Tell us about your background and how long you’ve worked with Un.titled.
I’ve been working at Williams Commerce for more than three and a half years, and since the beginning I was particularly interested in Social Media and Paid Social and was able to develop that together with the team.
I became part of Un.titled when the company was acquired by Williams Commerce in 2017 and was excited to work on more creative projects. While I’m deeply involved in social, I’m also moving into other areas of digital marketing, such as the relationships we develop with our clients, working to develop strategic visions and create true partnerships.
As our social media expert, how would you describe the changes we’ve seen over the past few years?
Fast and relentless!
One thing that’s been particularly relevant and still in the spotlight is data and privacy. GDPR in particular but also other events and sagas such as Cambridge Analytica and Google Plus have all had an impact. There’s definitely a greater awareness of the need to be safe and private online than ever before.
Social’s no longer just about engagement and customer service, but is also used increasingly for search and product information purposes. Ultimately, social media is increasingly being viewed and harnessed as a channel that can be used to gain more customers.
Today, it’s also possible to have a more cohesive approach across social. For example, I see video becoming bigger across the board as more and more companies explore this medium, and the industry’s giants are placing more emphasis on it.
How important is it for modern brands to harness social to its fullest extent?
It’s crucial. Consumers expect to find businesses on social media and interact with them. Long gone is the time when social was just about accumulating likes and shares. Social’s poised to become the new search tool for younger demographics, as well as an all-around customer service channel, and a trust signal for any serious business.
That being said, if you want to truly capitalise on social, it’s no longer enough to have a great organic presence, have strong content and post regularly. The reality is that even if you have amazing content to share and capture your audience with (which is already challenging given the level of content saturation and decreasing attention spans we’re seeing), if you only rely on organic exposure, you’re only going to reach a depressingly small portion of your potential audience.
That’s where Paid Social comes in. With Facebook being the second biggest online advertising player after Google, and other social media giants focusing heavily on growing their revenues through advertising, there’s plenty of options to help achieve your goals.
With the right strategy, you can combine organic and paid social to harness the power of social media and make it suit your brand. When it comes to social media success, the secret is not trying to do everything, but figuring out what works well for your brand and owning that.
As an example, if you’re a fashion retailer, you definitely want to have a strong presence on Instagram and Pinterest, while LinkedIn is less likely to be a good fit for your business.
What trends and areas of interest in social do you think we should keep an eye on?
Video, video, video. This will be huge in social media moving forwards, and if it’s not on your radar yet, it should be. Facebook’s new video templates are quite nifty for ads for example, so this is an area businesses can start to explore if they haven’t already.
Chatbots also present some interesting opportunities from a social perspective, and I think generally there will be plenty of new features coming to the fore – it’s the nature of the social media beast. So it’s in the interest of businesses to get their social media ready for 2019 as soon as they can.
Away from the office, what do you like to do?
Travel is definitely my favourite thing to do. I usually have to split my travelling ‘allowance’ between going home to Bucharest to visit my family and exploring new places around the world. Next stop – honeymoon in Japan!
When I do stay local, I’m always surprised by how much Leicester has to offer. Whether it’s salsa dance lessons, going out for a nice meal at a new restaurant or seeing my favourite improv group (The Same Faces) at one of their gigs, there’s always something to do.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Freezing time. Whether it’s when I’m away on one of my trips, to really take it all in and enjoy the moment, or when things get quite busy at the office and it’s one of those days when you feel like you need more hours in the day... *cough* Black Friday *cough*.