Why I Moved to Cincinnati

by Shannon Paul on June 12, 2012


I loved my job as Social Media Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and living in Detroit, but I made a decision to move on to a new opportunity. I already miss so many of the talented, intelligent, supportive, funny, and amazing people I had the opportunity to work with over the past two years since I returned home to the area, but I received an offer to work in Cincinnati I couldn’t refuse…

This week, I officially joined Fifth Third Bank as the company’s Vice President and Social Media Strategist at its headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

No Regrets

Every step in my career has been a huge growth opportunity and I believe this opportunity is no exception. In the short time that I’ve come to know many of the team members at Fifth Third, I’ve been inspired by the company’s desire to use social media to engage with its customers to build relationships, learn from them, and provide better products and service as a result.

I Will Just Be Down the Road

To my friends, colleagues and those involved in the social media communities throughout Michigan — I will still be working for a company with a strong Michigan presence and commitment to its communities. In many ways, I’ll just be down the road (four-and-a-half hours down I-75).

Replace Me!

If you think you’re up for the best social media job in the metro Detroit area, please reach out to my colleagues at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on Twitter and let them know you’re interested: @andrewhetzel, @sveng, @davidlingholm, @jacki_halas, @gracedietitian, or @brianjbellz. Andy Hetzel is hands-down one of the best people I’ve ever worked for — you can count yourself among the lucky if you land a job reporting to him.

Thank You

Chances are if you’re reading this, you have helped me arrive at this opportunity in ways you may never understand. For this and so much more, I am grateful.

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The Power of Partnerships in Your Social Media Content Strategy

by Shannon Paul on December 28, 2011


The PR people have always recognized value of partnerships between companies in press releases and stories pitched to the media, but brands rarely think to champion strategic partners via social media the way they might champion consumers. Why is this?

Many folks in the B2B space often blame the lack of social media content opportunities on the fact that what they do doesn’t directly impact consumers, but I don’t buy it. Every company touches people in some way; as an employer, and a community stakeholder. Every business sells something to another company that touches consumers in some way, and every business sponsors a charity, a big community event or some other cause that involves people and issues that are of importance to the company. These partnerships are chock full of opportunities for social media content.

Other companies with a social media presence are also publishers

Treat them like there is value in their audience and the social media engagement they have built with their brand. Build processes for social media teams inside your partner organizations to stay on top of positive news about your company and other events you may need help promoting — ask them for advice on how to make your content more relevant to their followers. Offer to do the same with their good news and make conversation with them via social channels. Promoting others’ activities via social media is a best practice anyway. Engage in best practices with a strategic perspective that aligns with other business goals. Strengthening stakeholder relationships is always something that provides value to any business.

Go behind the scenes by developing content that explains how your company’s sausage is made and how what you do is better/different from others and how this makes for a better sandwich (sticking with the sausage metaphor) than using a different sausage. Ask your business customers for advice in developing this type of content and position their social media team to publish this content in a way that benefits them.

Get social with your favorite cause  

Social media activity makes for great event sponsorship activation, but just like everything else involved in social media, it will be up to you to make sure you’re participating in the success — paying someone else to Tweet about you only works for so long, you must be ready to sustain any social media momentum the old-fashioned way.

Lots of companies are already engaged in philanthropic activities, look for ways to support fundraising and community events with your social media presence — send someone to take photos and video of community events and ask that the organization’s web team attribute your company with a link each time they use any of the items you share with them. Whether you’re providing the files or sharing links to items you post on your own social media profile, make sure you specify how you would like to get attribution. This is a big part of making sure you are bringing the value of this activity back to your company.

Post pictures, short videos, updates about the event and quotes from speakers on Twitter and make sure to use relevant hashtags to keep up and respond to others in attendance at the event. Profile others involved with the cause on your company blog and talk about why this issue is important to your company. Most of the time there is a strategic reason for companies to select causes to champion, get your social media presence aligned with helping that cause along.

Let others know why this particular issue is of importance to your company and your future on your company blog. No one will naturally connect the dots between your company’s logo appearance and the charitable activity on their own, it’s up to you to look for ways to share that story.

Better together

How are you working with partners to improve your social media presence? What are some of the roadblocks you experience in taking your company’s strategic partnerships to the social web?

Photo credit: Adam Foster | Codefor

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Avoiding the Social Media Job Shop Scenario

by Shannon Paul

Tweet If you’re one of the unfortunate people out there feeling disenchanted and completely disappointed with the day-to-day activities of your social media job, you’re not alone. The social media job shop is my way of describing a scenario where the social media specialist or team is simply told what to post by marketing, communications […]

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Takeaways From SXSW Interactive

by Shannon Paul

Tweet For me, coming home from SXSW Interactive always means sore feet from standing at events in heels for four days straight, and a tired disposition that lasts several days. It’s a ridiculous pace you need to keep to attend so many events all day and every night, but I felt like I was able […]

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Find Shannon Paul at SXSW Interactive

Thumbnail image for Find Shannon Paul at SXSW Interactive by Shannon Paul

Tweet Forgive me, but it really does tickle me to refer to myself in third person… but only in writing. This post is a little late in coming, but I assure you I definitely plan to attend SXSW Interactive this year. This will be my third time attending the conference so it’s all starting to […]

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3 Ways to Get Great Content From Your Boring Business

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Tweet Many creative types get frustrated when they work in a B2B situation, or any other industry that may be much less sexy than consumer technology, fashion, sports, or entertainment. Everyone wants to focus on creating the right content — content that will attract positive attention, better SEO and social media viral goodness. But what […]

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Hunter or Farmer? Does Social Media Have a Role in the Sales Cycle?

Thumbnail image for Hunter or Farmer? Does Social Media Have a Role in the Sales Cycle? by Shannon Paul

Tweet What makes a successful social media program? Awards? An engaging Twitter presence? Scores of Facebook fans? Lots of coverage in Mashable and speaking gigs on the conference circuit? Maybe. Many argue he (or she) who drives the most sales wins. Unless yours is a nonprofit, business, is still about having a healthy profit margin […]

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Social Media Ethics: Competitor Relationships Should also be Disclosed

by Shannon Paul

Tweet The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) and the FTC agree: material relationships should be disclosed when posting comments, tweets, status updates and the like. I understand this may not be news to many. However, I still see many people overlooking disclosure when it comes to posting negative comments or spreading negative news about […]

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Myths Keeping Social Media out of Regulated Industries

by Shannon Paul

Tweet Some of the challenges holding regulated industries like those in health care, finance, or government back from embracing social media are unique, and some aren’t so unique. However, whether the industry is heavily regulated or not, rules and regulation over time often become myth. To read the complete post, you’ll need to go over […]

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Why We Still Need Real Social Media Strategists

Thumbnail image for Why We Still Need Real Social Media Strategists by Shannon Paul

Tweet Even though business strategies come from the top down in organizations we still need strategists, or at least strategic thinkers, in every area of business, but especially social media. Not only because so few businesses have direct experience with social media used to deliver on business goals, but because it requires a fundamental shift […]

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