Since bringing on Social Media and Content Coordinator, Hayley Sakae, AdRoll has seen its social media presence soar. Twitter engagement has increased by over 300% and impressions on Instagram are up by over 2000% in the past three months alone.
In our latest installment of “In the Know,” we go behind the scenes at AdRoll to learn more about the elements of the marketing platform’s social media success. Karbo Com joined Hayley at AdRoll’s San Francisco office where we discussed how social media supports AdRoll’s entire customer lifecycle and how implementing a social-first mindset has transformed the company’s online presence.
As AdRoll’s Social Media and Content Coordinator, you’re directly involved in one of the most rapidly changing industries and advertising vectors, which is social media. What’s it like working in that field?
It’s incredibly fast paced and because it’s ever-changing, there’s a lot of opportunity to be really creative. AdRoll is a growth marketing platform for ambitious D2C businesses and having a strong social media presence is not just key to our customers, but an essential part of building our brand identify too.
I’m AdRoll’s first Social Media Coordinator. While we’ve always had social channels, no one has ever had this role before, so I’ve had the opportunity to really dive in and build our company voice and engagement across all our platforms.
What role does social media have in the AdRoll customer journey?
I think social media is an important part of the entire customer lifecycle. It’s part of the AdRoll discovery process. We want future customers to find us organically and be able to see us as this very interesting, informative company and an indispensable resource for their brand. We want to build a relationship with these brands and marketers, gaining their trust and respect, so when they’re considering ways to elevate their understanding of their customers and streamline their marketing campaigns, they come to us first. And for existing customers, we want them to be able to advocate for us and evangelize the brand. We want them to continue to see the value in being a member of the AdRoll community and be proud to be part of it.
How is your team defining success for AdRoll’s social media internally?
So I mean, obviously it’s all about the KPI’s and tracking your success in numbers. Reach is an important metric for us: the amount of individual organic users that are seeing your content—versus impressions that could be one person seeing your post a hundred times.
We’re working toward improving our SEO and are currently prioritizing page views and web traffic to our blog, and part of that will come from social promotion. To boost engagement, I’m currently working to implement an employee advocacy program. I’m onboarding with this software from Sprout Social called Bambu, which makes it easy for employees to amplify their company’s message by sharing, liking, and engaging with company social media content. This will bring more attention to AdRoll via employee social followings.
What shifts have you observed in AdRoll’s approach to social media since joining the team?
Our marketing team has undergone huge growth this year, and as that team continues to grow I want to ensure that internal teams are thinking with a social-first mindset. That shift to a social-first perspective has been huge for us.
I’ll explain what I mean by a social-first mindset. Webinars and blog posts are an important part of AdRoll’s content marketing strategy. In the past, when it came time to promote that content on social media, we’d just crop an image that we already had and repurpose it for social, as many companies do. And creating that social media asset was just 10% of someone else’s job—there was no one dedicated to representing the perspective of our social media audiences. There was no one responsible for thinking about whether or not that social asset was something that audiences would really want to see on their feeds or whether it was visually appealing or entertaining.
In my role, it’s my responsibility to see our social media content through the eyes of our audience and to encourage all members of the marketing team to do the same. That’s what a social-first mindset looks like. People go on social media to be informed, entertained, and inspired. And so that’s always at the forefront of my mind. Social content will always be more successful if you’re creating and scrutinizing it through the viewers lens.
What kinds of content have been particularly effective at driving that kind of reach and engagement you’re targeting?
Whenever I go to a conference, I’ll do some live tweeting or there’s always some promotion leading up to the event. I’ll also try to get video coverage of AdRoll event speakers—we get a lot of engagement on those videos.
We’re focusing a lot on culture on our Instagram as well. We have a really great culture here at AdRoll. It’s just super fun. We have employee resource groups, happy hours, our annual Summer Day—and we had our annual dog show here last week! There’s always something fun going on. I’ve been posting a lot of culture stuff because people like seeing pictures of their friends and it gets a lot of engagement. I posted a carousel of what our different offices were up to and that performed really well. I think people like to share, comment and like the photos that they personally connect with.
It’s important to promote and celebrate that culture on social for recruiting and employee retention too. This kind of content makes people want to work here. It helps us attract some of the best talent out there. And it helps position AdRoll as a leader in the company culture space.
AdRoll has a notable presence on multiple social media channels. Do you publish different kinds of content on different channels? Does each social media channel have a discreet role?
We use each channel a little differently. On Twitter, I’ve been trying to engage people by doing a lot of retweeting and facilitating conversations. And Facebook is kind of our go-to for promoting everything. As I mentioned, Instagram is definitely focused more on culture right now. Our top performing channel is Facebook. LinkedIn is a close second. We take special care to create content that’s appropriate for those channels.
What are some brands that are getting social media right? Which brands do you look up to?
Mailchimp and Shopify come to mind immediately. I think they started really pushing their social and making a name for themselves before a lot of brands. They figured out their voice, messaging and the look and feel of their brand early on. Mailchimp positioned themselves as this fun and quirky brand, and people fell in love with them as a company. They’ve positioned themselves in a way so that they can really experiment with their content in bold ways. I was watching some videos on Instagram that seemingly had nothing to do with Mailchimp, but it was fun and entertaining. It helps Mailchimp build a positive relationship with their audience.
No one wants to read a lot of text or watch a long video with someone just talking in front of a camera. If you wouldn’t personally be engaged by the content you produce, why would your audience? Always think audience first. Make sure that what you are posting is what your audience would want to see.
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