What's Her Story? | Crocs Social Media Specialist Toria Roth

If you’re like me, you probably walk around campus and read about alumni and see amazing women doing amazing things and wonder, “What’s her story?” So, I decided to find out. Introducing “What’s Her Story,” an ongoing series profiling amazing women doing amazing things.  

Here’s the story of a woman who went from intern to hanging with Post Malone and Luke Combs. Meet Toria Roth, the CU grad whose social media voice and collaboration ideas helped fuel Crocs' resurgence.

Her Campus CU Boulder: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your time at CU Boulder.

Toria Roth: I grew up in Charlotte, NC and moved out to Boulder, CO for school in 2013. My major was International Affairs, and I joined the business minor during my sophomore year of college. While studying, I was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and also worked a number of jobs outside of school. I began my career in social media in my junior year at an outsourced I.T. company, helping grow their social presence and awareness through various platforms. We had a total of 300 Facebook followers when I started, so it was a challenge learning how to create content and grow that following through engaging copy and creative, especially in the I.T. space. During my senior year, I got what I considered a big break working with TedxMileHigh, helping run their social media and promote their events and ticket sales. I graduated from CU in 2017 and have been with Crocs for the past two and a half years. 

Photo: Toria Roth​

HCCU: What at CU helped to get you to where you are now?

TR: The business minor was tremendously helpful. Leeds had just started the minor my freshman year of college, so I was one of the first classes to participate. It really was my marketing class in that minor that sparked my interest. I had Professor Lichtenstein, who still teaches, and he was incredibly passionate about multicultural marketing and incorporated elements of psychology into business practices.  It was then that I began thinking marketing was something I could do, and the minor gave me that opportunity to explore an additional avenue. The minor taught me a basic understanding of business and gave me the ability to search for internships within the field. Leeds created many opportunities for me to become involved and kickstart my career in order to get ahead of the curve when graduating.

HCCU: What does a social media role do?

TR: I think it’s a common misunderstanding that as someone in a social media role, you’re just posting to Instagram and Facebook. You actually wear a lot of different hats and large portions of my role deal with influencer contracts, “dark” or sponsored advertisements, and crunching the data on what is working on which platforms. I often say that my role is about marrying creative content with strategies backed by data and getting that right is not always easy. Social insights that I often help provide are able to drive brand partnerships and product design. Our collaborations with Post Malone and Luke Combs came from those insights, and I expect there to be many more as my role allows me to analyze who is interacting with our brand and how their followers engage with the brand. Social listening is becoming increasingly important!  

Photo: Toria Roth

HCCU: You’ve grown both followers and engagement for a global brand at 24 years old. Tell us about those successes, brag a little!

TR: I took a risk in pitching a new tone of voice and personalizing the brand in order to speak to the right audience on the right platforms, altering the polished tone and creating more of a current voice. After implementing that idea, we’ve seen triple-digit growth in our primary KPIs, or key performance indicators, year over year. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to increase engagements by 10% and we’ve actually seen a 260% increase on Instagram from the previous year. We’ve also added 300,000 Instagram followers since last October and doubled our entire audience within a year. With more followers comes more reach and increased impressions! It’s exciting that social is becoming a bigger part of the company as a whole. When people are thinking “how do we market this?,” there often tends to be a focus on our social efforts. It’s a good feeling when you hear leadership emphasize our digital AND social strategy each year. 

HCCU: Favorite Croc style? Best classic clog color?

TR: I have four different pairs of white clogs that vary in range from scuffed (I wear them everywhere!) to perfectly clean. I also love my Post Malone pairs. 

HCCU: Best moment on the job?

TR: It’s still that moment when the first Post Malone Drop sold out in eight minutes. It took a lot to get there, so seeing a project be deemed successful within eight minutes and everyone knowing your name was attached to it was definitely a surreal feeling. 

Photo: Toria Roth

HCCU: The coolest part about Crocs?

TR: I joined the company when they had just started what is now the 3-year old “Come As You Are” (CAYA) campaign. The CAYA message, which encourages people to embrace their individuality and celebrate who they are,  is something I can get behind personally. At the end of the day, I sell shoes, but I love being able to bring soul into the company and spread positive messaging through a brand voice that I helped create and empower our fans be themselves.

HCCU: Fully loaded Jibbitz or just a few?

TR: Fully loaded! Some of my friends still hate on Crocs, but my British friend recently came out to visit, and when I was wearing fully loaded Classics, she ended up calling them “posh.” I sent her home with a pair in hopes of making the U.K. a tier-one market. She wears them all the time!

Business Wire

HCCU: What are your favorite social media accounts that you use for inspo?

TR: I love Chipotle and their constant creativity. I also love Glossier, the skin-care/makeup brand who has been the only company to convince me to online shop from Instagram in my personal life. 

HCCU: Biggest influence? 

TR: My mom! She has always worked incredibly hard, and she constantly encouraged me to perform at my best and to not cut corners. She also told me that you won’t get anything you don’t ask for, so it’s helped me use my voice and speak up when I believe in a project. 

HCCU: How do you keep learning in your role?

TR: Watching and learning from others and how they present themselves. I love learning from people around me and riffing off of their strengths, especially where I have weaknesses. 

@crocs​

HCCU: You were just featured in PR Week. What was that all about?

TR: Crocs saw instant success on TikTok with over 100,000 new followers on the platform in a week and 158,000 within the month. We launched a hashtag challenge campaign, #ThousandDollarCrocs, that received over 1.7 billion views! A lot of strategy and planning went into opening a new line of communication with Gen Z, the group that will be the largest purchasing power within the next two years. Having a presence on TikTok gives our brand an upper hand when gleaning social insights from that demographic. To see my name in PR Week was unexpected and above and beyond. My LinkedIn views have hit an all-time high!

Photo: Crocs' Tik Tok

HCCU: How do you come up with comment responses for Instagram?

TR: I talk to our fans like I would talk to friends, it gives it more of a personal touch. I don’t really believe in planned responses. The internet will always throw something random at you, so you have to be prepared to think on your feet and give someone a different response even if you’re answering the same question over and over again.

HCCU: Go-to emoji?

TR: I love the green heart and the crocodile emoji.

HCCU: What’s it like collaborating with celebrities and influencers on a daily basis?

TR: It’s pretty apparent when someone is looking to partner with our brand for the right reasons. Influencers are always talking about authenticity, but you can really tell when someone has brand love and decides to partner because they love the product rather than just the money. When celebrities really own it and embody it and are excited, it gets the entire organization hyped up about our brand momentum, and our fans’ reactions mimic that energy. 

HCCU: You’ve met Post Malone and Luke Combs. What was that like?

TR: Working for a company that allows me the opportunity to see a project end-to-end is incredible. I can help take an idea from inception to execution while actually getting the chance to work with someone like Post Malone or Luke Combs and bring the project to life. I got a few selfies along the way!

Photo: Toria Roth​

HCCU: Strap front or strap back?

TR: Straps front - always leisure or chill mode. 

HCCU: You said you read Her Campus in college, too! What advice can you give to young women out of college?

TR: Stay hungry. Know your skillset and leverage that in areas that you’re excited and passionate about. Know that success doesn’t come right away. I was rejected from probably 40+ job applications my senior year of college and was on the job hunting grind for way longer than I wanted. Eventually, it worked out, those rejects helped me find the right place for me. 

HCCU: What’s next for you?

TR: TikTok and Post Malone were huge milestones for me, so it’s finding that next project that I’m really passionate about and can attach my ideas to. It’s not always easy finding those opportunities, but I’m looking! I’m lucky to have found a career path that genuinely interests me right out of college and a strong support system that helps me navigate and grow in a corporate setting. Crocs invests in me as much as I invest in them, so it’s a mixture of finding a company that gives back to you as well as a job that you are able to pour yourself and your ideas into. 

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HCCU: What’s next for Crocs?

TR: I’m always forward-looking for myself and the company. Crocs moving from 37th to 13th in 2018 then to 7th in 2019 as the most popular footwear brand amongst teens has been huge. I’d like to see that number get closer and closer to number one, so my goal is to have Crocs in the top five next year.  

 

Do you know an amazing woman with a story that readers would love? Reach out via Linkedin or Instagram!