Extending and experimenting on all fronts


Econsultancy is the world’s most authoritative digital marketing community, publisher and trainer. It’s their job to understand social before anyone else. Not surprisingly, they do it all – Blogging, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn groups, YouTube, Pinterest, Foursquare, Google+, Slideshare, Instagram… you name it.

But instead of building communities out in the social channels, they use social to drive people back to their site, blog and content. It’s all about top-of-funnel awareness and engagement – with a big emphasis on experimentation and innovation. And it’s all guided by analytics.

This ‘try it, learn about it and share the learning’ approach is what makes Econsultancy one of our Social Heroes.

On Twitter: @Econsultancy
On LinkedIn:
On Pinterest:


Matt Owen, Social Media Manager, on Community

We’re unusual in that we’re a community already – so social isn’t necessarily about building communities out there in social platforms; more about raising awareness and driving traffic back to our content and forums.

So, for us, social media is primarily about pushing traffic to the site. We do have community activity on Facebook too but it’s really about getting people back to the Econsultancy site.

On Experimentation

Innovation is a central brand value for us – a willingness to explore and experiment. We don’t start with a huge budget – we’ve got a ‘try it and see’ approach.

We’ll try anything – Foursquare, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest – partly to claim the channel for our brand but also to poke around, discover what’s valuable for Econsultancy and for our members.

We’re using Pinterest for things like infographics and it’s already our fifth biggest social referrer.

The guiding principle is to know enough to know we don’t know everything.

On Metrics

I wear a junior analyst hat, too: trying to figure out who is engaging with us and who we want to engage with us and where the influencers are.

On Sharing Expertise

It’s good for more Econsultancy people to be involved -- good for their personal brand and good to show that Econsultancy is full of experts on all sorts of digital marketing disciplines.

On LinkedIn, we have a few groups but the best returns for us come from the Q&A forums. I go on every day, find questions and email them around to people in the business so they can go and post an answer.

We encouraged this initially by a bit of gamification. We gave each person a personal URL shortener so we could track the traffic and conversion they generated through social channels. The winner got a bottle of wine. It was a bit of fun and a good way to jump start things.

We also sent a team to the SXSW event last year. They did lots of video and ‘pop-up panels’ and we reported and promoted it on Twitter a lot.

On Building Brand

For us, social media is about the top end of the funnel – for building brand recognition as we expand to the US and around the world; and to introduce people to the breadth of what we do – such as events, reports and training.

On the Pay side, the targeting in social channels like Facebook and Twitter are reasonably good. So we experiment with promoted tweets or pay-per-click ads in Facebook.

#Social Success Lessons

  • Open accounts in key channels to get your brand name in there
  • Experiment with social: you don’t need a tight strategy for everything from the start
  • Get your people involved: multiply your impact and expose your experts
  • It’s great to have a social media specialist to coordinate activities (but you can start without one!)
  • Measure traffic and engagement to guide your activities and focus your resources

Read about more of our Social Heroes.

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