"Find your own fellows and never stop." How Yandex Cloud builds a professional community in Kazakhstan
When Yandex's cloud platform for businesses entered the Kazakhstani market, the team's objective was to create an active professional community for exchanging experiences and insights about the market, broadening horizons, and establishing new collaborations. In addition to the official Yandex Cloud pages and communities, it was decided to develop employees' personal profiles to establish a direct dialogue with the audience.
We wanted to bring the IT community together in one place so that we could discuss what we do in Kazakhstan, meet at events and industry conferences, and share important real-life stories. Communication through personal profiles helps to build trust with our audience. When you know someone personally or virtually, you tend to read their content more attentively. We had already seen great success with social selling from Yandex Cloud's co-founder and COO, Oleg Koverznev, so we decided to focus on personal branding.
Director of Marketing at Yandex Cloud in Kazakhstan
You can read about how an honest and self-deprecating personal brand on LinkedIn helped Oleg Koverznev find like-minded people from different countries in the case study "Openness and Co-creation: How a Top Manager Maintains a Personal Social Media Account."
To achieve this goal, the Yandex team turned to the ModumUp Social Selling agency

"Find your own fellows and never stop"

Yandex Cloud's entry into the Kazakhstani market was met with little awareness of its product. In response, the team devised a marketing plan to promote their service through professional events and announcements. The ModumUp agency was brought on board to help develop a Social Selling strategy for LinkedIn, including positioning, a content plan, and target audience growth.
I remember our first meeting with Zhannar. It was such an easy feeling, as if I had met my perfect match. We didn't know how our project would be received in the new market yet, but it was clear that we needed to convey this lightness, humor, and sincerity online
Project manager at ModumUp
Zhannar's personal brand on LinkedIn is an authentic representation of her personality, which makes it easy for her to connect with the target audience both online and offline. Her genuine sincerity, friendliness, and approachability resonate with the audience, leading to positive responses to personal messages and event invitations. Prospective clients willingly share their contact information and show interest in Yandex Cloud's services.

While lead generation wasn't the primary goal during the initial months, the project still managed to yield 4-5 monthly conversions with partners and clients.
In the Kazakhstani LinkedIn community, the audience is friendly and active. The connection rate in the project (the percentage of approved connection requests) was above 30% from the very beginning, and at the time of writing this article, it has reached 74.66%. This is a high indicator that speaks to the great trust in Zhannar's profile. In 9 months of work, we have gathered a database of over 5,000 representatives of the target audience, including CXOs, DevOps Engineers, Data Analysts, System Administrators, Software Developers, and other IT specialists
Project manager at ModumUp

The Pirate Ship Captain

One person can have different roles in life, such as being an entrepreneur, athlete, nature explorer, and so on. Social media is no exception. Firstly, the more interests a person has, the more potential intersections they can have with their target audience. Secondly, such a multifaceted image looks the most natural and appealing. For example, Zhannar is a marketing director at work and a mother of two very independent boys at home. Or, as she puts it, a pirate ship captain.

Children and everything related to their upbringing and development make up a big part of Zhannar's life, and she feels comfortable and natural sharing this on her page.
I always thought that LinkedIn was only for professional content, but people love personal stories, and it turns out that I get even more engagement and interactions from personal posts. This was one of my discoveries during the project
Director of Marketing at Yandex Cloud in Kazakhstan
Even the bravest, most open, and active people have fears that prevent them from taking a leap or a step toward their goals. In such situations, initiative and team support are crucial. For example, Zhannar found it difficult to share video content. The agency team carefully but persistently convinced her to try recording videos. She agreed, and it resulted in a series of mini-podcasts.
It's always a little surprising to me when strangers come to me at events just to say they read my posts and watch my videos. It's also nice when colleagues say that they read my LinkedIn as well
Director of Marketing at Yandex Cloud in Kazakhstan

The results

Over the 9 months of the project, we collected a database of more than 5,000 audience members, including CXOs, DevOps engineers, data analysts, system administrators, software developers, and other IT specialists. Out of them, 271 people showed interest in Yandex Cloud services, and 58 of them were converted into leads. The response rate, which is the percentage of people who responded to the first message, is above 40% which is a high result.
LinkedIn is a Social Selling tool that helps us achieve a number of marketing goals, including informing people about our services, gathering registrations for events, and building our employer brand. When we evaluate the cost of promotion channels and their effectiveness, we can see that Social Selling on LinkedIn has proven to be very effective. My next step is to encourage my colleagues to sign up so that they can also start building their personal brands on social media
Director of Marketing at Yandex Cloud in Kazakhstan
The project's geographic reach is constantly expanding, and we have recently extended our audience targeting to Uzbekistan. Other CIS countries are next on the list.
We recently discussed with the team why we have such high results. We realized that it's due to Zhannar's personality and content. We were fortunate to have Zhannar, who is super open and mega professional. The audience finds it easy and enjoyable to communicate with her. She always responds quickly, is deeply immersed in the project, unafraid to experiment, and values initiative.

Having worked on more than 30 projects in our agency, I can say with certainty that success depends on how well you synchronize with the client. I remember when we first met virtually, Zhannar said, "If you're ever in Almaty, come over for tea." Now, we plan to de-virtualize and meet the entire project team in person.
Project Director at ModumUp
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