Social Media Insights: An interview with Carla Johnson

Social media insight from marketing strategist Carla Johnson.

Ok, as a niche publisher you probably don’t have the budget to become a sponsored pokestop. But you know you need to focus on your social media content strategy and brand storytelling more often. So throughout your work week, in between deadlines and vendor meetings, you might send a couple of random tweets, generate some unrelated posts on Facebook, and round it all out by posting the office cat to Instagram.

Too often the social media plan sounds good but the execution is pretty much hit and miss.

How do you develop a robust strategy that will strengthen your social brand?  We consulted Carla Johnson, a marketing and customer experience strategist, author and speaker, about how to create solid messaging that will reinforce the key action you want your followers to take:

NMHQ: Why is it important to develop one coherent message for each social media channel?

Carla: “The important thing to do is to develop one coherent message…period. Many companies struggle with chaos in their social media channels because they don’t have a clear, concise story to tell to start with. It’s the overarching story that leads to coherence in any social channel. Part of understanding the story is understanding what social channels an audience uses and why. Once you understand what information they’re looking for, it makes it easier to create a consistent experience through any social channel.”

NMHQ: Can you give us a real-world example of how a cohesive strategy strengthened a brand?

Carla: “Ford does a great job on Instagram with its #blueoval hashtag. They encourage fans to share pictures of their favorite pictures of Ford vehicles. By doing this, they’ve been able to create a greater community of fans sharing pictures of what they love. The common theme is Ford vehicles, but they may be classic cars or new pickup trucks. They may be in a spotless garage or just come through a mud run. This strengthens the emotional connection that Ford fans have with the brand and also with each other.”

NMHQ: What trends do you see forming in social media branding? What channels should publishers be on the lookout for?

Carla: “Truly real-time engagement with people on social media is a big trend. Social media is moving fast and if you have any presence on any social platform, you’re expected to keep up. According to Search Engine Watch, 70% of Twitter users expect a response from brands they reach out to and 53% want a response in less than an hour. If there’s a complaint, that number jumps to 72%. When it comes to channels to watch out for, that depends greatly on your audience. Don’t invest in new channels if your audience isn’t there. But do encourage your audience to connect with you across several social channels.”


Editor’s note: To learn more, Carla will be leading the session, Pump Up Your Social! (Social Media on Steroids…) at the Niche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21.



More about Carla:  Carla is Chief Experience Officer for Type A Communications and is also an author, speaker and storyteller. She works with companies to develop frameworks and build teams to tell better stories in order to develop deep relationships with customers and employees, create delightful experiences for audiences and generate top-line revenue. She’s been recognized as one of the top content and marketers business-to-business marketers.


Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Check out the Niche Digital Conference in Denver, Sept. 19-21!

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