My Year in Industry – A Case Study

As a bit of background knowledge, I’m currently a student at Bournemouth University studying for a degree in Communication and Media. As part of this course I was required to do either a 4 week placement, or a 32 week placement – so I took the year out to do the 32 week placement, and spent it at a company called Eaton in a Marketing and Product Management role.

As part of my marketing responsibilities, I was able to get involved in creating content for Eaton’s official LinkedIn channel – during my time working at Eaton they had 730,000 followers, so it was definitely an exciting prospect that my writing was going out to a pretty big audience.

Here’s some examples from Eaton’s LinkedIn that was created by yours truly-

When I started becoming more comfortable with my role at Eaton, I decided I wanted to do more work with social media. I noticed that there was some sort of gap in the Cwmbran site for social media use, so I took it upon myself to try and push the UK Fire Sales team to use the platform for social selling. The site I worked at, I came to recognise, was very much ‘traditional’. By this, I mean that (from my own experiences) my site would tend to stick to their own ways of doing things – and if it’s successful and efficient, continue doing it this way until it was no longer that. By no means am I suggesting there are errors in this, however there is always room for improvement to reach new markets and audiences using platforms that they may not have used before, or may not even be familiar with. It is certainly hard to pitch new ideas to an established sales team that have been working on the same thing, the same way effectively and profitably. Why fix something that isn’t broken? I saw this, however, as a chance to bring a new set of eyes to the table and slowly encourage social media marketing. Their social media use wasn’t necessarily ‘broken’, but people did lack the knowledge of how consistent use could make more of a positive impact. This actually became an almost ‘prized possession’ for me throughout the year. It was something that I took pride in since I was able to use my own knowledge and initiative to put something back into a company that had already given me so much.

To kick start this project, I used the monthly sales meetings, where I would present sales figures to the UK Fire sales team, and slowly started introducing the idea of using LinkedIn. Onwards from this, I started doing small tutorials of how to actually use the site, the benefits that a B2B business could get from it, and presented research outlining the positive impacts that’s could be achieved. I was really grateful, and a little surprised, by the huge amount of encouragement I got from the sales team to continue pushing this on them – so much so that my LinkedIn guides and updates became part of the agenda for the sales meeting.

I took the positive feedback and continued to work on this project by creating a 12 page ‘LinkedIn User Guide’ that went into detail of how to use the platform, how to view analytics and tips for creating content – all in 1 document they could refer back to. This was distributed to the sales team as well as the product managers, and received an abundance of positive responses. One memorable response from a product managers was that he wishes a guide like this was distributed when he first started in his role.

As I came towards the end of my internship, the sales team actually set themselves an action – to get connected with their top 5 customers on Linkedin. This project started small, and I was eventually able to influence an entire established sales team to not just listen to an intern, (which in some cases can be very difficult) but to actually take action based on my reports, guides and research. They even asked this to be a project that was continued by my replacing intern.

SO, to sum up… What have I learnt from this experience?

To put it bluntly – if you have an idea, then push it. I was lucky enough to work in an environment where I was always encouraged to speak up about things I wanted to get involved in, or things I wanted to start doing. My 2 managers were very encouraging of me pushing people and projects when they felt I was onto something good. You get out of something what you put in, and beyond the promotional value this little project had for the company (and the help it gave to some of the employees I worked closely with), it was something I loved doing, so the hard work was definitely rewarding in the end.

Here are some experts from my LinkedIn guide:

And here’s my LinkedIn profile so you can keep up to date on my future work ventures! 🙂

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