We want to introduce you to the Social Media Servants team!
First up, our Director and co-founder Elana.
How did you get into social media and digital marketing?
My background has always been in PR/marketing and I realised during my first job (at Universal Music) that digital was where the world was going. At that time there wasn’t a lot of digital on offer there, so I left and had a brief experience with a website development agency. I quickly moved back into marketing and specialised in digital.
I developed digital campaigns for several large-scale Melbourne events, and specialised in the development and implementation of digital strategy for brands and multi-national companies.
Loving the social media aspects I based my first business – The Digital Aviary – around general social media. We worked with multi-national companies and developed their digital strategy.
Social Media Servants took everything I learnt from the ‘big players’, added client communications as a priority and allowed us to level the digital playing field so that SMEs could take on the digital giants.
I still take online courses so that I can keep on top of what is happening and make sure that we pass on the ‘happenings’ around the world to our clients here in Australia and in South East Asia.
What is your favourite digital platform?
I love Instagram. From a business perspective, it allows anyone to connect with real community members and provide them with insight into the brand that they would otherwise not have. I believe that this is what really creates a strong and continuous relationship (aka: brand loyalty) and is the difference between good and great.
From a personal point of view, my love for Instagram can be summed up in one word: voyeurism. It’s people-watching without getting caught and you get to see how different people live (or pretend to live).
What is your advice to companies just starting out in social media?
I have two bits of advice here:
1 - It’s not about you.
You are on social media to create a community. The community will eventually buy from you and give you sales (yay!), however at this point they have a choice. Your community chooses to like or follow you. They choose to connect with you. They choose to like your competition. They choose – with a few clicks of a button – whether you are worth it or not. Make sure you’re worth it.
This means you must make sure you’re providing them with value. When they come to your page/profile, you need to show that you understand what they want and that you are the one who will give it to them.
If you don’t, your competition will.
2 – Don’t let the intern run your social media.
Just because the 19 year old knows how to add a filter to an Instagram photo doesn’t mean they understand the strategic backend to your social media campaign (that’s like saying I can drive a car so I know how to fix it. I don’t – trust me).
Social media isn’t about posting – it is about developing a cohesive and integrated strategy that is deployed through social media. It’s about utilising the platforms to build and nurture your community through VIP experiences and authoritative positioning. If your intern knows about that, go for it. If they don’t, you just put your brand’s most public mouthpiece in the hands of the least experienced person in the company.
What has been your favourite digital campaign and why?
I don’t know if you would call it a campaign but I will forever refer to Burberry releasing their range on Twitter before the runway.
Why? Because Burberry took the ‘power’ of reviewing and commenting on their new range away from the ‘decision makers’ and gave it to the real decision makers: their community. Power to the people!
What do you love about working at Social Media Servants?
I would have to say the culture that we are trying to build. We have a hiring policy that is to hire people who are smarter and better than us (smarter than [co-founder] Tim and myself, that is). While that might not be the hardest thing to achieve, it means that the Servant team is made up of some of the brightest people you could hope to come across.
They are a lot of fun, they work hard (normal to find them in the office between 7am and 9pm) and they simply make everything we do enjoyable (and very entertaining).
If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be and what would you name it?
I have always wanted a pony. I’d probably call it Pony.
Or a dog called Rex, just so I could say, “sic ‘em Rex”.