Brands can learn social media and content lessons from ISIS argues NATO advisor



Brands have a lot to learn around the content space from terrorist organisation ISIS, argues a NATO social media advisor.

Speaking at the PRIA National Conference in Hobart Nicole Matejic, the CEO of Social Monster, said the way ISIS, or DAESH as they are known in Arabic, had identified a gap in the media market and had used social media to connect with audiences offered a key lesson for brands not properly utilising social media. 

“If you can get your SEO right, whether we’re talking about war or a crisis, the first thing people will see when they Google you is your three top pieces of content. It is easy to do,” she said. “It’s a sure win for information dominance.”

Matejic dismissed the PR industry’s preoccupation with engagement when it comes to content.

“When you’re putting out a campaign, don’t think about engagement think about conversion. I’m not interested in how many Facebook likes, or comments you got,” she said.

“I’m interested in how many people watched that video or how many people clicked that link and visited your website and what they did after that? How long did they stay? Did they buy something? Where is your conversions?

“Otherwise all of this is for naught. It’s just another piece of content on their scrolling feed.”

She said it’s important to remember the goal of entering the content space.

“Governments are in the business of staying in power. Terrorists like to sell an ideology and terrorise people. The media is in the business of selling news – the media is in it for profit, it’s not a non-profit exercise. And citizens are in the business of surivival.”

“You need to start telling stories for your own brands or clients or somebody else will. They will walk into that information vacuum because no one else is there.

“It’s how Daesh have actually created this whole media empire because nobody was there. They saw a gap in the media landscape and they just took it.

“If you’ve got a client or you’re working for a company that has no media footprint, it’s really easy for someone to impersonate them or exploit them or their competitor to go and own that complete landscape.”

In light of the rise of social media and how brands and media companies can use it to distribute a message, Matejic suggested the death of the media release is imminent.

“It’s on its way out,” she said.  “In a content environment, if I can serve up to you a video and it gives a corporate statement, does the media then spend the time on it and give it to a  journalist or do they just grab that content and suddenly your video is front page news?”

Miranda Ward


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