#NoFilter - how to approach social media marketing


21st August, 2020 by Dylan Patel

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:


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:

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.