A few weeks ago, we introduced Votigo’s latest blog series: Learn From the Pros. This series is designed to promote the sharing of information across our customer base so that we can all learn from each other as we navigate the various ways Social Marketing can be leveraged for brand success.
This week we’re chatting with Jesse Ferrell from AccuWeather. We’ve been working with Jesse and his team since 2014 and are excited to share his thoughts on how contests & sweepstakes have helped him achieve AccuWeather’s brand objectives. Jesse brings over 20 years of experience to the table, so we hope you enjoy!
Votigo: How long have you been with AccuWeather?
Jesse: 20 years! I’ve seen it all. It’s been interesting to see the changes in the company and the technology over two decades.
Votigo: What is your role there? How did you get started? What were you doing before that?
Jesse: I am currently the Social Media Manager of our Social Media team. I developed AccuWeather’s Social Media channels in the late 2000s, utilizing our unique news stories and videos about the weather to inform and engage. I’ve been doing Social Media since before it was called Social Media. I ran online communities of weather enthusiasts in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Votigo: What are your biggest goals & initiatives for AccuWeather in 2017?
Jesse: We would like to continue to increase our engagement, experiment more with live video, and revamp our analytics.
Votigo: How often do you run contests or sweepstakes currently? And what platforms do you run them on?
Jesse: Seasonally — 2-4 times per year. We run them predominantly on Facebook, but promote them through Twitter, our brand website, and mobile.
Votigo: Can you share your thoughts on these social platforms in regards to your business? Do you tend to engage with one more than the others?
Jesse: Facebook is our predominant platform for engagement, with Twitter being second. We were big on Facebook early and now, more of our dedicated fans are there.
Votigo: Is there a type of campaign that you would like to run but haven’t yet? Why not?
Jesse: Not yet but we’re always open to new ideas. Because we’re a publisher in constant contact with our users, we don’t run as many promotional campaigns as Social Media departments with product companies.
Votigo: What solution do you use for your contests & sweepstakes? Do you prefer a full-service offering or a self-service platform?
Jesse: We use Votigo in as full-service a capacity as possible. For example, we recognize that we’re not experts in prize fulfillment or legal contracts, so we’d rather farm that out.
Votigo: What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out with social contests & sweepstakes?
Jesse: Keep it simple!
Votigo: What are your favorite blogs or books on Marketing or your other interests?
Jesse: We watch the official blogs of the Social Media outlets and scan the tech and analytics company blogs (Shareablee is a favorite). I am a meteorologist by training, which obviously helps with the day-to-day duties here at AccuWeather. I am the resident “gadget guy” and enjoy weather photography and storm chasing.
Votigo: Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Votigo blog audience?
Jesse: I would like to say that it’s a whole different world for publishers on Social Media. Most studies, whitepapers, stats and advice are for product companies… at AccuWeather, we are lucky enough to have an excuse (current weather news) to interact with our fans daily, even hourly. Because of that constant stream of content, we don’t have to do a lot of your typical promotional campaigns or in-depth editorial calendars. The challenge, however, is that we have to be flexible with what we plan to put out on Social Media each day… because the weather can change in a heartbeat.
Thanks for participating in “Learn From the Pros”, Jesse!
-The Votigo Team