The rise of social media has transformed the way iconic publishing brands communicate with modern consumers. As such, digitally-savvy audiences can enjoy content and news in a more dynamic environment that goes beyond a single print edition or medium. Today’s PLANOLEADER can attest to this, as she’s seen the publishing space evolve in tandem with technology throughout her career. Enter Becky Kaminsky from Billboard.
Becky’s career has rested at the intersection of social media and publishing, and she’s held social roles at esteemed publications, including Cosmopolitan, Complex, and BuzzFeed. Now, as the social media manager at Billboard, Becky’s days change just as quickly as the social landscape itself.
Despite this, Becky believes that creating a thoughtful content experience explicitly tailored for particular audiences will always be of importance. We had the opportunity to chat more about this idea in today’s interview, which also features Becky’s professional background and best practices for modern marketers. Read on for more from our visit with the social storyteller who graciously invited us to her home office in Brooklyn, New York.
Please introduce yourself!
My name is Becky Kaminsky, and I’m the social media manager at Billboard – where I’ve been since May 2018. I’ve worked in the publishing industry doing social media for several years now with a focus on lifestyle and entertainment news.
What were you doing before Billboard? What role did digital play in your job description and what are some notable moments throughout your career thus far?
Digital media has played a major role in every step of my career so far. Before Billboard, I held social media editor positions at Cosmopolitan, Complex, and BuzzFeed. My experiences working with such digital-savvy companies have led me to some of my favorite moments of my career, including working the Grammys red carpet and meeting my all-time favorite artist, John Mayer, at Billboard’s Live Music Summit last year.
When reflecting on notable moments throughout my career, it blows my mind that my job didn’t even exist when people would ask me, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The social media landscape has changed so much and so quickly, that when Instagram Stories launched during my time at Cosmo, we had no clue what to do with it. Now, it’s a critical part of my workflow every day.
You’ve spent the majority of your career in the publishing world. What would you say has been social media’s most prominent (and positive) contribution to the ever-evolving magazine space?
Without a doubt, social media’s most prominent and positive contribution to the magazine space is the open line of communication it has created between a publication and its audience. The ability to connect with your readers directly and efficiently has unlocked an entirely new level of community management that didn’t exist before. Hearing fan feedback in real-time has been an absolute game-changer for the industry.
Give us an overview of your days at Billboard. How would you describe the amount of time and planning spent on each social platform? Would you say it’s challenging to differentiate content across channels while making sure everything still ties back to overarching editorial themes?
My day-to-day at Billboard involves a lot of planning. Whether it’s creating the social roll-out plan for the upcoming issue of the magazine, figuring out how we can stand out from the crowd at the next event, or making sure we have content for all hours of the day on each platform. Social media touches all facets of the company, so I’m frequently in meetings connecting with the editorial, photo, and video teams to ensure we’re all on the same page.
At the end of the day, most of my time goes into planning our Instagram strategy. With all the different ways to consume content on the platform (long-form video on IGTV, quick clips in Stories, galleries, interactive stickers, etc.), as well as being as conscious of the algorithm as possible, Instagram definitely takes the most strategizing.
We notice that Billboard’s Instagram presence includes its hero channel along with segmented accounts focusing on different music genres. Why do you think this strategy is vital for fostering and engaging with Billboard’s global community?
One of the key takeaways I’ve learned in this field is that people like to feel seen. Relatable content makes people feel seen, and an audience that relates to your content is an engaged audience. An engaged audience will watch, like, and click. With several different accounts targeting different music genres, we’re able to reach our most passionate fans and foster a community that can bond over a shared taste in music.
Talk to us about creating and implementing social strategies in an industry like music. Can you point to a specific social project or series Billboard has launched that you think embodies modern music marketing?
With music, especially pop music, you have to assume everyone is going to be talking about the same thing at the same time. It’s called “popular music” for a reason! Something I like to focus on is cutting through that noise. What can we do or say that will get people to engage with Billboard at that moment?
In today’s constantly-scrolling culture, giving people something to watch, listen to, and learn from that they can’t get somewhere else is key. Our Instagram Stories series, “Truth Booth,” does just that. In this series, a musician reveals some fun facts about themselves, but the catch is that one of those fun “facts” is actually a lie. The audience has the opportunity to guess which one is false using Instagram’s question sticker in Stories. It’s short and sweet to meet our generation’s dwindling attention spans, but it also gives the audience something to do that requires very little effort. It’s fun to guess the answer, and it’s satisfying to guess the answer correctly.
It’s important to give your audience an incentive to consume your content, and the incentive here is to hear the artist tell the backstory of their fun facts on the last frame of the series. If the audience has engaged through that point, we can conclude (and hope!) that they’re likely to swipe up to the supplementary video or article we’re serving them at that moment or feel excited to consume our content in the future.
What are your top best practices for marketing professionals looking to create culturally relevant social content?
Optimize your content: We’ve already established that the internet is a never-ending stream of information, so don’t make your audience work hard to engage with your posts. Make your content as easy to consume as possible by using closed captions on videos, bright and clear imagery, and writing concise copy.
Study your audience: Use insights. Where does your audience live? What languages do they speak? How old are they? This will help tailor your newsfeed to your audience’s wants and needs, resulting in a higher click-through rate on all posts.
Be adaptable: Don’t be afraid to switch it up and try something new. Use new features on all the social media platforms and participate in trending topics. Don’t get frustrated when the post that went viral last week can’t be replicated this week. The social media sphere is constantly changing, and all we can do is be prepared to adapt to it.
Planoly simplifies social media marketing. The Planoly APP and WEB platform helps to plan, schedule, and track your Instagram and Pinterest performance. Sign up below.