, this network is 15 years old. Right? It is it is a practically a dinosaur. Right? It predates Facebook, it pretty dates, Twitter, it predates every social network except MySpace and Friendster, right? And yet, it is still the Goliath on the field. And part of the reason is because it’s so it’s, it’s three things in one is a video channel, right? It is a social network, and it is a search engine. So like Google still exists 20 some odd years later. But it was interesting seeing how just how dominant this channel continues to be partly because it is those three functions, and for marketers and business it has all the the ad functions, which obviously, you know, make it a cash cow for Google.

Katie Robbert
What about you? What were some of your takeaways?

Albane Flamant
Well, there were a few things, actually, one of them being that Tick Tock is predicted to actually go down next year, which is probably because of this hype, you know that you hear so much about tech talk right now that, you know, in the back of my mind, I was wondering if that should be part of my strategy, because you hear so much about it. It’s where the brands are going, and all that thing. So you can start building up the end and social seeing that research kind of makes me question it a bit more, which is good. I’m less surprised about YouTube, in a way because of the fact that I know so presence in life of consumers. That’s where people go for how to videos, it’s where to go to watch cooking shows to even listen to music, surprisingly, so not even video content. So present that Yeah, no surprise, still there. What surprised me more when we did the webinar earlier, was when we had this poll about how often brands posted on YouTube. And we actually had more than half of the the audience telling us that they do not have a YouTube strategy

Katie Robbert
at all like crazy. Yeah, I’m glad you brought that was gonna be my next question. Yeah. And it’s really disheartening, because video is one of those things. And Chris, you and I have talked about this quite a bit. And I’m sure you guys talk about it. A lot of talk Walker is people overthink it, you don’t have to have a huge budget or crazy, you know, equipment in order to create good content, the content, if the content is good. You can get by with lesser quality. I mean, what’s your stance on that?

Albane Flamant
Yeah, I think it’s always hard when you when your branch actually take that step, we still very reluctant to put yourself in front of the camera. Like it’s more efforts, we feel like there’s more branding involved. So we tend to always go back to going to the written word first, like thinking, so we drive this big report these case studies, all the kind of content that goes into our marketing strategy, which is efficient, but I think would really gain like, yeah, it would be really interesting to turn that on its head and really start as you were mentioning, by that video, so maybe, you know, a good resolution for 2020.

Christopher Penn
Yeah, the thing that really shocked me was people, you know, almost more than 30% said they don’t use a socialist control. And my guys social media is almost 20 years old. Now. What are you doing? Yeah. What happened there?

Albane Flamant
No. And I need it was also a skewed sample. Given that, yeah, it’s a webinar hosted by social listening tool, yet half of the audience is still not using social listening in their daily life. So yeah, I promoted by an analytics company.

Unknown Speaker
No.

Albane Flamant
I was quite surprised that but it was homegrown, like, of course,

Christopher Penn
sales, how does it work?

Albane Flamant
I guess it’s good. We’re getting you know, interest in different in different weaknesses. So it’s not just our like client base listening to? It’s still very interesting.

Christopher Penn
Well, that’s, you know, it’s, we were talking about this last week’s episode, as well as the fact that all the conferences are stuck in one on one mode, because you have so much churn at the junior level, like, literally every 18 months, there’s a brand new person, like, I don’t know what the social media thing is, I just use it personally. And maybe that’s part of it is, you know, ES, we have the same brands that we’re reaching, but maybe this could be like, literally, you know, it’s it’s September’s we’re recording, this could be like the freshman class that friends on the first year, glass of new social media managers, were all like listening,

Albane Flamant
I guess. And then there was that whole aspect about private communities, which I liked, because you know, I’m here, huge spike fan. Personally, I’m a part of six different communities, which I know you consider your rookie sale. I feel pretty advanced when I go to my fellow marketers. And it’s really great to see that Yeah, people go back to a bit more closed community value where we don’t so dependent on the algorithm basically.

Katie Robbert
So I want to go back to this idea of the people not using social listening tools, and then just social media in general. And it’s a question for both of you, do you feel like one of the reasons why people aren’t using a social listening tools, because there’s so many social media networks, I know, when we were doing the research for the paper, I didn’t know what half of them were. Now granted, I am admittedly still a little bit older, but I didn’t know what they were. And I don’t use them myself. And so I mean, I’m wondering, do you think the lack of social media strategy is because they can’t keep up, or maybe a lack of social listening is because they just don’t know where to start?

Christopher Penn
I think the word the most important word in your statement, there is that word strategy and the lack thereof. I think what’s happened again, when you have so much churn to the junior level, and you know, people who have the experience have moved on to, you know, marketing director, VP of Marketing, whatever, you have a bunch of junior folks or just been told, just wing it, like, you know, you know, the socials just just do social. And there’s no integrated plan of like, these are our goals. These are the things that feed into our goals you’re planning, like, we just helps literally every week on the show.

Katie Robbert
But I think one of the things there that I really want to sort of dig into for a minute is, you know, your social media used to be sort of like the big for you had Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, maybe Pinterest, but now you have all of these other smaller channels. And one of the things you were just saying open was, Do I need to factor in something like tip talk? Or how fast is a platform like that going to turn around and then go away, so he’s going to always time to create a plan,

Albane Flamant
and then it’s already gone. And I think we still shine in marking teams to try to set up new social networks, too, because it’s always a question of time, right? We tried to invest our time, you know, in the most valuable channel and all that stuff. And sometimes it’s naturally backed by the tides, just which we used to do. It’s very hard to take a risk and invest more time in something like Tick Tock or so we naturally that much on the lookout for other stuff. And not that really, maybe to try to new video format that is Tech Talk maybe or Yeah, to really put put herself out there maybe?

Katie Robbert
Well, I mean, whatever happened to Snapchat? I mean, that’s it’s still around. Are people still using it? But I guess the bigger question is, is it even the right audience?

Christopher Penn
Well, I certainly the FTC is very interested in Snapchat at the moment, because they are interviewing them about Zuckerberg basically strong arming them out of this and and literally writing threatening emails, which is so dumb in the 21st century, saying, if you don’t accept my buyout offer, I will copy all of your features. Well, they did. Instagram has all these features. And now the FTC is probing them. So.

Unknown Speaker
So that’s a different episode.

Christopher Penn
No, I mean, snapchats. Still there. It’s still has something like 100 and some odd million users, right? So again, like we’re saying, with Facebook, and Instagram and the webinar, yes, we see them losing potentially a couple million people, when you have 2 billion people, that’s literally one 10th of 1%. So it’s not like oh, my God, you know, million billions of people are leaving. Now. It’s that’s not the case. But it really comes down to do you know, where your audiences and one of the things that nobody seems to do in social media marketing now is send out an email to us saying, what social networks are you active on? And where do you want to hear from us? Right? Like, when we go to our community, we list all the options. But the network we’ve had the most success on is Slack, right? We’ve said to people, hey, there’s, you can follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on YouTube, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we have like, $15 in each right. Now, Twitter has slightly more. But we have 700 users in Slack, and they’re active, and they’re talking to each other. So it’s a really question. Did you take the time to ask your audience?

Katie Robbert
slack is one of those interesting platforms, a lot of these private community platforms are and I would like to get your take on this because I think marketers are resistant slash confused about how powerful a private community can be. Because I can’t get the metrics. I can’t see the public facing stuff at all. I don’t Yeah, exactly. So what are your thoughts on the private communities as you know, sort of disrupting traditional social media?

Albane Flamant
I think it’s really valuable. But I think there’s still a lot of fears connected to private communities. They maybe they don’t feel in control that either like, you know, maybe people are going to start, you know, saying bad stuff about my brand woven into this thing to get a particular food zone within the community. How they worried about the time investment? How do you actually do the admin work, you know, to serve the community? How do you animate the community, things like that? There’s a lot of unknowns. I think that was really scared people. I mean, Twitter, you can if you want to, you can just like pump out tweets about your content. And that can be all of it. And of course, you have to monitor it. It’s crazy thing come there. But it it looks simple. Yeah. Like creating an ecosystem of your own. Where are you basically, you don’t have to be the algorithm. But basically, you have to be like the one in charge of the dynamics within the pro community. It’s more difficult, and it requires maybe a bit more strategy.

Christopher Penn
Okay, why don’t you talk about what goes into running our slack?

Katie Robbert
Well, you know, it’s interesting, because when you talk about sort of the, you know, the admin, the community managers, I see a community manager of a private community as the same sort of type of role not exactly same as a social media, community manager. So companies will hire social media managers to manage their social accounts, make sure like, respond to comments, you know, things go off the rails, they flag it, I see a slack community or, you know, other private online community is very much the same thing, where you have the same general guidelines, you know, and you can set up slack free, depending on sort of what level of usage and you know, you can create different spaces, like a lot of people do, like the water cooler talk, they’ll do like the, what am I listening to. And then slack has a lot of good plugins. So for people who are more on the technology side of things, like they’re not missing, you know, my meeting reminders, my files, you know, all of those types of things that, you know, it, it sort of becomes a productivity tool, in addition to that community based thing. And I think that one of the challenges is like, which is it? But I guess it depends on how you want to use it?

Albane Flamant
No, definitely, I guess maybe we’re a bit stuck in that that’s the way we use it. Also, again, poker, it’s within like a team trying to optimize processes. And for that it’s really useful. So we have a plugin with Google Analytics that gets gets us, you know, a bit of reporting every week. And of course, it doesn’t give you the whole picture. But it kind of reminds you of the need to sometimes go beyond and maybe Oh, so we got, you know, 35% traffic there last Monday, what happened? Maybe I need to want to dig into that. And we also integrate well, of course, talk Walker, we converted into an RSS feed. And we have a channel where we get all the urn mentioned of talker that we can then assign to teams and things like that and comment on, which is really useful. So of course, is that you can never get everything into site directly. But it can give you good reminders that you have all these tools at your disposal. And Aren’t you into potential issues too. But yeah, for me, it’s more like these private communities, like the ones you gates animates. It is a bigger I mentioned you have to, you have to be able to control it. And I think that some marketing teams might not know to do that. Yeah,

Christopher Penn
yeah, barring to the analytics question, if using any kind of URL shortener, all you should be doing is tagging stuff, the posts in slack as like UTM source Slack, like we do that with our links that we share, and our community. And it’s astonishing, because it now shows up in our customer journey. At the end, it’s like this is a deal closing channel, like this is what gets people over the mind. So as long as you’ve got the discipline and in the process in place to do that tag will have software that does it for you. It’s pretty cool. You’re like, Hmm, maybe we should do more of this.

Albane Flamant
Yeah, and that’s actually something I really liked. In your presentation, it was that customer journey, tired that you showed, you know, if like, where conversion were happening at the awareness stage, and all the way well, you know, all the way down through the customer journey into different channels, like factoring into that thing. That’s what everybody should be doing to really understand what’s driving real conversion and where they should be investing their time. And I think that very few teams right now have this very holistic vision of their activities.

Katie Robbert
Yeah, and one of the more recent cmo surveys, I don’t remember if it was the February, the August one, but they were saying that CMOS were investing in paid ads and SEO. And that’s where they were prioritizing their money, which is great. They’re making a decision, but what if it’s the wrong decision for your particular company, and to your point, every customer journey for market team is going to look a little bit different. And I think that that is so important, especially when you’re trying to figure out, is social media doing anything for me? What is social media doing? And so, you know, maybe YouTube is coming at the end of your funnel, it’s converting, great, now you need to have a YouTube strategy.

Albane Flamant
Definitely. And it’s so easy. I mean, I’ve been, I’ve been in this company for four years now. And it’s so easy to just get caught into the rhythm, where, you know, we have these plans for like, the campaigns against publish and everything that goes around it, and the recording and all that stuff. And you don’t feel really think creatively anymore, you just pushing out content. And naturally looking at the bigger picture, even with like a monthly reporting everything. You just get into insurance, though it’s always important to question it in the end.

Christopher Penn
Yeah, I saw that in our agency days where, as one of the reasons why, you know, we call out agencies in the 2020 report, like you have to upgrade your skills, you have to upgrade your people skills, you have to grow your team skills, because so much is happening that if you’re not up to date on just what’s working, right, not even working, what’s cutting edge, just the stuff that’s working today, you’re operating with 2016 strategies, you are in dangerous territory. There was a great podcast episode of this week in machine learning and AI where they brought on Facebook’s operations AI engineer, who was explaining how Facebook’s algorithm worked from an operations and software deployments. He said, Facebook’s API writes code, QA is the code and deploys the code once an hour, if you go to lunch, you’re using a different version of Facebook than you were before lunch is updated, the album’s different everything. When you think about that, and you think about Yeah, we’re using the same strategy on Facebook since 2016. I’m sorry, you are approximately what 86,400 versions behind on Facebook. Right? That’s, that’s how far back you are.

Albane Flamant
Yeah. That’s really crazy. And so how do you go about like,

Christopher Penn
you know, this thing that they did, and things like that, but we read a lot, we research a lot, we actually so one of the things we do we we are very, I’m process automation, and due to find a way to automate less valuable stuff, right. So one of the things we do is we put we wrote content curation software for social, which pulls in about 1500 blogs. We have taggers that go through and say like, this is an article probably about AI or machine learning, Facebook, and then merge all together. And it’s funny, one of my rules about content marketing is the three hour rule, right? You have to if you’re making content, you don’t love it so much, you’re talking to a significant other about it, and they don’t want to hear about it. If you didn’t laugh when you were making, we didn’t learn something when you’re making it’s not very good content. Every week when I put together the Trust Insights newsletter, like Oh, I didn’t know what happened. Because our curation is spitting out these things. This is a relevant, oh, I gotta keep up on that. So we have systems in place and processes in place to help us stay current.

Albane Flamant
Definitely super important. And I guess I had that through different alert sensitive for myself, you know, we’ve topped article with sufficient specific keywords in a title so you don’t even need like a very substantial taught to do it or a lot of skills. Technically, you can start with basic feelers looking at a title and giving you the top articles about content marketing that week, for example, and then go from there and add you know, layers of sophistication if you want to, of course, there’s some great new newsletters, including yours, actually, that I do read. That helped me like keep things current. And I think emails are actually very important right now. I SPECT, email newsletters are making a big comeback. I feel they never went away. Yeah, probably probably right. I feel like that we can come back because I’m using them more and more in my day to day, but yeah, maybe they didn’t ever

Katie Robbert
go away. We talked about email quite a bit on our one, one of our more recent episodes, and, you know, we are planning to do a deep dive in a different episode for those of you who really want to hear more about email. So I guess it’s sort of like to bring it all home to wrap it all up while we’re, you know, sort of talk Walker, downtown New York. So social media, in the year 2020. We know YouTube’s going to be a thing we know video is going to be a thing.

Christopher Penn
Any other Final Thoughts at the end of the day, and this is, I think the best advice from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos focus on what doesn’t change, right? Customers always want better, faster, cheaper. People want content that educates, entertains, if you great create stuff that educates and entertains that that you would want that you would pay for right? No matter what the format is, you’re going to be okay. Right? No matter what the algorithms are, if you’re creating legitimately good stuff that someone will say, you know what, I’m not going to binge watch that next episode. on Netflix, I’m going to read this first and then go binge watch that up. So if you can get to that standard of creating stuff that people really want, you will be fine No matter me medium.

Katie Robbert
So I need to figure out how to monetize cat videos. Got it? What is your takeaway?

Albane Flamant
I think my takeaway is that, well, less is more but it’s in several different ways. So of course, as marketers, we always Christmas mentioned it earlier today in the webinar, whereas could you more with less budgets, but as we tend to just pump out so much content and I really want to be inspired by that metric he showed with starting with video content and in producing all kinds of related content based on it. And yeah, really step up my game in 2020

Christopher Penn
All right, as always, you can find you can find Alvin and the talk Walker stuff at talk Walker calm the Center for their free alert service, which is fantastic that talk walker.com slash alerts. You can find us at Trust insights.ai. subscribe to the newsletter and join our slack community at Trust insights.ai slash analytics for markers will talk to you soon.


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