4 Enterprise Marketers on Bots, Career Highlights, and "Going Viral"

We sat down with four social media marketers at the end of our Smart Social Summit to discuss 2017 highlights and hear their predictions for what’s around the bend. Our group included Michele Gottlieb from Monster Energy, Randi Smith-Billett from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Kristina Puerto from Advanced Micro Devices, and Erin Bruehl from Priceline.com.

Though they work in different industries, their perspectives are strikingly similar. Whether you’re in CPG, healthcare, consumer electronics, or travel, as a social media marketer you have similar goals and similar successes—and turns out we're not the only marketers who cringe at the phrase "let's make this campaign go viral." Read on to learn from their highlights and predictions.

Michele Gottlieb, Digital Marketing Manager at Monster Energy

Tell us about a personal career highlight for you in 2017:

Working with the Monster Energy international team and emerging markets in general is definitely a career highlight! But especially for 2017, getting to produce the second installment of our video series #BATTLEDRIFT was epic. Not only do I love putting my film degree to use, but also working with our amazing international team, athletes, and in a really cool location was definitely a “pinch me” moment. Even more so when it exceeded expectation on views!

Describe an a-ha moment you had using Spredfast — and how it changed your strategy:

When we first started using Spredfast and went over labels, none of us seemed to quite understand their use, mostly regarding our workflow. It wasn’t until we implemented and started using them did I realize their value, especially in relation to reporting and filtering.

What's your most-hated marketing buzzword and why?

“Content.” As much as I love the literal result of “content” and especially producing “content,” it drives me crazy when most everyone (myself included!) refers to “content” as just a noun. It’s a creative process with infinite possibilities — not just a singular photo or video.

Looking forward to 2018, what are you most excited about in digital and social marketing?

Ironically, going back to simplicity while innovating. There is so much changing constantly within the realms of social and digital marketing that often I try to remind myself to “keep it simple, stupid.” Now more than ever it’s becoming easier, and even encouraged, to try the next best thing. So my own challenge for next year is to set creative and monetary constraints, go, back to the basics, and look at ways to innovate by breaking the rules – not the bank.

Randi Smith-Billett, Social Media Coordinator at Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp

Tell us about a personal career highlight for you in 2017:

I created, soup-to-nuts, my first viral post. It was an empowering moment where all of my work culminated in a way that undeniably resonated with our audience.

Describe an a-ha moment you had using Spredfast — and how it changed your strategy:

One of our campaigns required tapping into an audience that doesn’t post frequently. With the help of Intelligence, I was able to identify hashtags this audience most frequently interacts with or retweets. I could then leverage that data to adjust our strategy to reach this key demographic and successfully entice them to take action.

What's your most-hated marketing buzzword and why?

“Innovation.” Real innovation happens at SpaceX… not in marketing departments.

Looking forward to 2018, what are you most excited about in digital and social marketing?

I most look forward to seeing how bots expand into US healthcare markets and how different age demographics react to that. It has potential to create a higher quality form of engagement and could really improve client education, but if it’s not done correctly — or if it’s targeted to the wrong people — it could quickly be viewed as a new form of spam.

Kristina Puerto, Senior Social Media Program Manager at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Tell us about a personal career highlight for you in 2017:

Balancing management and mentorship of my three direct report community managers while continuing to lead strategic social direction for three of our business units (each with major events and product launches this year) has certainly been a highlight for me in 2017. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of being a leader while still actively being a subject matter expert for stakeholders and watching both the programs and the community managers grow.

Describe an a-ha moment you had using Spredfast — and how it changed your strategy:

I had a big a-ha moment thanks to Spredfast when I started digging into the Intelligence capabilities while planning for CES 2017. I wanted a way to show growth in the overall conversation compared to our competitors and a KPI to demonstrate it with data. I was able to use the Intelligence tool to compare our SOV from CES 2016, and simultaneously was able to dig into the conversation and understand what had resonated best with our audience. Those findings guided both my goal setting and my content strategy for the 2017 event and became part of my go-to prep for supporting industry events.

What's your most-hated marketing buzzword and why?

“Viral,” because 9 times out of 10 it’s a stakeholder describing an objective for a campaign. Say it with me now: there is NO formula for going viral and anyone who says there is probably has no idea what they are talking about. Make good content with real, measurable goals. If your audience finds it valuable and it meets those goals, it’s a success. You don’t need to reach every single person with access to wifi in the universe to be an effective marketer!

“You don’t need to reach every single person with access to wifi in the universe to be an effective marketer.”

 

Looking forward to 2018, what are you most excited about in digital and social marketing?

I’m really excited to see what we can do using artificial intelligence and how brands will incorporate it into their strategies. I’m primarily looking forward to seeing how it helps us with content and targeting strategies. Consumers face so much noise on social media these days, and utilizing AI to listen to their feedback and understand their behavior will help us cut through that noise and reach the right audience with the right content at the right time and deliver better value across the board.

Erin Bruehl, Social Media Lead at Priceline.com

Tell us about a personal career highlight for you in 2017:

I really wanted to run a social campaign that not only provided value to our customers but also drove a measurable impact for our business. I designed a weekly, UGC-based contest called Free Your Friday that encouraged people to take more, shorter summer trips, as opposed to one long vacation. We asked consumers to upload photos of their weekend trips for a chance to win Priceline coupons and merchandise each week for nine weeks. I worked with our digital analytics team and was able to surface and produce a full-funnel view of a social campaign for the first time at Priceline. I was really proud that we were able to demonstrate a positive impact to our business, as well as open a two-way dialogue with the consumers who participated and shared with us their summer trip photos. It was such a fun campaign.

Describe an a-ha moment you had using Spredfast — and how it changed your strategy:

When I joined Priceline, I evaluated our social tools and decided we needed Spredfast based on my experience and success with it in my previous role. I used to get asked what kind of content performed best on what platform and I didn’t have a way to measure it without a tedious spreadsheet. Being able to label my content and run automated analytics reporting allowed me to better — and more quickly — identify top performing content, themes and call-to-action messages. That information enabled me to expand across other channels and promotions. At Priceline, we are all about leveraging data to make decisions. With the launch of structured labels, I’ll be able to extend my reporting to include our post objectives and continue to optimize our social strategy to further drive our business and build on our interactions with followers.

What's your most-hated marketing buzzword and why?

“Millennial.” It is so broad and everyone is so different! Does someone in their early 30s really have the same digital and purchasing habits as someone in their early 20s? That’s a huge age — and culture — gap. One aspect I love about social is how specific you can be with your targeting against such a broad and differentiated set of users. Just saying we’re targeting “millennials” isn’t going to bring you as many high-value customers as a narrowed-down target based on specific behaviors, interests or locations, regardless of age.

"Targeting “millennials” won't bring you as many high-value customers as a narrowed-down target."

 

Looking forward to 2018, what are you most excited about in digital and social marketing?

I’m looking forward to staying ahead of the curve! With the constant evolution of social platforms I am looking forward to how we can consistently deliver new, unique content and experiences to our customers and of course promote Priceline and our partners.

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Jacqueline is the Brand Marketing Specialist at Spredfast, where she runs the Spredfast Ambassador Program and amplifies customer stories. Find her on Twitter talking about her favorite things: dogs, beekeeping and Beyoncé.