This month we’ve been chatting to Social Media Expert and Influencer-Guru, Emily Jenkins. She told us all about her work at high-street retailer Monsoon and what she thinks the future of Social Media will look like. Read the full interview for more.
This interview has been transcribed from a video call and has been paraphrased in places. Emily Jenkins speaks on behalf of herself as a Social Media Expert and Professional and not as a spokesperson for the Monsoon brand.
Can you tell us a bit more about what you do?
I’m the Social Media Executive here at Monsoon. My job is really versatile, but predominately I manage the main channels and organise all of our organic content. I do a little bit of paid social and handle our influencers too. I also collaborate a lot with the marketing team, particularly with the wonderful Andrea, who does Monsoon’s editorial content.
What’s your favourite part of the role?
Probably working with our influencers. I love getting to know all of the amazing women we work with. Especially the Mummy Bloggers, it’s great meeting them and their gorgeous children, with their brilliant little personalities. I’m basically ‘Aunty Emily’ to about 28 girls. Working with them on Monsoon Children is so fun and light-hearted. It’s such crazy, creative work, the children are super imaginative and have their own big ideas and concepts which we get to let them run with.
I also feel fortunate to get to work with women with such different stories. I find them all so inspiring. That’s what we want to do at Monsoon, champion diversity and share a wide range of messages. It isn’t a ‘one-person’ business, for one particular kind of person to buy dresses, we want to communicate with and celebrate all women. Delivering that message is my favourite part of the job.
Is there a part of the job you don’t enjoy so much?
I think everyone would expect me to say analytics. But I love a report, I’m all about a report. While I love building content, I actually hate prepping it. I don’t love having to organise all the product and take it to the studio and make some of those creative decisions. Sometimes I get there and panic! I start putting all sorts of bizarre things in the shoot. Everyone laughs because I always seem to put a piece of barley in our shoots. But it doesn’t always work. (She laughs). Now I just select the product and tell the creative team what I’m hoping for, and they always turn it out. But apart from that, I’m really lucky, I love my job.
What do you love about working in social?
It’s always been a big passion of mine. Social media is so much more than just a showcase platform. It’s a platform for change. I love that I get to create engaging, diverse content that interacts with so many different people and their lives. For example, throughout this time, we’ve collaborated with a life coach and helped people manage anxiety. I also partnered with the gorgeous Simone Charles, to create content about self-love and body positivity. I love that I get to take the messages that I want to see on social and share them with so many other women. It’s so powerful. Even if you make an impact on just four people, I think that’s amazing.
What social campaigns (outside of Monsoon) do you love?
This is a hard one. I’m a sucker for almost everything ASOS do, which is a lot more than I think they are given credit for, with Pride in particular. The Pride information and takeover they do is so smart. I like that they provide information without alienation. It’s not so much a specific campaign they’ve done, so much as their whole brand concept and ethos.
I love anything body positive on social too, as long as the brand really means it and aren’t just using the movement to promote their curve range. It’s about promoting every different body shape and every kind of person. Misguided do it well.
What have been your biggest successes at Monsoon, so far?
I talk about Influencers a lot, but that’s because I built our new strategy. We’ve always had a great social presence and used influencers. But when I arrived, they weren’t a real focus. It’s not about using influencers for the sake of it, we use influencers to show our community who they are. We can’t just share the one or two models we use in our shoots; we need to mix them in with real women who love our product and can talk about it in a real, honest way.
I’ve also managed to bring Influencers completely in-house. I know all of them well, and we’ve got great relationships. I’ve even got a calendar with all of their birthdays. It’s important to have an honest, transparent relationship. They only promote product that they like, and I champion them to be authentic to themselves and their own feeds. That way it’s a win-win.
Influencers help you showcase your versatility. At Monsoon, we’ve used them to show that we’re a brand for all women. The strategy has also helped us to unpack the pre-conception that we only sell occasion dresses for slightly older women.
What are your favourite platforms?
Facebook is my favourite. It’s so important. Most brands focus mostly on Instagram, which makes Facebook a bit of an underdog. Since I started at Monsoon, we’ve doubled our Facebook stats on the previous year.
Before, it was looked at from an un-strategic point of view. But really, every platform needs its own KPIs and individual focus. It can’t be regurgitated content. No matter what business you are, you can’t just go from platform to platform with the same content. It’s okay to use the same image, but it needs a different context wherever it goes.
I’m in a battle to win Twitter’s heart at the minute. Twitter, for me, is the hardest platform. In terms of our market and audience, Instagram is the one that everyone loves, Facebook is the real powerhouse, Pinterest is going to continue to grow, but Twitter’s the one I need to work on.
What advice would you give to a business getting started on social?
Know who your brand is. Whenever I enter a company, I take six months to fully understand the brand and get to know its purpose and process.
So, if you’re just starting out, it’s essential to get your brand pack down, from your fonts to your tone of voice. Branding is where it all starts on social. A consistent aesthetic can make you fall in love with a company.
How have you found working from home?
It’s been really beneficial for me, as I’ve found time to delve into different areas than I’d typically get chance to. As a retail business, the recent situation has obviously been very hard. But personally, I’ve had more time to look at areas like analytics and really craft my content. I’m definitely making the most of not having to commute into London. Even just being able to get up in the morning and work out has made a massive difference to my days.
What do you think the future of social media will look like?
I think the future of social is more engaging content. It’s becoming less about a gorgeous picture and more about the purpose and context surrounding it. We’ve seen a change in how people are using social media during Coronavirus. We’ve used it to come together, to fight social causes, to challenge society’s views. People expect more now.
Going forwards, it won’t just be ‘I love this dress’ it’ll be ‘I love this dress because of this fabric and because the brand does “x”’. People also want to learn more via social, they want to see into a world they don’t usually get to. Brands will have to change to deliver this, but I think there are lots of exciting things to come.
To learn more about Emily Jenkins follow her on LinkedIn.
You can also read more of our social media expert interviews here.
Ready for more? This interview will feature on our upcoming podcast, keep an eye on our socials for more information.