Are you looking for the latest trends in social media? How about digital machines? What even are digital machines? And what has a vodka pissing manneken have to do with social media marketing?
Astarte Buono, Creative Director at Kolibri Online, sat down with Robert Kirsch from STRG. for an interview. We didn’t get any vodka out of it, but we did learn all about his numerous information and insights about social media and influencer marketing.
On the STRG. website you state: “Are we a creative agency? A digital agency? Social media agency or start-up? We are all of these and yet none of these. We break down borders and hate being forced to work inside the box.” In principle, we think this is a good attitude to have, but what exactly should be expected of a company with such far-reaching capabilities?
Robert: “At the most basic level, we are a creative agency, but this doesn’t mean that we exclusively generate ideas. We approach new tasks with an open mind without easy-solution-schemes A, B or C in mind. In the beginning there is always analysis. Looking carefully at a given task or problem is then followed with careful consideration over whether a given solution requires social, digital or event-driven action. Without analysis, there can be no creativity.”
What makes a good social media agency in your eyes? What should customers look for when looking for an agency?
Robert: “In general, a creative agency needs to be agile and be driven by a curiosity towards all new platforms, channels and tools. It is important to maintain a strongly integrated team with the different skill-sets working together. Does the agency make its processes transparent? Where does it produce its content? We have our own graphics, a photo studio and video capabilities all in-house, so we can produce visual content as much as possible, and hardly have to resort to stock. However, a good agency shouldn’t only have content competence, but also the ability to measure itself on hard figures. Without in-depth analysis and robust KPIs, there really can’t be any creativity.”
Now we know what a good social media agency is. But what makes a good social media campaign?
Robert: “If a campaign is good, the different channels all intersect so perfectly that they lead users directly to their goal. Optimally, a successful campaign brings together both owned and earned content harmoniously. If the campaign works, the results are measurable.”
Can you give an example, from your experience, where the analysis has decisively influenced the development of a campaign?
Robert: “One good example is the camera-drone manufacturer Yuneec. The initial assumption was that their target group was primarily tech-minded men. This is the group we created our Facebook social media campaign around in the hopes of isolating our target group. It turns out that the female demographic is not to be underestimated in this niche. This target analysis determined the changes we had to make to our campaign.”
In order to do this correctly, it requires that customers give you the appropriate framework and the necessary trust, yes? Is that always the case?
Robert: “That would be nice! Naturally, the budget always plays a role in this. However, the open-mindedness of the client is much more important. Unfortunately, here too an overhauled content concept becomes clear, according to this motto: ‘Here you have our brand image and our CI, make a few posts from it!” But social media doesn’t actually work like that.”
Now that we’ve explored this topic in some depth, how does social media actually work?
Robert: “Social media is much faster than editorial plans or long feedback loops. An individual post or comment cannot be run through an entire business’s management, this does not work. It is therefore all the more important in social media marketing that a clear strategy is pursued from the beginning, one in which all stakeholders are in alignment. Only in this way are authenticity, good timing and quick reaction times possible.”
Which social media mistakes should companies avoid under all circumstances, so as to prevent or deal with a potential shitstorm?
Robert: “A social media shitstorm is, of course, the worst case scenario and should be avoided if at all possible. But the fear of this kind of shitstorm is often exaggerated. Typically, a company builds a working and loyal fanbase so that negative comments are independently answered by the community. Otherwise, criticism should always be approached and dealt with professionally and tactfully. Of course, it would be better if it were constructive criticism. After all, every company needs feedback in order to improve. The potential when it comes to receiving feedback is enormous. ”
We do not live only on Facebook
The portfolio of STRG. also includes “digital machines”. What is meant by this?
Robert: “Digital machines bring together both the online and offline worlds. In the end we are social beings and not virtual ones, so there is always a need for something haptic that can be touched and played with; man does not live by Facebook alone. Digital machines are ideal for touchpoint brands in the real world, e.g. At the POS or at events. ”
Can you give an example of a digital machine?
Robert: “A good example would be TweetDisco. This is a classic jukebox that is docked via API on Twitter. It is served by Twitter via sharing and hashtags. However, TweetDisco works in more than one way, communicating with the user by indicating when a song will be played and when you should hit the dance floor. The current playlist contains the most popular songs and user names are displayed on a microsite. This keeps the event going longer – even when the party is over.”
Robert: “We also had a lot of fun with the BadPisser, which was used at the Social Movie Night in Berlin at the after party of the film” Bad Neighbors 2 “: this is a well with a Manneken Pis in the middle. Instead of water piss the BadPisser ‘urinates’ vodka. Anyone who posted a photo with the hashtag #BadPisser on Instagram got a shot of vodka for free – automatically from the BadPisser. It was a lot of fun for all the participants, and the advantage was that many influencers were on the road at the event, so the BadPisser had great reach. ”