Social Media is big business. Worldwide, people spend nearly 2.5 hours a day on average engaging with connected accounts on social media - and it’s more than just conversations with friends and family.
Social media has become a source of entertainment, news, commerce, and so much more. Making sure that content is fresh, engaging, and relevant are millions of social media professionals working with brands of all sizes. Emplifi’s Social Media Superstars celebrates those who have made a big impact for their brand and left a positive impact on the social media industry.
One of them is Stacy Oularis, who currently serves as Social Media Community Manager with financial services company ANZ. She has a long history in service, starting off working in a call center before moving into digital service, where she says she really got a feel for what social media can offer. She began shadowing marketing teams, and when the pandemic hit, jumped on opportunities to explore and learn other areas in social media marketing and community management to bring her to where she is today.
Oularis says she’s grateful to be able to do something she’s passionate about, and that sometimes scary word, change, doesn’t deter her at all. Change is constant in her life, from a rotating list of favorite foods to a wide variety in music, all dependent on the setting: At the gym? 00s Dance Hits. Driving in the car? Old school R&B. Cleaning? Motown.
We sat down with Oularis to talk about her experiences in the industry and to share her advice with other social media professionals.
Let’s dive right in. What do you like the most about your Social media role?
The challenging parts of my job are also some of my favorites! Yes, Social Media can be so fast-paced, even a week off can leave you feeling as though you’ve missed out on five trends. Because social media is always evolving, there is always something new to learn and discover. That makes it very exciting.
And what are some of the challenges you face as a community manager?
There are no doubt a few challenging aspects to being a Community Manager. One, in particular, would be keeping up with the trends – like I just mentioned! Social Media is an ever-evolving beast. What’s "cool" today could be "not so cool" tomorrow.
There are also new platforms and trends continuously popping up, so you’ve always got to be on the lookout [by reading up on what’s new]. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions! If you have agency partners, they can be a great place to start.
There are no doubt a ton of social channels and communities to manage today. What tools do you recommend to help manage it all?
An awesome analytics tool (like Emplifi) is a must! This is to help you understand what people are saying about your brand, if there are things you need to work on, and what’s worked well for you in the past.
Platforms like Emplifi allow us to quickly reply to customer comments, mentions, and messages. We can also monitor trends and deep dive into data like sentiment and total numbers of messages received. We can even pinpoint the best time to post content in order to maximize our results.
Since you mentioned it, how do you use Emplifi’s Social Marketing Cloud in your current role?
I spend most of my time in the Community dashboard in Emplifi responding to our customers and monitoring enquiries that come through. I love that Instagram Direct Messages are included in this dashboard. It’s great having all the tools you need in one place.
I also love looking through all the data in Emplifi Analytics. The breakdown of platforms makes it so easy to get all the information I need when reporting on our social performance.
Technology can make your job easier. It can also be difficult to separate away from. What advice do you have for your peers looking for a better work-life balance in their current lives?
Taking time for yourself is super important. For me, I was a social media-aholic before I was successful in this role. I know how challenging it can be at times to "switch off".
With that being said, I found that starting a hobby really helped me ground myself. At the moment, I’m really loving going to the gym and DIY nails.
What’s your favorite social media platform?
My flavor of the month is currently TikTok. I love the short-form videos and the continuous flow of content that’s at my fingertips. It’s also an awesome creative outlet. It’s so much fun to jump on trends and to see how others interpret them.
Who do you follow on TikTok? Why do you find them interesting?
My following list is quite random, to be honest! There’s my nearest and dearest, because they’re hilarious and why wouldn’t I follow them? The rest of my following list is quite random. I follow some do-it-yourself pages. I’m really into DIY nails at the moment.
I also keep my pop culture up to date with my fav "hellotefi". I follow “millie”, “maddiegracejepson,” and “jakebfisher” for the laughs. And how could I forget all those Harry Potter fan pages – I think they speak for themselves…
Instagram is another creative outlet. Who do you follow there?
Currently, you’d find a highlight reel of my life on IG.
Instagram, to me, is a place where I can post some of my favorite memories. From important events with family and friends, to fun times with my puppy – you’ll find it all on my Instagram.
How do you coach others on creating effective visual experiences for social platforms?
I think it can be quite subjective! I usually try to get to the bottom of their own personal opinions first as it’s always a great place to start. From there, we [use data] to build up to creating the perfect visual experience, and something that the individual creator can really love and own.
Not every post is going to work every time. What advice do you have for somebody who might be experiencing a moment of failure in their career?
Pretty cliché, but don’t give up.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are so many amazing people in the field that are more than willing to help. You just need to put yourself out there and really go for it!
What are the essential skills that help people become successful in social media careers?
A positive attitude is a big one. Staying positive can be hard when dealing with a crisis or difficult situation. Keeping that positive mindset, and looking on the bright side of life, really does help to get you through those difficult days.
Being forward-thinking and brave is also super helpful. Challenges will arise every day, [so being able to see them coming] will help you succeed
Anything extra advice for those who might be reading this?
Don’t give up, stay positive, and believe in yourself! Own your work and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.