“The most important lesson I learnt as a Social Media Manager was resilience. If you’re passionate and resilient you’re 98% guaranteed to succeed. I learnt never to say never and to embrace each and every challenge as an opportunity to level up.”

Marcia Mudzwiti, Account Manager and Paid Social Strategist from Publicis Media chats to Puleng Moloi about simple ways she has upgraded her social media skills, her thoughts on upcoming trends and advice for women in the social media space.

 

When, how and why did you get started in social media? 

I’ve been in the game for almost 10 years, as a social media manager, turned copy editor, community manager, copywriter, campaign manager, strategist, shoot coordinator and everything in between. 

I can’t quite remember why I got started – to be honest my intention coming out of Vega was to become a Copy Writer – after my first internship as a “Content Writer” – I decided I’d probably be bored out of my mind – and here we are 😅

 

What have been some of your career highlights?

 I’ve been the eyes, ears, brains and voice behind PUMA South Africa, Sorbet Group, Caltex SA. Virgin Active Red, Reebok South Africa and many others, I recently (a month ago) hung up my Social Media Manager cap in favour of a position as A Paid Social Strategist And Account Manager – don’t get me wrong I loved being a Social Media Manager but I think I’ve done all I can in the space and unfortunately, if you’re not learning you’re not growing so onwards and upwards! 

 

The most important lesson I learned as a Social Media Manager was resilience. If you’re passionate and resilient you’re 98% guaranteed to succeed. I learned never to say never and to embrace each and every challenge as an opportunity to level up. 

 

Did you know the potential of social media when you first started using it? What are your thoughts on social media going into 2021? 

 

No, I definitely didn’t. Can I let you in on a secret? 🤣🤣 I interviewed for a position cant remember which agency it was sometime in 2014/2015 – and I kid you not – I told the interviewer “I don’t believe in paid posts” 💀💀 That thought really lives in my mind rent-free. 

 

My prediction for social for 2021 and beyond is that we’ll see a major shift in the way audiences engage and interact with content – as well as finally seeing more brands stories doing vs just storytelling – through the entire panorama (not a typo), we’ve already begun to see significant shifts in how peoples IRL experiences impact their social media consumption – I dig it – The opening line of my cover letter has literally been, “creating content that not only appeals to them but resonates with them”, for a good 6 years. So for me, seeing brands begin to shift their strategies and communication to drive even more value and even more connection than before, is something I’m here for 110%. 

 

Which courses or programmes can you recommend that have helped you upgrade your social media skills throughout your career? 

 

Google – literally. My best friend for life – there isn’t anything I haven’t searched for – but of course, on a more practical level, I would definitely recommend Facebook Blueprint, Twitter flight school and Google Skillshop. Meltwater Academy is also great – and on that note most of the platforms we use to manage social media accounts have their own blogs, reports, white papers and even the occasional case study – tap into that – in this industry you can never know enough.

 

Working behind a brand’s social media is always easier, how do you manage your own personal brand to ensure you have an online presence too? 

 

I don’t 😐 I think there are two types of Social Media Managers – those that coach but don’t play and those that do both – for my own sanity and to avoid burnout – most of my energy was always focused on building brands – And as luck would have, (or not), I’ve always had very high engagement brands so never really had “spare time”

 

 Do you feel there are particular skills every social media person should have? 

 

Passion, resilience, and honesty. Of course a keen eye for detail is also important – coupled with being level headed and not too trigger happy – this comes in handy during PR crises as well as knowing when to not hop on a trend 😝You also have to have a really thick skin and know which battles are worth fighting 😊 One last thing – an insatiable appetite for personal growth and development goes a long way – don’t be mediocre. 

 

How do you stay up to date with social media trends and culture especially when the industry is fast paced? 

I have alerts for everything – there isn’t a mailing list I’m not part of tbh – you’d be rather surprised at the amount of info a person can consume in a day 😊 Twitter is also pretty helpful if you follow the right accounts 😊

 

 

There is a trend with businesses looking for social media unicorns. Do you believe social media managers can be all-in-1 unicorns? Designers, copywriters, paid specialists, community managers, content creators…

 

Yes and no – yes it can be done – and I have been said unicorn many a time in my career – do I recommend it? No. No one person should do the job of 7 people – balls will inevitably be dropped. So to all brands trying to cut corners and save costs…Stop it – because while your Unicorn is redoing the final.Finalv4 campaign creative – there are urgent messages in the DMs sitting unanswered.

 

MARCIA RECOMMENDS… 

What key pointers can future small business or personal brands use to run a successful social media campaign just like big brands?  

 

Define your KPIs upfront, knowing what success looks like to you at the end of a campaign from the jump, saves a lot of stress, time, and money. I cannot count how many times I’ve sat in post-campaign report backs and had clients ask why the engagement or clicks were low on campaigns that were briefed in for awareness. It truly boggles the mind.

 

What more do you think could be done to support women entering the SM industry?

 Mentorship 

 

Which mentors or role models have positively impacted you in your career, and what’s one lesson that they taught you?

Tbh everyone I’ve ever worked with whether we got on or not taught me something – there’s a lesson in everything😊  

I do have to shout out the marketing department at PUMA though – those cats really taught me to believe in myself and to speak up. To never be afraid to occupy space.

 

 What’s your advice for other women looking to lead in the social media space?

 Be you. Whole heartedly, authentically you. You are the expert – remember that.

 

 How can people work with you in the future to get help on social media? 

Connect with me on LinkedIn – Marcia Mudzwiti – always happy to help, chat or just be a sounding board – I also enjoy a good rant lmao 😊 

 

Which mentors or role models have positively impacted you in your career, and what’s one lesson that they taught you?

Tbh everyone I’ve ever worked with whether we got on or not taught me something – there’s a lesson in everything😊  

I do have to shout out the marketing department at PUMA though – those cats really taught me to believe in myself and to speak up. To never be afraid to occupy space.