Social Media: Q&A

The heads of social media at two global brands reveal how they arrived at their positions and the challenges they face ...

Jerry Daykin

Social media and community manager, Cadbury London 2012 and Kraft Foods Europe

How did you come to work in this role?

I worked for a charity called City Gateway for five years, which was a more general marketing role, but we used social media heavily. I'd been a passionate personal user of social media, but my move to Cadbury has been my first official social media role. I joined as a new position supporting the Cadbury sponsorship for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and my remit has since expanded to provide consultancy across a range of Kraft's European brands.

Who do you report to?

I report into Sonia Carter who is one of two co-heads of digital within Kraft Europe and work in a team of seven digital managers. We have a wider network of digital expertise that Cadbury brands can call on to support specific activity.

Some of our digital work is supported by agencies.

What social innovation are you most proud of?

Cadbury was one of the first brands to really give Google+ a try and we've managed to build the largest traditional brand presence on the platform, with an audience rapidly approaching two million fans. The benefits reach far beyond the network itself, driving increases in our natural ranking and Google Adwords perfor-mance across Google search.

What's your biggest social media challenge?

It's great to see social media increasingly built into campaigns, but it's a challenge to ensure it's done in a cohesive way that works for consumers, not just thought of as a marketing check box. Social media remains something of a specialism so inevitably not all our brand managers have a detailed understanding of what does and doesn't work and working as part of a small team makes it impossible to help out every team who might want support.

What are your career ambitions?

I don't see a long future for social media as an independent school of thought as it's becoming so integrated and synonymous with wider digital activity. I come from a broader marketing background and I am passionate about how new digital tools can help brands reach their consumers - the roles I hope to end up in probably haven't been created yet.

Lars Silberbauer

Head of social media, Lego Group

How did you come to work in this role?

I have wanted to work in digital since I got my first computer at the age of seven and I have a background in computer media science. My career started in broadcast media, on the digital side of the business. I did some work for the Danish Government in the US and progressed through larger creative and digital projects. I was appointed last year to head up social media at Lego Group, creating a global social media strategy. Before I joined, Lego was not on Facebook but it has a history of developing projects with its fans, so the ground was ready for building social media on top of existing fan communities.

Who do you report to?

I report into the vice-president of marketing, integration and communication. I have a global team of three based in different time zones to connect with local markets. It is not just about PR or marketing, though, as the goal is to make the brand more social. We have educated 175 in the company so far to help them think social.

What social innovation are you most proud of?

We have been able to make a very big impact in a short time with very few people at Lego. With social media people should think radically differently about resources and how to change an organisation. We are not campaign driven - social media is about long-term engagement.

What's your biggest social media challenge?

Getting companies to change fast enough and getting them to see this challenge as an opportunity. The ever-increasing pace of change in the business environment is a good thing.

What are your career ambitions?

For Lego to become as good as possible in social media - my vision is to make it a value driver for the company. The world is changing so fast I won't make plans more than 12 months ahead.

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