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The Playground of Social Media

The Playground of Social Media

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

September 25, 2018

Social can be an absolute powerhouse—if brands know what they are doing.

"Social media is integral, and I think brands must tap into consumers’ everyday lives."

Social media has become an integral part of any communications strategy, a sort of foregone conclusion in 2018. Mia Parsbæk Pedersen, head of Social at Havas Denmark, breaks down what brands are getting right—and what they’re getting wrong.

 

Tell us a little bit about what you do at Havas.

I go by the nickname SoMia, which is pretty self-explanatory: My name is Mia, and I do social media. Aside from knowing a thing or two about social media, my primary task as Head of Socialyse in Denmark is to make sure my team has all the resources and the best possible environment that they need to perform and succeed. Together with my team, I help clients get the most out of social media—and it doesn’t matter what stage they are at.

When did you first realize that social media was a thing?

Looking back at my first experiences with social media is both funny and horribly awkward. The statements and messages you’d post and publish back then—let’s just say that they’re a bit cringeworthy now. I’m sure I’d never relate any of those activities to actual work.

Describe the aha moment that made you want to delve into social media as a profession.

Don’t tell my boss, but once I actually stated: “I’m never gonna work professionally with social media.” But somehow, I ended up putting social media at the center of my studies and later, my work life. Social media is integral, and I think brands must tap into consumers’ everyday lives. Having a presence on social media helps brands find the right audiences.

"I hope that brands and agencies will use social media as a playground rather than a battlefield."

What characteristics are needed or desirable for someone to be an effective messenger on social media?

Creativity. Boldness. Playfulness. Seriousness. Strategic. Speedy. Detailed. Sometimes even lucky. If it was easy to define, everyone would be effective.

In your opinion, are brands effective in social media?

Some brands are effective, but definitely not all. We do our best to make all of our clients effective. Effectiveness looks different for everyone; there is no one size fits all. And it’s not implemented in a straight line. Effective brands take detours.

What are they getting right?

Successful brands forget about themselves and focus on the audience. I love when a social media campaign is truly, well, social. What’s great about social media—and what separates social media from traditional media—is the possibility to include the audience, follow their lead, and have a two-way dialogue.

What are they getting wrong?

I think the most common mistakes among brands are a lack of strategy and little, if any, understanding of the importance of key performance indicators, i.e., success metrics. Also, we see brands struggle to optimize their resources.

What social platforms should brands use to interact with their target audience and customers?

Meet audiences on their home turfs, i.e., the same platforms as their customers in most cases. One platform might be an obvious choice for a brand in a particular market and that same choice for another brand might not work at all.

I hope that brands and agencies will use social media as a playground rather than a battlefield. Have fun, try things, and take chances. Be responsible. Allow room for mistakes. And test, test, test. Social media allows you to test ideas, messages, creatives—all with the goal of becoming better at our jobs.

"Social media is integral, and I think brands must tap into consumers’ everyday lives."

Social media has become an integral part of any communications strategy, a sort of foregone conclusion in 2018. Mia Parsbæk Pedersen, head of Social at Havas Denmark, breaks down what brands are getting right—and what they’re getting wrong.

 

Tell us a little bit about what you do at Havas.

I go by the nickname SoMia, which is pretty self-explanatory: My name is Mia, and I do social media. Aside from knowing a thing or two about social media, my primary task as Head of Socialyse in Denmark is to make sure my team has all the resources and the best possible environment that they need to perform and succeed. Together with my team, I help clients get the most out of social media—and it doesn’t matter what stage they are at.

When did you first realize that social media was a thing?

Looking back at my first experiences with social media is both funny and horribly awkward. The statements and messages you’d post and publish back then—let’s just say that they’re a bit cringeworthy now. I’m sure I’d never relate any of those activities to actual work.

Describe the aha moment that made you want to delve into social media as a profession.

Don’t tell my boss, but once I actually stated: “I’m never gonna work professionally with social media.” But somehow, I ended up putting social media at the center of my studies and later, my work life. Social media is integral, and I think brands must tap into consumers’ everyday lives. Having a presence on social media helps brands find the right audiences.

"I hope that brands and agencies will use social media as a playground rather than a battlefield."

What characteristics are needed or desirable for someone to be an effective messenger on social media?

Creativity. Boldness. Playfulness. Seriousness. Strategic. Speedy. Detailed. Sometimes even lucky. If it was easy to define, everyone would be effective.

In your opinion, are brands effective in social media?

Some brands are effective, but definitely not all. We do our best to make all of our clients effective. Effectiveness looks different for everyone; there is no one size fits all. And it’s not implemented in a straight line. Effective brands take detours.

What are they getting right?

Successful brands forget about themselves and focus on the audience. I love when a social media campaign is truly, well, social. What’s great about social media—and what separates social media from traditional media—is the possibility to include the audience, follow their lead, and have a two-way dialogue.

What are they getting wrong?

I think the most common mistakes among brands are a lack of strategy and little, if any, understanding of the importance of key performance indicators, i.e., success metrics. Also, we see brands struggle to optimize their resources.

What social platforms should brands use to interact with their target audience and customers?

Meet audiences on their home turfs, i.e., the same platforms as their customers in most cases. One platform might be an obvious choice for a brand in a particular market and that same choice for another brand might not work at all.

I hope that brands and agencies will use social media as a playground rather than a battlefield. Have fun, try things, and take chances. Be responsible. Allow room for mistakes. And test, test, test. Social media allows you to test ideas, messages, creatives—all with the goal of becoming better at our jobs.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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