Paul Haskell, Social Media and Content Marketer at Omaha Steaks, joins the Social Pros Podcast this week to discuss curation versus creation on different platforms, success in visually focused social media platforms, and the culture at a family-owned company.
Read on for some of the highlights and tweetable moments, or listen to the full podcast.
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“My real responsibility is making sure that we’re engaging in a meaningful way.” -@phaskell (tweet this)
The Art of Curation
When Paul joined Omaha Steaks, they already had some of the social channels in place: an Omaha Steaks Facebook page, a scattered Twitter presence, a company blog called Steak Bytes that shared recipes and resources. His job has been to unify them, to put together a cohesive brand voice.
Omaha Steaks now has an active Twitter account, the Facebook page is as popular as ever, and Steak Bytes offers contests and giveaways in addition to recipes and behind-the-scenes looks at the brand. They have also added a Pinterest page and are active on YouTube: all the usual suspects.
Pinterest, Paul says, has been a great platform for curating recipe lists. “We don’t have the infrastructure to be able to keep up with [the demand for recipes.] We’re able to curate recipes from the people who are really, really passionate about food on Pinterest.” They can also then share those recipes across other channels, too.
The visual channels – Facebook and Pinterest, specifically – have been most successful for Omaha Steaks. That means that creating that visual content has been just as important as the copywriting for the blog and social channels.
Omaha Steaks is a family-owned company, which Paul says makes their social success easier. “For a 96-year-old company, fifth generation, family-owned by the Simon family, Omaha Steaks has been really an innovator since the beginning of the business.” This means they have embraced the new social channels and strategies and have been partners in the process.
Instead of putting up roadblocks, the owners are eager to embrace new technologies, new ways of doing things. By making themselves available to Paul’s team, the decision-makers facilitate flexibility for the content marketing strategy, something that is increasingly important in the fast-paced social media world.
Chevrolet and Major League Baseball made a smart move during the World Series that saved them what would have surely been a social media nightmare.
Their 2014 for the Chevy Silverado, in answer to “Ford Tough,” is “Silverado Strong.” The tagline has had a pretty good run, despite its similarity to the “Boston Strong” tagline that emerged in response to the Boston Marathon bombing back in April. The lack of tension was perhaps the Silverado’s tagline was not being used in any Boston-related outlet.
But their plan to promote the Silverado Strong campaign during Game 5 of the World Series was cut short after a negative response on social media to photos of the test run before the game. Officials from Chevrolet and from Major League Baseball, who was co-sponsoring the message, decided last minute to pull the idea, including the video that was intended to play on screens at the stadium.
We are often bringing up examples of brand insensitivity, so it is nice to be able to showcase a moment where a brand made the conscientious decision, rather than the thoughtless one. We would be having an entirely different conversation if they had gone through with the original plan.
Four Your Information
How did you get involved with social media?
Paul’s first job out of college was with the Boys and Girls Club of Midlands in Omaha. “My first boss said, ‘Hey, Paul, you need to figure out what this Web 2.0 thing is. I don’t know what it is, but I think it’s going to be big.'” From there, he started reading everything he could get his hands on, including the MarketingProfs blog, and the rest is history.
What do you like best about social media?
Paul has a cycling blog that allows people to quickly ask him questions and get answers just as fast. “I like how social makes everybody just more approachable.”
What do you like least about social media?
The questionable brand posts (like ones exploiting 9/11) and the snarkiness or negativity that can become prevalent are Paul’s least favorite social media aspects.
See you next week!