Why Hootsuite is tweets ahead: Steven Sefton interview

Now in their seventh year, the Dadi Awards (Dadis) celebrate digital excellence and reward effective digital strategies and campaigns

You can enter the 29 categories, spanning search, virals, technical innovation and many more, at the Dadi Awards website.

This blog will include interviews with entrants, judges and other topical digital information. You can also follow us on Twitter and through the hashtag #dadiawards.

Social Media is a huge part of social (and not just for the DADIs, we have a sister award scheme called the Social Buzz Awards) with one of the oft-mentioned tools in social being Hootsuite.

Why Hootsuite is tweets ahead: Steven Sefton interview

Steven Sefton is one of the UK's Hootsuite Amabassadors, showing people how to get the best from it and he took some time out with us to explain the appeal of it.

(Please note you can only read this interview if you've entered the DADI Awards. If you need an extension to do that, please email Katy Thomson ASAP. Also, did you see the new judging line-up?)

What is the appeal of Hootsuite?

It has so much to offer within one space, it's a must tool for any social media marketer. Especially when you have multiple accounts on multiple platforms.

HootSuite allows you to manage more social tools than any other social media dashboard. The tracking you can do on hashtags, keywords and monitor other conversations on other platforms has been a time saver and a money maker for me. The team at HootSuite are amazing too, someone is there for you all the time. I love the whole ethos of the company too, 'Building HootSuite One Hug at a Time.'

Surely tools like Hootsuite have convinced everyone that i's time to be online and engaging?

No, we still have some work to do. It was only a few weeks, I was asked to help convince a web agency director on why they should be using Twitter. I was amazed that a web agency like his, has clients that are using social media and he still didn't think Twitter was going to benefit him. The problem is, there are people who think they know how to send tweets and get likes think they know how to use social media for businesses. The less of these people, the better.

It used to be said that parts of America were ahead of London by about a year in social media adoption and then places like Scotland lagged behind by a few more months? Is this still the case?

Yes, I've always said the Americans look like they are always collaborating with one another, creating big events but this may all be down to the fact they have more people. I think the Americans are more inclined to adopt social media before us Brits.

The one thing I would like to say is, I don't think the social media "gurus" are any better than what social media folk in the UK can bring to the table, they just shout about it more.

A bit random but do you think you could get nits from sharing Google Glass?

That is random and I guess so, but the Google Glass bug hasn't caught on to me yet. They don't look cool enough yet to wear around all the time. I think they will be great for parents and that may convince me to buy a pair.

Should companies be looking to evolve past the ‘like’ and the followers or will some be happy with the idea that ‘lots of followers means more people seeing our message’. Is that enough?

Yes, relevance is more important than reach. I would rather have a hundred fans who loved what I do and offer, more than a thousand fans who where just not that in to me. The more relevant your message is to your true fans, the more likely they will share with their friends and that's where the reach comes from.

No-one wants to see messages that don't relate to them, it annoys people, just like pausing at the adverts on your T.V. remote.

Is crossposting still a problem for brands with the same stuff appearing on Twitter, G+ and Facebook in particular?

I only see it a major problem if the post is written the exact same way, you do this multiple times a day or even if you try to engage with your audience in the same way.

For instance at Welcome to Scotland, we create themes for the week and we may have a particular message we want to distribute. On Facebook we will ask a question or share something visually about the message and on twitter we are looking for interactions to drive traffic to the website. The message will be the same but the posts and aims are different because it suits our audience best.

Do some people obsess too much over ROI?

Hell yeah, it's as simple as this. If social media doesn't improve your business, either by making or saving you money, then don't do it or get someone who can help.

Apple is often credited as having been a large part of putting social media into the hands of people with the runaway successes of iPads and iPhones yet is a very non-social media company itself. Any thoughts on this?

Yeah, they've concentrated on what they are good at and created products where the rest of us want to tell everyone about them. That's their social media plan right there. They may not send a tweet or post, but I'm telling you in some way, they have a social media strategy that involves you and I and everyone else.

On that note, does that prove companies don’t really need to do social to be successful?

Of course, but I believe social can play a big part in any business. Even though Apple aren't on social, they are still listening to us in some way and monitoring what is being said. If social wasn't around, I don't think Apple products would be as popular so they still need social to do well.

What was the last really good social media campaign you saw?

It has to be the Superbowl. I stayed up all night monitoring tweets and posts, whilst watching the adverts as they became live on YouTube. For the team at Oreo to produce that famous post when the lights went out at the Superbowl, "You can still dunk in the dark" is a great achievement. To be creative on the spot like that, the image to be created, then the post to be allowed to be on Twitter in such a short space of time after going through the process of what is allowed and not allowed to be posted is an achievement in it's self. Then when the tweet got nearly 14 thousand retweets and over 4,00 favourites, this was a huge success.

A local campaign which happens once a month called #ScotlandHour which is created by Dougie Baird of Baird Travels is a huge success too. Every month they pick a theme and relate it to Scotland.

If you had to give just one social media tip to others what would it be?

Remember that social media is about being social, no-one wants to be sold to anymore and acting like a business with a business message won't get you anywhere fast. Help your fans first, then help them some more and then offer them something relevant. It's ok to tell your audience about what you want from time to time but don't over do it.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.