Georgina Bojarski and Laura Hartley are Buddy Media Group’s Head of Paid Social and Head of Organic Social, respectively.
Here they talk about getting into social as a career stream and offer some top tips for those starting out in social on how to build an engaged audience.
How to get into social:
When I started working in social media, there was no scheduling, no real best practice – Instagram had only just launched and we used it to add filters to and then screenshot photos! Thankfully there’s a lot more skill and substance behind it all now and for creatives excited by behaviour, there’s never been a more exciting time to start in the industry.
Enthusiasm for social and content will open doors but it’s genuine curiosity and a love of upskilling which will give you success. Create accounts on as many platforms as possible and put time into seeing how they work, then search for free qualifications to support the technical theory (Meta Blueprint is a great start).
Some solid work experience is going to be key, not only to get hands on with platforms and content plans but also to decide what type of agency dynamic is right for you
How to build an engaged audience:
Every social media manager has a raft of cold, hard platform tactics to drive engagement (the likes of competitions, engagement ads, interactive stories to get thumbs tapping etc.) but underpinning everything must be genuine purpose and an understanding of what your intended audience actually wants to see.
You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard ‘I want to be Innocent / Aldi / Burger King’ from a client. The truth is those big, funny personas are embedded deeper than their social posts, while your communities are governed by the people who genuinely care about the brand.
Identify who they are, their affinities and create contextually relevant content for them. Authenticity is the ultimate engagement driver!
Social as a career:
It all started for me with thinking Facebook was the coolest thing since sliced bread, an internship and the incredibly nosey view on how on EARTH do they know I want this item of clothing. Social is an incredibly rewarding but crazy, competitive place. If you can switch your mind from one brand to the next, within seconds, agency social life may be for you.
Showcase your proactiveness, reach out to smaller agencies, show that you’ve started your Meta Blueprint & Google Certifications – it’ll put you one step ahead of all the other grads.
Another key tip from me is familiarise yourself with all social channels. It’s not all about Meta & TikTok, agencies are crying out for key knowledge in ‘less standard’ advertising channels like Discord & Twitch – find niches within social. Paid social is getting harder and harder to track, measure and get strong results, so it’s time to prove you can think outside the box.
Building an engaged audience:
Building an engaged audience from a paid perspective isn’t as simple as basic targeting. Firstly, we need some epic content, which luckily, we consistently get from the Organic team here at Buddy.
It’s also about being creative, not just with the content but the audiences we go after and how we grab their attention. Ensuring we’re being versatile with our copy and targeting has given us the constant ability to have some serious power over our Cost Per Results on a monthly basis.
For Paid, social listening is just an absolute key, we need to be able to understand not only sentiment, but what others are talking about and use those insights to help our strategy. With data and understanding, and some versatility, we can constantly drive ads to highly engaged, high intent audiences that are likely to move down the funnel.