September 14, 2022

Social Media Strategy to Meet Business Goals with Diane Shapiro

by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

Show Notes

Diane Shapiro, Social Media Manager for cybersecurity companies, joins us to discuss all things social media. As a social media strategist for top B2B companies, PR agencies, and cybersecurity industries, Diane has over 10 years of experience helping companies broadcast their messages on social media to gain engagement and meet business goals. This week, Diane talks to us about employee engagement, post scheduling, metrics of measuring success, and how to speak to your target audience online.

Timecoded Guide:

[02:03] Engaging employees in your cybersecurity social media strategy

[07:20] Encouraging employees to create company content on social networks

[14:11] Gamifying content strategy to further encourage online engagement

[19:40] Measuring essential metrics when reaching social media goals

[24:40] Crafting a strong message to your target audience through effective customer service

 

How do you sell employees on the idea of social media strategy?

It’s one thing to have C-suite higher-ups pushing out posts on social media, but it’s another thing entirely to have everyday employees engaged and sharing as well. Employee education in the form of webinars allow the opportunity to explain how every member of your company can play a part online. After training team members about the importance of social media, consider incorporating weekly reminders on Slack, or setting aside specific office hours where employees can ask questions about types of content they could be posting.

“I'll do a couple webinars where I communicate the important point that social media really thrives when you have both the company and individuals posting. Employees then can choose the content they know is going to resonate with their social media audience.”

 

Is there a method to encourage people to write their own posts?

In theory, we think social media is easy. We’re not writing a novel or a thesis, it’s usually just a line or two with a simple photo or graphic. In reality, employees outside of your marketing or social media department are already working full-time jobs, making it especially difficult to get people writing and posting about your company online. Making social media posts as easy as possible is key. Pre-draft posts, edit for your employees, and make it a one-click deal. 

“What I've found in my 10+ years of marketing is that if you don't make posting easy for people, they don't do it.”

 

How do you motivate employees to post authentic content?

The employee engagement platforms can be a great asset when motivating employees to post authentically. For example, some platforms offer employers an opportunity to gamify the experience and turn it into a contest. The key is to make the reward something rare enough that employees feel motivated to participate in the content on their social media channels. However, Diane does warn to be aware: it’s not about the quantity of posts, it’s about quality and scheduling. 

“If you've got seven posts in one day on one person's account, and none for the rest of the week, you're only getting the benefit of one of those posts, not all seven.” 

 

What metrics do you measure to make sure your social media strategy is working?

There are two terms here that Diane wants us to remember: vanity metrics and non-vanity metrics. Vanity metrics on social media channels are things like follower count. Follower count can be useful, but followers can be bought to artificially inflate the count. Diane instead advises to look at non-vanity metrics, such as impressions, likes, comments, and clicks. Those metrics will reveal how much your posts are actually getting interacted with and can determine the reach of your account.

“All these platforms measure in analytics. Clicks from the social assets through to the company's website are things you really want to look at, because that tells us how much your posts are getting interacted with. That's really what matters.” 

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Links: 

Grab your ticket to the Cyber Marketing Con 2022.

Spend some time with our guest Diane Shapiro on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Follow Gianna on LinkedIn.

Catch up with Maria on LinkedIn.

Join the Cybersecurity Marketing Society on our website, and keep up with us on Twitter.

Keep up with Hacker Valley on our website, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.



Transcript

Gianna 0:00
Hey, before the show starts, we want to let you know that the Cybersecurity Marketing Society's annual conference, Cyber Marketing Con 2022, will be held this year, November 16th through 18th in Arlington, Virginia, and yes, there will also be a virtual option.
Maria 0:15
You really don't want to miss it. We'll have 2 days jam-packed with cybersecurity marketing
strategies, ideas, metrics, insights. It's going to be the place to be. Visit cybersecuritymarketingsociety.com and click on “Conference” to grab your ticket. We'll see you there.
Gianna 0:31
Welcome to the Breaking Through and Cybersecurity Marketing podcast…
Maria 0:35
Where we explore the hottest topics in cyber marketing, interview experts, and help you become a better cybersecurity marketer. Hello, and welcome to another episode of Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing, your favorite marketing podcast on all things cybersecurity. I'm one of your hosts, Maria. Joining me today is my trusty co-host Gianna. And our guest today is Diane Shapiro. Diane is the go-to social media strategist for cybersecurity companies, B2B tech companies. She's been at companies like Graylog, Ponderings, and Orca. We are so excited to have you here today. Thanks for joining us. We're going to talk all things social media, whether it's employee advocacy, or anything under the sun of social media, so get your notebooks out and pens. This is going to be a good one. Diane, thanks for joining us.
Diane 1:37
Thank you. It's great to be here.
Maria 1:38
Okay, let's jump right in, Diane, I think we're all going to learn a shit ton today about social
media things that we thought we knew, but we clearly are no experts on. Let's jump into the
employee advocacy side of social media strategy. How do you actually sell that idea internally? And how do you get them motivated and keep them motivated as well.
Diane 2:03
This is kind of fun and also a challenge. At the same time, it's super critical to the success of
any social media effort within a company. Because, you know, it's one thing for the corporate
profiles to just push out posts. But it's another thing to have individuals pushing out posts and
endorsing that company's product on a personal level. So it's really critical to do. So establishing that premise with the people in the company is kind of a first step. So there's a
lot of education involved there. Often I do that in the form of like a webinar, an internal company webinar, sometimes just with the sales team to start, sometimes with the whole company, it just depends. But I'll do a couple webinars where I communicate that really important point about the fact that social really thrives when you have both the company and individuals posting. So, there's that training through the webinars. But doing just like a single training, it's never enough. I might pick up a couple people participating after a single training. So you gotta keep working at it. Sometimes it's weekly reminders on Slack. You know, if I've put out content, I'll ping certain groups of people within the company on Slack and say, “Hey, I've got these posts, and we want to raise the signal on this piece of content.” And it might mean I'm pre-drafting posts for them so they don't have to go through that hard work of writing those posts. And then I can share them on Slack and say, “Please share this on this day.” So that's another strategy. In some cases we offer a weekly Open Office Hour, where it's just, “Hey, drop in and ask me your questions. What are you struggling with? Do you have a Twitter account? Do you need help setting up a Twitter account? That's great that you're posting on LinkedIn, but we want you to post on Twitter, too.” So training can happen in that forum as well. And I find the shy people who don't want to speak up in a company-wide webinar will often drop in to that really informal office hour and say, “Okay, I have all these stupid questions that I feel like I should know about social but I don't. Can you help me?” And so we catch a lot of people in that forum. And that can be great. Another key thing, if a company can't afford it, I work with a ton of startups so oftentimes, they don't have the budget. But if you do, if a company does, actually using an employee engagement platform. So that can be like Dynamic Signal, or Bamboo, which is made by Sprout, I have a lot of experience with Bamboo. I like it. It's a fraction of the cost of Dynamic Signal. It works well enough. And so that can be a huge help, because with a platform like that, I can write posts and just drop them in there. And then the employees can go into that platform and they can pull the specific content that they want to post on so I can have like, 20/40/70 posts in there, and they can say, “Well, I'm in sales. So I'm going to post on this, this, and this item.” Whereas somebody else who's an executive, different content might resonate. When you use the employee engagement platform, you can have a wide range of posts in there. And people can choose the content that they know is going to resonate with their social media audience. Because salespeople are connected to salespeople, executives are connected to other CEOs. And so that's kind of a nice little piece that you get.
Maria 5:30
That's actually really cool that you actually pre-set posts for people. Is there a way that you
actually categorize some of those posts, so people can go straight to the ones relevant to their function? Or, would it be just sifting through the posts and then finding what they like?
Diane 5:49
So, if you're working in Bamboo, it gives you the ability to set up groups. And so you can have a sales group, and then you can put the people in sales into that group, you can have a marketing group, put all your marketing people in that group. And then if you have specific posts, you can choose to kind of label them as such. So if you really had a lot of posts in there, then people could go to certain things. It can become a lot to maintain, because you're also writing all the posts for the corporate profiles, and then you're writing all these other posts. The most recent time I did this separate was in the context of a full-time job. So that's kind of
nice, when you have those hours to dedicate to it, it can be a little harder with clients when
you're spending your time between different jobs. But the platform itself can give you ways to
label that. But also, when I train people, you know, with social, you want to be posting about the most recent news, like the date on the content is really critical. So a lot of times you can just train people, like if it's hard for them, or they're not sure if it's sales or marketing, or you know, is this supposed to be for engineering people, you can tell them, “Hey, just look at the most recent posts.” Because it also will have it in there chronologically, by dates and say, “You know, if you're not sure, just look at the stuff from the most recent week, and just post on that stuff.” And those platforms. Also, while you can put in pre-written posts, they will let people overwrite that, and put the posts into their own words. So, if anybody says, “I don't like the way you read the post.” Well, hey, you can change what it says.
Gianna 7:20
Diane, on that topic of pre-written and written posts, and people editing their posts, I observed here at least, we're a really small company. I've been encouraging my team to write their own posts. I haven't had the bandwidth to write posts for them. Is there a method to encourage people to write their own posts? Or, do you really think that it's honestly just going to be based on whether or not they have an English degree or are a writer, social forward, or whatever?
Diane 7:51
Well, it's not that in theory, people can't go and write their own posts. Because social media, as we all know, it's like one line, right? We're not writing a master's thesis here, we're not writing a novel, it's not a lot of stuff. So we always think, “Oh, social media, it's so easy." But what I've found in my 10+ years of doing this, is that if you don't make it easy for people, they don't do it. One reason is because it's not their primary job. And everybody's already got a full-time job to do. And so it goes to the bottom of their list of things to do, unless they're maybe in marketing and it was part of their job description. Like sometimes people who have the job title of evangelist for the company, that can be part of their job description that they need to go and do social posts for everybody else, not so much. And if it's not a priority, they just don't do it, I just do not see it happen. I'm trying to think of a single example where it's like, shared a piece of content, just the link, and say, “Go write a post” and actually seen anybody do that. I just don't think I've seen it happen. And I learned that lesson early on, that if I don't make this incredibly easy for these employees, it will not happen. And that is everybody from the CEO on down to the interns, it is not going to happen. And I've also learned over the years in working with people through webinars, giving the webinars, and then like those one-on-one office hours: people get nervous. They're worried they're gonna say the wrong thing about the content. And so you know, we have to think about the fact that most of these people are not marketers. They're not used to putting themselves out there and talking about content in a professional way, necessarily. If they're engineers, they might get super geeky with it. And that can be good because that can speak to their audience. But also, I'm telling you people get nervous. They think they're going to not use the right hashtags or not use enough hashtags, or use too many hashtags. When you pre-draft those posts, it takes all of those barriers away. But let me tell you that pre-drafting posts is still not enough. Even when I pre-draft posts and say, give people a link to a Google Doc with those posts, maybe for big funding announcements, you'll get people to post once. But I find that they need to have a one-click solution, like, if it's a five-click solution, they're still not going to do it. Again, they have a full-time job and this is not their job. So I just take this approach that you gotta make it super easy, you gotta take the guesswork out, you gotta take the click-work out, it's one click, that's what you get. And even with the one click, like with employee engagement software, even then sometimes people get it wrong. In Bamboo with the Twitter stuff, you have to change one small thing about the post or won't let you post and it's an anti-spam thing. So that you don't have 20 people posting the exact identical post, but you can just change one hashtag or one word or something, then that's enough. But people don't, and they can't figure it out. And I'm telling you, it just makes me realize because they're in a hurry. It's not because they can't — even marketers, I've seen marketers do this, I've seen CMOS do this, you know, they're like, “I'm gonna do my Bamboo post today” and they go and do it and they push it out through Bamboo and there's nothing written in the content area because they deleted it all it it just has a link to the article, you know? And it's not because they can't, it's just because they are really busy. So anything you can do as a social media marketer to make this super simple for people is a win.
Maria 11:33
How do you motivate them to actually stay authentic? Because sometimes when you create this kind of advocacy program, it almost becomes like homework for them and not something they truly want to do. And then you lose that authentic voice in the urge to actually tell everyone how much you believe in your new product. Or tell them everyone how happy you are that your company raised funds. How do you actually keep the balance so it doesn't feel like a chore every day or every week?
Diane 12:03
Yeah, it is a challenge for sure. You kind of hope that people work for the company they work for because they do believe in the company in some ways. So that's a good start, right?
Cybersecurity is a great industry. I actually find that people who choose to work in cybersecurity really believe in what they're doing, so that's a good start. But beyond that, it is hard. People do lose interest or sometimes they don't even understand or they don't care that much about the content you're putting out. So the reminders are good. I need to prioritize the stuff I'm asking. I might have 40 posts in Bamboo, but I cannot expect anybody to put out 40 posts, nor should they put out 40 posts, it’s too much, it gets spammy, right? I need to help them prioritize: What's the big stuff? On my end, I'll go through and say, “Okay, press releases, anytime a press release is going out, that's a big deal.” I raised that signal. And then, I have to be a cheerleader, as a social media person with the people in the company, I have to say, “Okay, big funding round, this is huge news. Let's get this out there.” And the employees, they're always excited about the funding rounds, but then we have other stuff like, “Hey, we commissioned Forrester to do this study and tell the whole world why our company is amazing.” And you know, the employees are like, “Okay…” And sometimes the audience was like, “Yeah, okay, you paid for that.” How do you get people to post on that, you know? I just have to get on Slack, honestly, and be a cheerleader about it like, “This is great content, this can really help us bring in some new leads.” So when I am posting to Slack and asking employees to do this social media posting, I'm not just dropping stuff in there. I'm always practicing it with a little sentence or two of why this is great, and why they should help.
Gianna 13:46
You're selling the content, you're doing sales for the content.
Diane 13:50
I am. So not only do I have to write the posts, I have to sell the idea of sharing the posts. So
there's that. And again, if people are not using an employee engagement platform, they can do
that through Slack. But the employee engagement platform can bring another level, I feel like
I'm a salesperson for Bamboo here and I'm not —
Maria 14:08
Yea, we need to ask them for sponsorship at this point. Absolutely.
Diane 14:11
I am in no way a salesperson for Bamboo. But one thing that can be fun and motivating,
because we're talking about motivation here, is the engagement platforms, they have the ability to gamify the process. I found this with the prior company I was with in 2021. It was actually kind of surprising for me with this company, but it happened, you know, I put all the posts in there. And then I decided, “Okay, let's run a little contest, whoever posts the most in this period of time or whatever.”
Gianna 14:41
What do they win?
Diane 14:42
Well, so, it's very interesting what happened there. So that's great because it's motivating. You
know, people love to compete, especially people in tech companies. They love to compete, and they love to win. And so I put these posts in and I thought, “Oh, I'll get people posting maybe two to three times a week or whatever.” No, there were people who went in there and they figured out that the platform deadline for a specific week was midnight, in their time zone. And these companies, like this particular company, was international. So the people who were in a later time zone had an advantage, they would just wait till the employees they were competing against, had already passed their deadline at midnight, and they'd stay up past midnight in their time zone, and make sure they posted one more post —
Gianna 15:29
Oh no, oh my god. That’s too much, man.
Diane 15:32
I was laughing hysterically, because, “Okay, this is not the point. We're just off on a tangent.”
Gianna 15:40
What was the prize that was so appealing?
Diane 15:43
Initially, I promised people — we had stuffies, of the company mascot. And the stuffies were
rare. They were like, we only had a handful of them. And everybody wanted these stuffies,
everybody wanted one of them, and they were supposed to be a giveaway for a conference.
And so I was putting pictures, the stuffies, on Slack channels and stuff, and everybody wanted
the stuff. That was the initial prize, but we couldn't sustain that. We wanted people to keep being motivated week over week. So then we moved to like, “Okay, if you win, we'll have one winner per week. And we'll put those four names in a hat. And we'll be able to give, we'll draw a name, and we'll give one per month.” It can be very simple. It can be a piece of company swag. But you have to make that schwag rare. It can't be something that's already been sent out. And if it's stuffy, perfect. But later on, I had to, just because we couldn't sustain the gifting, I had to just move to, “It's a contest, but there's no prize.” People still did the same thing.
Maria 16:39
Yeah, they get bragging rights.
Diane 16:41
Yeah, just to show up their co-workers.
Gianna 16:45
You need to have marketing create a little certificate that shows them in a chair that's being held up by their co-workers, like, I think especially sales would like that.
Diane 16:57
I learned that some of the most fierce competitors are the people in sales, no surprise there,
right? But some of the people in marketing really went to town with it, too, it’s pretty much those two departments. But there was a downside to this, and I do want to mention it because you actually can post too much. That needs to be said — you can post too much on social feeds. And so I had the opposite problem, once this took off, because people were posting 20 times in one day to LinkedIn and that is not good. There's a real sweet spot, a real optimal sweet spot, especially on a platform like LinkedIn, one per day. So I had to go back and educate people and say, “If you're gonna post seven times in a week, do not put them all on the same day, go in and schedule them out” — because there's a scheduler in the employee engagement software — “Schedule them out one per day, then you're getting the benefit of it.” If you've got seven posts in one day on one person's account, and none for the rest of the week, you're only getting the benefit of one of those posts, not all seven, and probably only the first one. So, and I will say — and here's where I'm gonna get a little critical of Bamboo — they, at least last time I had my hands on it, which was not that long ago, did not have a way to deal with that issue, the over-posting. So that came down to flat out education with the employees. And the gamification stuff worked against me in that way, because I just had people posting all the time just doing something.
Maria 18:29
Makes sense. How is this different than social selling? Is it the same thing? Is there overlap?
Diane 18:34
Social selling is a whole area unto itself. For example, when I give these webinars to train
people, I have a general webinar for everybody in the company, about doing social media, and
then I actually have a social selling one for people in sales. It's actually a different webinar I do.
There's LinkedIn navigator for social selling, that is a really powerful tool to use. Not all
companies will, it costs money, extra money, so the company has to want to invest in that. It's
for the salespeople, they need to learn how to use it, learn how to use it well.
So we're talking about additional tools, different tools, it goes deeper. I mean, in some sense,
there's overlap, obviously, you know, just writing and getting posts out on the feed, that's going to be the same between what general employees are going to do and salespeople who are doing social selling, but the social selling, it goes deeper than that. It just gets into more training involved, for sure.
Gianna 19:40
Employee engagement: you've launched a program, employees are posting, what are the
metrics that you're measuring? So that you can say, “Hey, this employee engagement program
is a success and is doing what we want it to do in terms of brand awareness and return on
investment” and all of that.
Diane 19:58
The key metrics that I look at to see how things are doing for the company are impressions,
likes, comments, and clicks for the most part? And shares. Shares are important, too.
There's this term vanity metric. And then, of course, non-vanity metric. The term “vanity metric” often will refer to follower count. So people who are kind of looking at social media on the surface, and they want to make sure their company's doing great on social media, they'll go into the profile, and they'll say, “I've got 5000 followers on my Twitter account, but my most direct competitor has 25,000 followers” and then they freak out and they say, “We got to get our follower account up!” Right, because that's a really visible metric. It's right there on the top level of the account, everybody can see it. And I can say, it's kind of like a pissing contest in public, right? From one company against the next, especially if you've got really direct competitors in an industry.
But that number does not tell you how well that account is doing. I mean, back in the day — and this goes back aways — people just frequently bought followers, especially on Twitter, that was a thing. You could go out, pay money, buy followers, they were fake, they were not real people. They were not people in cybersecurity, or cloud computing, or whatever your industry was. They were just numbers, you know, that made that number count go up.
And then there was a point, I want to say in like 2020 or 2021, where Twitter systematically went through and purged a bunch of those accounts. And I had clients at the time, who were like watching that follower number on Twitter just ratchet down really fast by the hundreds or 1000s. And that's because somebody previously — not me, I've never done it, and I never recommend to a client to do it, to buy followers — but somebody had previously, for the company, and they were getting purged, and so that number was going down. So you just can't look at a vanity metric like followers. Now, having said that, I will say it matters some, that follower count, and you can run some paid follower campaigns — this is very different than buying fake followers. It's a paid follow up campaign to bump the number, but it's not going to be an extreme bump. But that aside, I do not look at that and I try to educate all the CMOS and the CEOs to not look at that number as best as I can, and I say, “We're going to look at impressions.” That's how many times a post is seen by people on the feed. And all these platforms measure this stuff in their analytics. I pull it together, I put it in a spreadsheet for every platform: impressions, likes, shares, comments, and clicks. Clicks from the social assets through the company's website, or even to a third party website, depending. Those are the things you really want to look at, because that tells us how much your posts are getting interacted with. And that's really what matters.
Gianna 22:55
And now we'd like to take a moment to thank our sponsors and producers Hacker Valley Media.
Chris Cochran and Ron Eddings run an amazing studio here, which produces not only the
Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing podcast, but a bunch of other shows that you're
going to want to listen to as well. So, all these shows plus more and then on top of that probably even more coming soon are available to look at, listen to, and sponsor at hackervalley.com Make sure you go over there and say, “Hey, Gianna, and Maria said I should come check out your website to listen to your shows and sponsor a podcast or two.” Would you say that in terms of follower counts, because I know this pissing contest is bad, right? Because it's just chasing, it's like keeping up with the Joneses stuff but it's for social media followers, which, like you said, can be bought. Is there value in having a lot of followers who are your ICP? I ask this, because anyone can follow your company on LinkedIn — and I think of LinkedIn specifically, because that's where Botero mainly operates — anyone can follow on LinkedIn. And whenever we post a job, we get a ton of new people following us just because they want a job at our company, regardless of whether or not they're qualified for the role. But we'll just get a ton of followers from that account, I get excited. I'm like, “Oh, I got like 200 followers!” And I look and it's like, “Ph, it's people applying to our customer support role who are not going to get it.” But every once in a while I look in and I look and I'll try and see and get excited, because I'll see like, “Oh, a CISO followed us. Oh, a security architect followed us.” Is there anything…? What am I trying to ask? Am I just telling a story?
Diane Shapiro 24:40
No, I know what you're asking. You're asking how do you reach your target audience, right?
Gianna 24:45
Yeah.
Diane 24:46
Yeah, there's a target audience which is the people that you want to buy the product or service which is what, as marketers, all of us are after, whether we're doing emails or social posts or writing blogs, we are after that target audience. And of course, social profiles pick up the non-target audience and they boost that vanity followers metric and all that. But that's why those, the clicks and the comments, that's where you're getting your target audience for the most part. So I think you're asking, how do we tap into that target audience or get their attention on social media? It's a great question. It's kind of the basis for all the work that I do, you know, I'm constantly having to come back and say, “Are we reaching the target
audience? Are we meeting that goal?” That's really important. And how do you measure that?
Wow, it's so hard kind of with those comments, clicks, and stuff. The thing is, is you have to offer content that is appealing to that demographic. It really does all come down to the content. And I can tell you, that the content that resonates without fail is activity at specific trade shows. Okay, so you're going to Blackhat. So we're in cybersecurity here, right? So you're going to Blackhat, you're going to RSA. Your company needs to be talking about content in relation to that trade show, using those hashtags, and capturing the audience that is at that trade show. Maybe if you're going to spend a little bit of money to boost social posts, that's the time to do it. Because you want to, you can tap into the audience that's at RSA or at BlackHat. There's ways to do that in the platforms, because that's a captive target audience right there. So trade shows generate a lot of good social activity, press releases — news, basically news, something that is newsworthy. So, not all press releases, because not all press releases aren't necessarily newsworthy. We know that as marketers, but some really are. So news. So social media is, in a lot of ways, a function of public relations. I work closely with the PR people, because the PR people are out there trying to make that news from an earned
perspective. And/or they're going to pay for stuff that creates news, right? So you have paid
media and you have earned media, both can work, but social then amplifies from there. So
anything that's news, that's going to do well, and is usually already that content is aimed at the target audience. So that's another way, switch your news, switch your trade shows. I mean, that's when I look at the analytics, that's when I see the bumps go up on the measurements. You know, RSA was in this month and we had a booth and we did this or we did a webinar that week, or whatever, the measurement goes up.
Gianna 27:31
Like surprise, Christmas song engagement went up during December.
Diane 27:36
Right. So right, so December, numbers go down, right? Because nobody wants to do anything.
after Thanksgiving, from like the end of November all the way till after New Year's, you just don't get, unless some kind of weird, not weird, but maybe good news dropped? I don't know. Did the company hire a new CEO? Okay, maybe you're gonna get a bump.
Gianna 27:58
Yeah. What are some wins? What are some things you're especially proud of that you've done
in your role running social media for these companies?
Diane 28:08
I can talk about this example with the company that I was with for almost all of 2021. And I was with this company for like a year and a half. At first, they were a client on a contract basis and then I eventually went full time. So I had all my 40 hours a week to devote to the efforts that I've been explaining on this podcast today. And I was really able to implement all of these things, you know, not just like, one thing here and one thing there, or just doing Slack, or just doing an officer, I got to do all of them. I got to do every tactic that I have in my bag of tricks to get employees to engage. It was a big, ongoing employee engagement effort, we spun up Bamboo, I did two sessions of training on that, one for the US employees, one for the International employees. I also in that case, I had access to the CEO of the company's Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. That's also a little strategy there, because actually, this particular CEO was extremely engaged, and he often would post, but it was great for me to have it because I can post in a more timely manner, because my I'm focused on you know, “Hey, we've got big news today, we need to post on this today from your LinkedIn.” So I had access to that. I don't always get that with every client. Not everybody's comfortable with that. But I did for this company. I held every single week an open office hour for people to drop in and answer questions. And then we had the contests running in Bamboo. We had all that stuff going. And so by the time I left that company, there were so many people within the company across
many disciplines — sales, marketing, engineering, whatever, HR people — we're all posting to
LinkedIn, for sure. And then for those who were on Twitter, on Twitter, they're posting so much
and it kept going. So, I left the company. At a certain point, after I left, the effort just kept going, like, and I know that because of course, these are my prior co-workers, and I'm connected to them on LinkedIn and I'm connected to them on Twitter and I just because I'm not with the company, I don't want to break my connections to my prior co-workers, of course. I cannot go on LinkedIn or Twitter without seeing this company's name literally every single time I go on. And I was thinking the other day, okay, it's a little annoying for me, because I'm not at that company anymore. So I don't really want to see all that stuff, necessarily. But I'm like, “Wow, it worked.” Like from a brand awareness perspective — which, by the way, social media that's its number one function is just at the top of things: brand awareness. Yes, we want conversions. Yes, we want to drive traffic from social into the website and get people to buy the product or service, we do want that. But that only happens with social in conjunction with public relations, the rest of the marketing team, etc. But for social media alone, brand awareness, and, wow, they got a solid brand awareness. And I have not been with that company now for like three quarters of a year at least. But they're still at the same level of posting on social media, like this is from the employees, I'm not talking about — I actually unfollowed the corporate channels, because I don't need to, you know — but it's from the employees. And I was like, “I did it, I trained them.” That was amazing, because it doesn't happen in every company.
Gianna 31:28
What a testament to, again, selling the methodology and pushing the brand of being an
engaged employee internally in order to make stuff happen in a long-term way so that's really
cool. Diane, we're gonna play our final game where we're going to guess what you would do if
you were not doing social media? Yeah, so, Maria, you want to go first or you want me?
Maria 31:55
I'll go first. I think, with the amount of patience you have in training everyone internally and
convincing them that employee advocacy is great, I think you would actually be an elementary
school teacher, because those age groups need so much patience.
Gianna 32:16
Unfortunately, Maria took my guess so I'm going to take it another way, and I would say that you would train dogs because dogs also need a lot of patience when they're getting trained.
Diane 32:27
Oh my gosh this is hysterical, because you guys are just about both correct. That was my first
background and things that I do. But so prior to my ten, maybe 11 or 12 years in social media
now, prior to that, I was a teacher, not in elementary school. I never taught elementary through
middle school. But I did spend five years teaching web design in an auxiliary program to high
school kids. And then I spent a lot of years teaching design and art topics at various Bay Area college, university, and also city college level. So that was actually my prior career, was a career, before I started social media, which I started around 2009 when everything happened in 2009. So yes, that was a prior career teaching, not elementary, but the older folks.
And then, I have no professional work with dog training, but I have a dog who's a rescue. And
boy, has he required a lot of training over the last three years. And I found I really enjoy that. But you're absolutely right, that there's a huge training component in what I do. I mean, that's not to say you couldn't have a social media person who just handled the social media, didn't really interface with the employees that much, but for the success of a good social media effort, the training is a big component.
Gianna 33:57
Amazing. Diane, where can people find you if you're open to being contacted?
Diane 34:01
I'm absolutely open to being contacted. I'm on LinkedIn under Diane Shapiro. I have actually two last names that people can search me out on: there’s Shapiro spelled the normal way and then Sommerfields spelled with an O and that's just because I never officially changed to a married name, but I saw I'm thinking, “Gosh, do I have Diane Shapiro Sommerfield on LinkedIn? Or am I Diane Shapiro? I'm not even sure.”
Gianna 34:26
We’ll put a link in the Show Notes so people can just click right to it.
Diane 34:29
Yea maybe Show Notes directly to it, because amazingly, Diane Shapiro's kind of a common
name. So I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Twitter at “D” as in “Diane,” “E” as in “Elaine,” and then
Sommerfield, Sommerfield with an O. So I'm on Twitter. I'm on LinkedIn, people can DM me
from Twitter. Yeah, those are two good places to connect with me.
Gianna 34:48
Awesome. Thank you so much for being on our show today. Listeners, if you want to be on Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing, or if you have an idea for a topic, which we I don't think we've ever asked our listeners to provide, please send us an email at podcasts (with an S) and mention Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing.
Maria 35:08
Thank you so much for joining us today. Thank you, Diane. This was so insightful and I hope the listeners will take away a few things that they can go and train their employees and hopefully get some really cool social media strategies out there. Thanks again, Diane.
Diane 39:27
Thank you.

Build Brand Awareness via Demand Gen with Elliot Volkman

September 28, 2022 Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

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