Alex Sass is the CEO of Oregon Technology Ltd, a UK based social media data firm. He manages social media campaigns for his clients, and uses his own software to develop the best strategy for them, including PostDiva, which he launched last month.
Alex created PostDiva to use AI technology to select content that is likely to be enjoyed by the audience that is reached by a brand. It is designed to make it much easier for the managers of social media accounts to post popular content that conforms with their brand persona.
He has been involved in social media management for a long time now, and has noticed evolving trends in the tools that are used to try and help companies grow through their use of various platforms.
Alex explains a bit about being a social media manager and the tools he uses.
What’s the hardest part of being a social media manager?
Apart from finding the gig in the first place in a field where everyone claims to be a guru, the hardest part of the working day is finding content that will really engage your audience. At times you’ll be managing multiple brands or even several product categories within one brand.
Each one has an audience with unique qualities and you learn to predict how they’ll react to your posts. This is less of an issue on Twitter, where conversations can be more topic focused, but on Facebook you need to create a lengthy narrative over time as well as present opinions about topical issues.
It doesn’t matter if I’m working for a global firm or a start-up, investigating how the audience will react, what they desire, how I need to come across and then filling the social media diary to tell my story as part of their world, is the overall goal.
What tools do you use?
Personally I use multiple commercially available tools as well as several I’ve developed myself over the decades. I’m an old hat at this so some processes I use have been refined as I re-use them and I offer those to other social media managers too.
For example, I often use Hootsuite or Buffer for scheduling and my own tool, PostDiva.com to find the right content for any audience. PostDiva was created to save me hours of content research. It took my team a few months to build but we already had the data to power it, having spent a long time looking at millions of posts.
Plus, it’s become a very simple way to produce an audience persona with a few clicks. That sort of thing used to take weeks or months and cost a great deal of consultancy budget. It’s easy now.
What is an audience persona?
It’s not a new word in marketing but it’s something social media might not be used to. An audience or brand persona is the result of a curated study of the voice, personality, attributes, demographics and values of a group of people.
It’s the “human version” of a brand. It’s both a map of a target market and a visual way of identifying who you’re talking to. PostDiva.com creates personas by comparing your brand/audience to 30 major studies and combining them into something unique.
How does Artificial Intelligence help you?
I’ve used AI in many ways over the past few years. My first AI project was PostMood.com, a tool to measure happiness. It helped people understand how they come across online and how their emotions change over time.
From this, PostDiva.com used aggregate data (don’t worry, no IDs or Facebook Posts!) to form re-usable audience personas. Now we also use AI to scan through thousands of emerging stories out there, from blogs and news websites, to find content that will work well for our customers.
It’s all automated, leaving me to focus on really understanding the voice of my client.
What’s the best bit of being a social media manager?
Location, location, location. For the first ten years I lived and worked in London. I had to, at the time, to establish my name and meet clients in person. It was an emerging industry and people needed to bond in person and have what I could do for them explained in detail.
Now, I can work anywhere. My tools and my consultancy work are almost entirely online. Everything from my accounting, to my actual work flow and my communication with colleagues happens in the cloud.
Recently I moved to the Canary Islands simply for the lovely lifestyle, without denting my ability to do the job. Although, that said, the WiFi is more expensive here!