Sarah Shehata

When she joined First American Financial Corporation, Sarah was their first full-time social media hire.

Strategies change all the time… just because we developed a strategy two years ago doesn’t mean it’s necessarily relevant today.

She develops corporate social strategy, oversees governance across the enterprise, and acts as what she calls an “in-house social media resident.” That means she partners with each of First American’s divisions to develop social strategies.

Divisions come to Sarah when they’re looking to create a social media presence or campaign so they can work with her to develop and implement a strategy. She helps them decide which platforms are appropriate, the type of content they’ll share, and how to navigate industry regulations.

From there, she’ll provide best practices and training for someone in the division’s marketing team to fill the new social media role or craft a job description to help them hire someone new. Then, she’s always around to help the division evolve the plans they’ve made.

“Strategies change all the time. So just because we developed a strategy two years ago doesn’t mean it’s necessarily relevant today.”

Sarah juggles the strategic responsibilities of a program manager with the daily duties of a community manager.

“The biggest challenge for me is that I tend to wear multiple hats. Although social media is a niche market, I’m handling best practices, social listening, engagement, corporate governance, and strict regulation.”

But, she says her role comes with a great support team. She’s a part of the corporate marketing and communications department where she works with interactive marketing, SEO, analytics, web design, creative directors, PR, internal communications, and content writers.

“I couldn’t imagine doing the work I do without the amazing support system I have. That’s what brings me into work every morning,” she says.

“We’re not Taco Bell, and we’re not Microsoft.”

“Because we’re not a large consumer brand and we are in a regulated industry, we’re not typically early adopters,” Sarah admits.

But, she says, she’s seen a big change in how the company views social since she started as their first social media hire.

Now, she says, First American’s division marketing and sales teams are starting to incorporate social media earlier into their overall mix. They’ll remember Sarah and come to her with questions and ideas. And that’s exciting considering her initiatives for 2016.

Going forward, they’re looking to implement more social recruiting initiatives.

Sarah says they’re hoping to get more active recruiting top candidates via social media. She’s also started an employee advocacy program and finding new ways to create and share content across their multiple brands.

“When I first started in social media here, it was an afterthought. It was so new that it was a foreign concept to most people and they were afraid of it getting out of control. We’ve evolved so much, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming year.”

Sarah’s been a member of since 2013. Find her on Twitter and ask about her experience working for PwC in Cairo, Egypt.

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