In today’s episode Shaheen Samavati speaks with Ishani Bechoo, global social media manager at Arup, a global design consultancy based in London. Ishani has an extensive background in journalism and communications, bringing incredibly diverse expertise to the field of social media marketing. In this interview, she discusses the past and future of the medium, and explains why a holistic perspective, actionable audience insights and efficient collaboration are essential for success.

You can watch the full conversation in the video above or on YouTube, listen to the podcast on Apple and Spotify, and read our recap below.

Key takeaways

  • Social media started out as a space for social interaction, separate from the professional world. Now it’s much more than that—but some brands still don’t take it as seriously as they should, or approach it with the necessary level of professionalism.
  • It can be a risky medium, as public scrutiny is heightened and backlash is common. Do your best to maintain constant positive engagement with your community, and consider and prepare for all possible reactions when creating content.
  • At Arup, collaboration between global and regional teams is key. Ishani shares guidance, tips and strategies with colleagues around the world to maintain a consistent brand voice, but they have autonomy over regional content.
  • Successful social media requires a mix of elements including high quality content, compelling imagery, a consideration of what’s going on in the external environment, audience insights, and an understanding of user journeys.
  • Audiences move between websites, newsletters, social media and other platforms, so marketers need to have a holistic view of their movements and behaviors in order to reach them. In the future social media will be an integral part of every business.

Social media provides us with opportunities that we’ve never had before, and it’s not going to go away. It’s where people congregate and get most of their information, and it’s only going to become more powerful.

Rapid-fire recs

A valuable resource for information on the industry?

I keep up to date with marketing and social media trends through newsletters and alerts from Social Media Today, and I’ve done a few certification courses with Hootsuite Academy. There are also plenty of other learning tools online; LinkedIn is offering a lot of free content right now, for example.

A tool that you can’t work without?

I use Hootsuite for social media management, and Hootsuite Impact to track metrics over time. It’s also helpful to use listening tools like Brandwatch and Pulsar, so you can see what conversations are taking place and how people are talking about the topics that interest you. 

In the past I’ve used workflow management tools like Basecamp, which is really valuable for project management and teamwork, but also just for organizing your day-to-day work.

An industry group or event you’d recommend?

I go to the LinkedIn Marketing Labs in London, which tackle really technical topics in an approachable way. They’ll probably be available online in some format. I also go to LinkedIn conferences and Hootsuite conferences every year.

Connect with Ishani and Shaheen on LinkedIn.

This post was edited by Melissa Haun, a freelance content creator based in Lisbon.

For more insights into the life of a social media manager, check out:

Social media is for everyone – Gareth Crew, EMEA social media manager

The art of social media campaigns – Justyna Ludwiniak, global social media manager

Overcoming creative blocks – Kavitha Das, global social media manager at BBC StoryWorks

To see the full transcript, click on page number 2 below.