Senior Digital and Social Media Manager, Ian Televik, began his career at Kia as a Corporate Procurement Agent.
We want to have an organic, participatory relationship with consumers.
He says that with some experience on the supplier management side at Boeing, he was looking for something more in line with his interests in automotive. But it wasn’t until he began taking marketing classes while earning his MBA that a light bulb went off.
From there, he pursued marketing positions within Kia Motors and began working on their web properties and digital strategy.
“My time on the supplier management and finance side of the business helped give me an industry view of the different aspects of our company,” Ian says.
“On the social and media side, I think I have a good perspective on how it fits into the bigger picture and understanding where we’re playing in the classic marketing funnel approach.”
Ian says one of the biggest areas of improvement he’s been working on is around analytics, testing, and optimization.
According to Ian, “It’s about being able to make more data-informed decisions instead of going with your gut or doing things that you’ve done before because we’ve always done it that way.”
For example, assigning a quality index score across their organic posting has helped Kia see some short-term improvements like better posting quality and better awareness. Ian says it’s also been important for their team to evaluate engagement on a deeper level — understanding a like, retweet, or share all have different values.
“We’re focused on the folks we’re trying to engage with, and not necessarily just talk to, but participate with. We want to have an organic, participatory relationship with consumers. We want to know where they’re going, what platforms they’re using, and what interests them. That’s a big driver in what we’re doing next.”
But, like most social media leaders, Ian runs into the challenge of staffing resources.
It’s about being able to make more data-informed decisions instead of going with your gut.
Their lean team includes one person dedicated to community management, Ian, and some cross-functional contributors from corporate communications, PR, and consumer affairs. Ian says they rely heavily on agency support for strategy and campaigns.
“It’s a challenge to have dreams that are much bigger than our teams allow for and trying to prioritize it,” he says.
“We have grand visions of pushing the envelop and trying new things and improving what we’re currently doing. My job is to help prioritize and organize all that we’re doing and to assess our immediate goals vs. the longer-term strategic goals.”
One of their big goals: Integrating their social footprint and voice enterprise-wide.
He says he’s looking to make social less about marketing and new car sales and expanding their social presence to include participation across Kia.
“When consumers are thinking of Kia, they’re just thinking of Kia. They’re not thinking of Kia marketing or Kia public relations or Kia consumer affairs. Our social voice needs to reflect that,” Ian explains.
“I’m really pleased so far with the path that we’re heading down to integrate and have a unified voice. I think that’s going to be a major success story for us.”
Follow Ian on Twitter and ask about his brush with fame on “American Pie.” Ian became a member of SocialMedia.org earlier this year.