After speaking with Pocket Book, we continue our series of interviews with our clients. This time, we are visiting Tatyana Mokrenko, the SMM Head at New Strategies Group. We decided to ask her about modern Social Media Marketing, social media monitoring, and how unique value is created for the brand.
SF: Tatyana, what brought you into SMM?
It's a long story. I have a background in philology and started working while still at university: school, journalism, and I even worked on a project at Kvazar-Micro. Then, I ended up in advertising: a poet friend of mine who also worked as a copywriter recommended me to an agency. It turned out that the pace of work here was completely different: everything happens very quickly, everyone wants something from you, and 3-4 hours of sleep a day is the norm. But, surprisingly, I liked it! That's how I got into SMM.
SF: Is this more of a creative job, or does it become routine and require a certain level of automation?
You know, if it were routine, I wouldn't have stayed here for long. In my view, work is a place where you spend a tremendous amount of time, and time is your life. If you don't enjoy your work, if you don't get moral satisfaction from it, then what's the point? If you don't love what you do, you won't reach any heights in it. But if you do, you can easily work until 12, or even 2 in the morning, and even on weekends. And all because you like it.
Being passionate about your work, in turn, generates a desire to delve into everything, understand the processes, and get to the root causes. Without understanding how the system works as a whole, you cannot communicate with the client on equal terms and implement really cool projects.
Routine exists, but it should be automated as much as possible, so that as much time as possible remains for creativity. It is also important to be able to delegate your duties, to be able to say "no." It's necessary to always have time to step back and look at your work from the outside, to gather all the nuts and bolts of the process into a single picture. Because only the whole gives us an understanding of how close we are to the final goal.
SF: What is modern SMM? In your opinion, what is its future?
Modern Social Media Marketing is, first and foremost, engagement and interaction. What's the problem with TV and outdoor advertising? There's no full contact. The ad block runs for 15 minutes, and during this time, the person is making breakfast/dinner.
Social networks are different, especially in this respect I like Facebook, you like it or not, but you constantly see advertising posts in your feed, and if you find the picture/product interesting, you click through to the page/website. The frequency and quality of contact, during which you can engage, significantly increases, and this contact is targeted.
There's always an action that implies a relationship. If a user likes something – it means they liked it (whether it's information, a picture – it doesn't matter much), and that's a relationship. When users are ready to communicate with the brand – comment on content, share information – that's loyalty. And if the brand goes further: shows you attention – talks to you, publishes your comment, helps solve a problem, invites you to become an expert, etc. – then this is the peak of satisfaction. The brand gets its ambassador, ready to defend its interests.
Brands that aimlessly post content for the sake of content – end up like the television. Interaction is necessary for full contact: promotions, surveys, interactive research, offline activities. I constantly tell my copywriters: "Your content must have 'added value' (either emotional or informational) and then the post will work." The same with social networks. If a brand's channel has "added value" in the form of constant interaction, it will work. Producing content for the sake of content or presence for the sake of presence does not work.
Also, social networks are the most convenient tool for support and problem-solving. It's very convenient to nip negativity in the bud within 1 channel, rather than collecting reviews from portals and forums later.
Always remember: The most loyal consumer is the one whose problems you've solved.
SF: What tasks do your clients use social media for (reputation, advertising, sales, customer support, launching new products)?
SMM is a comprehensive tool that can help solve tasks in all the directions you've mentioned. First of all, the client needs to clearly understand which of these tasks they want to solve and what final goal they want to achieve by going into social networks. And then the goal and tasks will determine the tools and subsequent actions.
I'm frustrated when a client comes to the agency and says: "I want to be in social networks."
– Hello, for what purpose?
– Well, all my competitors are there...
Not everyone needs social networks. An entrepreneur making buses must clearly understand that it's unlikely he'll sell his product through social networks, but he might have another goal. For example, PR himself as an employer.
There are a number of companies that go into social networks to sell.
Predominantly, it's local business: clothing, accessories, souvenirs, education, etc. But there are exceptions, design studios that get design and renovation orders impressed by their works on Facebook.
SF: Does SMM sell? And can ROI be calculated?
In SMM, ROI is very calculable for small businesses. For example, a small company, a t-shirt manufacturer, spent most of their money on promotion in social networks. When placing an order, they added a field where the customer needs to indicate where they learned about the product. According to the survey, the main part of their sales came from Facebook. Another example: a company makes blankets. It's interesting that they launched through Instagram just for the image, and suddenly started receiving orders. They made another page on Facebook and now customers mainly come from there. ROI from e-commerce can also be well calculated. But in general, it's difficult to track sales for large brands: their advertising campaigns are highly diversified and promotion in social networks is associated with many goals: reputation improvement, loyalty increase, customer support, etc.
SF: How is work organized in the department and how do you distribute work on projects within the department?
The structure of work in the department is organized in a certain way: there is an SMM-head — that's me, SMM-managers, who are responsible for specific projects, copywriters, and moderators. The department simultaneously handles about 10-12 main projects and a couple of smaller ones, as well as planning new ones.
The peculiarity of our team is that for each project, we separately select a team of a project manager, a copywriter, and a moderator, who will be maximally involved in the project and, if possible, represent the target audience. For example, content for a brand (products for kids) is prepared by a newly minted mom. The client can also provide their copywriter – an expert in a certain field, whom we train to work in the social media environment.
In the team, we distribute work on projects very flexibly. Guys take those projects with which they are comfortable working. If people are not passionate about the project, you can forget about its
success. The SMM-manager should want to check if everything is okay with the group or the brand's page before going to sleep.
SF: Which social networks are most popular among your clients?
Mostly Vkontakte and Facebook. The question usually depends on the cost of attracting the target audience. Odnoklassniki is aging, although I constantly observe audience growth there. More and more clients are turning to Instagram. It's not very convenient because there are no special tools for audience engagement, but the level of engagement (the ratio of the number of actions to the number of subscribers) is higher than in other networks.
SF: Is the monitoring market developed?
The market is now much more developed than three years ago when I started working with monitoring. Clients already know why they need monitoring, are interested in it for a certain period, and even want to work with reviews. But there are still few comprehensive projects.
SF: You offer social media monitoring and analytics. What do clients want from this service?
All clients want to be spoken of positively, but not all want to hear the truth. Many are simply not ready to interact with users at the required level. Many clients buy reviews during promos, launches of new videos, or other activities. They also order monitoring when there is an information "leak" to understand who did it and why and to track the source.
There are also requests for a comparative analysis of brand mentions with competitors, for reputation audits.
SF: In which areas do you see opportunities for the implementation of monitoring?
In all of them. Everyone needs to understand what is being said about them. If you don't listen to your audience, how can you offer them a quality product? Monitoring allows for the study of the qualitative component of the product: what people like or dislike, which subsequently allows for informed decision-making.
SF: What are the KPIs of the monitoring system for clients and for you?
Important for clients are the number of collected reviews (coverage), their geography, tonality, dynamics of mentions by media types (especially important to find the source of information "leak"). Also, categorization of messages for working with negativity is important.
SF: Do you use monitoring for your own needs?
We use it, and it's a very cool tool for identifying insights. For example, identifying competitive advantages of a new product in the market: which advantages customers appreciated, in fact, "for what, for which advantage functional or emotional they are willing to give their money." Tracking this allows for very targeted communication strategy development.
Tatyana, thank you for the insightful interview!