Fletcher Helle is a Social Media Specialist with over 5 years of experience. He dipped his toes in Community Management, Customer Service, Social Media Policy Creation, Video Production, Facebook and YouTube Analytics, and Process Improvement. He is here to share few secrets of the ever-changing social media marketing space. Without further ado, let’s dive into his world and see where he is going to take us.
Fletcher, you worked closely with the marketing teams to create brand approved content to drive sales and increase conversions. Sales and conversions are all about hard numbers and the numbers are often times a true Achilles heel for social media managers. Can you inspire them by giving an example of a campaign that was linked to ROI (Return on Investment) and did well?
The gap between a social media strategy and strong ROI isn’t as wide as it once was. The rise of high-quality tracking tools means I can follow someone from social channel to eCommerce solution to confirmed order. I’ve run a ton of ads that I reported with basically that same formula. We spent X, which generated Y traffic, and the average conversion rate was Z, but I don’t think that’s the most beautifully linked campaign I’ve run. I recently finished up a longer-term cosmetics campaign using really focused Facebook targeting on building an email list. The success of the resulting list has been staggering, we’re talking twice as many conversions as any list they ever bought. The way I see it all the revenue that email list is generating is the result of social media.
Can you share a proven method of retaining follower base and the way of measuring the retention rate?
You want the recipe for the secret sauce?! The best I can do is some of the ingredients. On all my communities I closely monitor attrition, how many people are unliking/unfollowing every day. I like to establish a baseline using historical data, and measure my success off that. If my attrition goes up, I know I’m not communicating well with the audience (unless the brand wants a big shake up in voice, you can expect attrition to go up then). It’s all about offering value to your fans. Their timeline/feed is a personal space for them, you don’t go to someone’s house and talk only about yourself. That’s a great way not to be invited back. Engage and offer value and you’ll get invited back all the time.
What is the biggest challenge in a social media manager’s job and the way to overcome it?
“We want you to make a viral video.” I get that, or a variation of it, quite a bit. All brands really want to be the next thing people are talking about but very few of them are willing to take the risks required to make it happen. I use the squatty potty video to help stakeholders understand. That video went viral because it’s a unicorn pooping ice cream. No one expects that. People know how seriously brands take themselves if you want something to go viral you can improve your chances by loosening the reigns a bit and getting weird.
They say that failures make us stronger. Could you give us an example of one of your failures, experienced during your career in social media? What did you learn from it?
I had just started managing social media for a major snack brand and the results were pretty great. Engagement had tripled, reach was through the roof, sentiment was overwhelmingly positive, and I think I got into this mindset where I thought I was invincible so I said, “Hey, everything is going so great we should take this to Reddit!” Which is the social media equivalent of starting a land war with Russia in the middle of winter. I pitched engaging with the international snack exchange subreddit, a place where people can post regional snacks and trade them with other people for snacks around the world. I think two people signed up and the whole thing just cratered. I learned that if you’re taking something to Reddit you need to be really buttoned up and offering a significant incentive. “We’re making our product available for exchange.” Isn’t going to cut it.
How do you define the success of a non-quantitative social media activity?
By how good the story is. I know that’s a pretty wishy-washy thing to say but I don’t think there’s anything quite like a good story. Early on with my aforementioned snack food client I had an amazing community interaction with a video game streamer. A guy with over 200,000 followers. It ended with him changing his profile picture to an image of our product. The next time I was in the office the screenshot of that profile was hanging on the Senior Manager’s wall. Pretty good story.
Any golden tip on achieving a consistent analytical approach? Read More
John Lovett is a Senior Partner at Analytics Demystified, a Mentor & Co-Founder @Analysis Exchange and an author of the book “Social Media Metrics Secrets: Do What You Never Thought Possible with Social Media Metrics”. He spent the past decade helping businesses analyze and measure their digital marketing activities, but more importantly, his passion for analytics pioneered the development of the social media measurement. Today John will be discussing virality and analytics behind social media – fasten your seatbelts.
John: Hi Dagmara, thanks for inviting me to participate in your applied social series. I’m honored to be among such esteemed company!
John, I am so thankful for your book about social media metrics and that you promote more strategic approach among social media professionals. At the end of the day, our supervisors ask us about the hard numbers. How can we achieve a consistent analytical approach in the “era of too many social media channels, metrics, and data overload”?
This is a great kick-off question because it happens at almost every organization starting out with social media measurement. What are the numbers? As an analyst or anyone practicing social media, your first inclination might be to spout off total followers, number of outbound posts, number of reactions, and more as fast as possible to provide a direct answer to the question asked. Yet, counting metrics like these rarely satisfy business questions. You must get to the Business Value Metrics and Outcome Metrics which is accomplished through strategic planning. This challenging task is achieved by developing a framework for social media that transcends channels and tactics and maps back to corporate goals. With a strategic framework in place, you can build campaigns and plan tactics designed to achieve your stated goals. Then, when your supervisor asks about the numbers, you can consistently report on progress against stated goals, which specific activities either contributed or failed, and what’s coming next to accomplish your goals. By architecting a strategy you can communicate metrics that matter, while also setting goals, managing expectations and reporting across all your social platforms.
Defining Business Value Metrics is extremely important while coming up with the social media strategy. Could you give us an example of aligning social activity to business goals?
When it comes to aligning your social strategy to activities, I always encourage clients to start with the corporate goal in mind. An example might be a CPG company looking to build awareness of its new consumer product. The corporate goals are expansion and adoption of this new product line. Thus, your social media activity might include creative design to drive new prospects to your social platforms to generate awareness, with a primary goal of finding advocates to promote the new product line. Let’s say in this hypothetical example, that you’re offering a coupon download to try a sample of the product. Business value metrics that you could use to showcase progress against the goals of awareness and adoption include cost per new fan acquired, total cost of campaign, number of coupons downloaded, coupon redemption rate, number of advocate Tweets per coupon, etc. The possibilities are endless if you take a strategic approach and align your tactics with overarching corporate goals. But more importantly, the impact of this approach when communicating Outcome and Business Value metrics to colleagues almost certainly has a greater appeal to your internal business audience.
Coming back to creativity. Using data and identifying new opportunities require creativity. Could you give us an example of a product or a service that used creativity to bring data to the next level and unlocked its potential?
I’m continually amazed at creativity in social media. Whether it’s reactionary like Wendy’s response to the tweet, “Yo @Wendy’s how many retweets for a year of free chicken nuggets?”. Or strategically planned like Lego’s LEGO Life app. Companies are continually pushing the limits of creativity in social media by allowing consumers to push their own limits and take ownership of their own ideas. When a kid can create their own LEGO mini figure and chat to their peers in a safe and safeguarded emoji language…now that’s creative!
Can you share the best way of retaining follower base and the way of measuring the retention rate?
When it comes to retaining followers, the best way that I’ve seen is to consistently generate content. And I’m not talking about pre-canned Tweets or recurring Facebook posts touting products here. What keeps people coming back is interesting, thought provoking content that is altruistic in nature. Consumers are smart these days and if you’re disingenuous in your social marketing efforts, they’ll tear you to shreds and then they’ll leave you. On the flip-side being real and authentic while also creating interesting content will keep your audience coming back. Retention can be measured in a number of different ways, but for social platforms, I like to look at the number of followers at the end of each month; subtract the number of new followers; then divide by the number of followers at the beginning of the month. [(followers month end – new followers)/followers month start*100]. This will give you a monthly retention rate. For apps, I tend to look at Monthly Active Users. Calculating this is a bit more complex, but essentially you’re tracking events per user and attributing active status to any user that participates in a certain number of events that meet your threshold. Using this method, you can quantify how many people within your install base actually uses your app in a given month.
Let’s dive into the topic that everyone secretly dreams about, but does not want to admit it. Virality. What an elusive goal! John, any idea what could be the key variables that drive viral growth? Or should we just…spray and pray?
Maasa, can you please tell us about yourself?
I love being able to connect with talent digitally and in-person and especially leveraging social media to tell a story behind some of the jobs that I recruit for.
I’ve been recruiting for the last 5.5 years, working across various industries ranging from healthcare, IT, marketing, creative, retail in both agency and corporate settings. I’ve been fortunate to recruit for many top brands & companies including Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, and Expedia.
Social media allows recruiters to connect with prospects in a more meaningful, authentic, and engaging ways than the traditional “submit and pray” system. For me, this is the most exciting part of my job as a social recruiter. I especially love showing off “behind the scenes” content and information to talent – whether that be fun group photos of the team or writing and sharing a blog on the “human” aspect of each job, team or organization.
Your LinkedIn summary is very impressive. It has all the “right ingredients” of a powerful summary, which are: storytelling, description of what you and your company do, call to action, keywords, and imagery. How did you come up with it?
Thank you! You know, in any profession, whether you’re a sales person, marketer or an engineer – there are tons of other people who do the same job you do. If you look across my network, I’m sure you can find many recruiters who have worked for the same organization or have held similar roles and I have. Given that situation, you have to figure out a way to stand out from the herd in an authentic and memorable way.
When I wrote this particular summary of mine, I thought about few things: 1) Who am I and what is my “brand”? 2) What are things I’m particularly good at? 3) What type of stuff gets me really excited?
The first part is really important – knowing your personal brand. Beyond being a recruiter at “company A” or being a specific industry recruiter, I have my own “flavor” or brand that I represent regardless of the company I work for or team I’m on. You have to have clarity & consistency in that brand & messaging.
The second piece is also important because that’s what makes you unique and different – your superpower if you will. You definitely need to understand the value you bring to the table and be able to celebrate that differentiator.
Third is being able to articulate the area of passion. This is where I ideally like to build more of my career on, and I think it’s beneficial for others to know as well. I’d like to think this is the reason why you reached out to me for an interview. I think overall you open up more doors by being transparent and letting others know what drives you.
Christie Cordes is a CEO | Director of Global Talent Acquisition and an Employer Brand Consultant @Ad Recruiter with over a decade of digital and social media recruitment branding experience. Today we are going to talk about the evolution of Human Resources and Christie’s social recruiting best practices in bringing a talent pool to her clients companies.
Christie, can you explain the meaning behind your company’s name?
I recruit executives in the ad (advertising | branding) industry. Being in the digital media industry I knew SEO and Google results would have an impact on my company’s visibility, so I looked at the major industry news sites such as Ad Week and Ad Age – and there you have it: Ad Recruiter. I think the name really helped clarify to industry executives what disciplines I focus on. I think it was a simple yet powerful naming strategy as a sole proprietor.
Social media conquered the world and it shows no sign of slowing down. What do you see as the most effective social media channel to recruit at?
Social platforms shift in popularity much like fashion does. Different platforms ‘trend’ and then new ones emerge – it’s very fluent and always shifting. Being ‘visible’ where the cutting edge, curious people are in social is important for recruiting and attracting the very best talent. Social media is composed of people and people are talent. It’s important to have a handle on how all the platforms operate. If I’m looking to attract college grads and interns – they absolutely love SnapChat. It’s such a fun platform, it’s a great place to attract them, because that’s where they are spending time! Instagram and Pinterest is a visual creative network for many aesthetic minded designers and creatives. It’s a great place to ‘discover’ talent and see how different people curate their boards and also see projects they are working on. LinkedIn is fantastic – for referencing and seeing peoples experience, it’s an invaluable tool. I’m not sure if it’s incredibly ‘social’ but they keep trying to improve that to some extent.
The best network (as of now) for Ad Recruiter is actually Twitter (w/LinkedIn) together. There are a few solid reasons why it’s great for communicating to talent and identifying talent. Twitter has low barrier to connecting to top executives and forming relationships. We’ve all experienced top executives ‘not accepting LinkedIn invites from strangers’ yet a follow is typically met with ‘how nice’ as a positive compliment! That makes it an ideal place to identify and build trust based on relationships with executives all over the world. I consider my social followers across all platforms – my candidate pipeline (not an automated database of pdf CV attachments).
I use LinkedIn with Twitter at all times, in other words a new follower who’s bio on Twitter is vague, I’ll locate their LinkedIn profile to understand who they are and what they do. I advise all executives, to have a transparent / informative Twitter bio with a link to LinkedIn on Twitter – especially for career advancement, business networking and ‘being discovered’. The other platforms can be more personal and so people don’t share their real names, or where they work often times, especially Snapchat! So that’s makes it difficult to identify ‘targeted talent’ but attracting them there is always important!
You’re not only a seasoned recruiter, but also an employer brand specialist. Can you share how you engage candidates on social media?
There’s no one better to talk to about social recruiting than a recruiter who has worked previously as a marketer. Today I interview a Strategic Recruitment Manager at Scott Logic, Michelle Minnikin, who shares a great deal of useful practices on recruiting through social media, company culture and branding. Michelle also shares her top 3 resources for HR managers. Keep reading.
Her background is in occupational psychology and recruitment, having built 14 years of experience. She is a Recruitment Manager – Strategy, having joined Scott Logic after three years at Balfour Beatty and prior to that, AMEC. In her role she provides a bridge between recruitment and marketing activities for Scott Logic. She’s been in post since February 2016 and her favourite things (at work) are employer branding, selection and assessment.
Michelle, social media are already full-fledged recruiting tools. What do you see as the most effective social media to recruit for Scott Logic? There is so much out there and sometimes it can be a waste of time if not used properly.
As a business, we create carefully targeted content, including three different blogs for different audiences that are shared through various channels. Our technical blog, which our consultants write, shares our thoughts and experiences of using technologies, techniques and tools, and is very popular. Our insights blog is for business leaders and decision makers, and our careers blog helps software developers, test engineers and user experience designers with their job search while showcasing what it’s like to work at Scott Logic.
At Scott Logic, the quality of our service is defined by our people; they are our greatest asset, so we already know we want more people just like them (we’d love to clone them, but this technology has not been suitably developed yet!). So, we asked our people what social media sites they spend time on so we can focus our efforts on the channels that are relevant to them.
Based on this information, we are focusing our efforts on LinkedIn and Twitter as recruitment tools. As an organisation, we do have a LinkedIn Recruiter License so we are able to source directly using that. However, I think delivering engaging, useful content that positions our employees as thought leaders and showcases what it is like to work here helps make our recruitment brand more desirable.
I wonder how do you assess the efficiency of your content marketing? How you set yourself a goal to reach which specific content and what stats are you looking at to define the success?
Our strategy is a long term one focused primarily on raising awareness of the Scott Logic brand among our key audiences. So, tracking all applications to ask how each candidate heard about us is vital. We also survey all candidates to assess the experience they’ve had of our recruitment process to obtain anecdotal and qualitative feedback that helps us improve on an ongoing basis.
Can you share how you engage candidates in your employer brand on social media?
Interview with Jennifer Jones Newbill
Senior Manager Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement and Experience at Dell
Jennifer Jones Newbill is a quintessence of a modern HR director who is not afraid to play by the marketing rules to achieve higher quality hires as well as, lower turnover and better engagement rates for Dell. She has over 20 years of Human Resource experience working as an Employment Branding/Social Media and Recruiting Specialist and Leadership Development Expert, and she has also managed various global and regional HR programs/projects for Fortune 50 companies. Today she shares valuable lessons about developing the right set of skills within the HR profession and social recruiting best practices based on her experience at Dell.
Jennifer, you’re a Senior Manager: Global Candidate Attraction, Engagement and Experience. Your title already shows that your job is not a standard set associated with the tasks within an HR department. Can you tell me more about where your title comes from and why a Senior HR manager role would not be enough to describe your expertise?
I wanted to describe myself and what our team does in a way that was easy to understand and describe. It was tough and yes my title is a bit long, but typically people I speak to understand quickly. Our team is all tasked with candidate attraction (messaging including digital and, print as well as technologies used) engagement (social media and employee advocacy in partnership with our marketing team) and analyzing and improving the overall candidate experience.
I wonder how you’ve gotten involved in the role that links HR and Marketing?
In 2010, Marie Moynihan, Global VP Talent and Chief Diversity officer was appointed to her role and for the first time we had a global leader who had a centralized team (along with regional/local recruiting teams). At that time, we began looking at our standards, processes and policies across all regions and locations and that included evaluating our employment brand, digital properties, recruitment marketing strategies, etc. My role has evolved quite a bit since then including growing a global team that has strong proficiency in social media, content expertise and keeping a thread of candidate experience in mind with everything they do!
Do you think Marketing and HR have much in common? What changed in the last 10-15 years in your industry?
Marketing and HR have very similar goals – in a nutshell – candidate and customer attraction and retention. And it is clear that candidates and customers are frequently one in the same. Current or potential future customers can have their sentiment about your company influenced if they are referred to a job or interview with the company – very powerful stuff… There is huge opportunity for Marketing and HR to partner and collaborate in a way that is mutually beneficial.
Let’s get into details with the referral hires program at Dell you were involved in. In one of the interviews, you said that referrals were one of the best sources of hire and that you managed to achieve 50-125% increase in global referral hires. Global Employee Referral rate was 38% globally, and over 50% in some locations (previously only 19% in 2010). If you were to compare these numbers with the past, do you still think, it’s the best source of hire nowadays?
I can beat the drum about the importance of referrals all day every day! Regardless of the evolution of our digital lifestyles, we still believe in and trust what our friends and connections tell us – about products, services and yes, jobs. Where I think the industry struggles a bit is rewarding those that refer really great quality hires for the company. That is a next step for us at Dell – agreeing on a clear Quality of Hire metric and filtering by source – in particular referrals. Who is referring the best people/fit with the company? How do we drive this activity with our employees further?
Dell is on every social media channel including Pinterest. Which channel do you find most useful for recruiting?
Facebook and Twitter continue to have very inexpensive promotional solutions and we absolutely see hires through those platforms. Other social platforms are still important but play more of an influencing/branding role than direct hires. We don’t see people, for example, going to a job directly from Pinterest. However, we just hired someone onto our global social media team who specifically mentioned our Pinterest page and our Careers channel specifically. The mention was all praise and how it created more positive sentiment of Dell in their mind. This is a win even if we didn’t hire the person ‘from’ Pinterest.
Please – DO NOT READ this article about the utmost passion and the eternal struggle of an individual UNLESS you want to fully understand the complexities of being a woman in technology and see why only few females will thrive in this environment.
Why would you like to read or hear about someone’s story, anyway?
Because it hasn’t been told yet.
And because every story is like no other.
So, who is she? This tech lady.
Daijie Huang is a first generation Chinese immigrant in the USA. She founded the Boston-based startup, InnoTechnologies, that is creating the first marketplace for location based personal travel guides. The project was built on a passion for technology and innovation, but also traveling, since Daijie is an enthusiastic traveler herself. She is quite the global female entrepreneur, as well as successful and resourceful women and leader – but there’s more to her than that.
Behind every success, there’s a hard work. We all know that. Except that behind Daijie’s story there’s this extra effort she had to put into making her dreams a reality.
Daijie grew up in China, currently lives in the USA, and she visited countless countries all over the world, mostly with her daughter. Daijie’s career has spanned from engineering to product management and now to entrepreneurship. As we speak, she is now bringing her app to Kickstarter to bring travel experts from every corner of the world to share their stories. Today I want you to read about Daijie’s path to becoming a successful entrepreneur, her technical interests and how she fully embraces the notion of women in tech.
There’s a lot of press around women in tech and obstacles they face, but the story of Daijie Huang, the immigrant from China, is a must read. It’s the homage I pay to her after observing the sweat and tears she poured into countless updates of her app. She’s someone I can identify with since I am a Polish immigrant now living in Canada, working in technology. Also, I worked for three years in China in the mobile games industry, so most of the time while interviewing her I felt like we have the similar life stories.
Daijie, let’s talk about your background a little bit. What was growing up like?
I grew up in Xian, China. I have two elder brothers. Back in my young childhood, China was still closed to the outside world. The old city wall was our playground and gave us infinite joy after the boring school day. Catching bugs, climbing the brick wall, playing hide and seek, etc, you name it; the ancient city wall gave us all of our fun. I rarely thought about other places, but even if I did, I would assume that kids everywhere else were doing the same things as us. To me, the world was home and home was the whole world until one day, a few western backpackers showed up on our streets. Yes, I was one of the silly kids following them, finger pointing at them and wondering where the heck they came from. I started to realize that the world was something big, different and fascinating.
Then, flocks of foreigners came to Xian; they wandered around the ancient wall, the bell tower, the big goose pagoda, and of course, the Terracotta Warriors. Then, I started to learn English at school, and learn more about the world as China began to open the door to the Western World. Later, when I got into college, my mother, a CTO at a local company, started to work with western companies about potential partnerships. China was changing. After her business trips to the UK and the USA, she told me: ”The outside world is fascinating. Our generation has missed our chance, but, you still have one. Go further to see the world!” Honestly, it was a challenging goal during that time. Unlike Beijing and Shanghai, Xian was pretty laid-back and under developed. Although my parents were making an above average income in Xian, it was still too little to support my studies in the USA. The good thing is that I have been a very determined person since I was young, good or bad. Although it was a big stretch to compete for a good university in the USA, I got into Renssellaer Polytechnic Institute with financial help, after months of catching up on my English. Can you believe I memorized 800 new words in a day? I won’t be able to do that again honestly.
My mom taught me that a woman can do even better work than a man in technology and encouraged me to go outside to fulfill my dream – then my father taught me the entrepreneurial side of things. My father was a brilliant engineer in his field. He took a newly invented tech to a nice service business later.
Growing up under the influence of a high positioned mom and an ambitious dad, I set up my life goal before I even realized it: an adventure. To make life fun and meaningful, no matter where the road led me, traveling, or on the life journey. So, I went from a silly girl chasing after alien-like foreigners to an entrepreneur who believes that the sky is the limit.
What was your career path from engineer to entrepreneur? Did you have role models & mentors along the way?
It was more of a genetic accident. Using my husband’s words: it’s my restless genes. Repetitive work just bores me to death. So, instead of climbing the corporate ladder like most smart people do, I quit my engineering job from a high tech but slow growing company to start on my own journey. It wasn’t easy and I learned a lot in the process. I also have a very supportive husband, which hugely helped me stay float through the hectic life change.