In Show 10 of the CIPR’s Social Media Panel c-suite podcast series, I spoke with Farhad Koodoruth, Managing Director of Threepipe, and Vikki Chowney, Director of Content & Publishing Strategies at H+K Strategies on the topic of Paid Social, and covered off, amongst others areas:

  1. Promoted posts and tweets on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  2. Paying influencers such as YouTubers
  3. Content discovery platform, Outbrain
  4. LinkedIn

Farhad explained that the reason why paying to amplify posts is so important is because organic reach on platforms such as Facebook are in the single percentages [see socialbakers report from earlier this year]. He also added that paying for social reach of content also enables them to track the activity about what people look at, click on and pages they visit and loop it back into a broader marketing plan in terms of reengaging those users later on, highlighting his company’s NatWest T20 Blast Cricket campaign as a successful case study.

However, the impact that paid for posts are having on the user experience was highlighted by a blog post we discussed from Stephen Waddington’s 16 year old daughter, Ellie, called ‘The not-so-secret Internet diary of a Gen Z teenage girl’where she wrote that one of the reasons she likes Instagram so much is that ‘the apparent lack of advertising allows it to stand out from other social media sites because almost all of the content you come across is personal, as opposed to the hundreds of sponsored posts and spam videos that you have to trawl through on Facebook.’  Unfortunately for Ellie though, Farhad said that Facebook had announced that small to media sizes businesses will be able to advertise on Instagram from September, but he agreed that the commercial imperative for all platforms is one they will have to work out in terms of getting the right balance between what they can commercialise and not ‘pissing off’ their users to the point of how Ellie described her experience.  Vikki said she wasn’t surprised to hear Ellie’s views and that it’s a trap that most of the platforms have fallen into at some stage or another.

This led us onto a discussion about paying influencers such as YouTubers, where Vikki made the important point that it’s our responsibility as marketers to use the data and tools that are available to us to track people with real influence, and not just the ones who are the biggest names [in this space] and not be so lazy and use the same people time and time again.

I strongly recommend recommendation watching the film ‘The Creators’ to get a good understanding of how influential some of these YouTubers can be.  The film follows Zoella and a few others behind the scenes in terms of them creating content and events that they attend.

The final areas we discussed were how platforms such as Outbrain and LinkedIn, help drive traffic to blog content, both for B2B as well as B2C activity, with Farhad highlighting work Threepipe are doing with fashion retailer, Reiss, and Vikki talking through campaigns she works on for Intel.

You can keep the conversation going on twitter around these podcasts using #ciprcsuite and please do subscribe to the series on itunes and don’t forget,  rating and reviewing this podcast will help it up the iTunes podcast charts too.

About Russell Goldsmith

Russell Goldsmith is Founder of marketing consultancy, Audere Communications, and is Director of Conversis Corporate, a translation and localisation agency. He had previously spent 16 years as Digital & Social Media Director of broadcast communications specialists, markettiers4dc before leaving in April 2014 to become an independent consultant and trainer. An active member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations' Social Media Panel (CIPRSM) and a Public Relations Consultants Association trainer, he regularly presents at conferences and contributes to industry books and blogs as well as regularly judging industry awards too.

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