21st August | Dylan Patel back

#NoFilter

If you clicked on this blog expecting a step-by-step guide to taking a selfie that requires no retouching, you’re going to be really disappointed (though, if it helps: natural light, wide angle, look at the camera not the screen – you’re welcome.).

No, this is about how to approach social media marketing to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. As with a lot of marketing, social media can sometimes end up being boring. Great campaigns have the edges knocked off them by internal processes and multiple stakeholders. Like a beautiful architectural rendering that ends up as a concrete block, campaigns often end up as a lowest common denominator nod to indifferent customers. Another one to add to the ‘meh’ pile.

Part of our job as an agency involves pushing through stand-out ideas by protecting and justifying them at all stages whilst we’re given a thousand reasons why it won’t work. The brands that work their way around this stumbling block and leap head-first into using social media in the way it was intended can really reap the rewards. It’s an important point, actually: social media wasn’t designed for brands, it was designed for people. Marketers and brands are interlopers, commandeering channels designed to connect people with people, and using them to connect people with products or services.

Keeping people front-of-mind when considering your approach to social media can work wonders. Reframing your approach to be one of how to connect with people (rather than how to sell your products), opens you up to a world of possibilities because, as we well know, literally anything can go viral…but it’s rarely the airbrushed, perfectly-lit, strategically positioned image. It’s the off-the-cuff one-liner. The biting zinger. The relatable anecdote. It’s the caption/tweet/image that shows that there’s a human behind that brand logo. Take KFC UK & Ireland’s tweet in January, for example. Imagine, if you will, that somebody had mentioned your brand in the tweet below:

https://twitter.com/BigLez67/status/1221414722190422016?s=20 How would you react? Steer clear, would be my guess? I can’t blame you – most brands would. KFC decided they didn’t want to do that. They wanted to reply, despite not being tagged, and despite it being a tweet about a subject that most brands would avoid getting involved with. They chose the following, and it paid off:

https://twitter.com/KFC_UKI/status/1221749398402715650?s=20 In 24 hours the tweet had secured over 125,000 likes and 20,000 retweets. Taking an industry average engagement rate of 1.5% and doing a bit of maths [(Engagements / Reach) * 100 = Engagement Rate], that suggests a potential audience of around 9,000,000 people for a single tweet that had no spend put behind it. Now think about how much spend you’d have to put behind one of your carefully crafted, on-brand tweets to reach the same number of people.

Look, I’m not suggesting you drop your social media strategy and start tweeting about going on the lash, nor am I recommending you throw your current brand guidelines out of the window. I’m just advocating for approaching social media from a people-talking-to-people perspective rather than a brand-shouting-about-their-products perspective.

Reminding people that there’s a human behind the tweet helps to stop seeing you as a large company that wants to flog chicken, and instead as a mate they can have a laugh with…and what better reason to purchase a product/service than a recommendation from a friend?

I’ll leave that thought with you.

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

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7th November | Dylan Patel back

Owning the conversation

There’s
a certain irony to the fact that we work in communications and yet,
historically, PR is an industry in which people tend to communicate poorly with
each other. Perhaps it’s because we’re so focused on communicating externally
with clients and journalists, or perhaps traditional corporate structures
simply aren’t suited to how we function.

We all
know the effects of poor communication with clients and journalists, but poor
internal communication can have similar effects on the productivity and output
of an agency. When lines of communication are blocked and employees don’t feel
like they’re being heard, they protest quietly. They stop trying as hard and
become actively disengaged. Emails get missed. Deadlines slip. Priorities
become…less of a priority.

We’re
lucky that the very nature of our set up at Richmond & Towers is such that
people aren’t defined by their seniority, and we’ve worked hard to foster an
environment that’s open, honest and collaborative. Hot desking helps as it
ensures the senior team aren’t squirreled away in offices, and our communal
dining table is full every day with people from across the agency enjoying
lunch with each other rather than sitting at their desks, beavering away.

There’s always room for improvement though, and we’ve always sought to ensure the people who work at R&T are at the heart of what we do. Our recent transition to becoming the UK’s first employee owned PR agency was just the first step in doing our bit to ensure employees feel as though the work they do has real meaning. As owners, all employees not only have a vested interest in the success of the company, but also in their own roles and how they go about their work.

As part of our new structure, we have monthly owners’ meetings where burning issues are raised and discussed, owners are invited to monthly management meetings on a rota to ensure transparency and accountability, and where possible, owners are consulted on company decisions. The idea is that we want everyone to feel confident that their voices are being heard, and the above, paired with our mentoring programme, weekly round-ups and monthly socials, are all designed to foster an open, collaborative culture across the agency. It’s early days, but we think this can only mean great things for the future of R&T.

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news
18th March | Dylan Patel back

I’ve lost Pinterest

Does your business have a Pinterest account? No, seriously?
Really? Why? Delete it, you’ll thank me later. I appreciate that this may be an
unpopular opinion, but in the ten years I’ve worked in social media, I haven’t
ever recommended Pinterest as a channel that clients should consider as part of
their social media marketing mix. I also can’t think of a current or past
client here at Richmond & Towers that I’d recommend Pinterest to. That’s
not to say it won’t ever happen or that it’s a bad platform, but I don’t think
I’ll be doing it any time soon.

That may come as a surprise when you consider the fact that
Pinterest now has over 200m active users each month, with 75% coming from
outside the US (and 40% of those signing up in the last year alone). Surely a
platform that’s grown so quickly deserves your attention? Surely the fact that
their key demographic is women aged 25-34 should be enough to make any marketer
think twice?

Don’t get me wrong, Pinterest can be great for end users.
It’s a wonderful place in which to collect your thoughts visually. Need a
recipe stash? Great! Want to save furniture inspo for your new flat? Awesome!
Need to bank content ideas for your Facebook page? Go nuts. If, however, you’re
using it to try and reach an engaged, relevant audience for your brand in a
cost-effective way, then I’m afraid it’s a big fat NOPE, and there are two very
simple reasons why:

Pinterest can’t
compete on numbers


Pinterest haven’t announced the number of UK-based users on
their platform, but we know that globally there are over 200m users. Compare
that to Facebook’s 2.32bn (yes, billion) monthly users or even Instagram’s 1bn
monthly users. Pinterest isn’t even the third most popular platform in the UK,
it’s down there at number five (and will almost certainly swap places with
Snapchat at number six at some point this year). When you’re trying to identify
a social media channel that your brand should be on, the number of users has to
be up there in your considerations.

Having said that, there’s no denying that 200m users is
still a significant number, and it wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for my second
reason why Pinterest is a no-go for marketers:

Pinterest can’t
compete on advertising


From a pure social perspective, nobody can hold a candle to
Facebook when it comes to advertising. The sheer power of Facebook’s
advertising tools is incomparable, and pair that with the fact that you can
advertise on Instagram at the same time through a unified platform and there’s
almost no reason to use other social media channels. You want to reach 18-year-old
men in Scunthorpe interested in skating to promote your new skate park? Done.
How about 60-year-old women in Brighton with a penchant for peplum dresses? No
problem. Now try and do the same on Pinterest and compare the ROI. I’ll wait.

The reality is, for the vast majority of FMCG brands that
don’t have deep pockets, I truly believe that you’re better off investing more
into making Facebook and Instagram a success for your brand than diverting
funds to trying to make Pinterest work. The return on investment simply isn’t
there, and ultimately that’s what the people that sign the cheques will care
about, and rightly so.

I hope I change my mind one day, mainly because I don’t like
the idea of a social media landscape in which Facebook has a near monopoly, but
until the numbers change and the tools improve, R&T will be spending money
with Mark Zuckerberg rather than…erm…who owns Pinterest again?

14th October | Matt de Leon
Climate Change, Sustainability and Our Role In It

I’ve always worked in consumer PR and have been lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best brands, from Coca-Cola, Reebok and Samsung, to Shell, Ford and Estrella Damm. And I’ve worked with those brands in environments that many could only dream of, including the Olympic Games, UEFA… Read more

24th September | Richmond & Towers
Confused by media? For the uninitiated it’s about…

Ok, so pre-Covid it was clear that digital was king, print was on the way out, and Joe Wicks was among the UK’s most influential sources for advice on health. Read more

24th September | Anouska Leon
Celebrating Talent and Nurturing Careers – Richmond &…

Running a London PR & digital agency is a competitive business, and the one thing that keeps Richmond & Towers ahead of the rest, and makes us what we are, is our people. So, we’re thrilled to announce promotions to: Read more

Load more
See our latest work
Visit our portfolio
Read our latest news
Visit all latest news