The Evolution of Social Platforms & How to Stay Ahead with Shona Rosenblum

Shona Rosenblum is the co-founder of Grand Slam Social, a boutique social media marketing company that provides expert advice on how to infuse social media into all aspects of a marketing plan. Working as a Social Media Strategist at Breeders' Cup Limited and an Account Executive at Racepoint Global, she climbed her way up the PR and marketing ladder to where she is today!

On this episode, we chatted with Shona about the horse racing industry, how to target different demographics, and how to maximize your social and digital space as it continuously evolves.

Listen to the full show here: (and please subscribe to our podcast)

Here are the highlights:

[25:44] Are people starting to understand the importance of digital? Are you beginning to see this industry putting more money into these departments in order to stay ahead of the curve?

“Yes. Definitely and finally. Just over the past couple of years, people are planning for social media as a part of their budget. A lot of people are turned off by not understanding the true ROI. ROI with social media is a boondoggle and people are still trying to figure it out.”

[30:29] What is the one social tool that you can't live without?

"Sprout Social. They are really great. They started out as a social scheduling tool, but they’ve grown and actually acquired or partnered up with Simply Measured, which has led them into the analytics space really well. Great customer service. They have an agency partnership program. Sprout Social is definitely my go to when it comes to trying to manage multiple social media accounts. On that same note of organization, we use a project management tool called monday.com. Keeping everything organized is one of the biggest parts of my job and making sure everything is running smoothly. monday.com helps a lot with that."   


Full Transcripts

Ep 15 Shona Rosenblum Audio for iTunes

 

 

[00:00:05.00] David:   What's up everybody we got another episode of the business of social podcast powered by STN Digital, each and every cell we work with the experts to learn and stay up-to-date on the ever changing digital and marketing industry. We got a good one for you today; we are joined by Shona Rosenblum. She is the co-founder of Grand Slam Social; she works with clients like the Breeders Cup and a lot of brands in the equine industry. So it will be fun to speak with Miss Shona Rosenblum right here on the business of social.

 

She's the co-founder of Grand Slam Social LLC, a social media marketing company that focuses on integrating social with live events. She focuses with clients within the horse sport industry like the Breeders Cup. Shona Rosenblum joins us on the show. Shona, first question for you, what got you into the horse racing space?

 

[00:00:55.52] Shona:  Gosh, well, I've been in the saddle since I was five years old. So I started off ... I liked riding more than I liked walking basically, and I started off in the hunter/jumper space, and then I actually didn't get into the horse racing industry until I started working in social media and advertising. And I worked, I interned in an advertising agency called CTP Boston, and they were the ad agency for the Breeders Cup, and so I was introduced to that space through them in 2012. And then caught on pretty quickly and now, I mean, the horse racing world is like so much a part of my life now and it's weird to think that it's only been a handful years since I've been involved in it.

 

[00:01:46.54] David:   So back in 2012 when you're interning at the ad agency level did you see an opening for I guess a niche market there for the social media side on horse racing specifically or the horse sport industry?

 

[00:02:00.05] Shona:  I think what happened was when I graduated college it was just around the time when there really were not many jobs available, so the economy had taken a bit of a turn.

 

[00:02:11.21] David:   I graduated in 09 so I know what you mean.

 

[00:02:14.15] Shona:  I was 2010. So it was ... I kind of started my professional life like kind of scrapping together different jobs, and I mean I was like a 22, 23-year-old intern bartending and working at an ad agency as an intern for a while. But what happened was I noticed that they didn't really have a social media person in-house at the Breeders Cup, so while I was working and helping on the advertising side of things I saw an opportunity to work with the Breeders Cup specifically on social media, and that I think was around the time that Instagram was launched.

 

So now you have Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and it was getting to be too much for the person that they had in place doing it. So I ended up leaving the ad agency I was at, and pitching Breeders Cup directly to go work with them and basically like an independent contractor doing only their social media.

 

[00:03:17.49] David:   Very cool. So yeah, tell us a little bit about Grand Slam Social. I know you work with the Breeders Cup, but are you focused specifically ... have you like just really carve your niche in the horse sport industry specifically or do you also venture out to other clients?

 

[00:03:32.25] Shona:  I think the building blocks of social media and especially our favorite place to play which is strategy, they're applicable across many industries. And my background is in some other traditional advertising agencies and spaces, so I worked with Reebok and IBM and the Paint Company. So, and we worked on digital campaigns, so it wasn't only social but social was a big part of it. And so I learned a lot in my experience there.

 

But what drew me to the horse industry not only obviously my passion and background is in horses, I've owned horses and ridden my entire life, but just the natural fit of sports and a lot of events with social media was just so interesting to me and to my partners who I ended up founding the company with.

 

And I remember working at Race Point Global which is the digital agency I was at before, and we were just like trying to come up with these cool campaigns about painting or cloud software, and you're just like, "Ugh, this is so hard." And then you go over the sports space and it just ... it's like ... it's so much easier to make it fit.

 

[00:04:53.41] David:   Yeah. We have a similar background, because I grew up obviously playing basketball and loving sports so I started working with ... I saw a niche as well, I saw an opening following the Lakers. It's like they're not providing content for the fan, and very similarly it sounds like you and I both kind of saw an opportunity there and said, "Why aren't you guys doing more of this type deal?" So it's interesting to hear your story. What have been some of I guess your most successful campaigns or your favorite campaigns to work on in the last couple of years in this space?

 

[00:05:25.06] Shona:  I mean, that one's so easy hands down. We did a campaign for ... So in addition to working in the horse racing sports side of it and fan side of it, we also have found our way into working with a lot of breeders and horse farms. So one of our favorite campaigns we've done, it's called America's Most Eligible Stud, and we took this horse that was new to the breeding scene. It was his first year standing at stud in New York State, and we turned him into the bachelor horse.

 

So the series was there there's two seasons so far. Season one was like a blog series and it had video components and a lot of Photoshop and really crazy interpretations of these dates that he would have a perspective mates. I mean, and his whole goal was to instead of finding his one true love he was looking for his 100 true loves, because in the breeding space the goal is quality and quantity.

 

So we did season one and then season two we actually did a full YouTube series, so it was an 8-episode YouTube series, all video, and I mean just ... I wish someone was following us with a making of camera, behind ... Because I can't tell you, I mean, there are talking animals in it and we're trying to get these animals to do things. And they're not like professionally trained animals; they were just animals that this woman has on our farm who owns the horse. And this is like an active stallion who's at his job in breeding.

 

So it was just so funny. The horse is a really good sport about it and we got all kinds of fun shots. But that was one of the most exciting campaigns not only to put together from start to finish, from script writing to filming it, to the editing phase, working with the voice-over talent. But when it all came together in the end and seeing how many views we're able to generate, I got to pull up the stats for you, but it did really, really well and it's actually ... it got a Bronze Telly Award for a short form video this year, and it got Bronze People's Choice for Telly and then won a couple other things too. So it was nice to see that the community liked it as well, it wasn't just us and all the blood, sweat, and tears we put it.

 

[00:07:44.34] David:   Yeah, I think with Facebook Watch and now IGTV, a lot of people want to become first to market to it, but sometimes you put all that budget or all that time into it, and maybe it necessarily doesn't work or it gets 900 views and what a waste of I guess time, but it sounds like in that scenario you guys really took it seriously but it actually paid off for the end consumer.

 

[00:08:05.00] Shona:  Yeah, well, the trend with Facebook Watch and Instagram TV I think what I've noticed, and we had experienced last year was with Breeders Cup, when Facebook Live first came about a couple of years ago we really focused on doing a lot of live streaming at the Breeders Cup and we live streamed like several hours at a time and we thought it did really well. And then this past year we try it again and ...

 

[00:08:35.02] David:   The algorithm.

 

[00:08:36.15] Shona:  Yeah, well, the algorithm too, but also it hurt our engagement numbers, because the activity of watching ... like maybe you comment from time to time or you get into a discussion, but I think most people are just passively watching versus actively engaging which is really the goal on social and what makes it so unique and different from other entertainment platforms. You want people to engage, so we actually found that, and then I watch Facebook Watch's launched and IGTV, and I think that the people at Facebook are recognizing and at Instagram are recognizing that it needs its own space, and it's not going to be something that you can just put in your newsfeed or on your page anymore because it is going to hurt your engagement numbers just based on the type of medium it is.

 

[00:09:26.14] David:   Yep, I want to get your thoughts about just the demographic of your space, so ages, income, interests, because I think that's interesting to see how you attack that market knowing that the horse racing enthusiast is a specific demographic.

 

[00:09:45.01] Shona:  Yeah, we've done a lot ... actually when you look at the demographics on social media I think general people who are on will skew at younger because there is a bit of a younger audience. But as we know Facebook has an older demo. It's been ... It really depends on how we tailor our content to each of those channels, and knowing we know that a lot of the media and horse-racing owners, we know they're on Twitter. So knowing that those folks are on Twitter we try to make our Twitter feed a little bit more news focused, a little bit ... I mean, we'll show look behind the scenes stuff for sure. But it's not fun and crazy like Instagram stories might be, because we know the Instagram stories people are looking for a different type of content.

 

But we try and create content based on the demographics of the platforms versus focusing entirely on just what our demo wants, because we're always trying to grow into a new audience. So we try to kind of balance that carefully so that we're constantly doing things that we think will appeal to the younger group too.

 

[00:10:57.03] David:   I like that. So that's my next question, so this industry, a hundred billion dollars on gambling alone, how much does that come into play? Because if you're trying to reach a different demo maybe it's through someone that just wants to gamble here, once in a while, while they're in Vegas, maybe it's through fashion as well, and that's always kind of a topic of concern especially when celebrities are attending these big events. So are those kind of the I guess the fringe topics that you touched on to try to get more people involved?

 

[00:11:27.13] Shona:  Definitely I think that we've had some hurdles when it comes to social media, and definitely the gambling piece. I mean, it's a little bit ... It's going to get better now that sports betting is made legalized in the last couple months. But like for example you can't ... we weren't allowed to do any like Twitter promotions for a while or do general ... We work with Sprout social and they have a thing called Twitter Lift, and you can basically what it does is it automatically optimizes and promotes tweets that are doing really well on your channel but you can't pick and choose which ones get promoted. They have their own kind of algorithm that will promote whatever is already doing well. So we try to get that going and Twitter denied us, denied us.

 

[00:12:18.02] David:   Because some of the content was gambling-related?

 

[00:12:21.49] Shona:  Right, because some of the content was gambling-related, and they have a lot of strict rules there. But the way the Breeders Cup is different, it's a different beast than a lot of other brands because you do have this multifaceted audience where you have the people who are going for the fashion and those who are going because they love the horses or those who are going because they're major horse players, and then you have the breeders, and then you have the owners. And so that's probably one of the most difficult parts of the strategy when we're putting it all into play is figuring out how to keep all of those people happy especially in a space where anyone can comment and say anything and they can tell you right away if they like the content or don't like the content.

 

And the horse players might not like what the fashion audience likes, and so it's a balance. But I think the best approach that we've taken is really we use social media to capture people's attention, and then drive them to a place where they can get more either entertainment or information or take the next action.

 

So when we're posting fashion content or merchandise, they're going to the shop page, they're going to the Breeders Cup shop so they can spend more time in that space, or they're going to fashion content on the site. When we're talking to the horse players we're driving them to a tournament site or places where they can get more information about horses that are running. So really we try to appeal to as many people and then drive them to a place where they can dive deeper.

 

[00:13:57.39] David:   So I would like to hear your thoughts on sports gambling, it's still kind of in its infancy, but the fact that it will be legalized across multiple states I'm certain the coming months and years. When you heard that information, is that some of that excites you because now it just allows you guys to really lean into what the industry really kind of focuses on?

 

[00:14:18.18] Shona:  I might be a biased person to answer this question, because I am a horse player myself, I love to play on the weekends and when we're at events sometimes dabble. But I mean, I think it's great, it's very controversial obviously, everyone is kind of concerned. But I think it's going to be really great for the sport. And a lot of the partnerships we work with that are set up to accept sports betting money, so they've gone through all the red tape or whatever they have to go through to set it up to be able to take people's money and distribute it, and that kind of thing.

 

So I think it's really interesting. I'm excited to see where they head as the opportunities get bigger, and obviously where GSS can fit in and help with betting content. Because it's been something we've always ... I mean, you're able to put betting content out there when it comes to driving handle on track, but there's a lot more opportunity now I think to participate remotely from digital platforms and apps where you could be anywhere and participate in sports betting.

 

[00:15:32.41] David:   Yeah, how does that open up in your estimation in terms of branded content and more digital inventory that you can sell to sponsorship now that that's open and something that people can actually be a part of? Do you think that just opens up a whole new potential revenue stream in the coming years on that front?

 

[00:15:49.53] Shona:  I think it's TBD, I do think that it's going to be ... There's going to be money to be made, and it's going to be a race to who can do it the best. In horse racing the groups that accept sports betting remotely, they're called ADW's, and they've all come out with over the past years different online betting apps. So like even when I'm on track I don't go to the betting window, I don't use cash very often, I'm on track and betting right from my app. So Twin Spires, CVG has one, Express Bet, and it's such a seamless experience.

 

So I think whoever figures that out or however they can integrate additional betting options into that experience, because I think a lot of people who participate in betting with horses, they're definitely open to other sports. And I think whoever has the best technology is probably going to be the winner.

 

[00:16:47.03] David:   I like it. So we still haven't with Justify obviously in 2018, when there is a potential for a Triple Crown winner how much have you seen working in this space? I know it's happened a couple times the last few years, and that's just a game changer in terms of engagement and just new people wanting to be involved or your ability to go after those people.

 

[00:17:09.33] Shona:  It's so funny that since we've started this there's been two Triple Crown winner, it hadn't happened for such a long time. And when American Pharaoh won that's when Grand Slam was founded, and actually the name Grand Slam comes from the sports term. I don't know if many people are familiar, but they kind of are coining the Triple Crown races into the Breeders Cup Classic as the Grand Slam, so it's those four winning ...

 

[00:17:37.14] David:   So you can win four now, huh.

 

[00:17:38.33] Shona:  Winning those four races. And American Pharaoh did all of that, so and that's a huge accomplishment. The funny thing about the engagement result ... obviously the grand, we called it that the Pharaoh hangover, the year after, because it just was really hard to catch those numbers. But this year with Justify it's so sad, it's almost like people are like, they're like, "Oh, that just happens."

 

[00:18:07.19] David:   They're used to it now.

 

[00:18:08.21] Shona:  Exactly. And I'm like, "No, no, no. It's still really a huge deal." And it's just that goes to show you just how people are these days, like the attention spans and, "Oh, that's not new anymore. That happened two years ago."

 

[00:18:21.25] David:   That's funny. All right, so some overall social media question I'd love to get your thoughts on. I ask this question a lot on the show and always get some good feedback. Where do you see the undervalued attention right now on social and digital that you think people aren't paying enough attention to?

 

[00:18:35.48] Shona:  It's hard to say what spaces are undervalued. I think in my opinion the trend right now and what we recommend ... We work with a lot of brands and companies that have a smaller team, so here at the WWE and you can have 90 people on your social media team, then definitely look for spaces that are undervalued because you have the people in place to execute everywhere. But I think it's less about trying to be everywhere and more about trying to do what works for your goals really well.

 

So the first thing that we do is really keep everything super goal-oriented, and not just in the sense of going for metrics like impressions and engagements because even though those are important they're also very tied to viral activities, so especially in the sports world, if you're looking at your impressions from June 2018 and engagements compared to last year, and like some crazy sports event happen or a horse broke a track record or last year it was Gunrunner who got another horse's horseshoe stuck in his tail and he won a race with an additional horseshoe just like flying on his tail. And the internet went crazy.

 

So I think chasing those numbers is a losing battle, but if you can make sure that your engagement rates are staying on point, that your referral traffic to your website. Pulling out those goals that are a little bit unrelated to those viral events to be able to properly understand what you're doing and how it's working. And so I think Facebook, a lot of people got freaked out about the Zuckerberg stuff this year, and I have faith of it that they would bounce back, because it is such a successful channel when it comes to reaching goals, driving traffic, even with the decrease in reach and engagement it's still one of our biggest drivers of results for the goals that we set. So I think Facebook double down, keep going with that.

 

In terms of Instagram obviously it's leveling off in terms of growth as far as adopted users, but I think Instagram has a ton of potential still. And if you look at the life cycle and its age as compared to Facebook it's still ... There's a lot of kind of tweaking to be made. I think of it like you know when you have a big project and 90% of it gets done, and then 10% of it is finessing. And that 10% takes the longest time, so it's like you get a huge chunk done, but then you're like finessing and tweaking and tweaking and tweaking. And I think that's kind of where Instagram is right now, like they're really finessing their offering and how it can be used for business.

 

[00:21:42.34] David:   Yeah, from what we've seen too, I mean, Instagram still has the best organic reach. And Facebook is really became a pay-to-play model if you want that ultimate engagement on a lot of your stuff. So it'll be interesting to see though if Instagram in the next year or so starts to go towards more the Facebook route, which they're probably going to and say, "Hey, if you want to reach your audience then you need to kind of put or set up in terms of paid advertising."

 

[00:22:07.39] Shona:  Oh, that's the thing, that's 100% where it's going.

 

[00:22:09.51] David:   Yeah, for sure.

 

[00:22:10.42] Shona:  I have no doubt in my mind. And even the algorithm changed the last year, it's kind of a bummer. Like, I'll see ten posts from one person and then none from another. It's like it's not ... For some reason, and I don't know however the technology, however it was built, it's not the same as Facebook and I think they're trying to figure out really the right algorithm to make it good for the people who are using it and appropriate for the fan base and the people that love Instagram. But also how do they make it work for business.

 

[00:22:40.00] David:   Make money. So with that, let's dig on Instagram, what are your thoughts I guess in your world for IGTV? Again, I think when new platforms come out people want to be first to market and kind of play in the space immediately. But how do you think you're going to use that in the future for all that it's worth?

 

[00:22:58.16] Shona:  So we've just kind of jumped on Facebook Watch recently, and had a lot of conversations with them, and we're working on a project with the Breeders Cup to implement that platform. So as far as IGTV I think ... I know a lot of people like to be first adopters and jump ... kind of jump on the bandwagon. But at the same time again it goes back to what your resources are, and if you just have endless amounts of money and you have like a discovery team as far as your folks or like discovery social media budget, like that would be great if everyone does have that.

 

[00:23:33.47] David:   But to your point if you're only tweeting four times a day because you have one social media manager, don't try to develop an Instagram TV strategy, which makes sense.

 

[00:23:42.02] Shona:  Right, exactly. And I think a discovery budget, that would be great, like if people can ... I think actually when you're budgeting, clients budgeting for their social media budgets for the next year, always budget for like a new platform or new content creation for something that is going to pop up. Because as we've seen over the past several years that continues to happen, and a lot of times we'll want to do something and then we'll be kind of cut off the knees because there's no budget for it.

 

So I think with IGTV we're taking the approach of just keeping an ear to the ground and watching how that content performs. And so kind of learning from that and letting the first adopters kind of do their thing, and then learn from them and create a strategy with some information behind it.

 

[00:24:32.36] David:   So we talked a lot about in this show too that that's kind of the fun thing about our industry is that it's always changing and evolving, but it's also kind of frustrating too because like you mentioned every six months or so something else kind of comes up and you have to pay attention to it. Do you find some of that same I guess - it's great, it's fun, it keeps interesting, but also right when you think you have something it kind of gets frustrating as well because it's always changing?

 

[00:24:54.48] Shona:  Definitely. I think most social media strategists feel that way. You build a strategy around what you know at the time and we build one-year strategies, and even that's too ... It's like you almost got to build these strategies in like three months increments and that's tough to do and stay ahead of. So social media is it's an interesting place to play after having had experience in advertising from the traditional sense, because traditional advertising you spend a ton of time and money on like a TV spot, and then once it's done it goes into market and that piece of content can last for years, versus social media the same amount of thinking goes into it because it's your brand and it's important, and it lasts for a few days or a few weeks. So that's probably the most frustrating part when you spend a lot of time on something and then you know it's only going to live for a week or two.

 

[00:26:05.22] David:   Yeah, so you and I graduate around the same time, so I'm interested to hear your thoughts too on especially in the early going, and it was really like, "Hey, social media, let's hire a social media manager and they'll handle always different platforms." Have you seen the industry shift? I know we're still far away, but are people starting to understand the importance of digital, maybe a Breeders Cup, they've spent so much money in marketing and in arena and all these different things, but have you seen the industry start to shift a little bit understanding money needs to go to this department in order to kind of stay ahead of the curve?

 

[00:26:39.28] Shona:  Yeah, definitely and finally. Just over the past couple years people are planning for social media as part of their budget, I think a lot of folks are turned off by not understanding the true ROI. And ROI with social media, it's a boondoggle; people are still trying to figure it out. But I think it helps ... What we've been able to show ... It's easier to show ROI if you have a digital business or an online business, so like if you're selling ...

 

[00:27:10.31] David:   Ecommerce, yeah.

 

[00:27:11.38] Shona:  Right, ecommerce, I mean, that one's easy. But when it comes to the impact on your overall brand it's really hard to measure that. And you can measure sentiment and all kinds of fun stuff to your social listening. But that's where people I think struggle a little bit.

 

[00:27:30.57] David:   Well, I always use an example too, you know the famous Wendy's tweet that I think Carter Wilkinson or whatever his name was asked for re-tweets to get free chicken nuggets for life. The most re-tweeted tweet of all time. But to your point, how much dollars of that actually result for Wendy's in that period? Although the press was free and everything was amazing. It's hard; it's hard to quantify exactly what that meant from an ROI perspective.

 

[00:27:56.32] Shona:  Well, also it's more expensive than PR. So PR it's words versus content, and PR budgets are one thing and then if you try to lump social into that as well it's not ... Those two don't fit together. So when it comes to social it's because you're cranking out so much content that's why it can be expensive when it comes to content creation piece and also the management piece, just with there being so many different platforms to keep going and the pace of social.

 

So I think when people get freaked out about ROI they're like, "Well, we're spending a lot of money because to do social media really well you have to go all-in." But I think it's ... Definitely from the Breeders Cup standpoint we've gotten a lot of positive feedback from people in the industry saying, "Oh, the Breeders club does it right, you guys do a great job." I think it plays ... There's a customer service component where communication with people feel like they can ... They feel like they can get in touch with the Breeders Cup immediately, which I think that's a really cool piece of the ecosystem and marketing these days where you can literally ... I can go on, like airlines are my favorite, they just have this huge ... I don't know what their command centers look like, but I love tweeting ...

 

[00:29:19.18] David:   They get back to you pretty quick.

 

[00:29:21.04] Shona:  Yeah, they get back to me so quick. I never call anymore, I'm like, "Cancel my flight."

 

[00:29:24.15] David:   I will say Delta charged me like way too much money for overages on the weight to my bag. I tweeted at them right away and said, "Southwest doesn't charge me this much." Southwest replied back in seconds, Delta never replied. So all of a sudden I like Southwest better, but that's important, I agree.

 

[00:29:41.04] Shona:  But those moments, how do you quantify them? How do you get an ROI out of creating brand loyalty out of personal interaction with people?

 

[00:29:51.03] David:   Yeah, so have you tried to do that, have you used metrics like earn media value or when you're trying to maybe speak to the value that you've brought rather than just saying impressions or re-tweets or engagement? Have you tried to go down that road and quantify it?

 

[00:30:07.21] Shona:  Yeah, we show our results a lot through storytelling, and I think that that's the way to go. Showing impressions and engagements and video views, that's all great, but what does that mean, right? So when we put together our results report obviously we have key measurable goals that we set on the beginning the year, and those can be anything from like website referral, merchandise sales, engagement, that kind of thing.

 

And then we paint the picture of what those numbers mean and use specific examples from the year or from the time period of, "Look at this interaction with a fan of Breeders Cup or one of the celebrity ambassadors, or what have you." So I think it's a qualitative view as well as the quantitative view, and that's the only way to get the full picture when you're trying to show the impact of social media.

 

[00:31:05.44] David:   All right, a couple more questions for you, I'll get you out of here. What is the one tool that you cannot live without?

 

[00:31:11.38] Shona:  I would say sprout social, we sprout ... they are really great ... They started out as more of a social like scheduling tool, but they've grown and they actually acquired or partnered up with Simply Measured. So they've grown into the analytics space really well. Great customer service, they have an agency partnership program. Sprout social is definitely my go-to when it comes to trying to manage multiple social media accounts, because obviously Grand Slam at any given time we're holding the keys to quite a few platforms, so organizing that.

 

And then also on that same note of organization, we use a project management tool called Monday.com, and GSF is totally virtual so we do all of our team meetings on Zoom and we try to get together as much as we can. But everyone spread out in different time zones and everything, so keeping everything organized is one of the biggest parts of my job. And making sure that everything's kind of going smoothly. So Monday helps a lot with that.

 

[00:32:20.34] David:   Nice. All right, so as we are in the second half now officially which is crazy of 2018, and just looking I guess to the next year of all the different changes we've seen in our industry, what's the one or a couple of things you're looking at and looking forward to as you kind of round out the rest of 2018?

 

[00:32:39.38] Shona:  It's interesting, I know a lot of people are kind of ... like they're all about like the buzz words and the ARVR space and kind of that like sexy new frontier. And I think when it's done right and adopted a bit more widely I think it could be really cool. But I think those pieces are going to be end up like a niche space versus like being super widely adopted when it comes to like augmented reality or virtual reality.

 

[00:33:17.24] David:   I don't like 3D TVs that came out a few years ago, and then everybody, every network supposed to make everything 3D to compensate for that platform, like that would have been a bad idea.

 

[00:33:28.34] Shona:  Right, but even something that sounds like a really good idea, and is really cool for those who use it, it still doesn't mean that it's going to be like a broadly or widely used marketing tool, like I don't know just kind of how Snapchat's gone. It's like, yeah, Snapchat's so cool, love the filters, love using it personally. Could not make it work for business. Like, the only things that we do on Snapchat, we still do filters, geofilters because they still have good use numbers where wherever people are, like for example, Breeders Cup they have a qualifying season of challenge series races at different tracks. And so they travel across the country and there's different events across the world, and those races offer free entry if you win into The Associated Breeders Cup race if you qualify for based on the specs of the race.

 

And so when we have big race days and they're on TV, we'll put a geofilter over that track, and it'll have like ... it'll be promoting the challenge series. And that still looks great. We work with Snapchat and do stories with them at Breeders Cup itself, but I think this space is ... I mean, if I was going to spend money with Snapchat it would be in their article space like the media, like I think they're going to be more of a media channel versus like a social media channel. Like, a Buzzfeed type thing.

[00:34:59.47] David:   Yeah, I think I like what you said there, I think a lot of people don't talk about that enough. But like you mention if you're a small department and you have 1 or 2 people, there's no need to go into the VR space or have this 8-hour meeting off-site to talk about how you're going to attack IGTV, because to your point I think people aren't worried about kind of meat and potatoes of social, which is like are we tweeting regularly, what's our Facebook strategy, are we on Instagram? So I like kind of getting back down to the foundational elements of what social media is.

 

[00:35:28.31] Shona:  Yeah, and a lot of people, I like to use the example of the WWE, because a lot of people see ... they have some of the best if not the best social media numbers out there. But it's also you have to think about scale, so you have to scale, you have to look at what's most appropriate for your business. And a lot of people get freaked out about social media budgets because it can get more and more and more and more and more expensive, and you have to find what's right. And we work with a lot of small brands that don't have huge budgets, but they can still do social media really well as long as it's focused.

 

[00:36:07.24] David:   Yeah, absolutely. Well, it's been a pleasure. I appreciate the knowledge and break it down, especially the horse industry in particular, it's been very cool to hear that out and get some of your advice. So Shona, thanks so much for your time.

 

[00:36:21.38] Shona:  Yeah, it's been great. Thanks for having me.

 

[00:36:24.17] David:   Thank you. So there it is, thanks once again to Shona Rosenblum for joining us right here on this show. Good conversation. I think I really ... the number one thing I took back from that interview was the fact that there's a lot of companies and brands that have very small departments, and I see that a lot too, I see a lot of people, "What we'll be doing for IGTV? And let's have a huge meeting about this," yet they're only posting on the Instagram once a day, and it just seems like you need to focus on the foundation first and build that.

 

And before you start worrying about VR and all these different platforms like Facebook Live and Facebook Watch try to find ways to utilize your time effectively and efficiently. And I think the big force we always talk about, I mean, having strategies and goals set for that. And then like she mentioned, if you do have an extra budget for the discovery budget if you will or you have some extra time for an intern to look into something, that might be the way to go. So I like how she focuses on foundational first and then of course if you have time feel free to play around in these other areas.

 

All right, so once again, as I always do I want to thank Sam Howard, David Ferker, Auntie Lightning for all their help on the show. If I could ever be of assistance, share some case studies, a little bit of free consulting let me know. You can always email me David Brickley, but you can email me here at david@stn.digital, I read every single email. So if you ever want to holler, say what's up. Once again guys, the business of social powered by STN Digital.