Social Media Marketing Q&A with Ashley Nelson of Cochlear

Lindsey Boyd

Editor's note: Through the Voice of the Khoros Core Q&A series, we highlight the voices, thoughts, and experiences of digital customer engagement innovators using Khoros. Join us to learn expert insights and tips.

Meet Ashley Nelson. Ashley is the Social Media Manager at Cochlear, where she manages the brand’s social media strategy across all programs — including care, sales, communities, organic and paid content — in alignment with Cochlear’s business goals for the U.S. and Canada. From social media marketing to llamas, Ashley had a lot of wonderful insight to share during our conversation. Here are the best excerpts:

What is your company’s “Social Why”?

At Cochlear, our mission is to help people hear and be heard. Social media is a key initiative that allows our customers to do exactly that. Consumers who are qualified for a cochlear implant are often struggling in everyday life to hear. They become isolated and struggle to communicate with friends, family, and loved ones. Social media is an avenue that many hard of hearing individuals find suitable to connect with others like them. Through social media, Cochlear is able to amplify these stories – showing individuals struggling to hear that there is hope they can reconnect with the world again.

Through social media, Cochlear is able to amplify stories of individuals struggling to hear and show there is hope.

What is the most important thing you've learned over the last year as a digital marketer and how did it change the way you work?

Throughout the last year, I’ve learned a lot about the way in which social media data should be integrated into the overall customer journey map. This critical element helps provide ROI to our social media initiatives but is an incredibly challenging goal to achieve. It’s completely changed my focus at work – from being incredibly focused on social content marketing and programming, to data integration. It’s a necessary focus shift and has required me to learn more about other elements of digital marketing – allowing myself the ability to merge data together to tell one larger story.

How do you see the role of social media as a part of your broader marketing strategy?

Social media should be integrated into all parts of a marketing strategy – offline and online. It should integrate within your sales organization, care organization, and of course, marketing organization. The key is keeping the data points connected and allowing that data to tell a larger story for your organization.

If you are treating social media as its own entity, you’re doing it wrong. It should be a part of everything you do as an organization. With the majority of the world now on social media, there is never the excuse of, “my audience just isn’t using social media.” False. You’re just not meeting them on the right channels.

If you are treating social media as its own entity, you’re doing it wrong. It should be a part of everything you do as an organization.

What is the best or worst piece of advice that you’ve ever received?

The absolute worst advice I ever received was to only look out for myself in the business world. At the time it came from a boss who found this to be the only way to succeed. However, the times when I was only paying attention to myself ended up having the worst repercussions, and the times I was looking out for others, not only did I feel a larger sense of belonging in my organization, but we ended up achieving greater things together.

What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?

One word – resiliency. I’m still working on learning this each day, as sometimes it’s a lot easier to break down than it is to face a hard decision or hard circumstance. Resiliency is the ability to bounce back from these times and to persevere. If I’m being honest, it’s probably a life lesson I am always going to have to work on. However, when I look back at my life, I can see how much I’ve already grown.

What is your favorite quote or saying and why?

Arthur C. Clarke said, “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.” I found this quote on a slip of paper in a book I was looking to buy at Barnes and Noble when I was probably only twenty years old. I didn’t fully understand it at the time, but I’ve kept that piece of paper with me for so long now that I slowly started to understand its meaning. If we reach the end, we aren’t thinking large enough.

Whenever you complete a project, you should be looking into how you can then continue to improve. In essence, completing something means you've reached the possible. You finished what you started. But that is no longer the limit. You have to push further into what you might think is impossible again and again.

Whenever you complete a project, you should be looking into how you can continue to improve.

What are you interested in that most people haven’t heard of?

I am absolutely obsessed with the legless llama. Go ahead and Google it (or Bing it if you must) and you will see what I am talking about. I found this thing in high school and it’s been my background on my desktop ever since. I even have a custom stuffed animal of this thing! It’s super weird, but it shows how quirky and odd I really am.

What have you changed about your daily routine in the past year that has made your day better?

I’ll be honest, I just started this so we will have to see how it goes. I have a positivity list at my desk where at the end of each work day I write down one to three good/positive things that happened that day. So many times we end our days frustrated and feeling overwhelmed at work. My hope is that I can now end my day on a high note, focusing in on what went well that day instead of what didn’t work out. We will see how it goes!

What is your favorite thing about working with Khoros?

I love the automation Khoros provides to our internal processes. We are able to quickly produce, publish, and analyze the performance of our initiatives in one easy-to-use platform, which is something we never had before. Additionally, Khoros brings to the table several data integrations we are beginning to explore, helping us as a business better justify the quantitative business value of investing in social media.

Want to learn more best practices for social media marketing? Download our whitepaper: Social Media Pocket Guide.

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