Ask a Social Media Director #1: Can You Re-Twitter This, Please?
By: Justin Buchbinder, Social Media Director, FINN Partners
July 31, 2019
Editor’s note: Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Ask a Social Media Director,” a pilot series wherein we throw three marketing-oriented questions at a social media leader in The Social Shake-Up community. Our first “victim”? Justin Buchbinder, who oversees social media for global agency FINN Partners, and wowed us with his insights on our recent “Social Media for an Army of One” webinar.
Hello, readers! My name is Justin Buchbinder and I’m the social media director of FINN Partners. We’re comprised of over 700 marketing geniuses in 18 global offices, providing social media strategy and support to B2B and B2C clients in industries ranging from travel and tourism to finance, technology and health.
I am beyond excited to give you tips, tricks, and tools to improve your social media strategy. If there’s one thing I love more than doing social media, it’s talking about doing social media. Okay. Here we go!
I work at a professional association. 60 percent of our membership and 90 percent of our leadership have 20+ years in their specialty field, but they still say things like, “can you re-Twitter this for me?” How can I better educate them?
Sincerely, In The Know
Dear In The Know,
You’d think that someone so high up in their field would know something so simple, right? Most of them don’t! I have worked for and with some of the most successful and greatest thinkers alive today, and if I could tell you how many times they’ve asked me to Tweet on Instagram…
Here’s the thing: I believe this is a case of determining the ROI of the teaching moment. Every day social media specialists must survey hundreds of hills and ask themselves: Is this the one I dig my feet into?
The question to ask yourself is: Is their ignorance making your ultimate goals harder? Or is it just a pet peeve of yours? Having someone ask me to re-Twitter something for them is certainly a laugh, but it’s no skin off my nose to understand what they mean, and then go tweet or retweet it.
Now, if they’re asking you to post a YouTube link on their Facebook Page…then that is indeed a hill that would be worth it. You can educate them not only on the correct course of action, but also why it’s correct. In this case I would say “Actually, can you get me that video file? Posting a YouTube link on Facebook will result in the algorithm crushing it and then very few people will see it. If we post it natively, you’ll get in front of a lot more of our audience!” Nine out of 10 times I’ve done this, it has resulted in my client or colleague learning something new, and an improvement in the outcome of the task at hand.
How can organizations better leverage LinkedIn?
Thank you, LinkedIn-clined
Right off the bat, most organizations can better leverage LinkedIn by using it. If I could tell you the number of LinkedIn pages I pass through each day where they post once a month—if at all…
LinkedIn is one of the most generous social networks right now when it comes to both organic and paid reach and engagement. And guess what? It won’t last much longer. It’s like the gold rush; soon everyone will realize there’s reach and engagement in them thar hills. They’ll all rush to the network and fill the feed with content and ads, and then reach and engagement will drop. So get in there, and get in there now.
Now, what kinds of content work? All kinds! Talk about awards your company is winning and new hires you’ve made. Share photos of company outings and conferences. Give us a peek behind the scenes by spotlighting your employees. Share links to your corporate blog or articles you’re mentioned in. Just be active. And approachable! The quickest way to stand out on LinkedIn is to give your organization a human voice and a human face. While consumers are wary of brands on traditional consumer channels, organizations and humans coexist in peace side-by-side on LinkedIn. So have fun!
Oh, and always be sure to use good quality photography and video. I’m not saying hire a production company, but at least frame the photo well and make sure it’s lit properly. And tag your employees when you feature them or mention them. Engage with people who comment on what you’re posting (even just a ‘like’ can do wonders for you.) And then, if and when you’re ready, experiment with LinkedIn paid ads and consider getting Elevate. (That discussion can be shelved for another day.)
Which social media platforms are musts vs. “nice to have”?
Thank you, Channel Chooser
Dear Channel Chooser,
You may not like this answer, but it’s the truth: It depends. What does it depend on? Who you’re trying to reach. Is your organization B2B? Then I would say LinkedIn is your absolute first stop on the social channel train. Are you a fashion brand? Then Instagram, with its Shoppable tags, is a great place to go, or Pinterest, where women make up the majority of the userbase and organic reach and engagement are far more generous.
No channel is a must. The only must is that you be on a channel. Or, preferably, two. I usually recommend to my clients that they have a primary channel, a secondary channel, and sometimes a tertiary channel. These channels are ordered in terms of priority. Maybe your best channel in regards to engagement, growth, and reach is Instagram. Great! Focus on creating content for that channel, and then figure out how you could also use the content you create for it on Facebook, or LinkedIn, or wherever.
You can always start with one channel, focus on it, nurture it, and grow it…and then launch another channel. Thankfully, with the strength of paid social media, wherever you go, you’ll have powerful and cost-effective tools to pound the pavement towards your organization’s goals. Happy choosing!
And that’s all for me this week, readers. I hope I taught you something, or reinforced something you knew on a spiritual level but just needed to hear from someone else. Until next time, direct your questions to @social_shakeup or message the Shake-Up on Facebook or Instagram, and we’ll consider it for incorporation in future columns.