We continue our tradition of interviewing #ADINDEX employees. Today we talked to Illya about the future of SMM marketing, about motivation, skills of SMM specialists, complex tasks, and #ADINDEX, of course.
How did you become an SMM specialist?
That was the thing I really wanted to do. When I was a teenager, I started growing non-commercial motivational public pages in VKontakte.
Even back then I understood that this wasn’t merely a hobby, but an opportunity to influence tenths of thousands of people, who are the same as you, to inspire them, and to share your experience.
When I understood that I wanted to build those public pages and reach more than a million subscribers, I started communicating with the administrators of other public pages that had millionth audiences.
This helped me understand that I want to work in digital.
How did you get into the agency? How many years do you work here already? How did everything start?
I came to the #ADINDEX agency after working in top educational projects in Kyiv. I just wanted to go back home and do something for the local home market.
It took me two years to grow from junior to senior. It’s very pleasant that all the colleagues value and approve both the career and personal growth of everyone from the #ADINDEX family as our success grows along with the clients’ one.
How would you describe good SMM?
If a company wants a good SMM strategy, they have to hire competent specialists with enough time and skills to:
- monitor trends;
- analyze the work and the market;
- always offer new strategies when the old ones stop being effective;
- always learn from their mistakes and on high-quality professional courses (targeting independently, PR independently, design independently, communication, production, etc.).
In your opinion, when a company that wants to promote themselves on social media should start?
The most important thing that would serve as the basis for the future strategy and work is good Terms of Reference, the description of a product and target audiences, and, of course, the willingness to communicate a lot. Without that, an SMM, either in-house or freelance one, won’t be successful.
What do you believe to be the essential thing in SMM promotion of business?
Everything changes as time goes on. The market is close to a glut. Nowadays, there are a few key things to consider:
- knowledge about a product;
- the ability to forecast KPI and budgeting;
- high-quality design/visual.
These three things should be united, preferably in one person’s head. Such an approach could help one avoid silly fuck-ups like: ‘We didn’t reach the KPI goals because we didn’t have enough money for the second stage of the funnel, because we planned the first stage of our advertising campaign incorrectly.’
You need planning to ensure the strategy’s implementation, and you need powerful visuals (especially the one that’s better than the competitors) to lower the expenses for advertising activities.
Putting it simply, investing in visual will help your business to quickly capture the attention of their audience instead of spending the budget on a large number of ad displays when an ad is poorly designed and fails to captivate the viewers.
Tell us, what do you like the most about your job?
I most enjoy the opportunity to grow, both professionally and mentally. When you work in the marketing industry, it’s merely impossible for you not to grow, not to be interested in anything new, and not to try solving the clients’ complex tasks.
Which skills and personal traits should a specialist that applies to the Senior SMM position have?
You have to learn all the time. You cannot afford to be closed to new knowledge and new opportunities. Don’t try to look at the tasks from the top of your experience: instead, treat new information openly, as if you were a child. That’s what’s important regarding qualification. It’s even more important to know how to communicate, to be able to listen to your colleagues and clients and to make sure that you understand them right. Only after you understand a task clearly, you should move on to planning, setting KPI goals, and delegating the tasks to specialists.
You speak at conferences and events a lot. You also write a lot of articles. How do you do all that? Maybe you have some life hacks and tips to share with the readers?
Probably I don’t have any life hacks. I think that you should write and speak about the things that genuinely excite you, the things you want to share a lot. If that’s the case, you’ll always find ways and opportunities.
Do you have any traditions in the SMM department?
Each of the #ADINDEX departments has its own processes and traditions. For instance, we have the digest. It’s another opportunity to discipline yourself and to structure your professional growth. We monitor the market’s trends, discuss old strategies, and new tools. This is a kind of management process that most freelancers don’t have. As a result, this affects the qualifications and the quality of the result.
How do you motivate yourself?
Years ago, I decided that I wouldn’t motivate myself with anything. There are things I can enjoy, things I can achieve. There’s discipline. Discipline plays a more important role in our field that in some narrow specialties like the design. When we need to ‘boost our creativity,’ we can turn to qualified specialists and learn how to create visually strong products instead of trying to come up with some ineffective solutions on our own.
What inspires you the most in your work?
The ability to communicate with my colleagues and thousands of people who use our projects. The constant changes and new types of communication. It’s exciting, and it always makes me want to excite the audience with more prominent creative solutions, not to leave them indifferent. Such efforts usually end up generating profit for our clients.
What do you do when you face a very complicated task?
It’s okay to face complicated tasks. Most of the time, I work with projects that require more than a basic skill set. The result often depends not only on experience but also on the ability of a specialist to find the elements that could be improved (for instance, funnel stages, strategies, technical settings, etc.). It’s also important to look for the correct causal relationships and to ask non-standard questions both to yourself and to the project. This is how we try to work as a team.
The team’s overall level is critical, as well. For instance, we are practically the first to learn about the news and innovations on Facebook and Instagram, because the company schedules the time for weekly digests of digital events. This helps us to avoid a lot of difficulties with projects, and this is the merit of our whole team.
How do you think SMM will look like in 3-5 years?
I have several entertaining forecasts to share.
1. Content monetization.
The business will start monetizing the content; one will be able to purchase a subscription to get content, and it would be standard practice because free content making will become too expensive for ordinary users. Only businesses will be able to afford it. Even nowadays, we can see that the quality of the visuals affects advertising costs and brand memorability.
2. Payments that could be made directly on social media.
In the near future, we’ll be able to make purchases directly on social media, without distracting ourselves from scrolling the feed. I believe it’ll become even more customary than purchasing something in online stores.
3. AR reality.
Augmented and virtual reality will make the shopping process even more comfortable. World’s and Ukrainian top marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, and Rozetka are already moving towards this change.
4. The advertising prices will increase.
I think it’ll be the market that will lead to an increase in advertising prices. The users will have to purchase advertising from media personalities at such advertising looks more native. The market is definitely going to meet new players (social media). For instance, Like and TikTok are already present at the market; however, there aren’t many people who specialize in these social media (often there aren’t any people like that in the agencies). It’s important to work hard as a team to be in trend and learn new tools and opportunities every day.
Finally, could you please share your most pleasant experience of years of your work in ADINDEX with us?
The first work was the most memorable. It was an internship before real work. It was the most challenging time for me, probably, as I wanted to get into the agency and join the team so much.