Employee Spotlight: Meet Social Media Assistant Ellyn Foster
Add running social media channels for a local Toronto, female-run bakery to the dream job list. We sat down with our Customer Service and Social Media Administrative Assistant, Ellyn Foster, to learn about how she got started in social media and how you might want to pursue a career yourself.
Tell us a bit about your career history - where were you before Sweet Flour, and how did you get into social media?
Before working at Sweet Flour, I worked in the hospitality industry planning and organizing events at a brewery in Toronto's Financial District. I also got into photography and worked for a few seasons as a second shooter for my sister – who is a wedding photographer. She ended up relocating to the Ottawa area, which is when I started working for her part-time as her Social Media Manager. I really enjoyed the role, which led me to seeking out other jobs in social media marketing. When I came across the posting for the position at Sweet Flour- it felt like the perfect fit – blending my background and experience in customer service and sales with my creative side. It seemed like a great opportunity to expand on my social media skills. I also loved that it was a women owned and operated business!
What is something that is unique about Sweet Flour that might differ from other roles?
As a smaller company, I feel like my ideas and input are welcomed and valued at Sweet Flour; that’s not always the case when working for a larger company or corporation. There are no strict guidelines or corporate structure which allows for more creativity on my part in creating content and trying out new ideas. I love that I can have a vision and work from beginning to end to bring it to life – everything from prop shopping to art styling the photoshoots to coming up with a caption for the post.
From your perspective, what is one of the most important things you need to pursue a career in social media?
Aside from being creative and having strong organizational skills, I think one of the most important things is to be open to learning and trying new things. The platform algorithms and trends in social media are constantly changing – it's important to be on top of that and apply what makes sense for the company you are working for, while maintaining the brand's vision and values.
What is one of your favourite parts of creating content for a Toronto cookie brand, and what is one of the challenges?
You can get really playful and colourful with food photography – especially with cookies and cupcakes. I love art directing and styling the shoots and watching everything come together to create a fun and engaging post. It can definitely also be a challenge shooting still life/food. My background is in fashion and wedding photography, where you can have the people you are shooting, move around, play with different positions and lighting. It definitely requires a little more creativity and thought when shooting food – it requires some out of the box thinking to come up with fresh ideas to capture and market the same products in different ways.
What’s your advice to someone trying to pursue a similar career path?
Be active on social media – follow other brands and influencers you admire, comment and engage with their posts/accounts, educate yourself on current social media platforms and trends and don't be afraid to reach out or ask others for advice! Use your own social media platforms to showcase your creativity – post often, start a blog, get creative with photography.
Reach out to smaller or new businesses that may not have a strong social media presence- present them with a plan that outlines some of your ideas/suggestions for their brand – you may be exactly who they're looking for!