Lauren Papasidero is the only person working on social media within Subaru.
We want our fans to know that, yeah, we're a big brand, but we hear them, we see them, and we love sharing their content, too.
She's responsible for the brand's content and consumer engagement across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr. And with the help of one other person on the agency side, Lauren writes back to every single customer who interacts with the brand.
“I make sure that customer is responded to within a couple of hours. It's a priority to me because of my customer service background,” SocialMedia.org member Lauren says.
While Lauren's out, the agency partner responsible for consumer engagement has until noon or 3 PM the next day. But if she's in the office, Lauren will reply as quickly as possible.
“It's the first thing I do when I get into the office — I go through the wall for customer service requests and just start replying.”
“If I hadn't worked in customer service prior to this job, I don't think I would understand the full importance of quickly responding to the customer.”
Before becoming the Corporate Social Media Manager for Subaru, Lauren was a Senior Customer Service Representative.
“Without my customer service background, I also don't think I would realize some of the implications behind what the customer is saying,” explains Lauren.
For example, depending on some state's Lemon Laws, when a customer reaches out to a company on social media about a “lemon,” it can have legal implications for the brand.
Lauren's also listening for opportunities to tap into intense customer love for Subaru.
She's been the lead for PR campaigns like #SubarusAndSunsets and #ItsaSubieThing because of the trends she's seen on social. And as a Subaru owner herself, Lauren says she recognizes those trends out in the world too — like how Subaru owners park next to one another whenever they can.
User-generated content is a big contributor to Lauren's content calendar.
“I find fans with a lot of interaction and Subaru content. Typically, if a photo has 100 likes, I know it will do well with the theme. So I'll reach out to those influencers for explicit permission to use their photo on every platform.”
Sometimes she'll also send thank-you gifts with Subaru swag for letting her use their photo. She says personally reaching out has also helped her develop relationships with these low-level influencers. Some will email her every so often just to check in, and some even congratulated her on her wedding after they noticed her name had changed.
“Our engagement always goes up when we share a fan's Subaru WRX STI photo.”
With a large, vocal fan base in Subaru's performance category, Lauren says the posts featuring Subaru's sedans and SUVs don't do as well on social media. But she still tries to keep a balanced content calendar for the brand's wide range of fans.
Right now, she's focused on Subaru owners' love of travel by sharing breathtaking landscape photos featuring Foresters and Outbacks. But she's also balancing influencer campaigns created by the marketing team. They've done a push to reach Subaru's dog lovers by partnering with internet celebrities like Doug the Pug and Lil' Bub.
Much of her job is balancing the campaigns her stakeholders would like to push with fan-driven content.
Lauren works with multiple internal stakeholders like the marketing and PR departments and external stakeholders like Subaru's Drive magazine.
She builds out a calendar by sending an email to her stakeholders every two months asking them for the dates they'd like to promote something on social. Then, she creates placeholders on a Google calendar that's visible to each department.
“It's built out pretty far because as I'm sitting in meetings with these departments, if I hear that there's an important date coming up, I'll block it out now.”
In the months ahead, Lauren says she looks forward to pushing her creativity with user-generated content.
I'm always thinking of new ways to get our fans involved and make them a priority.
“Our fans love seeing their content shared by Subaru. So I can't just keep leveraging #SubarusandSunsets and #ItsaSubieThing forever. I'm always thinking of new ways to get our fans involved and make them a priority.”
Lauren believes it's that attitude towards Subaru's fans that's helped their social presences be so successful. In fact, in the past two years, they've grown by one million likes on Facebook alone.
“We want our fans to know that, yeah, we're a big brand, but we hear them, we see them, and we love sharing their content too.”
Follow Lauren on Twitter, and ask her about her favorite musician, Mariah Carey. Lauren's been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2015.