Resources & Blog


#35 With Abbie Swindell

Resources & Blog

#35 With Abbie Swindell

Building a community on social media.

Wow, episode 35 of the 20 Minute Marketing Podcast was a lot of fun. In the first of a two-part series, we spoke with Abbie Swindell from Electric House. They are a social media publisher that is best known for their communities such as On The Tools and On A Budget. Abbie is the Head of Social and recently won the 2019 Young Marketer of The Year Award.

During the episode, we spoke about social media in-depth. Abbie started by talking about the value of creating communities and how this can offer more value than launching a brand page. We talked about how these communities help you form lasting relationships by allowing you to share meaningful, informative content.

Abbie also talked about TikTok and its value to businesses. We spoke about some of the brands that are using the platform well, such as Chipotle and Gymshark. Meanwhile, Abbie also shared some insights into the new Electric House community on TikTok, named Ministry Of. Finally, we covered Instagram Reels and the impact that they might have on the social world.

The full episode is available now. You can listen to it on our website by visiting The Reach Podcast. Additionally, it is available on all major streaming sites such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and more. All you need to do is search 20 Minute Marketing, or follow the link provided. If reading is your thing, here are some of the key takeaways from our conversation...

Liam

You have several communities and also work on the agency side. I'm assuming that allows you to oversee lots of campaigns that vary in size, budget, and goals?

Abbie

Yeah, we do. We get to see the best of all sides of social really by setting up new communities. We have some successful communities but there have been others that haven't worked as well. I also work on brand and client accounts which is cool. I get to see all areas of the social world which is interesting.

Liam

You've mentioned the word community a few times already. What's the difference between building a community on socials as opposed to just starting a brand page?

Abbie

I'd say the main difference with a community is the relationship that your audience has got with the brand. We see On The Tools and On A Budget as their own brands. Firstly, we refer to them as communities because they're spread across multiple platforms. Also, it's all about the relationship that they have with their audience. For example, On The Tools is a community for the construction industry.

Liam

How do you make sure that your content both stands out and reaches the right audience?

Abbie

I'd say the main thing is understanding what the brand's niche is. Find out what makes your page stand out from your competitors. One thing that I will always preach is those niche communities are the way to go. We've been passionate about them. They might not have a huge presence initially, but they have scope to grow.

Liam

Is there a specific type of content that has been working well for you at the minute? For example - humour, video, or informative posts. Or does it all depend?

Abbie

I think it plays to both. It depends on the platform that you're on and what brand message you want to get across. And, what kind of content your audience would want to see. With On The Tools, we have focused on short-form humour since the early days. However, we've gradually shifted to long-form documentary content, which is going down well. Our focus now is to create content that is helpful to our audience. Do pay attention to the platform, though. Facebook is great for long-form video whereas TikTok would be suited to short-form content.

Liam

So, the best way to learn is to try new content ideas across different platforms. You can then monitor engagement levels to find out what works and what doesn't.

Abbie

Definitely, and it's something that we're always doing. Behind the scenes, there are lots of videos that haven't worked as well. We'll never do those again, but we invest a lot of time into test phases and new ideas. You have to go through that process to land on a series or piece of content that works exceptionally well. There is some trial and error involved until you master it.

Liam

Absolutely. If you have this great piece of content that didn't quite work out, then you can always change things around. So, for example, you could turn your blog post into a long-form instructional video, or perhaps if a long-form video wasn't working, you could reach out to a podcast host and ask them if you could talk about it on their show. Let's talk about a new topic. You mention TikTok frequently on your vlog, The Daily Bolt. How can businesses use it?

Abbie

We love TikTok. We're all over it. Anyone can go viral on the platform. It's extremely difficult to go viral when you're a small page on Instagram and Facebook. Whereas, with TikTok, if you've got a good piece of video content that people want to see the algorithm is very smart in serving it to people that would want to watch that video. We've just set up another community through TikTok called Ministry Of. One of the channels, Ministry of Science, has hit 122,000 followers in one month. We haven't seen that kind of growth for a long time.

Liam

Do you have any examples of companies that have been using it well? I saw in your vlog that you mentioned Chipotle.

Abbie

Yes, I love Chipotle on TikTok. They understand the tone of voice and type of content that works well on the platform. They use trending songs and challenges very well and adapt them to their niche. I've had conversations with other brands in the past that are a little bit nervous to tap into the humorous content. However, you can focus on other things like informational content.

Liam

There's a lot of talk about Instagram Reels lately. Do you have any thoughts on the effect that they might have? And can you explain the future to listeners that might not have heard about them?

Abbie

Instagram Reels is their take on TikTok. You'll be able to upload them using Stories. It will follow a similar theme, with dance challenges and popular sounds. I think that it's a credit to TikTok that a platform as big as Instagram is trying to replicate their success. We saw the same with Snapchat, but I feel like TikTok has a big enough niche to continue successfully.

Liam

Do you have any quick-fire tips for increasing engagement?

Abbie

I'd suggest looking at trending topics. See if any national days are coming up and considering jumping on them. Secondly, ask open-ended questions when you post content. This will help you to spark engagement and encourage interaction. Asking questions is a great thing. Just don't fall into the trap of engagement bait, as it will do more harm than good.

Cutomer Account manager
by Liam Quinn | Marketing Executive

Hi, I'm Liam, Marketing Executive at Reach Interactive. I have a background in international marketing and love branding, social media and seeing how companies communicate with their customers.

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