A New Community Manager Group presented by Percolate

 
This week we sat down with Karina Lopez, co-founder of KC You There, an agency that does everything from event management to social media management. She is also the community manager for E! News’ TV correspondent Alicia Quarles. 
What is your community manager “superpower”?
Quick thinking. Connecting the dots.
What are sites that you read on daily basis?
My Twitter feed acts as my go-to news links. As for fun reading, I’m all about lifestyle blogs like theglitterguide.com.
What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?
It’s hard to choose just one. We’ve had the privilege of working with so many amazing brands & clients, but one in particular that stands out is our golf client, OnCore Golf. They’re the only company we’ve worked with since the conception of the brand, so seeing it start with nothing to making history is something I’m truly proud of. Not to mention when we all began together, we were all under the age of 30.
Which campaign you wish you had done?
There are quite a few campaigns I’ve loved. One that always seems to stand out was the #MJDaisyChain campaign. During last NYFW, the Marc Jacobs team invited us to the press/vip opening of their pop-up MJ Daisy Chain store in the Lower East Side before opening to the public. While you could not purchase the new perfume with actual money, you could “purchase” by tweeting, posting a photo on Facebook or by posting an Instagram of the product and the hashtag. You then showed the “check-out” girls your social media mention and voila, you could pick out 1 of 3 products to take home. The products ranged from a mini bottle of MJ Daisy chain to a mini roll on perfume or a beautiful daisy clip with the scent inside of it.
What’s your best time-saving shortcut?
The Go-Daddy email app on my iPhone.
If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?
While I love Facebook (to keep in touch with family) and Twitter (I use it as my “daily newspaper”), Instagram has become a force of its own. We’ve actually gained new clients because of it, ranging from clients who are looking for event design to PR. I’ve even met new friends from the blogging community who I now see on a regular basis!
What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience?
They’re confused and intrigued. While KC You There is an event management and PR company, we wear many hats. We may be coordinating a 400 person wedding from beginning to end one day and traveling to the PGA Show in Orlando with our golf client another day. And every once in a while we’ll make appearances on TV as entertaining & lifestyle contributors. I get it, it’s a lot. We make it work, as we never want to put a cap to our creative work. Did I mention I manage all the social channels for E! News’ Alicia Quarles now?
When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.
Disconnect for a bit. Sometimes you just need a minute to yourself to get back into it.
If you’re were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
It’s hard to tell. I truly have interests in so many things. I do know one thing, I’d have to be my own boss.
In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about?

Ask me in 6 months.
Check out more Speakeasy interviews here. 
Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

This week we sat down with Karina Lopez, co-founder of KC You There, an agency that does everything from event management to social media management. She is also the community manager for E! News’ TV correspondent Alicia Quarles. 

What is your community manager “superpower”?

Quick thinking. Connecting the dots.

What are sites that you read on daily basis?

My Twitter feed acts as my go-to news links. As for fun reading, I’m all about lifestyle blogs like theglitterguide.com.

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

It’s hard to choose just one. We’ve had the privilege of working with so many amazing brands & clients, but one in particular that stands out is our golf client, OnCore Golf. They’re the only company we’ve worked with since the conception of the brand, so seeing it start with nothing to making history is something I’m truly proud of. Not to mention when we all began together, we were all under the age of 30.

Which campaign you wish you had done?

There are quite a few campaigns I’ve loved. One that always seems to stand out was the #MJDaisyChain campaign. During last NYFW, the Marc Jacobs team invited us to the press/vip opening of their pop-up MJ Daisy Chain store in the Lower East Side before opening to the public. While you could not purchase the new perfume with actual money, you could “purchase” by tweeting, posting a photo on Facebook or by posting an Instagram of the product and the hashtag. You then showed the “check-out” girls your social media mention and voila, you could pick out 1 of 3 products to take home. The products ranged from a mini bottle of MJ Daisy chain to a mini roll on perfume or a beautiful daisy clip with the scent inside of it.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut?

The Go-Daddy email app on my iPhone.

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

While I love Facebook (to keep in touch with family) and Twitter (I use it as my “daily newspaper”), Instagram has become a force of its own. We’ve actually gained new clients because of it, ranging from clients who are looking for event design to PR. I’ve even met new friends from the blogging community who I now see on a regular basis!

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

They’re confused and intrigued. While KC You There is an event management and PR company, we wear many hats. We may be coordinating a 400 person wedding from beginning to end one day and traveling to the PGA Show in Orlando with our golf client another day. And every once in a while we’ll make appearances on TV as entertaining & lifestyle contributors. I get it, it’s a lot. We make it work, as we never want to put a cap to our creative work. Did I mention I manage all the social channels for E! News’ Alicia Quarles now?

When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas.

Disconnect for a bit. Sometimes you just need a minute to yourself to get back into it.

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

It’s hard to tell. I truly have interests in so many things. I do know one thing, I’d have to be my own boss.

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

Ask me in 6 months.

Check out more Speakeasy interviews here

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager at Speakeasy CM.

 
This week we sat down with Shauna Bellow, Director of Social Media at ALOHA, to learn more about her experience with Percolate and to dive deeper into the social campaigns she’s leading.
What is the brand voice for Aloha?
ALOHA is ever positive, happy, healthy, and encouraging. The brand mission is about spreading love, light, and happiness through our innovative products and unique voice.  
Tell us more about your #alohamoment campaign.
An #alohamoment is an experience that inspires, delights, and makes you feel alive and happy! This hashtag is used in photos of sunsets, yoga poses, healthy meals, etc.
You maintain a great presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Do you have different approaches to each channel? 
Thank you and absolutely! Each platform engages a different audience. Posts regarding product deals, launches and inspirational quotes perform best for ALOHA on Facebook. Twitter is more of a “chat room” for us. It’s where we go to discuss all things health and wellness with experts, influencers, and, of course, our fans. And as you know, Instagram makes everyone a photographer! We populate our feed with #regrams (to show some love) recipes (for all the Instafoodies) and inspirational quotes like our popular #wisdomwednesday. 
What do you wish you knew a year ago that you know now about social media?
Never post anything you wouldn’t engage with. I always ask - Would I like, love, share, or comment on this? If the answer is no, I optimize from there. 
How do you source inspiration when creating content for Aloha?
Sourcing is easy when I’m surrounded by resources like Pinterest, Instagram, Feedly, and a team of amazingly connected talented Alohis. My Feedly is my go-to for keeping updated on current events, fitness news, creative blog posts, recipes and photography. My team is always sending along cool new apps such as: Instafamers, typography, quotes. I am surrounded by inspiration.
What types of content do you see your fans engage with most?
ALOHA fans love to be motivated to be their best selves. I just think about what I need when I’m feeling down, insecure, or alone and translate that into a note, post, or status update. There’s nothing better than being lifted up when you’re feeling low. Fans also enjoy our recipe posts. Since the Daily Good Greens are versatile and delicious (she said - unbiased), our customers are always sharing, trying, and posting their creations with our whole-food blends. 
Your content on social is easily recognizable as Aloha. How do you maintain brand consistency across platforms and posts without sacrificing creativity?
Since launching ALOHA we’ve established brand guidelines that help keep us “in the lines” as we create. The guidelines are especially helpful when crafting content on the fly. We’ve made little cheat sheets to get us through those last minute moments.
What is the most useful part of Percolate for you and your team?
The social team and I spend a majority of our day in Percolate’s Content Planner. It’s a real step up from working in Excel. It’s cleaner, more convenient, and super organized. I love how I can tag co-workers in a “brief” from various departments to weigh in on creative, copy, and just to alert them to a post that may be beneficial to their efforts. The photographer app is also pretty amazing. We’ve been using it when our team sponsors events or attends group activities. Instead of texting or emailing photos, the team uploads them directly to Percolate’s Image Library where we can schedule and post from there.
How does social fit into the overall marketing mix at Aloha?
Social plays a big role in the marketing mix at ALOHA whether it’s driving traffic to our digital magazine, educating fans on our convenient monthly service feature, or announcing new products (more to come soon!). I like to think about social media as a loudspeaker. When we have our team marketing meetings I like to ask – what do we want to amplify this week?
What’s one surprising thing you’ve learned from your audience?
I’ve been impressed and surprised at all the unique and delicious recipes our fans have submitted using the Daily Good Greens through #thedailygood and #goodonsocial.
Your fans send through lots of amazing shots of #alohamoments. What is your perfect #alohamoment?
My perfect #alohamoment is working with Percolate, #obvi.
*This interview is featured in the Percolate August Blend newsletter.

This week we sat down with Shauna Bellow, Director of Social Media at ALOHA, to learn more about her experience with Percolate and to dive deeper into the social campaigns she’s leading.

What is the brand voice for Aloha?

ALOHA is ever positive, happy, healthy, and encouraging. The brand mission is about spreading love, light, and happiness through our innovative products and unique voice.  

Tell us more about your #alohamoment campaign.

An #alohamoment is an experience that inspires, delights, and makes you feel alive and happy! This hashtag is used in photos of sunsets, yoga poses, healthy meals, etc.

You maintain a great presence on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Do you have different approaches to each channel?

Thank you and absolutely! Each platform engages a different audience. Posts regarding product deals, launches and inspirational quotes perform best for ALOHA on Facebook. Twitter is more of a “chat room” for us. It’s where we go to discuss all things health and wellness with experts, influencers, and, of course, our fans. And as you know, Instagram makes everyone a photographer! We populate our feed with #regrams (to show some love) recipes (for all the Instafoodies) and inspirational quotes like our popular #wisdomwednesday. 

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

Never post anything you wouldn’t engage with. I always ask - Would I like, love, share, or comment on this? If the answer is no, I optimize from there.

How do you source inspiration when creating content for Aloha?

Sourcing is easy when I’m surrounded by resources like Pinterest, Instagram, Feedly, and a team of amazingly connected talented Alohis. My Feedly is my go-to for keeping updated on current events, fitness news, creative blog posts, recipes and photography. My team is always sending along cool new apps such as: Instafamers, typography, quotes. I am surrounded by inspiration.

What types of content do you see your fans engage with most?

ALOHA fans love to be motivated to be their best selves. I just think about what I need when I’m feeling down, insecure, or alone and translate that into a note, post, or status update. There’s nothing better than being lifted up when you’re feeling low. Fans also enjoy our recipe posts. Since the Daily Good Greens are versatile and delicious (she said - unbiased), our customers are always sharing, trying, and posting their creations with our whole-food blends. 

Your content on social is easily recognizable as Aloha. How do you maintain brand consistency across platforms and posts without sacrificing creativity?

Since launching ALOHA we’ve established brand guidelines that help keep us “in the lines” as we create. The guidelines are especially helpful when crafting content on the fly. We’ve made little cheat sheets to get us through those last minute moments.

What is the most useful part of Percolate for you and your team?

The social team and I spend a majority of our day in Percolate’s Content Planner. It’s a real step up from working in Excel. It’s cleaner, more convenient, and super organized. I love how I can tag co-workers in a “brief” from various departments to weigh in on creative, copy, and just to alert them to a post that may be beneficial to their efforts. The photographer app is also pretty amazing. We’ve been using it when our team sponsors events or attends group activities. Instead of texting or emailing photos, the team uploads them directly to Percolate’s Image Library where we can schedule and post from there.

How does social fit into the overall marketing mix at Aloha?

Social plays a big role in the marketing mix at ALOHA whether it’s driving traffic to our digital magazine, educating fans on our convenient monthly service feature, or announcing new products (more to come soon!). I like to think about social media as a loudspeaker. When we have our team marketing meetings I like to ask – what do we want to amplify this week?

What’s one surprising thing you’ve learned from your audience?

I’ve been impressed and surprised at all the unique and delicious recipes our fans have submitted using the Daily Good Greens through #thedailygood and #goodonsocial.

Your fans send through lots of amazing shots of #alohamoments. What is your perfect #alohamoment?

My perfect #alohamoment is working with Percolate, #obvi.

*This interview is featured in the Percolate August Blend newsletter.

 
This week we sat down with Lucie Zhang, community manager at Ralph Lauren. Find out about her favorite campaigns she has worked on as a community manager. 
1. What is your community manager “superpower”?
Real time photo editing.
2. What are sites that you read on daily basis?
New York Times, WWD, WSJ, Mashable, The Cut, and whatever other articles pop up in my Twitter feed.
3. What’s a specific campaign that you are proud of?
I’m fairly new to the team at Ralph Lauren and we have a lot coming up that I know I will be proud to speak about in a month or two. However, for previous campaigns I’ve worked on, I think one of the most rewarding ones was when I helped organize a nation-wide blogger program that highlighted one blogger from each state and also had a user-generated component that asked fans to submit a photo demonstrating their personal style for the chance to win a trip to NYFW and more. The campaign had a lot of moving parts and finding the perfect blogger to represent each state was a challenge, but in the end we pulled it off! It was also very rewarding to see how excited the winning contestant was to attend NYFW. Speaking of — surviving NYFW every season feels like a feat in and of itself, but I love it every time.
4. Which campaign you wish you did?
There are a lot of fashion brands doing digital well. I think some of these campaigns really hit upon something smart and innate in the way humans share information and inspiration with each other. A lot of these campaigns now serve almost as reference points in brainstorms — Burberry’s Art of the Trench, Topshop’s The Future of the Fashion Show, Chanel’s Fall 2014 Megastore. Not only were these smart and beautiful, but the attention to detail really made the whole experience on brand. As for non-fashion moments: the Obama 2008 campaign.
5. What’s your best time-saving shortcut?
Command + Tab to flip between applications on a Mac.
6. If you could only use one social channel, which would it be and why?
Tumblr because it combines the beauty of Instagram with the immediacy and sometimes hilarity of Twitter, but also allows for the traditional long-form blog post.
7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience? How many of them want to model for us.
8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas. Travel, even if it’s just visiting somewhere new in NYC.
9. If you’re were not doing this job, what would you be doing?
I studied public policy, economics and journalism in college, so probably whatever job that would get me.

10. In the next 6 months what are we all going to be talking about? Ralph Lauren, obviously.
Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager for Percolate’s Speakeasy. 

This week we sat down with Lucie Zhang, community manager at Ralph Lauren. Find out about her favorite campaigns she has worked on as a community manager. 

1. What is your community manager “superpower”?

Real time photo editing.

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

New York Times, WWD, WSJ, Mashable, The Cut, and whatever other articles pop up in my Twitter feed.

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

I’m fairly new to the team at Ralph Lauren and we have a lot coming up that I know I will be proud to speak about in a month or two. However, for previous campaigns I’ve worked on, I think one of the most rewarding ones was when I helped organize a nation-wide blogger program that highlighted one blogger from each state and also had a user-generated component that asked fans to submit a photo demonstrating their personal style for the chance to win a trip to NYFW and more. The campaign had a lot of moving parts and finding the perfect blogger to represent each state was a challenge, but in the end we pulled it off! It was also very rewarding to see how excited the winning contestant was to attend NYFW. Speaking of — surviving NYFW every season feels like a feat in and of itself, but I love it every time.

4. Which campaign you wish you did?

There are a lot of fashion brands doing digital well. I think some of these campaigns really hit upon something smart and innate in the way humans share information and inspiration with each other. A lot of these campaigns now serve almost as reference points in brainstorms — Burberry’s Art of the Trench, Topshop’s The Future of the Fashion Show, Chanel’s Fall 2014 Megastore. Not only were these smart and beautiful, but the attention to detail really made the whole experience on brand. As for non-fashion moments: the Obama 2008 campaign.

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

Command + Tab to flip between applications on a Mac.

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

Tumblr because it combines the beauty of Instagram with the immediacy and sometimes hilarity of Twitter, but also allows for the traditional long-form blog post.

7. What was one surprising thing that you learned from your audience? How many of them want to model for us.

8. When I have a creative block I ______________________ for ideas. Travel, even if it’s just visiting somewhere new in NYC.

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

I studied public policy, economics and journalism in college, so probably whatever job that would get me.

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

Interview by Taisa Veras, community manager for Percolate’s Speakeasy

 
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)

 
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.