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On the job - Katy Brown

In the first of a new series, James Knowles spends a day with Oasis’s multichannel editor

Social media is central to fashion retailers’ multichannel strategies. Today’s busy, time-poor consumers demand the ability to shop via multiple channels at their convenience, and businesses of all sizes are investing in this area by employing social media teams and experts to deliver the kind of user experience and customer service that will help to set them apart.

It’s with this in mind that Drapers spent a day shadowing womenswear retailer Oasis’s multichannel editor Katy Brown, to see what working in social media involves and what an effective social media strategy looks like.

At the Aurora Fashions-owned business’s shiny HQ in Old Street, London, Brown sits within Oasis’s ecommerce team and works closely with all areas of the business, particularly with creative, design, marketing and PR.

One of the first tasks, and indeed something Brown does continually throughout the day, is monitoring Oasis’s social media sites to see what customers are talking about, and what they are saying about the retailer. Brown responds to all enquiries, and creates content to engage with customers and build a buzz around the retailer.

She provides exclusive content for Oasis’s social media followers on a weekly basis, and launched Facebook Fridays, which includes competitions such as the chance to win the full 18 pieces from Oasis’s London Love Letters collection of dresses and accessories.

Brown doesn’t just use promotions to create a buzz, but also connects with the retailer’s female customers via other posts, from suggestions on what to buy, to pictures of David Beckham on the cover of Elle. She also splits her time between the other social media platforms Oasis is on: Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. “You have to be reactive to the market and the competition,” she says.

While showing me how to set up an account on photo-sharing site Pinterest, Brown explains that the site is growing at a “rate of knots”. She adds: “We use this more as an inspirational tool, allowing our customers behind-the-scenes access into what we love and where our inspiration comes from.”

As parent company Aurora Fashions takes its Oasis, Warehouse and Coast fascias overseas via its international etail site, Brown’s role has an increasingly global focus, and she works alongside the international teams to ensure Oasis’s social media message is tailored to specific markets.

As part of her day managing content, she also sends out email newsletters to customers with promotions and features, such as what the team are wearing and what their favourite products are.

Spending the day shadowing Brown showed there is more to working in social media than meets the eye, and rather than simply sitting on Facebook all day, it’s actually a highly varied role, providing great insight into what makes the customer tick. As the channel grows, the number of social media jobs will too.

Salaries for this position range from £27,000 to £30,000 (estimate by Bloom Retail)

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