By adaptive - October 7th, 2013

GoDaddy is the world's largest domain name provider and web hosting provider focused on helping small businesses grow larger. We hear from Alon who heads their Social Media Department.

What are the key drivers behind your organization’s use of social media?

GoDaddy’s customers are the key drivers behind our use of social media. Our efforts in social media started more than five years ago with proactive customer service. We still have the same goal – helping our customers and their small businesses – at the heart of everything we do in social media.


How is social media organised within your company?

GoDaddy’s social media department is split into two primary groups – Brand and Operations. The Operations side handles all direct interaction with the public. Brand works with internal groups to ensure all the company’s social media efforts are handled effectively and appropriately. It’s also involved with the creation and approval of material we post on our social channels and acts as advisor and gatekeeper for how social media is presented on our website ( Sometimes the line between the two groups can blur, but for the most part, this has been a good way of defining who does what and keeping internal communication directed to the right people.


As a corporate user of social networks, how does your company value the networks it has a presence on?

GoDaddy measure’s everything it does and monitors the performance of specific campaigns, but there's no simple valuation that we apply to any specific network. For instance, we do not believe a follower or fan has an inherent dollar value. We do, however, believe there is great value in a brand known for acting in the best interest of its customers and for being easily accessible.

To that end, GoDaddy invests in the cultivation of community through one-on-one support and thoughtful messaging that assists our fans and followers in building success. Ultimately, we know there's financial return when customers appreciate what you do and pay attention, so we focus on bringing them value to ensure they stick around.


Can you outline a recent initiative that included a social media component?

GoDaddy recently launched a major re-branding campaign focused on helping small businesses succeed online. Along with major updates to our Web-based products, streamlining our corporate website and checkout process, and re-aligning our spokespeople’s presence, we refocused our social media presence and kicked off a campaign to complement other advertising efforts.

With a focus on community growth and increased engagement, GoDaddy’s primary Facebook profile has evolved from a not-so-strategic collection of varied content to a small business resource. We provide easily digestible and shareable motivation for the “go getters” seeking quick tips aimed at relieving the stress of improving one’s web presence.

In addition to repositioning and refining our social media channels, GoDaddy embarked on a real-time campaign to engage Twitter users discussing the new brand changes and advertising which kicked off during the NFL season opener. Our first commercial starred Jean-Claude Van Damme and featured the iconic martial arts guru and actor inspiring a small business owner with GoDaddy’s new tagline “It's Go Time".

Our Social team listened for brand mentions and worked quickly with an internal creative team to produce custom campaign-related images to engage the social community, mostly on Twitter. In addition to the custom responses and official commercials, our social channels feature looping GIFs, inspirational cards, business tips, and ringtones – on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Vine, Instagram, and a Tumblr microsite (


How much pressure is there to show ROI with the social media you use?

Not much. GoDaddy believes there’s value in connecting with customers regardless of whether they directly convert or increase spending. As such, we have a strong interest in growing our audience and keeping them engaged. As we expand into a global presence and increase our social reach, offering valuable content to the social community and presenting GoDaddy product and service solutions just makes sense.


How did your organisation approach the mapping of your enterprise to identify where social media should reside in the corporate structure?

Social media has two major components for GoDaddy – branding/marketing and customer service. That said we don’t split up our Social teams putting one in Marketing and the other in Customer Service. We want to maintain a strong connection between the Brand and Operations sides so the teams are kept together under Marketing, where most public-facing activity is managed. As for integration across the company, that’s the entire purpose of the Brand team – to manage the social components for any projects that need them, ensuring consistent voice and quality.


What is your advice to organisations that are beginning to map their own corporate structure with the view to embedding social media activity within their enterprise?

First, identify your goals. If you don’t understand exactly what you’re trying to accomplish, there’s great risk of failure or missing the chance to do a good job. For GoDaddy, customer service is a primary function, so there’s a team for that. Of course, marketing is vital as well, so there’s a team for that too. However you build it, just make sure all the people who have the ability to post on behalf of the company can talk to each other and that they understand the overall mission and voice.

Second, make sure that the primary function of everything you do in a social media is geared at benefitting the user, not the company. For example, if you put out video content, the video needs to be something people want to see, not just something YOU want them to see. The Dollar Shave Club announcement video is a perfect example of this – it’s so funny that you want to share it. It also educates the viewer about the service, but if it weren’t funny, it wouldn’t be shared, and people sharing your content (ie free advertising) is the reason you’re in social in the first place.


Are there any specific tools you employ that help your business manage its social media activity across multiple departments?

GoDaddy uses several tools across various groups in the organization, but for the most part, these tools are whatever is best suited for each group to get what is needed. The Operations team uses Conversocial to engage with customers and gather feedback about our services. The Brand team is using Sprinklr to schedule posts and identify advocates. Business Intelligence uses Crimson Hexagon to measure social sentiment and identify trends associated with various campaigns.

How do you see the management and development of social media in your company evolving over the next few years?

It all depends on how things scale out and how quickly technology can change to integrate social media into the tools we already use. Because social has proven itself to be a significant and valuable vehicle for carrying a company’s message, people have embraced it as a powerful tool. In the immediate future, as more departments think about how to use it and their demands grow, the team responsible for handling that traffic will be strained and need to grow.

The same goes for customer service since that volume is growing as well. In the long-term, as social becomes completely ubiquitous and people have a greater understanding and appreciation for what it can do, I think you’ll see the need for dedicated social teams dissipate. Technology will catch up and build social access into all relevant areas of a business, which should eliminate the need for the specialty. In the end, social is just another medium for communication, and as long as the people using it respect its power, there’s no reason social should have special handlers.


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