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Early adoption, diversification key for social media marketers

June 15, 2022

Brands cannot rely on just one or two social media platforms. Image credit: Tinuiti


Embracing an experimental and nuanced approach to social media can help marketers sustain success and remain agile.

During a conversation at the Tinuiti Live conference on June 7, marketing experts shared how diversifying social media spend helps brands stay on top of trends and reach wider audiences. While making sales is the ultimate goal for brands, many social platforms play a pivotal role in building awareness as well.

“We’ve always had a really performance-first mindset,” said Brooke Cullison, senior acquisition manager at electrolyte drink powder company Liquid I.V.

“We've invested greatly in our DTC,” she said. “We understand the value of owning our first-party data and being able to directly attribute our media spend and the impact it has.”

The conversation was moderated by Avi Ben-Zvi, vice president of paid social at Tinuiti.

Jump in
Having a testing mentality, and measuring the success of new ideas, helps marketers avoid overly relying on one social channel.

Ms. Cullison encourages brands to begin playing on emerging platforms early, eschewing a desire for perfection on social media. She also recommends marketers familiarize themselves with platform tools, such as TikTok’s Creator Marketplace (see story), as soon as the offerings become available to determine a performance baseline.

Being an early adopter is especially important on platforms such as video-sharing app TikTok, where trends can accelerate quickly.

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Brands should jump on social media trends quickly

Liquid I.V. relies on TikTok influencers, developing strong relationships with creators and viewing them as partners. Trust is crucial, as is not being overly prescriptive with influencers who understand best what their audiences respond to.

“We really do understand the value that influencers bring to our overall media strategy,” Ms. Cullison said. “We see them as an extension of our brand, and really collaborate with them, because that’s what’s going to lead you to get more of those innovative campaigns and content that really performs.

“What’s great as well is influencers are the ones driving these trends on social channels,” she said. “They’re testing new features further, testing new platforms, so we’re really following them.”

While TikTok has been a success for Liquid I.V., the brand is not putting all its eggs in one basket.

“What’s been a little difficult more recently on Tik Tok is everyone realized that creator ads work and everyone’s playing in the channel now,” Ms. Cullison said.

After struggling to find its footing for a bit, social media platform Snapchat has made a comeback with Gen Zers. This age demographic has gravitated to Snaphchat as a channel for daily communication, similar to other texting apps.

As a result, Snapchat remains part of Liquid I.V.’s holistic paid strategy. The company focuses on awareness placements, leveraging AR lenses, and further down the funnel attracting consumers to Snapchat Stories and feed ads.

Social media platform Reddit is often overlooked by high-end brands; however, it is a channel where consumers go to find and share information.

“We actually reached out to the Reddit team and got their advice on our creative,” Ms. Cullison said. “We actually had them draft copy for us because we really wanted to make sure that we’re speaking the language of Reddit.

“Being able to know where your audience is and create content that’s really native to the platform is really, really important,” she said. “Really looking at the channel, understanding the content and how your audience will engage with that content is really crucial to performance, relevancy.”

Data implications
Keeping an open mind about social media is especially important as advertisers face the challenge of losing third-party cookies, which help them track consumers across different online channels.

This is why it is important to use social channels to draw shoppers to owned ecommerce sites to glean more first-party data (see story).

“We’re probably all feeling the effects of privacy changes and loss of last-click attribution,” Ms. Cullison said. “So when we think about our paid social strategy, we do really think about it from that holistic perspective, because we want to take a step back and really understand how all these channels are working together because they really do – your customers and your audience are there.

“With these changes the industry is seeing, not looking at channels in a vacuum is really important,” she said. “I think you then end up losing sight of the full impact that your media spend could have on working together.”