What will social cook up next? Q&A with Socialbakers’ James Lubbock

Social / August 2016

Darren Gallagher

Darren is the Marketing Manager of Organic. You'll normally find him blabbing on about marketing strategy or the importance of a strong sales funnel. Follow him at @DarrenGallagher

#TheSocialStandard event was an event we held on Tuesday 26th July. Through a series of presentations and a panel discussion, #TheSocialStandard shed light on the most critical emergent trends in social.

Amongst the panellists at the event, held at The Rooms in Browns on St Martins Lane, was James Lubbock, Strategic Client Director UK and Ireland at Socialbakers.

We got in touch with James to find out what stood out for him.

(Organic) How did you find the event?

(James) I thought it offered a clear, up to date and informative view on the current state of social media marketing. It was also encouraging that there was very little jargon used, something that many events have been guilty of in the past. There was balanced mix of industry professionals from across verticals which added an element of expertise to cap off an enjoyable, insightful social media day event.

What was the most important outcome of the panel discussion, in your opinion?

I think the focus for our industry professionals on developing their social customer service proposition is significant given the trends we’re seeing in our own Socialbakers data. Consumers are increasingly going to social as a first touchpoint when they want to contact brands. That’s big.

Couple that with the added opportunity of developing a revenue stream that brands can potentially tap into during the customer service journey through the additional data they’ll have at their disposal of each customer, and this area of social suddenly becomes critical for many brands in the coming year.

Which of the near-future trends and developments in social that were discussed during #TheSocialStandard have the biggest implications for how success is measured?

I’d say VR has interesting implications for driving additional purchase behaviour, in that it could potentially be used to offer innovative ways in which to promote products through immersive social VR networks. This could then be directly attributable to revenue for the brand.

Also, as more budget is attributed to a brand’s social customer service proposition as a result of the trends I mention in my previous point, we can expect to more easily measure cost saving for a brand’s customer service in its entirety, through better efficiencies and technological developments, such as increasingly sophisticated chatbots. And then of course there are the cross/upsell opportunities that I touched upon above too.

Which developments would you advise organisations to get to grips with most urgently?

I’d say it’s always important to get back to basics as a first step and assess your content strategy – how well does it really align with your overall marketing objectives, how effective is it being, and do you have a clear social channel strategy, with each network having its own defined objectives?

Apart from the obvious one of social service, a focus on how they can best articulate the value of social internally within their organisation is always key and every tool in the box should be utilised – analytics needs to be central to this.

Finally, the rise of chat apps is becoming critical to brands with a younger target demographic. I would therefore recommend brands to explore what’s possible and how these relatively new networks can be used by brands to interact with their consumers in new and innovative ways.

Many thanks to James for sharing his expertise at #TheSocialStandard and for answering our questions.

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