About Mike

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Mike Hickinbotham is a virtual Head of Social Media that helps brands use social media to support business objectives without the burden of permanent full-time headcount or a new agency.

In order to create social media and content strategies, Mike uses data and consumer insights to define the target audience and refine creative.

Telstra Experience

In 2008, I became Telstra’s first employee designated to work in social media.  It was a great experience to ‘growth hack’ social media in one of Australia’s largest brands.  Telstra is Australia’s (market leading) incumbent telco.

Presenting the 'BigPond Twitter Customer Service' case study at ad;tech 2009. Photo credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhayes/
Presenting the ‘BigPond Twitter Customer Service’ case study at ad:tech 2009. Photo credits: Gary Hayes

As Telstra’s Social Media Senior Advisor, I helped lead the way in developing Telstra’s customer support in Twitter, drafting and rolling out Telstra’s 3Rs of social media engagement for employees, an internal idea generation site and Telstra’s Facebook page.  I also created the strategy and implemented the HTC Desire Social Review, which recruited 25 people to take part in a two-week review of the HTC Desire handset.  The review generated 19 million impressions on Twitter alone.

I then moved to Telstra’s Chief Marketing Office in the One to One Marketing team as the Head of New Media.

My focus was to develop content and digital distribution strategies using paid, owned and earned media to assist consumers along the path to conversion.

  • Developed an ‘inside-out’ product-focused content strategy that generated a positive attributed ROMI.
  • Managed Telstra’s YouTube Channel. Telstra is the first Australian telco to reach over 10 million YouTube views. This achievement was possible due to an FY year-on-year increase in views by 266%, subscribers by 429%, shares by 93% and likes by 78%.
  • Oversaw the social media marketing of the iPhone 4S and 5 launches. In total, we generated 1.569 million earned media impressions and reached 254,000 unique individuals. Each device launch generated greater social media activity than our competitors.

Westpac Experience

After Telstra, I then took on the role of Head of Social Media at the Westpac Group.  Working directly on the Westpac, St.George and Bank of South Australia brands, I was able to help build out a Social Media strategy and framework.  This work helped the respective marketing teams better appreciate how Social Media could support their business objectives.  While working at Westpac, I was recognised by businessgrow.com as one of the top 70 rising social media stars.

As the Head of Social Media, I helped move the channel from an emerging to a mainstream channel that could deliver business results. This included the ANZAC campaign was the most successful Westpac Facebook post in FY ’14. The post earned 6,978 likes and 431 shares. That’s 154% more likes and 136% more shares than the previous all-time best Westpac post (also from FY’14) in support of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation launch.

Media and Revenue Attribution – Facebook Trial:
Lead Westpac Group’s (Westpac & St.George) efforts to implement a media and revenue attribution trial. This included working with Datalicious as a participant (St.George) in the Financial Services media attribution study. Across fourteen paid and non-paid channels, Facebook ranked in the top three channels that were attributed revenue using the Datalicious weighted attribution methodology. The top three performing channels handled 65% of total revenue.

Implemented Facebook Advertising Framework:
Partnered with various external stakeholders to run a trial applying a Brand Response (BR) and Direct Response (DR) framework to impact positively Cost Per Landing (CPL) and brand consideration metrics. The trial results profiled how we could lower CPL by 40% against the average CPL. We also measured conversion lift that saw an increase of 250% against one of our core target demographic segments. Using AC Neilsen’s Brand Effects study, we generated a two-point lift in Message Association and a five-point lift in AdRecall.

Westpac and St.George Facebook App Download Trials:
Worked closely with the mobile team, MediaCom and Facebook to run an app download trial for the award-winning Westpac iPad app and the St.George iPhone app. During the four-week campaign, we were able to optimise the creative and targeting strategy to achieve a 200% reduction in the cost per acquisition.

Virtual Head of Social Media

In an effort to explore new opportunities and broaden my skillset, I began working as a freelance consultant in 2015.  I’ve worked with enterprise, start-up and agency clients.

My point of difference is using data analytics and customer insights to create strategy, define target audiences and refine creative.  I also produce content analysis reports and competitor intelligence reports. I can access Google Analytics and paid social media data to produce bespoke reports.

I also provide training and development for corporate clients seeking to improve their social media corporate governance.

Never stop learning

Between 2002 and 2004, I earned an MBA from the Macquarie GraduateSchool of Management and a Master of Professional Communication from the University of Western Sydney. I completed the Google AdWords Certification Program in November 2013 and the Google Analytics Academy – Digital Analytics Fundamentals in October 2013.

In 2011, I completed the Bruce Clay SEOToolSet five-day training course. Between 2009 and 2013, I was Chair of the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) expert group on social media.  The ADMA expert group handled educating members about social media and digital marketing in general.

In 2018, I began studying Data Analytics at Deakin University.

Get in touch

If you wish to have a chat about your social media marketing or public speaking needs, drop me a line using the contact form below.