Here is a transcript generated by of The Content Mix podcast interview with Leandro Sánchez de Medina, global social media manager ACCIONA on the importance of creative social media:

Shaheen Samavati 0:14
Hi everyone, I’m Shaheen from The Content Mix and I’m excited to be here with Leandro Sánchez de Medina, a journalist turned global social media manager based in Madrid. And he’s currently working for renewable energy company ACCIONA, thanks so much for joining us.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 0:27
Thank you for having me.

Shaheen Samavati 0:29
So for those who don’t know, can you tell us a bit about what ACCIONA actually does? I actually live in Spain, so I’ve definitely heard of the company, but behind the scenes. Can you tell us about it?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 0:41
Yeah, it’s a renewable energy and infrastructure company that is currently focused on tackling climate change in Spain, but in other countries around the world. So they are basically creating awareness about the necessity of tackling global warming and they provide solutions to beat them, to beat it.

Shaheen Samavati 1:02
Awesome. And so how long have you been working there?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 1:05
Five years now. Five years, yeah.

Shaheen Samavati 1:08
Cool. So, and your background is actually in journalism, right? So how did you end up going from journalism? What were you doing before and how did you end up in your current role?

Yeah, I was actually it was covering sports news in here in Spain. I love, you’re gonna listen, but especially in sports, right? Soccer, football—I love it. But I started to feel interested in social media since social media channels were evolving very rapidly throughout the years. I really felt interested in, on it on social media. So I decided to change my career towards a more marketing career or social media or even brands. So I’m here…for five years.

I see, I mean, it’s a logical evolution right from I mean, media—

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 2:00
I think so.

Shaheen Samavati 2:00
—to social media, very related.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 2:01

Shaheen Samavati 2:02

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 2:03
Kind of and the industry has evolved dramatically in the last seven years and many journalists are required to fill positions in the marketing industry. And I think in my humble opinion that they are doing great and they are evolved grate into marketing positions.

Shaheen Samavati 2:24
Yeah. Because you mentioned that you didn’t have any previous experience in marketing only in journalism. But I think it seems that recruiters really value that journalism experience.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 2:32
Yeah, they, I think they value the way we can craft creative, more creative captions for posts or include different approaches to talk about the values of a brand, that I think that’s the main value that journalists have in the marketing industry, the way they can talk, possibly, not positively, but, they talk about the brand they work for.

Shaheen Samavati 3:03
We kind of have like a natural knack for putting things into, like relating with people, because that’s what our whole job was as a journalist.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 3:12
I totally agree.

Shaheen Samavati 3:13
Yeah. And I think sometimes for people who have a really analytical marketing background, that part is like the difficult part for them. And for people with a journalism background, that’s like the easy part. And the more analytical part is the difficult part. For me, at least I’m also journalism.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 3:27
Yeah, for me too. I honestly think that the most analytical part, you can learn it, the most creative part, I’m not sure of it, you can practice it, you should read aloud to really be more creative in, in crafting captions for your posts. But it’s more difficult to be creative than to be analytical when you are… I mean, when you’re in the marketing industry.

Shaheen Samavati 3:53
Yeah, that’s true. Those like softer skills take a lot of time to develop whereas the hard skills are something that’s more specific and learnable. So I mean, what has been like the—what’s been your challenge in adapting to this new kind of role? Were there things you had never done before that you had to figure out?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 4:10
Definitely, definitely the paid media strategy because I didn’t know anything about how to set up a paid media strategy to make the most of the organic post, we post, we publish. But with the years have been learning a lot about how to maximize results and how to decide what content is likely to be, to get better results when posted, when promoted. And that’s today that’s one of the things that I love the most when I’m my job. Like, deciding what content performs well in organic, in an organic way, and boost it for weeks. For example, one of the strategies we have in ACCIONA is that if a content is performing well organically, it has like over, for example, in Facebook has over 200 organic reactions, we decide to promote it for one week. If it performs well, we continue promoting it during two weeks, during three, during four, to maximize results, and that’s something that we try to do not only on Facebook, but also on LinkedIn or on Twitter and on Instagram and in our case, it works really, really well—so far.

Shaheen Samavati 5:30
Yeah, super interesting. So like, who are the kinds of people you’re trying to reach through social media?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 5:36
It depends on the plan for this. On Instagram, we have like a very, very young community that is very advocate for climate action, it’s very activist. So we switched the way we communicate towards a more activist way of doing it, with shorter captions, with more engaging videos etcetera. But, on LinkedIn, we are communicating towards directors, vice presidents…it’s a different audience. So we adapt, we tailor the message to a more business purpose way of captions, you know. So we talk about the contracts that the company has won recently on LinkedIn, but we don’t do that on Instagram. It always depends on the platform and the features that every platform has.

Shaheen Samavati 6:35
Yeah, I mean, I guess you’re dealing with like different stakeholders that are very specific and maybe in different parts of the world. And where do you guys operate, actually? I didn’t ask that.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 6:45
We we operate mainly in North America, Australia, Mexico, Chile, and also Ecuador, and Colombia, and obviously Spain. But it also depends on the sector. In the construction sector ACCIONA is growing in Europe to Norway, in the UK, too. But in renewable energy, they are developing projects in mainly Australia, the US, and Chile.

Shaheen Samavati 7:16
I see. So social media allows you to be really targeted in terms of like geography.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 7:21
Yeah, we have… I look after ACCIONA’s global channels, but I also coordinate my co-workers in the countries where we operate, to set up the local social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. So it’s a huge structure of people working in the marketing, in digital marketing in ACCIONA.

Shaheen Samavati 7:45
Yeah, I can imagine. Yeah, so one thing I was curious to ask you about, is about… you said social media monitoring is part of your role, right? And like what is… I know, I guess that’s something that larger companies do more than smaller ones. And from your position in a large corporation, maybe you can talk about what that actually means.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 8:05
Yeah, I weekly, every Monday I track the results that the organic posts have have achieved across all the channels we have. And I create a kind of list of engagement, or it depends on the KPI we are interested in, it depends on the the campaign we launched, but mostly engagement and interactions and click side, click to website and we create a list and we decide this post, it’s likely to perform well if we promote on LinkedIn, this post it has got over 1000 organic likes on Instagram, we should promote it. We should promote it at least for seven [days], for a week, and if it performs better, we could add more budget to it and maximize results, as I said before, so we weekly do that. We create reports, weekly reports to see what content performs better.

Shaheen Samavati 9:16
So, like for a lot of like b2c or even b2b brands, like they would be kind of measuring performance based on conversions, but in your case, like you’re dealing with like huge industrial projects, and that can take probably years to finalize. So how can you tell like if, like, you can tell that like a lot of people are engaging with it, but how do you know that it’s actually like having a positive impact for the business?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 9:40
That’s a good question because we are a b2b company, but our main goal or main KPIs to reach brand awareness….So how do you how do that? I know how to do that about the KPI we analyze and we see okay, we are succeeding in our purpose, it’s mainly engagement because we are creating engagement in a post, in certain post, we are increasing the reach. So, we are creating that brand awareness, but also bonds with the people that follow us we like, we like creating that loyalty, the brand loyalty. We have, we achieve that by getting comment, for example, in the posts, when we get positive comments, we will realize that we are creating that loyalty with the brand. So brand loyalty, brand awareness is the way we measure our success in a b2b company. We cannot measure our ROI in terms of: okay, I posted that post on Facebook, I’ve just have had a new project in South Africa. No that obviously doesn’t work that way, but…

Shaheen Samavati 11:01
Right, yeah, so it’s a long term strategy.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 11:04
It’s long term, definitely.

Shaheen Samavati 11:04
Yeah, makes a lot of sense. And I wanted to mention, I actually worked in the energy industry between like 2010 and 2014—on and off—but yeah, at that time, actually a lot of companies—I was really paying attention to the sector—and a lot of companies weren’t even on social media. So it seems like things have really changed. Yeah, I mean, in the case of ACCIONA, like how long have you even had a social media presence? And how important is it now, compared to before?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 11:33
We’ve been over eight years now I think or I’ve been five years. But they started—they opened social platforms way before I came, and they have been doing really, really great in terms of results. They have been always been in like the top three have between the competitors in Spain and it’s becoming hard, because many, many utilities in Spain are realizing how importan social media is for creating that bond with the customers, the providers, with this stakeholders around the world.

Shaheen Samavati 12:18
Absolutely. At least in my experience, there was definitely like some hesitation to to get involved in social media, because, yeah, you can’t really control like what people are saying about you. But at the same time, if you don’t have the platform, then they’re going to be saying it somewhere else, and you have even less control, right? So maybe you can tell us about like, what platforms are most important for you and kind of like what your approach has been or what kinds of content has worked best.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 12:45
Currently, we are very focused on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Obviously Facebook and Twitter are important, Facebook especially for for getting interactions is a really good platform. But to create meaningful ways of connections with our community, Instagram and LinkedIn are really the best platforms so far for us. And especially, it depends on the platform. On Instagram, for example, we usually create like very impactful pictures of our projects, especially people love wind turbines. People love how we… the process, the engineering process of a certain infrastructure, especially in time lapse videos, they don’t have to be very professional. They could be in like amateur style videos with less than one minute video on Instagram and they perform great because people love seeing how people—how things are done, and are made. So that kind of content performs really, really well on Instagram. On LinkedIn it’s more about, it’s more about talking that we have won in contracts in the US, for example, we have won recently a contract for building a wind farm in Australia. And people value that because they say, well, they are winning contracts. They’re strong, a good company to work for. So it depends always on the audience that every platform has.

Shaheen Samavati 14:31
Yeah. So it’s important to have like a dedicated strategy for each of your channels.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 14:34
Definitely. You can share the same content, for example, on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I don’t think that on Instagram, honestly. But you have to tailor it to every platform.

Shaheen Samavati 14:46
Okay, so the same base content, but like make it relatable or relevant for that particular audience.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 14:52

Shaheen Samavati 14:54
Let’s see. I was curious—have you been very impacted by this like pandemic situation we’re in right now?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 15:00
Definitely. We had to stop our paid posts for a while to decide what to do. I think many, many, many companies did that.

Shaheen Samavati 15:09

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 15:10
And then we turned the way we communicated…we use to communicate about how our infrastructure helps to make a better planet. Okay, that’s the claim. But then we turn to say, how are people are helping to slow down the effects of this pandemic in Spain? Especially bad in other countries because I think now also have workers that are frontline workers, especially in the health care system, or they in the transportation system, they were key in, in helping people to overcome this pandemic, especially in March and April, even may in Spain. So we turned the way we communicated. We said, we said thank you to all of them on social media and we weekly updated the situation of how we helped in delivering medicine to hospitals, etc. So ACCIONA not only works in the renewable energy sector and infrastructure, but also in delivering basic services such as electricity, water treatment, and helping like with the transportation of goods, food, etc.

Shaheen Samavati 16:32
So and like all of those things were disrupted or, yeah, impacted during this time, so…

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 16:37

Shaheen Samavati 16:39
So yeah, it makes a lot of sense. You had to be really…

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 16:41
It’s been, it’s been the greatest change I’ve been through in these five years in terms of communicating about our brand. And we are still communicating about it because of this pandemic is still hitting us not only in Spain, like neighboring countries, but we tried to get back to normal—there is no normal anymore—but normal in terms of talking about our projects, but always having in mind the people—having in mind that there is a person behind those projects that make them possible. So that’s possibly the biggest change we have had in years.

Shaheen Samavati 17:23
Absolutely, yeah. It’s super interesting to hear how you’re dealing with it. So well, I wanted to go to the recommendations part of the interview. It’s a strange transition. But yeah, I mean, one thing I always try to touch on in these conversations is just resources and recommendations for other marketers, so we can all learn from each other. So I wanted to ask you about well, first of all, you had told me earlier that you listen to podcasts. I was curious to hear what your podcasts recommendations are.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 17:56
Yeah, in the lockdown I started to listen to more podcasts than before. And there is a very, very good podcast called Social Media Examiner podcast. It’s the page. It’s a very famous page in the US, they have a huge community, not only in the US, but across the world. And they have a very useful podcast, in which mostly, I think weekly, they interview people that are experts in certain platforms. For example, how do you make the most of the organic posts on Facebook? How do you create engaging stories for b2c for a b2b company? Etc. So they talk about anything related to social media and it’s pretty useful. I think it’s useful for the beginners, for seniors, so I totally recommend it.

Shaheen Samavati 18:58
Awesome yeah, I’ll have to check it out and get some inspiration for this podcast. So cool. Yeah, I mean, I’m super interested to get to learn from others as well. So well any other podcasts or?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 19:12
It’s kind of similar, like the way the talk with an expert, or we’re talking about in general or my experience in general. But they… it’s kind of similar, the format.

Shaheen Samavati 19:24
It’s focusing like more on tactics probably, where…

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 19:27
Yeah probably or they focus on only one platform or tactic.

Shaheen Samavati 19:34
Yeah, that’s super cool. Yeah, I’m, of course trying to listen to more podcasts to learn more about podcasting, because you might not know this is a relatively new podcast, so we just started a month and a half ago, or two months. Yeah. But anyway, so well, okay, so do you recommend any apps—a favorite app at the moment?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 19:54
I’m starting to look for new apps to create compelling stories for Instagram and there is one that is called Mojo, like in Spanish is Mojo.

Shaheen Samavati 20:06
M-O-J-O? Yeah.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 20:08
Mojo, like emoji, but not emoji—mojo.

Shaheen Samavati 20:11

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 20:12
That allows you to create dynamic stories like video stories, and you could…pictures. And they appear in the stories. It’s pretty cool. And it looks very professional. Actually, we are using it on ACCIONA. So we are starting to use it because it’s free. Most of the of the images, you can see the templates, but it’s really professional. Definitely.

Shaheen Samavati 20:40
Yeah, very cool. There’s definitely like a lot of new apps coming in that space. Like of course, all social media managers know Canva, I think but like, and now Canva is like adding some features for these kinds of things. But yeah, new ones keep popping up. And it’s interesting to see like what new tools you can use for making, actually creating content.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 20:58
Yeah, Mojo is pretty cool. Yeah.

Shaheen Samavati 21:01
Awesome. And then, well any other resources that you recommend?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 21:05
For example, there are a couple of websites in Spanish, and And there is one in English that you already probably know that is WeAreSocialMedia, It’s like…like these kind of websites that help you be stay up to date on marketing trends. But apart from that, I really think that it’s useful not only to read about marketing, but to get into literature, to read about, to read like more. But one thing that I love is poetry, like writing and reading it. And I think it’s very useful for me to read poetry, to create new ways of creating captions for the post. I think when you read poetry, you think wider, you find new ways, new approaches to talk about certain topics. So I really recommend people—this must, this may sound weird—to read poetry, not not only marketing books or how to you make the most of your posts, etc. Read poetry, read novels, but especially like poetry books. Definitely!

Shaheen Samavati 22:26
Yeah, I mean to keep like creatively sharp, right?

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 22:29
Yeah, definitely.

Shaheen Samavati 22:32
And like actually think outside of the box and get like new ideas, not just like…

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 22:36
Totally, yeah!

Shaheen Samavati 22:38
Yeah, it’s a great tip. Well, so we’ve reached the end of our interview, and so thank you so much for joining us.

Leandro Sánchez de Medina Alba 22:44
Thank you for having me. It was a real pleasure.

Shaheen Samavati 22:48
Yeah, it was awesome talking to you about your experience. And I’d like to thank everybody for listening in. For more perspectives on the content marketing industry in Europe, check out and we’ll be releasing a lot more interviews like this one every weekday, so keep tuning in. See you next time. Bye-bye.

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