The story of Sonia Rosua-Clyne is an example of how social media really can connect the world. She has lived in five countries and visited about 30 others. But no matter where Sonia’s journeys have taken her, one thing always remained firmly in place – her online presence.
“Every time you uproot and move somewhere new, social media is key for keeping in touch with the people who you have left behind,” she said.
So, it makes perfect sense that she would translate her passion for social media into a business career. As the Global Advocacy & Influencer Manager at software company Sage, Sonia connects 13,000 employees stretched across 23 countries and empowers them to share the organization’s great work with the Sage Voices platform.
“Whenever I said I was going to work in advocacy, people thought I was going to work in the law department, which is quite funny,” said Sonia, who is based in Manchester, England. “But this is such a great way to integrate my social media knowledge with my love for speaking with employees. I’m one of those people who when they get up on Monday morning say, ‘Yay, it’s time to work!’ Most people aren’t as bad as me, but we all do spend a lot of time working, and I love channeling their passion into social media.”
Sonia, who has a gift for words, clearly is fluent in social media. Her program received the Best Communication Evolution honors at the inaugural ECE Awards by Dynamic Signal in October of 2018.
“She is so committed to the success of her program and is always willing to share what she’s learned,” said Katie Rubak, Associate Product Marketing Manager at Dynamic Signal. “She’s eager to help out other members of our DySi Elite community of communicators. She has been such a great partner to so many people because she has a wealth of knowledge, which is still rare in such a young space.”
A natural communicator, she speaks four languages (English, Spanish, German and Catalan) and is learning Italian. She also knows how to read Russian and even taught herself to read Hebrew as a teenager.
That ability runs in the family. Sonia’s mother is a translator who speaks eight languages and moved from England to Spain, where she met her father. (“He doesn’t speak a word of English,” she added, laughing.) They settled on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca, where Sonia was born. At age 17, she was off to Madrid for college and never looked back – although she still has never seen beaches in her travels that are as beautiful as where she grew up.
After earning degrees in journalism and mass communication, she lived and worked in Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and finally London where, in 2014, she joined Hotel.com and would be promoted to Social Media Manager. From there it was on to Sage to oversee global advocacy.
“As with everything in my life, I kind of stumbled into it,” Sonia said. “But I think people underestimate the power of employees as influencers. I wanted to move away from the approach where you post items to sell products to an environment where you make it easier to sell what employees are passionate about – what makes them get up for every morning.”
With Sage Voices, she oversees about 20 managers around the world and supervises 60 content feeds in categories such as UX, design and legal. Employees can access approved content both from Sage and information curated from third parties, and then share it with their personal social media networks.
The platform does more than just harness their enthusiasm. It brings together a global workforce and creates a real community.
“When people comment on a post about someone, it establishes a relationship, even if one person is based in Dubai and the other person is based in Frankfurt,” Sonia explained. “They never would have gotten to know each other without that connection. We’ve had loads of feedback about how this is a great way to get to know our fellow colleagues and learn what other departments do. Good things happen at work when relationships are built.”
The company becomes a little smaller place. The world does, too. And that, she added, is the magic of social media.
Global Advocacy & Influencer Manager at software company Sage where she oversees the Sage Voices platform
Honors: Best Communication Evolution at first-annual ECE Awards by Dynamic Signal
Home: Manchester, England
Education: Bachelor’s degree in communication and master’s degree in mass communication and journalism at Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Career: Prior to Sage, her extensive experience included Global Social Media Manager at Hotels.com
Interests: “If you want to sum me up, it’s cats, travel, food, and the gym.”
Favorite Book: “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell
Favorite Movie: “Bridget Jones’s Diary”
Favorite TV Show: “This Is Us” and “Black-ish”
Best Advice She Received: As a gate agent at the Madrid airport at age 18, she boarded nearly 500 angry passengers who had endured a 10-hour delay by herself. A runway worker saw she was stressed. “He said, ‘Don’t get too worked up about it – nobody is going to die if they are a few hours late.’ The concept of putting things into perspective and taking a step back to separate the important from the urgent is something that I still use.”
Fun Fact: Her cat Felicia has an Instagram page with nearly 2,700 followers
Follow: @soniarosuaclyne on Twitter
Five Questions with Sonia
How does Employee Advocacy help a brand?
“There is a huge saturation in marketing. Every company is saying that they’re the best in something and that you should buy from them. But when it comes from a person who is an actual employee, that trust in the person carries over to the company.”
What advice do you have for starting a program?
“Start small. Start with a pilot group of people who already are digital natives. Build out the tool with them. There’s nothing more frustrating than rolling out a program to 15,000 people and then getting all of the feedback about the things that aren’t working, things they don’t want to see, or things they would prefer to see. Start with a solid group and then scale up slowly.”
How do you build and maintain momentum?
“We make sure that we’re as local as possible with our content. Gamification also works really well. For some people, especially on the sales team, there doesn’t even have to be a prize. Just seeing themselves on the top at the end of the week makes them happy. Education is another piece. Some people are quite scared of going out there and saying, ‘I work for Sage’ because their social media feed is going to be inherently intermingled with their personal opinions, political views, etc. It’s important to educate them on how those two aspects of a person can coexist on social media.”
Why partner with Dynamic Signal?
“Dynamic Signal helps me with best practices from other companies. They’re facing the same struggles that we are, and it’s always great to hear what they’re doing to remedy it. Dynamic Signal also helps me with the day-to-day management and to delve even deeper into the great metrics that are provided on the platform.”
What would life be like without Dynamic Signal?
“Life without Dynamic Signal at Sage wouldn’t be what it is now. People just go in for five minutes every day. They can see what going on in South Africa, what’s going on in Australia, what’s going on in Spain. So, it really aids people in terms of knowing what’s happening throughout the company, and I don’t think we would have that if it were not for Dynamic Signal.”