Written by Raquel Herrera.

Social Media isn’t something you can just learn one day and then apply that knowledge for ten years. Perhaps, this is the sector in which trends and services have the smallest lifespan, so one has to be always ahead of things.

This is why last week had the pleasure to attend the meetup organized by HootSuite about Social Trends and Digital Transformation, hosted by Penny Wilson, the CMO of the company. The talk took place in the Melià Sarrià Hotel, here in our beautiful and sunny Barcelona. HootSuite is the most popular social media management tool in the world, so we couldn’t miss the chance to hear their vision about this topic and soak up the knowledge from professionals of our sector!  

The talks were focused on how social media is evolving nowadays and which are the best practices, based on success stories by the hand of renowned companies. The profiles were very varied: an intermediary company (Hootsuite), a commercial brand (Melià Hotels) and a public institution (Ajuntament de Barcelona). Among all the things discussed, I would like to highlight the keys to understand the important role of evolution in social media:

Penny Wilson – CMO at Hootsuite (@hootpenny)

Penny Wilson started the event introducing the two new products that HootSuite has recently launched to optimize the performance of the company’s social media activity. HootSuite Ads is a tool that saves time in ads management and connects organic and paid to centralize the processes. LiftMetrix is an business intelligence tool that will turn raw data into specific ROI metrics and recommendations. Decisions must be taken based on data and not just opinions.

Romina Galetto – Social Media at HootSuite (@romina_galetto)

Romina spoke about a concept that is not always given the importance it deserves: the employee as the most valuable asset of a brand. If our employees don’t believe in it, who is going to do it? Imagine that each employee share your content: it will multiply the potential audience. Employee Advocacy programs are becoming more popular nowadays to improve the internal brand awareness, however we still have a lot to learn!

Santiago Solimei – Social Media Director at Melià Hotels International (@ssolimei)

Santiago shared with us how they manage the digital presence and brand positioning for each of their many services. Every product has a different audience, therefore they must have an specific digital strategy. He also explained the challenges they had to deal with to control and coordinate the social media activity from all over the world. He wanted to stress that having a social media manager per office is soon not going to be enough. “In the future, each department of multinationals will have a specialist in Social Media. It won’t be an isolated department anymore. It will be a transversal one”.

Cristina Ribas – Digital Communication at Ajuntament de Barcelona (@cristinaribas)

Cristina explained the new social media strategy of Barcelona’s city hall, which is based on 2 pillars: being transparent towards the citizens and building a relationship with the small communities. That’s it, finding where they are and addressing them through these channels. They don’t enter the community to dominate the conversation but to be an active part of it. This way, the communication will be multidirectional and the chances to be heard will be higher. She also made a very interesting reflection on how sometimes, closing channels is the best strategy of communication: if you can’t control all your social media accounts or there’s just duplicities, you are wasting resources and losing focus.

During the round of questions, we also discussed the role of the social media specialist as a customer service agent: Where does one end and the other start? Does a social media specialist have to deal with customer complaints or just act as an intermediate? Is it necessary to have a social media specialist in every department to resolve doubts and inquiries? If one thing is for sure, there’s nothing written in social media and every day is a new challenge. We will see what the future holds for us!