SBN Interactive proudly presents the Midwest Social Media Summit inaugural class of SoMe Impact Award winners! These awards recognize marketing executives who took a leap of faith into the groundbreaking world of social media and in doing so, drove substantial value for their companies.
Nominations were received from the Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Pittsburgh regions across three categories — emerging, midsized and large industries. Throughout the nomination period, the breadth and number of entrants that were submitted blew us away. The strategies and innovations represented by these companies are world class, and we want to thank everyone who took the time to fill out surveys or contact us directly with nominations. Sorting through the fierce competition was not easy, but the 2013 SoMe Impact Award honorees are all deserving of the recognition.
While social media was once seen as a passing fad, it is clear that it is no longer enough to have Facebook or Twitter accounts — companies must actively engage their customers. The inaugural group of winners represented marketing executives who effectively used social media to make a meaningful difference at his or her organization. Ranging from companies who promote the social media initiatives of national organizations to those who have had successful special promotions that have garnered thousands of followers and millions of hits on YouTube, the first class of honorees demonstrate the milestones they have achieved in what is becoming the future of marketing. We are excited to announce the winners of the 2013 SoMe Impact Awards! ●
Here are the winners in the large category:
president and COO
EYE Lighting International
EYE Lighting International spent two decades pioneering lamp and luminaire technology and introducing innovative HID and LED lighting products to a variety of customers in both the business world and the home.
In early 2011, it was clear that a new dynamic was in play that EYE Lighting needed to address. Social media was growing every day and the company needed a strategy to allow it to reach beyond existing distribution channels and industry communications media.
Under the leadership of Tom Salpietra, the company’s president and COO, EYE Lighting set out to establish a comprehensive social media policy. It lays out clear expectations for how administrators and employees interact with the company’s social media platforms.
The company’s Facebook page grew slowly at first, but quickly gained steam when EYE Lighting launched a targeted ad campaign and the page now has more than 10,000 likes. Work was also done in the way of Google AdWords and Analytics and new channels were created to make product announcements and generate interest in well-established products that still offer value to customers.
EYE Lighting also took a look at its website and hired a Northeast Ohio web development company to create a better master product database. The company also wanted a site that was mobile friendly for both smartphones and tablets and studied its inbound marketing techniques to adopt a higher level of calls-to-action by visitors to the site.
As new ideas continue to sprout, EYE Lighting will continue to find new and better ways to take advantage of all the opportunity social media provides to interact with customers. ●
director of marketing
Social media is the hot topic these days and everybody is looking for a piece of the action. As the platforms change and evolve, the rules are constantly changing and companies are tasked with developing strategies to get the most out of each tool.
One thing that won’t change no matter the forum or venue is the importance of honesty and integrity. These two traits dominate the 10 points of the Social Media Policy Guidelines at Jenne Inc.
The guidelines are a key element to the social media strategy developed by Susan Elder, Jenne’s director of marketing who came to the company in January 2012. Elder brought 25 years of experience in marketing and corporate communications to the table, having most recently served as chief marketing officer with the American Red Cross of Greater Cleveland.
When Elder came to Jenne, she discovered the company did not have a social media program in place. It was an opportunity to build a program from the ground up.
She began on LinkedIn, developing a group that has grown to include more than 1,000 Jenne customers who are resellers of technology products, as well as vendors who are the manufacturers of these products.
The group also includes content about webinars, training classes and new products and programs that Jenne markets and sells on behalf of the 170 manufacturers the company distributes.
Facebook and Twitter have also been worked into the mix, and Elder has enlisted a core group of subject matter experts in the company to regularly post and contribute to the forums. ●
emerging media and video specialist
vice president of customer demand and experience
SafeAuto Insurance Co.
Ayanna Lewis is a perfect example of the power of social media. The wife and mother of two from Hamilton, Ohio, entered SafeAuto Insurance Co.’s 2013 “Do The Jingle Contest” and won with her minute-long music video. The contest generated over 3.3 million votes, with more than 392,000 of those votes going to Lewis.
While it provides an opportunity for anyone interested to get creative and develop a clever new ad campaign for SafeAuto, the contest itself generates a lot of interest and awareness in the company as people visit YouTube to see what past winners have done or just re-watch their favorite commercials.
The audience that has been developed through the auto insurer’s social media campaign is substantial. SafeAuto has more than 50,000 Facebook and Twitter followers combined and more than 1.2 million views on its YouTube channel.
The results reinforce the power of social media for people in the company as well as customers. It allows associates to see the messaging and brand consistency on social channels and stay up to date and informed on the initiatives taking place at SafeAuto.
Under the leadership of Jason Parks, the company’s emerging media/video specialist and Charlie Kordes, vice president of customer demand and experience, the plan going forward is to continue to invest in social media.
The company will continue searching for more ways to both provide entertaining content and inform customers and followers about all of the things that are happening at SafeAuto. ●
marketing communications strategist
Sara McKinniss found evidence that ODW Logistics wanted to build a presence in the social media realm. When she arrived at the company, however, nothing had come to fruition. It was her job to change that.
She was the first in-house marketing hire in the company’s history and she was given an opportunity to strategically plan and build out a social media program. McKinniss had grown quite fond of the power of social media in recent years and relished the chance to develop an effective platform at ODW.
One of the principles that McKinniss wanted to keep in mind was the idea that strategy typically doesn’t change once it’s conceptualized. It’s the tools that are used that create the biggest headaches for users. When Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn make tweaks to how things are done, it forces users to adapt to ensure they continue to get the greatest value from the tool.
McKinniss helped ODW launch an integrated approach that consists of a presence on Twitter, YouTube, WordPress and LinkedIn. The goal is to not only inform people, but engage them and share the same content across multiple channels to ensure the best reach.
The result is an increased presence on the Web and in the social media world, allowing the ability to interact with the communities in which the company lives and does business. It has helped drive traffic to the company’s website, helped bolster SEO and PPC initiatives, and assisted in securing sales leads. ●
interactive media manager, marketing
Tony Zayas has a passion for social media, but he understands that it’s still an unknown for a lot of people. Sure, most people know how to maintain a Facebook page or Twitter account for their personal lives. But what goes into having an active and successful social media presence in the business world?
Zayas is the interactive media manager for Proforma, working with more than 750 franchise locations to help franchise owners boost their social media presence. Zayas understands that these leaders need to be out prospecting and selling to be successful. His goal is to design steps that integrate the process of growing the business with growing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other popular networking sites.
He established the Intelligent Marketing Mastermind Group that each month offers a webinar for owners to join and learn about how they can utilize social media and other online marketing tools to their advantage. He also maintains an online community for owners to ask questions and provide feedback and success stories. In addition, Zayas offers news and tutorials to help owners improve their own social media efforts.
The strong commitment demonstrated by Zayas has paid off in the form of larger followings on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as an increasing number of success stories that have ties to social media. Zayas has a passion for his own success, but he gets even more excited at seeing the people he works with achieve victories and grow their business. ●