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Adam Biddle, owner of production & social media agency GH05T, held an exclusive masterclass on social media for students at ACM Guildford in June.
Notoriously quiet on social media himself, Adam Biddle has had an extensive career in digital marketing. A graduate of ACM, he got his start in marketing with an internship given him to by ACM alumnus Chris Piles. From there, the company he interned for asked him to head up a new social media venture they were starting. It was humble beginnings at first – his office was a dis-used vocal booth at a recording studio – but he quickly grew the client base.
Since then, his career has gone from strength to strength; at one stage, artists that he was working with had 10 number one albums in the space of 12 months.
With the prevalence of social media in the music industry (and everywhere else), the masterclass was an extremely useful one for the students in attendance, with plenty of functional advice and food for thought.
Adam emphasised the need to focus on delivering content to your/your client’s followers, as opposed to adverts. For example, he would never put a flyer up on social media, but he might take a photo of the band holding the flyer to ensure more people see it and engage with it. “If you throw marketing clatter into social media it will die.”
When asked about key differences between social media channels, he went into detail on the different approaches involved with growing a YouTube channel and a Facebook page, in particular how Facebook promotes good content to users in their feed, whereas YouTube has a great search function.
“To grow your YouTube you should treat it like Eastenders – everyone knows when it’s on. You need to treat it like a TV show.”
He also urged that hard work is the key to success, and told the students to never become complacent, and always think about what’s next.
We spoke to Adam after the masterclass to find out more:
Hi Adam! You’re an ex-ACM student, what have you taken from your time here in your career now?
Without ACM I would not have a career. Chris Piles gave me an introduction to my first internship, with a company called Gold Marketing… Without being at ACM I would never have gotten that link into the industry, and without a link to the industry it’s pretty hard to get a job, so ACM is pretty much fundamentally responsible for my career, and the career of 23 other people that I now employ.
What’s the most successful campaign you have worked on and why was it successful?
That’s such a hard question! Honestly, I’ve done something like 350 campaigns in the last 8 years. I’ll give you one of my favourite campaigns. I think my favourite ever campaign that I worked on was the Black Sabbath ‘Thirteen’ album. The reason being was I had the opportunity to go to Tony Iommi’s house (the guitarist in Black Sabbath) and sit with him for a whole night and do a Google Hangout. The campaign was successful because it was Black Sabbath, but it was just that moment of sitting in the Black Sabbath studio where they recorded Thirtern, and just spending the whole night with Tony was for me… Just, something that even your parents understand, y’know?
What are three common mistakes people make on their Facebook profiles, and how can they overcome them?
The most common mistake is not thinking about what you’re actually posting, and just posting for the sake of posting. The second one is not spending time on creating content exclusively for that platform. The third biggest mistake is trying to market, rather than trying to engage.
What’s the most important lesson you learned at ACM?
The most valuable lesson I learned at ACM was discipline and managing workload. Because, before you come to ACM, when you go to college or school, it’s all pretty easy, but until you get proper deadlines, and proper assignments, and managing them… I think it’s essential, because there is no such thing as deadline in the real world. You have to make it, you haven’t got a choice. So I think discipline was probably the most important thing, being disciplined to create, research, work hard, study in my own time, and make s*** happen.
What are your top 5 types of content?
Number one is video, video, video, video. We live in a video world, you’ve to make video content. The second one would probably be a still image that is animated or moves in some way. I call it dynamic content really. The third is memes, memes carry so much weight in social culture. The fourth would be boomerang or gifs, and the fifth would be live streaming.
What is the most exciting thing that GH0ST are working on right now?
I think the most exciting thing we’re working on right now is how we scale the business; how do we get it even bigger. Because we’re at a stage now where, with 20-plus staff, 8 months in, we’ve had an incredible start to this year, the exciting thing is not necessarily different client projects but the exciting thing is ‘how do we become the number 1 agency in the UK for content?’
What are your predictions for social media trends in 2018
Hmmm.. Twitter will be dead. Instagram and Facebook will still be killing it, and video will play a huge, huge part.
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