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Building a corporate reputation through social media [S2E2]

We talked to Kelsey Nebbeling, Social Media Senior Manager at Reckitt, about corporate social media strategy, measurement, and turning the output into impact. 

With special guest, Kelsey Nebbeling, Reckitt

This month on the Sharing Social podcast, Base Creative and ContentCal joined forces once again to interview the Social Media Senior Manager of Reckitt, the company behind some of the world’s most recognisable and trusted consumer brands in hygiene, health and nutrition.

Meet Kelsey Nebbeling. She leads on the global social media strategy and presence for the Reckitt corporate brand. Kelsey has over 9 years’ experience working across digital communications and marketing. 

In this post, we’ll be covering some of the biggest learnings from our interview with Kelsey, including social media strategy, measurement, and turning the output into impact. 

Who is Reckitt? 

Reckitt manages brands that you’ll be familiar with in your own home, including Nurofen, Durex, and Airwick.

Having launched a new purpose in February 2020, and gone through a rebrand earlier in 2021, there have been plenty of challenges faced along the way, especially when it comes to expanding the social team. Previously their social media output was managed by a third of a person – that’s a challenge in itself! 

One of the major focuses within the past year has been to build Reckitt’s corporate reputation on social, improving their brand awareness to become more consumer-facing than ever before.

How is Reckitt using social media in its strategy? 

Reckitt has different goals for their social media activity, depending on whether they’re focusing on their external or internal objectives.

From an external perspective, Reckitt’s efforts are heavily focused on letting consumers know who the company behind the brands they love is. They want to know if they’re sustainable, what other brands they manage, and if they’re a responsible business. 

From an internal perspective, the focus has been around ensuring that Reckitt is positioned correctly since the rebrand earlier this year. One major consideration has been to ensure that the new purpose is clear: 

We exist to protect, heal and nurture and the relentless pursuit of a cleaner, healthier world.”

Kelsey Nebbeling

In addition to this, social is used to help with talent acquisition and is also a way for employees to keep up to date with the latest updates at Reckitt. 

How has Reckitt’s social media presence evolved over the last few years? 

As we mentioned earlier, Reckitt was previously managed by a third of a person. This was back in what was very much the infancy of what corporations looked like on social media. 

Over the last couple of years, Kelsey has helped build out the team, so there are more resources available to think about social strategically. This has allowed Reckitt to get wider buy-in from the team – even bringing in a measurement team to help understand the metrics which have had valuable outputs from social media activity. 

What channels does Reckitt focus on in their social media strategy? 

At the moment, Reckitt’s main focus is across LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Each channel is used with a different objective in mind: 

  • LinkedIn – with the goal of driving the corporate brand and specific ROI. 
    • E.g. determining how many hires Reckitt has from people seeing their content. 
  • Twitter – to specifically talk to media, NGOs, and investors. 
  • Instagram – used as an internal channel to update employees on the latest news, along with talent acquisition. 
  • Facebook – great targeting for paid, but yet to be decided if it’s important for the long term. 

How do you turn output metrics into impact?

Something that kept cropping up in this interview was turning output metrics into impact. We asked how Reckitt was able to achieve this. 

To begin with, it’s important to work with all the internal teams, this includes investor relations and brand teams. Social shouldn’t work in a silo, it’s most impactful when it’s connected to all areas of the business. 

From here, Reckitt breaks down the different types of impact. It could be building brand awareness, hiring talent via LinkedIn, or perhaps measuring the number of downloads of a report. 

How does Reckitt measure success?

A recurring area of focus for Reckitt is raising brand awareness, so impressions and reach are measured carefully. For some, these might be considered vanity metrics, but Reckitt believes these are still very valuable as they’ve found them to be so impactful. 

Additionally, engagement and engagement rate are monitored closely on LinkedIn and Instagram. Kelsey mentioned that Reckitt looks at the user journey carefully to see what happens after these engagements on social. What links are these engaged users clicking on, where do they end up on the website, and what do they do on the website? 

All of this helps to build up an accurate picture of how audiences are responding to the content being published and allow Reckitt to adapt their content as necessary to ensure they’re on the right track to achieve their goals. 

How does Reckitt respond to a crisis?

Reckitt works with their external affairs team, which helps Reckitt manage anything happening externally, whether it be comments or anything else picked up by their social listening tool Social Studio. 

Kesley went on to mention how important is to work really closely with the team so that an appropriate plan can be actioned. She stated how important it is to have a robust and integrated team so that Reckitt can respond, not react. 

Listen to the full interview we had with Kelsey to learn more about the ins and outs of Reckitt’s social media strategy. She shares plenty of advice on incorporating employee advocacy, some of the specific challenges when managing a rebrand for a global brand, and how to get further buy-in from the team. 

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