’ve been a long-time fan of Butter.ATL and was elated when I got the chance to meet (virtually of course) its managing editor, Mobs Robertson.
Butter.ATL was founded back in 2017 by Dagger, an Atlanta-based marketing agency, to produce in-house media content. Mobs joined the team as a content creator but quickly worked her way up to managing editor, where she currently oversees Butter’s popular Instagram account.
As a fellow University of Georgia graduate and “ATLien,” as Butter likes to call those living in the capital of the Peach State, we delved into the world of viral memes, content strategy, and how the modern digital publication is both amplifying the city's history and culture while adding its own voice into the conversation.
Where do you see Butter.ATL fitting into the cultural landscape of Atlanta?
Butter.ATL is Atlanta's culture channel. We make content for and by ATLiens, focused on the cultural pride that makes Atlanta so special and the day-to-day current events that are relevant to the city. We recognize Atlanta's long history and its ever-changing future of possibility.
As someone whose been with Butter.ATL since the beginning, and is now the managing editor, how have you seen its content evolve over the years?
Our content has gone through several drastic changes that are marked by distinct phases. At first, as a differentiating factor and a bit of a flag in the ground, we were publishing "issues" of content in 3, 6, or 9 piece installments to create a seamless grid on Instagram. Every issue covered one topic and the cover would reveal a full piece of content with each post. Eventually, that above-and-beyond strategy did its job; we gained a significant audience and outgrew that strategy. From there, we pivoted to posting individual posts at least once a day, with the flexibility to touch on topical subjects or issues that didn't require a full three-post deep dive. Since then, our strategy has evolved in smaller ways to focus on growth and serving our audience best. For instance, in the summer of 2020, we started a text line to support our audience with information on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Butter ATL’s Instagram page is a mix of memes, more data-driven and informational posts about Atlanta culture and history, and posts to content or videos on your website. Can you tell me about the process behind what you and your team decide what to post and create?
We have a mix of "stock" and "flow" on our social channels. "Stock" is planned content — things we brainstorm in a weekly meeting, recurring series, or templates we use in different ways. That also includes social content used to generate leads to our website and online store. "Flow" is the quick-turn topical content we ideate, create, and post within a few hours when we notice a trending topic or conversation. Above all, every piece of content should serve our audience.
How does Butter.ATL use memes specifically? And can you share your thoughts on what makes certain ones go viral?
We use memes to add quick brevity to our content calendar, make social commentary, and promote user-generated content with blank templates. (We love memes.) The most successful ones are often simple, straightforward, and easy to digest in a quick glance — this is Instagram people are looking at, after all, not a novel. It also helps if they're touching on a current event or trending conversation.
What’s the piece of content you created or helped create on Butter.ATL that you’re most proud of and why?
I'm very proud of Atlannapedia — I created the series back in 2018 and it became our first piece of sponsored content and our most valuable piece of intellectual property overall.
I'm also extremely proud of this meme, one of our highest-performing posts of 2020. That's really a drop in the barrel, though, and just two pieces I'm proud of personally, but our team members have individually and collectively created a huge body of work to be extremely proud of, with many pieces in particular that I'm glad to have just written a caption for and witnessed being made.
In what ways has Butter.ATL supported Dagger’s mission in ways the company wasn’t able to do before?
In my opinion, Butter has more than lived up to its original mission — proving the concept of "content at the speed of culture." We help Dagger show clients the power of quick-turn social content that taps into conversations at the right time. By operating on that principle alone and focusing on providing value to our followers, we've built up a large and dedicated audience and even been able to be a force for good within that community. In addition, we help grab attention with high-performing content and open doors for Dagger and our own opportunities.