My name is Tiago Ribeiro but my friends call me “Tito”. I’m just a guy who’s passionate about the communication universe. I started working at the age of 15 at a radio station, founded my first start-up in 2011 called @agencybrazil – and for over 10 years I’ve been the editor of a blog in Brazil called revista.st. I’ve worked in several different agency formats, from tiny creative boutiques like DIFERi, to major companies like SapientNitro. Today, I work at lampada.ag as the Chief Culture Officer, where I’ve been given the opportunity to create a new work methodology linked to social media, mobile and innovation. Lampada.ag has been present for over 15 years in Brazil and its DNA consists of developing and elaborating large entertainment platforms, such as events, promotions and activations. When I started, my goal was to change everything – to reinvent the agency and its model of operations. It has been working so far.
How and why did you get started in social media?
I started working with social media at AG2 Publicis Modem as a Social Media Analyst. My main job was to monitor occurrences and my leading client was the Brazilian Olympic Institute. I monitored the word ‘Rio de Janeiro’ – can you imagine how many references I had to manually qualify every single day?! To be honest, I went experienced several sleepless nights because the amount of words and expressions on social networks was gigantic. Alongside Publicis’ social team, we also created campaigns for the holding’s clients. This was a major learning experience for me; I'm very grateful to Hugo Rodrigues, Chief Operating Officer at Publicis Brazil and Luciana Bazanella, Head of Planning at AG2 Nurun, for the opportunity to learn from them. Then I worked with Ike Morais from the Creative Department in the Digital/Social Media sector at TVC/Teterka, aiming to assist McDonald’s in Brazil with its digital activations. It’s worth noting that even before joining the Publicis Group, I already had vast experience with social media, as I worked as a consultant for an American company in Brazil named ZOOPPA, the largest Crowdsourcing Advertising social network in the world.
What do you believe the benefits of using social media for business?
Today, we live in a social world. It’s impossible to think about executing any sort of business without a solid social strategy. And when I talk about strategy, I don’t only mean a well-produced content grid with pretty pictures from a random image bank. Social media is, above all, the greatest communication channel of a company with its consumers. It is where the company can make itself present in the consumer’s day-to-day. But it needs to be well executed – large investments are also necessary, especially on workforce and the team that will deploy the project. I believe that a creative team can make a lot different on the project’s end result.
What do you think are common mistakes business owners make when building brand awareness on social media?
So many...truly. The biggest mistake is doing it just for the sake of doing it. Your competitor has a profile on Instagram, so most business owners feel like they need to create a profile for their brand too – without any planning or research about the platform. The channel is simply created overnight based on a sense of obligation. Social Media should never be executed like that – it’s very complex to be left in the hands of interns.
I believe that the second biggest mistake is to not consider an augmentation plan, whether it’s an activation or just a PR strategy. Generally, social content is limited to one platform and doesn’t gain relevance because it isn’t a part of the consumer’s life.
Now, the biggest mistake that pretty much everyone makes is creating campaigns for themselves. The product’s target is usually very culturally different from the client, and clients insist on creating campaigns based on their personal taste that simply don’t speak the same language as their target. Brazil has a huge middle class and several brands just ignore that fact.
What qualities do you think social media managers should have?
I believe that an indispensable quality for a social media manager is to enjoy taking risks and never being afraid of what’s new. Overall, a good manager must foster a passion for what’s new among his team, to the point where that passion reaches the client. Managers must to feel an urge to bet on new concepts, platforms and languages. A good social leader is the one that makes things happen with a substantial budget or with nothing at all.
How do Business owners know if their social media campaign is working?
I think that in order for a business owner to find out whether his campaign is working, he needs to ask himself the following question: Did my neighbour mention the campaign at his dentist appointment? Did I open the newspaper today and find anything about my campaign? I’m out for coffee and the table next to mine can’t stop talking about my campaign… If the answer is yes, congratulations, your campaign worked. If it’s no, unfortunately your campaign didn’t work. I believe that a good social campaign is only successful when people talk about it. And keep in mind that people have different opinions – they may or may not like your campaign.
How do you see social media evolving over the next 5 years …what do you hope to see?
Wow, five years is a lot…today everything is changing all the time. I believe that mobile will be much more present in our lives in a more natural manner. I really believe that other huge social platforms will emerge and that segmentation is the main characteristic in any social campaign. From the client’s perspective, I believe that investment can grow an average of 200% - social media platforms are increasingly being perceived as media platforms.
What are your favourite platforms for social media marketing?
I particularly enjoy innovating and trying out new platforms - I think that people are less shielded and you have a unique opportunity to be one of these channels, perhaps even a pioneer. I really like creating conversations and dialogues between brands and consumers, and platforms like Instagram and Twitter are the best ones to do that.
If you could share one best practice about using social media to grow a business, what would it be?
Having a Big Idea – a strong concept to guide the entire social media campaign, adapted to each platform where it will make itself present. If the idea is really good, it will certainly take over the world, show up in blogs and websites across the globe, and particularly, become a topic of conversation while waiting in line at the bank, bar tables and dentist offices. The secret is simple: having one person in your team that is truly innovative.