Justin Levy, Director of Social Marketing at Citrix, sat down with us for this member profile to talk about his career in social media. He’s been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2011.
Before leading global social media at Citrix, Justin’s social media career began at a place called Caminito Argentinean Steakhouse.
Justin’s best friend, Joseph Gionfriddo’s, steakhouse was in trouble. He says that like many small businesses they were spending too much on marketing that wasn’t working. So Justin helped by reducing the marketing budget and working on a social media strategy.
“After implementing those social strategies, the first month we saw sales grow by about 50 percent. For the next 30 months straight, we saw sales never miss a 20 percent growth rate comparing them with the same month the previous year,” Justin explains.
That extreme success jumpstarted Justin’s social career and led to opportunities to work with or become friends with some brilliant folks in marketing like Chris Brogan, Jay Baer, Scott Stratten, and Gary Vaynerchuk.
As Executive Director of New Marketing Labs, Justin applied his social marketing skills to big business.
One of New Marketing Labs’ first clients: Citrix.
“Citrix had always told me that when I was ready to leave New Marketing Labs, they would help me find a home at Citrix. I was always enthralled with the Citrix culture, where the company was going, and their belief that work is not a place. They believe in what the industry calls a work/life balance — at Citrix it’s all about the ability to work and live in your own way.”
When that time came, Justin started at Citrix with a smaller role within a division that extended to overseeing social within that division. Eventually, he was asked to lead social globally at Citrix.
Justin says leading global social media at a big brand means learning how to scale.
“I believe people in a role like mine need to look at the development of frameworks, governing processes, and education programs to reach into the company and spread themselves and their team across the organization.”
Why? Because things can get chaotic. Lots of corporate social teams battle fragmentation because of things like rogue social media accounts and tons of different management tools.
“There’s always a demand on social media at large, and on the social team, to scale. With a big company like this, all of that has to be underlined and backed up with the foundation of governance to help protect the company but also to help employees gain leverage in social media.”
“Time is always the biggest challenge,” says Justin.
Ten thousand employees, over $3 billion in revenue, and 26 products in over 80 countries means a never-ending list of demands on Justin’s small social team.
“As with a lot of things in social, you work on things that aren’t one-time projects. It’s not like a three-month campaign. With upkeep, new technology, and working with teams to educate and build process, a lot of these projects don’t end.”
Justin laughs, “And while that’s great for job security, it’s about mastering balancing and prioritizing roadmaps, plans, and projects.”
But Justin says all of these challenges also come with a lot of opportunity.
“As mature as we like to think the industry is — with some excellent case studies, foundations, and conferences for learning and development — social media is still in its infancy. Think about what social capabilities we have now that we didn’t have three to five years ago. It’s massive, and we’re just scratching the surface,” Justin explains.