In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Monster Worldwide has built up a significant global presence in the job search market over the past 20 years. Yet the rise of new digital competitors, along with growing social media interactions between job seekers and employers, left the business looking for ways to not only better understand both groups, but also rebuild brand might through digital engagement.
The US-based global online employment company operates in nearly 40 countries and has 4000 employees, with a centralised marketing team in Massachusetts supporting local marketing resources. Monster Worldwide director of digital communication and social media, Patrick Gillooly, told CMO the group historically took a scattergun approach to social, maintaining a host of tools that weren’t set up appropriately, several of which were run by an agency.
The need to foster positive brand sentiment and relevance by being actively involved in digital conversations made it vital that Monster lifted its social savviness, he said. In addition, recruiters are increasingly demanding better ways to connect with passive job seekers, another impetus to raise its social game.
To do this, Monster has significantly increased its social capabilities over the past two years, growing headcount from one person and the support of an external agency to bringing the vast majority of social activity in-house under a team of three full-time employees and one intern. Specific agencies are then used to assist with content strategy.
Several customer service staff have also been trained in social care and given social management tools to help resolve any product or service issues identified via social channels, he said.
To support the growing emphasis on social engagement, Monster went to tender for a centralised social media management platform and chose Hootsuite’s offering. Gillooly said there were three objectives: Scale, breadth and efficiency.
“We were looking at how we could start with our lean, global marketing team in the US and develop out a program and processes that could be brought to our regional marketing teams over time,” he said. “For Monster, our singular focus when it comes to social media marketing is engagement. We prefer to spend the vast majority of our time discovering and interacting with users on Instagram, rather than time posting out broadcasted Facebook updates, though we clearly need to do both.”
Gillooly said Hootsuite was chosen because it offered an integrated platform and dashboard, third-party app integrations, a reasonable pricing model and flexibility. In February 2014, Monster rolled out Hootsuite’s social media management platform and Campaigns tool, along with Brandwatch’s Analytics and data visualisation tool, Vizia, and several free and niche tools. This coincided with the launch of a social media command centre in Monster’s new global headquarters.
“It came down to the flexibility we craved: Hootsuite for its ability to grow with our company, and eventually, bring all our partners under one solution; and Brandwatch, so we could get very granular with how we wanted to listen to how the world talked about Monster and the employment market,” Gillooly said. “We also wanted to visualise all that data in our social media centre.
“Social media moves so quickly that keeping up can be a challenge. But when a well-formed set of tools puts the processes on autopilot, it allows us be nimble and react quickly to new changes.”
Monster is using the technology as a hub for all brand listening and engagement. As a first step, it set up dozens of keywords, handle and hashtag search streams to listen for various job seeker and employer signals. This was aimed at better tapping into current conversations. The company then uses Brandwatch Analytics to monitor its social brand presence across millions of online sources including social sites, blogs, forums, news and review sites.
To do this, Monster created Boolean search queries which determine the types of information the analytics tool searchers for. These are then pushed into the Hootsuite management platform alongside all other social activity.
Gillooly said this provides insight into what customers are saying about Monster, as well as their competition. It also helps reveal the content and engagement strategies working best with audiences across each social network.
“It has given us in-depth knowledge of the consumer [job seeker] and customer [employer] market, and allowed us to not only keep up with the trends in the market, but also keep ahead of them,” Gillooly continued. “In our social media centre, we often invite our customers in to take a deep dive of the data and watch as we use it for engagement purposes.
“As an example, we currently ran a query through Brandwatch looking for everyone who is talking about needing a job. We'll use that information to discover those job seekers Monster can help, and reach out to them, through Hootsuite's dashboard, to help set up an account or saved search so they can find a job they love. This is just one of hundreds of ways we're utilising the tools and data to talk to our audiences.”
Gillooly said Monster also uses the social Web as the “world's largest focus group”. In total, Monster is executing its social strategy across more than 20 platforms.
“Where do people love or hate their jobs the most? Where are people most often asking for help finding jobs? Where are employers most often tweeting about jobs? How does that match up to Monster’s job supply data? We can now answer all of these questions and it's all because of collaboration and sharing of information,” he said. “We’ve used social data to work with our colleagues in product and technology, customer service, human resources, sales and even pricing.”
In the last three months of 2013 versus the last three months of 2014, Monster saw 262 percent growth in Twitter retweets and a 300-plus per cent increase in mentions. It also claims to have more than 30 per cent share of voice among its four other largest competitors.
“Those numbers have continued to grow significantly into 2015,” Gillooly said. Core metrics used by the marketing team to gauge success include overall engagement numbers, total mentions, media views and growth.
While there’s been an emphasis on organic social growth to date, Gillooly said the next focus for Monster will be improving paid advertising opportunities.
“We do quite a bit of social advertising, both as Monster’s brand and on behalf of our customers through products such as Monster Social Job Ads,” he said. “We're continuing to look at ad technology and how we can see the kind of scale, efficiency and, ultimately, human voice that we have brought to the organic side.”
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