Digital Marketing

Find Your Engagement Sweet Spot with Marathon Petroleum’s Brandon Daniels

Brandon Daniels is the communications manager at Marathon Petroleum Corporation, and is in charge of the corporate social media accounts for Marathon Petroleum. Today’s post is a transcript where Mark Traphagen and I interview him to learn the inner workings of Marathon’s social media strategy, so we can all learn from his experience there.
Eric: Could you provide us with some background on Marathon Petroleum?
Brandon: Marathon Petroleum Corporation has been around for over 125 years. We originally started out as the Ohio Oil Company, and that was a coalition of a few oil producers in the Ohio/Midwest region. From there, over time, through name changes, acquisitions, and joint ventures, we eventually became what we are today.
Marathon Petroleum used to be part of Marathon Oil up until 2011, which was a fully integrated oil producer, refiner, and marketer. In 2011, all downstream part of the business spun off and became a completely independent company. So Marathon Petroleum now is everything from refining down through marketing, down to the consumer.
We have a few subsidiaries of ours, one of which is Speedway LLC, and that’s the largest company-owned convenience store chain in America. They have 2,760 Speedway locations in 22 states. We also market through a network of 5,550 independently-owned and -operated Marathon brand locations in 19 states.
Our corporate headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, and we have seven refineries. We also own, operate, or have ownership interest in over 8,000 miles of pipeline across the United States.
In total, we have about 1.7 million barrels per calendar day of refining capacity. That’s about 10 percent of the United States oil refining capacity.
Eric: That’s quite significant. The Marathon brand retail outlets, these are essentially gas stations, is that what we’re talking about?
Brandon: Yes, those are gas stations.
Eric: And then the Speedway convenience stores are the convenience stores at the gas stations?
Brandon: Speedway convenience stores are all corporately owned and exist separately from the Marathon-brand locations, which I said earlier are all independently owned and operated.
Eric: What then is the role of social media at your company?
Brandon: That’s a great question. From the corporate side, we just launched our social media campaigns in January of this year. Previously, we launched a Speedway social media presence. We started out with Facebook, and then expanded into the other social networks from there. Speedway has their own social media team, and we have a separate team for corporate.
We have a social media steering committee to advise our social media activities and address questions or concerns as they come up. Speedway has been running pretty independently with their social media for a couple of years. And that’s been going really well because they have a very strong consumer brand and there’s a lot of opportunity for consumer engagement.
On Marathon Petroleum’s corporate side, it’s a bigger challenge because we don’t really have a consumer-facing brand. Our audience is really targeted to potential investors, to people who live in and around our locations, and community officials. We spend a lot of time really identifying who are the people that would be most interested in learning more about Marathon Petroleum, and who would benefit from seeing some of our positive stories.
We have a very strong safety and environmental focus, and we truly love the communities where we operate. We’re very strongly focused on supporting our communities through monetary support, but also in giving of time to volunteer efforts. We’ve taken the approach with our social networks to really communicate a lot of these activities. We’d like to help people better understand where we operate and what things we enjoy doing for the communities that have been so good to us.
We wouldn’t operate where we do if it wasn’t for the support of the communities. So this is our way of sharing those stories and showcasing a different, more honest, look at Marathon Petroleum. From an outsider’s perspective, before social media, I think you could look at a big company like MPC and just see a corporation. But social media has allowed us to pull back that corporate veil and reveal the network of people who love what they do here. It’s really been able to help us personalize MPC.
Eric: Can you give an example of some of those things that you do in the community?
Brandon: Yes, definitely. There are many examples, but let’s look at a few stories we most recently shared. Our biorefining division in Cincinnati, Ohio, identified a local school district that was suffering from financial needs. They were receiving state assistance, which might cover food, but it wasn’t covering the extras like toothpaste, toilet paper, or cleaning products. So our employees did a big collection drive where they were able to collect and distribute more than $3,000 in these items to the students and their families of this local school.
We also posted a story a couple of days ago about the job shadow programs we have. We invited high schoolers who were interested in engineering, to come to our refinery in Robinson, Illinois. They were able to job shadow chemical engineers, electrical engineers, and mechanical engineers. This allowed them to see a day in the life of an engineer, what they do and what their responsibilities are.
Marathon employees are active in their local communities
Eric: Are these programs funded by the company?
Brandon: Yes. Our individual locations have budgets they can allocate to community support. But our employees contribute a lot too – they’ve donated personally to support these efforts. United Way has been a great program for us to support because it’s got an impact on so many different charities and nonprofits in these areas. We’re a big supporter of United Way in all of our locations. But a lot of times our employees are seeing needs really beyond that, or are touched by the work of another non-profit, which they can recommend to their management or their coworkers. And it’s not hard to get the rest of our employees on board with these initiatives.
Mark: How do you reach the right people with your social media audience?
Brandon: We’re still figuring that out. One thing we identified very early on is that in a lot of ways, our employees are our best ambassadors. So we did big internal communications on, saying, “Here are our social networks. We encourage you to share these posts on your own network.” As a result, we’ll post messages on our channels, and then our employees are really helpful in spreading them that much further through their own networks. So when we look at engagement and we look at our engagement stats in shares and likes, we’re seeing a lot of employee impact in that.
Activating your employee base can extend your reach
That’s the magic of social media, even if you don’t directly follow a company, you might follow somebody else who follows that company. So whenever we put a post out there, we’re seeing a lot of new likes, a lot of new follows and retweets. I would credit this new exposure to our retweets and our shares on Facebook and Twitter.
Eric: Do you have any specific programs or guidelines for your employees to follow when it comes to social media? Is there anything done intentionally to encourage employees to share your content?
Brandon: Yes. We’re developing something right now, so nothing is rigidly structured at this point. Getting a flow of information from what our field offices is becoming a greater challenge for me as I work on our editorial and content calendar. I’m in the process of identifying certain members of our field offices who can help keep me supplied with what’s going on in their area.
Our social media strategy was to start out with a corporate presence, something that ties all of our operating groups together. As interest grows, or as it makes sense, we always have the option to spin off, having a separate social network for something a little more regionally located. If we were getting a lot of engagement around our refinery in Robinson, Illinois, that might make sense to spin off and have a separate social network just for them.
That’s based on need, but for now, we’re in the process of outlining what we’re expecting our employees to do.
Social media has been, I think, in a lot of corporations, this gray area of, “Well, if they’re doing something on social media for the benefit of their company outside of work, how do we define that? Is that something that they’re choosing to do on their own or are they doing that for the benefit of the company?” We’re getting those types of things figured out. Until that’s really ironed out, I don’t think we’ll push anything out too rigid.
One of the objectives that we have with social media is looking at engagement – what gets people excited and what encourages them to share on their own personal networks? It’s been a lot of trial and error to figure out what’s the most effective approach. We’ve been going through this process of engaging employees, and we put out these community stories, which we know they get shared. But one of the things that have worked well is posting about job opportunities.
As you can imagine in a very technical industry like ours, sometimes we have positions open that require a very specific set of skills. We’ve got an amazing recruiting team that does a great job of going out to find qualified candidates. But, like I said, our employees are our best ambassadors. When I’ve posted on social media, “If you know someone who has an interest in security or if you know someone who’s got a graphics or photography background, please send this post along to them or let them know we’ve got a position open.” Because our employees love working here, they try to get their friends and family on board at Marathon, too.
I think our employees love spreading the love in that way. Because they enjoy their experience at Marathon, they’re all the more willing to help us out in that effort to get more people on board.
Eric: You really are a start-up at this point, right?
Brandon: In terms of social media we are. We’re just on month seven.
Eric: When I look in the Twitter and Facebook stream I see that the first trickle started in November, but it picked up steam as you get into this year.
Brandon: Yes. We started off a little quiet right at first just to get our boots on the ground and see what growth we had. We didn’t do an official push until mid-January, so we consider that to be our official launch. We are learning as we go.
An example of the types of things I’ve been learning is how important the headline is in your stories. There were a couple of times where I’ve posted a story and then unpublished it from our blog; but put it back out there with a new headline, and I had a complete resurgence of popularity. And there’s one out there right now I titled, “3 wonderful ways TT&R made the world a better place.” That was a repost of a story I put out there a little while ago where the headline was, “TT&R won an internal award, the President’s Award, click here for details.” Just phrasing it in a way that focused more on a list and powerful keywords, really helped attract people to that article.
Article Titles Can Impact Engagement
That’s the type of thing I’m thinking through. I don’t want to fall into the category of being “click bait,” as in I don’t want to put something out there and not deliver on the promise. I want our headline to pique people’s interest as they read through the clutter of Twitter or Facebook. Optimizing the headline is a way to help the post stand out from the crowd.
Eric: That’s the process of recognizing what the real story is, right?
Brandon: Yes, right. That’s exactly it.
Eric: Which isn’t always that easy to do. It sounds easy.
Brandon: Yes, it does. I certainly don’t want to oversimplify the process that goes into changing just the headline. Because, it’s really zoning in on what is the message and why would people care; “Why do they want to read it?” In some cases we’ve gone back over our articles that are written and we think, “Is this put into a context that’s interesting to the outside world? Is there something we can do to tweak it here and there?” I’m a big, big supporter of the thesis statement.
If you don’t have a solid thesis statement, no one is going to know why they’re even reading your article in the first place. Whether you’re developing a BuzzFeed type “listicle” or you’re writing a how-to article, if you don’t have a thesis statement firmly grounded or firmly expressed, no one is going to be interested or they’re going to lose focus halfway through. Having a thesis statement shows that you know what you’re there to talk about and you know if you’re delivering on that. That’s one thing we’ve really been pushing. I push a thesis statement in real life, too. If I’m not living my life to a thesis statement, how do I know if I’m successful?
Eric: Were you at the company prior to November?
Brandon: I’ve been with the company since I was an intern back in 2006, and I joined the company full-time in 2007. I began my career in our graphic services department as a video producer. I was doing corporate safety and training videos, and I started dabbling a little bit more in writing and communication plans around some of the projects I was working on. In 2012 I joined our public affairs department as a communications manager. So I was in charge of developing the social media plan, and I was here for the launch.
Eric: What was the process by which the company came to decide to pursue social media? So you talk about the social media plan, was there a small group of passionate people who pushed the idea and then eventually got the ear of management and sold it? Or how did all that unfold?
Brandon: It was over the course of a couple years. The initial approval to have social media wasn’t hard. Speedway was the first driver when they launched their social media presence. They were the ones that went through the greatest scrutiny in getting their social media approved. It wasn’t because our management was against social media; I think the question more came down to, “Well, are we hurting because we don’t have social media?”
Once you start looking out there, there are conversations and people are talking about our brand already. If we don’t have a presence out there, we’re missing out on those opportunities to either really celebrate the positive things people are saying about us or help address some of the more negative things people are saying. It was a great customer service opportunity for us. We also have our “Speedy Rewards” loyalty program and are able to share promotions and sales. Being able to promote that and offer opportunities to get more Speedy points, that was really a no-brainer.
From a corporate standpoint, that took a little bit more time to work through. The discussion kept going back to, “Are we really hurting ourselves to not have a social media presence?” We’re a very old company, and we have some very traditional values. Stepping into social media was just a change.
A lot of my initial conversations were going over some legal concerns. We also developed a crisis plan if something were to happen negatively on social media, getting that outlined and making sure we were comfortable with that. I mentioned legal review. We have some legal partners internally that helped us think through photo release forms, if we’re going to feature people or community members on social media.
Make sure you have a social media crisis plan!
We were developing best practices and setting up a process where we can streamline approvals. If we want to put something out on social media, how do we streamline approvals so that management is comfortable with the stories we’re putting out there? The last couple of years were always spent getting that strategy and approval in place to make that happen.
Eric: Speedway led the way for you then, and made it easier. It looks like they began in the April 2014 timeframe. They’ve been at it for more than a year.
Brandon: I think they might have been at it longer than that. It might have been 2013 when they really got into it.
They paved a lot of ground for my corporate presence. It’s because they are a really great team, a very knowledgeable team; they’re creative, and they love what they do. I think that comes through in the social posts that they put out there. They’re having fun, and I think their followers really tap into that.
Eric: It’s interesting to me the commitment you have in social media. Just why did a petroleum company with all these old traditional values decide to do this? How did you get people on board to do this stuff?
Brandon: I’ve noticed that for people who are reluctant or maybe nervous about social media, they’re typically the people who have never used social media or have a very vague concept of what social media is. Ultimately, it became more about expressing the opportunities that we’re not tapping into yet.
We never wanted to launch social media as a metaphorical billboard. This wasn’t just another opportunity for us to remind people that we exist. This is an engagement opportunity for us. When I started showing management some of the conversations that were happening about our brand already, on Twitter especially, it became easier. People had really good questions about our company, about our brand. There were people posting out there about they’d love to work at Marathon but weren’t sure what’s a good fit for them. There were people that were talking about how they went to a Marathon gas station and the clerk was super friendly and they loved their experience.
People were talking about us already. Those people who were reluctant could see that the opportunities were there already. That’s the big benefit of social media. I’ve seen some companies who have launched a social presence just to say they have one and they don’t focus on engagement. If you’re looking to gain followers to get that brand recognition going on social media, it’s not about just posting out coupons or posting out sales, it’s about engagement. Companies who do it right are the ones that are listening to social media and really looking for those opportunities.
It’s not just answering your direct message inbox, it’s doing a really deep listen into social media and looking for a need you can address. For example, if someone is looking for a place to get gas, and you see that in your media monitoring, that’s the opportunity for you to jump in there and say, “Hey, have you considered going to your local Marathon station? Here’s our station finder, or here’s GasBuddy, where you can find the best price in your area.” That’s an opportunity that we would have never had before social media.
It’s really given all of our customers a voice, it’s given all of our community a voice, and it’s given us a great opportunity to listen. When I’ve talked to other companies who don’t have social media, I really try to instill that in them that it’s giving you a way to engage with people that was never before possible. We can share our messages, but we’re also able to understand a little bit more about what people think about us, what are our opportunities for improvement, and what are ways to really celebrate things we’re doing well.
Eric: Did you have any concerns about people saying bad things about you as a result of putting content on social media?
Brandon: That’s a legitimate concern, and we’ve heard people say that, too. That, “Are we throwing ourselves to the lions? We know how negative the Internet can be and is it even worth the risk?” I think if you’ve got a company that has a really good story to tell, like Marathon Petroleum does, and if you’ve got a business where people honestly love what they do for a living, I think it’s hard to come up with negative things to say in response to these stories. We get our fair share of negative comments, which are legitimate and deserve to be heard.
There have been a couple of times people have posted something negative on social media that revealed to us an opportunity to change our process or a structure internally.
Eric: That’s the constructive side of things, right? And that’s where you have an opportunity to go back and say, “Thank you so much, we’ve addressed this,” etc., and now it’s like you’re taking the conversation a different place.
Brandon: Right, it became something really positive. I make sure to let people know that these things would not have happened if it wasn’t for that negative comment. This fear of negative comments or negative posts, at a certain point, is a little unfounded because this type of feedback really can lead to some positive results. You’re not going to please everybody on social media. But to be there and listen to them, you can respond. Sometimes our positive response has a greater impact to our followers than the original negative post.
I think we have a really good story to tell. If your social presence is an accurate reflection of who you are as a company and culture, I think the conversations tend to stay really positive.
Eric: How many people are involved on your team?
Brandon: Right now it’s just me. I’ve got a couple other communication managers in my department and they can fill in and develop content or articles, but I’m the one that’s really managing social media right now.
Eric: So you’re busy!
Brandon: To say the least, yes. And I would love if social media would take a break at 5:00, but it’s a 24/7 thing. It’s neat to have technology at my fingertips that I can respond and stay engaged, even after hours. It’s been essential to be immediate if someone mentions us or if someone has questions.
Mark: Are there any particular tools that you’ve found helpful in monitoring your social media, keeping track of it, keeping up with it, getting things scheduled and posted, that you like to use?
Brandon: I can’t offer an endorsement for any particular tool Ñ there are many options out there. Hootsuite is the one that I use right now. I know there are other competitors out there that offer very similar functionality. What I found was that originally I could do pretty decent searches right through Twitter itself, which worked really well. But Facebook was harder for me. I just couldn’t do keyword searches very effectively. That’s what made me go search for a tool.
I enjoy Hootsuite, I like their model, and that’s what I use. But I’m always on the hunt for new tools and new things that are out there. Hootsuite gives me the opportunity to set up keyword searches, it gives me alerts if someone actually specifically mentions our Twitter handle or our name. I don’t do a lot of scheduling of posts; we pretty much put it together and publish it right then. Now once we get a little more active as our accounts grow, we may change that approach. For now, we’re publishing posts as they come up.
I’ve talked to other people who manage social media, and as anyone who steps into Twitter for the first time can realize, it’s easy to get swept up in just the excitement and the immediacy of social media. That’s still true for someone who manages a corporate account. This is a perfect avenue for someone who loves talking to people, because your whole experience on social media is as if you were stepping into a really crowded party where everyone is shouting over top of each other.
Success comes from exercising all of the same social skills you would use in a crowded room. It’s about finding the right people to talk to, how to carry on an interesting conversation, or having funny stories to tell. There are people who are very gifted at that naturally. I’m not saying that’s me, but people who are in social media professionally tend to be very social people in real life, too.
Eric: What metrics do you share with management? How do you get measured?
Brandon: It is very hard to monetize social media or gauge your success. I report our likes and follows and engagement and reach. I’m giving them all that data, and I’m trending that. But for me, I’m also taking a tone of voice measurement.
I’m reporting: “This is the number (it’s a very rough number), and percentage of people who mentioned us or talked about us.” Then I divide that up, “Here’s positive, neutral, and negative posts.” As we’ve been going, I really have noticed posts swing to the positive side.
Measuring Sentiment Analysis
It was probably 50-50 for positive and negative posts about us when we started. Once we entered social media space, it’s trended much more positive. That’s a powerful story to tell management, that we’re improving the way the public are thinking about us. I could attribute that to a lot of different reasons, but I’d say above all it’s because they know we’re listening, and they know that we care about what they have to say.
Eric: So sentiment analysis, how interesting. And are you doing that manually?
Brandon: I am. I’ve had a few social media companies tell me that they can do that for me, and I’m sure they would do an excellent job. But I think sometimes you just know, you can just tell if it’s a negative post or if it’s just a neutral question or a positive one. I’m keeping track of that as I go and just doing little tally marks just so I can get a basic idea of the trends.
Eric: Are you doing that monitoring primarily on Facebook and Twitter?
Brandon: It’s all of them. We have a really big LinkedIn presence; right now that’s our most popular network. So I’m looking at Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn primarily.
Eric: I don’t think I’ve really heard of anyone using a sentiment analysis, which is a very good way to do it, by the way. But I haven’t heard anyone doing that yet as a measurement of their performance. But I could see how for Marathon Petroleum that would actually be the thing that would be considered one of the primary metrics.
Mark: I would say that might be the biggest positive of all.
Brandon: Yes. We have a public company and our operations are very obvious to people driving by on the street. Our social networks weren’t really as concerned with making sure people were aware of us as much as managing reputation.
Mark: Due to environmental concerns and things of that nature, it can be a controversial industry, correct?
Brandon: Yes, and those concerns are legitimate, which is why we need to be out in that space and showing them our outstanding environmental and safety records. People aren’t going to know those things unless we tell them. That’s been an amazing opportunity for us in social media. I understand that this type of measurement doesn’t necessarily translate to a start-up company who’s trying to publicize their account because they’re not worried as much about reputation as just getting people to talk about them in the first place. But for a really established company, one that’s as old as ours and in an industry that’s highly regulated, it’s been a great opportunity for us.
Eric: How do you operate on LinkedIn? Are you active in groups?
Brandon: I haven’t really had luck getting plugged into LinkedIn groups, and that’s probably just me being naive about the whole process. But we do have a LinkedIn company page. Part of the reason we dove so heavily into LinkedIn, it started with analytics on our corporate website. So we have a corporate website, MarathonPetroleum.com, and we looked at the visitor pattern for traffic on the site.
We discovered that a majority of folks visiting our website were interested in learning more about careers and investor relations.
When you think about this fact that our biggest audience are people looking for jobs and people interested in investing in our company, there’s a social network that’s pretty much focused on those two categories, and that’s LinkedIn. When we opened up our company page and launched that, it grew really, really quickly. And if you look at our follower count with Facebook and Twitter, we’re still making our way up to 2,000, but in LinkedIn we’re over 23,000.
The best social network for you may not be the biggest
Eric: 23,196! That did grow very quickly.
Brandon: Our recruiting team is very active in LinkedIn and uses it to start conversations with qualified candidates. I use the company page for updates, just to keep it refreshed with some new opportunities at MPC. Also, I’ll also post the same types of stories I’ll post on Facebook and Twitter. It’s so interesting to see how stories posted on the company page have a much longer life cycle.
What I’ve noticed is if I put a story on Facebook, it will generate activity for a good three or four days. If I put something on Twitter, it will be dead by the end of the day, most of the time sooner. But if I put something on LinkedIn, I’ll still get notices that people have looked at it, shared it, posted it, up to a month later and sometimes longer! I think it’s because of the way people engage in LinkedIn – they go to your company page to apply for jobs or to look at openings. They’re on your page already, so they look through the recent updates and they rediscover some old stories. So it’s a neat opportunity to get some longevity out of these posts we’re sharing.
Eric: You also tried some experiments with Snapchat. How have those gone for you?
Brandon: I am glad you asked! I do a lot of work with high school students and am an adjunct professor at the University of Findlay. I’ve found that many younger people are abandoning Facebook and Twitter in favor of the more fringe social media channels like Tumblr and Snapchat.
We had our first real experience with Snapchat a few weeks ago. We sponsored an LPGA tournament in Toledo, Ohio, and I figured this would serve as a great test. I put out a few promotions on our other social channels. Within a few hours of that initial post, we had over 100 new friends. We kept getting more and more followers throughout the weekend. During the tournament, I used Snapchat to build what they call a “my story,” which is a collection of stills and video clips that expire after 24 hours. As the person who posts the story, I am able to track the number of people who watch each clip and who takes screenshots.
In total, nearly 96 percent of my followers on Snapchat watched the story I posted. This is an amazing result, especially when you consider viewers have to physically tap the screen to watch the content. Unlike the passive audience scrolling through a Facebook or Twitter feed, the Snapchat audience physically engages in your content to even see it in the first place.
We are still developing our plans to further use Snapchat, but our initial tests have been very encouraging. We’ve been able to use it to learn more about our customers – for example, I sent out a request to have followers snap back pictures of their environment getting responses back from about 70 percent of my followers. I’m excited to use this channel as a more direct way to reach a younger demographic and share a more personal, informal look at MPC.
Eric: The success you have had on LinkedIn, and your Snapchat experiment make a great point; the social network that’s going to be the best for you might not be the one you initially think of.
Brandon: I think people tend to start with Facebook because it’s user-friendly, it’s very approachable, and it feels safer because people aren’t really anonymous. When you start stepping into Twitter, you run the risk of it being a little more negative. It’s a lot harder to manage and stay relevant on Twitter. So that’s usually the progression, “Facebook, and then Twitter, and then they’ll look at other networks like Instagram and Google+.” LinkedIn gets ignored but there’s a very engaged community out on LinkedIn.
Eric: It points out that there are all different uses for social media in business and people sometimes don’t think that way. It’s very interesting that you thought that way very intentionally. You looked at what people wanted to do on your site, and one of the heavy uses was looking for a career, looking for investment opportunities, and that’s a natural fit to the LinkedIn audience.
Brandon: Yes, we launched our LinkedIn company page probably a good year before we got everything on Facebook and Twitter lined up. So I’ve had some conversations with other social media managers, and that’s the type of thing I tell them. Think of what your objectives are and find the network that matches that.
I’m sure you’re seeing this in your research – social media is changing. The younger demographics coming up through high school and college right now, they’re not jumping onto Facebook really at all. They might have a profile set up, but it’s a couple years old and they don’t look at it. Even Twitter is becoming a less popular. That’s natural. Kids want to feel like they’re forging their own path, and they don’t want to join the same thing that their parents and grandparents are on. It makes perfect sense.
If you’re really looking to reach out to younger people, you have to go where they are. Right now Snapchat is probably the most popular young-person social media that’s out there. That’s a hard one to develop a social media strategy around. Can you imagine? But the opportunities are there. I’ve seen some companies have great success with sharing coupons through Snapchat, broadcasting funny little stories almost like a video blog. If that’s where young people are engaged the most, then you should be there with them.
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About Brandon Daniels

Photo of Brandon Daniels
Brandon Daniels is the communications manager at Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC). He has a passion for developing communication campaigns and is experienced at creating multimedia strategies for internal and external engagement. Brandon specializes in marketing partnerships, emerging technologies, and opportunities in social media. His hobbies include teaching, writing, and public speaking.
Brandon began his career as a video producer and editor at Ardent Productions and as a field producer for the Grand Rapids Community Media Center before joining MPC in 2006 as an Advanced Media Specialist. Brandon also currently serves as the marketing chair for the Hancock County Performing Arts Center and is the president of the Hancock Youth Leadership board of directors.
Brandon is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Film and Video Production and a minor in Advertising and Public Relations and of Full Sail University with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Multimedia Communication. He currently resides in Findlay, Ohio, with his wife Sonja.

About the Author

Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO.

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