Keys to Social Media Success: A Review of the October PRSA luncheon

Submitted by Caitlin Welsh, UWW PR Studentwingate

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Michele Wingate from American Family Insurance spoke at the PRSA luncheon in Milwaukee. Wingate’s presentation focused on the benefits of using social media, and how organizations can create successful relationships with their consumers through the use of social media.

Her presentation began by her explaining the approach that American Family Insurance took when developing their social media strategy. Their strategy was entitled; “Protecting Dreams” and that would be implemented throughout all of their social media campaigns. They hoped to lead with social media and from that their advertising would do the rest.  For example they ran the “30 Days of Thanks.” This campaign was designed to thank the people who protect your dreams. This thirty day campaign showed followers different ways to thank the people around while maintaining their advertisements by followers “liking “or sharing their posts.

One of the more successful campaigns that American Family Insurance did through Facebook was their “Fight Hunger” campaign. American Family teamed up with the National FFA’s (Future Farmers of America) to fight Hunger.  By donating a dollar for every new Facebook “like” American Family pledged to donate a dollar until they reached their goal of $20,000.00. From this campaign American Family Insurance received great recognition and their followers went up 53%.  They succeeded their goal by $3,000.

Wingate explained what the keys are to a successful social media campaign. First, each campaign has to link back to the organization’s original message. For example, all of the campaigns that American Family did went back to their mission of protecting dreams. After this the organization has to choose what social media platform that would work best for them. For American Family Insurance, Facebook was an effective outlet for them. American Family has also had much success on Pinterest as well.

After the platform is chosen, the organization has to stay committed to the social media site. This is done by making daily posts and answering questions and concerns that your consumers have. The success of a company’s social media site also has to do with the skills that your company has to regulate the site. American Family Insurance as a team that works on the site at all hours of a day. With these types of skills the success of a social media is higher than those that do not have the necessary tools. Wingate also said that a social media site cannot be successful without the willingness to listen, learn, and adopt. With social media always changing it is important to stay on top of the newest ways of doing things. Companies have to stay relevant if they want their social media site to succeed.

Wingate did a great job presenting the tools success of social media and how it can benefit a company. She did this by showing the successful campaigns that American Family Insurance has done in the past and why they worked for their company. Her presentation outlined the measures that a company needs to take to have an effective platform, and the tactics that need to be done to make a social media site a success. The October PRSA program was an excellent choice for students to attend.