Social Media from the Frontline: Jen Rankine

By Rob McNair

Welcome to the latest “Social Media from the Frontline”. This time, we hear from Jen who is a Social Media Co-ordinator at Schuh shoes. If you fancy getting involved in our next Frontline drop us a tweet @mycleveragency.

NAME: Jen Rankine
COMPANY: Schuh
ROLE: Social Media Co-ordinator
TWITTER HANDLE: @schuhshoes (@Censored_Pixel – personal)
FACEBOOK URL: http://www.facebook/com/schuhshoes

social media agency

MY SELF

I started in Schuh as a fresh faced graduate a year and a half ago as a sales assistant. Without sounding majorly gushy, my plan was to get their head office and a year later my position was advertised. Since that glorious day, I can now be found in the marketing department working with the guys on new ways to grow our Facebook and Twitter communities, helping customers out with their queries, on the floor taking photos of new products or scribbling competition ideas down on Post-It notes.

Presuming my maths is pretty accurate, I’ve only been working officially in social media for 6 months but I’ve been here, there and everywhere for a good number of years. Remember Neopets? Yeah… well technically it all started there. I found myself managing ‘Guilds’ and to further add to the shame, I checked the other day to find I had celebrated my 10th anniversary on the site*. On a more mature level, I’ve been on pretty much every social network that’s been kicking around but now my feet are firmly grounded in Facebook and Twitter.

*FYI – I haven’t been on it in years.

MY LIKES

Best things in social media? No day is the same and you stumble upon some awesome characters who love your brand. Plus there are no set rules. I get to try out new ideas which previously couldn’t be done through traditional methods and see the results instantly. In other words, I enjoy a good chinwag and solving peoples conundrums.

There’s two brands who I love to see updates from. The first is Innocent Drinks. Who else could post a picture of a cat hugging a baby and get 1,520 likes, 210 comments and 692 shares? To put it simply – they are geniuses. My second is my local tex-mex restaurant, Illegal Jack’s. They respond to any question/query you might have and will engage in witty banter at the drop of a hat.

If I’m not nosing through other brands pages, I can be found on Imgur or Tumblr laughing at cats doing funny things.

MY DISLIKES

There’s not much I don’t like but one thing that does bug me is self proclaimed, know-it-all social media gurus. There is no such thing! We’re working in an environment which is constantly changing – it’s not possible to know everything.

The new Tweetdeck. Thankfully the new abomination didn’t replace my old version so I still have access to all the functions that I actually use. Yeah, thanks for that one Twitter!

Automated postings from Twitter to Facebook. I have no idea why I don’t like this but as far as I’m concerned Twitter is for your random updates/spam and Facebook should be for more in-depth postings. It’s also lazy. I’m also not much of a fan of GetGlue telling me what you’re watching, people re-tweeting who Follow Friday’d them and One Direction/Beiber fans taking over the Trending Topics.

Ok, so I lied when I said there’s not much I don’t like so whilst I’m at it, Facebook requests for Farmville!

MY TIPS

It’s a dramatic learning curve for all brands whether they’re new or old hands at social. When something new comes along, take the time to learn about it and figure out if it’s useful for your community. Not everything is and I’ve seen a lot of companies jumping on the bandwagon of certain things that have no benefit to them whatsoever.

Get to know who your customers. They follow you for a reason so show/tell them what they want to see/hear! And whatever you do, don’t ignore them! This is a channel of communication and they are looking at you for the answers. Provide with them and you’ll have a happy community. Whilst I’m on this soap box, don’t hide anything negative. Every company makes mistakes and as long as they are dealt with in the best way possible, your customers will (hopefully) see that you are only human. I never trust a company that only ever has positive comments left, right and centre.

If you’re looking at Twitter, use listening tools. Even basic (and free!) ones such as Tweetdeck have a search option which show you what people are saying about your company. Complaints can often fester on Twitter but you can swoop in like the hero you are, solve their problem and turn their frowns upside down.

MY PREDICTIONS

I honestly have none. As I said earlier, it’s a constantly changing environment which can often be fickle. The only thing I’m sure about is the use of social plug ins. Expect to see them on a lot more websites in the very near future. Oh, and be cautious of Google+. Whilst they say they have 90 million users, how many of them do you think actually check their accounts. Here’s some homework – go ask your friends how often they log on and you’ll have your answer.

mycleveragency is a full service social media agency. Check us out on Twitter and hook up on Facebook. Please leave your comments below. . .


This post was written by Rob McNair

Rob has experience advising some of the worlds most iconic brands. He thrives on helping improving social media knowledge within organisations with the ultimate goal of making theirs brands more social, transparent and accountable.