This blog is part of our campaign to showcase our diverse and talented alumni members. We have partnered with That Works For Me who connect brands to flexible freelancers so if you think any of our alumni could support you with your marketing efforts visit our Hire page here.
In 2008 Emel walked away from a very unhappy career in Property Management and moved overseas for her husband’s job. Two children and an extended career break later she realised she had been out of the workplace for almost 7 years with no idea what to do. Thankfully she joined our Advanced Diploma in Social Media Marketing in 2016 and over four years later she runs a successful social media agency offering consultancy, training and outsourced solutions.
Emel started off as a lone freelancer and worked under her own name for a few years before stepping things up to set up her own agency and working under a brand name.
"I signed up for the Advanced Diploma because I realised the world had moved online, and I didn’t have the skills that would earn me enough to cover childcare. I even considered training as a Barista at one point.
I had imagined when I graduated that I would be the social media hero of my neighbourhood, supporting all the local independents and managing their social media for them. It turned out the local businesses didn’t really have the budget for the full social media marketing package. But actually that was cool because I started working with a couple of agencies with global brands as clients, so I got exposure to businesses that really did have budget, and was able to build my reputation within this environment. I’m now finding those bigger clients for myself."
I started working with a couple of agencies with global brands as clients, so I got exposure to big businesses and was able to build my reputation within this environment.
Her social media agency Red Gem offers social media strategy and Facebook advertising strategy as well as professional training around those areas. She likes the variety of working with different types of clients so has a wide portfolio of clients but they all have something in common – a motivation to get things done in the right way and an appreciation for the marketing process. She’s currently building a team to grow the agency and be in a position to take on more clients.
Emel is also a Tutor on our social media courses, passing her knowledge on to other women like her.
“Honestly, I have genuinely found my passion with this line of work! I love social media marketing, both organic and paid and I love teaching others. I can’t imagine how I ever survived my past life career with the 9-5, coat on the back of the chair, office environment (and all the politics that went with it! Now I drop my kids at school in the morning and I collect them in the afternoon, so my work does not disrupt their experience of me. However, I’m now earning a decent living, doing what I love, and producing results that make my clients happy. I’m very lucky and very happy and am immensely grateful to Digital Mums for making this a possibility for me.”
Our Advanced Diploma alumni are thought leaders in their own right so we asked Emel for her top trends to look out for in the world of social media marketing and this is what she told us.
- If you’d asked me 3 months ago I’d have talked about a growing mistrust of Facebook, and a growing cynicism among consumers. On the one hand, people are more aware of how organisations use their data now, they’re aware that they’re being sold to, so brands need to be more mindful (perhaps more respectful) of the way they communicate with audiences.
- Another interesting trend is individuals pulling back from being completely ’social’ on social media and actually restricting their authentic selves to private groups, while using the more public forums to cultivate a persona. I find this fascinating from a Black Mirror perspective but also completely understandable and I’m interested in the many ways that this impacts audience targeting. It’s a fascinating time!
- As I’m writing this, the only thing in the news is the Coronavirus pandemic, and riots in the US. The impact of the 2020 news agenda is rippling out in all directions. As ever, I think brands need to be very mindful of the circumstances around each campaign that they’re running. I am definitely seeing a trend for more respectful communications and more responsible marketing which I think will go beyond the current news cycle to have impact longer term. For example, KFC halted their ‘finger licking good’ messaging which was a nice touch. And Facebook offering free ads to the WHO to combat misinformation.
If you’re a business not quite ready to hire from our alumni pool you’d do well to follow Emel’s three top social media marketing tips.
- You do not need to be on every social media platform. Most of the brands I work with do not need to be on Instagram but they’re worried about not being on Instagram so they do it but really badly which is worse that not doing it at all. You wouldn’t accept that rationale in any other aspect of your business! Don’t accept it for your social media marketing either!
- Paid ads could be game changing for your business, so stop winging it. So many businesses keep throwing £50 here and £100 there at boosted posts and wonder why they're not getting results. Invest the time and effort into a quality campaign and you’ll see the rewards will speak for themselves.
- You get what you pay for. Don’t throw the social media marketing at your intern or office junior and expect it to do anything for your business. Your online presence is your shop window, and it’s your catalogue, and it’s your customer services hub. Take it seriously: invest in the proper training for your staff, invest in a quality, in-depth strategy, and devote the resources to make it all happen.
If you’d like to hire Emel reach out to her at www.red-gem.com.