With a new raft of interns about to arrive at OMD, it’s the perfect time to reflect on my role that I landed after being an intern in last year’s program. Read on for my first hand account that I would have loved to have told my intern self:
Being a Social Designer in a media agency isn’t your usual design gig. For starters, we’re quite easy to spot with our large Apple Mac computers amongst the sea of PCs. We’re also a part of a new breed of employees – the hybrid! In the Word team, not only are we designers, we’re Social Media Assistants too. For me, it’s a logical pairing as I am responsible for creating content for various brand’s social media accounts while also carrying out community management on their behalf and providing analysis through monthly reports. We are a one-stop shop!
When compared with a creative agency, our turnaround on projects is usually quite short (days rather than months). Working to a content calendar is key but we also have to stay on top of what’s trending. This ensures our client’s brand remains current, engaging and memorable. Although the tight deadlines are a challenging part of the role, it has taught me to be more efficient (there’s no room for procrastination… although casually scrolling through Facebook is acceptable in our team!)
Designing content for social is far different to designing for traditional advertising mediums. A bad habit of some brands is to re-post assets that have been created for other media such as billboards, magazine ads or television commercials. Instead, we work as team to develop a specialised social strategy for our clients by promoting a personality and a story just like someone would on their own personal profile. In my hybrid role I am immersed in everything that occurs on my client’s page which helps me to think and act as though I am that brand.
As a team, we need to be creative in the way we develop content. Although we might not have access to professional studios like creative teams do, we have our own makeshift approaches that work just as well! You may have seen us around the office carefully arranging seemingly random objects on a table with bright lights shining down, while standing in odd positions with our cameras in hand. We are able to produce perfectly good content simply with smart use of tools, clever lighting and well rounded design knowledge despite our limited resources.
We’re also keen to venture out of the office to create the perfect post. Whether that be in parks, shops, cafes or even the Sunshine Coast when on holiday, we always take advantage of beautiful surroundings. But working outside of the office is not without its hazards; like the time I had to compete with six seagulls and four ibis that tried to pinch the fruit I was photographing! I certainly got a few funny looks from passers by – all in the name of social content creation.
Publishing content on social gives us the ability to see first hand how our client’s followers react to our work. Even though the audience attribute the content to the brand, I can fully appreciate the work that went into its creation behind the scenes. It always puts a smile on my dial to see a “love” on Facebook or a “nice pic” comment on Instagram when a piece of quality content that I have helped to produce goes live. (Here’s a few highlights: Bose Australia Day Competition, OVI Hydration Easter Post, Yates Gardening)
For me, this makes it all worth it and I’m eager to see how the role of hybrid designers in media agencies will evolve in the coming years.