Interview with Hania Hoss, where she talks about all things digital and social media
Hania ElSolh Hoss is a social and digital media manager based out of Dubai. She has been associated with the world’s most sought after brands such as Nike, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Crocs. During her free time, she develops mobile applications for small business. She also runs a social and digital media blog on www.Loyaltypro.Info. Follow her on Twitter @LoyaltyProCo
We at Arabian Gazette had a chance to interview Hania and get her insights on the digital media landscape, latest trend, and what you should do and not do on social media.
Tell us a bit about your career path
My association with social media started in 2011 and my first big break was as a social media manager at Nike Middle East. Working with the Nike team here and abroad was the best learning experience anyone could ask for: they are innovative, structured and their campaigns get people talking. The most important lesson that I learnt from Nike is that having brand guidelines is imperative for good social marketing. One example is the use of images: we always share beautiful, captivating and carefully shot pictures to tell the brand story and to inspire. Brand guidelines also help in keeping content consistent across all regions. For example, the content and images we share here in the Middle East is just as good as Nike Japan, Nike Australia and Nike Brazil.
What is your typical day like?
As a social media manager, my day begins with listening. I use social media monitoring tools to track conversations happening around topic pertaining to the industry I’m handling. This is so vital for social media success for many reasons.
Monitoring conversations helps you discover problems your target market has. You can then position your product or service as the solution. Solving people’s problems is the best way to create a profitable business.
Monitoring also helps you identify where your customers and your competitors are hanging out. Where is the discussion happening? Which social media platform? What blog? What forum? What groups? When you identify where your potential customers are getting their information, you can target them more efficiently.
Monitoring makes spying on your competition (legally), easy! You can then turn their disgruntled customers into your happy ones.
It further assists you in identifying key influencers who have a high social ranking and authority. When you reach out to these influencers, they are more likely to share your product or service with their huge fan base. Influencer marketing yields great profits and monitoring helps you get started.
Monitoring can give you access to a wealth of content which you can re-share. Relevant content positions you or your brand as an expert. When you’re an expert, people listen (and more importantly, people buy!)
Another important daily routine is creating and curating content. That takes up a bulk of my time. Every post is designed to be engaging and click-worthy. I don’t post for the sake of posting, but to inspire my fan base and add value to their lives. So many companies in the region share content that doesn’t do anything: no call to action and no strategy. Every post should have an objective, a measurable and simple one.
What does your work dashboard look like?
I use paid social media analytics tools (my favorite is SimplyMeasured.com) to track engagement, consumption (clicks, video views…etc) and most importantly ROI. Analysis helps you understand what content worked best, but more importantly it tells you if your social efforts yielded actual sales, sign ups or subscriptions. It’s important for any social media manager to demonstrate results.
What are the latest trends in the Social Media marketing scene globally and here in the Middle East?
The latest trend is remarketing on Facebook. It’s called custom audiences and it’s amazing! It allows brands and companies to re-target people who visited the site but didn’t convert. This helps the company market to the exact people that were interested in the product / service, rather than targeting people based on their interests. Another trend is advertising on Instagram. While the actual effectiveness hasn’t been demonstrated since they just launched their ad platform, I have a feeling it will be extremely successful, but only if done right. If you spam on Instagram you will annoy users and will waste your money.
How do you maintain your work-life balance?
Being a social media manager is a 24/7 job. Your audience doesn’t stick to your 9 – 5 timing. Some companies have events that start late (like music festivals) or start super early (like sporting events) and we have to be there, monitoring social media. It’s not a 9-5, it’s 24/7. The best way to make sure you aren’t neglecting your audience is to always be connected via your mobile phone. Being structured and organized and creating reply templates helps a lot!
Any other interesting news/views/trends that you want to share with our readers
Social media is used to connect to your audience, not to shout marketing messages at them. You have to create content that is both engaging and share-worthy, which is a difficult task. That’s why A/B split testing is vital for success. Find out what your fans like and give them more of it, however, you have to make sure it always leads back to them clicking and buying. Another problem I see companies do is sharing the same content across all channels. That’s a huge no-no. For example, Instagram is used by a younger audience while Facebook is for older people. Those target groups have different tastes, meaning content has to be different.
It’s hard – however, if you have a clear strategy and a good content plan, it should be a great marketing tool for any business.
Here’s another no-no: being constantly professional, pushing your product or service down people’s throat because hey! It’s your Facebook or Instagram page and you can do whatever you please!