PALS Social Climbing | Stepping up your social media skills

Last year one video, amongst many others, went viral on social media platforms. The clip was of a kayaker drifting quietly just off the coast of New Zealand, when a seal burst out of the water and slapped him in the face with an octopus. Social media exploded with people’s reactions. As it happens, GoPro was the sponsor behind the clip and needless to say how much that one piece of content boosted the brand’s image.

Now we might not all have the luck of such serendipitous content, so how do we get a bang for our buck from our social media channels whether we’re promoting our brand, our business or simply ourselves? How do you cut through’ the noise effectively and efficiently? And what can we learn from one another? 

This was the premise of our PALS Social Climbing workshop on Wednesday 16th October at one of our favourite locations, The Forge.

To shed some light on this and drawing from their experience, Home’s very own social media wizard and star designer Kerry Wheeler joined us alongside Rob Ashwell from PR Evaluation, a mastermind in campaign analysis and effectiveness.

Kerry shared with us the journey she has been with her agency in building its brand profile on social media, emphasising the importance of starting with a clear ambition in mind before anything else. Then plan, plan and plan some more; ensuring you know your audience and how they interact with each social platform so you can engage with them get in a relevant and meaningful way. But don’t take such a grand task on your shoulders, make sure you share the load with those around you.

Kerry Wheeler

Rob took a more analytical approach, going behind the curtains of social content to explore what works and what doesn’t in a campaign by looking at a mix of metrics. He turned what may seem an intimidating task for novices into an easy and friendly way to break down content planning. 

In smaller groups, the conversation heat levels went up instantly. Questions, ideas, suggestions and stories from own experience quickly started to fill up the air. With people coming from all walks of life, some looking to learn the ropes of building a social profile, others already mastering it by having more than 11k people following, the session left (almost) no stone unturned.

What became clear immediately is that there is no one-size-fits-all framework for everyone. But there are some key questions, principles and tools that everyone can use to find the best way that works for them. You had to be there to take it all in, so we’ve captured some key takeouts to sum it up:

1. Always begin with the end — what is it you want to achieve?
2. Understand your audience and what makes them tick
3. Learn from others — look at competitors or those you admire
4. Plan ahead so you can see the journey and be ready to adapt
5. Choose your channels wisely — understand where your audience is and how to engage with them 
6. Bring others along to support and grow your work
7. Content is king / queen so invest time
8. Look at the data to always improve your strategy
9. Find the trends & patterns in what works for you
10. Create a mix of content (from evergreen, campaign, news & reactive, and conversational)


Next month, we will be talking about Creative Copywriting and looking at the power of words to bring a good strategy to life, tell memorable stories and create content that grabs the eye and heart alike. Join us on the 20th November at The Forge for another inspiring and thought-provoking session alongside peers from the SW creative community. Tickets are available here.