David Blundell is the global social media manager at the British Council, the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Shaheen Samavati spoke with David, who’s been based in Madrid for the past 25 years, about how he manages social media strategy for over 440 channels in 110 countries. In this interview, he shares valuable tips for using different platforms and taking advantage of live streaming—while maintaining authenticity and offering genuine value.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on our YouTube channel, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • The British Council’s social media goals vary greatly in each market, but David always aims for thumb-stopping content that takes advantage of each platform’s different facets and features.
  • Social media reward authenticity in the form of genuine and even unscripted content—but you also have to make sure you’re offering viewers a valuable, tangible takeaway.
  • Live streaming is a very user-friendly and effective medium that’s seen a lot of growth recently; platforms like StreamYard and Ecamm can help you take it to the next level.
  • Facebook Live often generates the greatest engagement after the fact, when the live stream has already ended. On the other hand, YouTube usually draws viewers who are actively looking to engage with content in the moment.
  • The British Council runs hundreds of local channels in order to connect with users in much more personal, local and specific ways, which they believe adds immense value.
  • The most powerful thing about social media is the opportunity it provides to get close to your audiences and really understand what they want.

Be genuine and know your audience. If you don’t know what people want, ask. If you don’t do that research your content will fail.

Rapid-fire recs

What’s an app or tool that you can’t work without?

Digimind is a social listening tool that uses AI and machine learning to do things like sentiment analysis on campaigns. You can provide feedback on its analyses, which it will learn and remember for next time. It can also draw data from different global social networks, which is great for my job, with so many channels across the world.

Also check out: Top 10 apps for content and marketing professionals

A marketing influencer who you follow?

Funnily enough, my two favorite marketing influencers in Europe are both called Ian. There’s Ian Cleary, who runs RazorSocial and does all different kinds of marketing. Then there’s Ian Anderson Gray, who often attends the Social Media Examiner events (run by Mike Stelzner). Both of them provide a lot of useful information and evaluations of new tools.

Also check out: 8 inspiring content and marketing influencers to follow

A valuable resource, event or group?

There’s a group in Denmark called Boye & Co (formerly JBoye), which runs leadership conferences in various areas. I’ve attended their digital marketing conferences, and I highly recommend checking them out once we return to normality—hopefully soon!

I also run Social Media Bites on Scoop, where I provide commentary about the latest developments in social media. And I’ve been doing a lot of live streaming recently; check out my newest video on LinkedIn if you want to know more about using Ecamm.

Connect with David and Shaheen on LinkedIn. You can also email David at davidblundellsocial@gmail.com.

This post was edited by Melissa Haun, a freelance content creator based in Lisbon.

For more insights into the future of video and live streaming:

Video content is the future – Adam Davis, Israel-based marketing content manager

The year of online events – Tiffany Mayne, EMEA head of marketing at GB Intelligence

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.