Tips on working as a social media manager: Maya Ninel Robert interview

social media manager

Maya Ninel Robert is the Social Producer for Mashable in the UK. Previously to this she worked for the publisher, Pan Macmillan. Here Norah Myers interviews Maya about her great job, and about working with social media.

1. Please take us through a ‘day in the life’ in your work as a social media manager.

In any one day, I’ll start by looking at what’s currently being shared and talked about on various social media platforms, looking out for trending conversations and comparing our content’s performance. A large bulk of my job is scheduling out our own content on our platforms, and seeing through a strategy that I have developed. I’m constantly on the look-out to identify gaps in the market, too, and relaying that back to my team. I work very analytically, so a lot of my day is spent testing content and reporting back useful data to my team or outlying a strategy I think would benefit our community.

2. What about being a social media manager appealed to you and is it what you thought it would be?

The life of a social media manager is really varied – I’ve been working in social media for around six years now and each job is different, which is part of what attracted me to the role initially. Social media marketing often bridges the gap between content and marketing, so you’ll probably be working on projects with people from around your company. It’s enlightening to see how everyone works, what their goals and objectives are and how everything ties together. You’re ultimately responsible for how millions of people view and interact with your company so it requires a lot of tenacity and imagination alongside rigorous attention to detail and I enjoy that challenge.

Social media is still developing so it’s a super exciting industry. Companies are increasingly realising that they need a social media presence so it’s definitely a growing industry. It’s far exceeding my expectations in terms of the hugely talented people I get to work with and creative input.

3. You recently moved from a publishing social media role to a news-based social media role. How are your publishing skills relevant to your new position?

Working for a book publishers was an incredible experience. The book publishing industry is embracing digital media with increasing strides so it’s a great time to be in the industry – chances are you’ll be working on big campaigns, alongside authors and with people who are passionate about books. There are a lot of transferrable skills, particularly in building new communities, influencer outreach, marketing through social media, and reporting results in a tangible way to a wide skill set – all of which are relevant for a news organisation too.

4. Recent research into social media management shows that it’s better to appeal to your existing audience with social media than to use it to actively find new clients. How do you work with this philosophy?

I think that social media is a great way to find your community, but also to expand it. That said, understanding and rewarding your core community is as important as growth, so it’s important to strike a balance. It’s also important to learn from your community and let that inform your content; it’s definitely a two way street and often enlightening.

5. How would you advise people who are currently seeking work in social media management?

Having your own blog and social media presence is definitely a major plus, but not the be all and end all. People can come from all walks of life: marketing, editorial, sales, customer services. The main thing I look out for is a genuine passion for the market. Social media is rapidly changing, so make sure you’re on top of new developments. If you’re currently working and want to move into a social media role, then it’s a good idea to spend some time with your social media manager and see how they work, how they pull reports, how they analyse data and how they grow communities strategically. My degree is in English literature, but I also did a copy-editing course to prove my credentials as an editor and interned in digital marketing for Vice magazine when I was starting out.

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