I’m always interested in the new jobs that are being created to deal with the rise of the web and social media. So when I had the opportunity I asked Ben Ayers, Social Media Manager for ITV.com, what his job involves. Here’s his reply:
“I manage social media for ITV.com but also oversee social media strategy for ITV as a whole, working closely with colleagues in marketing and sometimes third parties like agencies and production companies who create content for us.
“Over the last couple of years I have eased ITV towards a semi-coordinated social media strategy – both on and off ITV.com – developing communities and engagement around programme brands.
“This has worked really effectively for the likes of the X Factor and I’m A Celebrity and to some extent our ‘evergreen’ programmes like soaps and daytime shows This Morning and Loose Women. I also work with my editorial colleagues to try new ‘social’ features around programmes. Most recently I have been working with ITV news to make our election coverage as engaging as possible.
“Although I work within the ITV.com team, I also work closely with colleagues in marketing, PR and sales. I manage community on ITV.com and have been working on the implementation and adoption of a new community platform introduced at the end of last year. I also oversee moderation and chair the ITV digital group that includes colleagues from PR and marketing.
“I was a journalist on local newspapers in the South before going into PR, starting at Comic Relief. I have worked in communications at the BBC, Science Museum and more latterly ITV. I moved from programme publicity at ITV to manage PR for ITV’s website. It was from there that I moved into social media activity for the website. In the first year the focus was on traffic generation using social media channels but increasingly it’s about community and engagement.”
I also asked what were the 3 most important lessons he has learned in the job:
- “The devil’s in the detail – although it can be a bore, reading the small print is actually very worthwhile
- “Don’t be afraid to try new stuff – in the UK we are too hard on ‘failure’. There’s a different culture in other countries like the US and we can learn from that.
- “It’s really not all about traffic.”