‘Don’t sit your social media strategist in the corner’: Mozilla Firefox’s Maura Tuohy

Brands need to be looking at social media as a behavioural tool rather than just a content platform and product, says head of social marketing and influencer relations at Mozilla Firefox, Maura Tuohy, especially when shaping brand strategies.

“There are rich human insights in the social media behaviour.

“The things that captivate us on social media reveal our human struggle.

Tuohy: “Social media is the prism, that held against the white light of our personality refracts into a bunch of different identities”

“Behind the networks, behind the product features, all the technology is us, is humans – social media gets blamed for a lot of our societal woes.

“Social media has it the worst for being blamed for things that exists within us, social media is really a mirror for our culture,” she said.

“Social media is the prism, that held against the white light of our personality refracts into a bunch of different identities,” she said quoting Derek Thompson.

Tuohy warned brands and advertisers against simply sitting their social strategist in the corner.

“It is not enough to have a social strategist just come in when it is time to do your social marketing campaign, you need to have a brand strategist that is literate with the internet, or you need to have a social strategist that is involved right through the process.

“Hire people that are internet literate.

“Do get people that know how to be investigative journalists”.

“Whatever you put out there in whatever channel, the internet is going to take and do with it whatever it will,” she warned.

Firefox’s Tuohy attributed anthropologist Genevieve Bell’s five basic human needs to the success of social media: the need for friends and family, the want to belong to a community, the need to bring meaning to our lives, the need for objects and to talk about who we are, and the need to keep secrets and tell lies.

“We want to feel like there is a bigger purpose.

“Groups leverage social media to find each other and find momentum and we need objects to talk about who we are,” she said.

Emojis were an example used by Tuohy as she explained how humans inject meaning into their social habits and how brands can interpret these.

“Emojis help us clarify what we are saying and cement our relationships.

According to a piece of research shown in her presentation, the tears of joy emoji is the most used, which Tuohy said alerted brands and social marketers to the fact we use emojis to communicate and show warmth.

“The tears of joy emoji helps to soften darker emotions.

“The top 10 emojis are all in the positive spectrum, so if we think about this and what we can try and learn from this insight here is that we want to be seen as positive people. Something that seems as throw away as an emoji can actually tell us something about our personality,” she said.

Hasthags were another example presented to the room, with Tuohy attributing their popularity to their ability to help people feel connected.

“As humans we are feeling this need for connection and to build bridges, if you were to look at something like Twitter, you would find those same insights.”


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