Social media and personal branding

Co-Chapter leaders Marjorie Sundström and Evelyn Hamilton spoke to experts; Rickard Amidani, Social Media Specialist at Nordic Hotels & Resorts; Rebecca Sulocki, Stylist & Art Director at Lagher & Sulocki; and Lisa Volkamer, Social Selling Strategist at BCD Travel.  Here are just a few topics we discussed in 45 minutes.

What is a successful media strategy?

Rickard says that the key is to know who your audience group is; especially who and why you are targeting them, and how you are going to target your chosen audience, and also what social media channel works best. Always analyse the data that you receive to see what works and what doesn’t. Once you know this information, then you can adjust the message and improve. Rebecca suggests to be quick to post on social media to keep up with people’s attention spans. Lagher & Sulocki creates content for the hospitality industry.  The ‘influencer’ phenomenon is a marketing strategy, but some may tend to promote themselves. Instead, try to be agile with your media channels to keep up with the news as it happens.

“It’s always good to start with a plan so that you can measure the goals that you set; which are linked to your business goals, and then matched with your social media activities. Be agile with your message to continually improve and repeat what works. There’s a lot of data that can be generated from your activities online.” – Lisa Volkamer, Social Selling Strategist at BCD Travel.

How can you visualise a successful media strategy?

Gathering data across various media channels is crucial to a successful strategy. Lisa has a corporate travel background and says that in her experience its best to gain the best data points that you measure and know your goal. So if a business’ main goal is to generate leads; look at the data from the social media channels that an audience traffic is coming from, and what your company defines as a lead. Alternatively, if the goal is to improve response times to clients, look at the various channels you manage and check your response times. The measurable result could be the improved time for you to answer customers.

What type of posts gives the best engagement?

It depends on the audience, for example, if it’s a hotel you need to add a lifestyle element as clients buy into a story. Its well known that the human element is popular because people like to see others they recognise in posts. “Instagram should be used as a beautiful condensed package of your company. LinkedIn should be used for a focus for business to explain to other businesses their  importance, and to leverage services” – Rebecca Sulocki, Stylist & Art Director at Lagher & Sulocki;

Personal Versus Corporate Branding

Lisa and Rebecca were very clear about personal branding. They both advise to look at your own social media activity especially if you are starting your social media journey, then the goal could be to increase the number of followers. It’s important to know what we’re posting and how our audience engages. If people don’t respond, then the engagement rate is low. “The best accounts may not get the most followers but does have a high engagement rate as there must be likes, followers and interaction to keep their online activity rates up and the algorithms happy, “said Rebecca, “It’s important to engage with others and understand who you’re targeting”. Her tip is to always plan your message ahead of time and think when is the best time to post to get the best response.

“Think about what channel you want to be found in and how do you want to position yourself. Do you want to just use it as a digital business card so that people just find basic information? Or do you want to be a thought leader? – Lisa Volkamer, Social Selling Strategist at BCD Travel.

Swedish social media engagement

Marjorie asks the panel if personal brandings within an organisation is a uniquely Swedish phenomenon as Sweden’s a very non-hierarchical society and if so, does this work for a company that has a social media strategy? Rickard pointed out that marketing also works for the audience so you need to have the same growth mindset. “In Sweden we understand that the employees make the companies and not the brand. The ethos is ’If I look after the employees, they will look after the brand and we are a team’.”

“Leadership work for the staff and not the other way around. If you want employees to engage online, then they need to be emotionally bonded with the brand. Give employees the freedom to grow and make the initiative. If people love what they work with, they’ll overcome any fear and engage online”. Rickard Amidani, Social Media Specialist at Nordic Hotels & Resorts.

“If we are all happy in our company, and the company love us, and all customers love us; how do we measure this to see a result?” 

Rickard’s passion once again shone through, and he gave several strategies.

  1. Measure on click through rate (CTR) – How many people will see your company’s social media message and click through to your website?
  2. Find out the cost per acquisition (CPA) – how much does it cost in investment for a client purchase? How much are you willing to invest?
  3. Hook your clients – Use references from others. People make decisions based on other’s views. Build on those selling points.
  4. Measure the CTR rate to gauge engagement and if people interact with you – If the engagement rate is good, then you should improve and continue. The investment in effort will pay off.

Visual quality influencing CTR and price structure variances Versus review/awareness.

Rebecca is clear that they’re all important as they support each other. Visual quality and calibre are needed to deliver a high standard in each area and all levels. “There’s no point on having beautiful content and then not following it up with very good copy. And you should know where you are posting it and who it’s reaching. There’s also no point having negative reviews on TripAdvisor and never addressing it. You need to provide an inclusive story and look at all your social media elements and make sure it feeds into the core of the customer’s experience”.

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