Bob Wolfley has worn many hats: Content material creator. Social media supervisor. Model supervisor. Senior director of marketing campaign technique. Director of social and partnerships. Unicorn.

His curiosity and skills in social emerged early. Wolfley factors to the nostalgic days of web angst for a lot of: MySpace. Writing emo poetry on MySpace notes revealed a ardour for inventive writing. His ardour led him to incomes a level in promoting and launching social media accounts for brand spanking new chapters of his worldwide fraternity, Phi Delta Theta.

In 2012 whereas working and touring for Phi Delta Theta Normal Headquarters, he launched The Traveling Unicorn, an Instagram account documenting his journeys—however in a unicorn masks. His inventive priorities shifted from managing The Touring Unicorn account to his profession when he joined MeUndies. However he’ll all the time be a unicorn at coronary heart, whether or not he’s posting or not.

In 2014, Wolfley joined MeUndies as a buyer expertise specialist the place he talked to strangers about their underwear, a catalyst to launching his formal social profession. At MeUndies, Wolfley grew to become the corporate’s first Social Lead, ultimately turning into Model Supervisor. He was additionally a director for Ubiquitous, an influencer marketing company, and Canoo, an electrical automobile startup. He’s presently the Director of Social Media and Partnerships at Flock Freight.

However throughout all of those profession milestones and titles, a standard thread emerges on the subject of Wofley’s perspective: disruption as a path to skilled and model evolution.

I spoke with Wolfley to be taught extra about his profession and the significance of disrupting industries to uncover modern alternatives. We talked about his method to advertising by award-winning content material just like the “Define Your Load” campaign with Steve Burns, which earned a Cannes Lion for B2B Inventive within the Challenger Model class in June 2023. Together with campaigns, we mentioned making dangers on social and his views on innovation, like synthetic intelligence.

What are a few of your social media sizzling takes?

Each technology may have its personal social media platform. For my technology, Millennials, nearly all of us will probably be totally on Instagram. My dad and mom are on Fb, Gen Z is on TikTok. What’s subsequent? It would come.

What’s your favourite Touring Unicorn second?

It was the primary time I popped up on the Instagram Discover web page, the old-school one, the place it solely confirmed 9 posts. It was my first piece of video content material too. The content material was absurd and the engagement it began receiving was one thing I had by no means seen with something I had produced earlier than.

I used to be dumping a bunch of chips and Cheetos into my unicorn mouth and it was type of like this voyeur-esque pan into the room from the hallway. It’s simply this unicorn consuming all of those chips and dumping them throughout its face. Large mess, however clearly for the content material. Shout out to my finest pal for filming it and serving to me clear up.

I believe it was most likely one of many first moments that gave me an early sign that I had figured one thing out and the account might develop.

One other favourite second was being acknowledged by individuals at music festivals. I might have the unicorn head on a giant totem on the Electrical Daisy Carnival, Extremely Music Pageant or different occasions, and when somebody would come up and ask if I used to be the Touring Unicorn, it was like, “Oh, wow, I made it. Am I well-known?” Clearly not, however it was a cool feeling.

Why is disruption essential to you and why is it so related immediately?

Disruption comes from innovation. If we don’t innovate, there’s complacency and stagnation. It’s essential to me to search out profession alternatives with manufacturers that align with my very own private mentality and angle towards disruption.

I wish to guarantee these are linked or working parallel with one another since you all the time must have the same steadiness in social media. If we publish the identical type of content material for 3, to 6, to 12 months, what carried out the prior month or quarter may not carry out the identical immediately. It’s a must to keep in your toes and frequently take into account what you are able to do otherwise. What are the developments? What are the totally different codecs that we are able to use to interact neighborhood or produce content material?

That each day disruption consists of the issues we are able to implement to maintain getting higher and join increasingly more with our followers and neighborhood.

Your mantra of disruptive innovation is proven in Flock Freight’s current ‘Outline Your Load’ marketing campaign, which options an unlikely nostalgic spokesperson. Why Steve from Blue’s Clues for the marketing campaign?

One aspect of selecting expertise was knowledge on our goal audiences. We’ve got two main segments: shippers and carriers who’re ages 30-55. For this marketing campaign we needed to focus on the shipper section and people people working in provide chain and logistics positions at manufacturers. At first, we have been pondering extra of an investigative journalist from Dateline or 20/20.

We tried reaching out to these investigative journalists, however most have been below contract with exhibits—a lot of which have been slightly extra conservative and didn’t approve of the quantity of cursing proposed in our marketing campaign scripts.

However, we couldn’t reduce the cursing out. Even with the bleeps, we needed to roll with the inventive idea as a result of we believed in it a lot. With our inventive companions, we went again to the drafting board pondering by different investigative-type personalities on the market, and Steve from Blue’s Clues was a kind of choices.

I wasn’t the person who got here up with Steve, however once I heard the thought I knew it had legs as a result of we might accomplish that way more on social media. There was extra attain and notoriety. And it undoubtedly got here by with the outcomes of the marketing campaign, the response and the general sentiment.

A yr previous to the ‘Outline Your Load’ marketing campaign, Steve Burns got here again into the limelight out of nowhere. I believe all of us keep in mind that second. I used to be even a kind of guys who thought Steve Burns died.

For people who acknowledged Steve Burns, including within the cursing aspect had shock worth. There have been some those that didn’t acknowledge him, however once they did, it was the right shock and delight second for viewers.

Flock Freight’s ‘Truck Cease Talks’ and ‘People of Trucking’ present a glimpse into the lives {of professional} freight drivers and not one of the interviews are scheduled. Are you able to elaborate in your method to advertising in a novel method?

Consider Flock Freight like a market. We’re bringing carriers and shippers along with our patented shared truckload expertise that rideshares freight on empty truck trailer house. We work with some actually cool manufacturers, however we are able to solely accomplish that a lot in co-marketing with these firms that ship with us. Once we go that route, we’re speaking rather a lot about [Flock Freight]: the outcomes the shippers skilled, the partnership and the advantages that our expertise unlocks for these shippers.

However let’s be sincere, that’s a variety of ‘us’ speaking about ‘us.’ These case research are very useful for Flock Freight, however on social, speaking about ourselves on a regular basis doesn’t resonate. To be able to differentiate and produce a recent method to our social technique, we did an evaluation of all the opposite gamers (friends and opponents) within the logistics and provide chain house. Some trucking firms acknowledge drivers in sure methods, however they don’t do deep storytelling. On this area of interest, there are on-line communities like Fb Teams and sub Reddits the place carriers {and professional} truck drivers speak to one another. Whereas analyzing these, a couple of themes got here out that gave us perception to go this fashion.

In these on-line communities, carriers and drivers alternate tales and experiences, good or unhealthy banter and confide with one another about day-to-day challenges and the professionals and cons of the occupation. Moreover, we discovered that for the common one that shouldn’t be in logistics or transportation, their main interactions with truck drivers are on the street and their notion is detrimental as a result of it’s typically associated to a semi-truck that’s of their method or slowing them down.

 

However there’s a human behind that wheel and within the cab of that semi truck. They’ve a narrative. They’ve a household. They’ve challenges, pursuits and hobbies most individuals don’t find out about. The entire essence of ‘Truck Cease Talks’ and ‘People of Trucking’ is to humanize skilled truck drivers, present appreciation for his or her hardships and experiences—the issues they do to maintain your complete provide chain transferring. Something and the whole lot that’s in our homes or places of work was on a truck sooner or later.

These insights confirmed us we had a chance to inform these tales in a enjoyable, but significant method. There’s a mixture of tones, which we love as a result of there are alternatives for truck drivers to narrate once they discover and eat this content material.

Even for folk exterior of our trade, individuals can all the time relate to or discover inspiration, schooling, and worth from human tales.

Many B2B manufacturers are involved about proving the ROI of social. How can social groups and advertising leaders make a case for larger dangers?

There isn’t any silver bullet to getting buy-in for dangers—huge or small.

It’s all about taking insights and in the event you lead with insights, you’re already headed in the fitting path. Insights are the cornerstone to the inspiration for social media technique and content material pillars. For brand new content material or dangers, observe the early alerts, like engagement, however qualitative alerts are simply as essential, too. With a mix of each quantitative and qualitative optimistic alerts, these can provide the permission for related kinds of content material or ways.

I consider professionals working at B2B firms typically get in their very own method, overcomplicate how they market their services or products and assume as a result of they’re B2B, they must be buttoned up and may solely go to market a sure method. I noticed this easy publish from Jacob Shipley on LinkedIn and he captured my pondering completely: Social media isn’t B2B or B2C. It’s P2P. On the finish of the day, we’re individuals speaking to individuals. Don’t speak to companies a few product. Speak to individuals about their issues.

Jacob Shipley's LinkedIn post that reads,"Social media isn't B2B or B2C. It's P2P. At the end of the day, we're people talking to people. Don't talk to businesses about a product. Talk to people about their problems."

I don’t know who wants to listen to this however natural social’s main function within the funnel is the highest–consciousness. Will ‘Vehicles Cease Talks’ or ‘People of Trucking’ convert a brand new shipper or service to work with Flock? That will be superior, however most likely not. Nevertheless, it permits us to step exterior of the “convention room bore core” that almost all B2B firms get caught in and as an alternative, faucet into emotional storytelling, which will be so highly effective by way of model consciousness and recall.

Going again to Jacob Shipley, it’s about individuals to individuals. Regardless of in the event that they’re working in a enterprise, in search of a brand new provider or a vendor, in the event you’re capable of market to them as an individual, you’re already going to be effectively forward of the competitors. That’s included within the layer of dangers that we’re taking, huge or small.

The final word aim is to create social media content material that gives worth to the tip viewer or shopper and utilizing emotional storytelling—that’s what individuals join with. Inside social, it’s a must to be taught quick. It’s a must to perceive what early alerts occur and the right way to leverage or weigh them.

I believe again to rising the Touring Unicorn into a pretty big account within the early days of Instagram, and I acknowledged these alerts rapidly. I examined and experimented rather a lot with the Touring Unicorn, MeUndies, and Canoo. All of the wins and learnings from these experiences have given me the insights and confidence to proceed to take dangers.

Are you able to converse to balancing quantitative and qualitative knowledge when sharing insights with social groups?

Sure, metrics are nice, however you want layers. I believe follower development, impressions after which the well being of these impressions utilizing engagement charge ought to all the time be thought-about, however don’t harp on them.

Typically you’ll have a kind of posts the place you’re like, “That is going to crush. We nailed the inventive.” That publish goes stay and 24 hours later it’s method beneath efficiency expectations, however there could be a sign or two inside it that provides you some concept to maintain going.

There may very well be a remark that basically touched anyone. Each time there’s a remark with that optimistic sentiment, there’s most likely a handful (if no more) of those that thought the identical, however they only didn’t remark.

You all the time must have that steadiness between quantitative and qualitative knowledge with any type of social reporting. It’s actually robust in any facet of selling to not fall into paralysis by evaluation.

Don’t overcomplicate it. Return to your intestine perception. Give it extra time, or do one other check to see in the event you get related outcomes or make some tweaks for the subsequent piece of comparable content material.

For the Steve Burns marketing campaign, we had a variety of quantitative metrics we have been monitoring, however the validation and success of the marketing campaign actually got here from the qualitative metrics, primarily the feedback, shares and the sentiment inside these feedback and shares.

I’d be mendacity to you if I mentioned previous to the marketing campaign launching that we didn’t ask ourselves the questions, “Is that this an excessive amount of? Is that this going to land with our viewers?” However what gave us that enhance of certainty we would have liked was sharing the inventive with all of Flock’s groups to get suggestions, and naturally management was a kind of groups. I want I used to be in these government management workforce conferences when our chief advertising officer was sharing the scripts after which in the end the ultimate movies. It could have been nice content material capturing these conversations and reactions.

What different recommendation would you’ve got for advertising leaders on the subject of making a social presence?

People who find themselves in social media management positions have been within the sport for a very long time they usually all began someplace. They began on Instagram, Vine and Fb for firms within the early days.

As you degree up, you begin to get extra faraway from the trenches. Social buyer care, community management and social normally are altering each single day. Options, developments, the right way to leverage platforms—don’t take away your self from these trenches, or else social media goes to go away you behind.

My recommendation for individuals in social media management positions can be to proceed consuming social media, saving superior campaigns, effervescent up developments and interesting together with your neighborhood. Maintain your ear to the bottom on what’s taking place.

Additionally, whether or not it’s in your private account or a burner account of some kind, nonetheless be on the market creating as a result of that’s the place you possibly can check and be taught probably the most. Then you possibly can apply what you discovered to your model’s social media technique.

In social, you possibly can solely management what you set on the market. You’ll be able to’t actually management the way it performs due to the algorithms, what’s in your followers’ feeds that day, and so forth. On the finish of the day, put your finest foot ahead with the issues you possibly can management: technique, inventive manufacturing, and so forth.

If the content material is predicated on insights, brings your followers worth and it’s pushing your model ahead, then hit that “publish” button.

What recommendation would you give to social media managers who’re within the trenches managing these subtle social presences?

Do your sweeps, plan your content material, experiment.

After I inform individuals I work in social media, individuals will say I’m on Instagram, TikTok and Twitter all day–which I’m, and I be taught one thing new daily. This house doesn’t decelerate and it’s enjoyable!

At occasions social media will be overwhelming and exhausting. I nonetheless have these days even with presently managing the smallest viewers I’ve managed in my profession up to now. Benefit from your notification settings, actually leverage the options so that you don’t go loopy and handle expectations together with your supervisor for while you’re on and offline. It’s the very small, granular issues that may give you longevity with a profession in social media.

Create offline expectations together with your supervisor or workforce, so that you’re capable of disconnect. It’s a grind and all of us have skilled social media dopamine. One thing performs very well, it’s the best excessive. Two days later, one thing doesn’t carry out, it’s the bottom low and it might take a toll on you—however that cycle goes to proceed it doesn’t matter what.

That’s why I hold saying don’t overly sweat metrics or else you’ll simply drive your self loopy and hate working in social media.

You’ve worn many hats. How have you ever navigated the totally different challenges in these varied roles? How did you acknowledge your wins and areas of enchancment?

Throughout all of those industries, I’ve all the time needed to do issues otherwise. After I got here into these industries—underwear, automotive, freight and logistics—they have been ripe for disruption.

In underwear, the one gamers on the time have been Victoria’s Secret and Calvin Klein. MeUndies was doing one thing otherwise with their males’s underwear subscription. There was a chance to market otherwise. As an alternative of over-sexualized content material and imagery, there was a chance to market by creating neighborhood and connection by physique positivity and a brand new type of confidence. The electrification and digitalization of autos created the chance to be totally different within the automotive house as effectively.

That’s how I determine what manufacturers I work for. If a model needs to be within the sea of sameness, I’ll go on driving that boat.

One thing else I’ve discovered all through my profession irrespective of the corporate or trade: it’s essential to present worth on social media to your ultimate or present followers. And that’s not by being like everybody else. That’s how I’ve been capable of navigate and discover success.

I’ll admit, all the time eager to attempt one thing totally different isn’t simple and creates challenges. There’s a studying curve for each trade and I like the problem to be taught the ins and outs as rapidly as doable. After I’ve modified industries I ask myself: How rapidly can I perceive this house, the ache factors, the advantages and the worth my new firm presents, and so forth?

Social already strikes quick and with applied sciences like synthetic intelligence (AI), issues are altering even faster. What’s your recommendation for constructing a sustainable profession in social?

Be prepared for change and embrace it. There are instruments on the market that can aid you be extra environment friendly. AI is a kind of, in a wide range of capacities.

AI is just like the dishwasher or washer in our properties. Consider all the time you save not washing dishes or garments by hand. Due to these instruments, you are able to do extra impactful issues as a result of these instruments are capable of do issues a bit extra rapidly for you. That’s how I’m occupied with AI.

There’s all of the dialog about AI taking jobs, however I believe it’s additionally going to create a variety of jobs. I consider there’ll all the time be a human aspect to social media, however the trade will leverage AI like an assistant or device. Social professionals ought to be prepared to check and embrace instruments of innovation that make them extra environment friendly to allow them to give attention to the extra impactful issues.

For instance, within the social sphere, take into consideration managing social media with out Sprout—scheduling posts, listening, all of that. Sprout is a device that makes life a lot simpler for somebody in social and I believe AI goes to do the identical.

To be taught extra about navigating your profession journey, learn our information on what it takes to build a long-term career in social, primarily based on recommendation from three social media executives.



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