I fell into social media the way most people fall into recruiting.
One day, our lead investor was wandering around the office in the way that only very eccentric Silicon Valley types do. Occasionally, he’d stick his head into different offices and shoot off a question no one was expecting.
On this particular day, I was in the marketing and PR office talking about some recent press coverage. I heard him coming. The sound of the tennis ball bouncing off the wall. The sound of men murmuring behind him, trying to get his attention.
His head popped through my office doorway. “Good work with Cheezhead. Is that his name?” We laughed. That blog post and a visit to Good Morning America had crashed our site over the weekend. (Yes, it was that Cheezhead. He goes by Joel Cheesman
“How many Facebook friends do you have,” he asked everyone and no one, blurting it out to the room as if that was the logical next step in the conversation. Each person in the room opened their laptops to find Facebook and answer.
As each person shared their friend count, I realized I was ahead by hundreds. I was in the first wave of college users back when Facebook was only for college students. After I shared my friend count, he quickly stated, “you’ll do social media.”
With no marketing experience and no option for training, I started working in social media. My goal? More eyes on our site. At the time, a lot of the signature terrible moves were our most effective strategies. Or at least we thought so. We were winging it back in those days.
Fast-forward a few weeks. I’m emailing a blogger I love. You might know her, the Bloggess
. She was (and still is) a force of creativity, curiosity, and vulnerability. She has inspired me for over a decade now, and I’m sure you’ll see her influence on my writing if you go check out the site.
So, picture innocent 20-something Katrina. I emailed her a message along the lines of, “you changed my life. Thank you so much.” She emailed back with kind words and advice.
A few minutes later, she tweeted something along the lines of “f*ck yeah [CORPORATE TWITTER HANDLE.]” She was a fan of me, saw my social handle in my email, and wanted to support my company and me. Fuck yeah!
I freaked out in a good and bad way.
Someone with tens of thousands of followers just tweeted about us. Someone with tens of thousands of followers just tweeted a swear word about us.
I raced to “fix” it and emailed her to explain this wasn’t my company. The Bloggess was mortified. I was, too. But my company also got a few hundred followers in a few minutes. There was no going back.
There were also no consequences. The CEO laughed and bought me NBA floor seats for making it happen in the first place. Those seats were terrific.
Now, most people don’t go out of their way to share or support others on social media. Promotional content is another thing we scroll right past. Even when people ask us to share, it’s a maybe - never assumed. I mean, hell. People get paid to tweet promotional content now. I never imagined that happening with the channel most of my team referred to as “the tweeter” in 2009.
So this week, I wrote about how you can motivate people to share, without luck or F-bombs, in a video blog. I’m also sharing a post I contributed to Fistful of Talent on why feedback sucks and a video that caught my attention for the title and has made me think ever since.
Have a great weekend -