Sold In America
In 2018, Newsy was America’s fastest growing news network. With shortform reporting with a goal to remove any opinions to provide viewers with just the facts, it strove every day to earn it’s tagline Be Informed, Not Influenced.
As Newsy grew, so did it’s scope in reporting. Sold In America was Newsy’s first foray into long-form investigative reporting. As Social Media Manager, I was charged with creating our social media strategy.
Here’s how I decided to break down our strategy and tactics.
I’m sure you’ll notice that we didn’t IG stories added into our tactics. That’s because (shocking) this was way back in the day when IG stories didn’t exist. Memories, right?
After running through our tactics I was happy with the results. Simply put, we exceeded our goals, specifically in terms of our app downloads. One app download provides so much continued impressions through both email blasts and push notifications to drive consumers down the marketing funnel. After all, social media isn’t about building followers, it’s about building advocates.
The Social Media Studio
I walked into Guaranteed Rate knowing they had one glaring issue: they’d struggled to define a long-term internal social media strategy.
As Director of Social Media Strategy, I’d been given a team of four to run 12 corporate social media channels. Oh, and over 1,000 business channels owned by regional offices and individual loan officers accounts. Kind of had my work cut out for me.
When you come into that sort of situation, it’s natural to want to start tearing up everything you know is wasted effort, too complicated, or just bad ideas. Instead of acting, I decided to listen. I met the people who needed social’s help the most: the loan officers.
My questions were the same across the board:
“What’s your team trying to accomplish? How can social media help your goals?”
“What’s worked from a social perspective in the past? What hasn’t?”
“Do you like donuts? Cool, me too.”
Afterwards, I looked for the through line from all my conversations. What was one big program I could create to help solve as many issues as possible?
There was massive potential to organically increase brand awareness by getting Loan Officer’s more active on their social media channels. At the time, the social team was sending out three posts a week across every single individual challenge. While they were on brand for the company, they were also too corporate for an loan officer’s account. They felt like ads, rather than a post from a real person.
The hurdle? Social Media can be an intimidating place to build brand awareness. When you’re worried about saying the wrong thing, it feels safer to be bland rather than risking a creative post that could help people relate to why these loan officers loved helping people buy a home.
My solution was the Social Media Studio.
I went with the class three-pronged approach. First, I wanted to teach loan officers how to use social media in quick, easily digestible sessions. I produced twelve sessions alongside our social media manager and the internal creative team.
Rather than working through the existing HR video system, I created a private Facebook community for the loan officers. I wanted them to be comfortable on a social platform and provide a community where they could speak to other Rate loan officers across the country.
Sessions started as simple as “How to not be boring on social media” all the way to our final session “How to make ads that people want to watch.”
Next, I crafted a simple handout for every new loan officer to make the idea of using social media less intimidating. Hey, they’re busy trying to close loans, they don’t have a lot of time to dig through social media. Rather than pushing the idea of quantity, I pushed for consistency. Gotta walk before you can run.
Finally, I wanted to expand the current offering of the GRSocial program. Instead of just posting on their behalf a few times a week, we wanted to offer our services as experts in the field of social media.
So, how’d it turn out? The initial results were above our expectations. Loan officers increased their post output by 35%. Those who were posting more had an average increase in engagements and impressions per post of 52%. Most importantly, we were flooded with emails thanking the team for making social media feel less daunting. They’d become more comfortable building their personal brand, rather than advocating for Guaranteed Rate as a company.
And that’s always the goal, right? We’re always looking to use social media as a way to put a true face and voice to a company.