Dont plan your social!

Well, not all of it anyway!  Yes it’s that time of year again when everyone is thinking about their 2018 campaigns and maybe you’ve already wrapped yours up, no pun intended.  However some of the best social engagement comes when it’s spontaneous and not rigidly planned out and automated.

Keeping an element of fluidity around your engagement allows you to capitalise on the ever changing flow of news across all social channels.   Equally not having all your posts automated allows you to respond to comments or questions and provide real-time engagement with your audience and followers.  This in itself is great for conversation and building relationships with your audience.

Personally I find that Instagram is simply brilliant for this for two reasons.

One of which is that you can engage with so many people from all over the world who you somehow develop a ‘mutual liking’ friendship with.  You watch their feed and like their posts, they like yours and so on, this then grows to commenting on each other’s posts and you start to literally follow their story.  

Which brings me nicely on to point two, Instagram stories – these are simply perfect for capturing a moment and sharing something that you might not really want to be a fixed post in your feed mainly because it is just that, literally for that moment. They can also be used as a bit of a teaser to introduce something you are about to post or is an upcoming event.  Celebrities use these loads especially when they want to do a small video or image to promote an upcoming collection, personal appearance or sponsorship deal. 

If you haven’t used Instagram stories yet, give it a try.  You can tag people, use hashtags and even follow hashtags. Your story will automatically disappear from your profile and feed after 24 hours (unless you add it as a highlight) so you don’t need to worry about forgetting to remove it.  – I’m forever seeing pinned posts on twitter that talk about something ‘this weekend only’ from about two months ago!  Plus you also get to see exactly who’s viewed your story and you’ll most probably be amazed at the reach it actually has compared to the likes you normally get per post.

So there’s just one example of a useful instant ‘of the moment’ post.  In fact social media itself is a great way to be flexible around planned campaigns and events on a much wider scale by supporting planned advertising across print, tv, radio and editorial pieces.  Sometimes you’ll find boosting your campaign by talking about it allows your potential customers to ask the questions that can also give you useful product insight on each and every campaign.  Think of it as some free market research as well as a promotional tool!

During this year we’ve found that spontaneous social engagement has worked really well around tours and live events such as the campaigns in Liverpool for #CargoTeamOnTour and the London and Country events for #HamptonsAtGatcombe and #HamptonsCountryRoadshow . With more campaigns planned for next year (yes I know I said planned!) with @PomonaWharf in Manchester and a whole new project for our auction brands it will be great to see how the community responds to our output.

So whatever you ‘plan’ to do this festive season, remember to make your posts as fun, fluid, engaging and festive as possible, with the odd story here and there thrown in for good mix! Literally be more social when you feel it, because let’s face it no one needs the stress of exact timing at this time of year!