Q&A with Amanda Nelson, Senior Director, AppExchange Comms & Community at Salesforce

Media 7 | October 7, 2021

Amanda Nelson, Senior Director, AppExchange Comms & Community at Salesforce, drives the content, social, and community strategy for the AppExchange at Salesforce. She is a speaker, author, and social media professor. Amanda has worked in content marketing, social media, and community marketing for B2B tech startups and Salesforce for eight years. Prior to content and social marketing, Amanda worked in account management at advertising agencies for brands such as IKEA, Atlantic Records, and Twinings Tea.

As you meet your customers and community, you uncover the people that inspire and empower others.

MEDIA 7: Could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what made you choose this career path?
AMANDA NELSON:
I’ve always been a writer, and as I got into advertising and marketing, I wanted to incorporate my love for writing into my work. Once content marketing started forming with Hubspot and other SaaS companies, I was excited to learn more, get trained, and bring that into my day-to-day. I feel social and content go hand in hand, after all, if someone asks a question, you should have content to answer it. So as I got into social media marketing, I incorporated content. The more I worked on writing and social engagement, the more I started to learn about the community at Salesforce, and before long, I was working in community and comms for the brand. I’m thrilled to do a job I love, where I’m learning while helping others.


M7: You spoke about the relevance of influencer marketing at the Global Digital Marketing Summit e4, 2021. So, according to you, how important is it for companies to adopt this form of marketing in the near future?
AN:
As you meet your customers and community, you uncover the people that inspire and empower others. They know your product and brand inside and out; they may be using your product daily. They might have been hired because of your product. These customers might not be as recognizable as an Instagram influencer walking down the street, but they have just as much credibility. Therefore, it’s crucial to uncover, get to know, and highlight them as a way to help everyone grow and thrive in the ecosystem. That’s why influencer marketing is so important.


We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. It’s more important to listen than to speak.



M7: What are some of the best content, social, and community strategies you have implemented for the AppExchange at Salesforce?
AN:
We launched the first cookbook at Salesforce, thanks to our customers. A customer tweeted about the idea, and we ran with it. What’s so inspiring about this cookbook is that every original recipe was submitted by a customer who is as passionate about food as they are about AppExchange apps. And a customer-inspired cookbook wasn’t complete if every recipe wasn’t accompanied by customers’ favorite apps. The cookbook got over 40,000 views in a matter of days. But the real success was knowing that we weren’t just cooking for ourselves, we’re cooking with the community.


M7: According to you, what is the best way to create a customer-centric approach to content marketing in the present market scenario?
AN:
We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. It’s more important to listen than to speak. Take the time to understand your customers’ needs and challenges and then create content that addresses the things that keep them up at night. User-generated content is also a great way to be customer-centric while addressing customers’ challenges. This way, the information is coming directly from the customer, and customers are helping each other. This also encourages sharing and engagement, because humans often enjoy sharing and reading what our friends write. Lastly, giving customers the chance to create content enables them to amplify their voice. They have something great to say, but their own channels may not have as much reach as your brand. Giving them the platform to share their best practices or share their stories is powerful for the customer.


We took it as an opportunity to engage with our community more than ever, and provide resources and content to help them through COVID-19.



M7: What do you believe are the top three marketing challenges in the post-COVID-19 era?
AN:
COVID-19 has changed the way we work as marketers, but it’s also created opportunities. With many in-person events either on hold or adjusted to COVID-19 protocols, event marketing needed to be completely reimagined. The majority of my team’s work is online, such as social media and our online community, so the focus went to us when COVID-19 hit. We took it as an opportunity to engage with our community more than ever, and provide resources and content to help them through COVID-19. We focused on sharing customers’ COVID-19 stories, distributing useful content such as coloring books and cookbooks while people stayed home, and making it easier to learn about new apps.


M7: What is your advice to aspiring marketers stepping into a dynamic market today?
AN:
The only constant is change. Be open-minded to change and be ready to pivot. Great marketing isn’t about launching your own beautiful campaigns. It’s about understanding the needs of your customers, and being ready to adjust as they adjust and shift with them. We’re all in this together.

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