Matt Navarra

Social Media Director for The Next Web

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON August 04, 2016

Discussion

Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
Hey all! I'm Matt (@MattNavarra - on - everything.) I'm the social media director for global tech news site The Next Web (TNW). I am responsible for the entire social media strategy and output for TNW and our popular TNW Conference events. We have a community of over 4.5+ million people spread across all the major social platforms... so keeping keeping our audience happy and engaged is a tricky but fun task. Previously, I worked for the UK government as a digital communications lead, and even spent some time in Number 10 Downing Street. Shortly, i will be transitioning into my new role as Head of Content for TNW... ...So... Ask Me Anything! :)
Ben Tossell@bentossell · newCo
You live in Cardiff and write for a tech publication. I live in Cardiff and work for Product Hunt. Firstly, how have we not met haha? I'm not a fan of Cardiff so I wont bother going too much into that, but why do you enjoy (if you do) being based in Cardiff? (I quite like being out of certain bubbles sometimes) What is the key to growing, scaling and maintaining community in a positive way?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@bentossell I am also shocked we have never crossed paths when we're so nearby! I love Cardiff. It's not my hometown, as i was born and brought up near Bristol, UK. As for growing a thriving community... Humor and being real in how we engage helps i think. We try to reply to comments as often as we can, and we also respond constructively to complaints or issues readers post in comments. But if someone trolls us or is just way out of line... we will deal with you ;) We also cross promote a lot on social and our TNW Conference events are a big help in boosting our online community.
Ram@ramkumarhq · Startups Lover, Business Consultant
Mohamed Abbassi@pixmonkey · Founder @Peps / Peps.io
Hey Matt, thanks for being here. My question for you is : what advice would you give to someone starting a tech news site to scale/ engage the audience through social media presence ?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@pixmonkey It's a competitive and tough market. And one that is getting harder. I'd say start small and focus on Twitter to build a decent size audience. Then move on to Facebook later as that takes more time to build momentum.
Julian Ilson@julianilson · Chief Enchilada Officer, We3app.com
Hi Matt! Assuming a startup has a global vision, but the launch strategy is to begin in one city (due to the importance of local network effects for the product), is there anything we should consider doing differently in our efforts to get as much local and global coverage as possible?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@julianilson Think before you email your pitch. We get 100's a day. Same for other publications too. You need to grab our attention in the title of the email fast, and get to the point, quickly. Be creative, but dont get too clever and over think it. Jump on trending topics on social of your app//business/startup can relate to it or has an angle that can link to it. Act fast when it does. Use Product Hunt! We always check PH daily to see what's hot/new that we sometimes miss. Hope that helps.
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
@mattnavarra @julianilson great advice 🐥
Will Dinkel@dubyaemdee · Founder of ObeeMobee
Hey Matt! Thanks for taking time to chat with us! With a team working across the globe, what are your go-to tools to keep everyone connected and productive? Is there anything missing, like some tool that you wish us makers would make? Have a good one!
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@dubyaemdee We use Slack as our tool of choice for communicating across the whole TNW staff community. Works well for us. Fun tool to use too. Wish it had threaded comments though! (grrr). I still have not seen a great tool that lets us all stay LIVE on video in one place that lets us engage in a more real way via video.
Danny Denhard@dannydenhard · Founder & CEO of Denhard Media
Hi Matt, thanks for doing this. With you impressive shares across social media can you talk about the tools you use and how you spot new trends to create content for the site and how you select what social content to share? Cheers
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@dannydenhard Our core tools are: Socialflow, Tweetdeck, Parsely, Google Analytics, Buffer (for events), and a few smaller ones. We use Newswhip's Spike tool to spot trending content, and we monitor Twitter using smart searches and tools like DataMinr. I also have a ton of alerts setup on Slack from multiple sources like Reddit, HackerNews, Product Hunt, Twitter, Facebook, Digg and more, to alert me to content / news that is getting a lot of social traction. We pick stories to go to social which we think will do best dependent on the platform. Something highly shareable is a must to go on Facebook, and a very topical trending news post tends to pick up traction faster on Twitter. LinkedIn is great for business news and lifehacks, etc etc.
Marcos Ortiz@marcosluis2186 · Co-founder at Capital Latino, LLC
Hey Matt. Thanks for joining us here. We appreciate that !!! I admire the Content Strategy at The Next Web, so my question is about that: How do you create the content plan for the next month at TNW? Is a team effort? Thanks again
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@marcosluis2186 Shock news coming up! We don't really use one for the main news/features content we pump out daily. We DO schedule stuff on weekends to give readers a 2nd chance to see our top posts again on Twitter and Facebook. And we often hold back on posting something to social until we think it's prime time to do so based on our data + a hunch. We also plan ahead for events like a new Apple event for a product launch. but beyond that, nope.
Elena Tolstokoraya@elena_tolstokoraya
Hey Matt. I'm curious what kind should be a startup to interest you?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@elena_tolstokoraya I love all things social media related (unsurprisingly). So, if you have a cool new tool or app, hit me up!
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
How many people typically manage @TheNextWeb Twitter account, and what are your thoughts on frequency of posting? I try to space things out every one hour, with some every 30min tweets from @ProductHunt -- but I see @TheNextWeb and especially outlets like @Mashable sometimes tweet 3 different articles in 10 min
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@nivo0o0 @thenextweb @producthunt @mashable We are dictated too by the news of the day. If we have lots of new posts and news is hectic... we will post several times an hour. We also repeat our news/feature tweets 3 times over the first 24 hours. This upsets a small number of twitter addicts as they end up seeing the same thing a few times. But most people don't use Twitter like that, so we have to make sure our content is seen across all timezones by reposting it a few times. There are only 2 people on the TNW social team covering 24/7 365. 1 in the US. 1 in the UK. Me! But we're adding a new person based in Amsterdam next month. The editors are also active on Twitter and step in to help fairly often.
Mark Davies@mrmarkdavies · @MrMarkDavies
@mattnavarra @nivo0o0 thats a really useful insight
Natalya khaykis@zipjob · Marketing for Zipjob
What type of content do you recommend startups focus on when starting out?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@zipjob Learn from Buffer. Their blog is very good, and the content is perfect. Also check out Newswhips blog, another good example of how to do great content and sell your startup too.
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
Hey Matt! Thanks for joining us. Curious if you have any insights as to what type of media files work best on Twitter and Facebook. For example.. I tend to use a lot of GIFs with the Product Hunt account, but see a lot of media organizations just sharing links with no attachment. Have you seen that leading to more clicks?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@nivo0o0 This year, Twitter made a few changes to make link posts work better in-app. they now fully auto-expand, so if publishers share a link with no image attached, they preview far better (so long as they have Twitter cards set up). We (TNW) use a good mix of GIFs and images. We rarely tweet without an image. The stats still show us these tweet perform better than ones with a link only.
Niv Dror@nivo0o0 · Words @ProductHunt & @AngelList
@mattnavarra interesting -- in terms of perform, do you mean engagement on Twitter like Favs/RTs, or traffic back to the site?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@nivo0o0 Both.
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
Thanks so much for joining us, would love to hear what the commonalities are in the content that you see gets shared the most?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@harrystebbings No surprises here... content is king. If the article is dull or badly written or adds no value or does not entertain/generate an emotional response, it won't do as well. Clickbait is a hot topic, but imo clickbait is not clickbait if the content on the other side of the headline and link lives up to the hype the writer has given it. It has to deliver on its promise of a good read. If it does, it will do very well. The simpler and more emotionally charged the headline, often the better it will do. Also, posts that are How to.. .a guide to... or something that answers a popular question many people want to know the answer too, will do well. The guys/girls at Buffer are very good at writing brilliant blog posts with perfect headlines.
Gavin Donovan@gavindonovan · Digital at McAfee
I think we can all agree that we are all fans of ProductHunt and the new tools we've discovered since launch. How do you manage the fear of missing out on a new tool with building the right toolset for your company?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@gavindonovan If this is what you mean... I use a ton of alert services that notify me about NEW/TRENDING/HOT tools on PH and around the Web. I get them sent to me instantly on Slack/email when they hit a certain threshold. I also get people tipping me off via Twitter or email. Finally, I never sleep! Im always watching the web ;)
Gavin Donovan@gavindonovan · Digital at McAfee
@mattnavarra thanks, Matt. I'm sure you have a social toolkit for TNW, so how do you know when to add a new/hot/trending tool to it?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@gavindonovan I try it out and see how it works + if it does something NEW i don't get from other tools, or does it BETTER than the tools i already use. I try tons every week.
Gavin Donovan@gavindonovan · Digital at McAfee
@mattnavarra same here. Trying to get a lot of our team here to play around in PH. You never know what you'll find.
neeharika sinha@neeeharika · Google, Threadchannel
Hey Matt! so great to meet . How do you suggest new companies leverage content marketing effectively? Which is preferred social media channel to reach to your audience base and to invest heavily in?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@neeeharika We mostly focus on Twitter and Facebook. These two both deliver the most return in terms of engagement and traffic to TNW for our content.
Martina Grgic@martigrgic · Co-founder @ SmartLumies
Hi Matt, what do you expect the most from your new role as Head of Content for TNW?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@martigrgic Tough one. I guess mostly i want to maintain the quality and quirkiness of TNW, whilst bringing it to a whole new audience that is not aware of us. I also (obviously) want to increase the size of our audience (pageviews + engagement on social). I expect it will be tough as im not a writer, really. Nor a trained journalist... heck, my background is marketing, PR, comms, and of course social media. I guide the editorial team to hot tech news and trending tech related content + help shape our headlines and overall brand presence online.
Mauro Sicard@maurosicard · Bookicious.com
Hi Matt! Thanks for this LIVE Chat. My question is the following: What advice would you give to a startup for doing a great content marketing strategy?
Jordan Gonen@jrdngonen · trying my best.
Hey Matt :) ! what's the biggest misconception about being a "social media director" ?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@jrdngonen That all i do is tweet, or 'play' on Facebook.... or am always able to get people verified on Twitter or Facebook :)
Amanda Tessier@amanda_tessier · Marketer at Altisource
How do you expect the way people interact with content on social media to change over the next 10 years? Your role is right at the intersection of both. Thanks for doing the AMA :)
Mark Davies@mrmarkdavies · @MrMarkDavies
Hi Matt, as a journalist working remotely how do you source your content? Is it it analysis of what you see on the web?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@mrmarkdavies Tools lots of tools. Newswhip's Spike, Dataminr, Digg, Reddit, Alert tools to notify me of trending content, Tweetdeck, tip offs, and Faxcebook have a great little tool for journalists called signal.fb.com
Mark Davies@mrmarkdavies · @MrMarkDavies
@mattnavarra Is there a sense of competition to see which journos get there first?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@mrmarkdavies Of course. It's what some media types live for... to break a story. It's exciting and shows good investigative skill and a good contacts list for tip offs.
Mark Davies@mrmarkdavies · @MrMarkDavies
Me again Matt, I am commentating on social media via twitterchats and blog posts, doing some free consulting to startups on growth & growth marketing but I am getting knocked back from social media roles, any advice what I can add to my repertoire?
Matt Navarra@mattnavarra · Social Consultant. Ex-Head of SocMed TNW
@mrmarkdavies Become a subject matter expert. you're doing all the right things. Engage with influencers on the things that you want to be known for. Be 'in the moment' when stuff trends... jump on it and get tweeting about it with funny, insightful, useful, original tweets etc. Get ballsy... ping big names in social and ask them for help or to shadow them... my first experience of this was my tweeting to BBC News' tech reporting megastar Rory Cellen-Jones asking him if i could shadow him in the newsroom in London. He surprised me and replied and offered me a great opportunity. If you don't ask, you don't get!
Mark Davies@mrmarkdavies · @MrMarkDavies
@mattnavarra did you just quote my twitter bio... Thanks thats a great approach I usually advise others but hadn't thought of it for this field.