We sat down with Social Media Manager Jessica Masterson to ask about her career path and her view of the social media industry. As a longtime SocialMedia.org member, Jessica’s brought us along for her career at DeVry University, U.S. Cellular, and now ADP.
Jessica’s social media career has given her the opportunity to work with a lot of great brands and talented people.
“I think the value I bring as a social media manager is a lifetime of experience with lots of different roles on various teams,” says Jessica Masterson, Social Media Manager at ADP.
For Jessica, that lifetime of experience started with a customer service job as a teenager, then an operations role, followed by a pivot to multi-faceted roles where she gained experience in recruiting, marketing, and sales. For the past five years, she’s been specifically focused on brand marketing strategies, programs, and content.
Working alongside so many smart people has given her the chance to do some amazing campaigns.
For DeVry, Jessica was a part of the first ever live-streamed event within a LinkedIn Group — a technique later used in President Obama’s “Putting America Back to Work” event. And at U.S. Cellular, she helped manage a groundbreaking local-level social program.
“I’m really lucky to have been a part of those programs with those great teams and innovative brands. We each had different perspectives and different life experiences that worked well with each team. We took the time to get to know what those strengths were and worked together to utilize them,” says Jessica.
Some qualities Jessica says set social teams up for success: Curiosity, a consultative nature, creativity from both a problem-solving and storytelling perspective, and bravery to not only dream big, but to follow through and do something big.
She says it’s not enough to just know the industry, but also to educate others in a generally misunderstood space.
“Something that’s helped me in my career, and something I’d like to see more social teams adopt, is an influence and general business acumen.”
She says social managers have to build the skills to assert their case and tell a compelling story to executives.
“I think there’s a whole opportunity in social like there hasn’t been before in traditional channels that helps to connect different parts of the business and create a cohesive story that makes people want to ask how they can get involved,” Jessica explains.
“I think the most important part of my job — and other people in this type of role — is being the catalyst to connect the enterprise to live and share an authentic and holistic brand. And not only that, but one that also spurs customers, employees, applicants, and partners to take action.”
Jessica’s requirements for an authentic and holistic social media story: vision and operational commitment.
According to Jessica, “First, brands have to have the vision to commit to digital and an unwavering desire to wow their audiences.”
After that, operationally, brands have to connect people with creative opportunities. But Jessica says it’s about more than software like a social intranet, it’s about empowering creative talent — at all levels.
“Lots of organizations say they welcome creativity, but they don’t really provide the time and space to do that. Encouraging creativity ‘as long as you have all of your work done’ doesn’t allow for people to learn and stretch on the job,” Jessica explains.
In the long run, she says these strategies attract more innovative talent and create a better future pipeline.