One of the most innovative brands around when it comes to using social media in a way that really resonates has to be Adidas and their football content. As such, it’s a real pleasure to have John Crozier, the Account Director for the Adidas football account at We Are Social.
What social media channels worked best for you in 2017?
For me, 2017’s stand out social channel was Instagram. Specifically, the huge impact that Stories made. Not only were we seeing much higher numbers of views versus in-stream content, but there was clear attribution to traffic. This was a great advantage for the work we were doing. In one month in particular, Instagram Stories were the main driver to product pages for one of our key clients, above all other digital media formats.
And which channels flopped for you last year?
I wouldn’t say any of the major platforms have flopped, but Snapchat has had less brand impact than expected industry wide. It’s more focused on interpersonal relationships, which means that brand positions on the platform really focus around interruptive or paid media experiences. This was further recognised by Snap in their move to split the two content streams in November. But Snapchat is still evolving and maturing as a brand platform, and I’m sure we’ll see more brand-focused products and developments in 2018.
What was the biggest challenge for your brand’s social media channels in 2017?
We’ve been pushing to better measure the effectiveness of our work. We’re living in a world of big data and the possibilities for a highly targeted and fine-tuned digital media plan are really impressive. The challenge is aligning all the relevant points of the business and getting buy-in to track the impact and effectiveness of the work that is being done.
Do you expect that challenge to persist this year? Or do you think it will be something different?
The industry is definitely moving in the right direction and I think this year will see marketers really interrogating their content marketing. Businesses will need to prove that all elements of their marketing are having an impact on the bottom line.
Thinking specifically about paid social media, how much of this to you expect do in 2018? Will this be more, less or the same as in recent years?
Paid is always a key element of any campaign. In 2018 we’ll see e continued innovation in paid formats and more personalisation, for example, with dynamic video products like Director Mix.
As ever, there has plenty of talk recently about Facebook being dead – how important is Facebook for your brand? Is it dead among your audiences?
Facebook is not dead. It’s a constantly expanding and evolving channel. In addition to the more traditional creative content on the platform, we’ve used innovative Messenger projects to keep in touch with our audience and Facebook’s live streams have provided some big wins for us this year.
What about Snapchat? For you, is it a growth channel or has its impact lessened since Instagram copied all of its key features?
At the moment, Snapchat is more of a space for smart media buying than somewhere to build a community, but it’s still an important part of our social strategy and has a highly engaged audience.
We’ve also seen a huge growth in Stories and Live video over the last 18 months or so – how much do you use these tools and what sort of impact have they had for you?
Stories are 100% a part of our plans for the future. They’re a great tool for adding creativity and, as I mentioned, attribution to our work.
We did a number of live streams last year with considerable success. With Live streams, the main focus is to deliver something with the scale that can create an appointment to view. If you can plan an event that will be a big draw for your audience and build it up in the right way, it can have a great impact. Less is more in this case.
Is podcasting on your agenda at all for 2018? If so, what sort of show are you planning? If not, is there any reason why?
Not currently, but it’s certainly something that I’m watching and learning from. There are so many excellent Podcasts that have generated real communities it’s worth keeping in mind.
Which social channel do you think will be the most valuable for you in 2018?
YouTube, Instagram and Facebook are going to be the core channels for the first half of 2018. But we could end the year in a very different position, as Voice, Dynamic Video, AR and VR become more mainstream, their market penetration increases and their products become more sophisticated.
Are there any channels you use now that you think you won’t be using in 12 months’ time?
12 months is a long time in social. I’ll keep my prediction on that to myself.
And finally, can you pick one word or phrase that you think will define how your brand uses social media in 2018?