This February’s Social Media Strategies Summit looks a little different, just like many conferences have over the last year. Switching to virtual events has been a shift in strategy for many marketers, but the need for community and learning experiences hasn’t dwindled. In fact, conferences and events are arguably needed more now than ever.
Tiffany Rivers, the Director of Social Media at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, understands this. At this virtual SMSS, Tiffany will be participating in a panel titled “Growing Brand Loyalty Through Social Media Communities,” which will focus on building communities based on audience, how to keep people engaged and accessibility that allows for one-to-one connections.
We were lucky enough to be able to talk with Tiffany to learn how her team has worked through this pandemic, as well as to hear some thoughts on her upcoming panel.
What are some key factors you look at when you decide “this social media platform is just not right for my brand” or, on the other hand, “this platform is worth looking into”?
First and foremost, I think about bandwidth and the type of content that performs well on the platform. Do we have a good content pipeline for that channel? Do we have the talent and resources to make it successful? Will the audience add to our business goals? Are we just trying to “be relevant” or is there actual relevancy in this platform for our brand?
As marketers, especially those who focus on social media, we always seem to have a ton of projects going at once. How do you step back and prioritize making one-to-one connections within your community?
It’s tough! We really have to prioritize community management. We typically start with influential mentions and then individuals who have questions or concerns. As time permits, we manage other types of responses (retweets, repurposing content, general brand love). We always have so much going on, so we really can’t be everywhere at once. Our social media tool really helps us with that as well.
Can you walk us through last spring? How did your team react to the impact of COVID on your marketing strategy and what changes did you make?
Wow, that seems like a lifetime ago! When we first entered quarantine, there was an added emphasis on social media as everyone began to rely on the digital world for connection and information more than ever. For example, we would normally activate certain partnerships on site, at a Clubhouse, whereas now we were forced to make a splash on our digital properties and drive awareness digitally. Everyone began to rely on the digital world for connection and information more than ever before. Team members who don’t normally work on social jumped in to help my small but mighty team of two. We also used this as a time to educate the organization on the importance of social and how it all works for us at BGCA, for example, we drove further adoption of our project management tool and educated our colleagues on how we decide what content goes where and when. We increased our integration with other departments and there were lots of Microsoft Teams groups!
Where have you seen success in the shift from live events to online?
Accessibility is up. Virtual events allow for increased participation. In some ways the barrier to entry is lower. Some of our events required a high ticket price or travel. Now you can attend an event from your living room. From a Youth Development perspective, our teens have connected with individuals, celebrities like Kane Brown, in a way they may not have otherwise had access to.
In your bio, it mentions you have a “keen eye for creating disruptive content.” Can you share a bit about what this means, and how to get stakeholder approval on tactics like this?
Sure! In social you have to know what will be “thumb stopping” and interrupt the scroll. So many of us mindlessly scroll through our feeds. In order for a brand to stand out, the visual aspect of the content needs to disrupt the feed. Getting stakeholder approval is tough, so we’ve started small. For example, when the pandemic hit and handwashing became the forefront of safety, we updated our “clasped hands” logo to include suds and bubbles. Sometimes it’s about subtle changes in the eyes of leadership so that we can make those bigger changes with video and imagery.
What do you wish you knew when you first started in marketing?
I wish I knew how much tenacity it would require and the importance of unplugging!
Do you have any predictions on what channels or tactics will be most successful in 2021?
I think artificial intelligence will continue to rise. We’re exploring a partnership with a company that optimizes our video performance based on analyzing cues like smiles, colors and text. We plan to review our entire video library. It’s really exciting stuff!
After a year like 2020, how would you define brand loyalty?
Ha! If our donors and supporters stuck with us and gave against all odds, that makes us proud! It’s when a consumer sees your value when the world around them has changed so much. In our case, we were able to make pivots and even gain new fans!
Catch Tiffany at Social Media Strategies Summit online on February 25-26, 2021
Follow Tiffany: LinkedIn