Chronicles of a Community Manager

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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.

Chronicles of a Community Manager - Stephanie Robinson

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!

Stephanie Robinson

Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Maggiano’s Little Italy®
Over a decade of experience in digital marketing, advertising, sales, product and project management, and customer service in a variety of verticals has led to Stephanie’s role managing social media strategy and implementation at Maggiano’s. She is passionate about social listening and understanding the insights about the intersection of guest experiences, brands and technology.In her spare time, Stephanie serves as a Women’s Foodservice Forum member and volunteer, guest speaker at the International Corporate Chefs Association Regional Conference, and social media chair for several local charity events. A lover of scratch-kitchens and handcrafted cocktails, you can find Stephanie in Dallas, Fort Worth and abroad exploring the industry she admires most.

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