Social media: Brands should ‘take a risk’

Playing it safe on social might seem like the tried and trusted approach - but those brands willing to bite the bullet and take a risk could stand a better chance of success on it, a senior marketer at British Airways has said.

Amanda Phillips, BA’s head of omnichannel content and marketing operations, said marketers shouldn’t follow their brand guidelines to the letter when pushing out comms on their social channels, Marketing Week reported.
This might mean friction between in-house marketers and PR teams over which is the better approach, but being risky could reap big rewards, Ms Phillips told an audience at an Effectiveness Week marketing event.

“You have to be nimble, flexible and contextual and you have to hold your nerve – especially when your press office is telling you off for a tweet,” she was quoted as saying.

Ms Phillips explained she faced such internal battles when BA launched a Brexit-themed social marketing campaign earlier this year. The airline promoted an offer on Twitter that encouraged holidaymakers to take advantage of the reduced value of the post-referendum pound and book wallet-friendly flights to the UK.

While some Twitter users saw the promotion as being opportunistic, Ms Phillips said it generated both sales and publicity for BA, including having the story discussed on several TV news shows in America.

“We had news presenters standing and pointing at a screen which showed our homepage, advocating that customers go [visit] and buy from our sale,” she said.

“I would have had to have spent tens of millions of dollars to get that kind of coverage [using other means].”

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