Social media engagement tips from Tidal’s Mikaela Allen

Behind the scenes, Interviews
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While some may think social media is an easy thing to grasp, there are actually quite a few things to consider when it comes to running a brand. Impressions, reach, link clicks, profile visits and engagement rates, to name a few.

For Mikaela Allen, a digital marketing manager at Tidal, Jay-Z’s music steaming service, a successful analytics and engagement strategy is both an art and a science, a mix of empirical research and healthy experimentation. 

Storybench spoke with Allen for advice on what to consider when curating social media content, how to interpret analytics and what tools she recommends for those trying to build up their social media presence.

How did you get your start in digital media? What was it about digital marketing that brought you to where you are now? 

My first job out of college was as a customer service representative for an online music distribution company called TuneCore. Once a decision was made to bring our digital marketing in-house, I applied and was promoted to social media manager in the marketing department. Since the responsibilities were previously being handled by an agency, it was my job to develop an entirely new strategy for TuneCore’s social channels. 

I’m someone who enjoys creating and maintaining relationships with people in my personal life – and digital marketing allows me to do that in my career as well. Learning how different audiences interact with each other, discovering new things, interacting with brands, then using that information to influence a brand’s strategy is what motivates me to continue a career in digital marketing. 

How did you start working at Tidal? 

Honestly, I just applied on LinkedIn! I saw a digital marketing coordinator position opening at Roc Nation, so I applied and got an interview. After a couple of interviews, the chief digital officer mentioned an opportunity at Tidal as a fan engagement coordinator. I was given the option to choose which position I thought would be best for me. Since I already had a start in the digital streaming world with TuneCore, I chose Tidal. In my almost two years here, I was able to move up through the ranks to digital manager, focusing on analytics and engagement. 

When curating content for Tidal’s social media, what are some things that you consider? 

When you’re a brand trying to market on social media, you have to be sure that what you have to say is worth seeing. You’re competing with friends and family on social media, so it has to be worth it for the people you’re talking to. 

Here are a few things I ask myself before posting: 

  1. What is the demographic of who I’m talking to? 
  2. What time of day are these people online? 
  3. Is there a specific channel that works best for this particular piece of content? 
  4. What am I asking my audience to do? What’s the clearest and quickest way to communicate that? 
  5. Is there similar content that’s worked for Tidal’s social channels in the past? If so, can we utilize a similar approach to how we promote this content? 

How does one begin to start increasing audience engagement on a social media platform? How many times should one post a day? 

This answer is different for every brand. The best way to determine the answer to these questions is by analyzing your existing audience. See what works and what doesn’t work. Look at other companies that have audiences that are either similar to yours or have an audience that you’d want to have. Once you do some research, it’s all about trial and error. Test things out and then you’ll be able to see what works best for your brand. 

How do you interpret analytics? 

The most important metrics for me are impressions, reach, link clicks, profile visits and engagement rates. I go through all of our posts and see which ones performed the best in each of these categories. From there, I see if there are any similarities in the top performing content and if the posting criteria that I used to create the strategy was a determining factor in its success. 

Can you explain the meaning and difference between ROI and KPIs? 

After gathering the above analytics, you would then analyze how your audience reacted to it. Once the goals are identified for a specific campaign, you take the KPIs (the various factors that help you determine whether or not something was successful [engagement rate, impressions, ect.]), and use them to determine your ROI (how much money/time/effort it took for you to gain new customers.) You can’t have one without the other! 

What tools and/or tips do you recommend for someone running a social media platform for a record label or website when it comes to curating content and increasing engagement? 

In addition to the above tips, there are a lot of free tools that people can use to understand their data better. One of my favorite things to do is look at the Facebook Business Manager analytics, Twitter Analytics, and Instagram Analytics for Tidal’s social channels. This gives you a great foundation to work with. I benefit a lot from using is Google Analytics and Google Trends as well. Looking at your actual posts in addition to how your overall brand compares with other brands is the best way to get a realistic idea of the success of your digital marketing approach.

Tahisha Charles
Tahisha is a graduate student at Northeastern’s School of Journalism.

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