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Social Innovators Series: Jen Joyce

In our Social Innovators series, we highlight leaders who use data and creativity to build world-class social marketing organizations. Here’s Jen Joyce’s story.

JJen Joyceen Joyce, who leads social media marketing at Simple, got her start locally here in Seattle managing social for Hotel Max, before she was recruited for Uber’s first PNW office.

“I got an email from my friend Michelle Broderick: ‘Hey, there’s this new startup coming to Seattle, and I want you to be our Community Manager. Have you ever used Uber before?’ I was like, ‘Yeah! In San Francisco once…’ ” Five years later, Jen was running marketing and social media for Uber’s Seattle office—and all the other PNW cities. Here’s what she’s learned along the way.

1. It’s About Building a Community

This one makes sense, since Jen got her start at Uber as a Community Manager: “At that point, being a Community Manager for Uber meant that you were doing everything that was rider-facing: if your driver went a weird route, I was the one that answered your email when you wrote in. If there was a partnership event, I was the one who coordinated that,” Jen recalls.

Starting out in social media marketing often requires wearing many hats, and Jen has taken this agile, community-building focus to her relatively new role at Simple: “We’re trying to pull in more UGC (user-generated content). We are trying to build a community around banking, which isn’t necessarily intuitive for social audiences: share things you have saved for, like your trip to Hawaii, or your car, or your house remodel. We want to feature it all and make you a part of our community.”

2. Learn to Love the Metrics

Jen was not always so data-focused: “When I started pulling metrics and analyzing, I hated it. I’m not going to lie. I’m such a creative brain that looking at numbers on a spreadsheet just made me want to cry. Then, after a while, I started loving it.”

What made this shift happen? Jen figured out that solid analytics could save her a ton of time. “Figuring out where to spend our time was a huge benefit from understanding where our engagement at Uber PNW was geographically coming from. For instance, Uber Seattle’s handle was more popular than Uber Montana’s handle. God love them, but social media in Montana is not as big as it is here. So this helped us clarify where we should spend our time.”

As Simple’s Social Media Specialist, Jen has further deepened her relationship with the metrics, looking at brand sentiment dips and valleys in the six months before she arrived to inform her content calendar and manage her expectations moving forward.

“One of the things that Simple has been working on tracking is social sentiment. So our big thing this year is measuring brand sentiment and using it to understand how we’re delivering on our promise to customers.” Jen’s 2017 success metric is increasing Simple’s positive sentiment by 5% in the next six months. “This is aggressive, but I’m stoked.”

3. Make the Personal Professional

Uber Kittens

Remember #UberKittens? That was Jen’s brainchild. “It was a Seattle spring Monday, when you’re like, ‘Why isn’t it sunny yet?’—one of those days when you want a three-day weekend. I called an Uber, got into a giant SUV, and thought, You know what would be really awesome? If I got into this SUV and there were kittens everywhere. Snuggly, cuddly kittens. I took the idea to my manager. She said it was a logistical nightmare. I was like, ‘I know, I know. Just think about it.’”

Jen ended up meeting with one of the owners of Cheezburger at SXSW, and got to talking with him—”You guys do cat stuff a lot. Let’s figure this out.” After many meetings, Jen got the idea to  give something back to shelters with this program, and landed #UberKittens, or, as Jen puts it: “You push a button and a kitten gets delivered. The money is given back to the shelter. And then you could also possibly adopt the cat.” The first year Jen did it, the program was active in three cities. The second year, seven. The third year, 59.

Moral of the story here: don’t be afraid to use your personal interests (Jen has several cat tattoos) to feed professional campaigns.

4. Rewards Do Not Necessarily = Giveaways

Now that she’s working in the heavily regulated banking industry, Jen has to go through a more rigorous approval process than she did at Uber. But Jen cites the REI #OptOutside digital campaign as a great example of user-generated content success that doesn’t require a reward: “The reward is that you get featured and you feel like you’re a part of a community.”

Opt Outside

We’re excited to see how Jen builds this community for Simple’s followers and customers.

Want to ask Jen your burning social media marketing questions? Find her @knitpurl on Twitter.

Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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