Social Media: How can brands embrace the ethos of real-time content? | M&M Global

Social Media: How can brands embrace the ethos of real-time content?

Following a tumultuous year that included the rise of livestreaming apps such as Meerkat and Periscope, six experts discuss the state of social media and where it’s headed next.



How are brands approaching social differently from 12 months ago?

Brands are rapidly understanding that, because of mobile connectivity, there is no more prime time. On mobile, prime time is all the time, and Facebook and Instagram are the mobile platforms where people spend most of their time when they are online. Digital is also redefining the way brands of all shapes and sizes talk to their audiences and, for advertisers in Latin America, that means using Facebook to engage with the right people, at the right time and with the right message.

How can media vendors approach the growth of messaging apps?

Messaging is the one thing people do more than anything else on their phone, and that is particularly true in hyper-social Latin America. In terms of time spent, attention and retention, nothing beats messaging, so vendors need to start looking at messaging as a service-discovery platform. Imagine just the impact of being featured or promoted on a messaging service. That’s how media vendors need to look at this, and that’s where they need to be creative.

What other challenges do you think must be tackled for the future growth of social?

The challenge is to continue to stay ahead of the curve and offer useful ways of connecting people with the things that matter most to them. At Facebook we are exploring augmented VR that will allow people to connect and share experiences at a whole new level. On the business side, the industry needs to evolve its management tools, so marketers can relate business outcomes to their investment in digital.



How are brands approaching social differently from a year ago?

Social selling has grown significantly in the past 12 months. We introduced the Social Selling Index this summer, a data-driven tool that helps users identify how well they are building relationships with new customers, in response to growing numbers of professionals using social media to generate business leads.

What other challenges do you think must be tackled for the future growth of social?

It’s imperative that marketers personalise paid-for content on social to avoid ad-blocking. Great content is useful, relevant and precisely targeted, and the industry faces a challenge in setting standards to ensure all customer touch points meet these criteria.

What are your predictions for the future?

I think we’re going to see more data-driven creativity than ever before as companies harness customer insight and tailor messaging accordingly. As marketers free up their time by using more automation, it’s crucial more time is put into developing messaging that resonates with audiences.



How are brands approaching social differently from a year ago?

We’ve definitely seen a shift in content creation and adaptation across new platforms. It’s no longer good enough to take one piece of creative and try to ‘spray and pray’, as they say, across multiple platforms. It just doesn’t work. Different platforms have different nuances and behaviours that are core to users on those platforms and apps. To combat that, we’re building dedicated teams like BFF, Cocoa Butter and video operations worldwide in LA, NY, Mumbai, London, Sydney and more that are creating content that is made for social platforms that often will never even live on our website. Ultimately, we don’t care where our audience is reading or watching our content as long as they are having a great user experience and we are getting data and learnings back.

How do you see the relationship between social media and content developing?

For us it’s not developing – it’s already here! More than 75% of our website traffic comes from social sources.

How can social continue to grow?

The top thing brands and marketers need to keep in mind is that mobile is social. If something isn’t working on mobile, it’s simply not going to share as well. In 2016, it will come down to three major things: more video, more mobile and more global than ever before.



How do you see the relationship between social media and content developing?

We’re seeing two trends first and foremost. First, a modular approach to campaign and asset creation is enabling advertisers to not only distribute at scale, in increasingly relevant moments, but also in an increasing variety of formats such as gifs, cinemagraphs and vines that work harder to stop the thumbs of the audience in each respective platform. Second, deeper brand experiences, created by brands that have the right, or via ideas that have created the right, are continuing to set the bar ever higher.

What other challenges must be tackled for social to continue to grow?

As more marketing resources move to social for either asset distribution or bespoke activations, social and the evolving ad units that rise to the top will have to prove they can do the heavy lifting required to drive salience, build brands and sell product.

What are your predictions for the coming year?

Facebook will continue to grow users, but lose usage; offset by Instagram and WhatsApp. Twitter will continue to be incredibly important to current users, but not add users. Snapchat will continue to add users and utility, but requires an API to explode revenue. YouTube will continue to be he default for premium video, but cat videos will go elsewhere. Brands will continue to increase social resources, but focus on priority platforms.  Arsenal will continue to impress, but ultimately fail to win the league. Again.



What have been the most significant developments in social in 2015?

The amount of social video content across platforms and the rate of video consumption have exploded. We’ve seen especially huge numbers on our MTV International Snapchat Discover channel. Social platforms have also been implementing features that gather user-generated content around moments in time: Snapchat Live Stories, Twitter Moments, etc. It’s fascinating to see how this format resonates with users, especially for us in the television industry.

How can media vendors approach the growth of messaging apps?

I think vendors have to be especially careful with messaging apps; people aren’t coming here to post broadcast messages or show off carefully created content. Messaging apps are private, intimate and, above all, utilitarian. Instead of brands trying to impose a presence on messaging apps and drive back to their properties, they should complement the already existing behaviours on those apps. For example, we have Nickelodeon-themed sticker packs available on Line and Viber. We know users are sending stickers, so we want to meet fans where they are.

How do you see the relationship between social media and content developing?

New social platforms demand new types of content, so I think we’ll see lots more of both. It’s interesting to see users embrace new media formats, like Snapchat’s vertical video and Boomerang’s gif-like videos. There’s not a hesitation to adopt these new content types, which gives brands a lot of room for creativity.



What has been the biggest development with regards to content?

While progressive agencies will continue to build high-quality editorial capability, we’ve found that the biggest game-changer has been in partnering our content people with the people who understand how to distribute that content. Not necessarily straight media buying, it’s more the integration of social amplification, digital PR, influencer marketing, event activation and SEO.

How has brands’ social approach changed?

Many brands, marketers and agencies are still delivering up the same content calendars, focused around the same big events, and trying way too hard to get their name up in lights with a witty response to a customer service complaint on Twitter. The best brands are driving positive conversations with truly valuable content, and behaving more like modern publishers than traditional marketers.

What are your predictions for next year?

Social channels across the board will follow the mighty Facebook’s lead, and start aggressively monetising their audiences. No longer will social equal a free audience, so brands should expect to pay for video views, shares, pins, snaps, and the rest. As a result, brands will shift their focus back to building owned (not rented) relationships with consumers.


Anna Dobbie


1 Comment

Leave a Reply