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Yves Makhoul - Social Media Manager

Yves Makhoul - University of Melbourne

Yves is a social media professional with over seven years’ experience in a 10-year-old sector. He knows his way around that elusive reach and engagement, whilst aware the rules of the game are ever changing.

Read Yves' story as the social media manager for one of tertiary education's biggest players, The University of Melbourne. 

When did you first know you wanted to get into social media?

As soon as I created a Facebook account in 2007! I saw the potential then and it’s exceeded all my expectations today.

Tell us about what typical day may look like for you

There is no typical day at the University’s social media team. There’s the general 'business as usual' type work: ensuring the content plan is up to date, our news and features are shared across channels, images are chosen for Instagram, events are attended for “on the ground” content and queries are responded to in a timely manner.

Then there’s the months-long recruitment, engagement or research campaigns, or the social media training delivery we provide across the University, the issues and escalations required (we often hear about it first!) or the multitude of ideas pitched.

There’s never a boring day! 

What’s the most interesting thing that’s happened to you while working in social media?

In a previous role at the University, I ran a social media competition centred on environmental issues. Our followers were asked to create and submit an interesting video about the environment for their chance to be featured and win a prize. I was surprised by the number of entries and the quality of their execution. Some videos were quite emotive too, including the effects of climate change, the ramifications of the bees crisis and the loss of rivers to the indigenous people of Peru. It was heartwarming and truly rewarding to have an “engagement” idea receive such a high level of participation.

Name the best and worst parts of your job

Best: the unpredictability
Worst: the unpredictability

What's the most important career tip someone has given you? 

Don't focus on climbing the corporate ladder. Instead, work hard and be nice to people. Success will come as a result. 

What do you wish someone had told you before you started in social media marketing? 

Turn the notifications on your phone off, otherwise, you'll never get any sleep. 

Where do people have to start to get into social media marketing and what is a standard salary package for this role? 

A degree in media, communications, journalism or marketing is usually required. There are a lot of intern, part-time or entry-level positions on the market and I'd definitely focus on starting there before trying to 'make it big'. There is a lot more to learn about the field which most people don't expect - working in social media professionally is vastly different to simply having a personal account. 
If you're already in a comms or marketing role and are interesting in moving into social, then ask to help the social media team out. The more you learn, the more you'll do, the more likely you'll become indispensable. 

Name a career highlight

Sometimes you know a piece of content is going to be well-received while you’re creating it. Our 2017 April Fool’s post is a perfect example of that. As I was writing it, I was feeling giddy (which is always a good sign).

It went wild as soon as I hit the post button, eventually reaching close to a million people across our channels. More than the campaigns, awards or public commendations, it’s the engaging content wins like this that make me most proud.

What's next for you? 

I'm going on work exchange to the University of Edinburgh in April '18 for a couple of months. I'm looking forward to learning much from them and sharing my expertise too. I think it'll be an experience to remember. 

Think a career in social media is down your alley? Check out our range of courses  in Social Media Marketing here and #enquiretoday

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