How 3 social giants' monetization models affect marketers

Posted by Betsy Farber on June 3rd, 2014 at 3:45 pm

In a social media panel moderated by Karin Gilford, SVP, digital media, ABC, three of the biggest social network marketers discussed their most effective strategies. Gilford shot out of the gate asking how each are approaching the shift from earned media to paid campaigns.

Meredith Rodriguez, strategic partner manager, Pinterest, said that "understanding organic, is a big conversation happening now." She stressed that making sure the content is accessible for consumers is vital. Users need to be able to curate the content the way they want to, and it needs to be discoverable. Jennifer Prince, director of entertainment, Twitter, added that "it's about the content for digital marketers...content is king." Twitter is a platform that prides itself on providing consumers with content that users want. "It takes a village essentially," Prince said. At Twitter there is a collaboration between different teams within the company. One is a media team that is present on TV or film sets following the action, and a second amplified team works with all of the assets that are then pushed out in the most effective way. Together, both teams then focus on how to elevate the content that will best reach users.

Howard Stein, head of entertainment strategy, global creative solutions, Facebook added that "the tools have changed, as well as how users choose to distribute their interests across a platform." His approach at Facebook is creating the best content that will hopefully land with the right audience for them to adopt.

Gilford next touched on the role of the consumer and the importance it plays in constructing a marketing strategy. Prince said "the consumer is everything." She made the point that anyone can have a voice through public conversations today, so it's about having the right tools and keeping the content relevant. Stein added, echoing a Facebook motto that the platform strives to be a "digital manifestation of the real world." And whether it's a TV or movie promotion, it must be easy for the user to find and share.

And what about mobile?

"Everything we do is mobile first," said Rodriguez. "Guided search was released on mobile first. And its important to us to provide tools to consumers that make the experience best no matter what platform they use," she added. At Pinterest, 75 percent of its audience is mobile. Continuing the conversation off of the TV or film screen and onto the consumer's mobile screen is what's important.

Gilford ended the discussion by asking what to expect in the next six to 12 months. All three emphasized the importance of research and education as being a huge investment. Looking at the way consumers are behaving, figuring out the best practices, and testing tools are continuously at the forefront of growing and expanding for all three platforms. In closing each offered their best advice for digital marketers today:

Stein said that "before you do anything decide what your objective is for each post, status update, etc. And let the creative come from that decision." He also noticed a recent trend in poor copy. The content might have a beautiful image, but if the copy is terrible copy, the user experience is ruined.

Prince offers similar advice saying to "lead with content." She advised working more closely with broadcasting as TV is being planned, and to reach out to the social network's marketing teams, which can be used as a valuable resource.

Rodriguez said that "brands should spend more time on Pinterest, looking at how consumers are pinning their content and learning more about what their interests are." Brands should be creating a verified account on Pinterest, in order to obtain the analytics. And making sure that all the content is discoverable will allow the audience to better organically amplify it.

"Finding the right investment opportunity" image via Shutterstock.

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