The Journey of a Social Media Marketer: Q&A with SMT Influencer Lucy Rendler-Kaplan

Here at SMT, we’re always thinking about how to put the social in Social Media Today. From our #SMTLive Twitter chats, social media groups, and other interactive social accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) we get that social media is at its best when it brings people together.

Being that our influencers are one of our very favorite parts of our community, we decided sharing their stories, tips of the trade, and advice with you would be a fun (and very social) task. They’re the leaders of our SMT contributors, and they’re excited to share their perspectives with you.

First up at Q&A bat is Lucy Rendler-Kaplan. She’s the founder of Arkay Marketing & PR, a boutique public relations agency. Her SMT bio reads as follows, “Lucy Rendler-Kaplan grew up in Skokie, receiving her bachelor’s degree at Northeastern Illinois University. A marketing manager by trade she has spent over 15 years growing brands, delving most recently into public relations as well. Hazard of the profession, all her conversations IRL are conducted within 150 characters.”

Now that we’ve gotten to know each other a little bit, let’s get started.

Social Media Today: How (and when) did you get started in the social media marketing world?

Lucy Rendler-Kaplan: I totally fell into social media! When Twitter first came out, I was working as the marketing director for ONE Coconut Water, and had no clue what I was doing in social. The profile I set up for that brand was actually my own personal profile! In a way, that was perfect, in that right from the start I was totally transparent, and everyone really got to know the “face behind the brand.” I think this was something that set not only my brand apart, but ME! I was able to quickly build trust with people and begin and grow relationships very naturally.

SMT: What major impacts has social media had on your career and the marketing industry in general?

LRK: I get most of my business for my company, Arkay Marketing & PR, from referrals from people I’ve met on social media. I am now paid to write articles on social media tips for a variety of sites. What I love is that social media truly levels the playing field. While I started my career in marketing working for large companies, my clients now tend to be startups and small businesses, and social media allows me to have the same reach as I did when working with the larger brands. Both in my own career and in the marketing industry in general, social media has made the world a lot smaller and more accessible. You can meet and work with people from virtually anywhere in the world! Before social, we would place ads or purchase tv or radio spots and it was expensive and not terribly effective. Today, you can send out targeted content or simply have conversations with people and, done well, your reach is almost infinite. Social media usage now far outweighs traffic, circulation and audience reach for all traditional media channels.

SMT: What do you believe is the most challenging part of working in social media?

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