Get your Twitter fingers and swiping thumbs ready because, this week in the Best of the Best series, Presented by Finecast, Part of GroupM Nexus, we’re taking a look at the Best of the Best Social Media Directors.
These are the guys and girls who set the tone of online conversations and create scroll-stopping content to reach audiences at the right time, with the right message. As ever, we have asked our dearly trusted friends and advisors in the industry to get the best people for this list.
So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at the best social media guns in the business.
10. Lyla Thorn, senior marketing executive, Icon Agency
Thorn joined the Icon team three years ago and was promoted into her current gig 18 months ago. Now, she plans the content for and manages the social channels of three clients, as well as producing regular monthly newsletters. One industry insider told us it was “about time this wonderful operator got her Andy Warhol moment” and that she had grown Icon’s audience by 60 per cent in the last two years, as well as growing the range and type of content the agency produces. Despite being Melbourne-based, Thorn has recently been putting Icoin’s Holiday+ program to good effect, working from South Korea — you should check it out.
9. Francesca Stokes, account manager social, Havas PLAY
Havas PLAY was rolled out globally earlier this year to sit at the intersection of entertainment, sports, technology and fandom. Stokes has been instrumental in its success so far. She joined the Havas team in 2021 as a senior account exec before being promoted to her current role at the start of this year. Working on clients including Gillette, NRMA and Amazon Prime, Stokes and the team have produced some exceptional work this year with the team’s wide-ranging brief.
8. Beaurey Chan, content director, Think HQ
Chan was made content director at Think HQ in October, off the back of 18 months of impressive work and client success. She has developed and managed end-to-end content and social media projects for the Department of Social Services, Respect Victoria, BreastScreen Victoria, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and more. She has been described as a “content all-rounder and organisational wizard” at the heartbeat of Think HQ’s creative team.
7. Erin Brizga, social client partner, Eleven
It wouldn’t be a Best of the Best list without a slightly misleading job title. On LinkedIn, you’ll see that Brizga works for Eleven. What it doesn’t tell you is that she leads social content across the TBWA Collective including FleishmanHillard, Fabric, GMR and TBWA\Sydney. Despite that quite enormous remit, Eleven Sydney’s GM Amy Ashworth told us that she always knows “how to turn it up to Eleven by creating cultural impact in the feed” for clients as varied as Hort Innovation to mycar Tyre & Auto.
6. Alexis Whelan, creators and content director, Kinesso
Whelan joined Kinesso (née Reprise Digital) almost five years ago and grew from a content and community coordinator to her current role remarkably quickly. She leads the planning and delivery of a huge amount of content creator and influencer work, along with a whole host of traditional business social posting. It’s not all hard work, however, with Whelan appointing herself the agency’s chief vibes officer and even running her own TikTok account giving us a behind-the-scenes look at Kinesso.
5. Tammy Gerrety, senior social and content director, Herd MSL
Hailing from sunny California, Gerrety moved to similarly sunny Sydney in May 2019 (just in time for that global pandemic) before moving client-side in September of the same year at Coca-Cola. Now with two-and-a-half years under her belt at Publicis’ Herd MSL, Gerrety oversees the social content for accounts covering InvisAlign, FujiMax, and Cancer Council Australia. “Tammy consistently delivers brilliant ideas and skilful day-to-day management for our clients’ social channels. Her leadership style is nothing short of world-class as well,” her team told us.
4. Sophie Keogh, social and innovation manager, OMD Sydney
Keogh has been the social and innovation manager for just five months but she has already made a big impact on the agency. Described as “fabulous” to us, Keogh has joined the agency in a bit of a purple patch, having recently been crowned the top-performing global media agency network. Having also recently retained the Telstra media account, Keogh’s experience and intuitive understanding of the social landscape make her an incredible asset to the agency as it takes on some of the biggest jobs in the industry.
3. Ryan McIntosh, Lion social lead, UM
McIntosh has one of the most covetable jobs in the industry — writing about beer. As the social lead for Lion at UM, McIntosh is the driving force behind one of the agency’s most valuable and public-facing accounts, making him one of the most important people in the agency. However, during his time within the IPG family, he has dipped his toes into work for Spotify, MLA, Coca-Cola, J&J and other FMCG clients. Not content with social, he also works across the business’ OOH, influencer and broader media planning.
2. Michaela Tan, Goat account director, GroupM Nexus
Tan leads GroupM’s Goat influencer business and does so with aplomb. She crossed the ditch some 10 months ago and has made quite the stir, featuring on the shortlist for Advertising Week APAC’s Future is Female Awards and speaking on a panel at the Luna Park event. She also joined the TikTok Accelerator Program and launched Goat Communities, an initiative promoting diversity, inclusivity and representation within the influencer marketing industry. Not a bad effort — you might even a say a baa-rilliant one.
1. Shivani Maharaj, chief content & partnerships officer, Wavemaker
It has been some year for Maharaj. She won the Social Media category at B&T‘s Women in Media Awards in August, being noted for her efforts in crafting Wavemaker’s go-to-market influencer marketing product and building the agency’s content and partnerships division into its creative hub and cultural pulse — so much so that it regularly pitches (and wins) work against fully fledged creative, digital, social and PR agencies. That’s not all, however. Maharaj was instrumental in Wavemaker’s success in winning the Media Agency of the Year gong at this year’s B&T Awards. In fact, you can hear from Maharaj (plus Wavemaker supremo Peter Vogel and chief investment officer Philippa Noilea-Tani) talk about the agency’s success after the B&T Awards this year.
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