Keeping Social Media Sweet & Simple


Tady Walsh is a UX Development lead at Arekibo. With over twenty years of experience in the industry, Tady is a veteran of the first browser wars.

An expert in frontend technologies, Tady also comes from an artistic background, therefore, he knows how to take a good design and turn it into a user friendly interface. His expertise in website accessibility requirements and ensuring that front end experiences are usable by all, have been an asset to Arekibo in his 11 years with the company.

Arekibo, which is a leading Irish performance marketing agency, is headquartered in Dublin. Arekibo designs and develops digital solutions for clients across Ireland and Europe.

Tady Walsh was one of our keynote speakers at the 3XE Social Media & Content Marketing Conference, where his topic of presentation was ‘Nothing worse than a bad KISSer’.  At the end of this article, find the video of Tady’s presentation where he elaborates on the 3 key areas:

  1. How users see social media.
  2. What works and what doesn’t.
  3. How to be more effective in presenting certain forms of information to their users.

Social media strategies are based around short term engagement, aiming for the viral and hoping for long tail returns. Examining exactly how we engage with users in a social media environment, Tady took us through some of the pitfalls of targeting short term returns and how to reassess our approach.

Tady spoke about the common mistakes that we do, and helped us see from a customer’s perspective, how and why these strategies don’t always succeed. Keeping it Sweet and Simple (KISS) doesn’t need to be hard.

In a recent conversation with Tady, we had the opportunity to learn what are his thoughts on social media:

What are the benefits of Social Media & Content for a Business?

The primary two benefits for me would be immediate interaction and sentiment engagement. Users have immediate access to a business, in ways they never had before. Businesses who engage with their users on social media will have a much greater service impression among their user base, than businesses who don’t. Being seen to be responsive is almost as important as actually being responsive.

Sentiment engagement immediately lets the business know if something is going well or, as is often the case, something is going wrong among their user base. Being able to read and engage with this sentiment within minutes of it happening, can form the public perception of that business. The earlier we are informed of positive or negative events, the easier we can manage them and public expectation around them.

Would you consider Social Media as a revenue generating tool in the marketing mix?

Absolutely, if done well. Sometimes, it depends on what your target market is and who you want your customers to be. But for the most part, engagement spreads confidence and trust spends money.

What will be your suggestion on budgeting for social media?

This is relative to the size and scale of the company or the product but I would suggest as much as you can afford. Realistically there is currently no better way to engage with your customers on a one-on-one basis than through social media channels and that engagement is worth every cent invested.

I used to work in retail and my boss would always have a huge problem that I never upsold a customer (sold them extras, go for the higher spec model, etc.) My point was that if I spent the time and care on making sure the customer got exactly what they wanted, then they would more than likely come back to me again for future sales and, if handled correctly, would become a long term client. I was almost always proven right. I think social media channels now afford us the opportunity to engage with our customers on both a local, national and international level. Never underestimate the value in making your customers “feel good” about having gotten a quick response.

How important is ‘content’ for paid campaigns?

Crucial. The wrong content can mislead, misdirect and misinform your customers. People don’t like to be taken for a ride so not delivering on a promise is one of the cardinal sins of social media publishing. Content needs to be considered and well constructed. Then the interaction needs to entice, inform and engage the customer base. Fail on any of these points and your content isn’t worth the digital ink it’s written with and your money might as well be flushed down the toilet.

What websites and people influence you on a day to day basis?

I’m still a nerd at heart so The Verge is my go-to website. The Guardian is a good overall world newspaper too, so I tend to read that. There are too many people to mention any by name specifically, but pretty much if they’ve written for the Advent Calendar, then they’re worth following. Instagram is also my preferred social media platform, so I like photographers like Dan Rubin and Craig Mod.

Your thoughts on the future of social media and content marketing.

We’re facing a difficult time in dis- and mis-information in the new world of Fake News. This coupled with Facebook’s difficulties with Cambridge Analytica leave the far future of social media foggy to predict.

The one thing that is certain is social media is here to stay, no matter what format it takes. There will be another Facebook, another Google, another Twitter, another Instagram, we just don’t yet know it’s format or what it will do. It could be out there, right now, getting it’s first five users and looking for VC funding as we speak.

As to what exists at the moment, it’s so very hard to say. I think users and maybe even the next generation of users (our children) will have more of a say in defining social networks than we did. There’s an effort to disconnect by users and the incredible broken confidence in Facebook at the moment, coupled with Twitter’s unwillingness to police itself properly, means that it’s hard to see them continuing in their current format past the next decade. But it really is very hard to say.