Social media: sorting through the white noise

Social media: sorting through the white noise

Picture of Matt Chisholm

Continuing on the A Digital Perspective tradition.

In a well timed follow up to Dark Social, Social Media Marketer and all-round nice guy Matt Chisholm talks us through how he wades through the white noise of the social media echo chamber.  If you’ve ever wanted a solid stream of good thinking, Matt can talk you through anything from social, to DJing to the latest trends in t-shirt design and photography.

Planners and strategists need to have their finger on so many pulses. Here’s a quick-start guide to agency land, real-time, desktop research .

With the huge influx of information available to marketers and comms people: talk us through how you define what’s valuable for your clients for strategic and creative decisions? 

First of all you need to know what information is out there. There is a huge influx, but as marketers it is up to us to wade through all this information to keep up to date with the latest trends and changes in the industry. I do a lot of reading. My RSS reader has some 50+ blogs I subscribe to. Getting through all the posts on these without falling behind is a massive task, but also one I think anyone who wants to be a successful digital marketer needs to undertake. There is a wealth of useful (and useless) information published about digital, it is up to us to find it, learn from it and advise our clients on how it affects them and what actions we need to take. I also keep in contact with others with their fingers on the pulse and learn of new things from them – learning in an agency should be collaborative.

Finding a way to work through all the information can be quite hard. As I mentioned I read a lot of blogs, but I also keep an eye on Twitter and LinkedIn for interesting articles and reports recommended by peers on these networks. Social networking isn’t just for keeping up with what your friends are doing. Find other great content curators online, follow them and let them help you to wade through the immense amount of information being thrown at us. I Tweet (@chizm123) a lot of the articles I find interesting, which is only a small percentage of what I actually read on a daily basis. Using what articles get ReTweeted is often a great way to see what others think is important and sometimes makes me take a second look in case they’ve seen something I haven’t.

The key to defining what is valuable for my clients as well as the agency I work for, is understanding the brand, where they are on their journey, and what communications and activities are taking place currently and what is coming up. I ensure I chase up the latest news from my clients regularly on their business so I can better advise them on what they should be doing strategically and creatively.

Being a social media marketer primarily (I’ve dabbled in SEO and broader digital as well) I keep an eye on the latest trends, memes, emerging social networks, new engagement tactics by competitors, and campaigns being run by other brands both in Australia and internationally. Using this information along with what has been provided by the client, we can marry the two and create an engaging strategy for the brand which is continually optimised in its implementation.

Educating clients on the latest developments which are relevant to them is another key thing for me. It is important to share with them any changes and the impact they have had on others so we can work together on a solution for them. Sending them the latest cool campaigns and technological developments along with any possible implications for them is also important here so they can understand the market we’re working in better as they have other things to worry about. Communicating this information with them is great as it can help better determine what is valuable to them as we discuss these learnings and they give their thoughts and feedback. It also helps them get excited about what we’re doing which is awesome.

Essentially, I think as digital marketers we need to be content curators for our clients, but take that extra step to apply our learnings to their business and help them to progress forward in this ever-changing digital world.

Jye Smith is currently the Digital Strategist for Weber Shandwick Australia. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, he's a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital strategy, social media marketing, and change management.

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Matt Chisholm at 5:43 pm

    Hi Daniel, Wall Blog (UK based) is quite good, I find myself reading this at least once a day; Digital Buzz Blog is great for the latest case studies and inspiration; and AllFacebook I use a lot as most of the work I’m doing currently is on Facebook.

    Do you have any good blogs you would recommend?