Much in the way that using a tool like Radian6, Sysomos or Netbase to understand how a community behaves has become an essential skill, Account Executives right through to Directors, need to know what Paid Media can bring to a communications activity and how to execute.
I do not believe that Paid Media should live with media buying or ad agencies. There is no better person placed to run a Paid Media campaign than a Community Manager.
They are engaging on behalf of their brand every day. They know what people in that community like, don’t like, react to and ignore.
In a previous role, I was working alongside another agency on behalf of a client. The client put the control of the Paid Media activity with the other agency, whilst we looked after the community management.
We noticed a sudden surge in negative commentary within our Twitter community. It was odd as generally the community were positive towards us. After investigation it turned out that some Paid Media activity had gone live, and it had terrible targeting; the agency running the activity had got it all wrong. We identified what the issue was, suggested changes, implemented the changes and subsequently the negative discussion declined to minimal levels.
Because we knew what the community wanted, the language that would be used by potential new community members and those people who did not like the company we were working with, we could optimise the Paid Media activity accordingly.
The targeting errors were so obvious to us because we knew the language that would resonate. We knew that because we were in the community everyday.
PR is all about communication. That means using the right visuals, presentation, tone and vocabulary to connect. Media buying agencies and advertisers can offer scale, but they can not offer innate understanding of behaviour; that’s not their role.
If you are a Community Manager and don’t know how to publish a dark post on Facebook, letalone publish a promoted tweet, now is your time to learn and develop an expertise that will take you out of social media and into marketing.
Social media’s convergence into marketing continues as Facebook’s organic post reach diminishes to comical levels.
We’ve continually asked ‘who is responsible for running social media’; advertising; marketing; PR; brand comms… the last seven years have wielded no answers and now Facebook may be, inadvertently, starting to force marketers’ hands.
The answer is that we are all responsible for social media. Yes, you will put the power of tweeting into the hands of one person, who will report into a ‘social media manager’, but that function ultimately lives within the overall communications function and requires input from each unit.
If you are currently working in the social media space and do not have responsibility for Paid Media on your channels, go and claim it.
It will be so beneficial in the long run.