Applied Interactive is expanding its staff and welcoming some new members that are poised to set unprecedented standards in web marketing. In this ongoing series we’ll be introducing you to these creative, passionate, and extremely talented individuals and learning a little bit about the people that are the heart and soul of our team.
Emily joined our team in June of 2015 and hit the ground running. She brings a surprising amount of experience in media management and strategy, making her a true social media dynamo! This fitness lover’s boundless energy has come in handy as she makes great strides to engage with our customers’ audiences, and her enthusiastic personality and active outreach style makes it easy for first-time viewers to become loyal fans overnight.
What is your position here?
I’m the Social Engagement Manager. Basically, I execute the online brand—everywhere. I cover everything the audience sees: replying, tweeting, sharing, messaging, and commenting. I publish and post content for clients and plan how to connect it with the target audience. It’s gratifying to be on the front line of audience interaction.
What were your first impressions of Applied Interactive?
Well, when I first applied to AI, I knew about all the dogs in the office, and that was a huge selling point for me because I love dogs! I thought, “It’s always a good sign when people can bring their dogs to work, right?”
I was especially impressed after interviewing with AI. When I walked in, four dogs ran to greet me and there was music streaming out of office-wide speakers. I really appreciated how everyone was on a level playing field in the open floor plan. AI invites collaboration and creates a fun team environment for everyone– even the dogs!
So how did you discover your interest in marketing?
I graduated with a degree in Psychology, and I love the psychological aspect of marketing. I have always been very outgoing and people-oriented, so marketing is a great way to blend my interests and personality. Naturally, I realized Social Engagement was a great place for me to be.
So you like analyzing how people think and using that to make a meaningful connection?
Exactly– what fascinates me is wondering things like ‘why does marketing work?’
Marketing is thinking about what people want and need, and making it more approachable. Social media is so neat because people can declare their interests and needs and expect to be found. Marketing campaigns are tailored to people who want to see the information. Meaningful connections online are all about meeting people where they are and inviting them to join.
Describe one part of your daily routine you cannot live without.
I swim almost every day. I’m on a swim team that practices at WPI [Worcester Polytechnic Institute] and I swim about 2 miles every morning. I wake up really early to do it, and it helps me to get focused and set the pace for the day. And I have to drink my bulletproof coffee with coconut oil afterward. It’s great for your brain!
What makes AI a good match for you?
Not one day is exactly like another. It’s a busy environment, but in a way that makes you feel accomplished. At the end of the day you can look back and say, “Look at everything I did today!” and see results. You feel like you made a difference.
And the team approach is good for me–I love the fun group of people I get to work with every day!
What goals do you hope to accomplish here?
I want to continue to learn about the bigger picture– how each piece comes together. If all the pieces don’t connect, then the publishing and engagement I do at the end isn’t successful. So I can’t wait to keep learning, which is easy in the social media world because everything is constantly evolving.
Personally, I want to make sure I go above and beyond client expectations. One way to do that is to make sure I don’t get bogged down in the minutia to the point that creativity gets lost. Creativity is what’s fun and important in social media– you sort of have to reinvent the wheel every day to keep up.
What previous experiences have been useful to you in your endeavors here?
Most recently, I had a job advising for and managing social media for small business owners. I worked with clients from a wide range of different industries, some that had a natural niche on social media and some that were more challenging. Having to think outside of the box will be useful at AI when I’m creating and promoting content.
I also have a lot of marketing experience from working in the International Studies office on my college campus, where I had a lot of success marketing to my own demographic. Now I’m using my experience and real training to reach more diverse demographics.
It seems like you have a good balance between technique and intuition. Is that something that you gained through work experience or a natural ability?
It was a blend– it’s easy for people my age to say we’re good at social media because we grew up with it. We know what we would like to hear from a consumer point of view. But I also have SEO and analytical training that has taken those basic instincts and developed them. I have a strong understanding of what works in a search algorithm or what keywords will be effective. I also just enjoy being online and trying different platforms, so I purposefully stay tuned into new social trends.
Are there particular aspects of social media that you enjoy more than others?
I love Twitter because it’s so fast paced and it levels the playing field between the big companies and the little guys. I can be talking to a company and it can feel like a peer-to-peer experience. I can tweet to a person with a massive audience and they can read what I have to say. I’ve reached out to companies and professionals and heard back from them, which is super neat. That influence is unique to Twitter.
The visual aspect of social media is exceptionally exciting. Video is such a strong platform and as autoplay features grow, it might become the strongest platform. With video, you can convey a lot of information in an interesting way in a short amount of time. I’d love to do more with video marketing in the future!
How do you unwind in your free time?
I ride horses—that’s my chance to get outdoors. And I do some open-water lake swimming with my team. I love to play with my bunny, Bentli– she’s a rescue! I write short stories and blogs, too. And I’m a health nut: I’m a group fitness instructor, and I love learning about new nutrition trends.
Obviously I spend a lot of time on social media too—reading about the latest and greatest and developing my personal channels (@EmGem66). I love generating creative hashtags… I’ve even been dubbed a ‘hashtag artisan’ on Twitter!
If you could go back in time to the day of your high school graduation and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you say?
Don’t second guess your instincts. When I was younger, I got caught up in the “what if” of every decision. I let trivial things push me in directions I didn’t really want to go. Funny story—I changed my major three times in college. My final choice (Psychology) was what I had originally wanted to study freshman year! But I’ve gained confidence and learned to trust my intuition more, and not surprisingly, I’m happier and more successful!