When Mary Holahan joined DICK'S social media team, they were in survival mode.
With just three full-time employees across 49 channels, DICK's Senior Manager of Digital Marketing, Mary, says, “We were focused on working within the business, and didn't have time to step back and work on the business. We were keeping the lights on.”
“There was a perception internally that social media wasn't working.”
Their new goal: become a consultative partner in strategic decisions.
The plan had two main focuses:
- Evolve: Shift the internal social team's mindset from transactional to consultative. Instead of just taking creative and posting it to social media, they would provide value and recommendations with everything they did.
- Elevate: Demonstrate the social media team's value as social experts. That would take gaining leadership support, defining goals, establishing credibility, and loudly sharing their wins.
To establish credibility, Mary started with an internal newsletter.
The DSG #SocialSociety is an internal, weekly newsletter on social media trends and news and how it relates to DICK's Sporting Goods' strategy. Mary's team shares things like their best post of the week, what's working on their channels, and recommendations from the team.
“We didn't want it to become junk mail,” she says. So they started with a small list of 25 people who worked closely with the team already — hence the “DSG #SocialSociety” name. From there, readers could add people to the distribution list who they thought might be interested.
The new internal social team created content meant to educate.
For example, when employees started asking why they weren't seeing many posts on DICK'S Facebook page, her team created an infographic to explain paid social posts vs. organic and how targeting works.
If they asked about a decline in YouTube video views on Facebook, Mary explained the different video platforms and who's competing with whom. “My highest hope would be that people could learn from this content and then share it with someone else,” she says. So she was delighted to see her CRM team share her team's slide below in a meeting.
Snapchat helped her team earn quick wins.
Last year, her team made the quick decision to join Snapchat as a way to gain more visibility internally. With a small budget, her team created their own Snapchat filters and targeted major cities during NBA, NHL, and NCAA games.
They also filmed a YETI tumbler for 24 hours asking Snapchat fans to guess when they thought the ice would finally melt and share their predictions on Twitter. The inexpensive campaign earned them a three-minute video of a fan professing their love for DICK'S Sporting Goods.
Mary says sharing all of these wins was key to their strategy of establishing credibility internally.
The results: Lots of internal excitement.
Mary admits that she's measuring much of this effort's success qualitatively. For example, DICK'S Vice President told them, “Bringing social in-house is one of the best decisions we've made.” She's gotten lots of praise for the DSG #SocialSociety newsletter, and one branding manager said she joined Snapchat because of Mary's team.
That momentum has allowed them to grow the team to five people. “We're in this together. We're turning the ship while it's still moving,” she says.