Social Media

Meet Wayfair’s head of social media, Christina Kelleher

“The more that you can understand where other team members that input into social are coming from, the better set up you are for success,” she told us.
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Christina Kelleher


· 4 min read

Working in social media can be somewhat harrowing. At any moment, you could accidentally blast one of your own photos or videos out to millions of people with one wrong click. Scary.

While maybe not as scary, starting a social job in a completely new industry can still be daunting. But Christina Kelleher is basically an expert at it: Since 2012, she’s done in-house social in many industries, from footwear at Puma to consumer electronics at Bose. Now, she’s landed in the home-decor space as Wayfair’s head of social media.

Marketing Brew sat down with Kelleher to chat about how she navigated a career in social media across multiple sectors and what her current job entails.

The following interview has been edited for content and clarity.

Marketing Brew: As head of social at Wayfair, what exactly are your responsibilities?

Christina Kelleher: I actually have two teams that report in to me. One is focused on organic social media, mostly on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter… And then on the other team, it’s more of content plus [paid] media for Pinterest and TikTok.

MB: So you guys don’t do any paid advertising on Instagram, Facebook, that type of thing?

CK: We do, but that’s a separate team. As a company, we are heavily into Meta advertising. It’s been very successful for us over the years. But there’s a separate team that focuses on that.

MB: What does a typical day as head of social media look like for you?

CK: There’s likely a fair amount of content to review. We’re constantly taking a look at performance across our channels, so I’m taking pulse checks throughout the month and on a monthly basis doing a deeper dive into reporting…A lot of my day is working to develop how content strategy is coming to life across our channels.

MB: Was somebody in this role before you, or are you the first person in this role?

CK: There was someone who led the organic social team prior to my joining, but I’m the first person in this role with the scope that I have and really being tasked with elevating social for the brand.

MB: What would you say is the biggest misconception about what it’s like to be head of social media?

CK: That it’s easy. Or that results are fast and that you only need to, quote, “build it for them to come.”  There’s a lot more to it than that. Yes, we look at trends. Yes, we join trends where they make sense. [But] there’s a lot more to our content strategy, and it really takes time to build. You’re not only building muscles and capabilities within your teams, but you’re also needing to demonstrate to your audiences who you are, what you bring to the table, and how you provide value in their feeds—regardless of channel. And that takes time.

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MB: Do you think the head of social media role will exist at brands five or 10 years from now?

CK: I do. I think what we define as “social” will continue to evolve and change. But at the end of the day, I see a head of social role as being someone who’s responsible for communities, content, and brand messaging across whatever the latest channels are. That will evolve with the channels, and that will evolve in terms of how people interact with social. But I do see the role, at its core, being critical to business moving forward.

MB: What have you learned from managing social across so many different industries?

CK: There were definitely times at Puma where the audience had more knowledge than myself and my peers. We would get these really specific questions around footwear…Anticipating that ahead of time provided a challenge, and we had to develop work streams so that we could better answer those questions for people who literally live and breathe sneakers. I think knowing your audience is key, and understanding the role that your category plays within their lives—and what role you want it to play—is really important.

MB: Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting out in social and might be looking to become a head of social in the future?

CK: Introduce yourself to people in all different aspects that touch the work, have coffee chats, network, learn different components…I had worked with creative groups for years prior to joining Bose, but I never really had a deep respect and understanding for their process and how that worked until I sat in on it. You can’t always sit in [on] a team. So the more that you can understand where other team members that input into social are coming from, the better set up you are for success.

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