Please welcome this week’s 12 Questions Expert Spotlight guest, Global Social Media Program Lead at TIBCO, Mac Jaehnert. At TIBCO, Mac blends digital storytelling with strategic marketing to build and strengthen customer relationships.
Mac has over a decade of experience helping organisations craft authentic, data-driven social media strategies and has worked for some of the world’s largest ski resorts, iconic craft breweries, and others!
1. Which is your favourite social media platform, and why?
Twitter. It’s my favourite social media platform because it is an excellent source of entertainment and breaking news. Most importantly, the character limit forces Twitter users to write concisely and get to the point.
2. What social media platform is used most by your brand/agency?
LinkedIn. As TIBCO is primarily a B2B company, growing our presence on LinkedIn has been critical to our social media success. Our sales team uses it to share industry-specific content with their networks, our HR team uses it to attract new employees, and our marketing team uses it to drive awareness and engagement among our target audiences. With the arrival of LinkedIn Live, we’ll soon be able to broadcast live video content to our 100,000+ followers.
3. In your opinion, what is the future of social media and what platforms will lead the way?
Within the past decade, Facebook has been the dominant player with the broadest reach. However, in recent years, we’ve seen users of nearly every demographic spending less time per month on Facebook in favour of more niche platforms like Instagram, Twitch, Snapchat, and TikTok. Whether users are more concerned about privacy, feel bombarded by ads, or are simply bored with the platform, they’re heading for greener pastures, and not all in the same direction. I suspect that this trend will continue to evolve over the coming years.
4. Tell us about one social media campaign you liked most this year.
Although it took place in 2017, one of my favourite social media campaigns of all time was KFC’s herbs and spices campaign. A Twitter user noticed that the official KFC account had unfollowed everyone but all five members of the Spice Girls and six guys named Herb. After a brief moment of confusion, the user realised that this meant KFC followed 11 herbs and spices, the secret ingredient to their famous fried chicken.
The user was rewarded with a gold-framed portrait of Colonel Sanders carrying him on his back with mountains in the background. (See below)
I love a good pun, and so does the rest of the internet, apparently.
5. What about the latest campaign your brand or agency was involved in?
Our #TIBCOfast campaign has been incredibly successful. This year, we went behind the scenes on social media with our partner, the reigning Formula One world champion Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport team.
For background, The Formula One team leverages TIBCO’s analytics platform, TIBCO Spotfire, to analyse mass volumes of data that is produced by their high-performance race cars to gain a holistic view of operations, and predict race outcomes.
Having real-time access to this data is critically important to their team for making decisions on race day, so it’s rather thrilling to use social media to give our audience a first-hand look behind the scenes and the role TIBCO’s analytics tools play in helping the team beat the competition.
6. What is the most important thing brands and agencies need to keep in mind, in order to build a successful social media campaign?
It may be viewed as a cliche, but authenticity is key. Brands need to be able to speak their customers’ language. To do that, you need to first understand who your customer is, what their interests are, and what keeps them engaged. It’s nearly impossible for brands to fake their way into being viewed as authentic, especially on social media.
7. In your opinion, what is the most important KPI you look for to determine success on social media?
There is no single KPI that fits all business scenarios. It comes down to your broader marketing strategy, and what results your business is looking to drive. For me, I often find shares to be the most insightful metric because it’s the best quantitative indicator that a piece of content really resonated with the audience.
8. What will be the role of social media in the marketing mix of the future?
I predict that companies who take a social-first approach to their entire content marketing strategy will see the biggest impact in the future. That is not to say that companies should invest their entire marketing budget into social media, but instead evaluate all marketing content through the lens of a social media audience. It’s really a customer-first approach. This will help any business simplify their content, streamline their messaging, and ensure that they’re providing immediate value to the consumer.
9. What would you say the biggest obstacle faced in social media?
Demonstrating a short-term return on investment. With a few notable exceptions, social media is not a direct sales platform. It’s most effective as a way to build long-term relationships with current and potential customers that will pay dividends later down the line. Compared to other marketing channels, it may take longer to show the return on investment, so companies with a short-term mindset may give up before realising their social media program’s true value.
10. What is one piece of advice you would give someone just starting in the industry?
It is far better to test an idea and see if it fails than to wrongly assume it wouldn’t work, in the first place.
11. In your opinion, what ad format will lead the future of social media marketing?
While it seems like new social ad formats are continually emerging from VR to immersive, rich media experiences, it’s hard to beat the impact of well-produced, short-form video.
12. Finally, what is a ‘Fun Fact’ we wouldn’t find on your social media profiles?
I used to have a powerful fear of air travel as a child, but now I really enjoy it. These days I average north of 100,000 miles flown per year and am taking flying lessons with the goal of becoming a licensed private pilot.