All About Rachel Marshall, Social Media Manager

PAN Communications

Social media is constantly growing, evolving, and becoming increasingly important. Nowadays, it’s almost essential for companies to be active on social media platforms in order to reach out to their potential clients. However, for many companies, especially small or new ones, this can be a daunting task. The field of social media is huge and constantly changing, and there is a lot to learn. For that reason, we have social media experts, like Vantage’s very own Rachel Marshall, who take control of companies’ social media accounts for them, brainstorm, come up with fun and exciting ideas, write proposals, and do so much more in the world of social media! I recently had the chance to sit down and talk to Rachel about her job as Vantage’s Social Media Manager, and here are a few bits of what I learned:

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Can you tell us a bit about your position at Vantage?

“Well, I’m the Social Media Manager here at Vantage PR, and in short, it is a position that is constantly evolving, because the industry of social media is evolving. My job is a mix of hands-on social media support, and guiding companies’ social media strategies. It is constantly changing based on the needs of the agency and our clients.”

How long have you been working in the field of social media?

“I started off at Vantage as an intern in 2007, working in public relations. In 2007 and 2008, social media started to get our attention, and it became something we decided we wanted to pursue, and since then it has become increasingly important.”

How did you learn about social media? Through webinars, books, blogs, or other platforms?

“Like I mentioned earlier, I started off at Vantage as a PR intern; I was trained in PR, so I was very PR-minded. Social media started to become more relevant in PR, and that is how I started learning about it. There are a few good books out there, but I think you definitely need to keep up with blogs and webinars, because they provide real-time learning. Social media is a trial and error process; you learn by doing, and from the mistakes and successes you make. It is the kind of field where you can never know everything there is to know, and that’s what I like about it. I also enjoy social media and I am really active on it on a personal level, so that helps too.”

What does a typical day in the life of a social media specialist look like?

“It’s always different. There is no typical. It changes so much day-to-day and week-to-week. You have to evaluate your priorities everyday. If a client is launching a new campaign, they’re going to get my attention first. Every morning, I login to clients’ social media accounts, post to them, monitor comments and questions, and look out for any trends or special occasions (for example, National Donut Day). I spend the rest of the day brainstorming and planning for clients’ creative campaigns. At multiple times throughout the day, I login to and monitor all the social media accounts that I’m responsible for.”

What is your favorite thing about your job?

“I’m never bored. My job is always changing and it’s always exciting. My favorite part is brainstorming and coming up with creative ideas.”

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

“The biggest challenge with my job is technology. Technology just isn’t keeping up well enough with today’s digital needs. It’s hard for us to multitask with the technology we have at hand. Often times, my computer gets overwhelmed with large files, or my phone lags when I’m trying to use Instagram. Although tech companies are making moves in the right direction, technology is still a few steps behind.”

Is there any one particular social network that you like the most?

“This answer is bound to change soon, but right now, I’m loving Instagram. It’s a great platform, and I personally love it. It has lots of potential for brand-building and there are so many opportunities there. One of the reasons I love it is because it’s so simple and straightforward. Facebook and Twitter started off as very simple social networks, but have become so complicated and difficult to manage for both companies and individuals. It’s so hard for me to just go through my own Facebook feed! Facebook actually also has an algorithm that is designed to hurt you if you don’t purchase ads, and are just trying to look for organic growth. Instagram isn’t like that. It is more simple, easy, and fun!”

In your opinion, which social network is the most effective in reaching out to potential clients and/or influencers?

“It varies depending on the industry. There are so many variables involved that there can’t be just one social network that is the most effective for everyone. It depends on if the company is B2B or B2C. Facebook is more effective for reaching out to customers directly, but it’s not as helpful in reaching out to businesses. Twitter has been really effective for some of our clients to communicate with their partners. Instagram is very helpful for other clients, especially if their posts are more visual. Linkedin is the best for others. In social media, there are more exceptions than rules, and there are no rules that can’t be broken.”

Do you have tips for someone who is just getting started in social media marketing?

  1. “Be authentic. Authenticity and transparency are huge in social media.”
  2. “There are more exceptions than rules. You will have to make judgment calls; use common sense but don’t be afraid to take risks.”
  3. “Always think about what the audience wants, not necessarily what the brand wants. This is not your website, it is a social network, so use it to talk to customers and see what they want. You have to put yourself in the minds of customers, which can be hard.”

There is a little bit of insight from Rachel. To hear more about her social media strategies, click here!

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