Bailey Cargill draws experience from managing social media for Nickelodeon properties and helps us think about engaging different audiences in our social messaging.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Welcome to Thought Feeder. I’m Jon-Stephen Stansel. And with me as always is Austinite Joel Goodman. And this week we have a very special guest, Nickelodeon social media coordinator on the live stories team Bailey Cargill. Thank you so much for being with us today Bailey.
Bailey Cargill: Hi, I’m so happy to be here and flattered to be asked to be on the show. And actually my last name, legally, is Fontes. I, we actually, we got married before we had our big wedding that got pushed because of COVID. And so I haven’t legally changed my last name yet. So social and everything it’s Cargill, but legally it’s Fontes.
So I don’t know it should be legal or social, last name.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Whichever, whichever you prefer. We, we can go either way. We’ll, we’ll say congratulate, congratulations on your, your wedding. And,
Bailey Cargill: The big wedding is now moved for the third time to July, 2022.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Oh, excellent.
Joel Goodman: At least you get to have a big wedding. I mean, it’s a lot, yeah. Lots of time to plan and all the tax benefits of being married. So there you go.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah, but I guess for this it’s could be Bailey Cargill. That’s what I’m on all social media.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Perfect. So excellent. Well, we’re, we’re thrilled to have you with us here today. And so just to start with, other than the fact that you are, you’re changing your name, why don’t you take a moment to introduce yourself? Tell us a bit about who you are and what, what you do on kind of a daily basis at Nickelodeon.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. So again, I am Bailey. I’m the social media coordinator at Nickelodeon on our live stories team. And with that being said, our social media team is about like 25 people. And most people are on the East coast. Our little team is on the West coast. And what we do is we focus on Instagram Stories, tikTok, Snapchat, but mostly Instagram Stories.
And we’re the ones that are. We like to say our team runs a little bit like an agency. We do all our own brainstorming, our own strategizing, we go out and we capture the content. We, we’re the ones that go to set and go to all the different events and work with talent to get everything that the social team needs.
And then we edit together own Instagram Stories, TikToks, Snapchat. We edit everything together ourselves, create the content. And then we even look at analytics after, and we actually post everything ourselves being that Instagram Stories, there’s no tool to upload Instagram Stories yet. Um, I think a lot of companies are working on it, but that’s something that we’re still publishing ourselves every day.
So it’d be nice to get that tool one day. But yeah, aside from work, I don’t know, living in Los Angeles, it’s lovely weather. I like to hike. I have a dog, I have a husband, and I love music, so it’s all good.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Excellent. And I believe the dog has made a few appearances on y’all’s Instagram Stories as well, right?
Bailey Cargill: So, so a while back, I actually, I made a TikTok account because I was like, I work in social. I need to stop being afraid of the social media network and try to figure it out. And so I personally, don’t really love being in front of the camera. I’m very much a behind the scenes kind of person. And so to play around with TikTok, I was like, I’ll just use my dog to just test things and play with things.
I didn’t expect it to go anywhere. And just a few months in, I have over 500 followers on her, her TikTok account, and then with Nickelodeon, we’re focusing on helping out, we had a girl doing all TikToks. And so now our team is focusing on helping her and creating content to lessen her workload.
And so, you know, when we’re brainstorming, I’m like, well, I have a dog. Easy access to a dog and she works really good when offered treats. So it’s been, it’s been really fun. I’m making one right now, now for Pet Day coming up. So should, should be great. Spoiler alert. That’s coming.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Excellent. That’s sort of content always really does well. And that’s an interesting point because I think one of the biggest challenges I’ve seen for social media managers dipping their toes into TikTok is not really feeling comfortable being that on-camera camera talent and finding somebody who can do that.
Because I think as social media managers, we all have different skill sets and some people can do the on-camera content, but other folks. Especially depending on like what industry you’re in. You know, for, for those of us in higher ed, I think there’s something really awkward about a 41 year old man getting on a TikTok and very, “how do you to fellow kids?”.
I think using your pet or finding other workarounds is a good way to enter into some of that content. So that kind of brings, brings us into our first question really is that, you know, Nickelodeon you target a younger demographic. So what strategies do you use to connect to that demo and stay relevant and avoid running into that, ” how do you do fellow kids” problem?
Bailey Cargill: Yeah, that’s a good question. So it’s funny. Yeah, we’re a team of 25, me being one of the youngest or the youngest to 40 year olds on or little five person team for, for our specific part of the social team.
And it’s, I think the thing with making content for kids is not holding yourself back and being as silly and as goofy as you want and tapping into the things that when you were a kid, like that would have been so much more fun and really trying to game-ify everything. Because when you’re a kid going through social media, just looking at content, looking at content that’s not engaging is, is boring.
You want stuff that’s fun and that you can interact with. So we try to utilize all the tools that Instagram has to offer and try to utilize them in fun and creative ways that kids might enjoy.
And I mean, Nickelodeon, it’s pretty simple when it comes to the content you’re working with because it’s content for kids. So using the IP and the shows that they love, mixing with engaging tools, it usually is a formula that wins.
But also just test, test testing everything, because sometimes it is hard where I’m like, Oh, when I was a kid, I would have loved this. This would have been so fun. And then we pull the analytics and it looks like kids didn’t enjoy that very much.
And I’m like, okay, I guess it didn’t work. And it’s just, being goofy as possible, having as much fun as possible and testing everything because sometimes our hunch isn’t necessarily right.
Joel Goodman: Can we talk about the data side of it? Because I think that’s one of those things that is crucial to success with any sort of marketing and engagement marketing, especially. What are the sorts of metrics that your team looks at? How do you look at the data and the analytics that are coming in and interpret that into something that’s useful for future content or for, you know, changing things or improving on things, or even just, you know, knowing what to keep and what to pitch?
Bailey Cargill: So when it comes to data, I love data when it comes to social. And even when I was only working as a designer, data is so helpful, so you know what’s working, what’s not working what to pivot on and when it comes to our stuff, everyone looks at impressions. How many people saw it, how many times did they see it?
I think it is valuable in a sense. And I think that’s probably one of the biggest metrics that we look at. But one of the ones as the most important to our little team of the big social team is definitely engagement. because we want to see who’s sticking around and who’s engaging and playing with the tools and answering the question box and all those different things when it comes to Instagram.
And then I think outside of Instagram too, like comments are important. Comments are more important than likes, but likes are important too. And I think those are all more important than just who saw your work. But impressions are good too.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: It’s like all of those, those things kind of build into like being symptomatic of a healthy. Social account, like impressions, aren’t everything. But if your account is doing well and is healthy and you’re doing the right things, your impressions are going to go up. Your follower account is going to go up.
All of those things that we kind of roll our eyes as Oh, vanity metrics. Well, they are important too. It’s just kind of, it’s a bit of like, almost like your speedometer telling you, okay, this is where we’re going. It’s not everything, but it it’s a, it’s a good, quick indicator sometimes.
Bailey Cargill: Exactly. And it’s like, impressions are important and followers are important, but if you’re doing everything else, right, like those are going to grow too, it’s the ones that we really want are the ones that are sticking around and engaging with us.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: And I think you do some things that are, I want to kind of step back a little bit, cause you mentioned gamifying Instagram stories, and I think you’re doing some incredibly innovative stuff on Instagram stories that not a lot of people would think to do. You’re kind of hacking the limited tools.
And I think this is one of the things I get most excited about with social media is we’re kind of at the mercy of the tools provided by the platform. So most famously like links don’t work in Instagram captions. So we have to kind of find a, some sort of workaround and hence, link in bio or something like that.
But with your Instagram stories with Nickelodeon, you’re doing some things like creating little in-story games that I never in a million years would have thought to have done. So could you walk us through a couple of these and how they’ve worked for y’all?
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. So analytics off the top of my head. I don’t have that and I’m not sure I’m allowed to share exact numbers or anything, but, So something that my coworker on my team did recently that did really, really well for us with the Kid’s Choice Awards he did, it was like, those games like the, when you put a ping pong ball and the cup and you move it around, you have to remember which cup had the ball in it?
So he essentially had the idea, let’s do some memory games. And so he had a fun time, I think with, I think he used Premiere where he took the Kid’s Choice Award logo and he shrunk it up, put it into a ball, shuffled the cups around. And you had to guess which cup had the logo in it. So not only are you having fun and playing a game, but you’re also, you’re looking at the logo coming in and out of the cup.
So we are in a way advertising our event, but making it fun in a way that a kid is playing a game, they don’t realize that they’re being advertised to unnecessarily. And that one broke records for us, I believe. That one did really, really great in regards to impressions, engagements, navigations, all those things on Instagram Stories.
And then one that didn’t do as well for me, as I hoped it would, being in the perspective of what’s going to work for this demographic that I’m not necessarily in. So one of my struggles lately has been not making stories for kids, but making stories for adults that have kids. I recently was put onto the Nick Jr account and going from only making kids content to making content for adults that have kids.
That’s been so hard for me to shift my perspective and try to figure out what parents want. I’m not a parent. So it’s been very difficult. And I recently made a story that I think would have killed it on the Nickelodeon account, but it was for Paw Patrol. So there was an episode of Paw Patrol, premiering where the, pets had, or the pups, they had to save the doughnut machine.
And so to advertise that.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: familiar with Paw Patrol. So.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. (laughs) So to advertise that upcoming episode, I did a game where you use the slider and I put a little motorcycle on the slider, and the goal was to get the pup to the donut. And on the top of the screen, I had the donut moving around. So with that one, you have to try to use the slider and let go to where the motorcycle hit the donut.
And that one didn’t really work so well for parents… Because I’m like, if I were a parent, I’d still want to play games. Like I not as a parent, just as an adult, I like to sit on my phone and play games. So why wouldn’t they, but trying to figure out, okay, maybe parents don’t care about games as much. Maybe they don’t even want to see Paw Patrol anymore. So just trying to figure out how to advertise and make engaging stories for parents now, as I am not a parent.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah, I think in higher ed we run into that same situation where we have content for students and prospective students, but also trying to market to their parents as well. Cause they’re, you know, sometimes they’re the decision maker on that process or are a major part of that. And, and trying to find content that both can relate to on the same account can be really, really a tricky line to, to follow.
And I think also it comes back to what you’re saying is you’ve got these pieces of content that you you think are going to work really well. And you’ve spent a lot of time on and crafting and you put it out there and it’s crickets as opposed to something you like, you wake up and create in half an hour.
And it’s like the biggest post of the (year.)
(I’ve been actually) Struggling with TikTok, Bailey Cargill: because with Ella I’ll put together the most well-crafted TikTok, where I spent so much time on it. I was making her sit and put hats on her. She’s by the pool, like she’s lounging and it’s the best TikTok I’ve ever made in the world gets 25 views, where then something where it’s just the audio is show me something in your house that lives there, rent free: I just, pan to Ella. And it gets like 30,000 or 136,000 views. And it’s so frustrating.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: As far as like crafting content for those audiences, you know, for, for those parents and, and maybe kids as well, right? What other techniques, what are other things, are you kind of trying to consider when crafting that content?
Bailey Cargill: It is hard when you’re not the demographic, so I think kind of, like I said before, just testing everything and seeing what works, what doesn’t and going from there. But also I think finding ways to stay inspired.
For us, like we look at other entertainment companies, like some of my favorite accounts to follow for inspiration are like, AwesomenessTV. I think they do really good job making Instagram stories that are innovative and creative. And Netflix and Hulu put out some fun stuff sometimes that I really like. And I think maybe for higher ed, like what colleges do you think are doing well and not necessarily looking at competitors as Oh, like they’re, doing so much better than me and looking at it in a way that makes you feel bad. But looking in a way of what are they doing, that’s creative and awesome, and maybe we can look at and run with it and tweak it in ways that work for our university and for what our goals are.
And for us when it comes to that, come up with ideas, it’s just a lot of getting out there and being inspired. Whether it’s scrolling and scrolling through Instagram for hours and TikTok or just getting out and being in the world and trying to be inspired definitely harder this year with COVID, but non COVID times, it’s good to just get out and be inspired by the world and by people that you meet too.
And I think one thing that I’ve loved about Twitter this year is I’m able to talk to, so, well, especially with Nick Jr. being my biggest struggle this year, I get to talk to people that have kids and ask like, Oh, like what kind of content do you like, what are you looking for? Because you want to make content that they want to see, not just go on, like gut-feeling all the time.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah, I think that’s really important. I find that as, as as I get older and farther away from the higher ed demographic or at least one side of it, right? I’m getting closer to the parent side of the demographic and farther away from the student side. But yeah, you’ve got to get out and you’ve got to go talk to people and see what, what they want. And you hit on an interesting point earlier about saying you know, not being afraid to be a little silly and take some risk.
And I think in higher ed, that’s really hard to do, especially as there’s a little bit more control from, from upstairs. People who know we have to be this we’re prestigious, we are important. We cannot make a meme or do something sort of silly. So have, have you, you know, I’m sure of course, Nickelodeon being a super creative, fun place, but how, how would you make that argument, that you need to have a little bit more freedom and, and, and a little less guarded about.
Joel Goodman: This is every industry too, right? JS. It’s like, if you’re not, if you’re not doing fun television and film content for kids, like you’re always going to be tempted to be a little bit more uptight about the content that you’re creating. Right. Like part of that just brand persona, I think.
But like, everyone could learn from just being a little bit less reserved about the content that they’re creating, I think. Like, I don’t know if you feel the same way Bailey, but like a lot of the, a lot of the stuff we see from, from companies and corporations is just the same. Like the, it’s the same carousel with boring product shots that are all staged and have the same lighting or have the same you know, warm tones to them.
It’s the same types of stories that are going out. But, you know, the, the ones that, the ones that do, like you were saying with Hulu and Netflix, right. Every once in a while they do something that’s really good. And you’re kind of surprised by it and like, Oh, that’s nice. I really liked that thing.
And it does cause that inspiration, not even, I think for, just folks that are creating content that are, you know, that are out there doing the marketing. But I think that’s the same thing that the consumer, the viewer, the engager, you know, they, they connect with that in a different way as well. Do you find that the, I don’t know.
Do you agree with that? Like, do you think more companies should be a little bit less uptight about the content they’re creating?
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. I, so when it comes to different companies, it’s hard because your brand has a voice and your brand has a personality. So I think that it’s important to stick to that after you’ve, you’ve done all your marketing research and you created a brand that is steady and you decided on the voice and the tone of that brand. It’s good to, creatively align with that.
But I do think that a lot of brands should not take themselves so seriously and have some fun, take some risks because, at the end of the day, it’s just social media. Really? I mean, unless it’s something that cause it’s hard because you always have legal coming in like, Oh, like this could cause a lawsuit. Like people can get really mad about this. And it is really hard.
It really just depends on your company. And there are times where we have to kind of push back too, because we’re working with all these different shows that have different executives that are in charge of them. And they might say, Oh, this is a little too goofy for this TV show. We don’t think that this is a right fit. Whereas us on the social media side of things, knowing what works for social and based off of our research and our analytics and things that have performed well, things that haven’t performed well. And we think that this creative risk might work out for us.
But sometimes those executives, they just, they don’t want to push it and they just, they don’t want to take the risk as much as we want to take the risk. So ultimately you have to listen to the people that are paying your paycheck and all that.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Well it’s interesting cause you’re working with somebody else’s intellectual property and sometimes it’s their baby a little bit. I mean, it’s interesting. Right, right now, working on Invincible for, for Amazon prime, you know, it was like these characters. Theirs are not something that I have created that somethings, you know, Robert Kirkman has created.
And he tells a really interesting story about when they started Walking Dead, that the people that worked on the show were more protective of his characters than he was. Where like, he was like, yeah, sure, kill them off. I don’t care. Like, you know, let let’s shock the audience and, and, and, and kill off the main character in the second episode.
And like, the people around us are like, no, you can’t do that. People love that. So there’s a bit of like, you have these, properties that are in your charge temporarily, like you’re, you’re trying to be a good steward of that character or that, that show a little bit, and it gets a tricky balance.
But, it kind of goes both ways. So it’s that brand voice of that silliness. It’s not easy to accomplish. Like, I often struggle trying to explain to someone why, one brand posting a meme works and another brand doing the same sort of technique doesn’t, you know? And part of that is just being a social media manager and learning from that experience and knowing that, but it kind of goes both ways.
Like there are times where, you know, I have had to tell people upstairs, no, we’re not doing an April Fool’s joke right now. We can not be blasÃ© about in higher ed, like you can not make a joke about a snow day because the students will destroy you. Right. If you, if you joke about not having one or something like that, so kind of knowing that line is it’s so delicate, I think is the best way to put it like. That trust for the social media manager needs to be there of, okay, you know, to take the risk, you know, not to take the risk. It’s, it can be really tough to communicate.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah, it’s hard because they’re, they want to take care of their company and their baby. And yeah, it’s really just learning to what, to push back on what to not push back on. And you know your stuff as a social media manager, but they also know their brand and their company. So like you said, it’s a balance and that push and pull, you just have to learn.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: one thing, you know, I think is real fascinating in working in social media too, so few of us who have been working in the industry, cause it has not, this was not a job when I was in college. If you got in a time machine and told me 10 years ago that this was what I was going to be doing for a living, I would have flat actually, I would’ve been like, what, what, what is it, any of that?
Joel Goodman: I did social media marketing on MySpace before there was an actual term for it. So
Jon-Stephen Stansel: I, I started, I got an invite to join Facebook while I was living in Japan from a friend who was still in college. And I thought like, why do I need this? I already have MySpace, but anyhow.
Like you started your career as a graphic designer. So how, how did, how did that transition happen for you? And two, follow up question, you know, how has being a graphic designer and understanding design principles helped you as a social media manager?
Bailey Cargill: Oh, you want me to bash on Canva? Don’t you?
Joel Goodman: yeah. (remove)
Bailey Cargill: So,
Jon-Stephen Stansel: No comment, I’ve gotten enough trouble over that, but yeah, sure.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah, Well, let’s take this back to high school. I did yearbook in high school and fell in love with design, went onto college and was like, yep, this is what’s for me. My goal has always been to do design in the music industry, actually. I really love music and I love musicians and I’ve never been talented enough to be a musician, but I love that industry. And I love, I just love music minded people. So that was always my goal, all through college. All my portfolio pieces were always music based and yeah, that was always the goal or at least the entertainment industry.
So luckily I ended up in the entertainment industry. Who knows, maybe music still. But after college, I got an internship doing design. But as a social media intern at a very, very small company, I was asked to not only design everything, whether it’s social, digital print, whatever, but also can you copyright, like, can you run up all the captions? Can you post the social media content? Can you run analytics? Just doing all things social on top of design. Which, looking back, I’m very frustrated about that because, I know now that they’re taking advantage of me and that’s multiple jobs in one.
But, on the other side of things, that’s what introduced me to social. And it helped me to see that I love social so much. And then I ended up getting a job, my first full-time job, at a marketing agency doing graphic design. And at the time they didn’t have a social media manager running their own accounts or their client’s accounts. And I was like, what are you doing? And so I was pushing more and more to help in the social side of things while still designing. And moving away from designing for print and for packaging, that was kinda my boundary, if I’m gonna help with social.
I still love design, can I just do design for digital ads and like social? And so I started managing their social media accounts for the company, like for the agency, for their clients, and then going into copywriting and kind of falling into that same pattern I fell into at the last agency I interned at.
And then from there I found another job at Nickelodeon that was available to apply for. And this job, it’s funny because it’s also a mix between social and design. I’m getting to video, edit and design my stories and anything we make for social that I get to help with. But I also get to look at analytics and strategize and do all the social things.
And now I’m also social producing. I have to go to sets and capture content with talent as well. And it’s hard when you have two passions because .
Jon-Stephen Stansel: I was thinking about this today. Cause, there is that frustration where social media managers are expected to be this army of one and multitalented, and be able to, to do social, but also write and edit video and photography and graphic design and all of these other things. And while I think that’s unfair to ask of one person because no one can do all of those things and do all of those things, well, I do think it behooves anyone working in social media to have a secondary or third skill that they can kind of use to market or set themselves apart a little bit.
And also to kind of work better on a team. You know, I’m, I’m not a professional graphic designer, but I know enough about design that I can go talk to a design team and not just say, make this graphic pop.
Bailey Cargill: Make the text bigger and make the logo smaller. Well, no one ever says that, actually.
(Joel: yeah, the logo’s always bigger.) I always
Yeah. logo gets bigger.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: But I can, sort of speak that language and, and, and, and, and say what I want in a very specific way. So I think that’s, that’s something I think we need to, I would encourage. And graphic design for me, like I would say that’s my, my secondary skill. And it’s helped me out and set me apart in so many ways where even like right now where, you know, my boss might say, Oh , we don’t have the money in the budget to send this to the agency to make this, like, I can do that half an hour. Let’s, you know, make that happen.
So, what would you say to, social media managers who are I’m not trying to lead you with an anti-Canva bit, but like, well,
(Joel: It’s a trap! Get out, it’s a trap.)
let’s say. It’s social media. Well, that, that, that’s the biggest criticism. Whenever I critique Canva is, well, what do you expect social media managers to do?
So if a social media manager wants to, to expand their skillset into graphic design, where would you suggest they start?
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. I like, like the Canva thing, it is hard because as a designer, of course I hate it. And I think every Canva post looks exactly the same. Like, yeah, I guess the biggest piece of advice is try to learn a little bit if you can. And I think there’s a lot of great tools, like lots of free tutorials out there.
Trying to think of the one that I spent a lot of time on when I was just starting, if I wanted to be a designer. I spent a lot of time just watching tutorial after tutorial learning Photoshop. And, Photoshop to me is one of the best skills that you can have working in this field because yeah, because I’m a designer, there’s oftentimes where my design skills will come into play with the content that I’m creating.
And I’m like, yeah, they all need to be cut off from the background, but you could get away with it not being cut out, but I’m going to do it. But there’s times where it’s just like little tiny edits that if you just knew, like the bare minimum of Photoshop it would make your content so much better and stand out so much more.
yeah, I think just taking advantage of all the free resources that are out there. So doing this free tutorials, but also if you have design friends, I think it’s okay to Hey, like, Hey, can I get your eye on this? And that’s one thing that as I’m seeing so many more like personal branding and things on Twitter, I’m like, Oh, I wish you would have just asked me, like I could have given you like a little bit of free advice, but.
Also walking that line with your friends, too, and not expecting them to be your design consultant for free. But Hey, can I get your eyes on this? I think is fair. And they want you to use their skills. Like you’re their friend. Use them, you know?
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Right. And, and, and it’s the same idea, you know, kind of the way I learned was with the design team that I worked with going and doing that, that same sort of thing saying, Hey, can I get your eyes on this? What would make this better? And they appreciated that for twofold. One, I was taking an interest in learning their craft and, and showing respect for it.
But also like, if you will take the time to show me how to make this better, I don’t have to ask you to do it. Right. It will lighten your load.
Bailey Cargill: And you’re making better designs because for me I’m like, Oh, I just want better design in the world. Personally, every time I see a bad design, I’m like, let me help you please.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Definitely. I’m there almost every single day.
Joel Goodman: It kinda, it kinda cuts a step out though, right? Like you’re not necessarily having to do something, send it in for review through a real designer or staff designer to change it. You get high quality content published a lot quicker when it doesn’t have to go through a chain of review because you already are both the designer and, you know, super skilled in the messaging side of it and, and the interaction side of it and everything else.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah, less edits. We do have to send all our work to the creative director to just get it, get, take a look at it. But when you already know design, I, I rarely get any edits. And sometimes when I do, I’m like, Oh, duh. And I also have gotten to know her really well because I’m always looking for another person to bounce ideas off of. And I think, that is one way that I learned a lot about design. Sitting in the classroom and just rolling my seat over to someone else. Like, Hey, what do you think of this? Oh, why don’t you like it? And really just talking it out with people helps you to learn so much.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: I think a lot of times with our craft, sometimes we get those edits back and we kind of take them a little personally and like, when you work well with your team and those edits come back and it’s more of a okay, back and forth, of like, okay, this is actually improving it. Or this is helping me, it’s such a good feeling like.
I’m working with Zach McVicker at Amazon right now. And whenever I send him a copy, he always, like, I’ve learned to be really brief with, with Twitter, but like he cuts out like so much. And it was like, Oh yeah, wow. I did not need 30% of the words in there. That’s excellent. You know, it’s so nice to work with.
but it is very refreshing to have an editor that like instead of making my copy longer, makes it shorter. Like that’s a rarity like, but when you get that, it’s such a, it’s such a treasure to, be able to have that feedback.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. And I think that’s one skill being in social media or in design being able to take feedback well and not to take things so personally. And looking at it as like, one, you don’t have to take their feedback. You can say, thank you for your feedback. And you don’t have to make that change. I mean, unless it’s your boss. But like when it comes to coworkers and peers, taking a look at your piece, like you don’t have to take that feedback, but also it’s coming from, a good place. No, one’s really usually, no, one’s out to get you to say, Oh, your piece sucks. Like maybe if you did this, it would be so much better. Like you don’t have to take it personally. They’re just trying to help you.
Joel Goodman: I think this is something that people that have studied the arts get really, you know, like they, they get that kind of intrinsically. Cause if you went to art school or design school or you have, Lit degree, like JS does, like, you went through a criticism process, you went through an editing process.
Like you would have, open critique days and whatever else and have people in the room telling you like, yeah, this is what I don’t like. This, you know, you just, you learn to not take it personally. And it hurts the first couple of times you go through that and then actually like, Oh, okay, well, it doesn’t matter.
And then I don’t know that I think this is, this is me stanning for the liberal arts at this point. But like, you know, they give you, they give you such good, well-rounded like human societal skills where you don’t take everything, so personally, you know,
Bailey Cargill: I agree. I hope, I feel like when it comes to college and when it comes to, should I go to college, should I not go to college? Well, do what’s best for you. But one of my biggest things for it is like what you’re saying, it going to a four year university helps to make you so much more of a well-rounded person.
You’re not just focusing on your skill, but you’re also, you know, you’re learning Spanish. You’re learning how to be a better writer. You’re learning how to communicate with people better. And you’re learning to see different perspectives outside your own, and, I think going to a four year university is great, if you can. I big believer in four year universities, if it’s possible for you.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah, definitely. Like the liberal arts. I, I talk about like my undergrad degree is in Radio Television Production that I, I got in 2001. Right. And the editing suite I was using back then, it was a giant room where like the first year to get the digital editing go from, like, I started with actual physical tape to digital editing my senior year and like, everything that I had in that giant room is on my phone now, and I can make better quality video like, you know, so that’s all about that I learned is kind of useless except for the fundamentals, like how to frame a shot. Like, how to do a good, edit.
Joel Goodman: Putting my studio recording classes to use with this podcast,
Jon-Stephen Stansel: right.
Joel Goodman: JS.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Right. For me, the real value was that liberal arts side of, of like critical thinking of, sitting down and reading Moby Dick and analyzing it has helped me be a better social media manager. Hasn’t made my content briefer, but yeah,
Bailey Cargill: Well, thing too, a lot of people when they major in one thing, they don’t necessarily end up doing that for their career. Hence graphic design and going towards social media, especially as new careers arise in the world. It’s just learning how to think for yourself, learning how to be open-minded, learning how to read and communicate in effective ways that will help you in whatever career you end up in.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: And that sort of learning how to teach yourself new skills, I think is of vital importance. And then, you know, back to the criticism thing, like we’re social media managers, as soon as we hit send our work is out there and people will give you their criticism very quickly. So if you haven’t.
Bailey Cargill: Luckily, I’m not an engagement manager. I feel so bad for our engagement managers and coordinators, when something goes up that’s maybe more controversial. If the sentiment is mostly negative, I feel so bad for them because they’re reading and responding to everything. Because a good engagement manager response to most things, and they’re trying to have communication and build a community. But it’s hard when the sentiments all negative. I more power to All engagement people out there that, that’s a hard world to be in most of the time.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah. And definitely you talk about addressing controversial topics and I think Nickelodeon does this so well. I am like, I I’m ready to click that like button so much. Like you did like Trans Day of Visibility and a few other items that I think were really important, but definitely are going to be controversial and get those sort of comments.
So in creating that, that content, can you, can you address a little bit about, about the process and getting that out there?
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. for me being a designer and a social media manager, one thing that I often will find myself kind of like beating myself up for, and one thing I’m working on is, you know, I’m not a doctor. I’m not an, I’m not, I’m not a nurse, I’m not any of these things that are making a direct impact on people.
But then, when we started really putting content out there to support Black Lives Matter and to inform kids on things that are going on in the world, that made me feel so proud to work for Nickelodeon and to be a part of a company that’s really trying to make a positive impact on the world, by educating a lot of kids who maybe their parents, aren’t talking to them about these things.
And it’s not always bias, either. It’s just this, this is what happened, and kids are gonna see it. Kids are on their phones at an early age, these days let’s show them what’s happening in the world in a way that’s less scary. And to show them that they’re not alone and they’re going to be okay. Because yeah, again, not every parent is talking about the things that need to be talked and in a way that’s less scary for kids and.
I, yeah, I’m just, I’m really proud to be at Nickelodeon right now. And it is hard because there are a lot of people that don’t like the things that we that we post that are maybe more controversial. And at the end of the day, it’s just setting what are our values as a company, who are the people that need to really feel loved right now, and how can we best support the people that are hurting as a company with the means to do that? To help educate and
Jon-Stephen Stansel: No, you’ve nailed it. No, no w
Bailey Cargill: there’s so much.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: well, it’s, it’s a difficult thing to do. And I think it’s something higher ed has to reckon with, because even though we sometimes espouse these values not every Institute, some institutions are, you know, every everyone’s different, but like are afraid to put forth that and are afraid of that criticism.
And, and, and, those comments that are inevitable on any sort of co you know, posts that may be controversial.
Bailey Cargill: There’s always going to be people that disagree with what you’re doing. And so it’s just trying to figure out, like, what do we stand for? What are we posting? And I’m sorry, if you don’t disagree, like this is what we stand for. This is on our platform, what we’re speaking from, what’s on our hearts, I guess. As a company, do you have a heart? But like you do, we all the hearts of the people.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Right. Exactly. So, to kind of wrap things up and one, one final question, I think, especially for higher ed and our higher ed, I would be interested in hearing is, we have struggled so hard to reach younger people in, in so many ways and as trends change so rapidly.
So what do you see that, preteens teens who are starting to look at colleges and apply, where do you think higher ed needs to be? And like, what trends do they need to be aware of?
Bailey Cargill: It’s hard because, are you sure? I mean, cause, Nickelodeon I feel like it’s kids like seven, 10 years old. And then you have like the Avatar fan base or the Teen Nick fan base. They’re all like my age or like 30 or older now. And when it comes to that answer, a lot of it is some of the same stuff I was saying before. Just like looking for inspiration off brands that are doing what you want to be doing and testing. And I’m not really sure. I have a direct answer for that one.
Joel Goodman: I like it. I like how many times we’ve said testing because no one does it in higher ed and I keep telling them to do it
Bailey Cargill: Oh,
Joel Goodman: Not no one, there are a few institutions that do a really good job of it, but it’s, you know, it’s constantly this, you know, if you’re going to make a change to your website, test it, make sure it didn’t fail. Make sure it didn’t cause problems for your conversion rates. And like, if you’re going to do social media posts at all, like, don’t do something super risky without testing out something a little less risky first to see if it works, you know? like the, like the Bernie memes and all that,
Like it’s, how do you go about like in higher ed, I go about making content, that’s not cringey all the time while still maintaining your, brand identity? And I think part of that is just testing things out and seeing if a thing worked versus just, yeah, let’s just post it all forever and ever, and ever.
And, you know, and, and then you’re just oblivious and look stupid because you’re not paying attention to it not working.
Bailey Cargill: Yeah, I think, again, it goes back to really listening and researching like what your audience wants and what they, what they need too, because sometimes what they want is what they necessarily need. And testing everything and looking for inspiration always.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: I think that’s a good point about, what they want versus what they need. I think any time when I’ve worked in higher ed and focus grouped students, they, I always get the same, same answer. Be more like Wendy’s, and that’s not what we need to be in higher ed, right? And, and, and that’s maybe that’s what you want, but that’s not what you need. And that’s not what the university needs to be.
So sometimes focus grouping does not work. so finding that balance of, yeah, you do need to ask and kind of see what your audience wants, but it’s okay to say, like, I know you want that, but that’s not what you need.
Bailey Cargill: And then test out what you think they need and see how it performs and it probably will do well.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah. You don’t want your college clapping back at you. Like Wendy’s, that’s just not
Bailey Cargill: Yeah, no, yeah. There is a diff there is a big line between Nickelodeon to higher had like higher ed. Like if I’m looking for a college, like I want them to be pretty, pretty decently professional to show that there’s a place where I want to study. And I don’t know if I want to see Bernie memes on my university’s social media account, that’s just kind of weird.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah. This is kinda the way I feel about that too. But, but is that, that trick of like multiple audiences of like prospective students, parents, and current students, alumni, like they
Bailey Cargill: Well sounds like a hard (position to be in)
Jon-Stephen Stansel: something, something different, so, okay. I make a post that’s targeted at current students and alumni.
See it. And like, what the heck are you doing? What does this mean? You know, so it’s, a juggling act a little bit.
Bailey Cargill: Oh, sounds so hard because with Nickelodeon we’re focusing on kids, but you’re focusing on multiple demographics and one social media account. That sounds so difficult.
Joel Goodman: And even, even alumni is like, you go from young alumni, alumni that are, you know, like people, your age, my age Bailey to you know, working professionals that are 20, 30 years out of college to like people in their seventies that happen to be on Facebook or something, you know, like it’s, it’s such a wide mix of people with so many different interests and, just to get the messaging not to be fragmented is, is challenging.
It’s, it’s a, it’s a huge marketing challenge in, in higher ed. And so like, I don’t know. I think a lot of it gets ignored because it’s just really hard. It’s just like, let’s just, let’s just put this over here and ignore it and maybe it’ll go away. And then, you know, 10 years later, you end up, having to having to address it.
Bailey Cargill: One thing though. I think with all of that, especially when it comes to the design, just keep everything simple. Don’t getting wild with design because you know, old people, they need to be able to read it. And then also young people, like they don’t want that much content, or copy anyway, like some, the more simple it can be the better.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: Yeah. I think if there’s a key takeaway, it’s like, cut, cut, cut. Like, there’s always something you can cut, right? Not that, that word that you’re clinging onto in your tweet that you think the entire tweet hinges on. If you remove it, it’s okay. People are going to get the idea.
Bailey Cargill: And that’s the one thing like you learn when you’re in school, like adjectives and like fluffer words and stuff, but not working in social media, you’re, any word that’s not necessary, you’re cutting. Anything, even in design, anything that’s not necessary and that’s not serving a function, you don’t need it.
Sometimes there, there is a place for all those things, but not always necessary in social.
Jon-Stephen Stansel: All right, Bailey. Thank you so much for being with us. We’re we’re, thrilled to have you on the podcast and, and, and look forward to seeing even more work from you and on Nickelodeon stories. If you’re not following Nick and Nick Jr. On Instagram, you need to check them out, TikTok. Their work is incredible. I shout out to you guys all the time just cause I, I, every time I look at y’alls stories, I’m, I’m inspired. So that said thank you for being on the podcast.
And do you have where can people find you, do you have anything to plug your Twitter account, et cetera?
Bailey Cargill: Yeah. I mean, it’s @BaileyCargill, B-A-I-L-E-Y C-A-R-G-I-L-L on Twitter, instagram, my website, baileycargill.com. I also have a mental health account called Lemonaid. It’s L E M O N a I D. And then the handle Instagram it’s, lemonaid.blog. So if you’re interested in anything mental health and looking for support and for resources, you can find me there as well.
Oh, and then also my dog’s TikTok, account @EllaCargill,
Joel Goodman: Dog content is the best content.
Bailey Cargill: Oh yeah.
Joel Goodman: Thank you so much for listening to the Thought Feeder podcast. If you’d like to listen to past episodes, you can go to thoughtfeederpod.com or find us wherever you get your podcasts.
We would appreciate a like, or a review, if you can leave one, especially if you like listening to our podcast, if you don’t like listening to our podcast, don’t leave a review, please. You just stop listening and that’s fine. You can also follow us on Twitter at thought feed pod. Once again, Bailey, thanks so much for being on the show.
This is a great conversation. We appreciate you being here.
Bailey Cargill: Thanks for having me.