Spring has sprung, and it's already bringing great things here at Social Distillery. Top of the list? Our new SVP Account Director, Colleen Hartman! Colleen joins our team with vast knowledge of marketing, advertising, and public relations, from her previous roles working for Fortune 500 brands, on both the client and agency sides. Her strengths lie in account management, creative ideation, marketing strategy, and much more.
But enough of me talking, let's get into her interview:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in LaGrange Park, Illinois in the western suburbs of Chicago, and spent several weeks each summer traveling around Texas with my maternal grandparents who lived in Plano prior to its massive growth. After living many places as a twenty and thirty-something, I call Austin my “forever home” and embrace it more than some locals that I know. Don’t be shocked when I throw out a “Texas Forever” as emphatically as Tim Riggins.
What jobs did you have prior to Social Distillery?
My career started in TV news, but I shifted into marketing, advertising and public relations for everything from tech to NFL players to consumer brands. I tap into my journalism skills daily as I tell brand stories that need strong visuals. I’ve been brand side and agency side which also comes in handy. Thanks to experience working with start-ups and Fortune 100 brands, I’m thrilled to now be working at an Austin-based boutique agency – female-owned – specializing in social.
What drew you to the social media industry?
The birth of social media blended my storytelling journalism skills with my love of tech. Now it has evolved to also utilize my marketing and advertising skills too. And I have my work cut out for me, because so many brands want to be digital-first or digital-only, but don’t understand social media advertising and content creation.
What are some of your favorite brands to follow on social?
I follow brands for different reasons. Sometime I follow a brand because they are doing innovative social or strong local content. Other times it might be for tone and voice, powerful use of visuals, or a brand trying a new type of social ad available. I always watch competitors of my client’s brand, and the client should too. I follow a lot of local brands, because I’m especially intrigued by what small and medium businesses can do locally. I also watch a lot of college football teams using social for stats and brainstorm against that for infograms for brands.
Best social ways to satisfy my inner Texan:
Thom’s Market, 365 by Whole Foods Market, H-E-B, Topo Chico, High Brew Coffee, Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee, Whataburger, Easy Tiger, Tecovas, Bexar Goods, Ft. Lonesome, Gage Hotel, Yeti, Over Austin, Texas Ranch Sales, Big Bend National Park, Vinyl Ranch, Radio Texas Live, Texas Music Office, Texas Humor, Instagram Texas, Texas State Capital, All Things Texas, Texas Monthly, Texas Dance Hall Preservation
Consumer brands, blogs and various:
News and sports:
What hobbies do you have and do you think they make you better at your job?
I love exploring, whether that be in the Texas Hill Country at a brewery after hiking or as an early adopter of new technology. As a believer in trying new things, I’m constantly downloading new apps and software to see if they would help with clients or make my life easier.
What is your favorite place to eat in Austin?
Picking a favorite is so hard. I consider myself an explorer of new places. In town, it would be tacos from the East Austin location of Veracruz All Natural, a food truck that’s an old school bus painted white. Try the fish and steak tacos. Don’t forget the salsa. Out of town heading west, I would pick Pieous. Get a pizza, and a Caesar salad with a quarter-pound of pastrami on it. You’ll thank me later.
What is your favorite social media platform, and why?
Again, picking a favorite is hard. I use different social channels for different things. I’m very active on Facebook with my family, high school and college friends, and friends from all the many places that I’ve lived. With Facebook being the largest platform, it’s also my go-to for industry groups, brands and bands. I track tons of events wishing I had time to attend them all. When following a new page, I immediately like a ton of content to help trick the algorithm and/or turn on notifications. On Instagram, I follow a lot of travel spots, local restaurants and food brands, and consumer brands. On Twitter, I follow a lot of news, tech and football. I also use Twitter for customer service questions. With Snapchat, I mostly consume content and brainstorm. With YouTube, I view a lot of music interviews and watch for brands utilizing video well – or not so well.
What’s one fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I have a dream of living on a ranch in Texas one day. I’m working on making it a reality.