Media Futures interviewed Social Media Specialist Craig Thomler about trends in the world of Social Media
Here’s a snap shot summary of what Craig had to say –
Question: Why Social Media…..does it really work ?
Response: I believe social media does work for most organisations. For some it is not a good fit, like other channels don’t work well for every organisation. It is a case of commitment. Many organisations are trapped in an older paradigm where it all about sending messages out. The art of two way Social engagement is a different beast and has different requirements. Is it still a megaphone one way approach or a two way conversation. Are you communicating about things that people want to have a conversation about?
Question: How many forms of Social media are there and what are the categories ?
Response: At the moment I have 40 different categories of Social Media tools. There is an expansion pack coming with another 20 categories. The main ones store content for replaying like Youtube for outbound video watching, Flickr or Instagram for photos. Blab or Periscope or Skype are popular for live video sharing. Whats App for friends communicating information, and there are active conversations through Facebook. There are many different Forums allowing people to communicate inwards like Blogs for example. There are core platforms and a secondary group for specific purposes. People want conversations and they want to share interesting content with like minded people.
Question: What content formats works best in Social?
Response: Words, Images, Audio and Video form the basis of Social content.
Video remains the most popular and lengths of 1 to 1 and a half minutes work best. Shorter forms of a few seconds can work well if you can communicate in that space of time. But Video is really one way. If video is supported by text on a service like Blab for example then there is more opportunity for 2 way exchange. Words come second to video. Audio is popular online but is a smaller part of the Social Market. It can be tricky in competing against external noises. You may have to wear headphones as an example just to hear it clearly. Listening to long complex pieces on Audio is far harder than watching short pieces in video. Last is images, the right image can change a company or a country. Creating an image that is powerful is a hard job. But if you get it right it can be immensely powerful.
Question: How do you see the spend on Social over the next 3 years?
Response: I think Social has not reached it’s potential as a part of the Ad Spend Mix.
A lot of organisations have not fully embraced Social or it is seen as cheap and or free.
Some have experiemented with 100% of spend on Social and they are finding it actually works. Some still use TV exclusively because it works for them. There are still strong radio markets and print has the ability to translate online. There is still growth, it is about half of where it should be in Australia. There will be a balance at the end of the cycle and some need to maintain a balance of Social and Traditional. Some mediums work well together such as TV and Video online, particularly if you can cut down the lengths from TV for Online. This combination is a vital part of the future mix. The question is how you bring things together. Conversational Social is still vastly under utilised. We need to learn how to use them more effectively and in a robust way. There is a lot of growth still coming.
Media Futures undertook this interview in order to inform the media industry of developments and what is happening in the Social media space. The payback to marketers and advertisers is to be more precise in decision making and be able to target more effectively. Thank you to Craig Thomler for sharing his views.
If your media policy, media strategy, media planning and media buying have not addressed the internal workings of Social Media it is worth investigating this still growing sector.