I love ASOS. It comes in particularly handy when I’m racing against time to find the perfect fashion fix for an impromptu party. My first step is to look up my ASOS stylist of choice @ASOS_Megan on Instagram to see what she’s been wearing lately, perhaps drop her a tweet if I can’t find the link, then I’ll have a quick browse at the ASOS #AsSeenOnMe hashtag for further inspiration. With next day delivery I can have a quick office fashion show in the morning, select my favourite and return the rest for free. Voilà, I’m all kitted out.
Wowzers, social media has completely changed the way we shop. But who is behind it all? Queue Sedge Beswick, Global Senior Social Media & Stylist Manager at ASOS. I caught up with Sedge to find out more about her role, the pressures that come with managing a 3.3 million strong Instagram account, her career highlights, overcoming #EpicFails and how you too can tweet your way to success…
Tell us a little about your journey to becoming Global Senior Social Media & Stylist Manager at ASOS
I can’t lie, it’s been a pretty fun journey. I actually got into social via a social competition! The entrants had to see who could get the most Facebook friends onto one page within a week, my page was called “Sedge’s Seriously Social Page” and with 8K followers in 7 days, I came in second… and as the lyrics go, “The winner takes it all”. The winner threw an epic competition for Three UK and I thought that was that.
Whilst at university in Nottingham I organised events at a club with a brand strategy that focused on secrecy and mystery. Social played a lead part in the events as it gave us an opportunity for consumers to discover more about the brand, outside of club hours and online. The event was a huge success and off the back of it, I was asked to go to Pretty Polly for 3 months to set up their social. A day or two after graduating, Three UK called and explained that they were setting up a social team, off the back of the competition and my crazy Facebook competition, the winner didn’t take it all, I was offered my first full time job.
Three was incredible, it taught me a ton and most importantly, about the world of mobile which is imperative in today’s world. I had two very geeky years at Three before moving back into the world of fashion (my degree was in Fashion Marketing and Communications at NTU), I’ve nearly done four years at ASOS now, it’s been superb for my development and progression. I’ve learnt a lot and had a few epic fails along the way, that of course, is the joy of social.
ASOS has 3.3m followers on its Instagram feed alone, it must feel daunting to manage such a large account. People are often afraid of using social in case they make a mistake or get it wrong. What do you say to that?
Mistakes are proof that you’re trying! We try to be as relaxed as our 20somethings are when they’re posting onto social, there’s no million and one sign off processes. Social is supposed to be fun, we inject the same level of fun and enthusiasm into our content. I have, however, had one of my biggest social faux pars on ASOS’ Instagram – I was at the NFL, few beers in when I had the “I’m supposed to be looking after ASOS’ Instagram fear. I took my phone out, quickly regrammed a picture of a girl in ASOS jeans with her dog. Threw my phone in my pocket, relieved that I’d remembered to post and carried on drinking/enjoying the game. At the end of the game, I took my phone out my pocket again and felt like Beyonce – I’ve never, ever received to many texts, tweets, WhatsApps, calls… I’d made an epic typo. Instead of saying “Nice ASOS jeans, cute dog too – can we borrow him?”, I’d put “Nice ASOS jeans, cute dog too – can we bottom him?”. Not my finest moment, the call to our customer care team was an interesting one. BUT, we’re only human – these things happen.What is a typical day like for you at ASOS?
Typically, there’s no such thing as a typical day. ASOS still has a very start up mentality so there’s lots of buzz and excitement, all day, every day. That also means that there’s always a hell of a lot to do so you’ll often be pulled in different directions to deliver the absolute best thing for our 20something audience. A typical day has a lot of meetings, a lot of Diet Coke and the occasional N-Sync song blasting out from someones Spotify account.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Ooo, good question! My biggest highlight was being invited to Number 10, Downing Street to host what they call, an “Inspiration talk” to their digital teams. It was amazing to be invited (& of course, to get the picture outside the door!).
What advice could you give to bloggers that would like to work with ASOS?
Get a social channel, that you love, and keep it up to date. You don’t have to be interested in Fashion, we’re looking for people who are huge lovers of social and really understand the platform, and understand the amount of time it takes to define your tone of voice, create content, engage with your community. I am the ultimate social stalker when I’m recruiting, the worst is when people either don’t promote any social handles or when they do promote them and they’re completely redundant.
I have a real passion for educating people on social, and careers in social so I’ve written a book, 140 Ultimate Twitter LOLs, which is aimed at students and I often mentor and lecture at universities across Europe (currently typing whilst stranded in Florence due to a storm, post talk).
Favourite Instagram profiles and blogs to follow and why?
I’m all about Instagram, that’s my platform of choice. My favourite accounts are:
- ASOS_Ashley: Okay, I’m biased but there aren’t enough great streetwear and menswear Instagramers out there. Ashley has a real eye for a strong pair of sneakers.
- FatJewish: No explanation needed, just look at the feed. That guy has me in stitches, daily.
- SRSLYsocial: Also, biased but I’ve just launched a t-shirt company focused on social slogans, we’ve got 9K followers in 9 weeks so I’m pretty chuffed and our engagement rates are amazing, our first line sold out in 24 hours. If you haven’t seen the tees yet, check ’em out here.
- FashionGrunge: Mainly because I’m Kurt Cobain obsessed but also because this account has such a clear aesthetic and interest (that obviously taps into my own).
For those of you that are new to LedByLucy you may want to have a nosy at the People and Projects section of my blog where I regularly feature interviews with inspirational women working within the creative field. You may also like the Fashion and Beauty section which does what it says on the shoe box😉