Kirsten Hamstra

Global Social Media Manager

At 29, Kirsten Hamstra became SAS’ global social media manager, a role with a big ask: construct the first company-wide social strategy rivaling agency budgets and corporate staffing of competitors like Oracle, IBM and SAP.

Hamstra scoped numerous projects with no budget and an overtaxed schedule. She audited hundreds of delinquent, off-brand accounts; identified social advocates across 14,000 employees in 55 country offices; and fought for budget to implement a SMMS to unite SAS’ disparate practitioners. And she did this alone. Then she proposed a corporate social team. Her case was so logical—supplemented by industry research—that it was approved with executive support.

Between facilitating a first-of-its-kind digital conference bringing employees together from around the world and an employee advocacy program training 3% of employees to-date, to introducing a social command center and Facebook Live experimentation, she has gotten people excited about social. Her hub-and-spoke model bloomed into 34 countries, supplying best practices and resources to reflect a consistent brand and regional flavor.

In the past year alone, engagements increased 52.5% and over 25% in three years. Social listening is now standard in PR and marketing planning. It was also the impetus for SAS’ Data4Good initiative, which Hamstra co-leads in partnership with DataKind.