This week, we’re featuring our youngest guest yet. He is known to some as Jason Wong; and to others as the KING of memes! But fear not, he has much more than memes to share. He’s a busy guy, and also the CEO of Wonghaus Media, Co-Founder of Fifthtee, and CEO/Founder of Tumblr‘s hub for apparel – TrendyCo – and more!
So let’s get right to it and find out how it is he got into social media. This one may surprise you.
As always, you can listen to the podcast, or read the the most important points below:
So how did Jason come into the industry? (This is guaranteed to surprise you!) Jason joined social media around 12 or 13! While you probably expected him to be an avid user at that age, what you didn’t expect is the fact that he wanted to do more than just BE on these platforms. At 13 he wanted to understand and learn everything he could about social media.
He began as an influencer on Chinese social media platforms Weibo and QQ. But in 2013, when people started monetising social, that’s when it got even more interesting, and where his career started to really take off.
He currently runs a number of different companies – one of which is Wonghaus Media, his marketing firm – working with small to medium-sized companies to develop their social media strategies, working on anything from content creation, content distribution, paid acquisition to community management, etc. He also works on product development and his own e-commerce stores as well!
About Social Media In General
1. Which is your favourite social media platform?
Personally, I like to use Snapchat and Instagram, because I have a very short attention span. So I need content to be quickly digested! Those are definitely my go-to platforms. I am very familiar with them, and use them quite a bit to chat with friends and take in content.
2. What social media platform used most by your brand/agency?
Tumblr. People are ALWAYS surprised when I say it too. But it’s because of those reactions, I still have business. Simply because when the influencers left to Twitter, Instagram, etc. they took the competition element away from Tumblr. I was then able to acquire those accounts with large audiences, and build my own network to over 49 million followers!
The audience is still there. It’s the influencers who have drifted away from the platform. When you have a network of that size, you are able to compete with other platforms in the sense that the distribution channel is so large, that the results can be very similar to those that have hundred million+ followers.
3. In your opinion, what is the future of social media and what platforms will lead the way?
I think the future of social media really lies in video content. Right now short-form content is great. People like myself like to digest content 140 – scratch that – 280 characters! Video is definitely where the industry is heading. Apps like Airtime (an up to 10 person video conferencing app), Snapchat and Facebook’s adoption of AR/AI features and more… it’s apps like these, that are constantly innovating, that will always be at the forefront.
So with that said, my prediction for the next 3 or 4 years, is that people will have really transformed their way of communicating. Text messages, pictures etc will become a thing of the past, and the more animated/video content will come to the forefront due to its engaging nature.
About Great Social Media Campaigns
4. Tell us about one social media campaign you liked most this year.
Personally, I think some of the most noticeable campaigns exist on Snapchat; simply because when you’re on Snapchat, you are overwhelmed with advertising. At the moment Snapchat Ads haven’t quite taken off yet. Most Snapchat ads are run via filters and those filters only give you a limited means of showcasing your business. Therefore, the ads that get the most exposure, in my opinion, is Snapchat, because companies have to be creative with them to engage people on the platform.
One of the biggest Snapchat campaigns I saw this year was the Cinco de Mayo Taco Bell, ‘Taco lens’. They received over 200 million views in a single day – beating out Gatorade for the record at the time! It was just really engaging in the sense that, yes, it was an ad,’ but the lens was creative enough that people would still use it despite that.
That is the beauty of Snapchat. It’s able to repackage ads, product placements, promotions into things that people still use. Conversely, the ads on Twitter and Facebook are very clearly ads, therefore, in many ways, people are repulsed by them and don’t engage with them.
*BONUS: Catch his thoughts on the new Snapchat Ads platform by skipping to 8:13!
5. What about the latest campaign your brand or agency was involved in?
One of my favourite campaigns was product-centric; which I love because the results are much more visible. And one of the product we have worked with quite recently was for Dank Tank’s ‘Holy Meme’ Bath Bombs inspired by memes that include: a Cherry Blossom ‘Send nudes’ bath bomb, a Summer Berry Fidget Spinner bath bomb, Mahogany and Coconut Spongegar bath bomb, and a Grapefruit Berry, Evil Kermit bath bomb! Check them out here.
The ad campaign we ran on Tumblr received 60 million impressions through 13 different creatives. Overall the positive feedback from the product was amazing, engagement rates were high, and the one thing I love to watch? The conversations!
6. What is the most important thing brands and agencies need to keep in mind, in order to build a successful social media campaign?
Consistency is key, and content is king, but you have to be consistent in creating engaging content. I work a lot on the e-commerce side of things. So, what we find a lot of the time is that conversion windows – the time it takes to convert a customer – can take up to 20 days or more! This, because people need to consistently see your content over a certain period of time, before being convinced to purchase a product.
Quick short campaigns don’t produce tangible results. Consistency is needed across all channels. Each of the accounts need to work together and provide a consistent TOV as well. For us, social media is a long game.
Additionally, we really focus our efforts on content marketing, rather than having a promotion-focused campaign. We push the ideas and the concepts that surround the product. It is all about keeping your audience in the loop, and informed through quality relevant/relatable content.
7. In your opinion, what is the most important KPI to watch during a social media campaign?
So the two things I focus my attention on the most, are engagement and conversation. And although you can’t really ‘quantify’ conversation on a large scale, what you CAN quantify is engagement – and you can do so immediately. Often times though, what we see working in the product sector, is that high engagement doesn’t necessarily mean purchases/installs etc. That is where paying attention to conversation comes into play. Obviously, we look at clicks, CPM, CPI (for apps) and other metrics. That can all be automated nowadays.
The beautiful thing about staying involved “as a human” throughout a campaign, is that we can monitor the conversation. We can look into who is talking about our product, what they are saying about it, if are they using the relevant hashtags, and even what negative feedback is coming through. That is valuable information for us that is passed to the client. We can also do outreach, and community management surrounding the conversation/negativity coming through, to assist in the long-term conversion.
About The Future Of Social Media Marketing
8. What will be the role of social media in the marketing mix of the future?
Social media will certainly be a main driver in the future marketing mix. Especially because ads exist for a reason. They are created to spike conversation among people to lead to the obvious increase in sales. Especially if you look at the popularity of Superbowl ads. They aren’t created JUST to sell products. In fact, some may even argue that they aren’t made at all to sell products, but rather to increase PR. And that is where social media comes in. It’s the platform where people talk, and I think it will turn into the primary source of communication in the future aside of real-time conversations of course. But at the end of the day, marketing on social media isn’t going anywhere, and as long as people engage with social media platforms, there will always be a form of marketing on them.
9. What would you say the biggest obstacle is in the field of social media marketing?
Everyone applauds social media for being trackable – but sometimes the problem we face is that there are still attributions that cannot be tracked. For example, if someone saw an ad today, and 45 days later they buy it? We can’t track it, because our conversion window is limited to 30 days. Or more recently, Apple does not allow Safari to track cookies anymore, so if you are using Facebook ads, those users on Safari won’t be tracked.
There are certainly many things that can overstep boundaries. When you track someone, at the end of the day you are invading their privacy, by installing tracking pixels in their browser. So we are mindful of those ethical implications, and don’t cross boundaries. Personally, as a marketer, I am very cautious about it.
But at the same time, it can affect the accuracy of tracking results. Therefore, sometimes we are unable to attribute whether or not a campaign is working ‘perfectly,’ or not. Attribution for me is definitely a pain point, because clients want to see where every single dollar go,es and the ROI from x instead of z.
10. If you had to give one piece of advice to someone has just started in the industry, what would it be?
I feel like the biggest help I have received, is through the social media community itself. People you know can get you into places you never know existed! Shallow or not, everyone around you has value. I HATE that word, because it is such a cliché, but it’s true. Everyone is worth something, but obviously, that is objective to the situation. A simple introduction to a potential client/customer adds value.
So really try and get to know everyone. Just because they don’t work in your industry, doesn’t mean they aren’t “valuable.” They may be the connection to a future client, or provide you with knowledge on their industry that could help you in the future. So many of the potential customers I meet come through someone I know. So get to know everyone! No matter big or small. And it’s really important to maintain those relationships. Share knowledge, and they may give back ten times the return. You just never know.
Also, always remember that there is someone out there who sees the value in you, even if you don’t. Hard but true. I mean from personal experience… I got into social media at 13! Who would have thought I would be doing this now.
*BONUS: Check out his secret to getting started in the industry by skipping to 20:16.
11. In your opinion, what is the ad format of the future?
So, when it comes to ad formats, I think people are still hung up on the ‘traditional’ forms of video i.e. Youtube video ads… BORING! That isn’t innovative. That is just throwing a bad ad in the middle of a video. When I talk about the future for video ads, I talk about VR’s impact. I think what Snapchat did with the filters was genius, but there is so much more beyond that ahead.
I think the introduction to VR to the mass market/consumers will allow people to place ads within another dimension of reality. We may even start to see product placement make a BIG comeback thanks to VR. VR would allow a whole new way for consumers to experience your product and get involved with your brand without being invasive.
12. Finally, tell us one thing someone would NOT be able to find out about you from looking at your social media profiles?
I think my biggest secret, is not really a secret. But people see me, and they see everything I have done up to this point, and the resources I have produced, but they don’t see the back story of where it all came from.
I emigrated here with my mother when I was 8. We worked endlessly in restaurants, staying with family members just to get on our feet. And then when I was 13, I got into social media and began monetising it slowly. So, I think when people see me they think ‘he’s a trust fund baby’ or ‘he got lucky’… but it was neither. There is just a lack of my backstory on social media – about where I came from and where I started from. There are certainly a number of stories as to why I started certain companies, or how I got involved with x or y. Those aren’t reflected on my social media channels, with the exception of my personal Facebook. I want to inspire my friends and family to take action.
Who I am today, reflects the hard work I put into building my network from a young age, but you don’t have to do it at a young age. You can do it now!