Social Bites: Shelby Jacobs (Sour Patch Kids & Swedish Fish)

What’s your name?

Shelby Jacobs

What major social media accounts do you manage?

Sour Patch Kids & Swedish Fish

What is the best thing about managing these accounts?

The community! I love the people we get to engage with all the time.

I also love the intense level of trust the client and I have put in each other to get the job done. Now I do not have to run every tweet and post by them. I hope more brands can learn from our success and understand the key reason we are successful is because of that trust to do the job we’re paid to do.

What is the HARDEST thing about managing these accounts?

I think it’s educating the client on best practices and helping them learn that social strategy is far more in-depth than just tweeting and posting.

How do you think up your posts?

Usually we lean on brand and cultural tent pole moments, we look to other brands for evergreen inspiration, and we are a big brainstorming team.

Is there a long approval process for social content or are you trusted to pretty much do your own thing?

I have 99% autonomy. I only run specific partner posts by the client.

What have some of your most popular posts been, and why do you think they struck such a chord?

I think our more lifestyle posts strike a chord because they’re less about selling the product and more about acknowledging the experience the fan has with the product.

Also our tweets that are just about nothing do well because they’re silly and stupid and don’t try too hard.

What have some of your favorite posts been, even if they aren’t necessarily the ones that went “viral”?

We did a TikTok a few days ago that was like the filter of fine art and we used the kid costume with the wacky eyes and I thought it was hilarious and made a great GIF-able moment.

Has a post ever landed you in hot water? (Tell us ALL the juicy details!)

One time I accidentally liked a tweet from the brand account that called Christopher Columbus a “dizzy b***h” during the period we were dark for the protests over the murder of George Floyd. Other than that, we’ve pretty much been ok.

What do you wish you knew before you started managing this account that might have made things easier at the beginning?

Everything is a learning curve, it’s a huge soft skill to learn to take the ME our of social media (aka, don’t take people’s reaction to your work too seriously) and also LOG OFF WHEN YOU NEED A BREAK.

What’s your advice for brand managers to get the best out of their social media managers?

TRUST THEM.

Trust that after a few months of working together they know the brands, the do’s and dont’s and the tone of voice.

Give hard brand guardrails up front (for example: we can’t show people pouring candy into their mouth because it implies overconsumption—got it!) so you can stop wasting your time nit-picking every post before it goes live; it only frustrates us to no end and it makes us dread sharing content with you.

If you have feedback, provide it as a build! Not “we can’t do this” but “can we do this instead because x reason.”