The use of social media has become a norm today with new mediums such as TikTok emerging as trending platforms among the younger generation. Hootsuite's Social Trends 2021 survey showed that marketers planned to increase their investment in social media channels including Instagram (61%), Facebook (46%), YouTube (45%) and LinkedIn (44%). Meanwhile, Facebook (78%), Instagram (70%) and LinkedIn (42%) were considered the most effective by marketers for reaching their business goals, the survey found, while Pinterest (6%), TikTok (3%) and Snapchat (1%) fell on the other end of the spectrum.
In the latest episode of Marketing Connected, VaynerMedia Asia Pacific's managing partner and head of creative, VJ Anand (pictured left) and host, comedian and actor, Rishi Budhrani (pictured right), discuss why there is no need to wait until you are perfect to start social media as well as the importance of having a good hashtag strategy.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What advice would you have for brands who are looking to grow their following?
Anand: I work for Gary Vaynerchuk. He takes one piece of content and cuts it down to so many [pieces of content], for example, one piece of content could become 100 pieces of micro-content. He then uses that micro-content to touch people in different ways. You might be passionate about sneakers and he'll target you with that micro-content, for example.
That's why you don't just make one piece of commercial nowadays. Back in the day, you put one commercial on TV and that's it, you're done. Nowadays, you shoot a long content or film and you cut it into micro-pieces. One could be the product ad, one could be just the actors talking and then you start doing extra content such as behind the scenes. Nowadays, it is so important to not just do that one piece of content on social media.
For brands to win in social, there are so many things that you can do. Identify all these different social channels and find out which one is fit for you or your product. Try everything first. Never filter it by saying "I'm only going to stay on Facebook," for example. Everybody complains on Facebook, so why are you on there? So go on Instagram and experiment with everything else. Pick the one that works well for you best, double down on that start putting 100 pieces of content. Like I said, it is not just one or two pieces of content, put many of it. It doesn't have to be quality stuff.
Budhrani: That's one of the learning points from Gary Vaynerchuk's work that I started following in the past year as well. Sometimes, we are always waiting. I had that problem. I liked to make sure everything is perfect before I even start anything and that is the biggest mistake. Because if you really want to wait for things perfect and if you start at the top, where are you going to go?
One of the things I'm getting comfortable with is the social media journey. You’ve got to be comfortable growing publicly. So maybe your first video is not as good as you want it to be but that just means that you know you've got something to improve on and personally get better at. And it's weird because it's very similar to doing the open mic at the stand-up comedy club. The first time you bring a new joke on stage, it's gonna suck. I think that’s something that’s not just for social media, but it's a life skill as well.
Done is better than perfect because then you've got room to grow.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: What if there's also only a certain room or margin of error that you allow yourself to have? What advice would you have for those listening that don't want to come across cheap on social media?
Anand: The most important is don't always just sell people stuff? There's a group of people who always want to craft perfect things and all that but it's not like that nowadays. People want to see honesty from brands. People want to see what's real. Look at Dove, for example. Don't just show consumers doctored images, want to see the real people. Be open to things that are not perfect, be yourself, be honest, be human, and seek relationships.You can't do that if you are putting a filter.
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: You toe the line very nicely between what is hilarious and what is sensitive. What tips would you have for our brand marketers out there on being on point with their trend jacking?
Budhrani: I think it's a muscle that we as comedians have to exercise. At least for me, I try to keep up with what's in the news and what's online. If you've got an eye and a pulse on your audience, you kind of know what your audience is reading, what your audience is consuming. If you have an exciting, interesting, unique take on that same issue, then I think you are in every position to put out something to do with that issue.
For example, Bill Gates recently got divorced. That is a story that is going to have a ton of memes videos and jokes. After doing this for 10 years, you kind of go : "Okay, yeah, what is going to be my angle on that? Am I going to release a video? Am I going to release some kind of comment? Is it going to become a meme? Is it going to become a TikTok?" I don't know yet but the wheel starts churning when you see something that you know for a fact is going to be big around the world. So it's always about staying always on in that way. What can you bring that you feel as a brand or as a content creator, nobody else can?
MARKETING-INTERACTIVE: It seems like all the good hashtags have been taken, should I use existing hashtags or create my own? How do you go about with the creation of hashtags?
Anand: Having a hashtag strategy is important. I think riding on what people have used is good because people click and see that others already follow some hashtags. It depends, there are two cases. One, you use hashtags that have been already used, and then jump on the bandwagon and try to populate that because people follow it. Or you can start your own based on the campaign if you have something powerful.
But use something that you think people would want to use later on.
For example, when Gojek rebranded during my time there, we had this line “Pasti ada jalan" which means “There's always a way”. We launched the new branding with that and used the hashtag, but people started using it out of the brand's context. It then became part of popular culture where people are using your brand's hashtag and you get the numbers.
I think you need to be smart, you don't want to put down your product name. You want to put something where people will jump on the bandwagon and also use it.