Jaymie-Leigh Baker is an Associate Lecturer in Social Media Marketing at Anglia Ruskin University. She balances this with hands-on experience in social media management.

How It All Started

Jaymie-Leigh Baker’s journey to becoming an Associate Lecturer in Social Media Marketing began with a foundation in marketing. She studied marketing at university and has Chartered Institute of Marketing qualifications.

She began her career as a generalist marketer initially, but it was her volunteer work for charities and small businesses during her university years that nudged her towards the social media scene.

Jaymie-Leigh is a lifelong learner, constantly updating her skills through webinars and events. She’s a big advocate for formal education in marketing or related fields like communications or media. 

In 2022, she created a network of social media staff at universities around the UK. The group meets regularly to discuss difficulties or best practise in the realm of HE social media.

She believes a degree is a valuable asset, although she acknowledges that there are many paths to success in this field. 

Her journey highlights how blending academic knowledge with hands-on experience can lead to various career opportunities in social media.

Her Current Role in Social Media Marketing

Jaymie-Leigh’s dual role as an Associate Lecturer in Social Media Marketing and a Marketing Executive provides a blend of educator and hands-on expertise. 

In academia, she focuses on creating engaging course content, training aspiring social media managers, and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends in social media. 

Her tools of the trade include Canva, Adobe products, and various in-app editors. Her go-to platform is Hootsuite, which she finds user-friendly and straightforward, having been the first scheduling platform she used. 

Career Highlights

One of the highlights of Jaymie-Leigh’s career has been the creation of the #ARULearn series for Anglia Ruskin University’s TikTok channel. This project turned academics and students into viral content creators, discussing their subjects with enthusiasm and creativity. For Jaymie-Leigh, this was more than a successful campaign; it was a rewarding experience that deepened her knowledge and understanding.

What she cherishes most in her career is the interaction with people. Contrary to the common perception of social media as a behind-the-scenes job, Jaymie-Leigh believes that you sit at the heart of a company and get to know everything that’s happening and everybody involved.

The Challenges and Resilience of Social Media Managers

In her career, Jaymie-Leigh has faced significant day-to-day challenges, particularly in encouraging people to become the face of the brand and present content engagingly. 

The most daunting setback was the onset of COVID-19, while working as a Social Media Officer at Anglia Ruskin University. The transition to fully remote work raised a critical question: how could she create authentic university content without being on campus? Despite this, Jaymie-Leigh and her team produced uplifting content that brought the community together, even teaching lecturers to create selfie-style TikTok videos.

Another frequent challenge comes from colleagues requesting the promotion of content that doesn’t fit social media norms, like overly wordy posters. Jaymie-Leigh has become an expert at explaining the nuances of different platforms and educating others on effective social media activities. 

Key Learnings

A crucial lesson she’s learned is the power of communication. Engaging in conversations with people about her goals and their roles in content creation simplifies the process and better represents the brand. 

As for managing the relentless pace of social media, Jaymie-Leigh stresses the importance of acknowledging that no one can know everything. She stays connected with a network of social media professionals, particularly through LinkedIn, where updates on the latest trends and topics are always buzzing. 

This network acts as a safety net, ensuring that even if she misses an update, someone in her circle will keep her informed. This allows her to navigate the 24/7 nature of social media management with confidence and support.

Interviewing for Social Media Roles

Handling job interviews in social media can be a maze of expectations and challenges.

“I’ve actually enjoyed most, if not all interviews in the last 5 years! It often feels more like a friendly chat – the experience and examples come a lot easier after working in social media for years, and I only ever apply to companies I feel have a great culture or team feel.”

The Intimidating Salary Question

Jaymie-Leigh says that the most uncomfortable question she has ever been asked at a social media interview was being asked about her current salary.

She views this as a tactic to gauge the lowest possible offer, advocating for the need to recognise and pay the true value for social media expertise.

The Multi-Round Interviews

Multi-round interviews can be challenging, especially when balancing a full-time job. She appreciates the growing trend of video interviews, making the process more accessible and flexible.

Crisis Communication Questions

Jaymie-Leigh often encounters questions on crisis communication in interviews.

Networking and Connections

A fun aspect of her interview experiences includes networking with other candidates – Jaymie-Leigh met one of her best friends at a job interview (neither of them got the job!)

Wrapping It Up

Jaymie-Leigh’s key advice for aspiring social media managers is to actively seek experience through volunteering and internships. This hands-on approach, coupled with a keen eye for upcoming trends, such as AI, is critical.

Looking ahead, Jaymie-Leigh plans to continue immersing herself in all things social media has to offer. She will be attending webinars and events to enhance her knowledge and skills. She recognises the ever-changing nature of the industry. There is the possibility that her plans and career may evolve as new trends and platforms surface.

Want to know more about Jaymie-Leigh? Head to our Careers Panel Discussion where she shared even more insights.