Perspectives is a series uncovering routines, inspiration, and insights by global brand leaders shaping the future of marketing.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Joanna Renteria is currently a Social Media Strategist for Social Lab at Google (powered by Synergis). In her own words – Joanna shares her perspective on:
• Working in social media during a crisis…
• What influenced her career path…
• How to succeed and achieve your goals…
Describe your routine. What do you do for a living? What does your typical day look like?
Right now, my days are very different than they were pre-COVID-19. I am a Social Media Strategist for a tech company in the Bay Area and that usually requires being digitally connected often and trying to set limits to my screen time.
My typical day entails waking up between 6 and 7 AM, checking email over my mobile as I prep for the gym (which I’m now able to do again as of a month ago), and responding to anything urgent. I try to work out most days and follow that with breakfast and some downtime. I usually begin my work days around 9 AM.
Every day requires a different task and I am constantly pivoting; a big part of my job involves overseeing social media governance, comms, and processes for the org. Work is usually pretty busy, but I like to be consistent with my schedule and set limits to it as well.
I like to wrap up around 6 PM and try to disconnect; this is all very hard to do, especially nowadays that I’m not doing much at home, but I’ve found it to be especially important for my mental health and wellbeing.
I then have dinner, unwind, and hang out with my husband and puppy.
How do you wind down from a long day of work?
I sound like a broken record, but again, I need to fully disconnect from technology to unwind.
After work, I like to dedicate my time to my family. That usually means having a nice and relaxing dinner with my husband, followed by quality time with my puppy, Dumpling. I’m also going on more walks these days which have really helped clear my mind.
I enjoy writing and have been trying to pick that up a bit more lately; I recently purchased a book of Pablo Neruda’s most famous poems in English and Spanish, I’m hoping it will inspire me to pick up a paper and pen (or laptop) again.
What is a book, podcast, person, or event that helped shape your career – and why?
Graduate school and everything/everyone I came across during that time of my life influenced me. I was an aspiring journalist before grad school; studying mass media and seeing where communications was headed, influenced me to pivot and explore a different career path. I’ve been working in social media ever since.
What is something interesting or surprising you learned in the last few months?
The political climate of our country, it has all been surprising, eye-opening, and consuming. Working in social media, we’ve had little time to digest it all but have had to quickly take on the role of responding and guiding teams. That has not been easy to do.
Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
My parents, my culture, my community.
My parents, they have true hustle and grit, and they’ve always instilled that in me. I’m often reminded of their struggles and accomplishments as Mexican immigrants, and that’s always been very influential. Growing up in a low-income and predominantly Hispanic community, I grew up with a strong appreciation for my culture. All of that is something I’m constantly trying to incorporate into my work, to remind myself and hopefully, inspire others as well.
What do you feel most marketers struggle with?
Access to resources and proper training, especially social marketers.
Social media isn’t as new as we make it seem; it’s always evolving but we now have an understanding of how things work. Working in social media is often a guessing game and I don’t think it should be at this point; we need companies to start believing in what we do and invest more resources to getting teams equipped to do great work.
What advice do you have for marketers and creatives who look up to you?
Focus – find an area to specialize in and master it. Go after your dream job and all the scary stuff, but always have a side hustle and a brand to fall on. Personally, doing this early on in my career gave me the experience in social media that I wasn’t getting elsewhere; I was able to teach myself a lot that prepared me for my first professional role in the field.
What are you excited about or looking forward to?
I’m optimistic about the future; I look forward to the next half of the year. With the extra time at home, I look forward to connecting with more people virtually, learning from others, seeing the outcomes of this pandemic and how it positively influences us. I look forward to spending more time outside of working hours on personal projects and living the slower-paced life we’re all getting used to now.
Final question… What does the future of marketing look like to you?
I see there being more personalized marketing and storytelling. Connecting with audiences will be less about the medium and more about the content it serves and the connection… or so I’d hope.
If you enjoyed reading this interview, consider subscribing to Future of Marketing.