Please welcome this week’s 12 Questions Expert Spotlight guest, CEO and Founder of the recently-launched online marketplace for Asian Social Influencers – FlashFomo – David Nicholls.

 

12 Questions with David Nicholls

 

Coming to us from Melbourne, Australia – David Nicholls – an energetic, always-on, CEO with nearly a decade of experience in the APAC market, working specifically in online media and influencer marketing.

 

1. Which is your favourite social media platform, and why?

Tiktok – it’s mayhem! Every time I’m on it there is something that inspires me or sickens me. Either way, it’s hard to look away!

 

2. What social media platform is used most by your brand/agency?

I only just launched FlashFomo in March 2019, but in that short time, we’ve established primitive audiences on Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. Our difficulty? Trying to appeal to multiple geographies and niche audiences in Asia – whilst providing value to social influencers (our target market).

We plan to explore Weibo, Wechat, Snapchat & TikTok over the coming month or two, but we are currently a lean operation, so we may have to skew our priorities in the early days.

 

3. In your opinion, what is the future of social media and what platforms will lead the way?

It’s anticipated that the social commerce industry should hit around $165Bn by 2021, so I firmly believe influencer-led social commerce is the future.

Influencers who can convert their fans from ‘likes to buys,’ and platforms that empower their influencers to do so, will win. Influencers have long been taken advantage of by brands, to leverage their substantial reach for minimal fees. Savvy influencers who say no to brand sponsorships that are not relevant to their audience, and those who transition to creating products their fans really want, will form the baseline of the industry.

 

4. Tell us about one social media campaign you liked most this year.

In an extremely saturated market, it’s increasingly harder for something to cut through and resonate. That said, Tourism Australia nailed it with their clever Crocodile Dundee “Movie” launch ad featuring a host of A-list celebrities.

They managed to encapsulate intrigue and entertain, while still getting their main marketing message across. They did this with star power, clever execution, excellent PR, and a bit of fun.

 

5. What about the latest campaign your brand or agency was involved in?

I’ve been very fortunate to spend the past few years working with large multinational brands such as SK-II, J&J and Ford, creating global influencer campaigns with K-pop stars, prominent Chinese actresses, Victoria Secret models, and other social media sensations.

That said, I am in the infancy of launching a marketplace for Asian social influencers to create and sell personally branded products via flash sales – a slightly different spin on my previous work. I see the unique opportunity to democratise all levels of social influencers and to help them create their own brand footprint. Therefore, our current campaign involves stringently qualifying (via our own technology) and recruiting suitable social influencers to drive our offering of product personalisation for Asian social influencers.

 

6. What is the most important thing brands and agencies need to keep in mind, in order to build a successful social media campaign?

Customer acquisition cost. At the end of the day, it is a business. You can carve out the most elaborate creative, spend a Hollywood budget, but if it’s not going to have the reach of an NBA basketballer then it’s money down the drain. There are some really cost-effective ways to convey your message which can fit every budget, so if you can reverse engineer a suitable CAC applicable to your unique business you can align on expectation and relevant KPI’s.

 

7. In your opinion, what is the most important KPI you look for to determine success on social media?

In my current quest to recruit social influencers, the most important KPI for me is highly relevant sign-ups.

 

8. What will be the role of social media in the marketing mix of the future?

Vital. There will be new iterations of platforms and the obliteration of others, however, social media will continue as a vessel for communication. In a user sense, data proves that we are decreasing our attention spans, yet in a commercial sense, it opens up more trusted avenues for advertisers to talk to their audience… when done right!

 

9. What would you say the biggest obstacle faced in social media?

The authenticity of social influencers. The grey area hanging over social influencers is how real their audience is. Did they pay for followers? Are they an authentic representation of themselves?

One way to combat this is to alleviate this pressure of promoting other brands (that don’t fit their beliefs) and give influencers the freedom to create and personalise the promotion of products they sincerely believe in – and most importantly a product offering that fans will ultimately have more satisfaction receiving, at the end of the day!

 

10. What is one piece of advice you would give someone just starting in the industry?

Trust your instincts. You will find that the most successful people utilising social media didn’t write a business plan or a 5-year financial model before they posted their first video or first post. Be comfortable making mistakes and learning from them.

 

11. In your opinion, what ad format will lead the future of social media marketing?

Video. It is currently the most engaging format, and you can explain your message in milliseconds.

 

12. Finally, what is a ‘Fun Fact’ we wouldn’t find on your social media profiles?

I am the youngest of 8 children!