Interview with Natalie Weaving

I’m halfway through my third year at university now and one of my favourite units I’ve completed is Brand Development & Communication Strategies which I conducted some interviews as part of my research for. Natalie Weaving, Director of The Typeface Group, was kind enough to help with my research about the changing role of the social media manager and thought the interview would make a great post for my blog!

Natalie Weaving is Director of The Typeface Group, an award-winning digital marketing agency based in Hampshire. Natalie has a range of experience in Content Marketing, SEO, Blogging, PR and Social Media and gives some great insights into the importance of branding online.
1. How long have you been working in social media for?

Since 2010 – First for a recruitment company and then started the Typeface Group in 2012 with Polly Buckland to offer social media management and training to SMEs

2. How did you get into your job role?

Social media was quite new when I started out in 2010. I ‘fell’ into it as I was proficient on Facebook and Twitter so I was sent on a LinkedIn course to learn how to use it for the recruitment business I worked for. I was about to go on maternity leave when Polly asked if I fancied going self-employed whilst on maternity leave and offering social media management to her website design clients. I did, and that is how The Typeface Group started.

3. What would a typical day in your job role be?

Wake and look at notifications. Set up responses (if required). Then look at what is going on in the world and what is relevant to comment on as X company. Look at their content plan and see what we had planned in for the day/week/month and curate and create content around that. Where possible news jacking and networking to increase engagement and followers. Monitoring what has worked and what hasn’t, tweaking, making content suggestions, setting up updates across all networks and responding to any comment, questions or messages is only a part of what happens in any given day!

4. How important is branding online?

Very. Some business give mixed messages or are not sure what their voice should be online. In most instances people want to be seen as the ‘go to’ person in their industry and so they need to make sure that their updates and digital presence gives their audience that impression.

5. What platforms do you think are best to communicate your brand’s message?

It depends where you audience is! Ultimately you have a portal such as a website and then push the message out via your social channels. Some messages suit other channels best. B2C is best on Facebook and Pinterest versus their B2B counterparts who can really get their message across on LinkedIn and Twitter.

6. Do you have any stories where using social media has had a negative impact on the brand? Or a positive one?

Luckily I haven’t had a negative situation, although I have taken over accounts to improve their brand perception online. A positive story is when we were working for a jewelers on bond street. Their brand positioning in-house was very different to what they portrayed via social media. We took it over in a January (so after the Christmas rush), as well as their content plan and blogging and in the first 3 months increased their traffic from social media by 345% and their goal conversions (contact via the website and sales) by 523%. They were very pleased with us that is for sure.

7. Do you think the role of the Social Media Manager is changing?

100%. You need to have so many ‘hats’ to carry out this job, especially if people expect everything of one person – see one of my blogs about the many roles of a social media manager and this is only going to increase as the networks evolve into being micro sites of their businesses.

Parting thoughts: I thought I’d try out something different for my blog as I mentioned in my previous post – I hope you guys found this interview as insightful as I did!

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