Archive › February, 2012

The Community Manager of the Year is…

At Social Media Survival – How to make it in-house last week, the winner of the award we announced on Community Manager Appreciation Day was revealed.

Because we firmly believe that competitive advantage from a company’s use of social media can only be achieved when it is developed and managed in-house (and not outsourced), it follows that the calibre of the people an organisation dedicates to the task is critical.

So we set out to find the UK’s first Community Manager of the Year, and publicly acknowledge the work that in-house social media and community managers are doing to put a human face on their sometimes monolithic-looking corporations, using the power of digital and social media.

We received a slew of quality nominations which were whittled down to 11. The subsequent public vote attracted great enthusiasm and thousands of voters. Tweets were retweeted, communities were mobilised and votes were counted – and the winner of the coveted title of Sociagility Community Manager of 2011 (and an iPad 2) is…

Vincent Boon, giffgaff’s community manager

Perhaps appropriately, it was without doubt Vincent’s community that won him the title. Word soon got out on the giffgaff forums, and one member even created a banner to help spread the word!

The power of community in action, and a ringing endorsement for Vincent. Well done.

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Making in-house social media work

It can be lonely job, being an in-house social media manager… so when do the UK’s corporate social media practitioners ever get together? Cue a great interactive session at last night’s Sociagility Talent event with a capacity crowd for Social Media Survival – how to make it in-house.

The specialist audience of 70 + social media and social community managers who attended asked an excellent, informed range of questions and got smart but often varied answers from our panel – Boden’s Chloe Williams, Kiera Doherty from A+E Networks/BSkyB and Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Stuart Witts.

Each panel member had a very different story to tell in their opening statements, based on the very different types of brand they worked for – clothing, entertainment, and non-profit. But some common themes emerged. On a personal level this is still a variable role and often a multi-faceted one – but everyone sees themselves as an internal ambassador whose passion is a critical in their success.

All panel members stressed the importance of engaging internally with their organisation (Stuart does it by wandering around the Marie Curie offices in floral shirts!) in order to keep social media relevant for senior management and other colleagues. And all agreed the need for continual ‘proof’ that social media was contributing.

All in all, a great session which shows how the in-house social media role is growing. Could this event have filled a room a year ago? Possibly. Two years ago? Almost certainly not.

Many thanks to our panellists and all those who attended. Onward and outwards!

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Interview with Kiera Doherty, BSkyB

On Thursday 16 February, as part of Social Media Week London, we’ll be playing host to three in-house social media practitioners and an audience keen to hear them share their insight and experience into the unique challenges they face.

Over the last three days, we’ve been introducing you to each one. We’ve already interviewed Boden’s Chloë Williams and Marie Curie Cancer Care’s Stuart Witts. Last, but by no means least, here’s Kiera Doherty, digital marketing manager for BSkyB/A+E Networks.

1. How long have you been in your current role/company?
7(ish) years at A+E Networks UK, 3 years as Digital Marketing Manager.

2. What did you do before?
I was at university.

3. How did you get into this job?
My marketing degree included an internship – I was a Web Marketing Assistant for 12 months at A+E Networks UK where I worked across the website, PR and marketing teams. When I graduated I was lucky enough that they wanted me back!

4. Describe your role/responsibilities in one sentence
I manage a fantastic team of three and I’m responsible for all of the digital marketing activity across the business which includes social media, email, advertising and mobile.

5. Tell us three random tracks from your iPod/iPhone (other music players are available)
Watch the sun come up (Example), Roll away your stone (Mumford & Sons) and Failure’s not flattering (New Found Glory).

6. What do you do/where do you go to escape social media?
The gym – I’ve made a terrible error of judgement and signed up for a 10k (although, even when I’m there I’m still checking in on foursquare!)

7. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you most like to do?
Travel photographer – I went to the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition recently, it was fascinating how much work goes into each shot.

8. Where did you study?
UWE, Bristol.

9. Tell us one interesting thing no-one would know about you?
I learnt to knit using YouTube.

Catch Kiera at Social Media Survival – How to make it in-house at 01Zero-One on Thursday 16 February from 3.30–5.30pm.

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Interview with Stuart Witts, Marie Curie Cancer Care

On Thursday 16 February, as part of Social Media Week London, we’ll be playing host to three in-house social media practitioners and an audience keen to hear them share their insight and experience into the unique challenges they face.

Over the next three days, we’d like to introduce you to each one. Yesterday, we interviewed Boden’s Chloë Williams. Today it’s the turn of Stuart Witts, social media manager for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

1. How long have you been in your current role/company?
I joined Marie Curie just over two years ago, but I’ve officially been social media manager for just over one.

2. What did you do before?
I have been working in web for over 15 years as a designer/programmer and have previously been head of digital on the agency side.

3. How did you get into this job?
My first contact with this role was through Twitter.

4. Describe your role/responsibilities in one sentence
To support, entertain and inform. Or to put it more simply… to be a friend.

5. Tell us three random tracks from your iPod/iPhone (other music players are available)
Tornado (Jonsi), One day like this (Elbow) and Levels (AVICII).

6. What do you do/where do you go to escape social media?
I genuinely love social and don’t really feel the need to escape it. But if I did need a break, I would retreat to the the coast and watch the waves roll in or lose myself in music.

7. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you most like to do?
Run a toy shop on the Dorset coast.

8. Where did you study?
I didn’t study, I went to art college.

9. Tell us one interesting thing no-one would know about you?
When I was younger, I played the part of a juggling Yukka plant on Takeover TV.

Catch Stuart at Social Media Survival – How to make it in-house at 01Zero-One on Thursday 16 February from 3.30–5.30pm.

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Interview with Boden’s Chloë Williams

On Thursday 16 February, as part of Social Media Week London, we’ll be playing host to three in-house social media practitioners and an audience keen to hear them share their insight and experience into the unique challenges they face.

Over the next three days, we’d like to introduce you to each one. First up is Chloë Williams, social media manager at clothing company Boden.

1. How long have you been in your current role/company?
A year and seven months at Boden although solely as social media manager since December last year.

2. What did you do before?
My previous role at Boden encompassed both social media and online copywriting for email marketing and the Boden UK and US website.

3. How did you get into this job?
After studying Journalism at University I worked for a number of lifestyle websites from beauty to homeware and fashion. My roles varied between email copy and web copy all with a little social media thrown into the mix.

4. Describe your role/responsibilities in one sentence
Managing facebook apps, competitions, writing and sourcing the company blog, thinking of fun crowd drawing comments, aggregating material from around the business, persuading people to partake, steering fun stuff our of print and onto an interactive social forum – the list goes on.

5. Tell us three random tracks from your iPod/iPhone (other music players are available)
Somebody that I used to know (Gotye), Shake it out (Florence and the Machine) and Forgive me (City & Colour).

6. What do you do/where do you go to escape social media?
I just got back from a weekend in Copenhagen which was a nice escape. Plenty of wi-fi though so not sure I parted with my iPhone as much as I’d have liked.

7. If you weren’t doing this job, what would you most like to do?
Copywriting for an advertising agency or building my own yummy food empire.

8. Where did you study?
Bournemouth University

9. Tell us one interesting thing no-one would know about you?
I’m a close descendent from the famous British Architect Inigo Jones – who left his mark on London in places such as Banqueting House, Whitehall and in area design for Covent Garden square.

Catch Chloë at Social Media Survival – How to make it in-house at 01Zero-One on Thursday 16 February from 3.30–5.30pm.

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Our new venture to provide in-house social media talent

Our whole business rationale is based on the belief that in-house capability is crucial to brands’ social media success. So we are delighted to have teamed up with  CloudNine Social Media & Digital Talent (a firm we’ve already been working closely with) to create Sociagility Talent, a recruitment service devoted to providing in-house social media talent.

This is a highly specialised area. Companies need the right people to fit existing roles but also future needs. The key to getting it right is a deep understanding of in-house requirements plus specialist recruitment experience in the digital and social media field.

The venture brings together our (ahem) social media consultancy experience and CloudNine’s expertise as a leading recruiter of social media and digital talent. The  combo will cater for the increased demand for high calibre in-house social media and digital specialists, to meet changing marketing and communications needs.

Social media talent is one of the fastest growing areas of recruitment in the UK. Figures from Altimeter Group show  enterprise-class corporations were to spend an average of £180,000 (approx US$270,000) on social media talent in 2011 compared to £120,000 (US$180,000) in 2010. According to the 2012 Marketing Week/Ball & Hoolahan Salary Survey, a widely-anticipated restructuring of marketing departments is having an above-average impact on the salaries of digital specialists.

There’s a big difference between the social media talent you find in agencies and that needed to succeed (survive?) in an in-house role. Like us, Steve Ward – who is owner of CloudNine and becomes Head of Talent for the new venture – has found that successful integration and execution of social media by a brand is completely dependent on the calibre of its in-house social media talent, how they build advocacy internally and their ability to manage external agencies. But unlike the agency generalists who work across multiple clients and sectors, in-house specialists need the attitude and aptitude to succeed in a single sector, corporate environment.

Sociagility Talent will immediately tap into both our companies’ existing talent communities, as well as source additional expertise on- and off-line. You can see some of the current positions we’re hiring here and – if you’re looking to hire – we’d be happy to show you how we could help.

We’ll also be represented during Social Media Week London, 13 to 17 February. Our event “Social Media Survival – How To Make it In-House” on Thursday 16 February, 3.30–5.30pm, will see presentations from some leading in-house social media specialists – including Chloe Williams of Boden, Stuart Witts of Marie Curie Cancer Care and Kiera Doherty of BSkyB – as well as an exchange of ideas on in-house challenges and successes, and the announcement of our Community Manager of the Year!

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