Making the Most of Social Media Marketing

This is the third in our series of con­ver­sa­tions between respect­ed blog­gers from a range of fields and experts from Adobe. These unique encoun­ters will offer insight into how end con­sumers feel about dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, includ­ing how and when tar­get­ing is effec­tive, what makes for an appeal­ing cam­paign, and how mar­ket­ing affects whether these all-impor­tant influ­encers spread the word about spe­cif­ic prod­ucts and platforms.

Our fea­tured blog­ger for this quar­ter is Abi King (AK). In 2007, after five and a half years as a hos­pi­tal doc­tor, Abi decid­ed to fol­low her dream of becom­ing a writer, and Inside the Trav­el Lab was born. This lux­u­ry trav­el blog is described as one of the best trav­el blogs in the world by Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Trav­eller and Lone­ly Plan­et. She’s s an award-win­ning jour­nal­ist and pho­tog­ra­ph­er whose work has appeared in Nation­al Geo­graph­ic Trav­eller, Lone­ly Plan­et, the BBC, Red, CNN and more.

She spoke to Toc­cara Bak­er (TB), Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing lead for EMEA Adver­tis­ing Cloud. She is respon­si­ble for grow­ing aware­ness and adop­tion of its prod­ucts, solu­tions and ser­vices among exist­ing cus­tomers and prospects, and helps man­age exe­cu­tion of mar­ket­ing strate­gies across the Adver­tis­ing Cloud’s prod­ucts and part­ner solutions.

AK: So obvi­ous­ly when we talk about trav­el com­pa­nies, in a way as a blog­ger or cre­ative I’m a brand myself, so what are the ways that I could use—in the same way trav­el com­pa­nies could use—social media adver­tis­ing to both build and inspire my audience?

TB: Yes, I think social is real­ly an inter­est­ing one because there essen­tial­ly is a ton of data that you can start to lever­age that’s very rich. Also social plat­forms have start­ed to change their inven­to­ry, so that they’re stream­lin­ing their for­mat so that you, if you’re buy­ing video any­where you can also buy video on social platforms.

So I think in terms of how peo­ple can start to lever­age or use social media, the first is real­ly tak­ing a look at the rich pieces of data to locate niche tar­gets that you’d like to acti­vate against.

AK: I know that I’ve seen, and I’m sure most peo­ple will have seen, adverts on their Face­book wall or feed that come along. Are there oth­er ways that Face­book allows you to advertise?

TB: Things like the Face­book Audi­ence Net­work I think are real­ly great because you’re still lever­ag­ing rich Face­book data, but you’re access­ing these con­sumers, and maybe oth­er envi­ron­ments. I’m real­ly excit­ed and inter­est­ed in adver­tis­ing and mes­sag­ing apps and what that’s going to turn into, and just in gen­er­al, just stronger video exe­cu­tions that allow engage­ment and inter­ac­tion across for­mats and platforms.

A real­ly good exam­ple that I love is a client can actu­al­ly take their own per­son­al CRM data. They can push it to a social plat­form like Face­book. Let’s say these are peo­ple that have already pur­chased a spe­cif­ic prod­uct. You can then tar­get those peo­ple with­in the Face­book envi­ron­ment, so using news­feed ads or a video or a dis­play ad, or, you can also use Face­book Audi­ence Net­work to actu­al­ly tar­get, using that same data source, but you’re now tar­get­ing these peo­ple in oth­er pub­lish­er destinations.

AK: How does that work? Do they share data?

TB: Face­book has worked to build a net­work of pub­lish­er direct rela­tion­ships that can use their data, essen­tial­ly. So some­times if you might be watch­ing a video on a pub­lish­er site and you see an ad that’s ran before it, the data set to iden­ti­fy you, as a female that real­ly loves trav­el, might not nec­es­sar­i­ly have come from the pub­lish­er direct­ly, it actu­al­ly could have come from Face­book data.

AK: That’s a recur­ring theme because it’s per­son­al­i­sa­tion and it’s good use of data but it’s also a lit­tle bit creepy.

TB: It can seem creepy, but on the one hand peo­ple want rel­e­vant adver­tis­ing and they want to have a great expe­ri­ence, and so in order to real­ly have that there needs to be a trade-off. And I think you need to be able to give some sort of data for an adver­tis­er to real­ly give you a valu­able experience.

AK: That’s an inter­est­ing way of look­ing at it. I will give it a bit of thought. Do you have any great exam­ples of trav­el com­pa­nies doing great things with social media?

TB: A good exam­ple that I have is a brand that we have worked with a lot in the past called Thomas Cook or TUI. They are very focused on ensur­ing that they have a strong or rich con­tent library to actu­al­ly address the inspi­ra­tional needs of the con­sumers that they’re try­ing to reach. And they spread this con­tent out everywhere.

They use it on their own pages, so their web­sites, their YouTube page, their social media pages. I think they do a real­ly great job of under­stand­ing the val­ue of great, com­pelling con­tent. So dur­ing our chat you’ve men­tioned a lit­tle bit about how creepy some of the adver­tis­ing can feel.

AK: I think if I’ve just been search­ing and then with­in the next half hour I saw an ad, it wouldn’t faze me. I’d expect that link to be there. I think prob­a­bly what I find creepi­er is when it’s on dif­fer­ent plat­forms, or a few days lat­er. Some­times you’re on shared net­works or shared com­put­ers in a house­hold, quite eas­i­ly in your fam­i­ly, and so then you get some­body else who has been search­ing for some­thing and you know because these ads pop up. That some­times seems a lit­tle bit strange.

There are def­i­nite­ly times when I’ve been quite pleased, if it gets it right on the mark. That’s the fick­le con­sumer of today, basi­cal­ly. If you get it right I like it. If it’s not quite per­fect, then I think peo­ple find it a bit frightening.

TB: Social some­times is seen in a silo and sep­a­rate from oth­er adver­tis­ing exe­cu­tions, or do you see it as real­ly some­thing that’s dif­fer­ent and separate?

AK: I think there is some­thing, there can be some­thing real­ly authen­tic and inter­ac­tive with a lot of social media that you don’t get in the old­er forms. And so from that point of view I do think it’s different.

With­in social media I think there are two clear ways that peo­ple tend to inter­act. One is net­works, where essen­tial­ly they’re tun­ing in for updates of their friends and fam­i­ly, for inti­mate stuff, maybe a bit of enter­tain­ment. So typ­i­cal­ly, I would say that’s Face­book, What­sApp. And then the oth­er way is using it for things like news and infor­ma­tion which would be Twit­ter for most peo­ple that I know out­side the trav­el industry.

So I think it’s impor­tant when we talk about social media that we don’t think of it as one lump, but actu­al­ly think no, peo­ple use this in very dif­fer­ent ways. And so that’s what I think trav­el com­pa­nies should think about as well.

Thank you so much, Toc­cara. That was a real­ly inter­est­ing chat. And thank you for tun­ing in. Of course this is just one of six inter­views with the experts here at Adobe. Please do tune in and watch the oth­ers at