Evolving Our Social Media Strategy: Brown Bag #4

Digital and social marketing are continuously evolving fields, with new tools, products and strategies constantly introduced. I’m on the Social Media Marketing team at Rackspace and am constantly investigating new opportunities to evolve our social media strategy. I wanted to walk through some of the experiments and results that my team has seen and how we are evolving our social media approach.

The below video is from the fourth Marketing Brown Bag where I discuss the evolution of both our organic and paid social marketing efforts. Further down, you can read about how we changed our organic strategy. And for details on the evolution of our paid strategy, check out an article I wrote on the Simply Measured blog.

Posting More Frequently

Oscillator by Cqdx via Wikimedia CC.

Oscillator by Cqdx via Wikimedia CC.

The first major change we’ve made is that Rackspace is more active on social platforms. Originally the team felt that we ran the risk of fatiguing our audience if we posted too often, or duplicated posts. However, after talking with and observing many other brands (such as fivethirtyeight and Hootsuite), I thought it was worth testing this assumption. So in addition to posting about our blog posts and announcements, we’re doing three other things:

  • Community article at noon on weekdays
  • Reshare of previous post at 3:00 p.m. on weekdays
  • Weekend posting

The Community post has been a nice addition and ties directly into our mission to #BeHelpful. We have collaborated with our Community Team to identify the most recent articles posted to the Community Forum in addition to the most popular articles that have been published. And already we have seen how the articles have helped our audience.

While I was initially apprehensive about starting the daily 3:00 p.m. reshare, we have not seen any adverse effects. Again, this gets back to the fact that the organic stream just moves so fast so most of our audience never even sees an organic post.

Finally, we have begun scheduling organic posts on the weekend and have seen strong results. There is a lot of organic pickup for some of the posts that are more inspirational/helpful on the weekend. The power of the weekend is that people are still on their phones and many brands aren’t tweeting.

Live Streaming on Facebook and Periscope

The Alaskan (1924) Publicity Still via Wikipedia Public Domain.

The Alaskan (1924) Publicity Still via Wikipedia Public Domain.

Another tool that we’ve added to the repertoire has been live streaming—an idea that was spurred by attending SXSW this year. The obvious place to start for us was with the weekly Cloud Office Hours net cast that Alan Bush and Drew Cox have hosted every Thursday at 1:00 p.m. for the past three years. The duo has produced amazing content that has been indexed on YouTube, but the live viewership had grown more slowly than they had desired.

My team partnered with them to get the show on Facebook Live and Periscope, and we’ve seen some fantastic preliminary results. Not only is the live viewership up, people are more interactive during the show and often ask questions or just drop in to say hello. We have plans to extend our live streaming in other areas in the future, namely interviews with blog authors about their articles in addition to live streaming at events.

On-The-Ground Event Coverage

Rackspace Solve 2016 by Garrett Heath via Flickr CC.

Rackspace Solve 2016 by Garrett Heath via Flickr CC.

We’ve begun to take a more active role in live event coverage. In particular, there have been a lot of posts around Rackspace::Solve events and the recent OpenStack Summit. My team is looking to further partner with the marketing teams to expand this on-the-ground coverage.

It’s no secret that people use Twitter to get the pulse of an event, and we are able to be visible by having an active presence in that conversation. Not only has this presented Rackspace as a thought leader, we’ve also been successful in routing foot traffic to our booths, speaker sessions and experiences, such as the Rackspace Cantina at the OpenStack Summit.

These were the three main changes me made to our organic social marketing strategy—if you’d like to see some of the shifts we’ve made to our paid social strategy, check out the article on the Simply Measured blog. Just like all facets of technology, these tactics will shift over time and social marketers must continue to be nimble and adapt to ever evolving digital marketing landscape.

Follow Garrett on Twitter at @pinojo and sign up to the Marketing Bytes newsletter here! Image by Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr CC.

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