Making your social activity ‘real’ at board level, with Sage’s Melissa Romo

By: Mark Jones

October 24, 2018


#DMWF - Featured -

Made possible by a range of industry-leading sponsors and a raft of expert speakers, #DWMF arrives next month in New York for the North American leg of the global digital marketing conference and expo series.

In anticipation of what’s going to be an action-packed and insightful two days at the Javits Conference Center, we’re catching up with just some of those individuals for an early taste of what to expect from the show.

Today, we’re talking to Melissa Romo, senior director, global social media & content at Sage Software, ahead of her speaker session on ‘Making Sense of Social Data: Are you Winning the Race?’.

Hi Melissa, can we start with a bit on your background on marketing, and how that led you to Sage Software?

Melissa Romo: I started in advertising. My first job was with Grey Advertising as an account director on P&G brands. I’ve always had a creative side to me and when content and social media became so important in marketing I moved into that space. It was natural for me because I had also started doing freelance writing and blogging and even wrote a novel!

I learned a lot about storytelling pursuing these passions in my spare time, so being able to bring that into my day job was exciting. I joined Sage as their global head of content marketing in 2015 and later the social media area made sense to add to my team’s remit so I’m across both the stories we tell and where we tell them.

So, what kind of a role does social media play in a $2bn global software firm?

MR: Social media is hugely important for us because Sage customers and prospect audiences span many types of businesses – from startups and one-person operations all the way to finance and business leaders in large companies. Social helps us straddle a B2C and B2B agenda that is natural for a company like ours who are talking to so many different audiences at different stages of business development. Also, core to our content strategy is “Sage Advice” – our corporate multi-media blog. We’re dedicated in this content to helping businesses solve problems and understand the context for doing business in their market. Social media is a great vehicle for us to share these insights with audiences who are new to Sage and be part of key conversations.

In your session at #DMWF, your particular focus is on social data. What kind of information are you talking about here?

MR: The social media space is crammed with data and analysis, this is probably true for every company. There are so many ways to cut the channels, audiences and behavioural dynamics on social media that at some point you can lose sight of what matters for your business in particular. It’s also a reality that senior executives in many cases (not all… but many) are lay people when it comes to social. They may be on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn themselves but understanding how the platforms work for a brand is very different than how it works for individuals. Part of what I’ll talk about is how to make brand social activity “real” for your senior leaders and what you can do to ensure they have the information they need to evaluate the success of your activity. Often in the eyes of senior leaders, you’re only as good as your last Tweet… so how do we bring a holistic, data-based, understanding of what’s going on. That’s a key question I’d like to help the audience answer.

I hope my session can help marketers set the right goals, pursue success with them, and communicate them in salient ways that their senior leaders can engage with.

For other social media and content marketers out there in the B2B space, what do you see as key trends to pay attention to moving towards 2019?

MR: Building journeys for your audience that cross platforms and formats will be more and more important. There are over three billion social media users in the world and they toggle seamlessly between the platforms they care about and they don’t all care about all of them. It used to be that as businesses we can work on dominating one or two channels but I don’t think that’s enough anymore.

Also, it’s not a new trend but just one that becomes more and more important every year – and that’s ‘authenticity.’ Audiences really want you to be honest with them and even to show as a business a more ‘human’ incarnation especially social media. Sage has a ‘humans of business’ strategy for content on Instagram and we’ve seen great engagement with this, and we consciously chose to co-create all this content with business owners and let them tell their own stories there. We have to keep pressing in that direction, it’s what audiences want and they don’t really have time for a stiff, polished message. I’d say the third thing that none of us can ignore is the steady decline of organic reach of branded social content. It’s now below 5% depending on channel and it’s really not worth approaching social without a media budget in hand to boost content to your audiences and ensure you’re engaging influencers and employee advocates so your branded content can jump that social media ‘brand wall’ and be seen.

How is that influencing you and your team’s current work at the business?

MR: I mentioned our Instagram content, that’s one place. We also have an active program of influencer marketing for social media that we kicked off in 2018 and are expanding this around the world. We also have more than half of Sage employees worldwide using our social advocacy platform we call “Sage Voices,” which is built on Dynamic Signal. This will be another important space we develop in 2019 to ensure we’re extended our social media messages to all our audiences.

Finally, are there any sessions or speakers you have your eye on for #DMWF?

MR: Steven Bartlett’s session on influencer fraud looks great, and a really important issue. I’m looking forward to the session on video and ephemeral content by Robert Monkey from Disney, and Jennifer Verdon’s session on Digital Well-Being really intrigues me as a fresh topic I haven’t seen discussed much before!

To find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) North America, and to register, click here