How does Lisa Boyles, social media manager at giffgaff, organise her work?

by MJ Widomska

Lisa’s work at giffgaff focuses primarily on paid social, audience insights and developing through-the-line activations for TV sponsorships. She’s previously managed social media for AkzoNobel UK's home deco brands, including Dulux, Cuprinol, Armstead, and many more. She’s recently been shortlisted and Highly Commended for 'In-House Social Media Marketer Of The Year 2019' by SocialDay for her work on giffgaff's sponsorship of The Voice UK 2019.

Proudest work moment of 2019? Is it cheeky to have two? Halloween 2019 was a big success for the Brand Social team, with such entertaining creative. My personal highlight, though, is probably The Voice UK 2019. I was the social and digital lead on the campaign, and I'd say it was the bulk of my workload in the first quarter of that year. We were a smaller team then, so I was much more hands on. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to work across creative, copywriting and community management alongside my day-to-day too. I loved it, it did great things for the brand, and I came away with lots of learnings and ideas on how to make 2020 even better. With an even stronger team around me now, I get time to focus on the big picture whilst still being hands on.

You spent quite a lot of time working on TV sponsorships. How do you translate TV into social? The beauty of TV sponsorships is how close the relationship is already with social. People consume media with two screens these days, and channels like Twitter are the go-to place for people to chat about TV, or just to see how others are reacting. Just look at the trends when Game Of Thrones. Strictly Come Dancing, or The Great British Bake Off is on TV. Social media allows brands to become a part of the conversation in an authentic way, and to build meaningful connections with an engaged community.

You worked with some big brands, but also had a stint as a freelancer. What were the pros and cons of both? There is a real sense of flexibility when freelancing, and, I won't lie, the significant increase in earnings was a big bonus. But I'm the type of person who loves stability. Knowing that I could lose a client at any moment (and not necessarily through any fault of my own) stressed me out far too much. I'm much happier fully immersing myself into one organisation.

What brings you the most joy in your current role at giffgaff? The constant drive to do things better. It can be challenging, and it can be exhausting, but it feels immensely rewarding to see the giffgaffers come together to keep delivering great work.

What's your take on a four-day working week? I think it should be an option for those who prefer to work that way. I enjoy flexibility in my working hours, so I start super early and finish early. The option for a four-day week is more inclusive as well. If the outcome for the team and business is the same, why the hell not!

What gets you into a productive mood? Being well rested is key for me. I'm not one to do well on a lack of sleep. Otherwise, a clear diary, prioritised to-do list and some great tunes on my headphones. I try to work from home at least once a week to get solid headspace to focus on the big tasks.

How do you organise your work? Lists, lists, and lists! I love a production plan, with clear objectives, KPIs and deadlines. I'm quite an analytical person, who loves a bit of a process.

If you could change one thing in the marketing industry, what would it be? Influencer marketing. I can see the appeal, and the value of hearing a brand message from a person - but I just think it's got too busy and insincere.

Tips for someone who’s struggling to get into your line of work? Connect with people in the industry, and learn from what they have to share.

What’s one piece of advice you wish someone gave you when you were 20? It's okay to be you.

And, last but not least – what causes close to your heart do you support? I'm a big supporter of The Stroke Association. It has been close to my heart since my mums stroke in 2015, as their support was paramount during that first year.


To find out a bit more about Lisa’s work, watch her keynote on managing a social community around TV or follow her on Twitter.

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MJ Widomska Ella Hagi