Stories and Strategies Podcast
Guests, Joey Scarillo and Caine Fair, Grey Group
Published December 11, 2022
It was the holiday season and across all the channels, content managers were busily pre-planning their handles. The hashtags were placed in each post with care in hopes target audiences soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their beds, surfing through TikTok and texting with friends and mama on her iPad, and me on my Mac, checking out Facebook, sending messages on Slack. When suddenly a message said Elon Musk was trending, I sprang onto Twitter to watch the world ending more rapid than Trump his curses. They came and he shouted in caps and called them by name, Sanders Griffin, Biden, Pelosi, Trudeau Warren, the Babylon, b de boosting, not banning under freedom of speech, allowing them access, but not freedom of reach. But for all of this clatter with each post and each thread, well, I still believe there’s nothing to dread. Social itself is a permanent trend for new ideas, new discoveries, new engagements, new friends, a voice for non-truths, but exposure therein, democracy, imperfect, but no wall keeps us in. So may we exclaim as we post in plain sight. Happy holidays to all and to all a good night.
Nat King Cole (02:01):
Merry Christmas to you.
My name is Doug Downs music off the top. Nat King Cole. The Christmas song written by Robert Wells and Mel Torme. They wrote that song in mid-July, <laugh> in the Blistering Heat. They say they were trying to think cool thoughts. It kinda worked. My guest this week are Joey Scarillo and Caine Fair of Greg Group. Joey, you’re joining us today from New York. How are things in the big Apple?
Joey Scarillo (02:51):
Things are great, great energy here. This time of year, as the year winds down things really, the excitement really picks up here. So
I love it and kind kind of Christmasy Times Square, all decked out and all that stuff. It. Caine, you’re joining us from San Diego, no sense asking how the weather is never really seems to change 12 months of the year, but how are things where you are?
Caine Fair (03:13):
Yeah, we try to act Christmasy out here. We put up some lights every once in a while, but most Santas have board shorts on and a surfboard under his arm, but it’s still a little chilly. I’m in a sweatshirt.
Yeah, yeah. The way it should be. Caine you’re the group director, social and connections at Grey Group, overseeing the development of social strategy, content creation, and influencer marketing for a variety of health, consumer, leisure, and tech brands. And I can see online that you have won or been part of groups that have won way too many awards to count, let alone mention. Congratulations on all those. Stranger to the stage. Joey, you’re a senior project manager at Gray Group podcast producer for one of our favorite podcasts, five things this week in social. Your experience goes back to the early two thousands, even spent some time working for Disney. Grey itself is a huge agency serving both consumer and health and wellness clients in 38 global offices. So today what we’re gonna do on the podcast is a kind of thought we’d have some casual fun. We’re talking about social media, and rather than dictate specific questions, because I’ve listened to your podcast your knowledge goes so deep into social media, I would just end up asking really stupid questions compared to what you can do.
You’d be explaining 1 0 1 to me. So we thought we’d play this scenario, given the time of year it is. I’ve got all these gifts in front of me that I need to unwrap. They’re all addressed to me, <laugh>, how it should be. But I need some help in understanding each gift, even how to use each gift. And I wonder if you wouldn’t, they’re all about social media. So I, I’ve enlisted you guys to help me out, so I appreciate that. So I will open the first gift and it’s oh, it’s Facebook. How do I use this
Caine Fair (05:12):
<laugh>? Wow. What a way to start the OG social platform. I guess the OG following MySpace, or a aim, I guess we’re probably the ones that kicked us all off. But yeah, Facebook has been kind of maybe shifted now, but since the beginning. The core of social has millions of users, massively successful, especially currently for the older audiences that are, are tapping into Facebook, more so than the younger demographics who have turned to other platforms at this time. But it’s still an incredible tool. I mean, we use Facebook’s algorithm as one of the most valued algorithms for targeting marketing capabilities. Their back end of analytics is incredibly powerful. It has one of the best success rates for driving traffic to other entities or digital platforms. So when you have product or content placements on Facebook, and we’ll get into Instagram of course, but they have a connected back.
And that’s a very, very, very powerful tool to help drive traffic to other platforms. So to your website, to inexperience beyond just a Facebook post and how we use it. People use it for a variety of reasons. We use it for personal updates, but as brands, we use it really for community building. I would say that’s the most important part of Facebook. It has very powerful engagement and community building elements to drive conversation drive, brand sentiment. Obviously it opens up a whole can of worms for conversations. But overall, it’s kind of the community based Facebook platform that we’ve used for brands and in recent times of Metaverse and all those other updates that we’ve seen from Facebook and Meta, they’ve been really looking at ways to innovate their platform as well. So it’s not just the STO yield Facebook that has always been the same.
Excellent. There’s another, there’s a little gift attached to this one. It says it’s Instagram. I don’t know why these two were connected.
Joey Scarillo (07:12):
Well, I think they’re from the same manufacturer. Oh, yeah, batter batteries included. So Instagram, these days mean when we think about what Instagram’s main function is, it’s hard to ignore reels. Reels is Instagram’s TikTok feature. When you think about it compared to TikTok, it’s always behind the curve when it comes TikTok. TikTok just keeps winning and keeps winning in the video space. But there are a few things that Instagram does really well that I think is interesting for brands, and that’s around e-com and the seamless in-app purchasing that little shopping bag tab in your Instagram is a really great way to see things that might interest you and a great way for brands to find people who will buy their product. I think that Instagram’s AI does a really great job of bringing the right content to you, the things that you’re gonna wanna see.
I think Instagram knows that. I like to wear hats, so I get served hats and graphic tees quite a bit. So Instagram really knows its users and it, it’ll serve up products directly in the app that you can purchase. An interesting thing though about Instagram these days is that we saw throughout this past year, users and Instagram sort of think about Instagram differently. There was an episode earlier this year where powerful users of the platform, like the Kardashians, want Instagram to stay close to its roots in photo sharing and still be a place for static images. So Instagram, I think is a little bit at odds with what some of its users want but the interesting thing is that Instagram says, and oddly I do believe this, even though weed might not think it’s true, that we engage more with the video content. And so that video content really is what keeps people coming back to the platform, even if they say it’s not what they want. Quick stat here, according to a study by Hyper Audit reals generates only 22.1% of the content on the platform, but makes up 33.8% of the reach and 35.4% of the likes distribution compared to images, carousel and video. So I think when you look at the that and think about how a third of the likes are in video and in reels it just really proves that it’s what people are going for. And I mean, I interact with Reels way more than I wanna admit, but
Yeah. Yeah, time killer. If I’ve heard. So if I post a video to my feed post Instagram now puts that automatically into my real damn the format, right? How that works now?
Joey Scarillo (10:20):
Yes, that is true, right Kane, right? That it goes right to
Caine Fair (10:23):
Reels if you put up a video. Yeah. Yeah. They’re gonna force it into the reels specs.
Okay. Interesting. Interesting. And I actually thought that Reels had more viewership than 38%, so I’m presuming a lot. That’s really interesting to know. All right. It’s another gift here. Look, this one’s not wrapped well, it looks like it’s been kicked around a little bit. Oh, it’s Twitter <laugh>.
Caine Fair (10:53):
Yeah, that one’s been probably missed a couple addresses, picked up a couple post Men <laugh>, but it It has a couple wheels loose, but it made it
Yep. Wheels, wheels, screws it Screw
Caine Fair (11:10):
<laugh> Twitter. Yeah. What a year what month? Really? What a November. Massive changes. I mean, I won’t even get into it. That could be a whole other podcast, but a couple big things that I find important with Twitter and just the use case of the platform for how you’re, as a brand or user using social media, Twitter has always been that go-to place for freedom of speech. It has been that unfiltered. It has been that short snippet thought-provoking platform that just drives culture. It allows people, no matter who you are, to have a voice and have the ability to shift culture with that. I think we’ve seen in the past couple years, really, and I think the core of this example comes from fake news, misinformation, politics, et cetera, but there’s just been this avalanche of, there’s just been this avalanche of chaos that’s arise from the opportunity to say whatever you want.
So Twitter, I mean, they’ve had some big changes. Elon Musk stepping in, doing what he wants to do to monetize the platform, of course had some hiccups along the way although it did bring an incredible rise in at user activities. So you can say what you want about that. One thing that I think that I find really important and powerful for this platform that will really shift the way it goes into 2023 and beyond is the way that they continuously push what they’re calling their birdwatch fact checking tool. <affirmative>. It’s just been updated actually recently to be called something else. I can’t even remember what it was called. It happened like last week. But essentially it’s put together a community based squad to go in and find those most impactful tweets and just make sure that what they’re saying are correct, so that we’re not getting information from people that we believe and trust, but it’s just actually just wrong.
So they’ve been making huge strides, I think, in a variety of ways. One of them is just to clean up the platform. It’s it, some people hate it because they kind of like the wild, wild west nature of it, and that’s what it was based off of. But I think for the power that it has now, it, it has to be a little bit policed. And I think they’re, those pushes for watch and just verifications and whatnot is a really great one. And it, we’ve seen brands try to step out of Twitter because of the chaos that’s been going on, and I think these pushes are gonna be able to bring some calming to the brands that have raised eyebrows to jump back in.
And just quickly a comment for me my mindset is different when I go on Twitter. So when I go on Instagram, I do go to reels and it’s kind of my brain jelly. I’m not put my brain into, I’m dozing off for a little bit, kind of the same with TikTok, which I don’t spend as much time on, but with Twitter, with LinkedIn, for sure, I’m in my conscious mind. With Twitter, I am kind of in my conscious mind. Is it the same for both of you? Is it a thinking platform and if anything ever happened to it, I would think something would replace it.
Joey Scarillo (14:30):
Yeah, it’s definitely more of a conscious platform. You have to lean in a little bit more rather than lean back. I think for me, when I’m on Twitter, I’m engaged, I’m trying to learn something, I’m trying to laugh at something. I’m trying to find out what’s going on in the world versus Yeah, you’re right. Versus reals, where I can of sit back and just start clicking mindlessly
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Caine Fair (15:58):
That one’s probably polished, probably come, comes with a builtin influencer. Yeah.
Yeah. Not it does a builtin influencer. That’s right.
Caine Fair (16:07):
It probably gives you rules on how to share your new present with your friends.
Caine Fair (16:13):
Yeah. TikTok is the star on top of the Christmas tree this year when it comes to social platforms. Massively important currently in the past couple years in not only the way that users are engaging with TikTok, but I’d say the biggest gold star that TikTok has is that it is single handedly shifting the way that other brands are thinking about social media. And it’s being the driving force for a lot of these innovations. From meta from YouTube from all these platforms that have been slightly stagnant. We see TikTok and most users are using TikTok as a video platform, but it actually has incredible audio power too. Recently, at least one of the success stories that TikTok has and shows the impact that it has on culture is someone who created a TikTok first song, just got Song of the year at the Grammy’s, and it was purely from TikTok. Wow, that shows, that’s the highs you could possibly get in music. And that song alongside Beyonce and Harry Styles and all these big time people was a atic.
And the power also of TikTok is the algorithm so sticky and so snackable and so incredibly accurate. There was a stat that came out about 20% of people are learning about new products in 2022 through TikTok. So there’s just this huge push for e-commerce, adding new e-commerce updates to their platform that are allowing people similar to what Joey’s talking about in Instagram. Just click right there, purchase a product, have those influencers, have the brands show a product and have it be seamless to be a purchase. And they actually also have an incredible amount of resources available and strong client and agency relationships to help brands create the most effective content, not just creatively, but how do they use the targeting? How do they use the analytics appropriately? What types of audiences should they be going after? What does the creative look like? They have a whole website and portal to just help people create the best content. So they’ve done a really great job of pushing social altogether, but the platform itself is just incredible.
Wonderful. Okay, next one is LinkedIn.
Joey Scarillo (18:46):
Probably didn’t want to open that one because it was wrapped so nicely and your name was written so meticulously. I
Don’t know what the font is, but it’s beautiful.
Joey Scarillo (18:55):
A beautiful font. When I think of LinkedIn, I don’t really think of major brands engaging on the platform other than for recruiting. As we know, LinkedIn has been a recruiting tool for a really long time for a lot of companies. But what I real, but where I go, where my brain goes when I think of LinkedIn is building personal brands and small businesses, smaller companies thought leadership, people who have something to say and need a professional platform to do it. I mean, the network for networking makes sense to advertise there. If you’re a B2B brand, it’s where to find other people in your industry. But I will admit, I love LinkedIn. The content there is mostly positive, inspirational, yeah, it’s very self-promote. But yeah, sometimes people who post on there are just posting about their accomplishments. But I think that’s still what makes it great, because there’s not a lot of political discourse. There’s not a lot of negativity, whereas you find that more on Twitter.
If I were to post something on Instagram like a professional win, my friends and family might engage with it, but they might not know exactly what it means. Whereas with LinkedIn in my professional network, they’re gonna understand the context. A great example of this is I told my mom that after we won the web, I sent her a picture of it and she didn’t know what it was. She thought it was a cup holder, and she was obviously very proud, but she had never seen a Webby Award before. So I screenshotted that conversation and I posted it to LinkedIn and everybody just loved it. It was really fun to see people to engage and celebrate my mom and all this. So LinkedIn’s really a great place for building that personal brand in a very organic way. And I find it’s that that’s kind of the best use for the platform for me. Humble, brags all the
Way. Yeah. And hashtags are okay on LinkedIn. There’s been a lot of, oh yeah, for sure. Okay. Yeah. Oh, it’s Snapchat.
Caine Fair (21:16):
Snapchat. Snapchat hasn’t done much recently, to be honest. I loved mean Snapchat has been taken over. TikTok in my opinion, and Snapchat needs to do something. I’m hoping they do something to revive themselves in the importance and the hierarchy of social platforms currently. I know there are great use cases for it. There’s events and filters and geolocation targeting. They have done really, really well to bring to life experiences. They’ve recently, this year, even launched a web version of Snapchat to make it even more accessible to users and bring it into your daily life more. But yeah, Snapchat, I think this is one how people use it is just really dependent on your friend groups. I would say. I mean, me and Joey just had this conversation a couple days ago. It’s like, I was like, how do you use Snapchat? And I was like, well, I have a group of friends that we just pretty much randomly will send each other photos every so often just to check in. And then you see the younger demographic, that’s how they communicate. That’s their form of text messaging is Snapchat one place that Snapchat is hope, hopefully gonna be pushing for more and more as they just recently published a huge research study on the power of AR and the power of how brands can use AR and Snapchat to heighten their purchasing journey for users so they can see themselves wearing certain things or
Interesting experience, certain things before they purchase it,
Caine Fair (22:52):
Just to get a taste of what it could be in real life, which I think is really, really interesting. And Snapchat has a great AR feature and they have a great AR set up for agencies and clients to build within that network or within that platform. I actually am calling Hear Me Out and calling Sleeper for 2023 Snapchat. I think they’re gonna be doing something next year. Wow. That will shift how we see the platform and will jump into a Ring of boxing match with TikTok and Instagram and the calling.
Oh, fascinating. Okay. Hold you to that last one under the tree. And I got a notification on my phone two minutes ago that I had to open this one right away. Be Real. Which is the one, I think it’s you. It’s the newest one, right? It
Joey Scarillo (23:39):
Is the shiny
New toy. I don’t get the business use here with this one. I see the fun.
Joey Scarillo (23:43):
I think we’re all waiting to see what the business use case is here other than brand building and engaging with your audience. So Be Real is the combative antithesis of social media. It goes against everything we know. Every convention that we do, it’s the anti Instagram. It is one of the best things about B R L is that it forces users to think differently about how to engage with the platform. And it also forces brands to think differently about how to use social media. It’s like Snapchat’s original idea of content going away. Unless of course you share it to other platforms, you can’t go back and search anybody’s Be real from a few days ago. So this idea that you can go on a brand’s Instagram feed see what they’ve been up to, browse products, maybe purchase something, all of that is gone with Be Real. The platform lives really in the moment. We discussed on our podcast a few months ago about the beauty brand Elf and their use of the platform. And so I started following them. I’m not their Target demo, but one thing that really impressed me is how quickly they jumped on board with this new platform, started to understand it, and they highlight products that they’re excited about and you can almost get a behind the scenes of what’s going on, which is kind of cool.
People like that. Yeah.
Joey Scarillo (25:13):
Yes. Kane, you were saying that, you mentioned to me that the US men’s soccer team is doing a similar thing.
Caine Fair (25:20):
Yeah, exactly. And you nailed it, Doug. It’s this raw behind the scenes access to these brands or these individuals that almost feels personalized to you, right? It’s like you see for the US men’s national team, of course, they’re over in the World Cup on a daily basis. They have their social media manager running around when they have the two minutes to take it be real, and they get the players together and take Goofy, be real. And it’s like, oh, these people are real. It humanizes a lot of these individuals that you’ve seen as archetype social icons or brands. The NFL does a great job. These are all sports related. Of course there are of course brands tapping into it. I know Nike does a great job. They do behind the scenes looks or shoe drops that are kind of custom to the platform. So there are brands tapping into it, but by no means is it optimized for
Joey Scarillo (26:14):
Brand and the aesthetic is not very curated, not very polished, maybe an inaction shot. It’s, it’s not a platform that will lead to major performance. But in my opinion, if brands are interested in the platform and they wanna appeal, especially to Gen Z, they should get on board with Be Real. It’s a low barrier of entry, easy to use, and I’m interested to see where it goes.
Dynamite. Well, thank you both, Joey and Kane for being on the episode today. Really appreciate your time today. Of course, thank you. If you’d like to send a message to my guests, Joey Scilla Kane Fair, best way to do that is by email and I’ve got a link to their emails in the show notes. Check out their podcast five things this week in Social, apple and Spotify. Links are in the show notes as well. Stories and Strategies is a co-production of Jgr Communications and Stories and Strategies podcasts. If you like this episode, do us a favor connect with us on social. We’re on Twitter under story underscore strats. Our handles are in the show notes. Thanks for listening.