24th October 2016

Social Media Strategy and Learning to Surf

Polhu beach surfing

In Nazare, Portugal, November 2011, a Hawaiian big-wave surfer named Grant McNamara was towed into what the Guinness Book of Records considered to be the biggest wave ever ridden. Even with jet skis on standby and as much safety gear as it’s possible to wear while riding down the face of a wave the size of a six-storey building, McNamara risked being held under and drowned, or being smashed unconscious into the ocean floor, if he fell off this monstrous swell.

But his supreme skill as a waterman, innovator of tow-in surfing and his decades of experience, riding big waves all around the world, meant that not only did he survive to tell the tale, but he went on to ride even bigger waves.

Now, why are we talking about surfing in a blog post about visual-led social media strategy? Well, first of all, because we think it’s pretty cool!

But, more importantly, because we think that learning to surf is a bit like learning to do social media strategy. Everyone can see what the end result is: a mind-blowing ride on an enormous ocean wave, or thousands of active, engaged followers who evangelise your brand – and everyone can intuitively feel what an amazing thing that would be. But how do you get to that point?

You can’t just walk out into the sea and hope that, through luck or some kind of inherent skill, you’ll be able to ride a huge, powerful wave; it takes years of training. And, equally, you can’t just set up a social media account, on whatever platform springs to mind, randomly start sending out messages – and expect to be successful.

But that’s exactly what most businesses do!

Untitled photo

Learning to Surf

So, what we at Flapjack Digital Media want to do is teach your business how to surf – how to catch and ride the wave of social media engagement with your brand.

And the way we do that is by providing strategically thought out answers to questions like: which platform has the right blend of user demographics that suit your brand? How often should you post? What should you post? What should you be blogging and how often? How does this fit in with your search engine optimisation strategy?

And, while our success stories (link) mean that we can offer strategic and experience-based answers to these questions, we also have sophisticated software that allows us to keep tracking and evaluating the performance of those answers in a powerful, real-time way, both day to day and longer-term as the different social media platforms evolve.

Social Media Strategy: Why we’re Visual-First

We’re not the only people out there who’ll tell you that they can fix your social media strategy. But, what’s unique about us at FDM, is that we are the only people who approach things from a visual-led perspective. Our photographic and video background means that we’re experts in creating original, eye-catching, professional-standard imagery – and this gives us a key edge over our competitors when it comes to developing your social media strategy.

Twitter’s own statistics show that posts containing video or images receive a 28% and 35% boost in user engagement, respectively – compared to just 16% for hashtags and 19% for quotes. And that’s on a primarily text-based social media platform! Imagine what that means for a visually-led platform like Instagram, where brands achieve 80 times greater engagement with their followers than on Twitter.

To put it in basic terms, when it comes to social media, visual is both King and Queen.

Visual should be the absolute centrepiece of your social media strategy – and that’s why we set up Flapjack Digital Media, with the aim of revolutionising social media strategy, by using a visual-led approach.

It’s what we call our Visual-First Social Media Strategy. And it’s how we put the chocolate chip into your brand.

Now that doesn’t mean that we overlook the importance of the written word – after all, blog writing is still a vital part of any social media strategy – but it does mean that we have an intuitive understanding of creating the kind of visual images and video for social media use, that your followers won’t just enjoy looking at – but will feel compelled to share and promote.

And that is the Garrett McNamara big wave surfing of social media strategy.

Polhu beach surfing
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