The Social Element: the all-female leadership team disrupting social media marketing

The Social Element received ’Leadership Team of the Year’ at The Drum Awards for Agency Business in 2021. In this case research, get a deeper understanding of what makes this company particular and profitable, beginning with the folks at the high.The Social Element was having its finest yr but in 2019-20. Its all-female leadership team had curated a mutually supportive and caring tradition that valued new concepts, methods of pondering and – most of all – its folks. Embarking on a journey to assist purchasers join the dots between information, their social channels and the people at the different finish, the company’s course was resonating with purchasers.

When the world modified, so did the leadership team. It sprang into motion and, already a distant firm, may deal with how they wanted to adapt to the scenario.The team took a three-pronged method that addressed how the company wanted to vary to work for: staff, purchasers and purchasers’ clients. The leadership team every took a private and pivotal function in making certain that every of those areas was coated whereas managing prices and losses to maintain everybody in a job. While taking a private curiosity in providing staff help, the team between them discovered the time to see to the pressing wants of the purchasers too.By pivoting to a deal with the best way to help purchasers with new sources – with out extra price – and serving to them to help their clients by way of a attempting time, The Social Element retained and received new enterprise at an unprecedented price.Overall, the yr turned one among The Social Element’s most worthwhile in its historical past, all whereas maintaining a motivated, engaged and caring workforce as joyful as doable.Team ConstructionThe Social Element is woman-owned and women-led. All 5 of The Social Element’s govt positions are stuffed by well-connected, inspiring ladies throughout London, Valencia, Aberdeen and North Carolina. The team nominated for this award consists of:Tamara Littleton, chief govt officer. Tamara based the firm in 2002 and can quickly have spent 20 years at the helm of the company. Ashley Cooksley, managing director. Ashley has been with the enterprise for nearly 13 years, and has run the North American aspect of the enterprise since 2019. Emma Harris, chief artistic officer. Emma has been on the board for practically three years, turning The Social Element right into a artistic drive to be reckoned with. Treena Hales, chief working officer, Valencia. Treena has been with the firm for 13 years and is the central cog inside the TSE leadership team. Wendy Christie, chief folks officer. After 13 years of service and dedication to creating The Social Element a fantastic place to work, Wendy confronted arguably her greatest problem but with the pandemic – and rose to it magnificently.Achievements over the previous yrIn February of 2020, The Social Element’s leadership team was poised to embark on a spectacular yr of development, heading an company that represented the easiest of the business. With an unimaginable cohort of employees, we knew our versatile and distant working mannequin was giving us a bonus by way of worker range. Clients have been responding to our nuanced, data-driven and human-first method to social media and so have been their clients.When the pandemic started, although, every part wanted altering. Our govt team took a 3 pronged method and targeted on: The Social Element team, the purchasers and the model shopper’s customers. Whilst many firms have been urgently specializing in transferring to distant working, The Social Element had a bonus having been arrange as a distant first firm from day one, 19 years in the past. Therefore, we have been in a position to focus extra on our purchasers and team’s emotional wants.Refocusing our power, we rewrote our total technique inside three weeks. We invested time and sources into our purchasers, together with new providers that met their rising wants (disaster monitoring, social listening and sentiment evaluation of their customers). We additionally led free webinars to assist them adapt to distant working themselves as a value-add as we had constructed up years of expertise on this space.Tamara took half in over 20 webinars and podcasts on distant working, sustaining tradition and helpful hacks for working at dwelling as a means of giving again to the business.And it paid off. In the previous yr, the firm has retained practically all of its purchasers regardless of vital finances cuts throughout the business, employed new folks, and his above-target profitability. Some current purchasers doubled their spend, whereas new purchasers embody Visa, Olafur Eliasson, Parkinson’s UK and Peloton. The Social Element has been featured in the Sunday Times and the received three world business awards.Evidence of Inspirational leadershipEnsuring wellness of our employeesOur first precedence was our employees’s psychological well being. To guarantee we had a direct line into the leadership team, Wendy and Tamara provided each day 1:1 Zoom calls to all employees – no imply feat for an company with 255 folks. They additionally provided private help for folks impacted by exterior circumstances – the pandemic, homeschooling, protests and extra.We held common webinars to supply updates, transparency, course and rejoice nice work – bringing our group collectively. Wendy’s ardour for folks meant that the enterprise completed the yr in revenue and development with a cheerful, engaged workforce.Support over gross salesTamara swiftly led the Exec team by way of a course of to create a brand new imaginative and prescient and roadmap for the company, specializing in supporting purchasers over gross sales, comparable to by way of extra perception experiences to information their technique.She was supported on this effort by Ashley, who led the North America team to win some spectacular new purchasers comparable to Peloton. Ashley additionally grew current shopper relationships, comparable to Keurig Dr Pepper, by growing a course of for providing proactive recommendation on pivoting in response to the fixed shifts in shopper behaviour and attitudes.New artistic launchMigrating from CMO to CCO, Emma broadened her remit by launching our new artistic team after years of constructing our thought leadership and company status. The artistic providing is uniquely social-first and community-led; specializing in growing insight-based agile content material that connects with the emotional wants of our large model purchasers. Emma is enthusiastic about the artwork of social particular artistic and encourages manufacturers to keep away from lower down variations of their ATL campaigns to make social content material.Diversity and Inclusion workDiversity is baked into our ethos, however we needed to formalise the significance of range and inclusion to us. Wendy spearheaded training round and choices for displaying gender pronouns throughout inside and exterior methods. Wendy additionally labored on creating gender-neutral job ads and freelancer contracts.Tamara led the cost to accomplice with Creative Equals. The Social Element achieved bronze degree accreditation. Ali Hanan (she/her), CEO of Creative Equals, commented: “The founder is an LGBTQ girl and we have surveyed their firm to seek out they’re one among the most numerous firms we have ever labored with”.Adapting at scaleTreena oversaw the migration of the London workplace to completely distant working and ensured that the transition was easy and safe while renegotiating contracts with our property and technical suppliers to maintain management of prices. Treena helped ship the formidable cost-saving plan to make sure that extremely, regardless of the challenges in the market, this has been the most worthwhile yr in our historical past.

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