The Digital Picnic director, Cherie, on harnessing the power of social media

Cherie The Digital Picnic How to nail your social media blog

When Zuckerberg changes his platforms’ algorithms faster than Katy Perry’s boyfriend changes clothes, the social media landscape can be formidable and frankly, quite an ordeal for the average joe.

Whilst juggling her two adorable kids, married life, numerous sold-out workshops and everything else that comes with running a business – we were able to steal Cherie, director of The Digital Picnic and get to what is at the heart of social media. 

The Digital Picnic is a vibrant and colourful brand who are taking on the digital world and bringing a new life to the rather tired way of social media management. 

Let’s dive into the hard-hitting questions, shall we?

What’s your favourite ‘90s jam?

I don’t even have to think about this one. It is – without doubt – House of Pain’s ‘Jump Around’.  It just takes me back to my 1992 bedroom, where 9 year-old me used to listen to it on repeat, copy all the moves, in my extremely baggy jeans, and my Celtics basketball guernsey just like their lead singer.

Great visual! Ok, should probably put the work hat on now… What are three key ingredients for sustained success on social media?

One. A solid brand.  Your socials are nothing if you don’t have your branding locked down.

Two. A commitment to consistent, high-quality content, and an investment [ie. time investment, and financial investment] in all. the. things that lead to quality content, i.e photography, … just to begin with.

Three. FB Ads prowess.  In my next life? I’m going to open an online retail somethin’ somethin’, because the FB Ads results we achieve for our online retail clients alone would probably surpass what I make in a year at TDP!

What do you believe to be the biggest impact social media has had on B2C marketing in the last 10 years?

Actually, I think it’s the consumer voice, i.e they get to speak directly to brands now.  And it’s the brands that actually listen to their voice that are smashinh it.  Look at Glossier? Surpassing some of the biggest beauty brands who’ve been around for 40+ years, simply because they listen to their consumers, design content around that social listening accordingly, humanise their brand perfectly, personalise the relationship with their consumers – and enjoy a solid online experience as a direct result of all of the above [and then some].

What do you find to be the most common misconception about social media professionals?

Where do I start? That we’re unintelligent.  That we just post sh*t online, just because. That “anyone” [literally, anyone] can do our job, … and do it well.  That we’re worth minimum wage, despite directly producing brands significant online success through intellect/passion/commitment/strategic brilliance.

The list could go on, honestly.

Our job itself? Very young.  Very much so in its infancy, as far as people’s understanding of what we *actually* do is concerned.  I really look forward to the day where this industry is more … respected, truly.

It’s getting there though!

What are brands missing out on most if they’re not engaging with their audience online?

… everything their direct competitor is likely doing better.

Brand awareness.  Memorability. Endearment.  Relatability. Relationship building.  Influencer marketing. Sales conversions [if that’s applicable to what you do].

Let’s talk dollar bills. Is there any kind of magic formula for calculating the percentage of a marketing budget that should be spent on social advertising?

Honestly? That’s dependent on SO many variables, but I’m going to be a little cheeky and suggest that anyone who says they can calculate a solid percentage is probably one of the “snake oil charmers” that give our industry a bad name.

… we don’t like “snake oil charmers”, can you tell?

Do you have any suggestions for how business owners can keep up with continuously changing algorithms?

YES.

Train with us, annually.  But also? Listen to podcasts.  Follow your favourite professionals within the digital marketing industry.  Invest in digital marketing conferences [the good ones]. Be a lifelong learning who doesn’t shun change, because if you don’t like change? You won’t like our industry, … it seemingly changes every 5 minutes, ha!

What constitutes “great content” in such a noisy marketplace? Can you give us any recent examples by brands?

Great content is the kind of content that’s designed around its followers pain points / pleasure points / empathy canvas map [Google that, … it’ll completely lift your content once you implement it], and so it subsequently stands out / makes that brand memorable, and relatable.

It makes you realise you needed their thing, before you even knew their thing was a thing, or that you needed that thing.

It provides the solution to problems you didn’t even know you had.

My [current] favourite example is @manflowerco on Instagram. I never knew I needed this, but now I couldn’t possibly live without this perfect gifting experience for the [difficult to buy for] men in my life.

I promise I’m not affiliated with them – they’re just excellent.

We know there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer. So, what are your first steps when working out what a new client needs and how to best harness the power of social media for their goals?

We ask alllll. the. questions. And then get our clients to embellish on every answer. “But why? Why? WHY?” features heavily. And so does “tell us more about that”.

We don’t stop until we really understand, and in turn, we help them understand what they need most. And from there? We design the services we offer around what it is exactly that is. 

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