Updated: Jul 13, 2022
✦ Tessa Kutscher and Anna McAfee bring two ideas of what social media can really do that can take you from Marketing 101 to Marketing Specialist.
We think of social media as something businesses can use to reach out to customers. It makes you visible, you can share your story, it tells people you exist.
That's Marketing 101. Social media actually has a much more powerful potential than just that.
Tessa Kutscher and Anna McAfee use social media to:
Tessa Kutscher is Corporate Affairs Advisor of Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX:BSX). As Corporate Affairs Advisor, Tessa's job is mainly to 'keep Blackstone in people's faces', looking after Managing Director Scott Williams and the team in terms of keeping the company up and running, and engaging with investors and shareholders.
A big part of her role is the social media side of things and how they use social media to keep in touch with their shareholders to get the news flow out. It is a way to make sure the Blackstone story is understood and is getting out there. For her company, social media does the incredible job of educating.
Anna McAfee is a Community Curator, Educator and LinkedIn Trainer and Consultant for companies who want to establish their LinkedIn company page. She is bringing the idea of social media, specifically LinkedIn, as a means of bridging diversity. She wrote a book called ‘How a Hashtag Changed the World’, sharing the lessons for building user communities, activating local ambassadors, and how we can view social media as a tool to embrace diversity and bridge the human connection gap in a post pandemic world when we are able to gather again.
Branding is important for Blackstone Minerals Limited. This is so, even for a company in the mining resources industry, which is not traditionally a sector that is so big on social media.
Blackstone is highly prevalent on social media with an incredibly high visibility across social platforms. It makes its Managing Director Scott Williamson very 'seen'.
Blackstone educates the market using social media, and helps them understand the company's story better, making a complex story digestible and engaging.
Tessa focuses on the narrative the business wants to be told over the stages they are going through. This can start from scoping study to pre-visibility study, downstream and upstream, to DFS to getting a mine back into operation.
One cannot assume the market understands the story the same way as the business itself does. One has to think about how to educate the market, what story to tell around the milestones, and how they can help with understanding the company's story better.
Social Media is Where People Congregate
Truth is, people nowadays congregate around Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms. During the Middle Ages we could get the latest news and gossip in the market place. In the 21st century, people turn to different social media channels. Even in the mining industry, these social platforms are just as busy with news flows, people on chats talking about stocks and exchanging knowledge. Investors can get insights from these platforms so they are also a valuable source of information. They can get information from the ASX of course, but Twitter can also become a major investor forum or shareholder forum.
People are on Twitter sharing their insights about stocks. It is not unlike the old days when people had their water cooler chats in the mornings discussing various issues. Now it happens on Twitter and not in the office pantry. There is something about getting insights from colleagues and friends and not from professionals that is driving the Twitter exchanges. People are actually happy to share knowledge on Twitter and that is something that is really having extensive outreach. It gets people talking and commenting and even a simple exercise like posting a poll asking people what is their top five uranium stocks this week and it gets people engaged.
Social media is allowing a real interaction with shareholders. It is about bringing different expertise to the social media platforms and communicating with the audience. Even the example of the poll creates a sense of sincerity and that is actually part of branding. It is about creating your company's profile. What does the audience associate with your brand through these posts?
LinkedIn is good for personal branding and connecting with stakeholders
It is not by accident that the first thing people see on Blackstone's LinkedIn is Mr Williamson's face. It is good branding in the sense that everyone knows him. It helps that he does a lot of interviews such as Coffee with Samso and Rooster Talks on the Samso platform with its CEO, Noel Ong. That is why it is important that his face is out there. It is his company after all, he stands behind it, he believes in it and it gives shareholders a certain security that this is a good project. The man behind it is highly visible, there is no hiding. He talks openly and is very present with what is happening with the company.
Twitter is for People to Talk about You
For Blackstone, Twitter has gotten increasingly interesting, especially after the company's downstream PFS. After it was released, people were looking at Blackstone differently. Because people understand more, they become more interested. They are taken to the next stage of their journey with the company and they can see there is a project or development. It gets people talking about the stock on Twitter and it has become an amazing platform of people sharing their knowledge about Blackstone.
One could almost say it is like a free investor relations tool because that is exactly what Blackstone wants - to interact with people and they also want people to educate each other about the stock. That has been picking up over the last three months. Blackstone is putting more focus on Twitter at the moment because of this.
What is interesting is Tessa's use of the word 'educate'. For Blackstone, social media is not so much about telling everyone about the company. It is more about educating. That is one reason why Blackstone's interviews on Coffee with Samso and Rooster Talk on the Samso platform have worked so well. It is a way of explaining things to investors out there. They are curious, they are interested and they want to know why the company is doing what it does.
Blackstone's social media strategy distinguishes itself in this way. It is a different strategy to the usual social media way of getting the word out there. Sometimes it helps to put oneself in the shoes of the potential customer, or investor in this case, and look at the thoughts that come up - if I were an investor, I would be thinking how do I invest in stocks, what do I find interesting?
It Started with a Hashtag
Anna McAfee's story is a very different one. It started on her kitchen table.
So whether you are deep in the mines or at a typical kitchen table, social media plays a role. And for Anna, what happened at her kitchen table grew to become a global movement.
This is the story of the hashtag called #LinkedInLocal.
We know hashtags on Instagram, but this one was not born there. It became a social movement that stunned its followers.
The Speed of Social Media
In June 2017, Anna was in Coffs Harbour, Australia when she started a local meetup, hashtaging it #LinkedInLocal.
It was anything but local.
Within hours, her post had reached Erik Eklund in Brussels, Alexandra Galviz in London and Swish Goswami in NYC. They were all people who had followed Anna's lead.
And that was just the beginning. It continued to sweep through 650 cities in 92 countries in less than two years. Anna's #LinkedInLocal movement has since supported over 300,000 humans - it is living proof that you do not have to be the top dog to find connections that are interested and willing to work with you.
What is #LinkedInLocal?
So now the question is… what exactly is this hashtag #LinkedInLocal?
It is a simple request that you down your sales pitch and embrace the people who live on your doorstep for who they are instead of their often perfect-looking or perfect-sounding LinkedIn profile.
Some may find it unbelievable or even ridiculous, but Anna and the other co-founders were steadfast in their values and they responded, providing the much-needed support, encouragement and enthusiasm that has led to making this a truly global movement that embraces authenticity and freedom.
The REAL Person Behind a LinkedIn Account
What happened was LinkedIn users started to create a grassroots global user community united by the simple purpose of getting to know the people behind the LinkedIn profiles. This is not about stripping people of their disguise. It is a need to create authentic connection in a hyper digital world.
Perhaps what Anna did not expect was how vast this movement would become. Its outreach is extensive. It was clearly creating an impact not only on careers but also on fostering a sense of belonging. It shows how the efforts of a little group of thoughtful human beings can actually unite communities across the planet and use social media for good.
Let's face it - while in the marketing arena we know we need social media, it has also unfortunately garnered quite a list of negative connotations. And what Anna has done here has given social media an opportunity to do good.
It was such a mindblowing event that Anna even co-authored a book about it, ‘How a Hashtag Changed the World’, sharing over 50 human stories of authentic connections, profound career change and social impact at a local and global level. The authors came together to share their view of social media in the future as a powerful tool to not just create any kind of connections, but to create genuine connections that embrace diversity and help people to move forward in a post pandemic world.
Though this #LinkedInLocal initiative, Anna has harnessed the strategies one needs to create an authentically human online profile. As the world gets increasingly digital, all the more we need to nurture and appreciate what is authentically human.
LinkedIn Steps In
In March 2019, LinkedIn took on the baton and, while its value system has been watered down with the release of its guidance terms, it continues in individual cities across the world.
The pandemic has caused many activities and events that can be moved to the digital space, and new online gatherings have emerged as well. With lockdowns relaxing around the world, some are now back in person or supporting their networks locally in a different way.
With Tessa and Anna, it is clear that regardless of your industry, the type of company or the scale of what you are doing, how you use social media is what counts - is it going to be a bad master or a good servant? For Tessa, social media is an invitation to people to participate in Blackstone's story and journey, where everyone learns something along the way. Anna believes in building communities as part of enhancing a brand. There is something good to be milked out of an increasingly digital world where social media is a necessary part of growing a business.
Keeping Up with Social Media Trends 2022
By this time your head is probably excitedly buzzing with ideas on how to boost your brand and enhance its visibility and engage more deeply with customers. Remember, the social media world is a fast changing one as well, so it pays to keep up with the latest trends and know what's making heads turn.
Here are the top social media trends of 2022 from Hootsuite, and it is well-worth taking a look to see which of these trends can help give your business a boost.
The Brand Strategy Trend - Brands finally get community right with the help of creators
The Social Advertising Trend - Marketers get creative as consumers wise up to social ads
The ROI Trend - Social quietly matures beyond the marketing department
The Social Commerce Trend - Social becomes the heart of the post-pandemic shopping experience
The Customer Care Trend - Social marketers save their brands from the customer service apocalypse
Watch the video here about the top social trends of 2022.
So, what will your social media values and strategies be for this new year? Try it - grow your business, and make a difference in your industry or the world while you are at it.
For more information on how social media can help you in your business, contact Vermilion Pinstripes.
About Vermilion Pinstripes
"Vermilion Pinstripes' purpose is to create Happy Businesses"
Vermilion Pinstripes is an international modern sales marketing and communications agency based in Australia, Singapore and Canada, driven by a singular mission:
To help businesses thrive with confidence.
As the creator of growth, we harness the power of our collective expertise in business, communications, marketing and technology to help brands deliver definite business results. This is through our Modern Marketing Framework ™ which guides teams to Sell Without Selling by orchestrating the customer’s journey as one voice, one brand. We are operating in The Experience Economy today. Vermilion Pinstripes Modern Marketing Framework™ empowers small business owners, experienced B2B business, marketing and communications professionals on their journeys of growth for their brands, while delivering definite business outcomes. Sales offices:
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