As the dominance of traditional bastions of media marketing such as print and television continue to soften, brands have heavily invested their efforts into Social Media to reach a growing tech savvy base of consumers. This final frontier of advertising requires strategic direction - that’s exactly where Ignite Social Media comes in.
Founded in 2007 (before FB had likes), this agency was the first of its kind in America to help brands navigate the choppy social seas. Though they started humbly, they have recently been named Social Media Week’s “Top 12 Agencies to Watch in 2018” alongside giants 360i, Edelman Digital, Havas & Laundry Service.
Here at LBB, we had the chance to chat with Ignite’s President, Deidre Bounds, to ask her about what it is like to pioneer successful social media campaigns as the agency’s first minority woman president.
Q> What is the most common suggestion you give your clients when devising a social media strategy?
We always ask them to start with the basics… the “who” and “why” questions. Many brands start out with “what” or “how,” but understanding your audience and business objectives first will naturally set a focused strategy in motion that can withstand the inevitable changes that are prevalent in the social space.
It is important to understand the intricacies of Social Media and the role it plays in a customer’s purchase journey: set realistic goals and measure to them at appropriate times throughout a campaign or specific period of time. Starting with the basics ensures our clients social strategy is built on a solid foundation.
Q> How can brands organically engage with new consumers?
The key to successful engagement is good listening skills. Brands must listen to conversations related to their brand and find ways to enter naturally and seamlessly into conversations. Think of walking into a room where a conversation already in progress, you wouldn’t immediately interrupt, you would wait until an appropriate opportunity to speak.
Though it might not seem obvious, brands should start conversations with existing consumers (who are more likely to listen) and activating this built-in base. By activating those most loyal to the brand, new consumers are likely to hear and take part organically.
Q> What do you think will be the most significant hurdle for brands in the future on social media?
Brands moving to 1:1 messaging apps is one hurdle we anticipate, as the way brands use these channels may cause friction. Are they customer support vehicles or are they marketing? How does a brand effectively engage with consumers at scale using these outlets? These are all questions brands are grappling with as the space changes yet again.
Q> Can you think of any examples of tactics you think brands should use, but don’t?
We foresee messaging apps and chatbots becoming a replacement for email lists. It’s surprising that more brands aren't talking about how these could be leveraged to market sales, promotions, or other exclusive offers. This could be an interesting tool to leverage before it follows the pay-to-play model of the newsfeed.
Another would be Paid Social: If already you produce amazing content, why not make sure it's seen by your targets.
Q> We’ve heard you are heavily involved in your community - how do you find time to serve on so many boards, raise children, and run a company all at once?
The simple answer is: 25+ years of practice has helped me become a master. Seriously though, several things play into my ability to balance:
A) My children are much older now and need me much less than when they were 10 and 5
B) When issues arise, I think, “have I seen this or something similar play out before?” and draw solutions from past experiences.
C) I have a strong, experienced leadership team. This frees me up from having to be in every conversation, answer every question or come up with solutions for every challenge.
D) A wonderfully, supportive family.
Lastly, I’ve learned and strongly believe that there’s no such thing as true balance. There’s never a time when EVERYTHING is running so smoothly that NOTHING needs your attention. Balance is met when any one of the many things pulling at you doesn’t completely overshadow everything else for prolonged periods of time and you’re able to gracefully bounce from one thing to the next.