Social Bites: Tod Meisner (Aflac)

What’s your name?

Tod Meisner

What major social media account do you manage?

I run social strategy and accounts for Aflac.

What is the best thing about managing this account?

Being responsible for growing the social community for a brand icon like the Aflac Duck and for respected company like Aflac.

What is the HARDEST thing about managing this account?

Being agile, and working in real-time. We’re a highly regulated company, so we can’t always jump in on every trend or if we get approval, the “trend” may have already passed.

How do you think up your posts?

I manage an agency, Dagger in ATL, that helps me manage content and strategy for our social ecosystem. We plan organic content on a quarterly basis and extend and amplify major campaigns as they happen. Major campaigns means aligning with TVC launches.

Is there a long approval process for social content or are you trusted to pretty much do your own thing?

There is an approval process. Some are more detailed and “longer” than others based on the campaign. Aflac always has oversight on anything being posted to our channels.

What have some of your most popular posts been, and why do you think they struck such a chord?

We recently were the “most roasted” response on Wendy’s roast day on Twitter and we also had a fun interaction with Ben Affleck when he mentioned the brand recently.

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Outside of those, our partnership with Coach Prime, Deion Sanders, has resonated well with consumers and we had many posts that over-indexed and out-performed our benchmarks. Working with our celebrity talent is always fun.

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What have some of your favorite posts been, even if they aren’t necessarily the ones that went “viral”?

The Coach Prime content is very fun. Also, all the content around “The Aflacket” has been fruitful for us.

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What began as a comment from Twitter, turned into a social campaign and then evolved into our TV campaign. Working with our celebrity talent is always fun.

What do you wish you knew before you started managing this account that might have made things easier at the beginning?

I had the privilege of helping Aflac RFP it’s new social AOR. So, once we brought on Dagger we basically tore the strategy down to its studs and I’ve helped rebuild the entire social ecosystem.

What’s your advice for someone starting out in social?

Don’t… Hah, try to unplug as much as you can. It’s impossible to be online all day and then also during your “off time” set proper boundaries.

What’s your advice for brand managers to get the best out of their social media managers?

Trust their expertise and surround them with the people and tools needed to succeed. Social needs the proper budget dollars. I’m thankful to have all of that.

These are some great examples of having FUN with social. There are many CEO and c-suite execs who don’t understand the skills needs to make this work. Social media professionals need the space to response and have fun! It’s a REAL human behind the brand and Tod shows us how to do it. Loved his comment about unplugging at the end of the day. If you take anything away from this interview - do that! Unplug!

1 Like

I feel like everyone tends to answer the last two #social-bites questions the same way—that SMMs need to take care of themselves, and that brand managers need to trust their SMM—but I’ll always keep putting it in because those messages cannot possibly be repeated too many times! :heart: