“I believe that anything can be solved through communication.”
Interview with Aygul Zagidullina, Google Assistant Developer & Director of Social Media at MotaWord

“I wake up every day with one thought: Is what I’m doing making a positive impact on the world?” she wrote on the personal website.

Meet Aygul Zagidullina (or rather, Dr. Aygul Zagidullina), a wonder woman with Ph.D. in Chemistry and work experience at Google, Todoist and other famous innovative companies. In 2013 Aygul was named as one of The NEXT 100 Top Influencers of the European Digital Industry.
As a very active member of the digital ecosystem, she has been a distinguished speaker at numerous international industry events in the US (at Google HQ), UK, Germany, Ireland, UAE, Greece, Turkey, Poland, Georgia, and Russia. This autumn Aygul will fly to Bucharest to share her experience at the most complex tech event in Romania – TechFest.

We asked Aygul about the role of Google communities in her life and how to become popular on social media.

Your biography is a great example of a successful switch from academia to industry. Tell us, why you decided to work in the marketing field after getting your Ph.D. in Quantum Chemistry. Do you use now those skills that you learned at university?

I truly admire science and dedicated 9 years of my life to scientific research in the field of computational and quantum chemistry. My inner digital marketer was realized when I left the University of Stuttgart to join Google as a community manager. While chemistry might seem to be so far away from marketing, the skills I’ve acquired from my Ph.D. times turned out to be easily transferable outside of academia.

For example, during my scientific career, I’ve led a research project, given a seminar, and mentored a junior member of my lab. These activities, while centered around research, also trained me in other areas such as planning, communication, teamwork, data analysis, and meeting deadlines.

Your Google+ account has more than 112K followers. How did you manage to gain so much popularity?

Thank you for asking! While there is no magic bullet for getting more followers on social media (e.g. Google+), there are a few simple yet efficient strategies for becoming follow-worthy without being a celebrity that can take you down the right path:
post great content (useful, interesting, visual, real-time, and engaging), connect and engage with other people, and stay positive (avoid coming across as sad, aggressive or angry).

Simply be yourself! I’m afraid there is no single ‘secret’ hack to get the followers flowing.

However, I’ve seen firsthand that the tactics above do work as long as you remain patient, determined, and consistent in your social media strategy.

What are the advantages of being in community groups provided by Google and other platforms?

Communities are my huge passion! It’s all about bringing people together based on their common interests. Currently, I’m an active member of various Google communities and have been involved in many innovative projects:

Besides Google, I’m volunteering as a Duolingo Global Ambassador (EN, DE, RU, TR course contributor), Foursquare Superuser for London, and the UK STEM Ambassador (Code Club and CoderDojo mentor).

From 2015 you’re part of the Women Techmakers program by Google. Could you briefly explain your role in this global network?

Women Techmakers (WTM) is Google’s global program providing visibility, community, and resources for women in technology.

Kicked off in 2012 as a once-per-year event at Google I/O by then VP of Google[x] and later the US CTO of White House Megan Smith, the program has evolved into a global community in which women can connect, be inspired, and encourage each other to realize their passions.

As a WTM London lead, I regularly organize local events to help women become industry leaders by showcasing their work and passions, offering a platform to celebrate their talents and spotlight role models, and providing opportunities to develop industry needed skills.

There are a few simple strategies for becoming follow-worthy: post great content, connect and engage with other people, and stay positive!

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