Emily Drewry is leading the charge in producing content that matters. Throughout her career, Emily has made her mark at renowned companies including Levo and now Forbes – where she currently acts as the Social Media Content Manager. In this role, Emily has the unique opportunity to help refresh the social POV of a true legacy brand like Forbes. In addition to liaising with different departments throughout the company, Emily also produces and hosts two social media series of her own. Needless to say, Emily’s jam packed days are nothing short of inspiring, and we witnessed her talents firsthand after joining her morning commute to the Forbes office in New Jersey. Read on to discover more of her digital history, thoughts on video, and the need to maintain authenticity – both online and off.
Please introduce yourself!
I’m Emily – a millennial content creator living in New York City! I spend my days managing social media content for Forbes. The rest of the time you’ll find me trying new workout classes, spending too much time on the internet, and reading to counteract all the screen time. I’m originally from the Midwest, but have fallen in love with NYC and can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Before Forbes what were you up to professionally, what role did digital play in your job description, and what have been some notable moments throughout your career so far?
As I neared college graduation, I looked for a role that balanced my passion for journalism with a new- found interest in digital media. I ended up at Levo, a startup in NYC that helped a community of young women pursue their dream careers. As with most startups, I wore many hats: I helped with community management, giveaways, product development, and much more. After a few months in my general role, I was given the opportunity to take over all the social media for the brand. Thus started my career in social, one I couldn’t have imagined for myself pre-graduation, but wouldn’t ever look back. Working at a startup was the ideal way for me to dip my toes into the working world: I thrived in an environment that valued testing and iterating and creating without too much red tape. To go from a junior role in that company to managing all social platforms in less than six months was monumental for my confidence and spurred an interest in content creation that hasn’t died down yet.
From Levo League to Forbes, it seems that you’ve had a pretty holistic experience in social media. Would you agree? What are your thoughts on the current social media landscape, and what role does planning play across all platforms?
Yes and no – I have had the chance to create social content for two brands on very different ends of the audience spectrum – Levo’s focus on millennial women differs greatly from the traditional, older audience of Forbes. But my experience has always been somewhat in the media landscape – working in social media for a product or corporation is a whole different ballgame. Still, the lessons I’ve learned in the years I’ve worked with social media have given me a cohesive understanding of what it takes to succeed.
Right now, the world of social media revolves around video and influencers, and that will only continue to be emphasized in the near future. That worries me, for a few reasons: first, I find that video serves a very specific purpose, and should by no means replace the traditional process of reading (comprehension requires full attention, which just isn’t as likely with video). And as for influencers, I feel that though we have yet to reach a peak of their popularity, it will eventually happen—the approachability that drove them to success in the first place is beginning to fade away as they inundate our feeds. The more polished their sponsored content becomes, the less authentic it feels.
Relatedly, many platforms are allowing for a more curated feel than ever before – no longer is your feed entirely real-time or live. It’s edited and pre-planned, and that’s neither bad nor good. It’s essential for brands and influencers to plan, but it does take away a level of approachability for followers when content is perfectly color-curated or entirely reposted from other accounts. I think managing a brand on social requires planning, but we’ll see a shift back to organic live posting in the next few years at the demand of consumers who want to return to the authenticity of social media’s earlier days.
Talk to us about your day-to-day at Forbes. How would you describe the differences in your role as a Social Media Editor versus your current position as a Social Content Manager? What has been the biggest learning curve?
My day-to-day at Forbes revolves around content and getting it to the right places. My job is to be the liaison between the social team and every other team at the company, so I’m in constant communication with our video, graphics, PR and editorial teams. I help our editors prepare for major lists, execute live videos and overall tell stories on their platforms with the assets they need. In addition to coordinating all of our social plans for major events and launches, I also produce and host two social series of my own.
The difference between my role as a content manager and previously as an editor is the amount of posting: while our editors are filling up queues of posts to go out all day long, I am watching those queues and filling in the gaps with the right additional assets like graphics and videos. It’s a much more organizational-focused role, which I absolutely love. The biggest challenge has been to overthrow some of the systems that have been in place at Forbes for a long time—it’s a constant learning process for all of our teams to learn to work together, and part of what I do is help other areas of the company understand what we need to successfully share stories and why.
It seems that video is a huge constant in your role now. Why do you think there is a synergy between video and social media content?
At this point in the social media landscape, you can’t succeed without prioritizing video. In our case (and with most other media brands as well), the numbers just speak for themselves. Connecting video and social just makes sense—it’s the kind of content that’s easily accessible via your mobile device and on- the-go—and it’s visually stimulating to keep you engaged. There’s a constant push and pull between users on their phones and the world around them, and video seems to be the sweet spot for keeping them engaged.
I love working on social video because I get to see the talents of our video team come to life—they’ve been incredibly supportive in helping us launch our social-first series and also bring the edit team’s work to life in a visual way.
We were thrilled to learn that you use PLANOLY on your personal Instagram. What has your experience been like and how do you plan to use it to build or enhance your personal brand?
The day I was introduced to Planoly, I was blown away. I always struggled to visualize my entire feed when I posted, and I really was looking for a way to gather the images I was taking to create a mood board for my life. It has not only helped me fine-tune my aesthetic but also kept me on track with my posting goals. As it grows increasingly important to maintain a personal brand, especially for those working in the social media space, it’s essential for me to post steadily and Planoly has been essential to that.
As we look towards the new year, do you have any recommendations on who we should be following or keeping an eye on in 2018?
Absolutely keep an eye on @Noor Tagouri’s social—she was my first ever guest on my series Seat of Power and has been such an inspiration to me (she’s also a really good person with fantastic style.) On the brand side, I think @Bumble has done a fantastic job at their social so far, so I’m excited to see what @BumbleBizz brings to the mix in 2018.