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Social Influencer Series | Social Media Strategist, David Ginsburg

Social Influencer Series | Social Media Strategist, David Ginsburg

I had the chance recently to connect with an icon in the Boston social media scene - David Ginsburg. He's really more of a pioneer than an icon, because while many in traditional media were focusing on navigating the muddy waters of their present state of disruption, he had a vision for the evolution of the social web and the impact that social media marketing would have for brands, organizations, and businesses of all sizes.

David is the Founder of Rose Atwater Social where he is a thought leader of Social Media Marketing Strategy, Content & Engagement. His firm helps brands navigate the fast-paced and ever changing world of social, leveraging the right channels and go-to-market strategies for each client.

What was it that he saw from his first profile and user experience on MySpace that could have helped him predict the game-changing, communications revolution that followed? We explore that and more in this week's Social Influencer.

David, you were a real early adopter - What did you see coming that others couldn't? 

I started in social media marketing back in 2008 when I was at Blitz Media. I’d been active on MySpace (remember that?) and Facebook personally, and a number of clients began asking about social media—Facebook in particular. This was right around the time Facebook first rolled out Pages for business. It was a whole new way for customers to interact with brands. It was exciting from a consumer standpoint—and terrifying for brands, who were used to one-to-many broadcast messages. When consumers suddenly had an equal (and influential) voice, it was a seismic change. I found it all fascinating. I’d come from the radio world, where we spent our days trying to build, engage and sustain a targeted audience. There were so many parallels between social media and radio, and on some level that captivated me as well.

Your agency specializes in social media consultancy - what services do you provide for clients? 

We help craft overall social marketing strategies. Each client is unique; we don't have a one-size-fits-all approach. Being small, we can ask a lot of questions to really learn what it is a client does, who their ideal audience may be, and review all of their other marketing and PR initiatives to make sure we build a strategy that will integrate as seamlessly as possible. We also provide content recommendations, both brand-specific and third-party; provide community management on the client's active channels, and provide training for internal staff tasked with managing social marketing programs. And since social media is no longer “free,” we provide social advertising services as well—mostly Facebook advertising, although I’ve done campaigns on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn too.

When it comes to social media listening: what are you tracking and what are you looking for? 

We’re monitoring brand keywords and hashtags, from retweets and reposts to passive mentions such as Swarm Check-Ins. Much of this is undertaken from a customer-service point of view, since the social channels by default have become first-response customer service portals and those users expect a PROMPT response! One of the biggest mistakes brands make on social is ignoring the direct inquiries consumers make in these public forums. The other big gain from social media listening is surfacing user-generated content. We all have smartphones, and for many of us, they are rarely out of our hands. The volume of photos, and increasingly videos, posted every day is staggering. Brands have a tremendous opportunity to drive engagement, provide customer service triage, and reinforce the value of their communities with a comprehensive social listening program in place.

We often hear the term “data rich and insight poor” - Do you find that? Yeah, I’ve felt that frustration over the years! There’s so much data available now, but how much of it is useful for a small business? We’re always looking for a solution that offers customizable data, particularly deep audience demographics, and content analysis that demonstrates how beneficial an investment in high quality content can be for their brand. We’re seeing video become the top performing content by type, but brands are still reluctant to invest in video because of the perceived expense not only in cost but in resources. Having the ability to show clear data of how effective a Facebook Live video or short clip on Instagram to engage their specific audience would be great for business.

What do you think the most important trend in social media marketing for 2017? Where should clients be investing their energy?

Live video took off in the latter half of 2016, and the adoption rates by brands will continue to expand in 2017. The real trend for 2017 will be doing GOOD live video!

Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Twitter Live (through Periscope) and soon YouTube Live offer brands an incredible opportunity to connect with their audiences. However, too many brands are using Facebook Live ineffectively. Going live for the sake of going live isn't a strategy. Using a handheld iPhone and earbuds to broadcast isn't cutting it.

The trend for Live Video in 2017 will be brands investing in true broadcast quality studios and creating live broadcasts that offer tangible value for viewers. The Facebook API allows for multiple cameras and lavalier microphones, for example. Create a schedule (i.e. Tuesdays at noon) for your live broadcasts and stick to it. Use Instagram Live Stories to tease the upcoming full broadcast.

If you're a clothing brand, use live broadcasts to debut new collections or provide insights on fashion trends. If you're a food company, host live cooking demos and provide recipes after the broadcast has ended. If you're a financial services company, create a CNBC-style weekly broadcast recapping market activity.

The overarching trend in social is that brands are becoming media companies. Think like a media company! Embrace live video in the same way you embraced the internet 20 years ago.

Speed Round...It's Last Call! 

Favorite social network? Linked In

Up-and-Comer for 2017? Snapchat 

Favorite hashtag? #SocialMediaMarketing

Favorite celebrity influencer? James Altucher 

One TIP for #SocialMediaMarketing: You don't have to be on EVERY social network. The land-grab is over. Use data to identify the top 2-3 social platforms where your audience is spending their time and start there. You can always scale up as resources become available. And don't be afraid to adjust your strategy if you’re not getting results!

David Ginsburg is the principal of Rose Atwater Social Marketing, a results-driven social media strategy firm that has a long track record of delivering positive results for their clients. 

Mark Keaney is a Regional Sales Manager for @Sprinklr - the world's most complete social media management platform for the enterprise. Sprinklr helps the world's largest brands do marketing, advertising, customer care, sales, research and commerce on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and twenty-one other social channels globally, all on one integrated platform.

e: mark.keaney@sprinklr.com or m: (617) 513-2668 or t: @markkeaney2pt0

Social Influencer Series | President dRae Media, Dawn Wigginton

Social Influencer Series | President dRae Media, Dawn Wigginton

Social Influencer Series | VP Marketing Hubspot, Meghan Keaney Anderson

Social Influencer Series | VP Marketing Hubspot, Meghan Keaney Anderson