Bastion Amplify strengthens social team with new hires
Bastion Amplify is expanding its social media offering with the hire of three senior industry specialists, Nicola Swankie, Katy Andrews and Nel Wolf, who will lead continued growth of the independent agency.
With a strong agency pedigree across Australia and the United Kingdom, including time leading social at Leo Burnett, SOCiETY for Mediabrands and Haystac, Nicola has been appointed Group Business Director – Social.
Nicola will manage a fast-growing team of social experts while providing ongoing strategic direction for the business and covering General Manager of Social, Shirley Tat’s role while on maternity leave.
Nicola is passionate about insight-led strategy driving client performance, using digital to drive brands forward as well as taking global trends and applying them to a local context.
Coming from client-side, Katy joins the team as Business Director – Social and will spearhead Amplify’s activity across Microsoft and Xbox. Integrating closely with our specialist business units she will strengthen an already solid track record top tier projects well as providing insightful, strategic guidance and stewardship to solidify Microsoft’s leadership in technology and gaming.
Meanwhile Nel Wolf joins the team as Senior Account Director – Social overseeing Amplify’s work for Xbox, which has included incredible integrated social and experiential campaigns including dropping a car from a plan to promote Forza Horizon 5.
These hires come as the social offering at Bastion Amplify goes from strength to strength. As well as being Microsoft and Xbox’s retained social agency, the business has secured an impressive slate of clients including Harris Scarfe and Toll Ambulance and Rescue.
In addition to the existing client portfolio, Bastion Amplify has won the social business for Sydney Metro Airports, Swedish camping brand Dometic and the world’s fastest growing food technology company NotCo in recent months.
Bastion Amplify CEO Richard Chapman said these senior hires demonstrate Amplify’s leadership as a competitive social agency.
“As our social offering has grown over the past three and a half years, we’ve been delighted to see our team consistently grow. It is a testament to the work we are winning that we are bringing these three extremely talented specialists in to continue to chart this path,” said Chapman.
“Katy, Nicola and Nel are aligned in our goal of making Amplify the market-leading integrated PR and social offering in Australia and we’re focused on seizing on our rapid growth to create a multi-faceted, future-facing Bastion Amplify.”
Nicola joins Amplify from Haystac where she led Social for the agency and the broader Dentsu group. Prior, she held numerous directorial and Head-of roles across Social Strategy, Creative & Content at agencies such as The Remarkables, Mediabrands, Leo Burnett, TCO, McCannn and Y&R.
“I am so excited to be joining the team at Bastion Amplify and the broader Bastion group of agencies at a time where Social is evolving at a rapid rate. It truly has become the connective tissue across integrated marketing and a growing part of our clients’ investments rich with creative opportunity,” she said.
Katy joins Amplify from five years at Activision Blizzard leading marketing and driving commercial results for their Call of Duty product across APAC and later ANZ. Prior to this Katy worked to launch Xbox One at Microsoft as well as working across a range of agency roles at Soap Creative (now Dentsu) and Liquid Interactive working on Pixar and Disney.
Nel previously led social at Essence where she drove results for clients including Salesforce, JLL and Nutrien AG, previously also working at Circul8 and 1000Heads.
How to craft social copy
When you hear the term copy, what first comes to mind? It may come as no surprise that copy is everything, ingrained in almost everything we do on a day-to-day basis.
You might hear some refer to ‘good’ copy, and harp on about its importance in marketing materials. This is because put simply, good copy sells. It tells the reader a story, pulls on their emotions and inspires them.
Copy is more than just a tool to accompany products, it is a vehicle to evoke action. Brands need to engage audiences with content to drive recall, make a mark and stand out. This can be done by creating succinct, informative and topical copy that speaks to the target audience, steering clear from clickbait tactics and convoluted language, which can leave the reader confused and uninspired.
Over time, copy also allows you to build a brand personality. This clear brand voice provides a sense of authenticity and builds long-lasting relationships with your following, driving brand loyalty.
We’ve pulled together some key tips on how to make copy sing whether you’re writing for your own LinkedIn to stand out in the market, or building a brand on social media.
4 tips for writing better social copy
- Write within length guidelines
In social copy, less is more. Just because the maximum character limit on Twitter is 280, doesn’t mean you have to use every single one of them up. Typically, the ideal character limit for each platform is the amount of text you can get away with without your copy becoming truncated (ie. having to click on ‘see more’). Why go to all the effort of crafting some great copy when your audience might not even see half of it if it’s too long? If you’re stuck on what the ideal character limit is for the platform you’re creating on, a quick google goes a long way.
2. Write for your platform and audience
Each platform has its own unique audience that influences how you should speak to them – for example, your tone should be much more professional and informative on LinkedIn, compared to being conversational and cheeky on Instagram.
Writing for your audience is also important because how you speak to them influences their relationship with your brand. If your key audience is 18–25-year-old males and the tone in your copy is that of an authoritative (and dare I say, boring) old person, the audience won’t respond well to your message. If your copy sounded as if you really were an 18–25-year-old then the messaging would generally be received much better.
3. Be topical
Social media never stays still. It ebbs and flows, which is why your subject matter and copy need to move along with it.
One trick to sounding relevant but being prepared is starting by planning content around the reoccurring ‘International X Day’s relevant to your brand. Here you can pre-plan and join the conversation.
Another way of being topical is to always have your radar up on what people are saying. There are a range of social tools that enable you to look at the conversations happening online so you can jump in before the moment is gone. Twitter’s trending feed or looking at hashtags are other great ways to do this.
4. Maintain a consistent tone of voice
Your audience’s relationship with your brand is built on trust – trust that your brand is what you say it is. If you’re a new-age tech start-up and you want to differentiate yourself from the big and serious players in tech, then having a light-hearted and even cheeky tone of voice can work in your favour. The key is maintaining that tone of voice over time. If you’re posting memes in one post and then in the next, you’re having a serious discussion about regulation then that will only confuse your readers.
And that’s it. There’s no one way to write good social copy – but practice does make perfect. The more you write for different platforms and audiences, the better you’ll be – so get writing!
Three trends to watch on social media
There are few things evolving and changing as fast as social media. We take a look at three trends it’s worth keeping an eye on.
Social community driving Social commerce
Pre pandemic, social commerce was simply a new opportunity only being tested out by some of the biggest and most innovative retail companies.
But as we plunged into lockdowns, shopping online and on social quickly became a way of life. In Australia alone, we saw a 700% increase in social media shopping, with social media platforms becoming the most important platform for brand discovery.
According to one publisher, Instagram and Snapchat are taking the lead in generating sales from Gen Z, as they are spending 2x more shopping on social channels than an average consumer. Gen X, on the other hand, is inclined to Facebook.
As a result we have seen some new and exciting shopping tools emerge including Livestream shopping, Instagram Drops and Tiktok Shopping.
For brands and companies, the key to nailing this trend is identifying the functions and tools available on the platforms on which you operate. Experiment and learn what works best for your audience and what they are most receptive to in order to create a seamless online shopping experience.
Consumers crave snackable content
Possibly one of the biggest social trends that we will expect to see this year is the desire for short form, “snackable content.”
As social media attention spans continue to shrink and digital fatigue becomes even more prevalent, snackable content is increasingly becoming a more important format for storytelling in digital communications.
By far one of the most important things for brands is learning how to leverage short form video to tell your story. Whether it be TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Pinterest Idea Pins, or even Google Web Stories, being able to create engaging short-form videos that last between 15 to 60 seconds will be critical to obtaining visibility in the news feeds of almost every social network.
AR and the Metaverse
We couldn’t talk about the biggest trends of the year, without mentioning AR and the Metaverse. 2022 will see the increase of AR used, particularly in the social commerce space, whilst the metaverse will become more concrete as it pushes the boundaries on innovative experiences.
Seamlessly integrated augmented reality is already a part of many social media users’ online experiences; however, we now see AR technology being used more frequently to enhance and bring to life more immersive shopping experiences. From visualising how a pair of sunglasses look through a Snapchat filter, to seeing how an outfit suits a Prada handbag on Instagram, AR is quickly becoming the future of shopping. From Nike to Ikea, Urban Decay and Lancome, these brands are quickly paving the way for the future of the online shopping experience and connecting and engaging earlier with their younger target audience through the use of AR on social media. More info HERE
Facebook –> Meta quickly became one of the biggest memes of 2021, however in 2022, the notion of the Metaverse is going to become more tangible as innovative companies and organisations look for ways to enhance digital experiences. The Metaverse promises to create more realistic and therefore more productive, immersive meetings made possible with 3D virtual reality headsets.
In the consumer space Fortnite has long operated within this digital space, hosting live concerts and experiences which could be enjoyed virtually from the comfort of your home. We are now seeing more traditional retailers are following suit, with Nike, Gucci, Balenciaga and Luis Vuitton exploring commerce within this space.
The biggest things to consider to excel in this space is how AR can be utilised within social commerce and how events and experiences can pivot into this digital world.
How brands can leverage digital communities
When you picture a digital community maybe Sims comes up or some other digital avatar style community where you get to be the sickest, baddest version of yourself.
That’s not what we’re talking about.
Digital communities offer huge opportunities for brands wanting to drive influence through audience segments, perhaps to launch a product, change a perception or drive sales. And they’re not virtual.
Most of us are members of a digital community – if you’re a fan of Peloton you might be one of their 460,000 Official Peloton Facebook group members, if you like surfing you might be part of the 25,000 strong OMBE Surf Hacks movement on Facebook.
These digital communities bring people together with a common interest and have never been more active or more impactful on our daily lives than they are now. And nowhere are these communities being created—and catered to—more than on social media.
They present opportunities for brands to partner with influencers within these already established groups and sometimes quite niche groups, rather than having to establish them from the ground up on their own.
The keys to nailing this are threefold:
- Find the platform your community is most active on and understand how they communicate with one another
- Find the influencers/ambassadors within these communities and identify how you can use their voice and content format to align with your brand message
- BE AUTHENTIC! At the end of the day this is key: consumers respond best to authentic content. Find ambassadors that embody your brands values and have your product or service fit authentically into their everyday life.
Social media in 2022
Over the past couple of weeks, a lot of publishers have started promoting their trends, findings and forecasts for the coming year. Off the back of this, a lot of interesting articles are being published about how people are using social media, and how we can look to capitalise on some trends to get the most out of some channels.
Below are some of the best insights and articles we’ve seen in our travels.
Video remains king
Video definitely killed the radio star and now perhaps the TV star too. A new study conducted by the Consumer Technology Association has found that consumers now spend almost as much time streaming videos on social platforms as they do watching traditional TV. Smart TV shows are getting ahead of this and streaming episodic productions on socials.
For brands it highlights the need to invest in video to reach your audience. And it offers hope for brands that can’t afford big ATL campaigns – smart social video just could do the trick.
More info HERE.
Sound and visual matter on TikTok
TikTok has recently published its findings on how sound and creative influences its user base. Sound or visual alone across social creative has meaning, but when paired together they can create something truly special. Through the combination of both sound and visuals on TikTok, brands cannot just become part of a current trend, but also create a brand new one.
Turn up the volume!
On Facebook, it is usual for 75% of video plays occurring with sound off. As a result, it is has become common practice to build for sound off viewing, utilising call to actions to get users to listen with sound or using subtitles to vocally driven videos. However, on TikTok sound is not only essential, but also expected, with 9 out of 10 users of the platform saying it is essential to the TikTok experience.
On the platform sound can take a series of forms, with one option being music. Music on TikTok is totally unique to any other social media platform, with a variety of music labels using the platform to gain awareness for their artists, and in some cases, those artists entering the Billboard charts off the back of a successful introduction on TikTok.
With 50% of users finding content with music more energising, uplifting and engaging, this trend encourages advertisers to utilise music. In fact, ads that use music experiencing up to 120% more awareness lift than silent ads, it’s hard to see why more brands do not utilise it more.
Another way brands can utilise sound is through brand linkage. A study last year found that ad recall increased by over eight times when distinctive brand sounds are leveraged in ads, when compared to other elements like slogans and logos. One successful example is Singapore Airlines, which created a 30 minute audio suite to simulate the sounds passengers would hear from their services, including lounge music, boarding, fight and landing audio. This has been rolled out across TikTok, where their brand is now heavily associated with any airline focused content that now appears on the channel.
More info HERE
Pinterest Shares New Insights into How Brands Can Enhance Appeal Among Gen Z Consumers
Pinterest is a platform that many brand bypass, however, it does have a lot of potential when used the right way to target the right people. Pinterest’s recent report into Gen Z users (people born after 1997) has brought up some interesting trends as to how they make purchase decisions online and how they use the platform as a whole. For anyone with an upcoming campaign for younger audiences this is a must read.
More info HERE.
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