If you think TikTok is a song by Ke$ha, Discord is a harsh mixture of sounds, or engagement rate is how many people are getting married these days, you might need to have a chat with AMG’s resident social media savant, Carlie. As our Social Media Specialist, she can fill you in on the latest trends and how brands can play in this creative space to engage users. But behind all her handles and hashtags is a real person you’ll be glad you got to know better.
The Timeline Begins
Growing up in a Chicago suburb, Carlie always liked playing on her bedazzled Motorola Razr flip phone and 1st generation iPod Touch. It was the late 2000s and no one really knew where this social media thing would go. But Carlie hopped on Facebook in 2008 and got a Tumblr a few years later (almost unscathed by embarrassing middle school posts).
Earlier than most adults, she grasped the value of sharing thoughts with an online audience. By high school, she was managing her friend’s Instagram account and the rest is history in the making.
When she secured a scholarship to Trinity University, Carlie embraced the adventure of the big move down to Texas. With Midtown San Antonio nearby, it didn’t take long for her to discover amazing restaurants (El Milagrito Café, Cullum’s Attagirl, Barbaro) and fall in love with the local culture. She focused on her Communication degree, Economics and New Media minors, and several side-hustles that included being a part-time tutor, phonathon caller and nanny.
“The diversity of Communication really appealed to me. It touches so many other subjects and combines creative and analytic thinking in an interesting way.”
Carlie’s diligence and drive to grow landed her two college internships doing media outreach and social media managing. Then she joined a group of peers who launched an Instagram account featuring the culinary gems of Texas. Carlie still co-manages the account, which now has over 18K followers. (Check them out @EatsInTown!)
Even with this experience, she was struggling to break into a full-time marketing position. She shared her struggles with the father of the children she was nannying. He happened to own one of the largest Papa John’s franchises and was always looking for passionate young people to hire. Carlie started as Marketing Coordinator the week after graduation.
Managing marketing efforts on the ground floor of a fast-paced B2C environment gave Carlie valuable experience with practical aspects of marketing. She coordinated marketing partnerships and was even a spokesperson on TV (in addition to making a plethora of pizzas). But because she missed working on a team and was eager to prove her salt on social, Carlie kept one eye on San Antonio Communications Jobs’ Facebook page. Serendipity struck again. AMG just posted the perfect position for her.
“I had experienced other agency cultures and this one was different. I love that we work hard at AMG but also emphasize work/life balance. The combination of different people with unique perspectives and a teamwork mentality that values everyone’s contributions allows us to make great advertising.”
A Day in the Social Life
Social media managing sometimes gets the reputation that anyone can do it, but let’s dispel those myths right now. Social media touches every area of expertise AMG offers as a full-service marketing agency. Here are a few of the disciplines that compete for Carlie’s attention every day: photography / videography, strategy, media buying, client communication, production, budgeting, copywriting, graphic design, analytics reporting and scheduling. Woah.
But neither is social media marketing an unapproachable enigma. Social platforms are essentially gatherings and brands do well if they interact as fellow guests (not advertisers), showing their human side and sharing meaningful content curated to each platform. You just need someone like Carlie who knows the best practices and can apply them successfully.
The toughest part of Carlie’s job might be the fact that she can’t turn off work – there’s always notifications pinging, crises looming, and trolls a-typing away. Not to mention constant shifts in algorithms, trends and technology to watch. But Carlie likes to focus on the true value she adds helping our clients stand out in a competitive space through strategies like geotargeting, user-generated content and influencer marketing.
“I love being in a position to help businesses connect with their customers. When you ask someone to follow you, it’s like a purchase – they have to be getting something out of it. So we spend time with the research, understanding our brand’s unique voice, diving into our customer personas, and creating native content that’s designed to engage and convert.”
Born right on the cusp between Millennials and Gen Z, Carlie is in a unique position to relate to both generations as they represent a bigger and bigger slice of the consumer pie chart. Customers aren’t thumbing through magazines or sitting by radios anymore. They’re scrolling, tapping, commenting, watching and sharing on social media. And Carlie and our social team are always ready to reach them.
Carlie’s friendly reminder to consumers interacting with brands on social: be nice to social media managers when commenting. Remember there’s a person on the other side who probably can’t control what you’re mad about. What Carlie can control is planning sound strategy and click-worthy content that could reach thousands of the right consumers (for a lot less than typical ad spending!) on social media, where the bandwidth is always bursting with opportunity.
Carlie’s fast facts:
Bucket list – Visit Bolivia!
Favorite restaurant – Extra Fine Bakery
Guilty pleasure – Trashy reality TV
Trend watching – The rise of social media curators
Little-known interest – Hula Hoop fire dancing