Hello, 2018!

Waiting for the long lists on trends, buzzwords and hypes for this year. My guess: it will still matter way too much what glittery keywords you use rather than a deeper understanding of them and a strategical approach to why and how to test or employ new gimmicks in the online advertising world.

In December I met with people from a brand I found interesting. I was asked what ‘new exciting stuff’ I would like to try out in the social media sphere. I refused to drop awesome keywords I had read about in the advertising media. If that is your main ask of a social media specialist, we’ll probably not be colleagues. And even if the recruiting team refused me, I found myself not caring too much.

I had gone to the interview with the hope that this brand I liked and whose tactics and brand voice I admired did have a strategic approach to social media. From my discussion with them I got the clear feeling that we did not share the same vision.

Yes, I could have told the digital manager that I would love to leverage chatbots to help ease the consumer flow through careful processes and thoughtful creatives. I could have told her that working for Small Academy had made me more and more receptive to robotics and AI and that I would have loved to try it out with a brand that had both the vision and the infrastructure available to become a player in that sphere. I could have talked about using Instagram stories for real people, not just pushing out content to ‘reach a larger audience’, but reach and build the right audience for the brand. I would have also been honest and declared my concern regarding social media usage of private data, talking about how I believe brands have a responsability to use channels with care for its consumers/partners in order to become a trusted source of information for them. My aim would be to deliver more than just a social campaign that reports big KPI numbers, but poor long term ROI.

I did not feel like any of that made sense as I had no idea how they saw social media. From our conversation it seemed like social was another channel in the media plan, not a resource to help grow the brand and its business. One catchphrase that convinced me of that: we do not work with the Sales department, we are marketing and everyone does their own thing.

I do not want to work in a company where that happens: if social is to be the brand persona, living embodiment of what company stands for, it needs to have working relationships with all the bits and pieces of its organism, including Sales, Customer Support, product development, even management etc. Otherwise, buzzwords and trends will be just that: cool things we talk about in meetings, test out without really understanding what role they could play in the development of this organism. They will remain pretty names and graphics in colorful presentation decks.