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Jodie Cook, Award Winning Social Media Entrepreneur

Jodie is an award-winning social media entrepreneur and business leader. She has rapidly become one of the UK’s leading social media experts having established her social media agency back in 2011 and was awarded Birmingham Young Professional of the Year in 2014. Jodie and the JC Social Media team work with hundreds of large and small businesses across a variety of sectors, from hospitality to education and manufacturing to property, JC Social Media is now one of the largest specialist social media agencies in the UK.

Posted by Hannah Hodgkinson, Tuesday January 12 2016

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Jodie is an award-winning social media entrepreneur and business leader. She has rapidly become one of the UK’s leading social media experts having established her social media agency back in 2011 and was awarded Birmingham Young Professional of the Year in 2014. Jodie and the JC Social Media team work with hundreds of large and small businesses across a variety of sectors, from hospitality to education and manufacturing to property, JC Social Media is now one of the largest specialist social media agencies in the UK.

Jodie and her husband Ben have also founded Clever Tykesa series of children’s storybooks inspiring enterprising behaviour.  Both Ben and Jodie are passionate about giving every child a positive mind-set and a ‘can-do’ attitude and believe this holds the key to a more prosperous society. The books are stocked in Harrods and Selfridges and available from the Clever Tykes website.  Oh and Jodie is also a BDFPA powerlifter in her spare time!

How did you get where you are today?

I studied business management at the University of Sheffield, joined a graduate scheme straight after graduating and worked another full time job at the same time to raise money to start a business. I left the graduate scheme in 2011 and started a business straight away - JC Social Media. I’ve been growing my business ever since - mainly through networking and building a profile. We are now a team of 10 based in Birmingham.

What are the benefits of companies investing in social media?

Social media is a marketer's dream - it categorises individuals by their demographic, interests and behaviour. This means brands can be highly targeted when it comes to sharing messages and engaging on an individual level.

Social media compliments other marketing channels both digital (SEO, e-newsletters, Adwords etc.) and more traditional PR and print. It often gets hoovered up in general PR and updates which leads to awful self-promotional, ‘me, me, me’ social media - just not what social networks are for.

Jodie Cook

Do you think all companies should be on social media?

Pretty much - nearly everyone uses social media in some capacity so your audience probably is there - the key is knowing how to access them.

Depending on if your audience if B2B/B2C or a mix, and how niche your offering is. As a rough guide: very niche and B2B only? Stick to LinkedIn. B2C and niche? Twitter. B2C and not niche - Facebook. Although most businesses will benefit from a combination of a few.

What are the best examples of social media you have seen?

  • One of our clients produced a range of Little Mix headphones. Through the clever use of Little Mix fan accounts, we were able to generate tens of thousands of impressions, hundreds of clicks and sales for the cost of sending a free pair to two or three people.
  • Oreo’s 'cookies and cream challenge' where they drew people’s tweets in cookies and cream. Interesting and interactive making the content engaging and value-adding for the consumer. It's this type of content that enables brands to promote themselves indirectly.
  • Innocent smoothies are a great example of a brand that knows its audience, is consistent in its social voice and post great content without spending the earth on flashy graphics.

What are the worst examples of social media use you have seen?

Piggybacking on to hashtags before researching them (Kim Kardashian example with her aurora dress), I have a personal hatred for bitchy or passive-aggressive social media updates. I also hate selfie sticks.

What qualities do you think a social media professional needs to have?

  • Adaptable and open-minded. Things change so quickly – you have to adopt new ideas and change thing if they're not working.
  • Creativity - 'same old' doesn't work; your audience is bored of same old and new and exciting things are needed to catch the attention.
  • Ability not to get distracted by random bits of clickbait whilst trying to be productive.

What are your favourite free/paid social media tools/resources?

Buffer! Free and paid. Also Slack, more to do with internal communication but still fun. Boomf is a company that takes your Instagram pictures and puts them onto marshmallows - very weird but also genius.

Any words of wisdom for social media professionals?

Practise over theory, ‘go for it’ rather than ‘hmm I’m not sure’. 

Want to hear more from Jodie? Follow her on Twitter at @cookiewhirls or find her book on social media interaction on Amazon.

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