Interview: Dane Cobain, from “fst the Group”
Over-Graph gives the floor to Community Managers to tell us how do they work and what are the future social media trends they believe in. Today, let us introduce to you Dane Cobain!
Who are you and which communities do you manage?
My name’s Dane Cobain and I’m a social media specialist and community manager at “fst the Group”, a creative agency that’s based in Marlow in the UK.
As I work agency-side, I work with multiple communities, usually in conjunction with another community manager who works on the client-side – they carry out much of the day-to-day work, and I offer my expertise to help them in areas which they’re struggling with. In terms of the communities that I currently manage, it’s a diverse bunch ranging from WeHoliday.co.uk, firefly™ sports recovery device, a construction recruitment firm and even a string of Physiotherapy clinics that are based in Singapore. We’ve also done a lot of work with a household name from the consumer electronics world. Of course, I also stay active in my own time, and I run a book review website called SocialBookshelves.com which is active on most major social networking sites and which also has a forum, which I administrate.
What is the strategy of the brands you are working with?
It depends upon the brand, but overall I can generalize and say that we take a content marketing approach with them all. For some, that involves data capture and landing pages, particularly for our B2B clients, and for others it’s more about awareness and blogger outreach. We tend to find that a healthy mixture of different strategies, all of which are consistent with an inbound marketing methodology, tend to help us to achieve our goals in the most cost-effective and time efficient way.
On which social networks are you active?
Our clients are on a mixture of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+. Pinterest and YouTube, and I also use Goodreads and Instagram for my book blog. I’m on a bunch of other social networks as an individual, too.
What is the nowadays trend from your perspective?
I think niche social networks are becoming more and more popular – Tinder for dating, Soundcloud for musicians, Goodreads for readers and the like. I also think that the ‘next big thing’ will start out as a mobile only app and slowly emerge in to the desktop space, rather than the other way round – you can already see this happening with brands like Instagram, or with Snapchat which isn’t even available on the desktop web.
If you had to bet on a social network or a technology, which one would it be?
Tough question – at the moment, I’m most impressed by Uber and Tinder, as both of them are enjoying a stratospheric rise and I don’t think it’ll be long until they achieve mainstream adoption. It constantly surprises me how far along social networking has come, especially when I’m speaking to my mother and she’s asking me for Twitter lessons or telling me that she’s signed up to use Goodreads.
Do you use tool to ease your management?
We use a whole bunch of them, depending on what we need to do – Google Alerts and TweetDeck are without doubt the most useful tools that we currently use, but then we use tons of others for more specific purposes, such as ManageFlitter to unfollow inactive Twitter users and TubeKit to crawl YouTube videos.
Did you notice lacks from tool you use?
The main lack that I’m aware of is a lack of integration – there’s no single tool that allows us to easily manage multiple clients on multiple social networking sites without logging in and out all of the time. We also tend to use free software to avoid passing the cost back on to our clients, which means that some of the software that we use is less powerful than the Radian6s of the world.
Did you know Over-Graph? First impressions on it?
I’d heard the name but didn’t know anything about it – I’ll definitely take a closer look at it as it sounds as though it addresses the main problem that I pointed out in my previous answer, ergo the lack of integration. I think the response and the analysis sections of the software would be the most useful for us as we tend to manually publish to each social network to make sure that our posts are optimised for each individual network – however, we do a lot of Twitter outreach and a lot of brand monitoring, and so it sounds like Over-Graph could boost our offering in that respect!