Ep 69: Serious Social – Bringing the social boom 

2021 is coming to an end and it’s time to get your brand’s social media ready for next year.

In this episode of Serious Social, Colin Jacobs, Belle Lawrence and Katy Howell review this year’s successes and forecast 2022’s triumphs, dissecting and debating everything that has happened this year on social media.

If you’re after more know-how to break the social boring, subscribe now.

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Full Transcript

– Hello. Good morning. Welcome on to a very special, Serious Social Live today. So I’m gonna be joined by some guests this morning as we look back and what was forecast to happen on social media in 2021, and hopefully point you towards where you need to be going for 2022. Were last year’s recommendations accurate? Did you get the correct insight and direction that you needed? If we had our time again, what would you do differently? Where were the standout successes? What does that mean for 2022 recommendations? And what’s gonna scale, what boardrooms should be discussing and how do we set ourselves up to absolutely smash it in 2022. Now, these are just some of the questions we’ll be addressing this morning. And to help me answer those, I’m delighted to say, we’re gonna be joined by social media royalty this morning. We’ve got a queen of IF and a queen of insights, Katy Howell, CEO, and our Duchess of delivery, Belle Lawrence.

– Love it.

– If that makes you guys royalty, I guess I’m the court jester, and I’ve done my best to dress appropriately this morning.

– I love it.

– We’ve got a lot to get through. I’ve spent some time going back over all the predictions that were made sort of this time last year. And I went and had a look at everything that was out there from publications, influencers, bloggers, even other agencies and in no particular order, this is what was put out there. Live streaming will increase, social marketplace demand to grow. There’ll be increased need to humanise brands, privacy and data measurement concerns will stay. CSR demand will increase, Insta stories and Snap stories to gain popularity, Facebook, and Instagram to continue to perform well. That was in context of their bands in China and India, social commerce to expand. With Insta and Facebook being used to sell products using shoppable posts and Instagram storefronts. Video content to dominate. New tech adoption to be at an all time high with incremental demand for augmented reality and virtual reality, an increase in the use of social media for customer service. Now here’s the thing, I did some digging into those and every recommendation had the same thing. It was a tactical recommendation, a matter of fact statement, framing potential demand for a tactic. There was very little insight and direction around why and how brands utilise those offerings. Do you both know what our standout recommendation from a year ago? So a year ago, when we were forecasting from October through to December last year, what will we recommend to people? Can either of you remember? No? Style it. Strategy, we were banging the drum about strategy and having a strategy that was linked to corporate goals that help people understand where they should be, what platforms they should be on and what they shouldn’t, how they create content, what made good social content, how you measured it and how you took boardrooms on the journey. Here is my long winded question. Katy

– Did enough brands start with strategy or did all that get bypassed as we hit this race for the bottom line?

– Good question. And as you know, I speak to a lot of brands on a regular basis, somewhere between four and five a week. So I get a really good picture from both consumer and B to B. And I’d say one other really interesting, we, I am seeing an uptick in people thinking about strategy, wanting to do strategy, slight uptick. But it isn’t out, it isn’t ubiquitous. And I think there are three issues with this. The first is most people are mired in the day to day, so they just are not looking up. The second is we still, most of us, in many of the, maybe not the top tier, but the many brands we are, we have a leadership team that doesn’t believe in social, doesn’t understand social and keep blocking social in some fashion or another. And the final point of course, is the short-term-ism. Which means that people aren’t looking beyond the next month or two, I guess they’re just doing.

– Do, do you think that’s a byproduct to COVID recovery? You know, boardrooms kind of racing to, to get revenue in, or is it just a lack of understanding on that leadership level that you, you, you rightly flag?

– Well at all levels, I would say. The pro, the challenge we have is that social media is a bid, paid for advertising platform in the main. And what, what that means is that everybody thinks of it like search, like performance, but it misses a trick. And so what happens is if all you think about is that social is your performance channel, and if you put your product up there, somebody will buy it. And it works to a certain extent. Of course it does cause, cause, cause of media consumption, just the consumption volume means that it works a little bit. But what has happened is, is that total focus on performance means that nobody looks beyond the next month, two months, three months, they just don’t think about their positioning, their brand, their, it’s it’s, it’s it, in my view, it’s the worst kind of marketing for social. Is just, is the worst. And it’s such a waste.

– It’s interesting you see that with new business. Belle, I know you, you’re involved in all the pitching we do. And as I said at the top, you very much supported by a brilliant team. You’re responsible for all of our client delivery. Just how prevalent is this confusion do you think around people thinking social is an extension of search?

– It, quite prevalent, but it’s, I think it’s kind of worse than that in some cases. And there is, there are two ways people can get this mixed up. Where it’s thought of as another form of PPC and have bundled off to people who are used to that performance metric, maybe a search agency or something like that. There’s a real lack of understanding about the user behaviour, about people’s behaviour, human behaviour, really, because, you know, paid is often used when a person has already done some research, they kind of have an idea of what they’re looking for. They might even be ready to buy. So it’s right down here in the funnel. So you get a good bed strategy and, and you’re fine, you’re golden, but that is not where social sits. Like Katy said, there, there will be some from social, but the majority of people are on social cause they want to find connection and they want to be entertained and it’s a distraction from their life or that they’re reaching out to find something new. So a bid strategy is not the thing that’s gonna make social work for you. You have to work a bit harder than that. And in the opposite case that you’ll find social, isn’t connected to any of the other marketing channels, or the sales process, in some cases at all, and it can be a total afterthought and a, a place to stick a meme or an announcement about your opening hours. Some kind of notice board, if you will. And to be honest, the user has moved on from that, you know, yes, it can be useful. A meme can be entertaining. Your opening hours are useful, but we as a human race are now using social for, for example, our primary news source. Or we are using it, spending more time on there than watching TV, than reading newspapers in some demo groups. So like Katy said, I totally agree if you are not looking at how you are engaging in that channel and, and you’re just kind of sticking an ad on it, you’re really missing out to be honest.

– So you really need that strategy to help you understand purpose, not just by vertical, but purpose of content, purpose of message, purpose of audience. And I bet they’re all different purposes.

– Mm-Hmm

– I bet it’s not gonna be one overarching thing. We talk a lot in digital about we kind of lurch from one trend to another. And what I mean by that we’ll, we’ll see optimised websites pop up, we’ll see a new social channel pop up. There, there seems to be something of the moment. One of the questions I wanted to ask you both, is whether you think social media has become a bit of a bandaid. And what I mean by that is, brands know they’ve got a lot to fix and they probably know the time and cost behind elements of it, particularly to your customer journey point, Belle. It’s just easier to put a bit more social content out, isn’t it, than fixing a website?

– Hmm. It can be I mean, social isn’t new new anymore. It’s still new, but it’s not, it’s not new enough to just kind of test it out and add that on. And you do have to think about it a little bit. And to go back to Katy’s sort of short term-ism point, you can’t just stick a bit of social out and hope that that’s gonna be the way to do it in the same way that you can’t, as a brand, run a sale every week. So your customers come to expect when your prices are gonna lower and then they don’t trust you when the prices go higher and you kind of lose that effect of brand loyalty, brand trust. You’ll end up with dissatisfied people and wor, like kind of worse than dissatisfaction. The user doesn’t know who you are and then worse than that they think you don’t know who they are and why you, they were following you in the first place. So you kind of lose all traction and it becomes a big waste of time.

– I also think it, it circles back to your first point, CJ, which is it’s a bit like painting a very rusty bucket. Which is, it looks great for about three days and then the rust pushes it off because fundamentally, if there’s no strategy and no plan, then no matter how much you tart it up, it is still lipstick on a pig. You know, it’s still that pig, which is sitting out there, which is that, that you have no, people dunno what you stand for. And there’s, you know, it’s, it’s a huge challenge that people are just using social. It’s the low barrier to entry. I always moaned about this. There is, you know, so everybody thinks they can do social cause everybody can be on social, not quite the same with TV advertising out of home. Cause you can’t do it yourself. Not unless you’re a graffiti artist. You’re not, you’re not putting posters up, you know, but, but with social, everybody can do it. So everybody is an expert, except nobody is. And that’s the problem because nobody’s thinking about this in a, in anything on other than a tactical way. And that, and that, that would be the thing that I would hope to see through 2022 is that people realise there is actual value in social and that they wanna move forward with that.

– This is worth saying. A lot of this opinion that we harbour at IF, that, that, that isn’t just based on years of experience. Is working closely with the platforms and algorithm changes, which seem to be happening all the time. Do we need to put more content out, into feed, less content? Can we, I remember what, four years ago, when we won for the X factor lastminute.com. Best use of social media advertising. We had 125 concurrent ad sets running. If you try and put 125 ad sets out now, you get banned by the platform. The point being in a very short space of time, a success which smashes it over here, can very quickly become a reason why you get banned from the platform. Algorithm changes, you need to go with it. Belle, this strikes me as almost an impossible job for brand marketers, then. If you’ve got pressures from the board to deliver money because we need to aid our COVID recovery, you’ve got changing algorithms, which you probably haven’t got insight around. You’ve got a whole list of tactics that are gonna be the great white hope to get you cut through. If you haven’t got that strategy, that’s got to be a confusing landscape to navigate for brand marketers, right?

– Yeah, absolutely. I, I think having a strategy is like, is like having this little thread of, of we know what we are doing. We’ve got this approach. It doesn’t, it, it doesn’t mean that we know how many posts we’re gonna put out on Instagram. It means much more than that. What’s our general approach gonna be, how are we going to talk to people? How are we gonna continue to engage with them? If you have that right, then whatever the tactic is that you need to change, however, you need to adapt, you can do that because you understand the real, key goal running underneath it.

– Let’s talk content for a moment, Katy, cause obviously content has a big impact in what you do tactically. We’ve been very much banging the drum about a philosophy that you personally created and took to market for us. Breaking the social boring. What is it? And why is it so important?

– Right. Well, I’ve got some stats for you, right?

– So this year global ad spend on Facebook grew 43% year on year. Tiktok is expected to supersede 1.5 billion users and all the brands I’m speaking to are not just competing with comp, their competition. They’re not just competing in category. They’re competing for the attention of the consumer with this massive volume of content. And that content can come from creators. It can come from the press. It can be the football scores. It can be the weather, you know, and yet we still have brands that insist that their Instagram grids need to look so pretty and they have to, they have to look so, and I’m, I’m very frustrated by this because it goes back to really old fashioned marketing, which is, you know, you don’t want wallpaper advertising. You don’t wanna invest any time or any money in content that actually doesn’t appeal or attract the attention of your audience. There is no way you would pay for a TV ad that didn’t actually look at the audiences. You wouldn’t put it in the wrong place. I don’t, do you see what I mean? I just don’t understand the thinking behind this, where what we do is we start with the format. We start with the channel, we start with the format first and I’m always, they’re going well, no, where’s the audi, who cares? You don’t have to be on this channel. You don’t have to do it this way. So I think it was very much born out of frustration that, that there were real challenges. And, and I’ll, I’ll, let me explain. It’s not just the, the, the brands with one or two people in their marketing teams. It’s the brands as well with big, massive marketing teams. And there is an absolutely glorious bit of research, I’m gonna put the link in, in comments in a sec, from contagious, which shows on Twitter over the last year, how increasingly all the brands are getting homogenous in their tone of voice, their approach, they’re all sounding the same, but we want, the first rule that marketing is, how can you be distinctive? How can you, how can you separate yourself? How can you be who you are? And that, I’d say that there’s really important fundamentals to breaking the social boring. The first is you need to get attention out in the first couple of seconds, cause people are just scrolling. And so, I mean, TikTok, I think has made us scroll faster, to be honest with you. The second is that whatever you are talking about saying, presenting, showing, whatever you are dancing has to be memorable because that is, I mean you’re FMCG or you’re a B2B brand. If nobody can remember who you are and what, what you stand for, then you are, you are forever going to be marketing. Do you know what I mean? You’re forever going to have to be pushing against the shut door. And so that brings you onto that bit, which is, you know, you have to build what you are and what you stand for and brand in order to benefit from the, the longer term to get a snowball effect on your performance. And if all you do is you’re just doing a little bit, it’s a bit like going to the gym once a month. You know, for that one day you got fitter. The next day, you can’t walk, but by the time you get round to doing it again a month later, you’re at the beginning. And that is what performance marketing is for me. And why I find that missing the missing pieces brand. Sorry, that was a real rant.

– No, I, I love it. Absolutely love it. And I think there’s a couple of quotes, which we might be seeing appearing online over the coming days. All, all seriousness though, Belle, there’s a lot of valid points here. And if we go back to that full list of tactics that was surfaced as recommendations a year ago, clearly there is a lot of thought that needs to go into how the content’s created, who we’re talking to, is that the right message? And if so, how do we carry it? And that’s even before, as Katy was saying, you’ve chosen the tactic to deploy on. That just all points back to having a proper strategy and a roadmap and what are we doing by chat? Or what are we doing by messaging?

– Yeah. Having a bit of a plan. And it sounds really simple, but understanding what the audience care about and what they value the most means that they will engage with you. So, you know, talking about going live, as we are here, if we hadn’t had a little think beforehand about what we maybe might talk about, then this is just gonna be a load of waffle that people are gonna switch off from because I mean, they might all also anyway, I dunno, but you know, they’re not gonna get the value out of it. So at, at best they go, oh, I’m not gonna watch this. I’ll switch it off now. At worst, they think this lot are talking rubbish and I’m never gonna come back. So, you know, there’s, there’s a real danger that if you are gonna choose something like live streaming or doing some stories or doing some big piece, if you haven’t thought about what, whether the audience will actually care, what you’re about to say, then you’re gonna run into trouble and it could have real sort of bad, long lasting effects. At the worst lack of reach at the, you know, you’re not gonna get any value out of having gone live in the first place or whatever the tactic is.

– Katy, are we at an age where we need social media consultancy? And what I mean by, I don’t mean for marketing teams now, that’s a given they engage agency. Board level, even investor level consultancy around the role of social, what it can deliver, but how it has to be structured to deliver those fabled results. Has that become a necessity?

– I think it has always been there. And I think it’s maybe it’s me because our roots have always been and being very sensible and grown up about, about social because it’s, it, it’s, it, there all, it doesn’t matter whether it’s social media or marketing, should be considered as a fast way as the only way to grow a business. Basically, whether it’s word of mouth, whether it’s advertising on TV. Marketing is about growing your business or making your product attractive. And I, so it’s about going, it’s weirdly about going back to fundamentals. What I think is missing, missing is that kind of fallin’ over our own feet in digital, in this obsession with data we’ve fallen over our own feet and we’ve just suddenly gone really obsessed with the end game. You know, it’s, it’s like saying I’m gonna have a holiday to Italy because the only reason I want to go to Italy is cause I want ice cream. It’s kind of like misses the point of everything else that’s in Italy. , you know, it’s just focusing on this one thing. And so I’m very frustrated by it and because we need our boards to understand marketing, it’s absolutely fundamental to growth and tell me one board, member of the board that doesn’t care about growth.

– Well, I think your, your rant has gone down rather well, you can see that comment on the screen at the moment. We will continue to shout it as loud as we possibly can for you. I, I don’t want this to come across as a criticism for brand marches cause as we know, they are caught in a, a challenging scenario, but I thought, Belle, I know we can’t mention the brands for a few weeks yet, but I thought it was really interesting that we’ve got a household travel brand that pretty much everyone watching this would know who we’re working with. Resounding success 20 years, year on year growth and success. And they’re grown up enough to ask themselves all of these questions to make sure they’re future proofing what they’re doing, not just for the next couple of years, but the next decade, if an uber successful brand that has been making a lot of money without exceptional social is seeing the value and potential in it. Surely, more brands have gotta follow suit and start asking these grown up questions of their board and their direction. This is no brainer, right?

– Yes. It’s gotta be. Yeah. It, it seems perhaps that larger brands who, who maybe are in a strong market position, as you said, they are, they’re doing well. But they maybe haven’t locked down their strategy or what have you, maybe they don’t need to do it. Maybe they could sit on their laurels and it’s a luxury to be able to look at this in detail. But actually, it’s not a luxury. Anyone can decide to do something well, if you’re gonna bother doing it at all, right? And I think that’s where it comes from that they not only understand the, the value of what they’ve already done to get to their successful position, but that they can’t rest on their laurels and no one can and you have to keep moving forward. So hopefully we’ll see more of that from brands, you know, looking ahead and making those plans in the coming year.

– Cause those tactics we’ve read out at the start. There, there, there are some tactics that we advocate our scale is using, but it’s gotta be done in the right fashion, at the right time, to the right audience. And then you get the success, the data, the returns, which takes businesses on incremental journey. Right?

– Mm-hmm

– Okay. Katy, I’ve been holding back this question here. I know you’ve been dying to answer it, but I wanted to hold it back cause I thought it naturally took us into forecasting next year. I know we’ve been talking the media strategy. Let’s, let’s talk about social commerce for a moment. I know it is something really close to your heart. Where are we at? Just how important a conversation is this, are enough boardrooms aware of it? What does 2022 hold for us?

– Yeah, I think this is gonna be big. And after saying social isn’t just about performance, but, but it is so I’m just about to contradict myself completely. It is, but not in isolation. Social, I, we wrote a social commerce immediate future. I think it might be 11 years ago, which is how can you make, make this out? Now all the platforms have tools and technology that helps us do it even better. So a couple of things that, that have changed that I think are gonna make a difference in 2022 is that consumers are adopting social commerce. So little bit of insight here. Visa says, one in four online purchase have made via an interaction with social. 79% from gen Zed and 50%, 50. Sorry I’ve been to the dentist this morning. I can’t quite speak. 55% of gen X are prompted to buy, buy through social media. I mean, that’s amazing. Look at the power in mostly in the palm of your customer’s hands. So already brands are beginning to pick up on this and we’re, we’re, anybody who listened to my live stream a couple of weeks ago with Domenica Di Lieto from emerging communications. Well, I’ve heard this. China is definitely leading the way on this with its work in Alibaba and, and in particular live stream shopping, but don’t think that isn’t happening here. So we’ve got, you know, Karens around a pilot with a amazing conversion on a live streaming show of 30%, 30% conversion to sale. Clark’s, Nordstrom. We’ve had the TikTok made me buy it trend and apparently social shopping is set to reach 3.37 trillion pounds, trillion dollars, sorry by 2028. But , it’s always a but when it comes to Katy. The thing is, this is not about putting your products and slapping them on social. This is about really planning. You know, you don’t just go on live stream. You have to be entertaining. You have to be as thoughtful as they are on, on QVC. Cause, cause QVC is actually very thoughtful. They build personalities, they build that whole part where people enjoy watching it. Live streaming needs to be very similar. So, so that’s one element, which is the content needs to be deeper and more thoughtful than, you know, chucking up the product. You need customer journey mapping, which is where are people going? So one of the things that I thought was really interesting from Clark’s, I think said it, might be Nordstrom, said that one of the pro, the, they got an uplift in sales, but people didn’t wanna leave the channel till the livestream was over cause they had famous people on there. So, so there’s that. And I think there’s also the element of omnichannel which is you may see the sale come up because your search demand goes up. So measurement and omnichannel. So, and then finally it’s attracting them in the first place because unfortunately on social media, there are lots of naughty people on social, social media, lots of little online stores that are not maybe as ethical or as, or have morals. Let’s put it that way, who are selling you stuff. Martin Lewis is, is fair of banging the drum about his face appearing in ads, for instance. The reality is that if you’re going to do social commerce, then you also need to build trust and credibility at the same time. Particularly if you are a unknown brand or it’s a new product because unfortunately our filter has come on now as consumers and we are filtering out anything we don’t trust, we don’t believe will, will give us good customer service or we’ll just, you know, snaffle our credit cards away. So, so yes, you can tell it’s another thing I’m quite passionate about.

– But what else do you think is gonna be key for 2020? I suspect we’re gonna hear you say strategy, but what what’s gonna be a key call out for next year?

– Yeah, it has gotta be strategy. I guess I would call us strategy and maybe planning addicts at if, and we can’t let it go. It will never, it will never go away for us. But definitely for, for brands, the strategy and, and having that plan, I mean, at least an idea of where you are going is gonna help you get to that path. A little bit like Katy’s gym analogy earlier on. If you haven’t had a look at the map of what the addresses that you’re going to and how many roundabouts there are, and when you turn left, you’re gonna be a bit stuck. The sat nav can, can do it for you and the agency can do it for you. So there is that element of, if you are struggling internally, then, then have a look elsewhere, you know, engage people who can help and who do have the time. And as, as I mentioned earlier, having that strong thread underneath will allow you to be more reactive in the day to day and maybe have a bit more fun. Cause I think people want to return to that next year. They want to return to seeing social as a place where you can be entertained. You can enjoy, you can have fun. You know, it’s been a tough couple years. So I think we’re already seeing that in some of our clients, cause they’re ready to lock their strategy down. That’s kind of what they’re coming to us for. And then they’re gonna come out the gates fast next year. You know, we’ve spent a few months working on strategy, now we’re kind of itching to go into January, February, whatever the next big thing is. Whatever the next big platform is because we understand where we’re going

– While I’ve got you I wanna talk TikTok. As one of the few people in the agency who’s gone viral on TikTok themselves, you’re clearly the authority, should go and look up the content. It’s amazing. But where are we with TikTok? It’s kind of, it’s entertained us a lot as users, it’s promised a lot from a brand perspective. Has that been realised or is it still a bit of a great white hope or is it just another one of those platforms that promises a lot, doesn’t really deliver for a brand, Snap for example?

– Mm well first I don’t think 220,000 views is viral, but it was all right, I was pretty pleased. But no, I think it, it, one of the options you, I think you were just mentioning there is that unlocked potential, to be honest, I think TikTok has come out of the gates fast and they, they, they have loads of opportunities. They’re also developing things all the time. They’re developing their ads platform. They’re developing their influencers platform. They’re really going for it. So it is pretty hard to keep up. So most brands are really still only dipping their toes in and kind of trying out here and there because it, well it’s not surprising because there’s a lot to learn and you do need to have a good idea of what you’re gonna do on there and, and to make it valuable, you can’t just throw it into the mix overnight because unless you’ve got, you know, you’re lucky enough to have a sort of natural TikTok star in your midst. And I’m think about Heather Lotha, who was the, the girl who was singing musical songs at her supermarket job and she’s now in a musical. So she’s done pretty well out of it, but I think the supermarket did all right as well. But you know, if they’re, they’re lucky, it doesn’t always happen that way. So you do need to dedicate some time to planning and executing content that works not just for the audience because that’s its audience first, but also for the channel, because that does have a lot of specific nuances of exactly how to upload content, exactly how to decide which sound to work with and, and decide which hashtags and get people to engage with you. So you kind of need to have a plan. We will always say that, but with TikTok and any newer channel, actually the biggest thing you need to be prepared, not afraid to test and learn and not worry about something flopping and you know, figure it out as you go through. You just won’t know overnight until you try it really.

– That’s really good advice. It’s probably one of the reasons why we, we end up talking a lot about Fujitsu. We’ve been live streaming for that brand for approaching four years, very much a first mover for a B2B brand to do it. They had the courage to allow us to try it and very quickly saw the result, but it was done in a structure and considered fashion. What do I think we’re gonna see in 2022? I really want to see more people availing of the opportunity with live streaming, but there has to be a big brand narrative, there. You have to have an understanding about the purpose of why you’re doing it. If it’s thought leadership, how are you making your wider workforce, genuine thought leaders and getting them involved in it? Are you packaging and distributing content that matters to the audience, or are you getting caught up in the latest sales initiative and the vernacular round of proposition, you gotta push credential. Videos will never play on live. Go and solve problems for people. They’ll listen to you all day long. The one bit I would urge caution around, I get why people are talking about VR and augmented reality, but unless you’ve got oodles of cash to be a first mover, it’s gonna be fraught with a lot of pitfalls. You might be better just holding back, letting the issues sort themselves out before you then go and test and try. I point to live streaming as a, a case in point, it’s been around for years and people still haven’t got to grips with it. We just had a question come in and this is a really interesting one. And Belle, I’m gonna put this to you cause I know you’ve been doing this work with a client recently. How important are hashtags going to be in 2022, especially on a platform like Instagram that changes its algorithm every now and then. Great question.

– Yeah. I think the thing about hashtags is that then I don’t think they’re gonna go anywhere. I think it’s still gonna be a good way to engage a community to signpost what you are talking about and you know, increased discoverability. But what has happened in the past is that Instagram or whoever it is have, have maybe allowed there to be an idea of what the algorithm is and how it works for hashtags. And then of course, everyone follows it and goes, oh, it’s gotta be 30. Or it’s got to be between eight and 12 or it’s got to have this one in and truly the point about hashtags is that they’ve got to be relevant. You probably do want a brand hashtag in there because it’s, it’s a good way of reminding people who you are and allows them to engage with you, to follow you. But you want then the relevant things, you want something that is relevant to the sector that you are in, you want something that is broadly recognised as much as possible. And then you perhaps want to signpost a couple of really neat, specific things so that, you know, people understand what it is, what the content is that you are putting out there. So I don’t know if there’s going to be a massive change in the way that Instagram use hashtags or, or Twitter or anybody else. They may well change the algorithm, but I think if you are picking relevant, useful hashtags in the first place, you shouldn’t need to worry about how many there are.

– Well, it’s, it’s encouraging that questions are coming in this late. People are watching, which is, I think a lovely thing.

– I love the next question, CJ.

– I was gonna tell you. That’s gotta be one for Katy, right?

– Absolutely

– All over this. So I, hopefully Declan the silver prayer, we’ve just answered your question on, on hashtags. Connect with Belle afterwards, if you want some more insight around that. Miles Phillips has asked, we said, I agree with your views on TikTok, the brands that work are the ones who get social and provide entertainment, oversell it. Perfect. I have a question for you. What are your views on NFTs and how important will they be to brand in the next few years? Katy, you’ve been looking at this. What do you think?

– Yeah. Non fungible tokens. Yeah, I am, I’m super interested. I follow. And if you don’t follow her, Miles, follow Zoe Scaman on Twitter, I, I can I, after the event, I’ll go dig out her Twitter handle and, and pop it, pop it in, in, in the comments on, on LinkedIn. But I think there are two aspects to this. The first is that wh, brands who are getting it right on social are also getting deeper content and more collaborative content. You see partnerships with creators, partnerships with other brands and they’re building almost, you know, programmes that are deep content. At which point there is value in the content itself, let alone the marketing, which allows for NFTs to play a part in it. But actually I think that in the short term, maybe next year we are gonna see NFTs play in the, the creator side where, where there will be licences sold to use what creators create, which is this burgeoning evolution of the influencer into the creator. And, and I think that is possibly the bit that I’m most excited about because I think that opens up masses of opportunities for there to be financial reward for those people who are extraordinarily creative.

– Outstanding. Well, if you’ve got more questions, do connect with us afterwards, we’ll happily coach you about this. And if we’ve piqued your interest around the importance of planning, you want insight around how to start taking boardrooms on a journey. You even want to talk informally about how to go about that, we are more than happy to pick up the conversation with you. If you do this 2022 can be a massive year on social for you. If you don’t, it could be a costly year on social. I think that’s what we’re, we’re saying. And we want you all to thrive and succeed and be triumphant. Thank you very much for watching the, the three of us. And thank you to our social media royalty for helping navigate all of those questions. Katy, Belle, we’ll see you again very soon for our next Serious Social. Take care. Thanks for watching.

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