Robyn Nixon is the General Manager, Global Marketing at Intrepid Travel.
Over the years, Robyn’s career path has been anything but conventional! After returning to university to study drama, she took on a career in live theatre. During this time she developed the fundamental skills associated with direct marketing, PR. Sponsorship and CRM. After all there’s nothing like the need to fill a theatre with a new show every six weeks to hone core-marketing skills!
A few years later Robyn and a friend started a small-group adventure travel company, taking travellers to India. It was here that she met Darrell Wade, Co-founder of Intrepid Travel. Darrell convinced Robyn to move to Melbourne and work for Intrepid. During her time with Intrepid, Robyn has headed up International Business Development, Global Sales and has been an integral part of Intrepid’s executive management team. Now 12 years later, Robyn leads Intrepid’s Global Marketing team, working closely with their marketing companies in Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada, UK and Asia.
Robyn’s career path is a great illustration that with an abundance of energy and the courage to take a few risks, a non-conformist route can lead to business success. It’s probably no accident that Robyn’s unconventional career path makes her a great fit for a highly entrepreneurial company such as Intrepid.
We spoke with Robyn to find out more about her speaker session “Case Study Presentation: The Journey to Award Winning Social Media” at CeBIT’s Social Enterprise Conference.
Her main message is that:
“The social media journey has no final destination – it is a means, not an end. Organisations succeed when social media is part of everyday business and becomes integrated into the mix of everything they do. It is simply another asset at their disposal.”
Intrepid recently won an international award for their Facebook page. The #1 ranking in Social Media Examiner’s Top 10 Small Business Facebook Pages for 2011 was awarded by a panel of Facebook experts based on: Engagement, Reader involvement and Creative use of promotions.
Intrepid has many objectives for the social media campaigns including building brand awareness and customer relationships. They have managed to use Facebook competitions to great effect and successfully cultivated relationships with influential travel bloggers and videographers which has resulted in coverage by the New York Times, Huffington Post, Vimeo home page etc.
Robyn’s Tips for Organisations Uncertain About Social Media
During our conversation with Robyn she gave lots of practical straight forward advice about organisational use of social media.
It is important to consider these tips and others Robyn will give during the conference as they build online credibility so your brand, social media outlets and website are ones that people trust:
Social Media Plan
Companies often jump in to being active on social media but without a plan – it is crucial to know what your social media strategy is and have that clearly defined.
Social Media Is A Conversation
Organisations cannot simply broadcast information and promotions to social media followers. Robyn said “it must be a 2 way conversation to be real engagement”.
Organisational social media should be a genuine resource of news, helpful advice, inspiration and information. To improve efficiency and effectiveness commonly asked questions should be collected in a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages that can be referred to quickly rather than having to find same answers over and over.
Robyn emphasised that organisations must have a clear plan for how they will deal with negative discussions if they arise. Ignoring them is not an option. Also remember that social media platforms operate 24/7, negative conversations may occur on weekends or after business hours during weekdays.
Commit Long Term Resources
Robyn advises that organisations “must commit real resources to social media over the long term and have a single moderator who manages to tone of voice and messaging. Other staff can act as support to provide specialist advice”.
Overall Communications Strategy
Last but not least, Robyn reminds organisations to consider where social media fits in their overall communications strategy. Whilst the tone of voice, approach etc are slightly different in many ways the ways you manage social media is the way you manage other marketing. How does it get used to interact with customers during their journey on the path to purchase and how does it work with other marketing collateral that they’re using.