November 15, 2017
MANCHESTER: A DIGITAL CITY
On Monday I attended a digital skills day in MediaCityUK in conjunction with the BBC Academy and Digital Cities. At markettiers Manchester, our aim is to be thought leaders in the North West in everything we do, from our bread and butter of broadcast and media days through to our social media presence.
For this reason, I was especially keen to attend the Building Audiences for Social Media workshop with Alex McCann. The thing that most stood out to me from his talk was that interaction with a post means more engagement with later posts - this is all down to algorithms for who sees your content. So, why would Greater Manchester Police or another important body waste their time posting funny content to their social media, especially given the backlash they may face from their audience for wasting time/resources? Well, put simply, if someone likes the funny video it is more likely that serious content from that creator will appear in their feed and they’ll engage with that, take for or a crime. The analogy Alex used was ‘jab, jab, jab, right hook’, use ‘soft sell’ tweets to engage an audience and then hit them with your messaging! Something that we can readily incorporate into our campaigns and marketing.
Other great tips included knowing the audience you want, not just the one you already have, this means finding out what makes them tick, what makes them feel, where they are online and knowing what they’ll click and what they’ll share. This is a conversation we often have with clients - educating them that social media isn’t a one size fits all thing and it needs to be tailored to specific demos and audiences.
Did you know the prime lifespan of a tweet is just 18 minutes, that’s the time before it slips so far down a feed that it almost becomes invisible, so plan what time your tweet or post will have the most impact. As an example, if you’re targeting mums avoid tweeting during the school-run and if your tweet is aimed at university students then tweeting a 7 am may miss the mark.
Alex’s final tips were to use your social media analytic tools to see what has worked for you previously, so you can work on replicating it, and equally, checking what didn’t work so you can avoid it or improve on your offering.
markettiers has a long history of live streaming, being early adopters and still at the forefront of the evolving medium but I was still keen to attend the Essential Guide to Live Streaming workshop. This workshop offered insight into how broadcasters, namely news outlets, have adopted the tech. The example given was of journalists broadcasting live from the Calais Jungle using just a mobile phone and monopod - with the resulting stream feeding live into TV news. It’s an example of how Christian Payne of Documentally, explained ‘Good enough is good enough these days’; audiences accept the limitations of streaming but don’t really care as long as they are being fed the information they want.
The one thing Christian said that sticks in my mind is ‘Quality is the result of perception’, that is that the quality perceived by the viewer will be based on how much value they receive from it. That is why knowing your audience is crucial and why live streams work from a handheld mobile on Instagram right through to the more professional TV-style output. Different audiences place importance on different delivery styles and content.
To round the day off I headed to the Google Garage to hear about ways of Reaching Audience & Customers online, and despite this revolving mostly around SEO optimisation what was great to hear is that in the coming weeks a Google Garage will open up in Manchester, offering a huge range of workshops and one-on-one tutoring around digital skills and all for free.
It’s another sign that Manchester is widely being recognised as a ‘Digital City’ and huge organisations, such as Google are now willing to set-up shop on our doorstep in order to encourage and boost the city’s offering whether you’re a digital native or a digital newcomer.