With an audience size on social that rivals some media outlets they pay to advertise, EA’s David Tinson says it makes sense for the brand to become a media company. As the senior VP of global communications, David says his job is to help create a newsroom that’s centered around an opportunity to connect with customers.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Member Meeting, David shares how they created an internal structure to support listening, content creation and distribution for EA’s media. Here are some key points from his presentation:

  • Standards and policies at an enterprise level are crucial. David explains how they created governance around a common set of tools, invested in creative resources, and formed alignment across teams. That meant creating a consistent voice and staying on the same page with paid, advertising, product marketing and customer-support teams.
  • Listen first, then create content. David says, “So often marketers and communicators start creating content and then figure out where it should go after.
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As the top-selling sedan in America for 13 years in a row, Toyota’s Camry had a problem: Its popularity earned it a reputation for being boring. So with the Camry’s “bold new” redesign, Toyota’s social team developed a campaign to change the conversation.

In her presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Member Meeting, Toyota Director of Social Media Monica Peterson shares the steps they took to launch the new Camry in social and change their audience’s perceptions.

Here are three key points from her case study:

  • Your campaign objectives need to match your social objectives. To start, Monica’s team aligned their objectives to specific platforms and developed a portfolio for where they would allocate budget and resources to match. Then, they targeted three subcategories of audiences looking for styling, tech or performance.
  • Take advantage of the things people already do naturally. For example, people love to brag about buying a new car on social.
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“Convincing a large organization to change what it’s been doing very successfully for decades can be a bit of a struggle,” says Brandon Rhoten, Wendy’s Director of Digital and Social Media in his presentation at our SocialMedia.org Brands-Only Summit.

He explains that with a heavy focus on TV commercials for over 50 years, Wendy’s was very comfortable with traditional advertising — and getting the company on board with social media took three things:

  • Headlines: Use external press — both the good and the bad. Brad says he shares the cringe-worthy stuff to show why Wendy’s should be a part of the conversation and the good coverage (like winning a Silver Cannes Lion, a Shorty award and Facebook Silver) to show where it’s working.
  • A simple plan: Empower a person to build and take responsibility for the channel. Make simple rules for a clear voice and tone. Don’t start with your business objectives — start with your customers’ habits.
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Everyone goes through what Lulu Gephart, REI’s manager of social and earned media, calls “content deserts.” There aren’t any campaigns or promotions going on, you’ve got nothing from your creative department, and finding something compelling to post is difficult. But, Lulu explains, at REI, they’ve developed a hashtag strategy that’s helped them capture user-generated content to use for the long haul.

For REI’s 1440 Project, they asked fans upload photos to a microsite or Instagram, tagging what outdoor activity they’re doing, where, and what minute of the 1440-minute day they’re doing it using #REI1440Project. And Lulu says, in just a few months, they gathered over 10,000 photos and over a half-million visits to the microsite.

Here are three key points from her presentation at our SocialMedia.org Brands-Only Summit:

  • Your fans show the true side of your brand. The variety and authenticity of user-generated content they received couldn’t have been recreated by REI’s creative team.
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Cabela’s social media response plan was a mess: Someone posts a complaint, the social media manager takes a screenshot, e-mails it to the customer care team, the customer care team tries to find the customer in their database (and most often they don’t), then 72 hours later, the social media manager responds.

That social customer service system left two-thirds of their customers’ posts unanswered and a lot of people unhappy. But it wasn’t just dropping the ball on customer complaints, they were also missing big opportunities to build relationships.

In his presentation at SocialMedia.org’s Member Meeting, Cabela’s Social Media Manager Adam Buchanan explains the steps he took to revamp their customer service in social media and earn back the love of their customers. Here are some key points from his case study:

  • Develop a streamlined process: The old system wasn’t working. So Adam hired more community managers and created a direct line of communication with two reps in corporate communications and two reps in customer relations.
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