By Nikki Schroeder
We spoke with Stephanie Holmes to get the scoop on Social Media Management and Brand Marketing. Currently, Stephanie Holmes holds the position of Senior Brand Marketing at Chacos, formally responsible for Social Media Management at Chacos.
In her new position of Brand Marketing, Stephanie is able to work on strategy and brand direction, giving her more experience in a multitude of areas (rather than focus only on internet presence). Stephanie notes that social media is a great place for advertising students to start the professional world. However, it is important to begin the Social Media Management positions with the expectation of that social media is always on; there is not an off switch in the social media world.
How did she get to her position as Brand Marketing?
Stephanie studied Marketing and Spanish at Michigan State University. Additionally, she gained experience through internships with Meijer and the Athletic Department at MSU. Once acquiring the Social Media Management position, Stephanie has been a team of one for one and a half years, and continues to manage Chaco’s social media while transitioning to her role of Senior Brand Marketing.
What made her want to go into her job at Chaco?
“I believe in the brand,” Stephanie stated. Chaco and Stephanie share similar values: the environment, outdoors and hiking, and caring for customers.
What are the main responsibilities within your position?
Social Media Management: Managing all channels, create strategy and content, collect user generated content, organic and paid scheduling, and analytics for all channels.
Brand Management: Creating the overall storytelling for future campaigns, working with creative director for photo shoots, and working closer with other teams.
Skills needed for the positions:
- Having a marketing/advertising background.
- Being both “creative and critical.”
- In social media management, the ability to multitask and stay adaptive to ever changing digital is essential. This involves staying updated on the strategy used, while staying organized in the “constantly changing social world.”
- The ability to switch last minute dues to outside world events
Tools/ Software essential to her positions:
- Photoshop – Stephanie recommends learning the basics (ex. resizing photos)
- Social management tools (ex. Hootsuite)
- Powerpoint – For her Brand Marketing position
Stephanie’s “average day” in the office:
Stephanie’s days are inconsistent, depending greatly on the season. The holiday seasons are a big time for the brand.
In Stephanie’s “typical” social media management day, she starts by checking email and social channels, doing other administration responsibilities, and spends the remainder of the day in meetings and working on various projects.
One thing Stephanie loves about a career in advertising:
The variety. There are “many different avenues,” and you have the ability to shift your interest rather than a making a direct change.
One thing Stephanie doesn’t necessarily enjoy about being in advertising:
If you are in Social Media Management, “you are always on:” the internet doesn’t sleep. This involves working nights and weekends, which can cause people to burn out. Stephanie recommends ensuring you set aside personal time.
Additionally, if you are creating and posting content, your work is out there all the time. Social media posts are very externally facing, which means it is necessary to ensure there are no spelling mistakes.
Where Stephanie finds inspiration:
Stephanie find inspiration by looking at influencers and outdoor-focused brands that are relatable to the brand’s consumers. Additionally, Stephanie has a variety of newsletters she reads about the digital world.
One piece of advice for current advertising students:
Network! Even just one to two people, whether it’s a professor or another student, keep networking. Then, continue those connections as you advance into your career.
One piece of advice for graduating advertising students:
Find a job you love, “so putting in the extra hours isn’t for something you don’t like or enjoy.”
Photography can be a great skill to add as well.