A New Community Manager Group presented by Percolate

 
This week we sat down with Sarah Judd Welch, founder of Loyal, a community development studio that helps brands build communities.
1. What is your community manager “superpower”?
Aligning community and business goals. I have a pretty diverse background from politics and operations to business development and branding on top of my time in community. Being able to draw upon those experiences and understand business levers from all sides has been invaluable in aligning interests and finding good outcomes for communities and clients alike.

2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?
Man, I don’t think I read anything on a daily basis, except PSFK’s “stories you need to know today.” I follow a wide variety of folks and publications on twitter in tech, community and design/creative, and I let the best content find me. I constantly have tabs open for articles on Contently, Brainpicker, and FastCoDesign, and I’ve recently been finding great cultural content in The Atlantic and NYTimes.

3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?
There are quite a few that I’m proud of! Just recently, Loyal helped to launch an iOS app, #climate, that gives nonprofits the tech and social media tools to get their climate change actions (petitions, etc.) in front of a mass audience beyond their base of existing reporters. We partnered with influencers such as the NBA, Obama, Al Gore, Mark Ruffalo and Guns N Roses, and saw numbers that blew us all away. For that project, Loyal led all of the NPO onboarding for the platform, in-app content, and content for influencers. We were all super happy with the results, and it felt good to do some good.

4. Which campaign you wish you did?

HelloFlo’s video ads by Naama Bloom. That woman is such a badass! I hope that she’ll keep producing such top-notch creative content. 
5. What’s your best time saving shortcut?
We’re very process-driven at Loyal, which streamlines our decision-making process and prevents fatigue. We figure out guidelines for decision making up-front so that we can quickly run with projects.

6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?
Twitter! I have so many IRL friends who I originally met on twitter.

7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?
For Loyal, our audience refers to our blog and our weekly newsletter Community.is. We’ve learned from our audience that they want to help us in defining best practices and community as a discipline and in educating the rest of the market — we’ve gotten quite a few requests for guest posts. Please do get in touch if you’d also like to contribute!

8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.
Take a walk! Loyal is based in Little Italy, and my offices were located near by prior to that too, so I’ve been on the same exact creative walking route for more than three years: east on Grand to Bowery, one block north on Bowery up to Broome, west on Broome to West Broadway, south West Broadway to Grand and then east again on Grand. You’ll often find me walking on auto-pilot while blasting radio and doing some thinking.

9. If you’re were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t running Loyal, I’d likely be building community products of my own. Perhaps that’s not too far off ;)

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

I’m pretty relieved to see marketers’ move away from impressions of content to time engaged with content. I hope that 6 months from now, we’ll all be talking more about time engaged with each other. 

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM. 

This week we sat down with Sarah Judd Welch, founder of Loyal, a community development studio that helps brands build communities.

1. What is your community manager “superpower”?

Aligning community and business goals. I have a pretty diverse background from politics and operations to business development and branding on top of my time in community. Being able to draw upon those experiences and understand business levers from all sides has been invaluable in aligning interests and finding good outcomes for communities and clients alike.

2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?

Man, I don’t think I read anything on a daily basis, except PSFK’s “stories you need to know today.” I follow a wide variety of folks and publications on twitter in tech, community and design/creative, and I let the best content find me. I constantly have tabs open for articles on Contently, Brainpicker, and FastCoDesign, and I’ve recently been finding great cultural content in The Atlantic and NYTimes.

3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?

There are quite a few that I’m proud of! Just recently, Loyal helped to launch an iOS app, #climate, that gives nonprofits the tech and social media tools to get their climate change actions (petitions, etc.) in front of a mass audience beyond their base of existing reporters. We partnered with influencers such as the NBA, Obama, Al Gore, Mark Ruffalo and Guns N Roses, and saw numbers that blew us all away. For that project, Loyal led all of the NPO onboarding for the platform, in-app content, and content for influencers. We were all super happy with the results, and it felt good to do some good.

4. Which campaign you wish you did?

HelloFlo’s video ads by Naama Bloom. That woman is such a badass! I hope that she’ll keep producing such top-notch creative content.

5. What’s your best time saving shortcut?

We’re very process-driven at Loyal, which streamlines our decision-making process and prevents fatigue. We figure out guidelines for decision making up-front so that we can quickly run with projects.

6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?

Twitter! I have so many IRL friends who I originally met on twitter.

7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?

For Loyal, our audience refers to our blog and our weekly newsletter Community.is. We’ve learned from our audience that they want to help us in defining best practices and community as a discipline and in educating the rest of the market — we’ve gotten quite a few requests for guest posts. Please do get in touch if you’d also like to contribute!

8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.

Take a walk! Loyal is based in Little Italy, and my offices were located near by prior to that too, so I’ve been on the same exact creative walking route for more than three years: east on Grand to Bowery, one block north on Bowery up to Broome, west on Broome to West Broadway, south West Broadway to Grand and then east again on Grand. You’ll often find me walking on auto-pilot while blasting radio and doing some thinking.

9. If you’re were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

If I wasn’t running Loyal, I’d likely be building community products of my own. Perhaps that’s not too far off ;)

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

I’m pretty relieved to see marketers’ move away from impressions of content to time engaged with content. I hope that 6 months from now, we’ll all be talking more about time engaged with each other. 

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM. 

 
Monica Chen is a community manager at OXO. We sat down with her to find out how she builds communities. 

1. What is the brand voice for OXO? 
Whether you’re in the kitchen baking some cookies, dusting your bookshelves, gardening in your backyard, kicking back with a martini, or taking your toddler on a weekend adventure, OXO is there to help make your everyday life easier. We’re your friendly life partner!
 
2. Tell us how you came up with your latest campaign #OXOGoodTips? How has it performed? 
Humans are curious creatures – we love learning new things – and turning to social media is the easiest way to pick up a new skill, especially when it’s simple and shown visually. We recognized that years ago and decided to come up with a series of helpful and short how-to videos. The name #OXOGoodTips is a spin on one of our product lines, “OXO Good Grips.” Our fans seem to really be loving them, especially the newest iteration of the #OXOGoodTips videos which we’ve been sharing on Instagram every Tuesday.
 
3. Which social channel drives the most engagement for OXO and which social channel are you looking to establish a presence on next? 
We have significantly more fans on Facebook than any other platform, so we definitely get the most interaction there. We’d love to get our Tumblr up and running (er, tumbling), but as our core demographic doesn’t overlap enough with the majority of Tumblr users, we’ve decided to not invest too much time there until we can really build out a great page that would be interesting and engaging to more of our consumers and fans.
 
4. What do you wish you knew a year ago that you know now about social media? 
I’ve learned to let go a little, step back, and to take a look at the big picture. Last year, I was obsessed with OXO’s fan growth and fan engagement and would track it constantly. After Facebook started tweaking its algorithm, I panicked when our growth and engagement both slowed down. Now that it’s clear that Facebook will continue to adjust how content is served to its users, I’ve accepted it and have found some inner peace.  While community managers have to be a little more agile and creative to keep up with or anticipate changes, the key is to not get too stuck in the weeds. Instead, let’s all go back to focusing on what really matters: delivering good content to the right audience at the correct time.
 
5. How do you source inspiration when creating content for OXO? 
OXO has a very robust and enthusiastic Blogger Outreach Program that is managed by my colleague Veronica, which serves as a source of inspiration for some of the posts that I share via social media. OXOnians (OXO employees) also often share great stories, new uses, and photographs of their products with me, so I love sharing those insider stories and tips too. Additionally, there are all these delicious, weird, and wonderfully nerdy holidays out there, like National Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Omelet Day, National Pizza with Everything (Except Anchovies) Day, Talk Like A Pirate Day, and Star Wars Day, that I find delightful and get a kick out of sharing with our fans as they relate to OXO products. You can check out some of the cheeky ways I celebrate those holidays with our fans in these Love Notes!
 
6. What is the most useful part of Percolate for you? 
The content calendar is a great tool – I sit no further than 3 feet away from my team, but being able to just take a peek into the calendar to try to plan out my posts that day, next week, or a few months out, instead of having to constantly ask what everyone else will be working on has been helpful.
 
7. What has been the most rewarding experience since you started managing OXO’s social channels? Is it weird to say that I sometimes feel like I have improved people’s lives when they tell me how much they love an OXO tool? Yes? When our fans share their experiences and stories with OXO products, and sometimes they share very personal stories (perhaps forgetting that they’re sharing in a public forum), it’s amazing to see how much someone loves OXO and feels such a close connection to the brand.
 
8. How many people are on your team and how do you divide up responsibilities? The marketing team consists of 4 people: Bena, our fearless director, Monica (me), the social media manager and half of the OXOnian ‘Onicas, Veronica, the other half of the ‘Onicas and the wrangler of brand partners and bloggers, and Valerie, our awesome grammar queen copywriter.
 
9. How does social fit into the marketing mix at OXO? 
The marketing team at OXO handles the consumer-facing messaging, so we take social very seriously – it’s where we spend most of our team’s budget and how we engage directly with our fans. Through social, I’m able to reach a large audience that already knows and loves the brand and also connect individuals with the product teams, our engineers, the consumer care team, the quality assurance team, the sales team, or even the international team. Since OXO is supposed to be that helpful partner, making everyday life easier, shouldn’t this partner be a friendly one that engages in conversations with you and gives you helpful advice?


10. What is one surprising thing you have learned from you audience? 
Maybe it’s not that surprising, but be nice and it will be reciprocated. OXO has a really great Satisfaction Guarantee and an amazing consumer care team, but sometimes a fan who has had a less than stellar experience will take to social media to air their grievances. A helpful and kind response isn’t always what they expect, but it can turn an grumpy person into a fan for life!
 

Monica Chen is a community manager at OXO. We sat down with her to find out how she builds communities.

1. What is the brand voice for OXO?

Whether you’re in the kitchen baking some cookies, dusting your bookshelves, gardening in your backyard, kicking back with a martini, or taking your toddler on a weekend adventure, OXO is there to help make your everyday life easier. We’re your friendly life partner!

 

2. Tell us how you came up with your latest campaign #OXOGoodTips? How has it performed?

Humans are curious creatures – we love learning new things – and turning to social media is the easiest way to pick up a new skill, especially when it’s simple and shown visually. We recognized that years ago and decided to come up with a series of helpful and short how-to videos. The name #OXOGoodTips is a spin on one of our product lines, “OXO Good Grips.” Our fans seem to really be loving them, especially the newest iteration of the #OXOGoodTips videos which we’ve been sharing on Instagram every Tuesday.

 

3. Which social channel drives the most engagement for OXO and which social channel are you looking to establish a presence on next?

We have significantly more fans on Facebook than any other platform, so we definitely get the most interaction there. We’d love to get our Tumblr up and running (er, tumbling), but as our core demographic doesn’t overlap enough with the majority of Tumblr users, we’ve decided to not invest too much time there until we can really build out a great page that would be interesting and engaging to more of our consumers and fans.

 

4. What do you wish you knew a year ago that you know now about social media?

I’ve learned to let go a little, step back, and to take a look at the big picture. Last year, I was obsessed with OXO’s fan growth and fan engagement and would track it constantly. After Facebook started tweaking its algorithm, I panicked when our growth and engagement both slowed down. Now that it’s clear that Facebook will continue to adjust how content is served to its users, I’ve accepted it and have found some inner peace.  While community managers have to be a little more agile and creative to keep up with or anticipate changes, the key is to not get too stuck in the weeds. Instead, let’s all go back to focusing on what really matters: delivering good content to the right audience at the correct time.

 

5. How do you source inspiration when creating content for OXO?

OXO has a very robust and enthusiastic Blogger Outreach Program that is managed by my colleague Veronica, which serves as a source of inspiration for some of the posts that I share via social media. OXOnians (OXO employees) also often share great stories, new uses, and photographs of their products with me, so I love sharing those insider stories and tips too. Additionally, there are all these delicious, weird, and wonderfully nerdy holidays out there, like National Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Omelet Day, National Pizza with Everything (Except Anchovies) Day, Talk Like A Pirate Day, and Star Wars Day, that I find delightful and get a kick out of sharing with our fans as they relate to OXO products. You can check out some of the cheeky ways I celebrate those holidays with our fans in these Love Notes!

 

6. What is the most useful part of Percolate for you?

The content calendar is a great tool – I sit no further than 3 feet away from my team, but being able to just take a peek into the calendar to try to plan out my posts that day, next week, or a few months out, instead of having to constantly ask what everyone else will be working on has been helpful.

 

7. What has been the most rewarding experience since you started managing OXO’s social channels? Is it weird to say that I sometimes feel like I have improved people’s lives when they tell me how much they love an OXO tool? Yes? When our fans share their experiences and stories with OXO products, and sometimes they share very personal stories (perhaps forgetting that they’re sharing in a public forum), it’s amazing to see how much someone loves OXO and feels such a close connection to the brand.

 

8. How many people are on your team and how do you divide up responsibilities? The marketing team consists of 4 people: Bena, our fearless director, Monica (me), the social media manager and half of the OXOnian ‘Onicas, Veronica, the other half of the ‘Onicas and the wrangler of brand partners and bloggers, and Valerie, our awesome grammar queen copywriter.

 

9. How does social fit into the marketing mix at OXO?

The marketing team at OXO handles the consumer-facing messaging, so we take social very seriously – it’s where we spend most of our team’s budget and how we engage directly with our fans. Through social, I’m able to reach a large audience that already knows and loves the brand and also connect individuals with the product teams, our engineers, the consumer care team, the quality assurance team, the sales team, or even the international team. Since OXO is supposed to be that helpful partner, making everyday life easier, shouldn’t this partner be a friendly one that engages in conversations with you and gives you helpful advice?

10. What is one surprising thing you have learned from you audience?

Maybe it’s not that surprising, but be nice and it will be reciprocated. OXO has a really great Satisfaction Guarantee and an amazing consumer care team, but sometimes a fan who has had a less than stellar experience will take to social media to air their grievances. A helpful and kind response isn’t always what they expect, but it can turn an grumpy person into a fan for life!

 

 
Chevon Drew is an Associate in the Client Solutions team at Percolate but prior to that she worked at ADP as a community manager.

What is your community manager “superpower”?

At every turn, my clients, colleagues and supervisors identified my community manager superpower as the uncanny ability to apply limitless amounts of creativity to any challenge they set before me.
What are sites that you read on daily basis?
As a NYTimes.com alum, I still read the Times every day. I also don’t go a day without reading stories from The Next Web, Mashable, Social Media Insider, NPR, Colorlines, The CCR, Gothamist, Gawker. 
What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?
I’m very proud of the campaign I launched to convert HP alumni into online resources for consumers. The conversion rate was something to trumpet and it really helped both the alumni and the consumers fill a need to stay sharp on HP product expertise and understand new technology, respectively. 

Which campaign do you wish you did?

The Starbucks ‘Tweet-a-Coffee’ Campaign that prompted $180,000 in purchases is the kind of campaign that tugs at my social media psyche.  I wish I could do the same thing, but for chai tea lattes worldwide. By now, you have guessed that I am outwardly a fan of both Starbucks and chai.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut?

Practicing kindness and compassion is the best time-saving shortcut I have found in life. It has great karma and can save people the time that can be wasted when conversations devolve into less than cordial exchanges. I’ve not perfected this yet. I have some rare moments when I don’t get it right, but overall I am genuinely committed to being kind and compassionate whether I’m onboarding someone at work, volunteering on the weekend or communicating with a client who needs my help.

If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?

Twitter wins the social media survivor game for me right now. A picture is worth a thousand words, but you can’t photoshop your words on Twitter. I dig that and find there’s a certain insight to be gained by tapping into someone’s cool stream of consciousness.
What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?
When I managed a community for ADP, I’d regularly reach out to members to do interviews. I was so surprised when I learned that one of the community members won the official Peeps candy diorama contest. It made for a quite a compelling (and delicious) story.

When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.

Read anything I can get my hands on.

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

If I weren’t doing this particular job, I’d be with my family or helping youth and seniors learn to leverage technology. That’s how I spend some of my time.
In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

Hopefully, my next hairstyle. I change my look so often that my colleague thought I was a new member of the team!
Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

Chevon Drew is an Associate in the Client Solutions team at Percolate but prior to that she worked at ADP as a community manager.

What is your community manager “superpower”?

At every turn, my clients, colleagues and supervisors identified my community manager superpower as the uncanny ability to apply limitless amounts of creativity to any challenge they set before me.

What are sites that you read on daily basis?

As a NYTimes.com alum, I still read the Times every day. I also don’t go a day without reading stories from The Next Web, Mashable, Social Media Insider, NPR, Colorlines, The CCR, Gothamist, Gawker.

What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?

I’m very proud of the campaign I launched to convert HP alumni into online resources for consumers. The conversion rate was something to trumpet and it really helped both the alumni and the consumers fill a need to stay sharp on HP product expertise and understand new technology, respectively.

Which campaign do you wish you did?

The Starbucks ‘Tweet-a-Coffee’ Campaign that prompted $180,000 in purchases is the kind of campaign that tugs at my social media psyche.  I wish I could do the same thing, but for chai tea lattes worldwide. By now, you have guessed that I am outwardly a fan of both Starbucks and chai.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut?

Practicing kindness and compassion is the best time-saving shortcut I have found in life. It has great karma and can save people the time that can be wasted when conversations devolve into less than cordial exchanges. I’ve not perfected this yet. I have some rare moments when I don’t get it right, but overall I am genuinely committed to being kind and compassionate whether I’m onboarding someone at work, volunteering on the weekend or communicating with a client who needs my help.

If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?

Twitter wins the social media survivor game for me right now. A picture is worth a thousand words, but you can’t photoshop your words on Twitter. I dig that and find there’s a certain insight to be gained by tapping into someone’s cool stream of consciousness.

What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?

When I managed a community for ADP, I’d regularly reach out to members to do interviews. I was so surprised when I learned that one of the community members won the official Peeps candy diorama contest. It made for a quite a compelling (and delicious) story.

When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.

Read anything I can get my hands on.

If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

If I weren’t doing this particular job, I’d be with my family or helping youth and seniors learn to leverage technology. That’s how I spend some of my time.

In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

Hopefully, my next hairstyle. I change my look so often that my colleague thought I was a new member of the team!

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

 
How Estée Lauder Creates Effective Photos for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram
        (via How Estée Lauder Creates Effective Photos for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram - WSJ)
How Estée Lauder Creates Effective Photos for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram

(via How Estée Lauder Creates Effective Photos for Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram - WSJ)

 

image

 
Song Hia is a Product Specialist at Percolate but previous to his current position he was a community manager for the speaker series at Ignite NYC. 

1. What is your community manager “superpower”?
Consuming everything just like Matter-Eater lad. The Ignite NYC Speaker community are pretty prolific creators and staying up to date on their projects and endeavors was really important in building the network.
2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?
Nowadays I try to stay in the stream of Twitter, but recently I find myself gravitating towards email newsletters. I dig Undercurrent’s and Community.is from Sarah Judd Welch among others.
3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?

Guess Watches: One To Watch. It was an international contest to recruit fashion bloggers and I learned a lot from the awesome design, development, and production team that worked on it when I was a digital producer.

4. Which campaign do you wish you did?

The Subservient Chicken. That campaign completely changed my perception about what advertising on the internet could be.

5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut?

Using something like the Eisenhower Matrix and ultimately deciding to: 
do something immediately, do it later, decide a specific time to do it, delegating it, or not doing it.

I also like the Datexx Miracle Cube Timer. It’s basically a glorified stopwatch that I got it for my girlfriend, but I end up using it all the time.

6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?
Speaking from a brand perspective, it would depend on the goals and strategy. For me personally, I cleaned up my news feed by unfollowing a ton of sources and it’s great.
7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?
How formally educated the Ignite NYC community is. 90% graduated from a 4 year college and 40% has an advanced degree.
8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.
Do absolutely anything and everything unrelated (grab a coffee, take a walk, ride my bike, distract other people).

9. If you’re were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

Doing something at the intersection of technology, communication, and culture.

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?
The 90s.
Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

Song Hia is a Product Specialist at Percolate but previous to his current position he was a community manager for the speaker series at Ignite NYC

1. What is your community manager “superpower”?

Consuming everything just like Matter-Eater lad. The Ignite NYC Speaker community are pretty prolific creators and staying up to date on their projects and endeavors was really important in building the network.

2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?

Nowadays I try to stay in the stream of Twitter, but recently I find myself gravitating towards email newsletters. I dig Undercurrent’s and Community.is from Sarah Judd Welch among others.

3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?

Guess Watches: One To Watch. It was an international contest to recruit fashion bloggers and I learned a lot from the awesome design, development, and production team that worked on it when I was a digital producer.

4. Which campaign do you wish you did?

The Subservient Chicken. That campaign completely changed my perception about what advertising on the internet could be.

5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut?

Using something like the Eisenhower Matrix and ultimately deciding to:

do something immediately, do it later, decide a specific time to do it, delegating it, or not doing it.

I also like the Datexx Miracle Cube Timer. It’s basically a glorified stopwatch that I got it for my girlfriend, but I end up using it all the time.

6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?

Speaking from a brand perspective, it would depend on the goals and strategy. For me personally, I cleaned up my news feed by unfollowing a ton of sources and it’s great.

7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?

How formally educated the Ignite NYC community is. 90% graduated from a 4 year college and 40% has an advanced degree.

8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.

Do absolutely anything and everything unrelated (grab a coffee, take a walk, ride my bike, distract other people).

9. If you’re were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

Doing something at the intersection of technology, communication, and culture.

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

The 90s.

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

 
Taisa Veras is a community manager for Speakeasy CM, a networking group for community managers created by Percolate. She is also an Associate in the Client Solutions team. Previously she has done CM for Vespa USA, Giles & Brother, and WWDMagic.
How would you define “community”?
Community to me is the embodiment of people from different walks of life that are bound together by one or a few common threads. Building a community takes initiative, energy, and an understanding of what matters the most to that group of individuals. 
What are some community managers you respect, and why?
I respect Oscar PR Girl because she able to create a persona and voice that represents one of the most well-renowned and respected fashion designers, Oscar De La Renta. She was also responsible to bringing to light the fact that high-gloss luxury brands and designers can have a presence on social without undermining their repertoire. 
What’s a new piece of technology or app you’ve learned about recently? Why is it interesting?
I recently became obsessed with fitness and Fitbit is one of my favorite wearable fitness trackers. It tracks your activity during the day and your sleep quality at night, and will soon launch a collaboration with Tory Burch which I’m excited about.
What have you gotten better at over the years? How did you develop those skills?
I’ve gotten better at being able to step into my audience’s psyche and really grasp what they’re about. I developed that skill with experience from managing Vespa’s social channels to menswear jewelry brand Giles & Brother, I was able to learn to observe my audience in order to tailor valuable content for them.
If I could start my career all over again, I would definitely _____ this time.
Learn how to code.
What’s a mistake you see a lot of brands making when it comes to community management?
I see a lot of brands posting low quality images, not tagging properly, misspelling, and still not building a content strategy around what they’re pushing out. Social media has been around for a while now and I’d think that people wouldn’t make those basic mistakes anymore, but they’re still around.
What movie are you most looking forward to seeing this summer and why?
I’m looking forward to seeing documentaries more and ‘Palo Alto’ by Gia Coppola based on the book by James Franco. 
What’s your favorite meme? (#tbt, Doge, planking, etc)
#YOLO. 
If someone read through your web browser history for the last week, what would they be most surprised to find?
My obsession with obstacle races.
Ask one question of yourself that hasn’t been on this interview and answer it.
If you could travel anywhere, where would you go next? 
Marrakesh, Morocco. 
Interview by Jason Shen, growth at Percolate.

Taisa Veras is a community manager for Speakeasy CM, a networking group for community managers created by Percolate. She is also an Associate in the Client Solutions team. Previously she has done CM for Vespa USA, Giles & Brother, and WWDMagic.

How would you define “community”?

Community to me is the embodiment of people from different walks of life that are bound together by one or a few common threads. Building a community takes initiative, energy, and an understanding of what matters the most to that group of individuals.

What are some community managers you respect, and why?

I respect Oscar PR Girl because she able to create a persona and voice that represents one of the most well-renowned and respected fashion designers, Oscar De La Renta. She was also responsible to bringing to light the fact that high-gloss luxury brands and designers can have a presence on social without undermining their repertoire.

What’s a new piece of technology or app you’ve learned about recently? Why is it interesting?

I recently became obsessed with fitness and Fitbit is one of my favorite wearable fitness trackers. It tracks your activity during the day and your sleep quality at night, and will soon launch a collaboration with Tory Burch which I’m excited about.

What have you gotten better at over the years? How did you develop those skills?

I’ve gotten better at being able to step into my audience’s psyche and really grasp what they’re about. I developed that skill with experience from managing Vespa’s social channels to menswear jewelry brand Giles & Brother, I was able to learn to observe my audience in order to tailor valuable content for them.

If I could start my career all over again, I would definitely _____ this time.

Learn how to code.

What’s a mistake you see a lot of brands making when it comes to community management?

I see a lot of brands posting low quality images, not tagging properly, misspelling, and still not building a content strategy around what they’re pushing out. Social media has been around for a while now and I’d think that people wouldn’t make those basic mistakes anymore, but they’re still around.

What movie are you most looking forward to seeing this summer and why?

I’m looking forward to seeing documentaries more and ‘Palo Alto’ by Gia Coppola based on the book by James Franco.

What’s your favorite meme? (#tbt, Doge, planking, etc)

#YOLO.

If someone read through your web browser history for the last week, what would they be most surprised to find?

My obsession with obstacle races.

Ask one question of yourself that hasn’t been on this interview and answer it.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go next?

Marrakesh, Morocco.

Interview by Jason Shen, growth at Percolate.

 


Graydon Gordian is a community manager at Percolate and prior to that he was a community manager at Sesame Street. 


1. What is your community manager “superpower”?
I don't know if I’d call this a “superpower,” per se, but as a former journalist, writing mistake-free copy at a fast pace is something I’ve been doing for a long time. I’ve only been working on marketing for a few years, but my background was well suited for the job.
2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?
For pleasure I read a lot of different stuff: Grantland, N+1, Circa, The Hairpin. And, of course, 48 Minutes of Hell, which I founded. For Tech news, I’m fond ofGigaom and Re/code.
3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?
Well, as we always say, we live in an era of sustained communications, not campaigns. But some of my favorite work I ever did was on emerging platforms at Sesame workshop, in particular Tumblr and Vine. We grew comparatively huge audiences on those platforms at times when many brands had yet to fully embrace them.
4. Which campaign do you wish you did?
Spotify’s recent work on social has been unbelievable. In particular this is a brilliant use of Vine.
5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut?
Aside from Percolate? I’d say Giphy. Is it an essential tool? Absolutely not. But adding a little levity to work emails can go a long way trying to develop an internal community, not just an external one.
6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?
Twitter. Why? Because I’m first and foremost a writer, and even as the platform heads in a more visual direction, the character constraints make the platform incredibly engaging to write for.
7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?
I learned to trust their intelligence. The Internet can be a rough neighborhood, but a respectful, intelligent style will attract a respectful, intelligent audience.
8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.
I ask a colleague. I’m a collaborator, and nothing sparks my creativity more than kicking around ideas with my colleagues.
9. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
Working in publishing. I’m a bibliophile, and building a book business that can not just survive but thrive in this day and age is one of my dreams.
10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?
The Spurs’ 5th NBA Title, Brazil’s 6th World Cup Title and what an amazing conference Transition was.
Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM, a networking group for community managers created by Percolate.

Graydon Gordian is a community manager at Percolate and prior to that he was a community manager at Sesame Street.

1. What is your community manager “superpower”?

I don't know if I’d call this a “superpower,” per se, but as a former journalist, writing mistake-free copy at a fast pace is something I’ve been doing for a long time. I’ve only been working on marketing for a few years, but my background was well suited for the job.

2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?

For pleasure I read a lot of different stuff: Grantland, N+1, Circa, The Hairpin. And, of course, 48 Minutes of Hell, which I founded. For Tech news, I’m fond ofGigaom and Re/code.

3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?

Well, as we always say, we live in an era of sustained communications, not campaigns. But some of my favorite work I ever did was on emerging platforms at Sesame workshop, in particular Tumblr and Vine. We grew comparatively huge audiences on those platforms at times when many brands had yet to fully embrace them.

4. Which campaign do you wish you did?

Spotify’s recent work on social has been unbelievable. In particular this is a brilliant use of Vine.

5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut?

Aside from Percolate? I’d say Giphy. Is it an essential tool? Absolutely not. But adding a little levity to work emails can go a long way trying to develop an internal community, not just an external one.

6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?

Twitter. Why? Because I’m first and foremost a writer, and even as the platform heads in a more visual direction, the character constraints make the platform incredibly engaging to write for.

7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?

I learned to trust their intelligence. The Internet can be a rough neighborhood, but a respectful, intelligent style will attract a respectful, intelligent audience.

8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.

I ask a colleague. I’m a collaborator, and nothing sparks my creativity more than kicking around ideas with my colleagues.

9. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

Working in publishing. I’m a bibliophile, and building a book business that can not just survive but thrive in this day and age is one of my dreams.

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

The Spurs’ 5th NBA Title, Brazil’s 6th World Cup Title and what an amazing conference Transition was.

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM, a networking group for community managers created by Percolate.

 
Julie Kim is a community manager at Julien Farel and she sat down with us to discuss all things social. 
1. What is your community manager “superpower”?
The power to relate any piece of content back to hair…. And I mean anything. Hair and horses – check! Topknots, ombre and Jared Leto – check! Elvis’ hair for sale – check! Aren’t you curious now?
 2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?
I check Twitter and Instagram immediately for a quick update. Then Mashable, Women’s Wear Daily, New York Times and Who What Wear.
 3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?
I am most proud of our Power Beauty campaign. With the opening on our new Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa, my team developed our key differentiator from all other 5 star spas in NYC and that is the Power Beauty Menu. This has gotten a ton of buzz throughout the press and we ran a month long #Powerplayer contest for our audience to nominate the #powerplayers in their lives to receive a day of luxury beauty for 2. It has been a huge success so far and I can’t wait to see where this campaign goes.
 4. Which campaign do you wish you did?
Obama’s campaign, of course. He was the first politician to take on social. Chris Hughes is a genius!
5. What’s your best timesaving shortcut?
Hot keys, Percolate and Dry-shampoo…They all work wonders.
6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?
Despite the power of Facebook, I would say Instagram. Besides the fact that I prefer this social channel for my own personal use, some say it will become the most influential platform in 2 years. I hope they are right. I find it to be the easiest way to grow an audience quickly and have them continually engage with minimal effort. Plus, who doesn’t love an endless feed of photos?
7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?
When you ask for a selfie, you shall receive a selfie.
8. When I have a creative block I ___________ for ideas.
 I usually need to leave the building for ideas. My best ideas come from reading magazines, watching TV, on Google, having new experiences or even talking to my mom gives me ideas. Fresh air, for fresh ideas.
9. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
Set design. I used to work in the floral industry and almost entered into set design because it is creative in a more physical way of sculpture. I love looking at unique window displays and backgrounds of advertisements and thinking about how they were created.  
10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?  

Well, what do we talk about today? Food, fitness, beauty, and more food…everyone is really into the whole Jay-Z and Solange thing. I think we are all just waiting around for the next big shocker from Kimye or #DeportBieber. And of course, Julien Farel…so hot right now.
Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

Julie Kim is a community manager at Julien Farel and she sat down with us to discuss all things social. 

1. What is your community manager “superpower”?

The power to relate any piece of content back to hair…. And I mean anything. Hair and horses – check! Topknots, ombre and Jared Leto – check! Elvis’ hair for sale – check! Aren’t you curious now?

 2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?

I check Twitter and Instagram immediately for a quick update. Then Mashable, Women’s Wear Daily, New York Times and Who What Wear.

 3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?

I am most proud of our Power Beauty campaign. With the opening on our new Julien Farel Restore Salon & Spa, my team developed our key differentiator from all other 5 star spas in NYC and that is the Power Beauty Menu. This has gotten a ton of buzz throughout the press and we ran a month long #Powerplayer contest for our audience to nominate the #powerplayers in their lives to receive a day of luxury beauty for 2. It has been a huge success so far and I can’t wait to see where this campaign goes.

 4. Which campaign do you wish you did?

Obama’s campaign, of course. He was the first politician to take on social. Chris Hughes is a genius!

5. What’s your best timesaving shortcut?

Hot keys, Percolate and Dry-shampoo…They all work wonders.

6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?

Despite the power of Facebook, I would say Instagram. Besides the fact that I prefer this social channel for my own personal use, some say it will become the most influential platform in 2 years. I hope they are right. I find it to be the easiest way to grow an audience quickly and have them continually engage with minimal effort. Plus, who doesn’t love an endless feed of photos?

7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?

When you ask for a selfie, you shall receive a selfie.

8. When I have a creative block I ___________ for ideas.

 I usually need to leave the building for ideas. My best ideas come from reading magazines, watching TV, on Google, having new experiences or even talking to my mom gives me ideas. Fresh air, for fresh ideas.

9. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

Set design. I used to work in the floral industry and almost entered into set design because it is creative in a more physical way of sculpture. I love looking at unique window displays and backgrounds of advertisements and thinking about how they were created.  

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?  

Well, what do we talk about today? Food, fitness, beauty, and more food…everyone is really into the whole Jay-Z and Solange thing. I think we are all just waiting around for the next big shocker from Kimye or #DeportBieber. And of course, Julien Farel…so hot right now.

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

 
Tiffany Jennings is a community manager (and digital zookeeper) at Aquent and Vitamin T, a creative staffing and digital talent agency. 
1. What is your community manager “superpower”?
I am really good at helping our staff become more social and use social media for business purposes. It helps them do their job and it helps with our brand awareness. Win/Win! I’m inherently social and you just can’t be a good CM without having a knack for people and being social!
 2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?
Well Twitter is my life blood (both personally and professionally.) I’m addicted to Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert. I also frequent the usual suspects- Mashable, ReadWrite, Inc, and Fast Company.
3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?
Vitamin T’s UX infographic. We launched it during “UX March Madness” in 2013 and the thing still has legs! People still share it every day. It’s useful information, with bite sized info, easy to share and its fun!
4. Which campaign do you wish you did?
REI’s 1440 Project! It’s motivating and beautiful.
5. What’s your best timesaving shortcut?
Percolate of course!
 6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?
Twitter. Both personally and professionally, it’s how I get and share news, ideas and engage with the world.
7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?
How different types of people engage on different platforms. Facebook is very visual and tends to get more engagement with designers and visual learners. Developers and tech savvy people are very vocal on Twitter.
How kind people can be. It’s not shocking to see negative feedback on Twitter when it comes to brand, but seeing positive feedback is. And we hear it everyday. We love feedback either way, but when it’s good, it’s always nice to hear!
8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.
I have a writing exercise I do when I’m stuck. I start with that day and work backwards. I write about little things, big things, everything. It’s just a stream of thoughts that eventually clears my head and breaks through the block. Whiskey, motorcycles and waves help too!
9. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
NBA Reporter. I heart basketball in a big way. I love watching it, reading about it, talking about it and tweeting about it. No matter what I would be doing something that allows me to craft content and be creative.
10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?
Privacy. We’re already talking about it but it’s not going to change quickly.
The Trail Blazers being the #1 team in the NBA. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)
Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

Tiffany Jennings is a community manager (and digital zookeeper) at Aquent and Vitamin T, a creative staffing and digital talent agency. 

1. What is your community manager “superpower”?

I am really good at helping our staff become more social and use social media for business purposes. It helps them do their job and it helps with our brand awareness. Win/Win! I’m inherently social and you just can’t be a good CM without having a knack for people and being social!

 2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?

Well Twitter is my life blood (both personally and professionally.) I’m addicted to Jay Baer’s Convince & Convert. I also frequent the usual suspects- Mashable, ReadWrite, Inc, and Fast Company.

3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?

Vitamin T’s UX infographic. We launched it during “UX March Madness” in 2013 and the thing still has legs! People still share it every day. It’s useful information, with bite sized info, easy to share and its fun!

4. Which campaign do you wish you did?

REI’s 1440 Project! It’s motivating and beautiful.

5. What’s your best timesaving shortcut?

Percolate of course!

 6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?

Twitter. Both personally and professionally, it’s how I get and share news, ideas and engage with the world.

7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?

How different types of people engage on different platforms. Facebook is very visual and tends to get more engagement with designers and visual learners. Developers and tech savvy people are very vocal on Twitter.

How kind people can be. It’s not shocking to see negative feedback on Twitter when it comes to brand, but seeing positive feedback is. And we hear it everyday. We love feedback either way, but when it’s good, it’s always nice to hear!

8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.

I have a writing exercise I do when I’m stuck. I start with that day and work backwards. I write about little things, big things, everything. It’s just a stream of thoughts that eventually clears my head and breaks through the block. Whiskey, motorcycles and waves help too!

9. If you were not doing this job, what would you be doing?

NBA Reporter. I heart basketball in a big way. I love watching it, reading about it, talking about it and tweeting about it. No matter what I would be doing something that allows me to craft content and be creative.

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

Privacy. We’re already talking about it but it’s not going to change quickly.

The Trail Blazers being the #1 team in the NBA. (A girl can dream, can’t she?)

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.