MU Speaker Spotlight: Andrew Caravella of Sprout Social


Andrew Caravella is vice president of marketing at Sprout Social, a leading provider of social media engagement, advocacy, and analytics solutions for businesses. He leads a rock star team that creates and delivers relevant, engaging content and conversations through multiple forms of media and technology.  A few fun facts about Andrew: He likes being on airplanes, spinning to the beat at SoulCycle, and watching Roger Federer dominate the tennis court (not necessarily at the same time, but he'd be open to it). 

He'll be a fresh new face at Marketing United 2016 and has a ton of great wisdom to share, so you definitely won't want to miss his session! We recently caught up with him to get a sneak peek at what he'll be talking about and hear why he's so excited about his first-ever visit to Nashville. 
(We’re also teaming up Sprout Social’s Michael Patterson for a webinar on April 6th. Save your spot here!) 


What are you most looking forward to about Marketing United?

First and foremost, coming to Nashville! I've never been, so I'm excited to be at the Country Music Hall of Fame and spend some time in the city. The speaker lineup is fantastic, and I'm looking forward to hearing from people from diverse marketing backgrounds. I always appreciate being with like-minded individuals and sharing stories and ideas in person. 


Can you give us a sneak peek into what you'll be covering in your talk?

At Sprout, we’re always keeping an eye on which brands are nailing social. Rather than just give a run of the mill talk about theoretical best practices, I am going to dive into some of the brands that I personally love and think are totally slaying social; some Sprout customers, some not. We’ll talk through what’s unique about their approaches and how your brand can apply those lessons to your own social strategy.


What are some of the common mistakes or missed opportunities you often see brands making on social?

Businesses miss an incredible opportunity to make connections with their customers because they often treat social as a broadcast platform rather than a space for two-way dialogue and participation. More people are using social to reach out to brands every day, and they expect speedy and helpful responses—but more often than not they get silence in return. Yet even as expectations increase, brands are often falling short: Our Q1 2016 Sprout Social Index found that brands’ social response rate is less than 11%. As a business metric that is unacceptable and needs to improve.
Also, everyone wants their brand to have an Oreo/Super Bowl moment, but I’d encourage brands to rethink real-time marketing. Focus on engaging with your customers and delivering incredible one-on-one interactions on social that improve their experiences with your brand, day in and day out. That’s a winning strategy. Promotional messages shouldn’t be your only priority and catching that singular zeitgeist moment isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.


Obligatory email question since that's our thing: What advice would you give to marketers for using their social channels to grow their email audience?

Know that the connection between social and email is bidirectional. Integrate and use each channel to promote the other, whether that means sending emails that highlight your social channels to continue the conversation, sending articles with social share options embedded in the email or using social to promote content via signup forms that require an email address and so on. Go beyond simply including links to your social profiles in the email footer—develop email content that’s socially optimized, and in turn, use creative content promotion on social to build your email audience. Whatever you do, stay in the mindset of the customer and build from there. People don’t differentiate between email, social, digital ads and the like: A brand experience is a brand experience, no matter the channel.


Is this your first trip to Nashville? Any must-do’s while you’re in Music City?

As I said, yes, this is my first trip to Nashville, and I am pumped. I'm a devoted fan of the TV show, so I'll likely spend any and all of my down time searching high and low for the magnificent Connie Britton. Once I've found her, I'd love to check out the Grand Ole Opry and the Parthenon in Centennial Park. I'm also making a return trip with my family over Memorial Day weekend, so I'll hopefully have more time to take in the sights and sounds during my second visit!

Tickets for Marketing United are nearly sold out! Register now and we’ll be sure to save you a seat.

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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