Harman International Industries: Managing a global social media strategy across brands — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Kristen Platt of SocialMedia.org. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

4:30 — SocialMedia.org's Lauren Clevenger introduces Harman International Industries' Dave Spinato.

4:31 — Dave is responsible for all owned and paid media channels across the organization.

4:33 — Harman is a portfolio of brands: AKG, Infinity, (speakers), etc.

4:34 — Dave: Our approach to managing social media globally:

  1. Own the strategy: Customize as needed
  2. Create the tools and support system to help your local markets succeed.
  3. Own the communication.

4:35 — Dave talks about the local team: Execution, translation & localization, local laws (use templates), and reporting & analytics.

4:37 — Dave shares the tools they're using: The Playbook is a social media bible for each brand. It's important because it keeps us focused on what's right for the audience  and for the brand on social media. The Playbook ensures consistency of messaging and tone, it keeps us focused on our goals, and it helps to filter what's right for social media per brand.

4:38 — Content Calendar: Global and local. We created a template for key selling holidays, new product launches, etc. that they send to local markets to fill out.

4:39 — Dave shares their Content Guides: They're guidelines and best practices for how to execute on a program. It includes messaging and posting recommendations and content collection recommendations. It's important because everyone is on the same page for what is going live and when. The actions are displayed in a very clear cadence.

4:40 — Dave talks about reporting: Monthly reports analyzing how we are tracking against our goals and strategic pillars. It gives us apples to apples reporting for global cohesion. It includes analysis and optimization and keeps us focused on our goals.

4:42 — He shares some information about their Content Hub: A digital global hub that is accessible to internal teams and external partners. It's important for central location that is a one tstop shop for housing the latest strategies, style guides, cultural calendars, toolkits, and content.

4:43 — The final tool Dave explains: Asset communication calendar: Weekly communications with updated assets available for download from the Content Hub. It ensures everyone around the world has direct access to the most recent assets available.

4:44 — Dave goes over their key principles:

  1. Add value: everyone in the group is a specialist so it's imperative we show it.
  2. Think global first: what works in the US may not work in the local markets.
  3. Consistently insert yourself into the conversation: Make sure social and digital is being accounted for.
  4. Ask for feedback so you local market has the skin in the game (nobody like to be told what to do).
  5. Global cohesion is key (from creative to analytics).
  6. Hold a high standard around the world.
  7. Ground people (everyone thinks they're a social media expert these days).
  8. Create the content that can easily be localized (culture may vary by country, but product and features will not).
  9. Talk!

Q & A

Q: Where are you (social team) situated in the organization?

A: Dave: We're in the marketing department, I report to VP, Marketing here in the US. I've branded our team as the Digital Engagement Team so people

Q: What tools?

A: Dave: I use straight-up Excel for the content calendar. We host it on Google Docs for sharing purposes.

Q: How often do you update your playbook?

A: Dave: OFTEN. We compressed it from 60 pages to 7 because no one was reading it. We're always updating it with new channels and learnings. The best answer is probably quarterly.

Q: Global Facebook or are there separate pages?

A: Dave: We just converted to global pages. We work with local markets to roll out their pages, but our global page is the default for the brand.

Q: What is the timeline for how long it took you to get to this place of a strong global vs. local structure?

A: Dave: I started to see an impact within 6 months to a year, but we still have a lot of work to do.

Q: What do you use for your social hub?

A: Dave: We use Social Point for our hub.

Q: What are the values you assign in your metrics?

A: Dave: It's a point system we assign to likes, shares, views, etc. to help us measure our efforts. We just want the point system to be consistent across the globe.