Meet Usman Ahmed, our Global Social Media Manager. Born and bred in East London, Usman joined Team TransferGo in March 2021 and is responsible for actively managing our social media channels including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Here, Usman discusses his 10-year career in marketing; what he loves about social media; the importance of honesty and being yourself; and how dancing to his favourite songs in front of a live audience was one of the best things he’s ever done.
“Social media is something I’ve always been drawn to. I’ve always enjoyed and understood it…
I graduated from the University of Westminster in 2015, where I studied Business Management with an entrepreneurship pathway. Whilst there, I met somebody who gave me the chance to work under her at a mobile SMS company after I graduated. I worked there for 10 months in the marketing team, overlooking all marketing from social media to SEO. For me, there was always a bias towards social media. I really enjoyed and understood it.
After that, I landed a role at Paysafe, a fintech company. I went in as an executive and there, I really learned all about the social media trade and what it was all about—what we should post, what we shouldn’t post etc. I stayed there for two and a half years before becoming the Social Media Manager at Builder, an app development company with some really cool clients. There, I worked on social media at a strategic level—getting out content, seeing what we should be posting and trying to get more eyes on what we do. I stayed there for a year and then a couple of months later, I was lucky enough to land the job at TransferGo.”
“As Global Social Media Manager, I work to make sure we stay relevant and in the minds of our audience…
My role is to make sure that the content we put out there is in line with who we are and what we do, as well as our brand values. I make sure that our brand voice is consistent across all platforms and that we’re engaging with our audience in the correct way for each platform. For example, Instagram is different to Facebook in terms of engagement so it’s all about working that out.
I also need to keep my fingers on the pulse and stay on top of the ever-changing social media trends and new features. Part of the fun is working out how to use them in a way that keeps us relevant and in the minds of our audience.”
“Social media is a great place to express yourself. I like how everyone is on a level playing field…
I remember being shown Instagram for the first time during university. After using it for a little while, I really felt that it would take off and that everyone would be using it. Social media offers a great chance to express yourself that didn’t exist previously.
I’m also really drawn to the fact that everyone is on a level playing field on social media—both celebrities and the average person has it. There’s nothing really that famous or wealthy people can do on Instagram that the average person can’t do as well. Things like this were unheard of before. This concept is what continuously draws me to social media.”
“It was challenging starting a new role in the pandemic, but TransferGo has been so welcoming and accommodating…
There have been both pros and cons to starting this role during the pandemic. Initially, I found it quite challenging as I was so used to meeting people, going to a desk and having an office manager showing me around the office. I didn’t feel like that was something I’d miss until it wasn’t there. But having said that, TransferGo was really accommodating. Because I work with content, I need a specific office set-up with different screens and a laptop. The team were great and made sure that was provided for me.
The company has also made me feel really welcome. During my first week, there was a really cool virtual meet-up with other newcomers. I met a lot of people there that I’m still talking to now. If it had been normal times, I might not have met those people in the traditional office set-up so it all worked out well in the end.”
“I’m still working on the work-life balance but setting myself a timetable has helped…
These days, I continue to work from home but I also go into the office from time to time. It’s refreshing to have that mix and meet people face to face again.
Working from home is great, but it can be difficult to have a clear distinction between home life and work life. I try to stick to a timetable for the most part and work within the hours I set unless there’s something urgent that needs changing or posting—and quite often, that’s the case with social media.”
“I really appreciate the level of honesty at TransferGo. The company culture really fits in around everybody’s lives…
There’s a real level of honesty at TransferGo, which I haven’t seen in a previous company before. Usually, it feels like everybody has to fit in around the work culture. But here, it feels like the culture fits in around you. That’s one thing I really appreciate and has helped me work better. It’s allowed me to flourish and be me. Obviously, when you’re yourself, you’re much better at whatever you’re doing.
The company culture has also allowed me to create some really great relationships. And things like Trust Days (where employees can take time off at short notice for whatever reason) really take into consideration that people have real lives. There’s a real level of openness here. The company fits in around everybody’s lives rather than it just being about TransferGo all the time.”
“Content is the entire game and I’m really proud of the processes I’ve created at TransferGo…
For me, one of the most difficult things to do in social media is to set up a content machine and process. You see it all the time on Instagram—where brands post well, feel invigorated then they drop off and stop posting. Sometimes after experiencing success, brands don’t know what to post about and as a result, they become irrelevant. I’m really proud that I’ve been able to set up a process and mechanism that allows TransferGo to continuously post content. I feel like that’s my greatest achievement so far.
Moving forward, content is the entire game. One of the things we’re working on at the moment is a really cool video that calls out fraudsters. We’ve got a great concept with funny lines, which I think people will appreciate. It’s also based around language because obviously we operate in so many different countries and deal with so many different ethnicities. I’m really excited about its release.”
“Honesty and openness are really important to me. I also really believe that two minds are better than one…
Honesty is a huge driver for me. I also really value openness—knowing that you’re able to go to somebody and say that you don’t understand X or think we should do Y is great. In previous roles, it often felt like there was an over agreeable culture, which often didn’t yield the best results. But here, there’s a culture of openness and ideas can be challenged by anyone and it delivers the best results. That’s what it’s all about.
I also really value collaboration. I’m a big believer in the adage that two minds are better than one. I might have been in marketing for almost 10 years but there are still things I’ll miss that others without experience might spot. Being able to collaborate is really important to me.”
“Fun fact? I used to be a dancer at college and university and participated in school and regional talent shows…
I used to be a dancer in college and university. A lot of my dances were built around Michael Jackson. I even taught Nadim the Moonwalk last time I saw him.
I used to participate in school and regional talent shows and the biggest place I performed was Kenneth More Theatre, which had a capacity of around 1000 people. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done. These days, I only ever dance casually at weddings and things like that. That said, I do sometimes go into the dance studio after a gym session and throw around a few moves. My favourite song to dance to is Billie Jean but I also love Smooth Criminal and You Rock My World.”