Adweek’s Expert Insights for Engaging Audiences

Jess Zafarris, Director of Audience Engagement at Adweek, joins the Social Pros podcast to chat about one of the most important aspects of social media - audience engagement.

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Full Episode Details

Jess Zafarris, Director of Audience Engagement at Adweek and author of the book Once Upon a Word, knows how to get people talking online. As head of audience engagement, it’s her job to ensure that social content sparks conversation while also telling an accurate story of the latest news.

Jess explains what it’s like to engage with people with different levels of expertise due to Adweek’s highly varied audience. We’re also taken behind the scenes of how the Adweek weekly Twitter chats came to be, how its TikTok strategy is going, and what it takes to create engaging pieces of content.

We hear how Jess balances the creator vs. reporter side of her role and blends informative content with fun, creative content to get the most engagement. Jess also gives some examples of brands she thinks are killing it in the world of audience engagement and shares some of her favorite campaigns she’s seen brands take on.

In This Episode:

  • 3:30 – What it’s like managing social media for a publication
  • 4:47 – How Adweek creates content for such a broad audience
  • 6:35 – Jess explains how they manage their content calendar
  • 8:46 – How Jess’ role fits into a journalistic environment
  • 13:01 – Jess explains Adweek’s TikTok strategy
  • 16:33 – How long it takes to create content
  • 19:11 – How social media has changed over the course of the pandemic
  • 22:32 – Jess says who she thinks is nailing audience engagement on social media
  • 27:17 – How effective cross-promotion programs can be across different brands and subjects
  • 30:44 – Crafting a balance between creative content and statistics-driven content
  • 32:58 – Why Jess thinks “metaverse” should be in the dictionary
  • 34:39 – How brands are preparing for the metaverse
  • 36:18 – Jess tells us about her book and side projects in etymology
  • 38:26 – Jess’ top tip for anyone looking to become a social pro


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