Nestle Purina has a lot of brands.
With social media, best practices are constantly evolving. We're applying best practices, but we're also testing the next practice.
With more than 20 brands in the organization (Beggin, Pro Plan, Tidy Cats, Fancy Feast, ONE, and Friskies, to name a few), each is handled by brand managers making key decisions for content and strategy. Each brand manager is supported by digital and social Centers of Excellence, and work with agencies for development and activation of digital and social strategies.
With the launch of TheFeed in 2013, SocialMedia.org member Lisa Keller and her team began to bring some of that social media activation work in-house.
TheFeed is Nestle Purina PetCare's internal social media activation team.
They're made of in-house community managers, social media designers, and analysts. And as TheFeed's Editor and Manager, Lisa Keller helped launch it in 2013.
She says the idea for the team came from Purina's culture of testing and learning new ideas to see what could bring the most impact to their brands.
“With social media, best practices are constantly evolving. We're applying best practices, but we're also testing the next practice,” Lisa explains.
TheFeed started with one brand, one editor, one community manager, and one social designer.
Ensuring your decision is based on data and showing the impact on your brand's bottom line is the best way to go.
Since then, it's grown from one brand to twelve. She says earning buy-in to grow TheFeed came from demonstrating efficiency and relentlessly pursuing and applying best practices — all a part of their test and learn culture.
With TheFeed, Lisa says, they're testing things like how they create content, how much they need to create, where to make cuts in their content calendars, and the best ways to engage with target audiences.
To find the right people to do it, they had to first clearly articulate the roles they needed.
“Even the word ‘community manager' can mean different things to different companies and agencies,” she says.
Lisa was looking for teammates who were great content creators, with a passion for social media. She needed people who could be the lead social voice for the brand, work with social designers to execute on it, share it with communities, respond, engage, and build advocacy.
That's why community managers within TheFeed have diverse backgrounds ranging from journalists to social media influencers, to digital, social, and creative experts. They all had to have a passion for great data-driven social content — creating it, testing it, and making it better.
“Like the social media industry in general, we're constantly evolving,” says Lisa.
Since TheFeed has been activated, they've gone through several evolutions optimizing content efforts and community engagement, and refocusing their KPIs to be laser-focused on brand objectives. If you can't tell, Lisa loves the process of constant questioning and improvement.
She says part of her success came from starting small and using the test and learn model to uncover insights.
“An in-house social team is not the perfect fit for everyone. But ensuring your decision is based on data and showing the impact on your brand's bottom line is the best way to go.”
Follow Lisa on Twitter and ask about her trip to Twitter headquarters with the team.