Digital Mums: Strategic Social Media Management Course October 2016
I had a fabulous career in International Media for nearly 18 years; working with, and for Global Brands, International Media Channels (MTV and Nickelodeon), and Worldwide Media Agencies. My roles included planning, buying, strategy, client services, leadership etc, and I was lucky enough to travel all over the world. I was in my forties by the time my children arrived, and I wanted to focus on my time with them. Once they were both in school I met with with a Career Coach and decided that with Media as my foundation, I should look at bringing my knowledge up to date, and Social Media was seriously missing from my repertoire!
When the Digital Mums course popped up on my Facebook feed, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Once I’d had my interview with them, I knew that this was a great opportunity for me to learn new skills and kick start my brain cells. However I had been a stay at home mum for six years, and the whole prospect of returning to work was daunting.
I was matched with a business based in London; a husband and wife team, selling high quality, handmade and ethically sourced silver jewellery from artisans around the world. As with many small businesses, they simply had no time to maintain and engage with social media and therefore we agreed the campaign objective was to build Brand Awareness. The campaign I developed concentrated on Twitter and Instagram, however I’d only ever used Facebook, so everything was new and I had much to learn. After developing three detailed User Personas, the strategy was designed to grow and connect with followers to share passions, and also promote the quality and design of the jewellery. A competition ran as the hook of the campaign, inviting followers to win an Open Heart bangle.
The biggest challenge for me was working from home. I’d always been part of a busy environment and the technology had moved on so much, I felt like a bit of a dinosaur. Thankfully the tutorials were thorough and entertaining, and my Course Cohort were a lovely group of ladies and extremely supportive.
I enjoyed the strategy and planning phase of the campaign, but I found it really difficult as we moved into weeks 16 and 17 as this phase was about analytics and really needed 100% of my focus. As a lot of people on this course found, life gets in the way and with one of my kids sick and off school, I started falling behind and I had a huge wobble about my ability to complete the course. Digital Mums were fantastic and really coached me through this time, when I didn’t feel I could stay on top of the course assignments or the campaign I was running.
Towards the end of the course, when the advertising was running and the competition was in full swing, I started to feel much more confident about what I was doing. As Kathryn Tyler says at the start of the course you need to be social in social media — and the penny dropped for me when I was able to really start seeing the effect of building relationships with influencers. You start this process with a long list of people/businesses that you want to target, but as time goes by you work out who wants to chat, who appreciates your comments, and you focus your list down to those that are going to be your supporters and ambassadors.
I felt that Twitter and I got on really well! I enjoyed using the platform and seeing the effect the campaign had on the stats was really my greatest success. Being able to grow the social media impact for a business is really rewarding, especially in a short space of time. It was encouraging to see the affect that I had made over a six week campaign, and this gives me huge confidence that I’ve still got it!
I think Digital Mums offer women a really thorough introduction to Social Media, and once you have your platforms you get to cover all the angles in a lot of detail. So I would say to all of those thinking of signing up or those who are starting the journey; it’s going to be tough at times, trying to work through all the tutorials, complete the assignments, manage your client, run the campaign, remember how to use all the new tools and apps — but Digital Mums have got your back. I couldn’t have got through some of the weeks without my Cohort — we were all there for each other, and the support and encouragement was phenomenal.
So as the course comes to an end we’re all busy talking to businesses about taking us on, and I’m encouraged about how much work there is out there. To begin with I’m going to be working with a locally based business as they have work coming out of their ears which is great. I also have my own Styling business which needs my new social media skills. The future looks Social!