Welcome back, Aerie fam! We are kicking off our 2022 Shop Talks with an exclusive look into Mae Kerr’s road to being a Social Media Manager. Join us as we get to know how Mae got her start in the industry, her tips & tricks for insta, and her favorite accounts to follow.
Tell us about your role at Aerie and what attracted you to the role/brand
Hi, Mae here! ☺ I’m the Social Media Manager at Aerie. My team (HUGE shoutout to Jaylen and Emily!) and I work alongside an insanely talented group of designers, photographers, videographers and stylists to bring you the #AerieREAL content you see across our social media channels every day. The best part about my job is that we all truly believe in the work we’re doing and know that if we continue to show up authentically (and encourage you to do that same), it can create REAL change not only on social media but across the retail industry.
Where do you get inspo from for Aerie’s social?
I get a lot of my inspiration from the Aerie community. Every day, my team and I are watching and reading our tagged posts and drawing inspiration from what you’re putting out into the social world. What you’re loving, what you’re not loving, what we could do better. It inspires us every day.
How did you get into the Social Media field, and did you always want to work in social?
I wrote for the newspaper in high school and college and was convinced I was going to be the next big journalist. Social media had only started picking up popularity during my freshman year of college, so there weren’t any classes or majors offered then. It wasn’t until I went back to school for my master’s degree that I took my first social media course. And from there, I was hooked. I joined the Aerie fam in February of 2014 as a Social Media Coordinator and the rest, as they say, is history.
Favorite social trends?
My all-time favorite trend is Instagram vs. reality. It’s refreshing (and sometimes hilarious) when people show up authentically. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a curated moment, but I would much rather a REAL moment.
What was the turning point in your career?
My long-time manager (and one of my best friends) left Aerie to relocate closer to family and it was honestly one of the hardest points in my career. We had worked together so closely for so long and I was scared of change. What if I couldn’t do it alone? I learned so much about myself during that time and what I was truly capable of. It really forced me out of my comfort zone, and I credit that shift in perspective to the confidence I have today.
How do you use social in your personal life?
Honestly? Sparingly! It’s easy to get burnt out when social media is your job. I use it to stay connected with friends, but when I’m online it’s almost impossible not to have my work hat on.
What skills are necessary for someone to be in your field? And what are some of the more challenging skills you had to learn in this role?
One of the most important skills needed for someone in social media is listening. You need to be able to listen to what your community is telling you first and foremost, all while keeping a steady pulse on what is trending and relevant to their needs and wants. You must also be willing to take risks and think outside the box. Not every creative concept will resonate, so testing and learning is constant.
What does your day to day look like?
Every day is different, but a lot of my time is spent on content strategy and building out our editorial calendar. I work very closely with our creative partners, whether that’s brainstorming different video concepts, capturing content in the photo studio, or working with our styling team to make sure we’re covering all the latest trends, it really is a group effort day to day.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a career in social media?
Everyone’s path will look different, but my advice would be to start early and network often. Whether it’s an internship, a job shadow, a freelance opportunity, you never know what door that connection could open. Even an informal conversation with the someone in the field can be incredibly helpful.
And finally, a curveball: Insta/ TikTok / Youtube/ Twitter or FB… you have to delete one! Which one would it be?
Twitter! Not to say that I don’t enjoy it, but if I HAD to choose. Twitter for sure.
A huge shoutout to Mae for sharing her amazing story and advice! What was your favorite part and what jobs do you want to learn about next in our #AerieREAL Shop Talk series, Aerie fam? Let us know in the comments.