In 2008, Alicia Jones saw an opportunity to use social media to help her do her job better.
As a part of American Honda Motor Company's corporate communications team, she could use social to more efficiently spread corporate messaging and reach out to journalists. She began tweeting on behalf of the brand, worked with the marketing teams to create a YouTube channel, and began managing content for those two channels.
Social has allowed us to have a new relationship directly with our customers.
From there, she worked with their interactive team to outline a social media program and help social fit within the organization across different disciplines. She says they decided that, “anybody who has a customer-facing need, has a need to be a part of social media.”
“It helped get it off the ground and formulate the program internally, and now we have a dedicated social media department internally as well as multiple agencies' support,” SocialMedia.org member Alicia explains.
“The company has allowed me the freedom and opportunity to grow our social media programs.”
Currently, as the National Manager of Social Media Marketing for Honda and Acura, Alicia has two main responsibilities.
Half of her job is devoted to managing social presences for Honda and Acura's automotive brands. The other half is dedicated to providing a social media Center for Excellence for the enterprise.
That means helping the company's wide variety of product lines — from cars and motorcycles to marine engines and power equipment — navigate social media.
“Just like the different brands learn from one another within SocialMedia.org, my team serves that function internally within our own divisions to make sure we're learning from each other,” Alicia says.
Her role is supported by a small internal team and a lot of agency support.
Anybody who has a customer-facing need has a need to be a part of social media.
Within American Honda Motor Company, her team manages owned social media and content, community moderation, social strategy, and coordinating agencies, creative, and media teams.
As the Center for Excellence in social, they also consult other groups on social media, facilitate enterprise-wide social publishing and listening tools, and distribute reports. Her agency support covers content and other creative assets, ongoing posting, and paid media advice.
“There are a lot of things I like about my job, and being able to take calculated risks is one of them,” Alicia says.
“The fact that social within marketing is relatively new allows for opportunities that tried-and-true marketing hasn't had recently,” she explains. “The platforms are changing, the tech is changing, and it allows for a lot of creativity because of all that change.”
For example, Alicia says their recent “Skeletakover” campaign that allowed He-Man bad guy Skeletor to “take over” Honda's social channels temporarily was one of those calculated risks that paid off.
“It was a bit of a risk, but it fit within the Honda personality, and we were able to do something fun and interesting to get people talking.”
Alicia also appreciates the direct line of communication social has opened up for Honda and Acura with their customers.
“Previously, customers could only go through our dealers to have engagement with the brand. Now, through social, it's allowed us to have a new relationship directly with our customers.”
And Alicia says she's looking forward to expanding that relationship between their customers and employees.
“We have an opportunity to better train our associates and dedicated employees who love the brand. We can help enable those associates to share the good word in social — with full disclosures of course — and there's room for us to grow,” she explains.
“There's still a lot to do, but that's all stuff that's fun to look forward to.”
Alicia's been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2012. Follow Alicia on Twitter and ask about her favorite place to hike.