(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Social media has lots of channels, and there are more every day. But instead of surfing, pick one and own it.
That was one of the key messages from panelists who spoke on social strategy at Baltimore Innovation Week 2016 presented by 14 West’s Media Conference.
At the Mt. Vernon cafe Dooby’s, owner Phil Han chose to focus on Instagram. He’s found it to be a powerful tool to show pictures of daily specials. But it’s about more than posting food porn. The Dooby’s team targets the time around lunch or dinner, which is timed specifically to the audience.
Picking one channel also features room to experiment. Being particularly keen on the power of live video, Planit Social Media Manager Erica Malanga was thrilled when Facebook Live started to become a major tool.
Along with offering the content directly to the user, she found it’s a way to give people what they really want to see. For instance, instead of showing clients talking about tractors, she found it was more engaging to show the tractors themselves.
— Early Light Media (@Earlylightbalt) September 27, 2016
But being successful in the medium requires being willing to try new things, and commit to it, the panelists said.
“It’s a strategy, not a one-off,” Malanga said.
The panelists indicated that’s true throughout social media. With changes that have required putting more money behind posts to boost their visibility on Facebook, it’s created a new reality on the platform.
“If you’re not paying, they’re not seeing it,” Malanga said. But with video, you’re more likely to be seen organically, she added.
But with boosting, there is an added advantage for social media strategists. They can track it. Tim Savage of the 16 Agency said he shows clients how the posts are fairing “down to the dime.”
“You’ve got to know exactly who you’re talking to and where you’re engaging them,” he said.
Having worked at Thrillist, Dooby’s own Han said he understands the importance of measuring a post’s reach. Instagram makes that a little tougher, but the cafe found one obvious way to know it’s working.
“People will see something and show us the food [on their phone] and say, ‘I need to have whatever this is.'”