Lucy Beaumont, today digital marketing executive at if agency, started her social media career as the company’s first ever apprentice. While she knew she wanted to be in the sphere ever since before sixth form, she wasn’t quite sure if university or college was for her. So, she signed up for the Juice Academy, taking up a digital marketing course where she had the opportunity to dip her toes into the industry. Through Juice, she found her place at if agency.

When Lucy was younger, she remembers always taking photos whenever she could get her hands on a camera. “My uncle was a photographer,” she says. “I loved going to places with him for work, as I wanted to be a photographer myself. Especially when Instagram was first released, I could upload photos on the newest visual social app.”

For her, lockdown caught her off guard just as she was graduating from sixth form, and had been working a remote customer service job. The circumstances pushed her to continue with it for nearly two years, before applying to Juice and subsequently, to if.

“I joined the Juice Academy on a 15-month course as an apprentice in an industry I had never been in before, but had a huge passion for,” says Lucy. “I knew, as early as the first day, that this is what I wanted to do and how I wanted to start my career.” At that time, every mistake was a lesson and every next day was a challenge: “You never learn without the mistakes,” she adds.

Lucy’s first project at if was taking on Surcare’s social media – this was also her first glimpse at a full-time career in social media marketing, and she immediately fell in love with it. “Having to gather all the information about Surcare, laundry, and cleaning in general to answer messages being sent on social platforms – consider me an expert!” 

During the 15 months, Lucy was involved with a heap of other projects, all with the goal to explore the nooks and crannies of the industry as well as she could. “I particularly loved being involved in influencer activities and managing client social media accounts overall. I feel this really helped me develop my confidence.”

After a while, her newly-gained confidence would pay off. In fact, Lucy was promoted to digital marketing executive on her exam results day: “I was awarded distinction and was therefore promoted. This day was the start of something new – it just filled me with excitement and provided me with new responsibilities that I was eager to take.” 

In her role today, Lucy still finds knots worth unravelling – one of the challenges of her day to day is the dreaded ideation process. “The majority of the time, ideas are flowing left, right and centre, but sometimes a wall can be hit, which comes naturally within the industry. I’ve found something as simple as a quick change in environment can turn that around fast. The effects of working in a different place are huge.”

Despite the competitive nature of social media marketing, some clients, however, are lagging behind. “I love getting creative with the content that meets each giant’s needs and seeing how well they perform on socials. However, it’s frustrating to see some brands still debating whether to introduce Reels or TikTok into their social strategy, especially as the 2023 algorithm is very heavily focused on them both. TikTok and Reels perform the best and really help with awareness and just having some personality – making the brand come to life.”

Having said this, Lucy is also super excited for those who do decide to jump straight into the deep waters. “I’ve especially loved introducing Reels to one of our clients’ social accounts when it was previously only static posts. We have found a 71% increase in bookings in the first 30 days of switching up their content, to beat the algorithm.”

“But,” she adds, “nobody truly knows how to beat the algorithm.” This is why Lucy is passionate about enhancing algorithm transparency on the developer side of things. “While one thing may work with one brand or platform, the same won’t for another. I believe it would benefit both brands and platforms if we understood algorithms better, as more users would sign up to the platform and brands/content creators/small businesses would know how to get out there and reach the audience they need.”

Right now, Lucy herself is loving both TikTok and Instagram in her own time and recommends them to anybody. “They are the most visually appealing platforms that bring the fun! I think TikTok is a huge platform not only for personal use but for any brand under the sun,” she explains. “It allows you to go viral whether you have a small or large following depending on the content. That’s where my love for content creation came from – I had posted a video that reached 2.2 million views and since then, my videos have received really high traction.” While some days the mystical ways of the algorithm don’t play ball and leave Lucy with 100 views, she knows that there are tricks to get a brand over the line and embedded into user consciousness.

When it comes to people Lucy looks up to, she brings up Sophie Miller – the founder of Pretty Little Marketer – who she says is absolutely smashing content creation. “She’s in her twenties and swayed from not liking university during lockdown, to creating a social media account where she posted learnings and teachings from uni. That account now has over 250k followers across all platforms. PLM has become a page where I first hear about any new social updates, what brands have been doing, tips on content creation and so much more. Her story and her content inspires me daily, and in her words, ‘Your day one can’t be compared to their day 100’.”

Alongside her work at if, Lucy is part of the MPA Next Gen team – an inclusive and accessible community for those in the early stages of their careers in the industry. Next Gen holds social networking events throughout the year to ensure members a sense of belonging and a voice. “It’s an amazing community, one that has started quite recently and has definitely made me feel comfortable during my apprenticeship and now,” she says.

During her free time, Lucy loves to travel to clear her mind – it’s what keeps her fresh, as somebody who’s full-time job is social media. 

And what keeps her going when she’s not out and about is not only her passion for what she does, but the idea of personal growth as a motivator. “Especially since my apprenticeship, seeing how far I have personally come already in knowledge, confidence and responsibility is amazing. I can’t wait to see how I will develop further and how my skills can be used at if.”

She leaves us with this: “I aspire to achieve the best in every project I do. Especially in the digital industry, everything is competitive. You want your clients’ stats to be higher than the competitors, you want to make sure any research has been done thoroughly, and most importantly you want to keep up to date. We know how much the likes of Meta and TikTok love a new update!”