Perspectives is a series uncovering routines, inspiration, and insights by global marketing leaders shaping the future.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yazmin Slim is the Digital Marketing Manager for Universal Pictures. She lives and breathes social media – and believes the future of marketing is ‘social-first content.’
In her words – Yazmin shares her perspective on:
- The importance of backing up ideas with strategy…
- How Twitter influenced her career…
- How social media is transforming content creation…
Describe your routine. What do you do for a living?
I’m the Manager of Digital Marketing at Universal Pictures.
My job encompasses everything from keeping up with the latest social media platform updates and trends, working with agencies to create social content that is in line with our film campaign and platform strategy, writing and editing post copy, monitoring audience feedback, identifying the best creative for our media campaign based on target audience, working with other departments to optimize their creative materials for each social platform, and so much more.
I work on our various film campaigns which gives me the opportunity to work on a lot of different genres. I’m constantly switching between horror films, animation, action, comedy, etc. Needless to say, I get to wear a lot of different hats and the job is never boring.
What does your typical day look like?
When there’s not a pandemic, my weekdays are spent on the Universal backlot. I miss our offices.
Seeing the many faces that make up NBCUniversal, meeting up with a colleague at the Coffee Bean on the backlot, having access to a golf cart (so cool!), it’s all so special. I can’t wait to get back to it.
These days I’m working out of my apartment.
In the morning, I wake up, check my phone, and make my bed. Then I get ready for work, make a quick breakfast, and jump on my laptop. When I’m not answering an email or working on a task, I’m scrolling through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat and everything else.
Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
Social media. I try and follow different voices from different fields. If you only keep up with your competition, you’ll only be as good or slightly better than them. So, I diversify my timeline as much as possible.
I love the brand voices of the fast food accounts (who doesn’t?). I’m obsessed with the social creative from all the professional and collegiate sports teams. I like the way beauty brands use influencers. I’m fascinated by k-pop stans and their fancams. I follow many fellow marketers who share their amazing work and insights. I also follow a lot of students who post their creative projects.
And don’t get me started on the TikTok For You page… It’s all so inspiring. I’m significantly better at my job because of my overuse of social media.
What do you feel most marketers struggle with?
The speed of the internet is a lot faster than the speed of a corporation, even the most successful ones.
Social media content that is spontaneous, and sometimes even risky, can see huge returns. However, the process can be fast-paced and messy, which isn’t how Marketing has traditionally operated.
What does the future of marketing look like to you?
I know my upbringing with social media has influenced my work as a marketer. So, when I think about the future of marketing, I think about the way the future marketers of the world are consuming and creating content now.
From that perspective, there’s a lot you can derive but what I’m most excited about is the content that kids today are being primed to create. TikTok is creating a generation of video editors who are being pushed to be as creative as possible in hopes of breaking through the For You Page algorithm.
Without probably realizing it, these young creators are excellent storytellers, formatting experts, and really understand platform context.
The future of marketing will have a lot more creative, social-first content.
What is a book, podcast, person, or event that helped shape your career – and why?
All of the above have helped shape my career but I’m especially grateful for the people who have. I owe a lot to the amazing people who have mentored me, hired me, given me critical feedback, challenged me, and have given me opportunities to speak, lead, and own.
Even though it doesn’t fit into one of the categories listed, I have to say that my love for Twitter has also shaped my career. When I started working in digital marketing, I tapped into every available resource to turn my obsession into expertise.
I work very closely with the team at Twitter (shout out to them for being amazing) and frequently check in with them for the latest insights, updates, and best practices. At the same time, I’m constantly scrolling through my own timeline to keep up with everything from a consumer perspective.
I’ve dug deeper into a Twitter rabbit hole than anyone else, and I’ve done my best to surface the best of what the platform has to offer and combine everything I know and have seen into new, innovative ideas for our own campaigns.
I send a “Twitter Update” email to my entire department every 2-3 weeks with all of the above (insights, trends, ideas, and more), and it has really helped me build a profile within the department as a digital expert.
It’s probably no surprise that some of my career highlights have been Twitter-specific projects like the branded emoji for The Invisible Man that was only visible in night mode, or the tweet-for-remind program for Candyman where users had to say “Candyman” five times in one tweet to opt-in.
For me, that intersection between my personal passion for Twitter and my professional career is where I’ve been able to really thrive.
What is something interesting or surprising you learned in the last few months?
Everything in the book, Atomic Habits (by James Clear). It’s a thoroughly interesting read that breaks down how small habits make a big difference. For me, it completely reshaped the way I think about progress.
I can’t recommend it enough. Go read Atomic Habits! Well, after you’ve finished reading this, of course.
What advice do you have for marketers and creatives who look up to you?
I just turned 26 so in many ways I’m still figuring things out. But here is one thing that has been working for me…
It’s easy to fall into the habit of speaking on behalf of your own social media experience. I’ve been active on at least one social media platform since middle school and my instincts on what will and won’t work on social media creep up like “spidey-senses.”
But instincts don’t make for a strong argument, and you shouldn’t assume that your personal social media habits are indicative of the way people use social as a whole. So, what I’ve been trying to do, and my advice, would be to back up your opinions with some sort of strategy point or with data. For example:
Ew. Too many hashtags make us look desperate.
What I would say out loud:
In my experience, using too many hashtags in the copy makes the post look overly promotional and would likely trigger a user to quickly swipe away. Strategically speaking, we should limit our hashtag use considering that what we really want the user to click on is the ticketing link. Adding multiple hashtags gives the user other things to click on and competes with our more important mission of getting users to click for showtimes.
What are you excited about or looking forward to?
This pandemic has been the catalyst to some pretty big changes in the film industry and I’m excited to take on this new approach.
I’m also really excited to shake hands and hug people again when it’s safe. I’m not a fan of this elbow bump thing.
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