Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Caridad González, global social media manager:

Carlota Pico 0:13
Hi everyone, and welcome back to The Content Mix. I’m Carlota Pico and I’m happy to be here today with Caridad Gonzalez who is international Social Media Manager at Wall Street English, and has over 12 years of experience in marketing and communications. Welcome, Caridad, and thank you so much for joining us today on the content mix.

Caridad Gonzalez 0:33
Hi, Carlota. Thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here and talk about social media and content.

Carlota Pico 0:40
I’m very excited. Let’s jump straight into the interview. So Caridad, can you tell me a little bit about your background? And also a bit about Wall Street English?

Caridad Gonzalez 0:50
Okay, well, related to my background, I have a degree in Information Science, but I specialized myself in adverstisment and public relationships. And I wanted to work in every kind of area of that beautiful environment, it’s called, you know, communication, advertising, marketing. So I tried to have a little bit of experience of everything. But I guess that’s what really caught my attention was creativity. So I worked as a copywriter for a long time I really loved, you know, creating concepts and trying to communicate ideas in different ways. So that was my strongest background. But then I evolved from that. And then I was involved in roles related to marketing itself, and also content production, content management as well. And then social media came across in 2008, or something like that. And I was really, really interested about this very new thing called Facebook, for example, and what I really liked is that you can finally measure things in a way that was very intersting so you no longer had like a very nice ad, you also have a recall or comment or like and then some data behind. So that is why I really, really went crazy about social media because I finally could have all these three things. Communication, creativity and data.

Carlota Pico 2:20
Okay, very interesting. And so what about Wall Street English?

Caridad Gonzalez 2:25
Yeah, so I, I worked in agencies, basically, my whole professional experience. And then I was doing… this came across three years ago, almost. And I think that I was very interested about, you know, education as an industry, because I’ve worked in every kind of industry you can imagine. And then I thought that well, English has given me a lot of opportunities in my career. So what about working for a company that does that because Wall Street English is a world class company in the English language teaching industry, and it teaches all over the world, more than 29 countries. So I guess I said, I think this is interesting. And I joined them a few years ago, as I said, and as a global social media manager or international Social Media Manager with, let’s say, three dimensions in my role. One would be, I’m in charge of the global social media presence of the company. I also support our countries. We’re developing the social media strategies in every market. And then I also help the business development teams to, you know, gain franchisees because Wall Street English is a franchise environment, a franchise business, so I also helped them to get new clients that of the Wall Street English brand and company all over the world. So I have like—I don’t I don’t get bored at all!

Carlota Pico 3:58
Yeah, definitely. Very exciting.

Caridad Gonzalez 4:01
Very exciting. Yeah.

Carlota Pico 4:03
Now I want to talk a little bit about the skills that are required to do your role. But more than skills, I want to focus on qualities. In many cases, skills can be acquired, right? You can be taught a skill, but you can’t really be taught a quality. So let’s say you’re promoted tomorrow, and you’re tasked with the responsibility of hiring for your current role. What qualities would you watch out for more than skills?

Caridad Gonzalez 4:29
Yeah, I think this is a very interesting question. Also, because skills versus qualities, I think they have to work together. And I think that there are three things that are valued a lot. One is to be a good listener. And when I say good listener is somebody that when you’re explaining something, an idea, or a brief or task, is to be really, really concentrated on that and it’s just basically dedicating 100% to try to understand that—whatever is needed, right. Another thing of value is to be professional. And when I say professional, I mean somebody that has like values and ethics and knows what is that needs to be done in the best way possible, right? I’m not talking about a workaholic. That’s not what I mean. I’m just, you know, trying to connect with somebody professionally, that knows, what is it that needs to happen, and when, and what is it that you know, it’s good or bad. And if it’s bad, don’t do it. Ah, and I guess that’s another quality that is very, very important, and also nowadays, is being you know, flexible, but not the kind of flexibility every company is talking about when they say, okay, flexibility means that you’re going to work for 20 hours a day—no. I’m talking about trying to switch from A to B very fast because the market or the business, or your colleagues are needing that. And I guess that in the current situation, we’ve learned that this is very, very important. So I would say those three qualities.

Carlota Pico 6:00
I love your response. Okay, very nice. So obviously, let’s talk about COVID-19 because you’ve already touched upon it. And everybody is facing different hardships when it comes to COVID-19. According to the CEO of Walt Disney, “The heart and soul of a company is creativity and innovation.” So Caridad, in light of the global pandemic, in what ways has Wall Street English been innovative or creative this year?

Caridad Gonzalez 6:31
Well, I mean, I’m going to use a term that I learned not so long ago, which is, you know, this three, four months, five months have been Corona-coaster, non stop. And, yeah, I guess it’s been very challenging like in many, many dimensions. And for us, as I said before, we have like three main dimensions one is B2C, B2B and also like internally because we are like a people business—we teach people in the centers, and we are used to haveing a great in-center experience, and we’re really losing that fact, right, and our centers were closing, and it was a disaster. But at the same time, it gave us an opportunity to develop something, which was basically trying to be better online. And we did that very fast. And we put our best from from ourselves and our thinking, you know, isolating ourselves with what was happening, the focus on that, that was, you know, we need to give our students what they need. And that was a goal, trying to give that service and trying to be approachable and you know, be for them, because this is what we do physically, so we needed to take that online and bring a good experience to them. And I guess that’s, to me, creativity comes across into this very, very intense moment sometimes because you don’t have budgets sometimes because you don’t have time. And in our case it was because we were losing our amount of, you know, credibility, or, you know, our experience was at risk. So that made us very, very creative very fast. And that was amazing.

Carlota Pico 8:14
So could you talk to me about how you implemented some of that creativity into your online experience? What did that look like? What did the end product look like?

Caridad Gonzalez 8:24
Well, the end product is, yeah, was basically trying to say, okay, so while we do in person, how do we bring it online seamlessly. And that took a lot of people involved in sales and from enterprise managers marketing. So we were, we weren’t very creative in the sense we don’t want to reinvent the wheel to communicate something very simple. But what we did was to say, look, you need, you need to trust us the same as you did before, because we’re offering you the same but in a context and in a way that suits you, because you’re at home. So we’re going to go home and in a sense and be online for you and trying to bring that experience to life in this weird environment. So I guess that that made us more creative. And usually for a process like this maybe a company will take like six months or one year, we did this very fast. So I guess that creativity is not about having a concept that breaks the internet all the time, creativity is making decisions that have a result, within some parameters. For example, you can solve an equation and it has one solution, but if you have different approaches to that, then you might have different solutions for the same thing, right? I guess we wanted to have the best solution within that amount of time with the people that we had working, right? So I guess that that was to me creative at its core.

Carlota Pico 9:53
Very interesting. So speaking of inhibition, social media influencer, Paul Gillen says the following: “Transparency may be the most disruptive and far reaching innovation to come out of social media.” As someone who breathes and lives social media every day, what are your thoughts on that, Caridad?

Caridad Gonzalez 10:18
Well, wow, yeah, I think that it’s important basically. I really, really agree with that. And I have to say that…no…it’s not happening to me that often. But when I say I wasn’t social media, everybody thinks I’m the devil. Because there’s some kind of, you know, bad reputation around social media, that, for example, my SEO colleagues or data managers don’t get because social media has this weird view about yeah, its memes and it’s like people doing videos and this and that, but I guess that there’s more to that. And we’re seeing that if you’re a company and you are doing things in your own way, somebody is going to let you know, and somebody is going to do that 24/7, any day, and you’re going to get it and you’re gonna, you will need to react. So the more transparent you are, what you do on social media and what you do as a company, the better. So I guess that you would lie to a customer, because of you know, whatever. So you don’t have to do that when you are on social media. And I had some cases about companies that were very afraid of being there because they wanted the positive things, but they didn’t want the negative ones, right. And I always said, Look, this is an opportunity to improve your business, because people are telling you that they don’t like this and this and this can be improved. Maybe you didn’t have that before when you were just running a TV commercial. Now embrace the opportunity, embrace your negative things and try to improve them because the same user that is criticizing you one day probably is going to praise you the other one. So I guess that we need to leave on transparency when we are doing social media as much as we can.

Carlota Pico 11:59
You I completely agree with what you just said. Because I mean, when we’re client facing, it’s not in best practices to lie to a client in their face, right? So why would we do that when we’re hiding behind the screen? At the—we’re always talking to humans. So regardless of if we’re in front of a human, or if we’re talking to them through a screen, we should always be honest and transparent in everything that we do.

Caridad Gonzalez 12:29
Yeah, exactly, exactly. I agree completely with that.

Carlota Pico 12:34
And it’s also an opportunity, like you said, for companies to learn, to learn about themselves to learn about how their products are being used by their customers, and how their services are being…are evaluated by their customers as well. And it’s an opportunity to do better. It’s always an opportunity to do better. In my former life. I used to be an entrepreneur, and when I was developing the product that I later launched one of the key things that I looked at was surveys, I was conducting surveys left and right to see how my potential customers we’re going to use my product. Social media is exactly that—it gives companies and brands the opportunity to listen to their potential customers or listen to their actual customers and do better.

Caridad Gonzalez 13:19
Exactly, yeah, I couldn’t, I couldn’t agree more. And it’s not like you’re going to have a focus group that you have to run which is quite pricey. In a sense, you can do it every day. But you need to have the people the right people dedicated to that, to be there to have like a good strategy to get some insights to put them in motion. I guess that it takes a little work. It isn’t only memes and videos as a lot of people think, yeah.

Carlota Pico 13:49
It requires a lot of empathy as well. A lot of empathy in the sense of understanding your customers and the way that they want to be understood and not in the way that you think think that they are going to consume your content and the way that you think they are going to want to listen to you. So I think that requires a lot of empathy. Okay, moving into my next question Caridad: Which social media campaigns have you admired lately and why?

Caridad Gonzalez 14:21
Well, yeah, I have—there’s many. I have three, that I really, really like. There are very different. I think that the first one would be anything that Oatly does, you know Oatly? It’s an oat milk company, they are from Sweden, or Norway? I don’t remember right now. And, you know, what I found out…they were they were communicating the product, which is like this amazing oat milk that they have. And they were very witty. They were very bold, and they said things that I’ve always had in my mind when it comes to you know—I’ve been vegetarian for a long time now, it’s been like almost 10 years. And I guess that when I saw their social camaign, it just connected like this, because they have this claim that it’s something like “The milk that is made for humans.” Because like ordinary milk is not for humans any longer after you’re not a baby, you know, you you just develop and you don’t need milk. So they had something that really connected with me and they were talking about animal rights in a way that wasn’t like too political, but that resonated. They have very, very—they have amazing copywriting. I don’t know, their ads are amazing. And I think that they launched this campaign in 2019. And I think that this is one of the you know, the few times when I scroll on Facebook or Instagram and I was just literally clapping like “Yeah, finally, [they] have put those words that I’ve had in my mind for so long!” and many people have had in their minds for so long and you know, you’re just making a beautiful campaign that that really has a message about something as simple as you know—could be something… it could be, you know, like vegetarian vegetarian milk, if I can say milk, because, you know, it’s not like that, but I really liked it. And I think for the second I would choose what National Geographic does. I guess anything that they do on social media or anywhere is is amazing. I’m a really nature lover in a sense, and I think that besides that, they have run this, Your Shot, a group community of, you know, photographers, and they choose features from all these people that are posting things, and they curate them and basically, like, you know, I think that they do 12th like a month or a year I don’t remember, but I guess it’s like, we have many different views about the reality, right? And if somebody takes a picture, this is what basically Instagram does in a sense gathering all those, you know, artistic or not artistic expressions of people. But this is related to nature and what is happening at the moment. So I guess that I find it very inspiring to have the point of view of both seeing reality in a different way than mine. And that’s really, really interesting.

Carlota Pico 17:31
Okay, speaking of messaging, let’s zoom into Wall Street English and your current role. There’s a lot of noise out there on social media as well apart from great campaigns. There’s also a lot of just blah, blah, blah. So what are some tactics that you use in your everyday job to attract the right type of attention to your brands?

Caridad Gonzalez 17:54
Yeah, definitely. And now more than ever, because as I said, we have moved into the online scenario, there are many, many players. And it’s very easy to say “Learn English now!” or “Speak English with confidence!” but how many of those companies have been in the market for 50 years as we have been? And how many of these companies have like a proven method, and they can say that they have taught English to more than 3 million people all over the world, right? from Korea, to Chile, to France. I guess that that is the core of everything we do. And I was just going to say our best offer is not a discount, it’s just that legacy that history and that we have a methadology that really, really works. And I guess that making somebody learn English and make that person progress and make the person you know, get a promotion or change their job that they have, and go for something better. I guess that having these people doing that everyday with us, is the best tactic that we have, because we rely a lot on word of mouth referrals. People that say, look, I joined Wall Street English like a year ago and I couldn’t speak a word and now I can have a conversation. That is basically what is speaking. And it’s like, a bit different from others because we’ve been there for a long time now. And there are other competitors that have a different price, they have a different system. But I guess that you know, we don’t need discounts when we know that what we do make this for for our students, so I guess that when it comes to specific tactics, I guess that we try to do very much… very data oriented marketing, now more than ever that we are shifting to digital. Being realistic—every country is very different, and they have people in there …have their own ways of talking, speaking, approaching—It’s not the same in Korea that it is Italy and trying to be smart, like, you know, what can we do in a month to have more sales or try to get our students to buy another level and things like that. So we are basically very hands-on marketing. And as I said, transparency and honest. If I had to run a social app, I would just say, and you know, our brand positioning our benefits, our USB. We don’t need really anything else than that.

Carlota Pico 20:34
Okay, excellent. What tools do you use to monitor your channels?

Caridad Gonzalez 20:41
Well, one of the main tools that we use is because we have this system in place for most territories is HubSpot. I don’t know if you heard of this marketing CRM system, and we we use… we use HubSpot across many territories at the moment and I really like it for two reasons. One is because it’s very good for paid social. When you run a campaign, you can track what happens from the very beginning of the ad until, what does it mean in terms of contracts or conversions. And you can see like the whole funnel, you have the whole funnel view, optimizer conveys accordingly. And then it has like a very, very interesting social media feature to post your content. And you can schedule the content and you can see all the metrics that are like conversion related in the same place. You can have your monitoring tool, which is going to monitor activities, more specifically on Twitter, but you can you can monitor your competitors what they’re doing in social media. And then you can just have everything in one place. I mean, in the past, I was very familiar and I was using things like HootSuite or Socialbakers or Digimind or websites. Now I am very lucky because I can do most of the things that these tools were doing in the same place. So very recommended.

Carlota Pico 22:16
Okay, excellent. Thank you, Caridad. Well, we are coming towards the end of the interview, I do want to finish up with a project that you’ve led or a campaign that you’ve led that you’re particularly proud of… its purpose and what made it so special? And this will be the last question before before we move into our rapid-fire set of questions.

Caridad Gonzalez 22:39
Okay, well, that’s a very… could be a very extensive question. I guess that one of the campaigns I’m most proud about, you know, being collaborating there was a campaign from some years ago when I used for Kellogg’s, Kellogg’s Special K. And they started a campaign called “Chime for Change”. And besides the ordinary campaigns about cereals, they did this. And they were just gathering like more than 23 nonprofit organizations, and they were trying to have influencers and celebrities, but also people, normal people, say to collaborate to empower women in different countries. So they had, like, I think like 18 countries and they were doing different things with different local projects, trying to help them, you know, the UK were homeless women and then improve, for example, working things like trying to help with women with their studies and stuff. So I really liked being the representation of that in Spain, not as a celebrity but just working in the background and trying to distribute this amazing campaign that., you know, I think that now these campaigns are like, more common, because we’re more… we have more of a mindse you know when we think about social stuff globally. But I really liked the fact that many people were working towards the same kind of goal from a global perspective but then putting things into action locally. So I really liked being a part of that. And there are many others… I would just be—I could be there you know, talking for years and years, but I guess that if I had to stay with one I will just mention this “Chime for Change” from Special K.

Carlota Pico 24:32
Okay, well, I love Special K—it’s my cereal of choice. So thank you for zooming into that campaign.

Caridad Gonzalez 24:38
It will be interesting to know that I was involved in the project of you know, bringing Kellogg’s Special K into social media. Which is opening the community, I guess, in 2011. And, you know, I was part of that from the beginning and I’m very proud of what we did in those three years that we were, that I was involved in the project.

Carlota Pico 25:01
Well congratulations on that accomplishment, Caridad. Okay moving into our set of rapid-fire questions Who is your source of inspiration so an influencer or professional role model that you really admire?

Caridad Gonzalez 25:14
Well, I mean, I would like to yea, mention somebody that I met very recently in an event that is called MeltinLab which I attended as a speaker. And his name is Jake Stainer and he is basically dedicated to to growth, marketing, both marketing and SAS. But I attended, I’ve attended a couple of events where he was there and he was very, very inspiring. He has an interesting way of thinking. I would recommend that anybody that is interested in marketing should take a look at what he does on LinkedIn, he’s always doing like video conferences and events and talking to interesting people and, you know, I guess that having like a technical point of view of the world is interesting if you’re working in marketing, so I would just say that now he’s the person that I follow the most. I’m very excited when he says, “I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that! Yeah. I’m always I’m always taking a look.

Carlota Pico 26:18
Okay, excellent Caridad. Thank you. And the last question of today’s interview will be what’s your favorite app at the moment?

Caridad Gonzalez 26:27
Well, I’ve got two apps at the moment. One is an app that is called Insight Timer and it’s a meditation app. I know there is like, yeah, now everybody wants to meditate… there is a lot of stuff around that but I will recommend this because it has saved my life literally, especially during these three—I don’t even know how many months, whatever these months from the past one when we have the COVID come in. And you can find anything that you need to soothe yourself, to put your to sleep, to relax, to, you know, and it’s always very nice to have that kind of support. And then I would say that I like an application—an app—that is called Yuka, which is an app that you take with you to the supermarket and you scan the products. And that app tells you how healthy they are. They have like many chemicals, or they have like ingredients that are good for your health health, then you will know. I have to say that when I use the app, I tend to buy less stuff. Or I tend to buy things that are better. Because I really trust the approach of this independent team that is behind this Yuka app. It’s very interesting to know what is it that we’re buying. It is interesting, so I really like this app.

Carlota Pico 27:45
Okay, excellent. So it allows you to save money and at the same time, feed yourself with healthy food. Awesome.

Caridad Gonzalez 27:52
Yeah! Exactly. Yeah.

Carlota Pico 27:53
It’s like a super one!

Caridad Gonzalez 27:55

Carlota Pico 27:57
Okay, Caridad, that those were great insights. Thank you so much for joining us on The Content Mix. It was awesome to meet you and to pick your brain on so many different subjects.

Caridad Gonzalez 28:05
Thank you so much. I had a great time with you. It’s been you know, these minutes just gone. I guess that it’s great to have these conversations and if you ever want to know anything about me, just let me know, I’m here.

Carlota Pico 28:23
Thank you. Thank you very much, Caridad. And to everybody listening in today, thank you for joining us on The Content Mix. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out The Content Mix. We’ll be releasing interviews just like this one every week. So keep on tuning in. Thanks again. Have a fabulous day and see you next time. Bye!

Caridad Gonzalez 28:46

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