3 Social Media Lessons from #StPancrasSocial — with Vogue’s Dolly Jones

Last week a group of King’s Cross based marketing minds met in Vinoteca to hear from Dolly Jones, Head of Digital Strategy at Condé Nast (publishers of Vogue).

Image from St Pancras Renaissance Hotels (@StPancrasRen)

The group is called #StPancrasSocial and was established in 2014 by St Pancras Renaissance Hotel to provide a space to exchange ideas and collaborate as a local community.

What follows are Dolly’s 3 takeaway lessons learned from launching and growing Vogue’s social platforms. I wondered if I was the only one who had put a bit of extra thought into what they were wearing that morning…

The power of a good hashtag

When Twitter first became in vogue, Vogue knew they had to get a handle on it. They wanted to gain engagement and grow a following without sacrificing brand principles.

In the first few months after launch they came up with a tactic to help them, posting consistently each day with the hashtag #TodayImWearing. This took off almost immediately. Something about the simplicity, and relatability of the message resonated with people and they soon wanted to share their own outfits too.

The consistency of the posts gave people a certain sense of interested expectation and a reason to follow the feed that was different from why they might read the magazine.

Track what works and what doesn’t

Monitoring your social media is just as important as actually posting on it. Dolly was adamant that to be successful you need to figure out what works and what doesn’t. This means trying things and then following them up to see what has actually had the most impact, then letting that inform strategy.

What has been working for Vogue? Well, hard selling posts about purchasing subscriptions to the magazine were a massive failure (yet another piece of evidence to add to the ‘hard sell = bad idea’ folder). Long-form articles and video have gained really good engagement, perhaps because they demand a more intense form of attention.

Tailor content for different platforms

Unsurprising Dolly was a huge advocate of quality over quantity. There is no need to post every single thing on every single platform, social media just doesn’t work like that. By tailoring your content to platforms individually you are likely to build up more engaged followings.

With Vogue:

  • Twitter is used for breaking news
  • Facebook for features
  • Instagram for expressing a sense of brand aesthetic

While this might seem obvious, differentiating your content will not only help you plan better but will give people a variety of different ways to engage with your brand, depending on their own interests.

A noteworthy last point from Dolly came up in the Q&A session. She was asked:

“As such a big brand, do you just used paid promotion for every post to boost your engagement?”

The answer was a resounding ‘no’. Although paid promotion is used for selected posts, the majority of them rely on organic engagement. This was very heartening in some ways, you don’t need a huge budget to win on social media; you need a smart strategy.

Thanks Dolly!

If you are based in the King’s Cross, St Pancras or Euston areas and would like to join this network, host an event or learn more — please contact info@urbanpartners.london

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