During their social media training, our Digital Mums learn everything from creating and managing social media advertising campaigns to analysing data and running a full on live social media campaign, so that on graduation they are ready to embark on new careers as Social Media Managers. Lisa Ball, one of our incredible graduates, shares below the top five things she learned while completing her training.
Working as a Senior Journalist at Comic Relief for many years had taken me to all corners of the world and led me to cover some truly incredible stories, but with the arrival of two small children, the logistics of being away so much was proving problematic.
I discovered Digital Mums through a friend, and was intrigued to find out what it could offer. I wanted to polish my social media skills before I sought new work, but the biggest appeal for me in choosing their six month, Social Media Marketing:Associate Programme, was the on-the-job training that would allow me to put my new skills into practise. As my last maternity leave ended, I took the plunge, left my job and signed up to the course. Here’s what I learnt while training:
1. Learning on the job brought incredible results
As part of the course, I was running the social media channels for a real life client (what Digital Mums called a project partner). I was really lucky to get a great client, The Social Change Agency, who work with change-makers to create sustainable social movements that transform the world. One of the best things about working with them was that they were really engaged and up for trying new things. We were able to experiment with live streaming, video and long form content which gave us some incredible results, including a huge increase in impressions (social media views), significant increase in traffic to their website and some exciting new business leads.
2. Expect some long hard study weeks
With a communications and marketing background, much of the strategy work was familiar and straightforward to me, but getting to grips with analytics, scheduling tools and social media advertising was new territory and it took some time to get my head around it. It was brilliant to be able to watch step by step tutorials on how to get the best out of them, and then put my training into practise on my client’s platforms. While Digital Mums suggest studying should take 15 hours approx a week, some weeks needed a lot more time, which meant clearing the diary and finding extra childcare to get through it.
3. Social media is a 7 day a week craft.
This sounds full on, but it just means that I had to check my client's social media every day, including weekends and evenings, and engage on the platforms a few times daily. There’s a fine balance to be made here. If you don’t engage enough, you won’t see results, but if you constantly engage, your time efficiency goes out the window (and your family life with it). At the beginning I struggled to find the balance, but once I’d got into a routine, it became much easier to manage.
4. Remote working doesn’t need to be lonely-ville.
I thought I might miss the camaraderie of office working, but with new tech I felt close to my fabulous peer group of students, my client and the Digital Mums social media guides, despite hardly being in the same room. WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, email and G+ covered all our needs and I never felt disconnected. I also spent some time with my client face to face to gather content and insider knowledge, which we used throughout the following weeks of the campaign.
5. I felt job ready at graduation.
Having already worked for a brilliant client and achieved great results, it made the next steps in my job search much easier. My last career took me to far flung destinations and this one has taken me to equally interesting places, albeit in the digital space.
Since I finished my course I've been working with an ethical business doing their strategic social media management, which I love! My training, coupled with my previous experience, has made me feel confident about what I can deliver and the results are looking great so far.
With my tech confidence boosted, I've also started to learn to edit film and put video clips together for my client, something I never had time to focus on before. Now my work is flexible, my partner and I have decided to move to Brighton, something we'd always hoped to do. I'm excited about meeting new clients and enjoying some windy, wet days on the beach!
You can find out more about our education programmes here.