I’m really digging this Follow Friday Feature Profile tradition because every week I know I’m going to learn something new and interesting about using social media from someone I already know and respect (usually someone I’ve met *because* of social media). And this week is no exception.
Stacy Kinney is a serial entrepreneur. When we first met, I was still working on my GreenforGood.com startup and she was working on her own green-related startup. So we often tweeted and shared lots of information around sustainability, green products and marketing. Over time we got to know each other better and I learned about Stacey’s interest in real estate and later, her new social media venture that is targeted towards small businesses and individuals (which I’m sure she’d be happy to share with you).
One of the things I love about Stacy is that she is always trying and testing new social media tools – and is more than willing to share her experiences via her YouTube channel. I think it’s a great idea to share expertise this way, and keep vowing to start doing the same myself….maybe now I’ll be inspired and motivated to do the same.
Enjoy this week’s profile!
Which social media networks do you use consistently?
Twitter and Facebook in that order.
What was your “Aha” moment regarding social media (when/why did you decide to become engaged)?
My moment happened back in march of 2009 when I really engaged heavily on Twitter and saw the power it had. There was also such a positive energy with the people I was interacting with and everyone was so helpful.
How has Social Media impacted you personally? How about professionally?
It has made a huge impact in both areas of my life because of the people I have met and continue to meet. I have formed some wonderful partnerships and friendships. It has given me a platform for my profession and the opportunity to teach others what I have learned with branding and social marketing.
You are very much an entrepreneur. Can you talk about some of the companies you’ve started? Are they related or have they been very different kinds of businesses?
I first ventured online as a way to increase revenue for my home business which I still run today. During this process I have become very educated with online marketing while building my own brand. I am an affiliate marketer, but currently most focused on marketing My Branding System. The best way to describe it is like branding in a box. The target market is one looking to build their online presence and use social marketing, etc. but needs a clear path with support and education.
How has social media changed your life?
I feel it has deepened and strengthened relationships from consistent communication and networking. I feel I can touch hundreds or thousands of people per day vs. not using social media. Prior to social media I was dependent on network events and phone calls which were much more limited. It has also given me incredible exposure for me to build my business and my passion to help others.
We met originally on Twitter as Green entrepreneurs. How have you seen the Green movement and market change the past few years?
I feel is growing very steadily and social media has helped people to be aware and education on the subject. Many more people are receptive to making a change for the better for their families.
Do you think Green/sustainability was a fad/trend or do you think it’s just become more mainstream?
I think it is a little of both. Some people jumped on board to capitalize on the movement, but mostly I think it is becoming more mainstream. I hope so. I feel we can all do our part no matter how small it is.
How are small businesses using social media? How do you see that changing or evolving over time?
I see many small businesses using social media to build brand recognition. They are also able to target their specific market and connect with their customers. Brand monitoring is also very popular and a way the business can respond to any comments or questions through social channels in turn giving the highest quality of customer support.
Some professionals are leery about becoming “friends” on Facebook with customers, peers, co-workers, etc. – how do you handle this? Do you “friend” professional contacts or keep things separate?
I was hesitant as well in the beginning until I understood Facebook and my purpose. Now I will friend most people. I do not friend strangers unless they personal message me as to why they would like to connect.
How do you use Twitter? How about Facebook? Do they serve similar or different roles for you?
I use Twitter for fun, chatting, learning, educating others, sharing tips, promoting my site and promoting others. Facebook up until recently had been more personal with pictures, fun, etc. I now have a fanpage where I conduct business and give social media marketing and branding information. They are completely different cultures and roles for me and my business.
Ex: I am a tweetaholic and if I were to update on Facebook 30 times a day then that would not be acceptable and many would probably unfriend me.
Where have you found or learned the best/cool social media tips?
It is hard to say exactly because it has been constant and almost daily. It has mainly been through my social contacts, blogs and Twitter. I also find Youtube to be very helpful with video tutorials.
How do you decide who you’re going to follow?
I find people that have similar interest. I follow social media, branding, eco friendly, affiliate marketers, wine lovers, and fun people J
You tend to be pretty interactive with your followers – how do you decide who you’re going to engage with and who you’ll simple “lurk”?
I engage with people that engage with me or comment and RT me. I will engage others if I see something of interest or new followers to get to know them better. It becomes increasing harder with the larger number of followers, but I always try to thanks everyone and reciprocate.
You juggle being a mom along with being an entrepreneur – how do you manage your time and commitment?
I have had to learn to work all different times of the day and night to manage, but I am used to it now. I also have great support from my husband and my family when it comes to the kids. I am so thankful for them and all they do to help me.
Do you think professionals should be thinking about using social media to help build a “personal brand?”
Absolutely. I am very passionate about this. 80 million names are googled everyday and if you are a professional then you need to be found and control your brand. Perception is everything and you want people to see you as a credible expert in your field. In my opinion, it is critical that you build your personal brand.
What is your most memorable social media experience?
When Suzzane Boyd sent me a tweet and asked if I would like to be on a local TV show to talk about social media. I was shocked and then excited. It turned out to be a great experience and I met some wonderful people.
Do you use social media when you travel?
I use it the same as always when I travel for business and rarely use it when I am on vacation with family or friends. I feel it is important for me to be present when on vacation, however I will update a few times to let my followers know why I am not updating and how much enjoy my time with my family.
Does your family ever tell you that you tweet too much?
My family has no idea and none of them have ever used Twitter. My husband does not even get on Facebook. I laugh because they really do not get what it is that I do, yet they give me 100% support.
Funniest Social Media moment?
I put a professional presentation video on Youtube recently that I apparently goofed on the editing. I had a friend contact me and asked if I meant to leave the part in there where I was yelling at my daughter to be quiet, etc.. The people who watched it got a kick. I was so embarrassed but had to laugh.
Biggest Social Media pet peeve?
Spammers. When people @reply me or DM me on Twitter telling I would love what they are selling. I also hate when I see people never engage or RT.
Any parting shots?
Social media is great for personal and business. Just remember that it is not a sales platform, but rather a way to build relationships and connect people.
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