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Interview: Marketer Fatima Lam on why staff social media presence matters

Interview: Marketer Fatima Lam on why staff social media presence matters

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MARKETING-INTERACTIVE is proud to present Content 360 – Hong Kong: Content that captivates, a conference about content marketing, content trends and storytelling in a year amidst the return of live events, cookie deprecation, the integration of AI in marketing, new devices, global sporting events and weekend shopping trips to mainland China.

Taking place on 26 June at Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, our 28 speakers will share with us their insights and experiences on content strategy for topics such as integration of content with commerce, cross-border marketing, and the use of AI in content creation.

Joining us on the panel on how to empower staff as key opinion sales officers in the post-pandemic era is Fatima Lam (pictured), head of marketing, APAC, Bonhams. She leads strategic marketing efforts such as brand development, digital and social media marketing, and events across the region. Besides that, Lam collaborates closely with the regional and global teams to bolster Bonhams’ presence and business in the Asian market through auctions and brand initiatives. 

As an auction house, Bonhams has empowered its specialists to utilise the company's social media channels to share diverse content. This includes filming behind-the-scenes, detailed historical context about specific artworks, or even hosting live streaming events.

In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Lam highlighted the importance of empowering staff to cultivate a robust social media presence, as this can effectively transform them into a "new" brand asset for the company.

According to Lam, a key reason is that the specialists' individual social media presences allow them to speak on behalf of the auction house in a more authentic and personalised way. This, in turn, helps the company's messaging resonate more authentically with their target customers.

Given the visually-driven nature of the auction industry, Lam said marketers should prioritise developing content optimised for a seamless mobile user experience when crafting content to reach their target audience.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: Nowadays, non-marketers such as art specialists also make great social content that attracts the attention of clients and consigners – can you share the various ways that your art specialist staff have leveraged their social media fame to boost awareness of upcoming lots and tell the story behind various types of artwork? 

Our specialists have found great success sharing behind-the-scenes content that provides followers with a glimpse into the auction preparation process. This could include videos or photos of them researching and valuing auction items or preparing lots for the auction, such as cataloging and photo-shooting for the promotion.

Moreover, our specialists utilise social media platforms to highlight specific artworks or collectibles that will be featured in upcoming auctions.

They may share the detailed cultural or historical significance of certain artwork categories, provenance information, and art piece analysis to educate their followers and drive their engagement and trust.

In terms of live event coverage, our specialists use social media to provide live updates and behind-the-scenes footage during previews and auctions. This allows their followers to experience the excitement in real-time, even if they cannot attend in person. Some specialists are also auctioneer professionals. They will share their happiness and precious moments with their team and witness the success of the sale.

Our specialists have also partnered with social media or industry influencers or collectors in complementary niches to cross-promote upcoming auctions and share content and insights.

This allows them to reach new audiences or young collectors eager to understand the art and auction market deeply and leverage the influencer's established trust and credibility.

By consistently leveraging these types of social media tactics, auction industry specialists have significantly boosted awareness of their upcoming lots and deepened their connections with existing and new clientele.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What would be some of the tips/advice/suggestions you can offer to marketers in the auction industry (or other industries) when it comes to crafting content to reach the target audience?

Marketers should highlight specific lots by dedicating content to the most unique, valuable, or culturally significant, complete, and reputable provenance art piece or artwork in auctions. They may provide detailed analysis and context to educate and resonate with followers and clients.

Furthermore, marketers should uncover the unique histories and narratives behind the art piece or artwork. After that, they may weave these stories into their content to show the pieces’ uniqueness.

Marketers should also ensure the content is genuine and true to their house. The focus should be on providing value to their audience and avoiding overly promotional or sales tactics.

What’s more, marketers should partner with industry opinion leaders to create content or partner with relevant social media influencers to cross-promote the auctions. This can showcase the auction house's expertise, help them build credibility and trust with the audience, and expand its reach.

Given the auction industry's visual nature, marketers should also deliver content for a seamless mobile customer experience.

This will ensure our audience can easily engage with the content on the go, further enhancing the impact and reach of the house's social media strategy.

This multi-pronged approach can help marketing professionals in the auction industry (and beyond) craft content that effectively resonates with their target audience and drives meaningful engagement and interest in their offerings.

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: How important is it becoming for marketers to ensure their staff have a strong social reach thereby becoming a “new” brand asset?

Ensuring the specialist teams have a strong social media reach is incredibly important, as it can essentially make them a valuable "new" brand asset for the company. There are a few crucial reasons.

Firstly, specialists can help brands amplify the reach of their content. Their personal social media networks become an extension of the brand or auction house's audience.

This allows the auction house to tap into these established communities and significantly expand the reach and visibility of their content.

Secondly, the specialists' individual social presences allow them to speak on behalf of the auction house in a more authentic and customised way. This can make the house's messaging feel more resonated with target customers.

Last but not least, the staff's strong social media presence helps to consolidate the ecosystem of the brand or auction house.

Rather than relying solely on the auction house's official channels, the specialists' personal social platforms become part of the brand's overall digital and social ecosystem. This diversifies the company's content touchpoints and strengthens its online presence。

Join us this coming 26 June for Content360 Hong Kong, a one-day-two-streams extravaganza under the theme of "Content that captivates". Get together with our fellow marketers to learn about AI in content creation, integration of content with commerce and cross-border targeting, and find the recipe for success within the content marketing world!

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