Like many SocialMedia.org members, Stephanie Dlugopolski started with a career in journalism and PR.
To be best in class in social media, I need to stay connected with other professionals who do this and keep my learning current with the ever-changing social landscape.
She says as social became more relevant to the PR field, it felt natural to try to figure out how to use the platform to tell brand stories. Now, as the Public Relations and Social Media Manager for Johnsonville Sausage, Stephanie says social is no longer just a way to reach the media.
“Now that social is completely mainstream as an overall communication plan, at Johnsonville, it's a primary communication component and probably our only means of communicating directly with our end consumer,” she says.
As the only social media employee at Johnsonville Sausage, Stephanie has strong support from management for her own professional development.
They've supported her requests to join seminars, associations like the Digital and Social Committee of the Association of National Advertisers, and organizations like SocialMedia.org.
“They really recognize that to be best in class in social media, I need to stay connected with other professionals who do this and keep my learning current with the ever-changing social landscape.”
Johnsonville's internal consumer affairs team also plays a direct role in supporting social media.
“We're all talking to our end-consumers, just through different channels.”
So Stephanie says they consistently share trends and common threads in customer service in three ways:
- They stay in touch directly through emails and phone calls for product concerns, specific questions, and customer service escalation.
- Some of the consumer affairs team joins Stephanie on weekly calls with their social media agency.
- Consumer affairs also shares monthly reports with their social agency.
She says more frequent communication has helped them create a tighter overall content strategy.
We have nearly one million fans in social media, and all we do is make sausage. That's incredible.
“We used to run PR and social media programs in a silo, and ad efforts were done on their own. I think we missed opportunities to play off of one another,” Stephanie says.
Now, Johnsonville's ad agency, social media agency, mobile marketing, digital agency, and internal marketing teams are all communicating regularly to create a more integrated and consistent brand message.
“By spending more time in social listening, we could provide even more relevant content,” she says.
Right now, one of their biggest challenges comes from managing and prioritizing all of the great ideas they get from their fans. Stephanie looks forward to getting the staffing resources to take a deep dive into their existing social listening tools — a big task considering the size of their active and engaged fan base.
“We have nearly one million fans in social media, and all we do is make sausage. That's incredible, and we're very honored our fans and customers want to converse and hear from us.”
Follow Stephanie on Twitter and ask about their company's interesting mission to be “the best company in the world that happens to make sausage.” Stephanie's been a member of SocialMedia.org since 2014.