It all started back in 2009 when I was working for a yearbook publisher as a Project Manager. I was minding my own business, knee deep in dozens of projects when my President decided we needed a Facebook presence. Being the youngest on the team and having a knack for getting my hands on tons of extra projects, I was “volun-told” to get us up and running. Within 3 months, I was a self-taught community manager running a group of volunteers to help manage our emerging community.
I wanted to hone in on my new skill, so I hung up my PM hat and went to a digital marketing agency, and did just that. I touched verticals from pest control to gold bullion trading, but I fell in love with the food industry. In 2012, I was invited to apply for a Social Media position at Brinker International’s Maggiano’s Little Italy, and I’ve been here ever since! As a mini-foodie/techie, this job combines two of my favorite passions. One of the biggest take-aways from that experience was to always have a plan and social media is a conversation first, not a sales tactic.
While I love everything I have my hands on, it’s a lot. I’m not just the social media department of one – which means everything from content creation to guest relations – but I manage 49 restaurants’ local marketing spending, our annual Make-A-Wish campaign, Banquet and Delivery marketing projects, new restaurant opening public relations, a small team of volunteers who assist with community management when I’m unable to do so, and a host of other projects for our teammates and restaurants.
We’re a small team running a decent sized brand. We wear hats. Lots of them. No matter how many hats I wear, my common denominator is always my community. So no matter what each day looks like, that’s where I spend the majority of my time because it’s so important to a growing brand like mine. I think my enthusiasm for wanting to understand and help others matches my brand’s passion which is “making people feel special.” I want to make sure my guests’ voices are heard and I spend my day reading their stories and sharing our story. In a social space inundated with status updates of all colors, my job is not to encroach on that, but be a part of it with useful, interesting and inspiring stories. I am always still learning, but my goal is to make my brand more human, interesting and approachable, and so far it’s working!