Our Klout Stars series highlights top influencers and how they got to where they are today.
About Alison: Have you ever been picked up on in a bar by a stranger who has seen you before and rightfully accused you of being that girl who “reads TechCrunch on her phone every single day–without lifting her head”?
Yeah, I am guilty of being that girl.
My name is Ali and I am the Community Manager at BranchOut. When I am not busy nerding out on the bus and making awkward first impressions, I love going to concerts, spending time outside and indulging in far too much Mexican food. I am a self-proclaimed “Nor Cal convert”. Having grown up in Los Angeles, I am proud to call San Francisco my home. I enjoy learning about why people make the social and spending decisions that they do, how trends evolve and why technology influences these choices. You can learn more about me here: alisonhillman.com and connect with me here: http://www.twitter.com/alihillman
2. How did you get started in social media?
If you consider yourself “normal” you are already boring me. Let’s face it; I probably wouldn’t follow you on Twitter. So in the spirit of being attracted to oddballs and progressive thinkers, I picked a major that most people have never heard of, I graduated UC Davis with a B.A. in American Studies. You can pretty much do anything with that major; I interpreted it as being the sociology of American culture and studied mass marketing and technocultural studies. After graduation, I landed a sweet gig at Yelp where I happily stayed for several years. I developed a huge crush on web 2.0 trends. From Yelp, I spent some time doing Digital PR for Levi’s. Now I work for BranchOut, the largest professional network on Facebook. I am responsible for BranchOut’s social media, voice and brand…not to mention the consumption of all the M&M’s out of the trail mix in the kitchen.
3. What’s your strategy for the content you produce and share on social media?
I care about what you are saying why? Being a Community Manager means having a pulse on the goals and needs of your users at all times. Before producing any content, I think to myself, why does anyone care? How am I making a user’s experience not only easier, but also more valuable? BranchOut is only sixteen-ish months old, so I am literally paving a brand new path. My content strategy ranges from being very basic and instructional to innovative contests and brand-centric posts.
Share everything! Okay fine, user digression is advised. People love to see the inside scoop at your company and get a glimpse of the people who build cool products. Make sure that your tweets, posts, and pictures stand “on brand” and engage both your users and the experts in your field by providing fresh and relevant content! I have found that our users and community really dig metrics, so I try and incorporate some stats in my messaging.
For my own personal brand, I like to include a bit of my work life because I spend more time at work than I do doing anything else and frankly, I love my job and company and take pride in helping to build my company’s success.
I am very active on most social media platforms and leverage my presence by commenting and sharing when I find something particularly awesome or unique that I think my network will also enjoy leaning about. I am hyper-aware of how over-saturated the space is, and oftentimes find myself putting a Hillman-esque spin on an idea.
4. What advice do you have for someone who wants to take their social media influence and presence to the next level?
Get active! Get curious! Get creative! Try new things and see what works for you and your own personal style. Practice building a brand on your own personal accounts rather than experimenting on a corporate account.
Find people and brands that you think are interesting and see what they are all about by observing how they share, interact and brand themselves. What works? What doesn’t? I enjoy engaging in Twitter chats, documenting my life via pictures and learning about new music. My interests are genuine and consistent, so my insights reflect my own understanding of the world around me.
See Alison in action by following @AliHillman on Twitter!
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