Josie Hadley Q&A – a big welcome to the OMG! Blog
So the OMG! Blog is born. And it’s kicking off with a Q&A session with the lady behind our brand – company founder and director Josie Hadley.
Why do you do what you do?
I love words – they can be so many things and can create so many emotions. I’m as passionate about my clients’ success as I am my own – I want them to do well from the work I do for them. I’ve always said my work is not about me – so it feels odd to be at the centre of attention with these questions! It’s about the way my clients are perceived by their customers and the growth of their reputation.
Social media never stands still – every day there is something different to learn and to apply. This means I never get bored and am kept on my toes. The ways in which we communicate have changed and with the speed of social media it keeps it fresh lively and interesting at all times.
My ability to manipulate language, and being a pedant with grammar, has helped me develop my writing skills. I love putting across an idea or message succinctly but with humour, tone and meaning.
What difference can social media make to a business – done well…and not so well?
If social media is not done well, it can kill a business. An unfortunate example of this is a local company who made a policy change based on inaccurate information and released statement on their Facebook page announcing this. Within just six hours the business had closed. That’s how powerful it can be if done incorrectly – a knee-jerk decision which is handled unprofessionally can ruin a reputation which has taken years to build.
Done well, social media can build a community around the business which is one of trust, value and a strong brand presence. Your customers become your advocates and promote you online on your behalf. I have a client whom I’ve worked with for more than two years now and they are weathering a storm in their industry which is seeing their competitors – who have been in business for more than a century – lose clients at a rate of one a week.
What is your proudest moment from your work-life?
I have had several pinnacle moments which include:
Winning an award while working at BT for Completion of the Year 2000 project
Runner up in 2016 for Black Country Chamber of Commerce Best New Business Award
The following year I was a judge for those same awards for the Best Use of social Media category. Being a judge was recognition for the work I’ve done in building my reputation as an expert in my field where so called ‘experts’ abound.
I have recently worked with eBay as part of their Retail Revival scheme in my home city of Wolverhampton which was an honour.
After setting up OMG!, with no financial backing and working on it purely alone, that was recognition to me that I have achieved something reputable and with integrity.
And from your life outside work?
The obvious ones are my two sons – Ted and Joe – who are amazing and are two fine young men. I have beaten breast cancer and will be ten years clear in 2019. I have a BA(Hons) in Business, a MA in Human Resources Management and from September 2019, will be studying towards a Professional Diploma by the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I have more letters after my name than in it!
Why the jump from HR to marketing?
I ran a business for many years with my, now, ex-husband and my role was marketing which included a very young Facebook. So I have been using social media since about 2011.
I started my MA in 2013 following my divorce – I wanted to retrain and the psychological side of HR always fascinated me. My dissertation looked at branding and the detrimental affect it can have on employee engagement – the underlying links to marketing were there.
I worked for a HR consultancy and part of my remit was to manage their social media activity and going back to this was great – I really enjoyed it. When the opportunity arose to start my own agency, I took it and haven’t looked back!
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in business?
I’ve learned you should surround yourself with people who have the same level of honesty and integrity as yourself and who can laugh at themselves if things go wrong.
Sadly you should trust no-one until they prove themselves. Not everyone will give their time without expecting something in return and will gladly use your ideas as their own.
Why do people need you rather than running their own social media accounts?
There are changes virtually every day to the various social media platforms and it is a full time job keeping up with the changes, the trends and the demands of the consumer. It can be overwhelming for me at times! If you are running a business, trying to keep up with these changes as well can be daunting and it ends up on an endless ‘to do’ list.
I can also create and source content in a more efficient way and look at what the customer does in a different way to them. Often I’ll hear people say about an aspect of their work: “But it’s’ not that interesting.” They are so close to what they do, they can’t always see the potential. It’s my job to make it interesting with words, pictures and video. My love and use of words can make anything interesting.
What’s the ‘next big thing’ in social media and should we care?
There are always platforms starting up to rival Instagram or Facebook and many have a modicum of success but fade away. The established platforms have become part of daily habits and psyche – people check Facebook before they go to the toilet in a morning!
Video has been the most prevalent area of growth on social over the past few years which has been made more accessible by smartphones, software and apps.
But social messaging has overtaken social networks and businesses will not only have to have a strong social media presence but also a strong Messenger strategy too. This will be hard for many companies to grasp as they still haven’t caught up so far.
Businesses need to keep up with these trends because if they don’t they’ll lose out to competitors who do care. Innovation is moving at such a rate and consumers are becoming increasingly demanding with high expectations.