May 12-14, 2020
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Ask a Social Media Director #3: The Multitasker Edition

By: Justin Buchbinder, Social Media Director, FINN Partners

September 11, 2019

I’m baaaack! Did ya miss me? Thank you to The Social Shake-Up Show for giving me another spin in the social media hot seat. For those of you have no earthly idea who I am, my name is Justin Buchbinder and I’m the Social Media Director of FINN Partners, a global integrated marketing agency. (You can read my first go-round here. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.)

Enough about me. Let’s see what the Social Strategy Grab Bag has in store for me this week!

director of social media, finn partners, justin buchbinder

Justin Buchbinder, Director of Social Media, FINN Partners

Dear Director, 

What’s the best way to work with influencers?

Sincerely, Under The Influence

Dear Under The Influence,

When working with influencers, it’s all about collaboration. If the influencer you’ve reached out to is worth their weight in fees, they’re going to be full of ideas when you come to them. Instead of saying “here’s what we want you to do, and how we want you to do it,” try, “here’s what we’re looking to achieve, and who we’re trying to reach…what do you think?” Now, I’m not saying you should go in blind. You’ll want to have ideas and thoughts prepared…but don’t get stuck on them. Be open to what the influencer has to contribute.

Coming in with an open mind allows the influencer to give you what they have and you do not: unique insight into their following and performance metrics, and what has and hasn’t worked well in the past. Inviting an influencer into your creative process and strategy will yield all sorts of unexpected and pleasant results.

Remember: This is their full-time job and their livelihood. It is in their best interest to deliver a massive ROI and please you—that’s what leads to future work and larger fees. Treat influencers like the skilled specialists they are and give them room to breathe and create. You’ll end up in a far better place than if you just bang down their door with a full plan and jam them into your strategy like an expendable cog in a machine.

Dear Director, 

Can you offer a best practice for what types of content to put paid behind on social?

Thank you, ROI of the Beholder 

Dear ROI of the Beholder,

My heart smiled so wide when I saw the word “paid” in your question. Do you know how many people out there still think that an organic-only social media strategy will get them somewhere? (I’m so glad you’re not one of them.)

When it comes to deciding where to dedicate your dollars on social media, I advocate for what we at FINN Partners have coined a “Boosted Organic” model:

  1. Establish your baseline organic post performance. What’s the regular organic reach for something you share? What about the standard number of engagements?
  2. Set up a regular content calendar, sharing 3-4 posts per week per channel. These posts are “tests.”
  3. Monitor each post’s performance.
  4. When a post “breaks from the pack” by outperforming your range you’ve established, that’s the one to boost!

The better a piece of content performs organically, the better it will perform with some paid social goodness behind it. Think of what you’re doing as rubbing two sticks together. The post that outperforms is the spark that becomes a small flame. The money you throw behind it is the gasoline.

A strong piece of content can deliver a cost-per-desired outcome that’s far cheaper than putting money behind something that doesn’t work. So don’t waste your money!

If your post performs extremely well when you boost it, consider boosting it again, and extending the period of time it’s boosted as well. Good content can last a long time, and deliver continuous results.

Finally, experiment with the targeting of your boosts. Never throw a default post boost behind your content; target it to those you want to see it. Consider creating numerous audiences, and testing each with a different boost. Find the audience that’s most into what you’re serving, and then see if you can expand or hone it further over time.

Dear Director,

How do you make sure you have enough unique content on a consistent basis?

Sincerely, Concerned Creator

Dear Concerned Creator,

Oof. You just asked the Million Dollar Question. And I call it that because every social media specialist wishes they had a million-dollar monthly budget for photoshoots and stock footage so that they would never have to worry about how they were going to get content ever again. It isn’t easy. Luckily, there are many things you can do to stretch your content further. Here are a bunch:

Slow Down: Are you posting on your channels every single day? Who told you to do that? Stop that right now. If you’re utilizing a combination of both paid and organic social media, there’s no reason to burn through your content at such a rapid clip. Other than Twitter, 2-3 posts a week is more than enough for most accounts and networks, especially with a targeted boost that spans over a number of days.

  1. Cross your channels: What’s good for one network is just as good for another with a few small adjustments. If you have created an asset, optimize it for every channel you run, and use it on each.
  2. Get wordy: Get yourself a free Canva account, and create a handful of text-and-image templates. One photo can be used over and over again via a combination of different words and filters. Whether you’re sharing quotes or inspirational notes or fun facts, you’ll realize a lot more value from each visual asset.
  3. Try free stock: Ever heard of Unsplash? You should check it out. Free stock photos! Yes, we all know that stock is not the ideal type of visual for social media, but if you’re stretched, you’re stretched. And any visual is better than posting with no visuals.
  4. Upgrade to cheap stock: Check out Twenty20, or upgrade the free Canva membership to the paid one. Both of these sites provide nearly limitless stock at a very affordable monthly price.
  5. Use your phone: Social media users prefer realistic-looking visuals to flawless brand imagery. Just make sure your subjects are well-framed and well-lit. Want to upgrade your visuals? Consider purchasing a used digital camera.
  6. Turn to your target: If your brand has a following, leverage that following to help you create your content. Encourage them to post using a hashtag you designate in your bio, and let them know that when they do, you just might share their creations. User generated content plays very well on social channels, too, so that’s a double bonus.

Wow. And just like that, another column is done! Hope you found this useful. Don’t forget to send in those questions for the next time I find myself in the hot seat.

Stay Social!

The Director

At The Social Shake-Up

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