THE 14TH ANNUAL SHORTY AWARDS

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project NEW!

Linking Underrepresented Talent to Opportunity with #AskTheTrailblazer.

Entered in LinkedIn

Objective

#AskTheTrailblazer is an equality-first social series for those who are getting certified, landing their dream job in the Salesforce ecosystem, and sharing their experiences with other Trailblazers to follow. We specifically host and amplify our underrepresented (URM) Trailblazers which include our Black, Latinx, and Indigenous community.

Each episode answers 1 question submitted on social using the hashtag #AskTheTrailblazer.

When professionals ask on social, " What resources do I need to study to become admin certified?" We use our network of Salesforce-certified URM professionals, to answer the question, provide best practices for passing a Salesforce Certification exam, and share any advice for securing an in-demand job in tech.

We encourage our community to use the #AskTheTrailblazer hashtag on social to find episodes of the series on LinkedIn or get their certification and career questions answered. 
 

Strategy

It’s been an unprecedented few years. During a global pandemic, which has unduly affected people of color, inequalities and racial injustice have persisted, while we continue to center ourselves and advocate for reform.

We’ve also seen many Trailblazers transition from careers that no longer fulfill their needs. Better known as the Great Resignation, in the U.S., we saw 6.3 million job separations in November 2021, and 4 million of those people made the decision to leave their employer and pivot into a role more in line with their talents and passion.

Trailhead, Salesforce's learning platform, has been an essential resource for these Trailblazers as they learn new skills and find new ways to leverage their transferable expertise – but we've also noticed that there is an equality gap. The Black, Latinx, and Indigenous community represent approx. 11% of the Trailblazers in the Salesforce ecosystem in total. This raised the question, "How can we celebrate our leaders of the future, and pull more underrepresented talent into the ecosystem?"– And that's when this idea was birthed. 

During Black History Month of 2021, Trailhead Evangelist Jaylena Lomenech and I created a social series primarily focused on our LinkedIn audience called #AskTheTrailblazer. We hosted two interviews with two extraordinary Black Trailblazers who were certified and had both landed their #dreamjob a Salesforce Administrator and a Consultant. Their stories were POWERFUL and permeated throughout the community and began to inspire others to achieve their professional goals by diving deeper into Trailhead.

As the community responses grew, the #AskTheTrailblazer series did the same. The series evolved into one where Trailblazers can receive practical career advice from our Black, Latinx, and Indigenous Trailblazers. Our goal was to support opportunities that promote the representation of diverse talent right at the source - LinkedIn. We knew that Linkedin is the world's largest professional network and a direct line to recruiters looking for Salesforce certified talent. We also understood that the barrier to entry for minorities is high, with under 15% of the jobs in the US tech sector employed by Black, Latinx, and Indigenous professionals combined. 

According to a recent study by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers say a diverse workforce is an important factor in their job search. This made #AskTheTrailblazer a catalyst for a much-needed change on LinkedIn. This series offers our guests a chance to expand their professional network globally and give our Trailblazers a way to ask their Salesforce career and certification questions directly on LinkedIn tagged #AskTheTrailblazer. We focus on growing our career-seeking audience with practical certification tips and career advice. Topics include overcoming adversity, getting certified, landing a dream job, and where to begin on Trailhead.

Since 2021, we have continued to host more #AskTheTrailblazer interviews with an array of inspiring stories. Currently, we have recorded and produced over 25 episodes and activated over 1,000 #AskTheTrailblazer hashtags on social media. We have also been featured in the streaming broadcasts for events like Dreamforce, TrailblazerDX, and Salesforce's National Black Business Month Block Party. Five of our guests from these episodes have also been featured in the Salesforce+ series documentary Trailblazer.

In addition, we have incorporated Salesforce certification incentives in our program by offering vouchers to our viewers and guests seeking support with their certification journey. Over 50% of Trailblazers who used the vouchers became Salesforce certified.

We know the power of seeing what you can be, so it was very important to us to create something that will not only amplify the voices of our underrepresented community but also showcase their Salesforce expertise, expand their network, and establish a solid foundation for their success.

Our goal with this series is to continue to empower, support, and elevate underrepresented talent in the Salesforce Ecosystem – Building connections with individuals who are taking control of their careers in a very intentional way. We want to encourage more professionals to start or continue their journey in tech because representation matters. 
 

Results

#AskTheTrailblazer is responsible for driving over 15,000 module completions on Trailhead. It was also the 5th most engaging content on our platform this year. Additionally, it received over 3000 Trailblazer engagements & community responses.

This series has had a huge impact on our brand presence on Linkedin. Before we launched this video series, our average engagement was 1.92%. After a year of episodes, our engagement grew to 4.43% – resulting in 130% channel growth. We’ve also seen our following and reach grow as a result. Our LinkedIn audience grew by 58%.

It is also our #1 most watched video content across channels with 331,163 total organic impressions, 7,359 engagements, organic 67,942 views, and an average engagement rate of 2.22%. 

Most importantly, this series is impacting the community. Here’s what our guests and Trailblazers have to say: 
 

Media

Video for Linking Underrepresented Talent to Opportunity with #AskTheTrailblazer.

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Salesforce

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Entry Credits