[Podcast] Part 3: 5 Steps to Revive Your Social Media Strategy

Brand evangelism is crucial for creating a successful social media strategy. Brand evangelism refers to customers who are passionate about a brand and share their positive experiences with others. These customers become advocates for the brand and help in increasing brand awareness and driving conversions. Erica Dudash, former retail marketing executive for Purple Mattress and American Eagle, discusses what steps marketers need to take to foster brand evangelism and revive their social media strategies in our podcast.

[Podcast] Part 3: 5 Steps to Revive Your Social Media Strategy


erica dudash
Erica Dudash
Former Retail Marketing Executive
Purple Mattress & American Eagle Outfitters
Luci Rainey
Former Marketing Executive
Comcast & PODS

*The following transcription has been adapted from Five Steps to Revive Your Social Media Strategy.


I know when I do these webinars, oftentimes we’ll have some of our Porch Media Group leaders on here. They had a great case study a few episodes ago where they were really kind of, I’d say, curating the data for a certain product. And they started to, look through and say, oh, is there any interesting analytics in this data?

And they found that a large portion of one of the audiences were also pet owners, like very unrelated to the product. And so, they were able to build some curated content with the product that also just happened to have pets in it now/ They added pets and the conversion rate, like went through the roof by just adding some of that additional imagery. Because through, you know, the data and analytics they were able to find that this particular audience also had a penchant for pets. And they, and the two were very unrelated, so you just never know, you know, when you’re looking at your audiences and how you tailor your content, what you’re going to find in the data, and your audience curation, overall.


Yeah, you want your content formats to be things that, you know, people are going to relate to, and look forward to. I know, a lot of the beauty industry right now is really exploding. And one of those content formats that they’re really leveraging is the “get ready with me.” Or get undone where they’re taking off their makeup and showing what their, you know, skincare routine is. But it’s amazing, how many people are engaging and listening to every single nugget of whether they’re talking about their brushes or the beauty product that they’re utilizing, or the skin cream that they’re sleeping with overnight. So, I think really, truly starting to understand and break apart what the content formats are, are really important as well. So, understanding like, oh, is everyone tuning in for the get ready with me, but no one is paying attention to how we make our packaging. You know, that’s probably not the most engaging topic for our customers, that are thinking about a beauty brand. So really, focusing in on your audience and what they’re engaging with and looking at those measurements of the past can, help you plan for, what you’re doing in the future.

Step 5. Foster Brand Evangelism


I love it. OK, brand evangelism, you know this is step five. Talk about a marketing buzzword, you know brand evangelism…of course you want brand evangelism. You don’t want brand non-evangelism, right? Where nobody’s talking about your brand.

For brand evangelism, do people have to like your brand or do you really just want consumers to talk about you?


Yeah. Well, of course, we would prefer that they like your brand, and we don’t want to just be creating that buzz and having them just talk about you. But I think that some of those things go hand in hand, and these brands that we have listed on here that are doing it well, oftentimes are because they’re doing good things, or they’re doing the right thing.

So Chewy, for example. A lot of us are aware and familiar with Chewy. Many may order from them for pet foods and supplies. But one of the things that they’re constantly called out for and why people say that they loved the brand so much is that, sadly, when your animal passes and you tell them you want to cancel your subscription, they send you flowers. And they say, “We’re so sorry about you losing your pet,” or whatever it may be, and it just shows that they care about their customers.

Real Beauty or Rare Beauty is another one. Selena Gomez actually just did a post recently that I had shared out on LinkedIn because I truly am a follower of that brand, as well as my daughter loves that brand. And her Easter basket was filled with the product.

So, not only am I a fan of the product, I’m purchasing those products, and they’re sold out all the time. Let me just tell you, because filling that Easter basket was a challenge.

But because Selena Gomez is really passionate and feels strongly about supporting girls, and women, and making them feel good about themselves, it’s more than just selling products. And so people see that, and engage with it, and it catches fire. And so creating and fostering that brand evangelism is really, how do you get your customers to believe in you? 

But then at the same time, believing in what your customers think is important, sharing that as a goal, and helping to move that forward. Burn Bootcamp, for example, they have amazing brand evangelists, evangelism, and they do strategies to support that.

So every week, they have basically a pre-made story that you can share that says what their brand or what their company is going to be doing for their workout. So on Monday, it’s legs, on Tuesday, it’s full body, on Wednesday, its core focus, whatever it might be.

But people that are coming and doing those workouts take pride in that and they share that to their story checking off, I was there Monday, and they share it again on Tuesday. I was there Tuesday and shared again on Wednesday.

So when people are engaged with that brand, you’re constantly seeing them talking about it and sharing what they’re doing, and that is pushing the brand forward, creating better brand awareness, helping it to be in the consideration set for those consumers that are thinking about getting in shape.

Similar to Peloton, they are masters at creating community, and getting people to really purchase a bike, that maybe, I mean, before Peloton came around, how many people actually had a bike in their home? Almost no one. Very, very, small numbers. Very, very, few numbers. And so really developing that community is of critical importance.


Yeah. That’s great.

You know, we’ve talked about, I think, these great five strategies and really in order of importance, you know, defining your goal, identifying your target audience, which actually comes around again, when you’re talking about testing, aligning your platforms to your audiences. Audiences are so at the center, even of your social strategy, creating your custom content. And then really fostering brand evangelism as clearly, audiences are at the center of that as well.

So with Movers & Shakers, we coming back to the importance of audiences. And I think really, when you’re developing your social media strategy, it’s no different.

We’re going to have a few questions, I’m sure some folks listening today are going to have some questions. And also, you can clearly see that at Porch Group Media, they do support social media and audience curation for social media, if anybody needs support for that as well. 

So, Larisa, have we gotten any good questions in today?


Yes, we have. What are just some general guidelines that you might have on establishing a social media budget?

Yeah, so your budget is definitely going to vary company to company and what kind of product you’re selling. But a good guide, I would say, and something that I’ve seen typically from the various places that I have worked as staying in that 10 to 15% range or total company sales. 


Yeah, and, you know, the few teams that I’ve managed, you know, more recently, I’d say 10 to 15% is usually where we’re ending up based on the media mix, but I would also encourage you not to forget about the budget that you need for organic as well and SEO. And there is, you know, in those terms, there is a technical component to make sure you are aligning with search and what have you, and have additional budget to create your content. That it’s not just the media budget that’s targeting your 10 to 15% because there is an expense to that content creation to keeping up your listings and you know, everything you need for SEO as well as your content is helping you rank. 

So, don’t forget about that portion of your budget as well as making sure you have, if you’re doing organic in-house, making sure you have enough people to keep your content fresh. And keeping up with talent, as well as making sure whatever you need, could be included in your agency fees, and so on, and so forth. So, there’s not just that pure media dollar that I think Erica was referencing, which is, you know, very, very important, but also in the parts of your budget, you know, to have the content creation or the agency fees or the, or the headcount, to be able to execute a solid strategy.


Yeah, for sure. It’s definitely important to make sure that you’re keeping top of mind the testing strategy. So, you’re not just spending it all, you need to make sure that you have the testing and dollars allocated separately out for that so that you’re keeping that top of mind. And that it’s something that’s an ongoing initiative because that’s going to be critical for your success to continue optimizing the program.


Next question, you kind of talked about this a little bit, but are there general guidelines and types of posts that resonate best? 

We do really well anytime we post a video or pictures of people that are on our team – just anything that we can put a personal face to. But I just wanted to get your thoughts on what types of posts that you see really working for some of the brands you’ve worked with.


Yeah, I think people want to see content that is relatable to them. And, so, I often talk about the idea of something that is aspirational, but also attainable.

And so, I sometimes have seen brands that can go too far down the aspirational path, where it’s almost just off putting to the customer. They’re out of tune. So, I think that’s, that’s one of the things that’s been really effective for us, is taking a step back in the various companies that I’ve worked for, whether it was Purple or American Eagle. But really thinking about how you’re putting your copy together, the content that you’re sharing, what the imagery looks like, so that it’s not so far off base. One of the areas that, you know, we saw this hugely successful was when I was working on the Aerie brand.

And Aerie was really thinking about how to be a competitor to Victoria’s Secret, who was the behemoth in the retail space at that point in time. And one of the things that we heard loud and clear, I was managing the insights team, and one of the things that we heard loud and clear was that customers wanted things that were real and that they could relate to. and that didn’t feel totally out of left field and made them uncomfortable and so aspirational that it wasn’t even unattainable they could never get there. 

They want to feel safe. So, I think if it is showing people that are your own company, those faces, or being open to talking about flaws and challenges and how you’re overcoming them, those are all success stories that people can relate to. Because everyone has things that bring them down and they have challenges at work, they have budget challenges, whatever it may be. Helping to show the success stories, often, is a lovely place to me in social,


I love that.

I think we have time for one more Larisa.

Do you find that more consumers are increasingly making purchases from social platforms? And do you kind of see that trend evolving?

I mean, from the businesses that I’ve been in and managed, yes, 100%. We definitely see social being a great avenue for leads and traffic coming to the website and driving people into stores, and ultimately ending in conversions. So, it’s a great outreach and a great way to engage with customers at the onset, and then follow them the whole way through to that conversion.


Erica, you may know about this brand, but I had the fortune to meet the President of Lively when she was just first starting that brand. And she was one of the pioneers of really leveraging social on being a purchase driver online and grew her business or grew this business really largely from, you know, organic and paid social overall.

I mean, enough to eventually be sold to a larger lingerie brand. She grew it from nothing to this really well-known social brand, overall, and there are these huge success stories about these products and people being able to really grow their businesses and brands just on social. So, I definitely think that you know purchasing via social is becoming more and more of a phenomenon and sometimes it feels more trusted almost then you know general ads so thank you for that.

Well, it’s been great to have you Erica, we were so lucky to get you to come and talk about social strategy. You’ve had such success at both Purple and American Eagle, we can’t wait to see what you do next and we know that you are formidable in turning around those brands so excited for you in your next journey. 

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