Welcome back to my jobs series, So What Do You Do Exactly? Today’s guest, Ambika, is social strategist at the big NYC advertising agency BBH. She works on megabrands (rhymes with “schmoogle”), up-and-coming products, and non-profits to help them design and execute a 21st century strategy for connecting with their consumers.
What’s your actual job title? Social Media Strategist.
What would your job title be if it actually described what you do? Brand planner, helping brands find their most articulate, clever, effective digital and social selves.
What does a sample day look like? Since my job is to be well versed on all things social, I spend my mornings perusing Facebook and Twitter. I follow a ton of great digital guru sites (Mashable, PSFK, TechCrunch, Gawker, College Humor, BuzzFeed) that keep me in the know. I spend a good amount of time reading.
I am the only specialized social media strategist at my agency, so I get pulled into a lot of different projects. At the moment I’m working on two alcohol brands, a big non-profit, a personal care brand, a new business pitch for an e-commerce company, and some general thinking on how to make our agency more digital/social. Phew – I guess I never usually list it all out! I love that I’m empowered to think strategically and creatively and that my opinion is as valued as anyone else’s (despite my young age!).
Do you think data drives the world forward these days? Totally. I’m a data girl by nature and planning puffery kills me. BBH is a traditional, creative ad shop, which means in the past, beautiful, qualitative insights have been tantamount (versus starting a process using data points). Think back for a second – did Don Draper or Peggy Olsen ever use syndicated survey data? Nottt really. But as the advertising industry shifts from serving solely a creative function to more of a consultative function, being able to validate initiatives and efforts is becoming increasingly important.
I always use qualitative research–consumer truths, behaviors, trends–at the beginning of my projects. But on the back end, especially with social initiatives, quantitative results are absolutely necessary. Social is so new as a creative avenue that sometimes people simply don’t understand the ROI [return on investment]. Data is crucial in showing them that social is big.
Strategists are often known for their way with words. And as a writer, this is totally up my alley. I find myself approaching client presentations in the same way I approach personal writing. I always aim to use beautiful, articulate, and succinct language. This, to me, is one of the truest exercises in creativity!
What does “brand management” mean? How does it apply to the average person? Do I have a brand I need to manage? Absolutely. And interestingly enough, this is a very current, very emerging trend as of late.
Related Post: So What Do You Do Exactly? Photography Edition.