Corporate Social Media Is Rarely So Well-Played


So this happened a few days ago. Some eagle-eyed twitter user discovered that KFC  only follows 11 accounts on twitter although it has 1.2million followers. And those 11 accounts happen to be 6 guys named Herb and all 5 Spice Girls. How brilliant, subtle and funny is this? Why you ask? Because KFC’s legendary, secret recipe just happens to contain 11 Herbs and Spices – get it?

Of course, we’ll next find out that eagle-eyed @Edgette22 who posted this last Friday, is a KFC plant – but whatever, still a brilliant PR/Social Media stunt.

But that’s not the only clever and astute use of social media I’ve come across.

Read on below for more examples (including from real estate and banking) as well top social media trends to anticipate for 2018 (including for PR, and for content meant to go viral).





Two Trees Management’s marketing strategy includes paying Instagram celebrities who live in their buildings to post occasionally from their Two Trees apartments and neighborhoods.

  • Chef and cookbook author, Seamus Mullen, lives at 60 Water Street, one of Two Trees’ buildings in DUMBO. He has a very active Instagram account with over 60K followers. He posts about food, travel, biking and his home and neighborhood. It feels authentic, not hyped from what I’ve seen.
  • Tavi Gevinson has a similar undisclosed arrangement promoting her one-bedroom apartment at 300 Ashland in Ft. Greene to her 500K followers. The Feds are reportedly looking into the legality of the arrangement which might explain why she has such a prominent “paid partnership” notification on some of her posts.


Douglas Elliman also turned to a pair of social media-savvy 20-somethings from Ohio who recently moved to NYC to help lease apartments at Herald Towers in Midtown. They’re also receiving a break on rent.



Unmetric, a social media intelligence company, studied the strategies of the top 30 banks in the U.S. They looked at their social media presence and analyzed 27.6 million user interactions across more than 300,000 pieces of brand content (Note: 7 of the 30 banks ended up not even having an active social media presence).

The analysis revealed some key trends, stats and facts. And although this is specifically coming from the financial sector, the learning applies to most other businesses as well.

1. Financial Institutions Are Publishing 44% Less Content


Over the last 3 years, the amount of social media content published by financial institutions has fallen by 44%.

  • Facebook took the biggest hit: financial institutions that had been posting up to 60 Facebook posts a quarter now post only 18.
  • Another reason for the 44% drop in content has to do with an increase in the number of “dark posts” that don’t appear on financial institutions’ public Facebook timelines. Instead, dark posts are sent to targeted subsets of consumers.

Key Takeaway: Less is more. Publish fewer posts, but increase your investment in the content that you are creating.

2. Video Content Is Up 632%


Video accounts for only 16% of overall social media content but since video is twice as likely to be shared, expect video to continue its meteoric rise.

  •  The average length of videos posted by financial institutions is two minutes.
  • TD Bank includes video in half of its Facebook posts; its YouTube videos have generated 54 million views putting it at #2 on The Financial Brand’s rankings of North American institutions on YouTube — right behind Wells Fargo with 67 million all-time views.
  • Capital One generated the most interactions on its Twitter videos, and its animated GIFs generated almost four times the number of interactions.

3. Promoted Content Generates 21x More Interactions

  •  The only way to get in front of a Facebook user now is to pay for it.
  • For Capital One promoted content is paying off; 95% of its interactions were from promoted content.

Key Takeaway: Free content just isn’t getting the reach it once did. Be prepared to pay to play.

4. Only 4% of Your Customers Will Connect With You on Facebook



There are some exceptions e.g. Capital One reaches a Facebook audience equal to 9.51% of its customer base.

  • Some of these numbers might look impressive, but in many communities it works out to just a few hundred followers. Which makes the typical financial marketer wonder, “Is this really worth it??”
  • The biggest banks in the U.S. average around 650,000 fans on Facebook, which is more than three times their average audience on LinkedIn.
  • Only one in three of the banks had a presence on Instagram, and the number of followers is paltry but it’s the platform with a growth rate of 27%, much faster than other social media platforms.
  • Capital One is tops on Facebook with 317,904 interactions on 79 posts.

Financial institutions increasingly use social media to recruit employees. Here are the top four topics financial institutions are talking about:

  1. Jobs & Careers
  2. Tips
  3. Promotions
  4. Retirement

Key Takeaway: Facebook continues to be important, but don’t neglect LinkedIn, Twitter, and especially Instagram.

5. You Have 15 Minutes To Respond To Social Media Complaints

Twitter remains the platform for handling people’s requests and complaints.

  •  Financial institutions responded to 55% more tweets than they did in 2013.
  • In 2016, financial institutions responded to more than one third of tweets within 15 minutes.
  • The fastest was TD Bank, which responded to an impressive 75% of tweets within 15 minutes.

Key Takeaway: When people want to gripe about their bank or a bad service experience, they will do so in social channels — mostly Twitter and Facebook. And when they do, you can get your brand’s reputation back on track by responding in 15 minutes or less.


TOP SOCIAL MEDIA TRENDS FOR 2018 (Source: Entrepreneur)

Increasing popularity of Instagram Stories

  •  Over 200 million people use Instagram Stories each month, 50 million more than use Snapchat — and Instagram Stories is just one year old!
  • At this rate, nearly half of all Instagram users will be using Stories by the end of 2018.
  • Sam Sheffer (who had a huge following on Snapchat) asked yesterday, while on snapchat, if anyone was still using the platform and revealed his following has dropped precipitously.

Continued investment in influencer marketing

  •  Over 90% of marketers who employ an influencer marketing strategy believe it is successful.
  • Companies like North Face, Hubspot and Rolex use social media–based influencer marketing strategies.

I believe the jury is still out on how this will play out. It will be crucial for agencies and influencers to provide solid numbers – at the moment there’s too much huckstery at play in terms of followers, clicks etc.

Focus on Generation Z

  •  A recent study from Goldman Sachs concluded that Generation Z was more valuable to most organizations than millennials. Today, the oldest Gen Zers are 22 years old. They are just beginning to enter the labor force, and will have increased buying power for some time.
  • Brands will begin to shift their social media strategies. Snapchat might have some life left in it yet and also look for digital hangouts like Houseparty to attract more attention (including from Facebook)

Expansion of live streaming

  •  GORUCK, a backpack manufacturer and organizer of extreme endurance events, has grown its reach by live streaming compelling content on Facebook. Thousands of followers tuned in to watch 48-hour coverage of a recent endurance race.
  • In 2018, more brands will begin to incorporate livestreaming into their monthly content plans.

For full article with additional social media trends for 2018, click here.



Video is king

  •  Video is the future of social media marketing and the greatest tool is the cell phone.
  • It’s not about the production value, but relevant content.

Live by the ‘90/10’ content rule

  •  Only 10% of your posts should be promotional. The remaining 90% should be educational, industry-related content.

Keep it short and sweet

  • Keep captions short and creatively relay information with video or infographics
  • Keep character count under 140 characters for all social media platforms, not just Twitter.

Pay to play is becoming necessary

  •  Social media advertising lets you target by location, age, gender, income, interests and more.

Creativity wins

  •  Before posting online, ask yourself: “Would I stop scrolling to look at this?” If the answer is no, it’s back to the drawing board.



Content with high engagement

  • Most social media platforms use an algorithm that ranks content based on engagement and shareability.
  • Content that creates engagement is rewarded by being amplified to other users; content that does not create engagement is buried.

Generate media attention

  • A great way to prove newsworthiness is to show media outlets that thousands or millions of people have responded positively to your brand’s campaign.
  • When contacting a news organization, be sure to prepare a press release that contains all the relevant figures, as well as contact information.

Share novel content

  •  Original, unusual content is remembered, like Apple’s 1984 Super Bowl ad, the ALS Association’s ice-bucket challenge OR KFC’s 11 Herbs and Spices.

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