Robby Harrington

Before Robby Harrington began his career in social media, he spent almost ten years in HR and recruiting.

At first, it seemed like a totally separate field, but in a lot of ways recruiting and social marketing are very similar.

“Moving into the marketing side of things was definitely a little scary because I had done HR and recruiting for so long. But social media seemed like such a fun job that it didn’t seem like an actual job that someone could have,” he says.

And as it turns out, his long-term experience in the talent acquisition blended seamlessly into his new position as an interactive marketing specialist for Sprouts Farmers Market.

“At first, it seemed like a totally separate field, but in a lot of ways recruiting and social marketing are very similar. In recruiting, we use social media to promote jobs, we calculate ROI, our cost per click, and our click-through rate. So I found the transition a lot more effortless than I thought.”

As the Social Media Marketing Manager for Sprouts, Robby manages of a team of three.

Right now, their team consists of a community manager who listens and responds to consumers, a specialist who manages and creates content, and an intern who helps execute.

Robby says, “The most important part of my job is to stand back and let my team get inspired, to make them feel trusted, and to listen to their ideas.”

He says keeping up with the constant updates to social media is the biggest challenge.

“It’s hard to do because we get so busy. You don’t really have a lot of time to read through Social Media Examiner articles and peruse all of the different blogs for what’s happening on social media.”

He explains that it’s important to budget time out of every day to stay up on what’s happening and to get inspired.

“One of my objectives is to make sure that whatever we do aligns with our business goals.”

Robby says that means putting extra stress on the quality of the content they put out and enriching their followers’ experiences online.

“Instead of just answering inquiries, I want us to be more proactive in reaching out. Instead of focusing on how many posts we share a day, I want to focus on making the content really engaging and interesting,” he explains.

For example, the social team is rolling out a surprise and delight program to send followers and fans products, and they’re looking to grow their lean team.

“I want to make sure everybody has a voice in social media.”

While that voice primarily sits within the social media team now, Robby says they’re looking to spread social teams throughout other departments within Sprouts in the future.

“We don’t know everything there is to know, and I don’t think anyone has all of the answers in social media. So going forward, we always have to be open to others’ perspectives,” he explains.

Robby’s been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2014. Find him on Twitter and ask about all things Apple.


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