Your obsession with social media doesn’t have to be carried out in secret while your boss’s back is turned—work as a social media account manager and you’ll be paid to play on all your favorite websites… sort of. You’ll also be called upon to harness an intense attention to detail, superb time management skills, and a highly sharpened sense of humor. Join us as we chat with Jill Mailander, an Account Manager at social media agency Room 214 to chat about the highs, the lows, and the endless Pinterest boards her job entails.
What is your current company name and job title?
I’m an Account Manager at Room 214. I haven’t changed job titles yet (I’ve been at Room 214 for a year and five months) but the roles and responsibility of my job change frequently.
What’s a typical day on the job like for you?
I come to work and check all of my emails and organize them. This helps me to write my to-do list for the day and figure out what projects need to be taken care of that week.
Next I check all of the social media communities that I manage for clients. This can take a little bit of time as news articles and newsfeeds on Pinterest and Facebook can easily distract me.
After the communities are taken care of, I check in with coworkers that I’m working on projects with. I want to make sure we’re dividing and conquering instead of both working on the same thing. Communication is one of the more important aspects of working on a team.
Next I check my email again and respond to any unanswered client emails.
After those daily activities are taken care of, I’ll jump into working on a project that has the fastest approaching deadline. After working on this for about an hour or so, I’ll see if it’s time for lunch (I’m ready for a little mental break by this time!).
A few days out of the week, I’ll have a client call for an hour before lunch. This time is used to update clients about projects that we’re working on and check in with what each team needs to deliver to the other. These calls are nice because it’s great to interact with the client and not always communicate through email. It helps to keep the relationship friendly and communication clear, too.
I love taking lunch breaks to go get something to eat because it’s nice to get some sunshine and take a break from my computer screen. I often will use this time to brainstorm around what I’m working on or issues I’m running into with a project.
I come back to the agency and eat lunch at my desk while checking emails and the social communities I manage again. It’s important to check the social communities at least three times per day. This helps fans to know that the brands value them and want to hear what they have to say.
I will spend the next couple of hours switching between working on projects and reviewing coworkers’ work. We’ll occasionally have a brainstorm in the afternoon for upcoming campaigns for different clients our agency works on. I love attending these because it’s great to hear about what all of our clients are doing and hear the great ideas other people in the agency have.
At the end of the day, I check the communities again and make sure that all of my projects that were due that day were sent. I then make sure that I’ve responded to all emails for that day. I check in with my team one more time, then head home!
What are your favorite aspects of your job? What are the things you would change if you could?
My favorite part is getting to write and coming up with campaign ideas. Thinking the strategy through of campaigns and writing plans is the best part of this job for me. I also love the people that I work with. It’s great to come to work with friends and be able to laugh and have fun while working hard.
The one thing I would change about my job is working in the evenings. Sometimes I work in the evenings to make sure that a project is completely thought through, all the details are covered without any mistakes, and that it’s the best possible strategy that we can present to our clients. Working in the evenings is nice too because there aren’t any distractions or emails coming in that need immediate attention.
What did you study in college? How does your major relate to your current position?
I studied Advertising within the Journalism & Mass Communication School at the University of Colorado at Boulder. My major really prepared me for this job. I use what I learned in school every day. A lot of my teachers at CU used to work in the advertising industry. Because of this, they were able to teach me things that would help in the real world versus quizzing me on what a textbook has to say.
What advice would you give to college students who are interested in working in your field?
Read as much news as you can. This field is constantly changing and it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends, changes to social sites, etc. Try to learn about what will be the next big thing. Being able to see what direction the industry is going in is a hard thing to do but very valuable to clients. Create your own personal brand. If you can’t market yourself (the topic you know the most about), how can you market a product or service?
Lastly, internships, internships, and did I mention internships? These are extremely important. Internships help you to get experience on your résumé. They’re great for helping you to do a test run in the field you’re interested in. If you’re lucky, they can turn into a possible job opportunity.
Does your company hire interns in your field? If so, how would someone go about applying?
We do hire interns. They can visit Room214.com and use our contact email there.
Homework time! Jill talks about the importance of staying on top of the latest news and trends. Make a point of following thought leaders in the subjects that interest you. You’ll learn topics and techniques from them, but you’ll also be preparing yourself to have plenty to talk about in your cover letters and job interviews.
Jill Mailander is an Account Manager at social media agency Room 214. Follow Jill on Twitter @jillmailander