Cassandra Clark is the Social Media Manager at Discover Financial Services, in charge of leading marketing efforts across all social platforms for the Discover brand at the enterprise level. Her world is social media, specializing in big data applications to paid media and new program development. Prior to managing the Discover Card enterprise strategy, Cassandra spearheaded the organization’s B2B social media presence, developing and fostering an interactive community for small businesses.
Cassandra has an MBA in international business, and a BS in advertising from the University of Illinois. She is the also the cofounder of Los Fiesteros event company, helps lead the Social Media team on the Associate Board of Chicago Gateway Green (non-profit environmental group), is Co-Chair of HOLA! (Helping Organize Latino Achievement) at Discover, and is President of CC Social Incorporated, her social media consulting group. You can find Cassandra on Linkedin here.
1. Most job postings cite “X” years of relevant work experience and specific education criteria as requirements to be considered for the position. With this in mind, what prior work experiences and degrees/certifications/training helped prepare you for your current role?
I’ve been in social media marketing for about six years now, and I think having spent so much time managing a challenging brand in a competitive vertical really helped me refine my social media marketing skills. I figure if I can successfully build a social presence for small merchants as their processors’ credit issuer (essentially a B2B2B business model) then everything else should be a walk in the park.
1B. What (if any) additional knowledge or skills that you don’t currently have would make you even better at your job?
What I absolutely love about the social media space is it is constantly evolving and changing. Through innumerable R&D testing, audience analysis, strategic insights, and the constant, drastic changes from the platforms, there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t get to acquire a new skill or sharpen my existing ones. To anyone looking to work in social media, I would say the most valuable skill sets are being flexible, and being willing to learn.
2. Some jobs require the incumbent to be very analytical. Others require one to be a strong communicator, and others still require traits like patience, the ability to multitask, self-directedness, comfort with ambiguity, and exceptional attention to detail. Are there any behaviors and/or attributes that you would say are essential to performing the work that you do?
Being in marketing, you have to be creative and able to multitask. However, in my line of work, being that we’re a publicly traded, big-data-driven company, I also have to be incredibly analytical. Every decision I make is based off analysis, R&D results, audience intelligence reports, social listening, brand audits, etc. The hardest part of my gig is learning to filter through what’s really important and actionable, and not fall victim to analysis paralysis.
3. Jobs guru Lou Adler says there are only 4 job types of jobs in the world (producers, improvers, builders, and thinkers). Which type of job are you in?
At the core, I would say my job makes me a thinker. But for a cop-out answer, I’d say I also produce content, improve efficiencies, and build strategic platforms, so, all the above. 🙂
4. Does your job involve either directly or indirectly supervising or managing people? If so, how many direct (or indirect) reports do you have?
I’m the manager of social media, but our team, consisting of associates, senior associates, and interns, have decided to take a “flattened” and collaborative approach, treating one another as client-side peers. As for indirect reports, I have dozens of agency and vendor partners.
5. How does what you do impact the business? Think complexity (different types of impacts) and scale (degree of impact). Put another way: Who and what would be impacted if your job wasn’t being done well, and why would it matter that they were impacted?
My job affects the enterprise as a whole. Unlike many job functions, everything I do is very public (and very shareable!). If I mess something up, it’s not just me that looks bad, it’s the entire company (10,000+ employees internationally). I hope to never be a social-media-gone-wrong case study like so many others have!
6. Is your job safe? Rate its safety on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being “seated all day in an air conditioned vault” and 10 being “I’m an astronaut going into space”. If your job isn’t safe, what working conditions (specifically) make it hazardous?
Physically, my job couldn’t be safer. Our office is practically Fort Knox.
7. Is there anything I missed that people should know about your job? Is there anything else you want to say about what you do?
I absolutely love what I do, but it’s so much more complicated than many make it out to be. For those that don’t know what social media marketers do, know that unless you consider analytics-driven insights and applications “playing,” it’s most certainly not just “playing on Facebook all day.” Unless your brand is all about posting cat pictures, instagraming your food, or making YouTube-worthy blunders, then you’re going to have to work at it.
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