An Insight into Paid Social: Q&A with Verb’s Social Media Account Director

HeaderSarah Keeble is Social Media Account Director at Verb and will be co-presenting the upcoming LEARN: Paid Social workshop on 24th July. Sarah has been running paid social campaigns for the past five years on a number of platforms. She leads the social media team at Verb and has over six years experience specialising in Social Media.

Sarah, how did you first get into Social Media?

I’ve always been interested in the world of Digital and as such I embarked on a “New Media Communications” degree at the University of Leeds. Here I learnt about the theory of communications, as well as the practical teaching of website / graphics design, but it was the theory of social media that I was most passionate about. I ended up writing my dissertation on how people present themselves on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. Since graduating, I have been managing and consulting on social media, first freelance before starting at top PR agency, The Red Consultancy. This lead me to joining the fast paced and wonderful world of Verb Brands.

How has paid advertising through social media platforms evolved since you began working in digital?

Hugely! There are three things which I think have been pivotal in the advancement of this space; the augmenting targeting facilities, the support the platforms give to the brands and agencies alike, and ultimately the introduction of website pixels, enabling us to really attribute success of a campaign.

Tell us about your role at Verb, what does a typical day look like?

No day is the same which I love. It depends on the time of the month in regards to whether our focus is on reporting, or content creation or reaching out to influencers, or setting up a paid campaign and also what our client’s focus is. One thing that is a constant is a great team and looking forward to seeing them each morning.

Which brands do you think are doing paid social advertising particularly well and why?

The beauty industry is leading the use of social media advertising in my opinion. Perhaps an obvious one, but Glossier is a true success story for paid social media advertising. Their use of using short video content of a particular product working, featuring “real” women (rumoured to be the employees of Glossier, with no airbrushing of their pimple), combined with the multi-platform placement (Stories, and IG and FB newsfeed), accurate targeting, heavy spend (i.e. high advert frequency) and their clever price point, meant the brand saw true commerce results. Charlotte Tilbury’s website dynamic retargeting campaign also saw similar success.

How is paid social likely to change over the next 5 years?

It’s going to become more expensive. With better attribution models and more and more case studies of success, brands are becoming less nervous about investing in paid social. This means the sphere is going to become more crowded and thus more expensive.

Social media is going to become more and more integrated into our lives and much more like the Chinese social media market – in app buying being a key feature here. Buying from ads (and social generally) is going to become a lot easier- Instagram are already rolling out an in app payment service.

How does organic social fit with paid social for luxury brands?

Organic social media (i.e. social media without any increased reach / wider audience via ad spend) is for a brand’s fans, community, customers. They are your biggest advocates and sharing content to these audiences is a key way to keep them engaged with the brand. Harness the power of listening to your customer and building a relationship with them. In particular for luxury brands, make sure your social channels really communicate luxury through your visual strategy – how your channels looks matters! Think of paid social media as reaching out to newer customers to convert them to being the core organic audience and hopefully a customer if not immediately, in the future.

You’re going to be speaking at the next LEARN workshop, can you give us a short overview of the session and what attendees will be able to take away from the event?

I’m very excited. We, Emma and I,  will be showing you how the Facebook advertising platform (including Instagram here) works, how to set up a campaign, different strategies according to different key marketing goals and how to ultimately define that success.

There are limited places remaining for LEARN: Paid Social, so if you’d like to take part in this interactive workshop, register now. If you have any questions contact Alice Beaden (

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